When you’re part of a community, the counterfactuals become more complex, and doing the most good becomes much more of a coordination problem – it’s a multiplayer rather than a single player game.
In this post, I’ll list five situations where this insight can help us to become even more effective, and I’ll suggest new rules of thumb that I think might be the best guide in a multiplayer world. This is a complex topic, so the answers I give are still tentative. I’m keen to see many more people in the community start thinking about these issues, and preparing the community for its next level of scale.
This article comes to the following conclusions:
- To decide where to donate: Contribute your fair share to all charities you think are worth funding or find and fund a charity that passes the bar for community funding.
- To decide where to work within the community: Work wherever you have the most comparative advantage compared to the community.
- Determining who should earn to give and who should do direct work: Earn to give if you have a comparative advantage earning compared to direct work in the community.
- The value of sharing information: Take jobs to gain information and share it with the community.
- Attributing impact: As a first approximation, at the margin, everyone working towards X contributes a fraction of the impact, where the fraction depends on everyone’s skill in doing X.