Pretty cool idea—since I’m new to EA, I hope this will become a neat snapshot for me to look back on in a few years to see how far I’ve come.
Growing up, I believe I was raised to be a decent member of society—be kind to others, don’t litter, help those in need. I never really thought explicitly about ethics, or engaged deeply with any causes. Sure, I’d raise money for cancer at “Relay for Life”, but it wasn’t because I thought the $100 dollars would make a difference—more because it would be fun to have a camp-out with friends.
In my twenties, my goal was primarily to make money to retire early so I could travel, and maybe volunteer my time to help increase financial literacy, or apply my career experience in a not-for-profit. Fairly ephemeral goals though—I also considered becoming a full-time music producer.
When I was 28, I found Less Wrong from a link my friend posted on Facebook. Over the next two years I read every essay in the Rationality sequences, supplemented by a healthy amount of psychology/economy/math/self-help style audiobooks. Reading that material was an enjoyable journey and lead to a few minor epiphanies.
I love improving my thinking, and upgrading my effectiveness
I thought deeply about my ethics for the first time
I have a responsibility to improve the world in the biggest and best way possible
Seriously—the last book “Becoming Stronger” and the sequence “Challenging the Difficult” really motivated me to think much larger than I had before. Discovering 80,000 Hours around the same time was a great template to follow.
In May 2018 I attended my first EA meet-up. I recall thinking, “Wow! There are actually other rationalists out there”. Up until that point, I’d never really met others who thought or spoke similarly, let alone a whole room full of them. I’m currently enjoying the learning curve, finding more questions than answers.
Attending weekly meet-ups at the Fox & Fiddle with EA Toronto
Hosting games nights, going on hikes, watching debates
Independently tackling cause prioritization, clarifying my ethics and their implications for where I should dedicate my effort
Excited to attend the EA Summit 2018!
I’m currently working with a team of amazing EAs towards my top cause priority, and hope to launch this autumn.