[Link] “Radical Consequence and Heretical Knots” – an ethnography of the London EA community

Pre­vi­ously: I want an ethnog­ra­phy of EA

Dan Ar­tus wrote an ethnog­ra­phy of the Lon­don EA com­mu­nity. Here’s the ab­stract:

This dis­ser­ta­tion ethno­graph­i­cally ex­plores the re­la­tion­ship be­tween data, ethics, ra­tio­nal­ity and em­pa­thy in the Lon­don branch of the Effec­tive Altru­ist com­mu­nity.
The Effec­tive Altru­ists are a global move­ment in­spired by the util­i­tar­ian views of Aus­tralian philoso­pher Peter Singer. Through pro­mot­ing the use of data and ev­i­dence over em­pa­thy in max­imis­ing the good peo­ple do, they are of­ten a source of con­tro­versy.
In their rad­i­cal quest to max­imise the good they do, com­plex sets of re­la­tion­ships and mean­ings emerge in a tan­gle I call the ‘Hereti­cal Knot’. I set out a frame for how we can think about and un­tan­gle this knot in the eth­i­cal lives of the Effec­tive Altru­ists.
I do this by tak­ing ethics as the open ques­tion of ‘what shall I do?’, rather than pre­de­ter­mi­nate of spe­cific mean­ings or prac­tises. Rather, by fo­cus­ing on pro­cesses of de­ci­sion-mak­ing and the eth­i­cal agency of ob­jects, I ex­plore the com­plex re­la­tion­ship be­tween data and ethics as they emerge in the lives of the Effec­tive Altru­ists. In this way, I trace how data and ob­jects me­di­ate spe­cific types of moral and eth­i­cal re­la­tion­ships be­tween ac­tors.

(h/​t David Nash for sur­fac­ing this.)