It's funny how most people come upon effective altruism, or at least how they have done so up to this point. A huge swath of us are philosophers - myself not included - or worked in the nonprofit sector before. We're often young, usually in the undergrad to PhD age range with a standard deviation of five years or so. These things - minds that like puzzles, hearts that like helping, and youth that likes new ideas - make us susceptible to the ideas of effective altruism.
It all started with a really bad Google search. Not “bad” as in “inappropriate;” “bad” as in “poorly worded,” one of those Google searches where you write out a whole phrase or question because you’re not quite sure what you’re looking for. “Man who donates big percent of his income,” I typed, looking for some guy I’d read about in an ethics course years back who, I recalled, did just that. Little did I know that this silly musing would land me a two-month internship in Oxford, England just a year and a half later.
This paper will evaluate the success of ASAP’s [Academics Stand Against Poverty's] efforts thus far in tackling illicit financial flows and the potential impact of its new project. By considering testimonies and first-hand information from ASAP and other research organizations, it is evident that while ASAP has not succeeded at the goals it enumerated at the outset, its actions will succeed in the long-term and serve an even greater purpose.
"Global Environmental Ethics" Honors Term Paper From the earliest days of American expansion, the decisions of the United States government have been ruinous to the land and the Native Americans who lived there first. Plains Indians were found along the Arkansas River as long ago as the early 1500s, thriving on bison that lived on the endless prairie grasses. Originally populated by the Apache, the Panhandle became dominated by the “Lords of the Plains,” or Comanche, from eastern Wyoming (Egan 15). They comprised a highly developed civilization, complete with stellar horseback and breeding skills, sign language to communicate through the roaring wind, and effective warrior tactics. More remarkably, perhaps, is the fact that they sustainably lived on these seemingly barren “Staked Plains” (16-17). Yet as Texas and later other parts of the United States recognized the worth of “the prairie where the wind blew free” in the mid-1800s (17), they bypassed treaties guaranteeing their rights and encouraged settlers to move West with the Homestead Act of 1862. The Curtis Act of 1898 confirmed the movement had been occurring for decades, as Native Americans, already outnumbered two-fold, saw their republics dissolve and “communal holdings [turn] into individual allotments” (Dunbar-Ortiz 15). The United States ousted the Native Americans from the land and exposed these once-hearty ecosystems to the destructive agricultural practices of the Dust Bowl (Egan 18-19).
As written for the NFWL Bill of Rights Essay Contest As a public school student at a Title 1 high school I partake in the annual testing mandated by former President Bush’s No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002. According to the Tenth Amendment, education remains an issue of state or popular concern because it is not clearly addressed in the Constitution or Bill of Rights. Despite education’s traditionally local management, the federal government has recently assumed a greater role in the regulation of the system. In the evolving job market there is little advantage greater than a thorough education, a trend politicians have acknowledged as far back as the early 1800s with reforms such as Horace Mann’s advocacy for standardized preparatory requirements for teachers throughout the North. Although nearly 150 years after the creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau, there is no denying the current imbalance of college-educated blacks to whites. Likewise, attempts to implement the Brown v. Board verdict with forced busing from inner city slums to white-populated schools continue to see ramifications from the resulting white flight to private institutions. The new millennium bore new initiatives to mitigate this educational disparity including requiring the creation of statewide standards and assisting schools - especially those overlooked for economic and therefore often racial reasons - in reaching a standard of proficiency. NCLB, one of a variety of such attempts, has been questioned not only on its success but also on whether it is a federal encroachment on states’ rights.
As found at http://www.givingwhatwecan.org/blog/2014-01-13/what-typhoon-haiyan-can-teach-us-about-compassion A couple of months ago, Typhoon Haiyan devastated thousands of lives in the Philippines, wrecking communities and tearing families apart. These people, unconnected to most of the world prior to the disaster, soon became the center of our attention, as the rest of us shuddered to envision our own communities and families disappearing from around us. It is a bittersweet trend that has arisen in recent years in which the suffering of others far away brings us closer to them. The outpouring of funds, volunteers, and goods proves that our compassion can extend beyond physical and social barriers to help those most in need. Schools, congregations, and the like band together to do what they can for the victims - people, we quickly realize, who are in many ways like ourselves. Media images of distraught parents and desperate children poignantly hit home, showing families beside the ruins of houses or amongst what were once their own schools and congregations. For the weeks in which the suffering in the Philippines dominated news headlines, we empathized not with their specific plight, but instead on a more fundamental level: with their need for health, safety, and wellbeing.
As found at http://www.givingwhatwecan.org/blog/2013-07-11/what-if-nate-silver-ran-a-charity-evaluator As we enthusiastically announced in April, Giving What We Can has partnered with AidGrade, “a new organization which does meta-analyses of impact evaluations on charitable interventions.” (1) But what exactly are these meta-analyses and impact evaluations? What role can AidGrade play in improving Giving What We Can and, conversely, what can they gain from us? Miguel Almunia, one of the founding researchers of the organisation, offers some insight into the formation, work, and goals of AidGrade and how their aims coincide with ours.
As found at http://www.givingwhatwecan.org/blog/2013-03-03/forest-for-the-trees On December 14, 2012, 26 innocent people - 20 children and 6 adults - died at the hand of a mass shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, United States. (1) This tragic incident, widely recognized as the second deadliest of its kind in the U.S., seems to many to be part of an increasingly widespread trend. (2) A movement has since begun to address the accumulating shootings, with demands for increased gun registration restrictions, tighter school security, and further restraints on firearm possession. These lobbyists – parents, administrators, and common citizens alike – have fought and continue to fight for the protection of themselves and one another against this recurring threat. (1)
Hi there! This is the place to start if you're new to or have never heard of effective altruism, as an understanding of most things in "General" and everything in "EA-Specific" is contingent on a comfortable knowledge of the concept and movement known as "effective altruism." Stumbled across this page at random? Give my "About" … Continue reading Welcome
In a world of affluent social rights campaigns and Facebook activism, it is easy to spin the wheels of change yet make no ground. It is easy to use trite slogans and awareness walks, preaching that we “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and demonstrate “No H8,” to shy from directly confronting the uncomfortable crux of a problem. It is easy with such activities to feel that one is no longer just a proponent of cause X and charity Y, but, rather, an active part in providing the social and economic support needed to get X or Y up and running. Sometimes, of course, this is much of what is needed: community awareness of one’s neighbors’ overwhelming switch to environmentally-friendly habits and support of gay rights can be just the thing to swing votes and actions in the direction of change.