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Key Ideas

This series of talks and articles covers the core ideas of effective altruism. We think it's a great place to start if you're interested in learning more.

Start reading

… or see the contents below:

Principles

How should we work out how to do good?

MJB 8675 (1)

The Long-Term Future

Effective altruism often emphasizes the long-term impact of different interventions. These articles explain why.

Promising causes

Animal Welfare Fund

Selecting which problem to work on is crucial to having the biggest impact possible. These articles discuss a variety of problems, and why we might, or might not, want to focus on them.

Animal Welfare

Why you might, and might not, want to work on improving animal welfare.

Choosing a Charity

80,000 Hours, which provides advice on finding a high-impact career, has also written out a step-by-step guide to finding effective charities.

In the guide, they explain:

  • How to choose a promising cause
  • How to evaluate a charity's funding needs
  • Where to find expert donors whose advice you can follow if you'd prefer not to rely on your own research

Podcasts

Doing Good Better is a short podcast series which introduces effective altruism. It is centred around three questions: Why? How? and What?

In the 80,000 Hours Podcast, Rob Wiblin interviews experts from a range of fields about how best to tackle the world's most pressing problems.

Videos

Subscribe to our Youtube channel

Books

80,000 Hours 

Find a fulfilling career that does good

Benjamin Todd

Doing Good Better 

An introduction to some of the key principles of effective altruism

William MacAskill

The Most Good You Can Do 

This book explores the question of how to do the most good

Peter Singer

The Life You Can Save 

Singer argues that there is a moral imperative for the affluent to end the poverty in low-income countries. This book is available free, in eBook or audiobook form, from the website of The Life You Can Save (an EA charity named after the book).

Peter Singer

Superintelligence 

Bostrom sets out his view of how artificial intelligence is likely to develop, and the risks that it will pose

Nick Bostrom

Global Catastrophic Risks 

A survey of different risks that face life on Earth

Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Cirkovic

Other Research

In recent years, the effective altruism community has created a lot of good content. Unfortunately, some of that content can be hard to find. We have therefore put together a series of the best research from recent years, including ideas that are less widely accepted than the ideas above. We designed this section for people who are already familiar with some of the core content, and want to understand the ideas in more depth.

How Much Evidence Is Enough?

Argues that we should pursue interventions which have not been conclusively proved, but that we should go on collecting evidence beyond that point.

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