effective altruism book

Do you just add up the happiness of everyone? list created January 8th, 2017 It cost several thousands of dollars, and will get completely ruined in order to save the child. I made a post in the "Nanotechnolgy in EA" … The Life You Can Save. I find that argument very compelling, and it was one of the reasons for me to become an effective altruist. The last 70 years are a fairly unusual state. 80,000 Hours is named after the number of hours we spend working in our life. Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that Matters, and Make Smarter Choices about Giving Back Paperback – Aug. 2 2016 by William MacAskill (Author) 4.5 out of 5 stars 196 ratings See all formats and editions The book describes the philosophy and social movement effective altruism and argues in favor of it. 1 His book Reasons and Persons, especially, has over 10,000 citations. It has developed a body of research since its creation, and it has coached hundreds of people, giving them tailored advice on how they can use their career to have the biggest impact. This is ten thousand times as much money, and that’s not counting individual philanthropy as well, which also amounts to many billions of dollars. It's still a work in progress; if you want to read it, we'd love to hear your feedback! “Almost all the value that the human race could achieve lies in the future: all the greatest scientific advances, works of art, peaks of happiness and creativity.”. See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions. But about a third of the people I talked to reported having made significant changes in their life on the basis of the advice they received, and it’s probably a larger amount now. Your two last choices are quite different, as they focus on specific contemporary issues. Those two groups, while planning to incorporate as a charity under a new umbrella organization, held a vote in late 2011 to choose a name for the new organization; the name "Centre for Effective Altruism" won. That’s a lot of hours. Peter Singer’s effective altruism By Stephen Howes Earlier this year, Peter Singer was in Melbourne to address the 2016 Australian Effective Altruism Conference. The book is a summary of these years of research. Yes, that’s the iconic Mississippi river flowing across the spines.FAQ What exactly is in the book set? ... "Effective altruism — efforts that actually help people rather than making you feel good or helping you show off — is one of the great new ideas of the 21st century. Then, you’ve at least acknowledged that most of the value lies in the future. How successful has this initiative been so far? Parfit raised those questions, without claiming to have an answer. He never wrote books intended for a general audience, but within academia, he was significantly more influential. I had already decided to study philosophy as an undergraduate, but when I read it, I was really compelled by the thought that philosophical reasoning is of huge importance and can really change the world. Read You can get in and save the child, but you’re wearing a really nice suit or dress, perhaps because you’re on your way to a wedding. One thing we found when looking at charities is that it can be incredibly hard to know even the basics of what a charity actually does—not in the sense of what they focus on, such as malaria, but what is actually their intervention and what is the evidence base for this intervention. The Effective Altruism Handbook Notice: We recently drafted a new collection of introductory material, as an update to the current EA Handbook. 608 people follow this. Effective altruism is generally associated with initiatives to give money back to people in poor countries, to improve healthcare in particular. Others focus on a particular threshold: Toby Ord, who co-founded it with you, pledged in 2009 to give everything he earns over £18,000 (adjusted for inflation). What’s the moral difference? It’s extremely neglected, and probably the most neglected cause among the ones we look at. 4 : The Incentive to Supply Global Public Goods, The Ethics of What We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter, Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter, Here Be Dragons: Science, Technology and the Future of Humanity, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, How Are We to Live? Yet, there are only a few tens of millions of dollars spent every year on improving the conditions of animals in factory farms. Writing in The Guardian, Larissa MacFarquhar discusses effective altruism through a profile that appears to be an excerpt from a new … The aim of this organization is to provide advice and coaching for people who want to use their career to do as much good as possible. He didn’t start the movement itself, but he’s clearly its inspiration and has been a big proponent of ideas. We don’t really know why they’ve been so unusual. I picked this book because the possibility of developing human-level artificial intelligence, and from there superintelligence—an artificial agent that is considerably more intelligent than we are—is at least a contender for the most important issue in the next two centuries. Is it better to have more people if those people have happy lives? We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview. Stanford Effective Altruism is a group of Stanford students, alumni, and community members dedicated... See More. One is that some core philosophical ideas in it are key motivations for effective altruism itself. Others would maybe dispute that claim, but everyone would agree that he would be in the top 5. It’s also the case that 80,000 Hours received money from the effective altruism community, from very deserving donors who would not donate to an organization that wouldn’t report what it was really doing. by. If so, then do you think that there will be a lot more people in the future than today? They go away from this coaching with a long list of things to look into, jobs to apply for, etc. As a lurker in effective altruism, I was delighted to see something potentially relevant to my experience show up. He made many fundamental breakthroughs in his book as well, and I think that this field of inquiry is among the most important ones right now. Any quantitative argument about the chances of war in the 21st century will be very subjective—I certainly wouldn’t want to say that it’s 75% just because of this twelve-out-of-sixteen idea. This course is mostly focused on ethics and global poverty. As an introduction to the Effective Altruism movement, this book is without equal. Introduction As a materials engineering major with, roughly speaking, a year of full-time experience with molecular dynamics simulations, I have a special place in my heart for high impact materials both literal and figurative. Read The reason for this renewed attention is twofold. That doesn’t mean I would save 2 chickens over 1 human. The third reason is that philosophers aren’t necessarily the most action-oriented researchers. Derek Parfit is much less known in the public sphere than Peter Singer. Is it a tool that you use yourself to convince people of the necessity of altruism, or do some other arguments tend to be more persuasive? There is already a very large number of people who want to do good, and the reason that’s stopping them from doing good is that it’s confusing and scary, and they’re afraid of not having an impact. I think it’s possible to achieve this, but I would expect that getting there requires removing a huge self-interested bias that people have to not care about animals. But then, the killer twist is that we’re in that situation all the time. Read Books . You must have a goodreads account to vote. Their research is guided by three questions: 1. Perhaps it has zero effect to begin with, but as you start to donate more and more, now you might have to take slower transport to get to the office, or buy a cheaper suit which could impact your job prospects, etc. “Spending 1% of your career figuring out what to do with the remaining 99% makes a lot of sense.”. At some point those considerations outweigh the benefits of your donations. Spending 1% of this, 800 hours, on figuring out what to do with the remaining 99%, makes a lot of sense. He is a research fellow at the Global Priorities Institute at Oxford, the co-founder of 80,000 Hours, Giving What We Can, and the Centre for Effective Altruism. The key issue is really whether you think that people in the future matter as much as people living today. Read. : Ethics in an Age of Self-Interest, One World Now: The Ethics of Globalization, The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist. The third is ensuring that the very long future goes as well as possible, including avoiding what Nick Bostrom calls existential risks, which can permanently curtail the long-term potential of humanity. I was also there to speak at the same conference, to find out more about this new and growing movement, and to talk to Peter Singer, its founder. Read Will MacAskill is a Scottish philosopher, ethicist, and one of the originators of the effective altruism movement. 60 billion animals are killed every year for food, and the very vast majority of them are kept in factories, in horrific conditions. Most of us want to make a difference. It moved from being a theoretical argument to do good, to concretely showing that a few thousand dollars can save a life. The book is about assessing the chance of the United States going to war with China in the future. They’ll also get connected to various mentors who have specialist knowledge and have worked in these areas for a number of years. Will MacAskill, a leader of the effective altruism movement, and a rising star in philosophy, now displays his talent for telling stories that pack a punch. Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, Children and the Millennium Development Goals Books, Rural Women in the Developing World Books, High School Teachers Recommend Books by Subject. It seems extremely plausible. But also expect to be challenged by the … This is a book that excellently blends skillful writing, gripping stories, and argumentative rigor. Why did you pick it? Do you think that, because of the widespread belief that there’s a huge difference between those groups, a higher priority will always be given to human happiness over animal happiness? Within the effective altruism community, people have systematically found this set of arguments very compelling. That’s a perfectly reasonable position, but I’m optimistic that the arguments in favour of effective altruism are so compelling that the public will learn to see longtermism as a very important issue. The full five-book set. One of the big debates in the effective altruism community is the ‘pledge’. Effective altruism, or EA, is about doing the most good. To what extent should you invest in yourself in order to have a larger impact later on, such as by pursuing further degrees, or working in a non-impactful but prestigious organization that would train you really well? Some also use targets, pledging to give a certain amount over their lifetime. Doing Good Better – Will MacAskill Brief news notice only; I haven't read this book or any of its constituent essays, save for those that have been published/shared in other formats. The scale and organisation of the effective altruism movement encourage careful dialogue on questions that have perhaps long been there, throwing them into new and sharper relief, and giving rise to previously unnoticed questions. Doing Good Better is the definitive guide to this exciting new movement." Effective altruism’s identity as both a philosophy, or, more precisely, a set of core philosophical commitments, and a social … This site has an archive of more than one thousand interviews, or five thousand book recommendations. In a way that’s not astounding, since animals can’t unionize, they don’t get a vote, they’re completely disenfranchised in society. Facebook is showing information to help you better understand the purpose of a Page. The essay A refugee mother and child from East Bengal during the … Who was he, and what did he work on? Within those cause areas, such as global health and development or existential risks, what are the highest priority careers? Page Transparency See More. What’s your view on this question? But we now seem to be entering a stage where there is at least some chance that all those things could be lost. About For Books Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Help Others, Do Work that I luckily met another philosophy graduate student, Toby Ord, who had developed Giving What We Can, encouraging people to give at least 10% of their income to the charities that are most effective, and giving recommendations for those most effective charities. That started to grow progressively and people became interested in these ideas, but there were a lot of students at Oxford who were thinking, ‘Well, it’s all very well to tell us to give effectively, but I have a decision coming up: which career should I pursue?’ I actually felt the same: I didn’t know whether I should be a philosopher and pursue a PhD, or try something completely different. If we get very low-cost, tasty and healthy lab-grown meat, that might be a solution. We publish at least two new interviews per week. The conclusions we ought to draw given the many decades of research done since Parfit’s book, mean that we should think that, all else equal, it’s good to have one more person if they’re sufficiently well-off. Of course it wasn’t referred to as an existential risk, but simply as nuclear proliferation. Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap? In my opinion, the best philosophical answer to the question of how much you ought to give, is that you should give as much as you can to maximize your long-term giving, taking into account both the fact that you can spend money to make more money, and this concept of future weakness of the will. 3 First, for our readers who may not know what effective altruism is about, can you try to summarize the concept and its implications for us? A second reason is a change of messaging. Read. Effective altruists consider all causes and actions, and then act in the way that brings about the greatest positive impact. On a similar note, you last choice was Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom, founding director of the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford. Read 466 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. It’s a dense work that focuses on artificial intelligence and its possibilities, but also the dangers of an uncontrollable superintelligence surpassing human capacities in a very short span of time. I was always motivated to do good with my own life. A second reason is that it was one of the books that really got me enthusiastic about philosophy. Read Why is this book important to you? But it really did, so in 2011, we formed the Centre for Effective Altruism to manage this burgeoning effective altruism community. The motivation for this is a kind of “practice what you teach” idea. Allison doesn’t make that claim himself, but what he makes clear is that war is the normal state for humanity. If it is better to have more people, what is exactly the theory that governs how to think about these changes in the size of the population? These books range in topics such as effective altruism, global poverty alleviation, high impact careers, farm animal welfare, artificial intelligence risks and more. It seems to have been very successful so far, although it’s been a long time since I’ve personally done some coaching. Although the movement wasn’t known as Effective Altruism at the time, Peter Singer lays out the philosophical and moral arguments for donating and donating effectively. by Benjamin Todd Worry about existential risks was very widespread in the 1960s and 1970s, with strong protests against nuclear weapons. It tries to be very transparent and publishes a lot of managerial/administrative reports on its website, including targets, hiring, budget, etc. Peter Singer is known for introducing the metaphor of the “child in the pond”, to explain why citizens of rich, developed countries have a moral duty to give money back to poor countries. Therefore, an actualist says that you should give only 10%. For the first time, you can now read the best new ideas on LessWrong in a physical book set: A Map that Reflects the Territory: Essays by the LessWrong Community It is available for pre-order here. For an issue that future generations might look back on and see as a moral atrocity, it barely gets mentioned. These are often people in the early stage of their career, in their twenties. I think I’ll disagree with Derek Parfit on this one! It is this broad evidence-based approach that distinguishes effective altruism from traditional altruism or charity. In 2018, the American … by Peter Singer I certainly was in that category as an undergraduate. Effective altruists use evidence and analysis to determine the best issues to work on, and which interventions have the greatest potential for impact. I was so inspired by that. Peter Singer popularized the philosophy of effective altruism with his book, The Life You Can Save. First, the success of the effective altruism movement means that more people are taking these issues seriously, and are trying to think about how to deal with them—and key researchers like Nick Bostrom are doing very good work on this. I do agree that it’s a pressing matter, and even possibly the most important set of issues we face. At about the same time, we started to see that this term that we’d come up with, ‘effective altruism’, was actually growing more and more, even though we originally thought that it was just too abstract to really take off. Effective Altruism: How Can We Best Help Others? Society is starting to do a little better—a few percent of people are vegetarians, but it’s not major news. The Why And How Of Effective Altruism. One is that it was only in the last few decades that we’ve actually started to get high-quality data on how you can make an extraordinary difference with relatively small amounts of money. That’s also one of the philosophical pillars of effective altruism and the organizations you co-created: Giving What We Can is trying to solve the world’s most pressing problems, and 80,000 Hours to make sure that young, ethically-minded graduates work on what will most benefit humanity in the long run. Doing Good Better book. These are the core questions of the book. Do you also agree that this is a pressing matter that’s not receiving enough attention? They donate a large share of their income and engage in detailed technical discussions … He laid out the foundations, and he’s the reason many people got into the community. As we mentioned earlier, 80,000 Hours is an organization that you co-founded in 2011 with him. Both Destined for War and Superintelligence argue that we should take a much larger (in scale) and longer (in time) view on important topics like geopolitics and artificial intelligence. If you give away all of your savings at once today—which you could technically do—you’ll probably get so frustrated that you’ll simply stop giving in the future. Twelve out of sixteen times in history, that has happened. Parfit passed away in 2017, but his work was also fundamental to the philosophical basis of effective altruism. I think it’s possible that people in the future will come to regard animals as being of equal status to humans. This page contains a list of the best books on effective altruism. By Peter Singer (2009) A page turner and a simple read. by Derek Parfit These two books provide a good introduction to the emerging movement of ‘effective altruism’ which is making waves among philanthropists, students and some development wonks too. About See All (650) 284-6611. ea.stanford.edu. View fullsize. The EA Handbook is an introduction to some of the core concepts in effective altruism. Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes. In terms of its implications, the effective altruism community that has grown around these ideas tends to focus on three major cause areas. Five Books participates in the Amazon Associate program and earns money from qualifying purchases. Community See All. The third reason is that Peter Singer represents the career and life that I would also like to lead: someone whose ultimate purpose is the pursuit of truth, with the willingness to follow arguments wherever they lead, and actually willing to make changes to their life on the basis of those ideas. We’re still in the early days, and some people do think that we should only focus on the more easily measurable and quantifiable bets. And just as with the effective altruism movement, having something concrete rather than abstract to worry about is much more compelling. The thought experiment is this: imagine you’re walking past a child drowning in a shallow pond, screaming for help. But effective altruism—the notion that you should make as much money as possible in order to give away as much as possible—seems to be the first idea coming out of the nonprofit world that is circulating in the world of people who are interested in new ideas. The EA handbook is an introduction to some of the core concepts in effective altruism. I think that transparent reporting is good for the organization as well: it keeps you on track, especially as a charity when you don’t have the carrot and stick of profits and losses beating you into submission all the time. Nowadays we have identified many of those risks: war, nuclear weapons, climate change, man-made pandemic, artificial intelligence, etc. The author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth selects five of his favourite books about the theatre from the thousands that grace his bookshelves, taking in nonfiction, histories of music hall and amateur dramatics, plus a 16th century ‘romp’ starring one William Shakespeare. But it’s not an argument I use very much in public, partly because I think it’s not the most persuasive one, and it’s not always necessary to use it. — Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard … 80,000 Hours: Find a fulfilling career that does good The study of existential risks receives very little attention, in the order of a few tens of millions of dollars per year; but it’s increasing. There are a few reasons. by Nick Bostrom Find all the books, read about the author, and more. And if so, how should you use your time, money, and career to have the biggest possible impact? Is it worse to have more people if those people have a life so bad it’s not worth living? What Do You Care What Other People Think? It’s very clear morally that if there’s a child drowning in front of you, you’re required to save them, even if it costs you a few thousand dollars. 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