At the beginning of the summer, the CFAR staff guest taught at the first ever Effective Altruism Summit (masterminded by Leverage Research). We taught selected classes from our usual lineup at our workshops. Leverage's Executive Director Geoff Anders (an alum of our July 2012 workshop) explained why he included up in the lineup:
CFAR provides the world's best rationality training, and rationality is an essential part of effective altruism. So we thought it would be perfect to invite CFAR to present their training to the effective altruist community. CFAR offers a large number of powerful tools, many of which on their own can enhance a person's effectiveness by 10% or more. We thought that if each effective altruist walked away with just one new tool, we could significantly increase the expected impact of the effective altruism movement.
After our classes, Holly Morgan of The Life You Can Save wrote up her impressions of three of the sessions we ran at the Summit. Here's an excerpt:
CFAR is good. Like, really good. Has anyone ever said to you, “You shouldn’t get so stressed” / “You should try new things” / “You shouldn’t procrastinate” etc., and then you think “Excellent advice, I’ll do that”…and then don’t do it? CFAR shows you how to do it. If you want to improve the way that you naturally think, these guys will show you how. We all attended 11 sessions but I’ll just give you a flavour of the material and tell you briefly about three of them...
Now for “delegating to yourself”. The session stemmed from the idea of treating future “you’s” as colleagues who you want to work together with maximum efficiency. Thus, when you put something off, that should be because it will genuinely be better for a future you to do it (perhaps because they will have more information or be less tired or be closer to the super market). Otherwise, do it now. You should also be wary of the Bystander Effect, which is the phenomenon whereby a group of people are less likely to help than an individual, because the group are waiting for someone else in the group to help instead. This happens with you across time too! Think of how many times you say, “I’ll do it tomorrow” i.e. “Tomorrow me will do it!”
You can read Holly's profiles of two more classes here. Which do you think would have the biggest impact for you?