Talk:Effective altruism

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Edit rationale[edit]

In response to User:Castaigne2's second attempt[1] to revert edits, on the basis of 'whitewashing' and removal of snark -

I removed a citation that was being abused (the link to the EA forum did not reference the LessWrong subculture, so it was clearly misused whether intentionally or not), I added a link that was relevant (80,000 Hours' opinion on how many people they want to earn to give is clearly relevant in the section about earning to give), I moved some content out of the earning to give section where it seemed out of place, I removed the uncited claim about effective altruists thinking that everyone not in the movement was in fundamental disagreement with effective altruist values as it was uncited and doesn't match the style that effective altruists like to use to proselytize, and I removed the See Also section because it only repeated a reference to Pascal's Wager that was already mentioned in the appropriate subsection of the article (and is only relevant to x-risks, not EA as a whole, so an inappropriate article for see also).

I would appreciate if you could explain how any of this is 'whitewashing', or what snark you consider to be valuable to the article, rather than reverting without explanation or acknowledgement on the talk page. Please refrain from edit warring. TofuTanker (talk) 23:36, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Because the EA subculture as it exists totally originated around MIRI, and pretending it didn't (because thy're a fucking embarrassment) is whitewashing - David Gerard (talk) 01:04, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
User:David Gerard, I don't see any reason to believe your claim that "EA subculture originated around MIRI." The citation that was provided in the article did not back up this claim, don't you agree? If there is to be a section on the origination of EA subculture, it should be properly situated and cited, do you agree with that as well? I did not make any claims about EA subculture - I just removed an unsubstantiated statement. Before making claims of "whitewashing" and other accusations of bad faith, can you lay out the reasons for these claims? Also, is your general silence on 90% of the changes I made an implicit acceptance that they were fine? TofuTanker (talk) 03:19, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Your claim fails to explain why AI risk is even a question in EA and hasn't been laughed out of the building yet - David Gerard (talk) 17:17, 5 October 2016 (UTC)
Ummm... what? Why do you expect me to do that? How is it relevant to anything I said? Can you please stay on topic instead of using this space as your personal soapbox? TofuTanker (talk) 18:55, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

The term "effective altruism" predates Eliezer's Scope Insensitivity article[edit]

The term has been a page on the SL4 Wiki since at least 2003: MorallyAmbiguous (talk) 17:22, 11 August 2017 (UTC)

Nice find! SL4 being of course Yudkowsky's main venue before Overcoming Bias ... so who actually coined it? Has anyone grovelled through the SL4 archives? - David Gerard (talk) 10:45, 12 August 2017 (UTC)
(Same guy as above, forgot password.) I haven't been able to find earlier uses. Not saying they don't exist, but I think we can at least call this the earliest known use. Eliezer Yudkowsky used the term "rational altruism" on the mailing list in 2002, but I don't know whether he meant the same thing as modern EA. MorallyGrey (talk) 02:11, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

Ping David Gerard. In addition to LessWrong and its predecessors, what do you think of mentioning the Oxford philosophers (MacAskill/Ord), GiveWell, and the utilitarian forum Felicifia under the Origins section? According to the EA Global 2016 Keynote, the current EA movement emerged from a combination of these groups. MorallyGrey (talk) 03:03, 26 February 2018 (UTC)

could do, sure. The subculture is really heavily the LW rationalists, though. Admittedly they may just be the noisy bit, but ... - David Gerard (talk) 14:26, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

Note to self[edit]

Possible citations to add:

Bongolian (talk) 04:48, 6 April 2023 (UTC)

Bryan Johnson[edit]

Would the multimillionaire Bryan Johnson fall under this? This article he wrote mentions him speaking at "Effective Altruism Global". I had already been aware of him for his extreme interest in anti-aging technology. But is he an EAist? Chillpilled (talk) 02:09, 26 November 2023 (UTC)

People who donate to charity or who do things to try make society better want to be effective, but that doesn't make them EA. Being an effective altruist does not necessarily make one an Effective Altruist, just as The Giving Pledge billionaires are not EA (as far as is known anyway). Bongolian (talk) 02:32, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
If he speaks there he's around the fringes. But mostly he's an extremely weird guy - David Gerard (talk) 10:12, 26 November 2023 (UTC)
It looks like Johnson spoke at the EA conference Effective Altruism Global in 2015, but what he's saying in this TechCrunch article is actually contrary to what the EAers are up to (e.g., "By their very nature, capitalists don’t want to be in the business of defining what good is.")[2] Bongolian (talk) 16:27, 26 November 2023 (UTC)


Peter Thiel seems to have funded at least a couple of EA-linked groups that are listed on this page (Machine Intelligence Research Institute and Leverage Research; the latter is mentioned in a note), but I don't know enough about this movement to be confident enough to add the Thielsphere category. It would need to be substantial backing of the movement as a whole, the way he has backed the neoreactionary movement (his backing of Moldbug alone is enough considering Moldbug's impact). Chillpilled (talk) 23:58, 27 December 2023 (UTC)