Why am I writing this blog?

What I hope to accomplish

I am a philosopher. I believe that careful analysis can reveal truth and that arguments can be used to change opinions towards the truth.

There are many things that I like about effective altruism. There are some things that I do not like. The purpose of this blog is to explain the views and practices which I do not like, in order to produce positive change both within and outside of the movement.

I do this because altruism matters. The effective altruism movement commands billions of dollars in resources and will profoundly shape thousands of careers. Used well, these resources can go a long way towards making the world a better place. I want to make sure that altruistic time and resources are used as well as possible.

What I am not trying to do

In writing this blog, I am not trying to ridicule effective altruism, to convince you that effective altruism is worthless, to convince effective altruists to abandon the movement, or to contribute to the destruction of effective altruism.

I take effective altruism seriously. I have been employed for several years by the Global Priorities Institute, a research institute at Oxford University dedicated to foundational academic research on how to do good most effectively. I have organized almost a dozen workshops on global priorities research. I have presented my work at other events within the effective altruism community, including several EAG and EAGx conferences. I have consulted for Open Philanthropy, posted on the EA Forum, and won prizes for my posts.

A view that I share with effective altruists is that it is very important to learn to do good better. I will count myself successful if some of my posts help others to do good better.

I am writing in my personal capacity

I am writing this blog in my personal capacity. The views expressed in this blog are not the views of the Global Priorities Institute, or of Oxford University. In fact, many of my views diverge strongly from views accepted by some of my colleagues. Although many hands have helped me to shape this blog, the views expressed are mine and mine alone.

You can learn more about my academic research on my academic website, https://www.dthorstad.com/

Is there any content you would like to see on this blog? Comment below to let me know.





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