February 2018 Newsletter

An important part of effective altruism is staying up to date with the latest ideas and research so that we are able to respond when our knowledge of the world improves.

One example of how updates haven’t reached everyone in the community is that quite a few people think that earning to give is one of 80,000 Hours top recommendations, even though they’ve been posting since 2015 on how they think most people should consider direct work before ETG, and think that less than 15% of people should aim to earn to give long term. Another example from my own life is that I had a monthly donation to a microloan charity for 4 years, even though GiveWell had written up their doubts about this intervention back in 2009, a year before I started donating.

To stay up to date with the latest research, it may be useful to subscribe to the below resources, as well as organisations in the cause areas you are most interested in.

Global Effective Altruism Newsletter – Recommended if you just want the highlights of other EA news streams

80,000 Hours
EA Forum – New ideas and updates related to effective altruism
Conceptually – A cognitive tool each week to improve understanding of the world
Directory of EA Facebook Groups – For different causes, cities and interests
Our World In Data – They aim to give a long term global overview with the latest data across many disciplines



Talk: What are the Best Ways to Improve World Happiness
When: Monday 5th February 6.30 pm
Where: Room 106, Gordon House, UCL, WC1H 0PP
Find out how Effective Altruism principles can be used to increase world happiness, and why increasing world happiness should be near the top of our to-do list.



Strategy: AI Strategy and Policy
When: Saturday 3rd February 1 pm
Where: London TBC
If you are considering a career in AI strategy or policy, it may be worth joining this group to work out how we can help people get into those areas.

Strategy: Effective Altruism London
When: Sunday 4th February
Where: Central London
If you want to get involved in discussing EA London plans for the next year then send us an email at hello@ealondon.com for more details.

Discussion: Reducing Suffering vs Increasing Happiness
When: Tuesday 6th February 6 pm
Where: Royal Festival Hall
Small group discussions on the topic of reducing suffering vs increasing happiness.

Talk: Workplace Activism & Careers in Consulting
When: Thursday 8th February 6 pm
Where: Huxley LT 145, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London
Two talks in one with George Howlett covering how to make a difference in your workplace and his advocacy experience as a risk consultant in a Big 4 firm.

Talk: Intro to EA and Global Health
When: Thursday 8th February 6 30 pm
Where: Room C307, Tait Building, City UoL, EC1 0HB
An introduction to effective altruism, Richard Clarke talking about how a few fundamental choices in your life can have a massive life-changing positive impact on someone else’s.

Social: Animal Social: Is Confrontation Effective?
When: Saturday 10th February 3 pm
Where: Tibits, Heddon Street, W1B 4DA
A social for people interested in effective animal advocacy.

Hike: Epping Forest
When: Sunday 11th February 1 pm
Where: Epping Forest
A hike for people who enjoy walking through forests whilst talking about how we can do more good.

Q&A: GiveWell Research
When: Monday 12th February 7 pm
Where: London TBC
An informal Q&A with Catherine Hollander, a researcher at GiveWell. Join the international development group for further updates.

Social: Monthly Social
When: Tuesday 20th February 7 pm
Where: Central London
Our regular monthly social to discuss all things about effectiveness or altruism, and sometimes both.

Talk: AMF: The Best Charity in the World?
When: Thursday 22nd February 7 pm
Where: Room 106, Gordon House, UCL, WC1H 0PP
The founder of AMF, Rob Mather, will talk about his experiences setting up and running such a high-impact organisation.

What Londoners are up to . . . 

• Bryn has convinced their boss to donate some of their company’s profits to a GiveWell approved charity, and is now thinking about how to convince some of their wealthy clients to do the same. They would welcome any feedback, introductions or suggestions on how to do this.

• At the cause battle on Monday, 96% of people who filled out the post battle survey changed their mind in some way about cause priorities.

• Hauke has written up a list of 69 things that might be pretty effective to fund.

• A new group for Londoners who are interested in effective environmentalism to post ideas, events and jobs.


Latest Jobs and Volunteering

• Project Development Officer at Development Media International, a GiveWell standout charity based in Hackney, looking for graduates or postgraduates. Deadline 7th February.

• Summer research visitor programme at Global Priorities Institute. Looking for PhD students and early career researchers.

• GiveWell are hiring for quite a few roles, including remote jobs for researchers.

• A new job board for those looking to work in clean meats and/or plant based meats. Two new roles at open cages.

• Two senior civil service AI policy roles. Deadlines of 13th and 28th of February.

• GFI have lots of new jobs, internships and volunteering roles available, some in America and some remote.

• Remote 2-6 month internship with Charity Science Health.

• Founders Pledge are looking for a volunteer to help convert GiveWell reports.

• To keep up to date throughout the year, sign up to job and project notifications from EA Work Club.


Latest Research and Updates

• 80,000 Hours podcast with Will MacAskill on moral uncertainty, the biggest mistakes the EA community has made and what should the community focus on going forwards.

• The Open Philanthropy Project, who have granted over $300,000,000 since 2012, have released an update on how they plan to prioritise causes, including the long term future and animal suffering. Over the next 5 years they plan to give 50% to “long-termist” areas, 10% to GiveWell recommendations and at least $50 million to policy organisations and $50 million to scientific research each year.

• 2017 AI safety literature review and charity comparison.

• $5,000 prize for essays on technical, philosophical and strategic ideas for AI alignment, and announcement of last months winners. Deadline March 31st.

• ACE have $1,000,000 to fund research, apply here. Deadline February 16th.

• A tool to help with new years resolutions planning from Clearer Thinking.

• A quick test to check how utilitarian you are from a paper about a two dimensional model of utilitarian psychology.

• A guide made by What Works Wellbeing for organisations that want to understand if and how their interventions affect wellbeing for the people they support.