When you say "EAs should..." or "EA is...", what are you referring to? Are you referring to the cluster of EA orgs and projects, EA leadership, long-time EAs, your local EA community, the longtermist EA movement or something else entirely?

As has been discussed many times, EA is not a monolithic entity or single organization. Referring to the cluster of things that make up the movement as "EA" can give the perception (especially to those outside the movement) that it is. 

Here are more specific terms that are probably more helpful:

  • EA movement: cluster of orgs, communities, people and projects that work in "impactful" causes
  • EA-aligned organisations: Organisations whose leaders identify as EA and (whether publicly or not) associate themselves with the EA movement 
  • EA-adjacent organisations: Organisations working in relevant areas whose leaders do not identify with EA as closely (or at all) 
  • EA community: global community of people all over the world, but primarily clustered in EA hubs (link to EA survey) 
  • EA [location] community: A local community of EA-aligned individuals  
  • EA leadership: usually refers to a select group of people running the cluster of orgs in EV, OP who also control money.   

I would also encourage folks to be even more specific if they only have confidence in specific claims e.g. the effective animal advocacy movement, people who work at EA adjacent global health and development organizations, technical AI safety researchers in the Bay, academics studying longtermist moral philosophy in Oxford, community builders at top universities etc.

(forum posts can be short)




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Also EA Philosophy: which would simply be the commitment to seek out and do good in the most effective ways we can, whatever that might be. I am a bit dismayed when I see people who disagree with EAs regarding the best ways to do good and then conclude that they are not EA. As prudent as our current priorities likely are, we should be mindful of the fundamental project, and be happy and welcoming of diversities of minds eager to look where others are not for promising opportunities.

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