October 2017 Open Thread

This post aims to give blog readers and followers of the Open Philanthropy Project an opportunity to publicly raise comments or questions about the Open Philanthropy Project or related topics (in the comments section below). As always, you’re also welcome to email us at info@openphilanthropy.org if there’s feedback or questions you’d prefer to discuss privately. We’ll try to respond promptly to questions or comments.

You can see our previous open thread here.


Holden wrote a blog post about nine months ago called “Giving Suggestions Pertaining to Recent Executive Actions.” Has any more thought been given to these issues since then? Does the Open Philanthropy Project expect to share an update on this topic in the foreseeable future?

We don’t expect to put out more recommendations on this topic.

Wow, this thread really blew up.

Last year you published a blog post about “Suggestions for Individual Donors”. Are you planning to do a reprise this year?

It’s possible; we haven’t decided yet.

I felt that some of the recent blogs featured by Carol J. Adams posed some fairly significant questions to grant makers in relation to organisations operating within the animal movement.



Is there an Open Phil version of GiveWell’s 2015 Charities we would like to see?

Hi Milan, sorry for the slow reply! We haven’t made a similar post.

I found the 80,000 hours talk interesting, and I wonder somewhat how it is that truth seeking is encouraged? It seems to me the ideals (or principles) of effective altruism can be underplayed in order to help maintain a certain order within the movement and related organisations. In relation to the animal movement space this to me has the appearance of the “moral maze”. Indeed, one example of this could be the recent issues with the behaviour of some men in positions of power and how this is justified and enabled by other men and some women in the animal movement, whilst people ‘outside’ the mainstream are marginalised and lack the power to generate change. Of course, in part it took a rather large externalised movement in order to generate a degree of institutional change at HSUS. Change which is still resisted from some quarters. Whilst the people who are advocating change can often be considered or labelled as discontents or disruptive rather than with the best interests of the movement at heart. I think it would be interesting for Open Philanthropy to address these issues, and to re-examine what constitutes a peer system in the animal movement.

With regards,


Thought with all of your work on worldview thought, you might be interested in this thread:

“Please suggest semi-fundamental issues that smart people disagree about that may help to determine their other beliefs. eg importance of animal welfare, utilitarianism vs deontology vs rights etc, EMH vs non-EMH, ratex vs non-ratex, and so on.”
“I would like to list all of my ‘deep priors’ so that people arguing with me can easily spot why we might disagree fundamentally.”

Will there be a new Open Thread soon?

Hi Skylar. Yes, we’ll post a new open thread soon, probably in the next month or so.


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