New History Exploration Club for EAs!
tl;dr—if you’re a history enthusiast, join the club at historea.org
History is endlessly fascinating, and studying our shared past can also be immensely valuable for our shared future! ✨
By strengthening our understanding of history, we’re better able to contextualize and deepen our understanding of the world, and this can help us be more prepared to shape it for the better!
That’s why we’ve created Historea Club: a new peer-led exploration club for history enthusiasts in the effective altruism community! 🤓
The club is meant for anyone who wants to broaden their knowledge of history in general, with a particular leaning towards topics that most people in the effective altruism community care about. Members will be divided into groups of 10 and meet once per month on Zoom. Each month, we’ll choose a different historical time period or subject matter and study it in-depth. Then, during monthly Zoom calls, we’ll share what we’ve learned with our fellow club members and learn from each other!
Here are some examples of subjects we could explore together and their potential impacts:
Studying public health responses to the 1918 Great Influenza to better inform current approaches to vaccination campaigns against Covid-19.
Examining the emancipation of slaves in the US and the abolitionist movement in the 1800s could lead to a more thorough understanding of moral circle expansion and have implications for ending the factory farming of animals.
Learning about near-miss extinction events like the nuclear wars averted by Vasili Arkhipov and Stanislav Petrov could shed light onto the fragility of single chain-of-command military structures and the need for fault-tolerance.
I hear you asking, “Is this just a book club?” And the answer is no! An exploration club differs from a book club in that its members don’t all read the same book and then discuss it; rather, each member chooses a different book (or documentary, web series, blog post, interview recording, podcast, etc.) related to the chosen subject of the month, and then teaches what they’ve learned during the monthly group discussions. This provides an opportunity to share what you’ve discovered over the month and learn from your peers, thereby absorbing much more about the chosen topic than you could on your own in a single month.
We’ll vote as a collective on which historical subject to study each month, and we’ll break into smaller groups to tackle more specific sub-topics within the broader subject. The time commitment will vary depending how much energy you’d like to devote each month—don’t go overboard, but don’t disappoint your fellow club members either! The monthly Zoom calls will be ~90 minutes long.
Much love! ❤️