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The rise of the rational givers

The effective altruism movement risks reducing charity to a cost-benefit analysis

Doing Good Better: Effective Altruism and a Radical New Way to Make a Difference by William MacAskill (Guardian/Faber, £14.99) The Most Good You Can Do: How Effective Altruism Is Changing Ideas About Living Ethically by Peter Singer (Yale, £14.99) A decade or so ago, I worked in an office on Tottenham Court Road in London. As well as being home to a sizeable proportion of the capital’s electrical goods emporia, the street was also a favourite of charity fundraisers—those young…

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