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The expected value of extinction risk reduction is positive

December 6, 2018

By Jan M. Brauner and Friederike M. Grosse-Holz

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Why should effective altruists embrace uncertainty?

December 4, 2018

Probabilistic thinking is only a few centuries old, we have very little understanding on how most of our actions affect the long-term future, and prominent members of the effective altruism community have changed their minds on crucial considerations before. These are just three of the reasons that Will MacAskill urges effective altruists to embrace uncertainty, and not become too attached to present views. This talk was the closing talk for Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco. A transcript is below, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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Lightning Talks (San Francisco 2018)

November 30, 2018

Lightning talks are a chance to be introduced to a topic, and these four lightning talks provide primers into interesting and valuable areas. Recorded at Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, these are four lightning talks on Goodhart’s Law, global food security, normative uncertainty, and forecasting future events. Transcripts of the lightning talks are below, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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How Biology Has Changed

November 27, 2018

When biological research was mostly done through academia, regulation of NIH funding was enough to keep things secure. But as biohacking becomes more prevalent, regulatory law hasn’t kept pace. As biological tinkering becomes feasible for mere interested hobbyists or small corporations, we’ll need policy work to prevent catastrophe and protect the promise of a biology innovation renaissance. This lightning talk, given by Tessa Alexanian, was recorded at Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco. A transcript of Tessa's talk is below, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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Center for Applied Rationality Workshop (2018)

November 23, 2018

“Do you know what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it?” According to Duncan Sabien of the Center for Applied Rationality, this is a key question to ask yourself throughout life. In this workshop from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, he describes a few different techniques, including managing your personal autopilot and mimicking useful skills, that all rely on this core reflection. A transcript of Duncan's workshop is below, including input from the audience, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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Productivity Hacks

November 20, 2018

A.J. Jacobs has conducted numerous lifestyle experiments, so he has a lot of experience in intentionally building challenging habits. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, he shares some of his favorite techniques for enhancing productivity. A transcript of AJ's talk is below, including comments from the audience, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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Planning Productivity

November 16, 2018

Improving the world can be challenging work, and there's a lot of it to get done. So how can we make sure that we're happily productive, rather than burned out or inefficient? In this workshop from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Lynette Bye outlines useful processes and offers general advice. A transcript of the workshop is below, including questions from the audience throughout, which we have edited for clarity. However, for best results in following along with the workshop, watching the video is more likely to be effective.

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Force Multiplication

November 13, 2018

What if you could increase the output of a highly impactful individual, by freeing up their time and mental bandwidth? Alternatively, what if you could make an entire organization much more efficient in the same way? Highly skilled operations work can achieve these ends, and in fact it’s necessary for building a robust movement. In this talk from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Tanya Singh makes the case for being a force multiplier in EA. A transcript of Tanya's talk is below, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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Animal Advocacy Strategies: Technology vs. Social Change

November 9, 2018

If we want to help farmed animals, there are at least two clear avenues to pursue. One, we can promote technologies to replace farming, like plant-based or clean (cultured) meat. Or two, we can try to change social attitudes towards the moral standing of animals. Does either of this options seem much better than the other? In this talk from EA Global 2018: San Francisco, Kelly Witwicki and Kieran Greig discuss the relevant considerations. A transcript of Kelly and Kieran's talk is below, followed by a question from the audience.

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Trusting Experts

November 6, 2018

If you have one opinion, and the prevailing experts have a different opinion, should you assume that you’re incorrect? And if so, how can you determine who’s an expert, and whether or not you count as one yourself? In this whiteboard discussion from Effective Altruism Global 2018: San Francisco, Gregory Lewis and Oliver Habryka offer their contrasting perspectives. A transcript Gregory and Oliver's talk is below, which we have lightly edited for clarity.

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