- About


I am the co-CEO of Open Philanthropy and co-founder of GiveWell, but all opinions are my own.

Most of the posts on this blog are written at least a month before they're posted, sometimes much longer. I try to post things that are worth posting even so, hence the name "Cold Takes."

As of this writing (July 2021), likely initial themes include:

  • Futurism (the next 10,000+ years). What can we say and do today about the very long-run future of the world?
  • Quantitative macrohistory (the last 250-10,000 years). What can we say about very long-run trends in things like quality of life and pace of innovation?
  • Applied epistemology. How should one decide what to believe, especially when (is as usually the case for important topics) one doesn't have time to digest even 1% of the relevant knowledge and arguments?
  • Applied ethics of donations, career choice, etc. What ethical principles should we use to  consider actions like where to donate and what job to take (where there are no clear moral "rules," and instead a question of how to do more good vs. less good)?
  • Links I feel like sharing, often quite old, because they seem important and/or just fun.

A general theme of this blog is what I sometimes call avant-garde effective altruism. Effective altruism (EA) is the idea of doing as much good as possible. If EA were jazz, giving to effective charities working on global health would be Louis Armstrong - acclaimed and respected by all, and where most people start. But people who are really obsessed with jazz also tend to like stuff that (to other people) barely even sounds like music, and lifelong obsessive EAs are into causes and topics that are not the first association you'd have with "doing good." This blog will often be about the latter.

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