Near-Term Effective Altruism Discord

I have started a Dis­cord server for near-term effec­tive al­tru­ists. (If you haven’t used Dis­cord be­fore, it’s a pretty stan­dard chat server. Most of its func­tions are fairly self-ex­plana­tory.)

Most of my effec­tive al­tru­ist friends fo­cus on the far fu­ture. While far-fu­ture effec­tive al­tru­ists are great, be­ing around them all the time can get pretty alienat­ing. I don’t of­ten ar­gue the mer­its of bed­nets ver­sus cash trans­fers, which means I get in­tel­lec­tu­ally sloppy know­ing I won’t be challenged. I’m slow to learn about new de­vel­op­ments rele­vant to near-term effec­tive al­tru­ism, such as dis­cov­er­ies in de­vel­op­ment eco­nomics. Many of the con­ver­sa­tions I par­ti­ci­pate in work from as­sump­tions I don’t share, such as the as­sump­tion that we have a dou­ble-digit chance of go­ing ex­tinct within the next twenty years.

I sus­pect that many other near-term effec­tive al­tru­ists may be in the same boat, and if so I en­courage them to come par­ti­ci­pate. Even if not, I hope this server can be a fun and in­ter­est­ing place to learn more about effec­tive al­tru­ism and con­nect to other effec­tive al­tru­ists.

“Near-term” is hard to define. I in­tend it to be in­clu­sive of all effec­tive al­tru­ists whose work and pri­or­ity cause ar­eas do not fo­cus on the far fu­ture, whether they work on global poverty, an­i­mal welfare, men­tal health, poli­tics, meta-char­ity, or an­other cause area. I ask that far-fu­ture effec­tive al­tru­ists and peo­ple whose pri­or­ity cause area is AI risk or s-risks do not par­ti­ci­pate. This runs on the honor sys­tem; I’m not go­ing to be the Near Term EA po­lice. There are lots of peo­ple who are edge cases and I ask them to use their best judg­ment.

The server is in­tended to be wel­com­ing to new effec­tive al­tru­ists, peo­ple who aren’t cer­tain whether they want to be effec­tive al­tru­ists or not, and peo­ple who are not cur­rently in a place where it makes sense for them to donate, vol­un­teer, or change ca­reers. If you’re won­der­ing whether you’re “not EA enough” to par­ti­ci­pate, you prob­a­bly are wel­come!