GUIDES AND TIPS

EA 101 Discussion

EA 101 #1

Corresponds to the first half of EA 101

Introductions

Your name, what your chosen profession would be in utopia, the most interesting thing you’ve learned in the last week

Assessing Claims

Tell a plausible story in which the following claims are true, and a plausible story in which they are false.

Most people would ultimately care about the same things, upon sufficient reflection.

The median charitable intervention is more cost effective than just giving money to the people it is helping.

General Discussion Questions

Does “causing the largest amount of positive effects” capture all that we care about? Why or why not?

How should we evaluate “positive effects”?

Is it realistic to expect some interventions to be orders of magnitude more effective than others?

If there is such high variance in effectiveness, how much effort should we put into figuring out what to do? 10% of the total? 50%? 90%?

What are some situations where you might use counterfactual reasoning in your life?

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EA 101 #2

Corresponds to the second half of EA 101

Introductions

Your name, the worst plausible-sounding idea for a charity you can come up with, the most interesting thing you’ve learned in the last week

Assessing Claims

Tell a plausible story in which the following claims are true, and a plausible story in which they are false.

The most effective cause has yet to be discovered.

Highly leveraged interventions like movement building and values spreading are typically more valuable than object-level interventions.

General Discussion Questions

How can we accurately assess Importance, Tractability, and Neglected-ness?

Which cause is most compelling according to I/T/N? Why?

Global poverty

Animal welfare

Existential risk

Movement building

Strategy and Rationality

Other

What evidence would convince you that another cause was more effective? What is the fundamental disagreement between people who support different causes even upon reflection?

Where are we most likely to find an even more effective cause, or Cause X?

Which kinds of self-improvement are most important for aspiring effective altruists?

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