Author: David Thorstad

Mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk (Part 3: Population dynamics)
I discuss a third mistake in the moral mathematics of existential risk: neglecting population dynamics. I show that the value of existential risk mitigation is sharply reduced in standard population models.

Epistemics: (Part 5: The value of costeffectiveness analysis)
The declining role of costeffectiveness analysis comes with significant practical, symbolic, philosophical, and leadershipbased costs. Spelling out these costs in detail will allow us to assess whether they are worth paying.

Epistemics: (Part 4: The fall of costeffectiveness analysis)
This post chronicles the declining role of costeffectiveness analysis within the effective altruism movement. While early effective altruists championed the use of rigorous costeffectiveness analyses, in many circles those methods have fallen decidedly out of favor.

The good it promises (Part 5: de Coriolis et al.)
Andrew deCoriolis and colleagues urge effective altruists to dream big, keeping their eye on the prize: an end to factory farming. In this post, I discuss what deCoriolis and colleagues like about effective altruists’ animal advocacy work, and what changes they’d like to see.

Mistakes in the moral mathematics of existential risk (Part 2: Ignoring background risk)
I discuss a second mistake in the moral mathematics of existential risk: neglecting background risk. I show how a leading discussion of biorisk makes this mistake, and also makes the mistake discussed in Part 1 of this series.

Epistemics: (Part 3: Peer review)
What is the role of peer review within effective altruism? What should that role be?