Effective Altruism Summit: Day 6

Effective Altruism Summit: Day 6

Another day packed full of useful insights and thoroughly enjoyable conversations. However, I'm afraid I will have to keep this post very short as I'm running a little low on energy due to a complete lack of sleep last night, and I'd like to save my energy for paying attention during our final day! So, briefly, here are my 6 highlights of Day 6:

  1. Being shown this video of Derren Brown persuading strangers on the street to hand him their wallets. No, seriously.
  2. Learning that simply using your finger(s) to guide your eyes across a page and not letting yourself go back to check you've understood what you've already read, will increase your reading speed by about 10% while maintaining the same level of comprehension. With a few more tricks practiced over ten half-hour slots, you can improve your reading speed by about 500%.
  3. The advice “pretend to be an alien who just teleported into your body” in order to avoid binding yourself to previous plans of yours.
  4. The suggestion to give regularly, rather than in one lump sum annually, so that you get the “warm glow” effect of giving more often and you are encouraged to think carefully about where you are giving more.
  5. The idea that bonding, being really welcoming to newcomers and working on concrete high-impact projects have really valuable roles to play in effective altruism community-building.
  6. Eliezer Yudkowsky comparing donating to a local pet shelter with more ambitious effective altruism projects: “Or, to put it another way: converting the reachable universe into QALYs…is also cute.” I think I'll work on creating that association in my mind.

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About the author:

Holly Morgan

Holly Morgan is a former Executive Director at The Life You Can Save and a former Director of Community at Giving What We Can; while a philosophy student in Oxford, she played a key role in getting both of these organizations and the wider Effective Altruism movement off of the ground.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.