March 13, 2022
How to Start a Blog by Effective Ideas
- Using reason, evidence, expected value, and the scout mindset to think clearly about the world, and to think clearly about how to do good.
- Big picture thinking about science, philosophy, economics and the long-term trajectory of humanity.
- Cutting-edge discussion of traditional areas like AI, biorisk, and weird utilitarian philosophy, as well as exploring potentially important new areas, like population, China, and institutions for space settlement.
- Personal agency, ambition, and opposing the cheems mindset.
- The principles and areas of interest pages on the FTX Foundation website are good overviews of themes we are interested in.
For further inspiration: What’s up with the Most Important Century and AGI, and what should we do about it? How do we strengthen liberal democracies and stop authoritarians from taking over the world, but also avoid potentially cataclysmic great power war? What are the next 100 years going to look like? How can we encourage institutional experimentation, and how do we overcome vetocracy and fix our broken state capacity? What will happen when we settle space, and what should a constitution for the future look like? How much does economic growth matter, what determines growth in the very long run, and what should we do about it? What concrete, big projects should EA launch? What is EA totally missing, or totally wrong about? How can we bring more people, and a more diverse set of people, into the fold, and empower them to do ambitious things? More generally, how can we think clearly about the world, applying reason, evidence, expected value, and the scout mindset?
Stuff to Write About
One of the great parts about blogging is that you can write about anything you want, no matter how specific or idiosyncratic. At the same time, when one looks at the sheer quantity of content being written, it can still be easy to feel like there’s nothing unique for you to write about. The best posts to win this contests will be deep and substantial, but here are some ideas that could help lead you to that post and get you started writing:
- Write a primer / beginner’s guide / ELI5 / ”Much More Than You Ever Wanted to Know” on a tricky field, idea, or topic.
- Develop contrarian or meta-contrarian takes on important subjects.
- Create a curated compendium of an existing author’s work or a topical bibliography.
- Book reviews are often the easiest and best form of writing for a new blog. A review can cut a few different ways, hemming closely to the book or being entirely tangential, but having a book to respond to gives you a dialogue partner, helps build interest in your post, and allows you to supplement someone else’s research with your own findings or perspectives.
- Personal wellbeing life advice
a blog post is good if someone remembers it as the best thing they read that day and a blog post is great if it shapes their thinking on a topic for years to come. Here’s a few of our all-time favorites posts.
They recommend Substack (easiest) or Ghost (most flexible).