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Comment author: Michelle_Z 08 July 2013 05:40:02PM *  8 points [-]

I was going to post something about this in the open thread, but this post just popped up.

I've been putting together a club for Effective Altruism on my campus (Cavaliers for Effective Altruism), and I'm stuck. I can run fundraisers and donate the money to a charity Givewell supports. My college has a system for donating to charities and fundraising, so that isn't a problem.

The difficulty is getting other people interested in the club and teaching my club-members rationality, so the club continues existing after I graduate. I originally thought teaching people rationality wouldn't be necessary, but the couple friends I mentioned this to have no idea what I'm talking about when I explain how effective altruism works. They don't have the same intuitions that I do, so it sounds odd to them. It was around then I realized that I need my club-members to know some rationality. Are there any resources/guides out there for that kind of thing?

I know LessWrong is one of those resources, but I doubt many people will listen to me if I say "This week's club-homework is to read x post from this blog." I have a couple vague ideas for slipping this information into casual conversation, but they're vague ideas. And it's hard to impart enough information through casual conversation, anyway. I think I could try doing both (have people read specific articles/books and bring it up in casual conversation,) but that brings me back to the original problems: I have no idea how to teach rationality, and people don't respect me enough to listen to me if I tell them they need to know something.

I know some people here have experience in teaching rationality, so I'm fishing for any advice. My two major concerns are: -How to bridge the inference gap between myself and my club members (where do I even start?) and if there are any other ways to teach rationality beyond the two I mentioned.

Comment author: Claire 09 July 2013 01:59:19AM 5 points [-]

Try giving game. http://www.givingwhatwecan.org/blog/2013-06-02/how-giving-games-can-spread-the-word-about-smarter-charity-choices-0

Avoid "teaching" and instead set up conversations and activities that introduce these ideas. Many people resist it their peers try to "educate" them. Look for movie, comics, webshorts, etc. that can start off the conversation in the right direction.

Remember that it will take people time to become comfortable with these ideas. Look to make progress over the course of months and years, not hours.

Good luck!