Effective altruism is about doing for the pursuit of good what the Scientific Revolution did for the pursuit of truth. And one of the fundamental principles of good science is curiosity: a desire to notice our confusion and improve our understanding of the world.
Curiosity is the driving force behind effective altruism. Which charities are most effective? How could technology change our world? How should we think about efforts that might or might not succeed?
We’ve made progress on these questions, and we understand them better than we used to. But we’re likely still missing a lot.
The effective altruism movement must be prepared to evolve continually. Why? Firstly, the questions raised by effective altruism present difficult intellectual challenges. As such, we need to keep trying new ways to seek and understand information that will help us solve these problems. Moreover, we might be missing Cause X: a major moral issue that will make future generations look back and wonder why we failed to act on it.
Secondly, this community keeps growing. And as this community grows, we begin to hit diminishing returns on some of the problems and approaches that we’ve found so far. So, as more people take these ideas seriously, we need to seek new problems and new projects for everyone to work on. To do so, we need to stay curious and seek to understand new arguments and areas of research.
This year’s conference is designed to Fuel your Curiosity. The talks will cover areas we might be neglecting and suggest new problems we should be working on. Whiteboard sessions will feature experts collaborating to try to work out the answer to more established problems, while the seminars will be designed to help you learn and practice skills. Finally, we know that much of the value of attending EAGx comes from conversations with other effective altruists, so our meetups track will help you develop new connections in your areas of interest and find collaborators for projects you’re working on.
Excited to meet you there!