Giving Compass' Take:

· Evan Gaensbauer explains how effective altruism can be used to apply emerging technologies and serve as a global catastrophe mitigation.

· What is effective altruism? What does it focus on? How is it a technique that could be used to address global catastrophes? 

· Learn more about the Effective Altruism movement

In May 2016, Ozy Brennan wrote on their blog Missing Cause Areas, on how what have thus far been the priority focus areas of effective altruism (EA) appear historically contingent.

Indeed, effective altruists joke the four focus areas of EA come from this one blog post Luke Muehlhauser wrote as a description of the nascent EA movement, but we all took it as a prescription for what EA was supposed to be all about. However, EA's 3 major focus areas aren't that historically contingent. In 'Why do effective altruists support the causes we do?', Michelle Hutchinson from the Centre for Effective Altruism (CEA) provides a framework explaining how while to begin with EA's 3 major focus areas were due to historical precedent, they fit into a framework seemingly exhausting the space of possible beneficiaries for effective interventions to be focused on.

However, this leaves a fourth now-conventional EA focus area: "meta" or metacharity. 'Meta' is a category apparently including everything from cause-neutral or cause-specific charity evaluation to EA movement growth. The object-level focus areas of EA are intensionally defined: they're about the global poor of the present generation; future generations over long timescales; and farm animals, respectively. Whatever an organization associated with EA actually does, as long as its mission is focused on one of EA's 3 key focus areas, everyone understands how it fits into EA. Metacharity as a focus area defies this paradigm because of the diversity of metacharities' activities within EA, and because they're not united by a common and concrete theme.

Read the full article about the use of effective altruism as a global catastrophe mitigation by Evan Gaensbauer at Effective Altruism Forum.