EA Newsletter: October 26, 2015

EA Newsletter header   Hi there!

We hope you enjoyed the first Effective Altruism Newsletter! Below is another round of the latest posts, articles, news, announcements, and job postings from the world of effective altruism.

We’ve also added a new section, “Timeless Classics”, in which we share articles and other links that deserve to be seen again.

Thanks a lot to everyone who submitted feedback last time! Let us know how we’re doing and how we can improve this newsletter. Feel free to submit interesting links and articles through this form.

Happy reading!

The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team

What is EA?

If you’re not familiar with effective altruism, EA – to use its common abbreviation – is a growing social movement founded on the desire to make the world as good a place as it can be, the use of evidence and reason to find out how to do so, and the audacity to actually try.

If you want to learn more, start with reading What is effective altruism, watch (and share) this 6-minute video or check out the free EA Handbook.


Articles and Community Posts

GiveWell has released an article on potential new high-impact charities they would like to see. Their research has shown that there are some priority programs that no one is carrying out yet. Are you the right person to set one up? GiveWell might be able to support you in doing so.

On the Giving What We Can blog, Scott Weathers writes about the Reach Act that could prove to be a high-impact reform for USAID.

Julia Wise published a short post about the importance of setting boundaries and taking care of yourself when engaging in altruistic work.

Swedish EA Stefan Schubert, who runs an organization to promote evidence-based policy, has released a “Fact-Checking 2.0” page together with clearerthinking.org. So far, they provide argument-checking and fact-checking for a large chunk of the current US presidential debates. They aim to improve argumentative standards, which will hopefully lead to more evidence-based politics.

Updates from EA Organizations and Projects

Animal Charity Evaluators

Following last year’s great success, ACE has announced the start of its fall matching campaign. All gifts will be matched up to $50,000.

Charity Science

Charity Science recently launched Skeptics For Charity as part of their currentexperiment in niche marketing. It will spread the word about effective charity to the skeptics movement and invite people to pledge to donate any percentage of their income (from 1% up) to evidence-based charities worthy of a true skeptic's support.

Future of Humanity Institute

Toby Ord published a paper on “moral trade” in top journal Ethics (open access version here). Nick Bostrom appeared in a half-hour prime time interview on BBC’s HardTalk (only available in the UK) and spoke at the UN Headquarters (see below).

The Life You Can Save

Check out The Life You Can Save's updated Impact Calculator, which shows the interventions your donation can buy with each of their 16 recommended charities, providing calculations in the currency of your country.

EAG 2015 SF

Other Announcements

The New EA Wiki Is Online

Eric Bruylant has shared some great news: a team of .impact volunteers has moved the EA Wiki, which was previously hosted on Wikia, to the EA Hub. This allows for far more flexibility with zero ads. There’s lots of great content to check out. Happy reading, editing and contributing!

Nick Bostrom Speaks at the UN Headquarters

Nick Bostrom, Director of the Future of Humanity Institute, has given a talk about threats from future technologies, including artificial intelligence, at the UN Headquarters during the UN General Assembly. Watch the briefing here (starts at 2:14:30).

Advice from Effective Altruism Action

EA Action offers free one-on-one Skype sessions to effective altruists – both for newcomers and veterans. They exist to help you decide what course of action makes sense for your unique circumstances and help you navigate the vast landscape of EA organizations, projects and causes.

Newsletter October 2015 image

Job Postings 

The EA movement is growing quickly and whenever EA organizations are looking for people we’ll be posting the jobs here. There’s also a Facebook group with more job postings.

Future of Humanity Institute

FHI is looking to hire three research fellows for our new Strategic AI Research Centre. They are looking for:

  • An emerging technology policy analyst

  • A multidisciplinary scientist

  • A computer scientist with a strong background in machine learning and the control problem.

The posts are not officially open yet, but they are encouraging expressions of interest. Full details are here.

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Timeless Classics

In this section we’ll be sharing some great content from the past which deserves to be seen again.

Helen Toner’s post “Effective Altruism is a Question (not an ideology)” reminds us of some crucial characteristics that distinguish EA from many other movements: EA is a process rather than an answer and we’re always on the lookout for information that will change our mind so we can have even more impact.

In for a laugh? In this epic “EA Onion headlines” thread in the EA Facebook group, EAs made fun of EA and it’s hilarious.

Get in Touch! 

We hope you liked this edition of the Effective Altruism Newsletter. Tell us via this form how we can do better and what you would like to see in the future. Now, go forth and do the most good! 

See you in two weeks,  Georgina, Michał, Pascal and Sören The Effective Altruism Newsletter Team – a joint project between the Centre for Effective Altruism, the Effective Altruism Hub and .impact.  

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This is an archived version of the EA newsletter sent to 5,749 subscribers on October 26, 2015.

To see the full archives, click here