Beauty-Driven Morality

by Brian Tomasik First written: 14 Oct. 2013; last update: 11 May 2014 Summary One common motivation for preserving nature in spite of the suffering it contains is the sense that it's beautiful and hence needs to remain intact. This

Why Most People Don't Care About Wild-Animal Suffering

by Ben Davidow First written: 11 Nov. 2013; last update: 11 Nov. 2013 Summary Various intuitions prevent people from taking wild-animal suffering as seriously as it deserves, including status-quo bias, just-world hypothesis, and lack of intentional harm. Fortunately, most progressive

Bacteria, Plants, and Graded Sentience

by Brian Tomasik First written: 29 June 2013; last update: 4 Jan. 2017 Summary Even if the chance of bacteria sentience is exceedingly tiny, and even if it's very unlikely we'd give them comparable weight to big organisms, the sheer

Are Petitions Effective?

by Brian Tomasik First written: 9 Feb. 2013; last update: 12 Feb. 2017 Summary Online petitions may have a small expected direct impact, especially when the cause is important, the campaign is targeted, and the decision-makers receive the messages. In

Why Your Laptop May Be Marginally Sentient

by Brian Tomasik First written: 1 May 2014; last update: 21 Feb. 2017 Summary Present-day computers, including your personal laptop or smartphone, share several parallels with the architecture of a brain. Because they incorporate many components of a cognitive system

Anthropics without Reference Classes

by Brian Tomasik First written: 13 June 2014; last update: 26 Apr. 2015 Summary Nick Bostrom's seminal work on anthropic bias proposed reasoning as though you are a random observer from a reference class of observers. While helpful in many

Why I Don't Support Eating Insects

by Brian Tomasik First written: 7 Apr. 2014; last update: 1 Jan. 2017 Summary Entomophagy (eating insects for food) is sometimes proposed as an alternative to factory farming because it has lower environmental impact. But entomophagy is not necessarily more

Advanced Tips on Personal Finance

by Brian Tomasik First written: 19 Aug. 2012; last edited: 13 Mar. 2017 Summary This page compiles ideas for personal-finance practices that can save money and allow you to donate more to important causes. There are already many resources for