“I want to stress again that EA is a very serious and intelligent movement promoted by very serious and intelligent people because, to the untrained eye, it can sometimes look like a cult of unhinged narcissists. That Nauru project, for example? That wasn’t the only weird idea the folk at FTX had dreamed up in the name of effective altruism. According to the court filings, the FTX Foundation, the non-profit arm of FTX, had authorised a $300,000 (£230,000) grant to an individual to “write a book about how to figure out what humans’ utility function is (are)”. The foundation also made a $400,000 grant “to an entity that posted animated videos on YouTube related to ‘rationalist and [effective altruism] material’, including videos on ‘grabby aliens’”.
So there you go. Some of the best minds of our generation (or so they’d have you believe) are busying themselves with strategies on grabby aliens and Pacific island bunkers. Is this effective? Is this altruism? I can’t tell you for sure what the future of effective altruism is, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. ”