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Showing posts from May, 2015

Join, or Die (Part 1)

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In September 2014, 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City to protest inaction against climate change in what was the single biggest demonstration of the last decade in the United States. In the previous month, and in nearly every month since, protests against racism in the criminal justice system have roiled nearly every major U.S. city. This comes in a decade when the national conversation has already been shaped profoundly by the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.
It's common to view participation in mass protests as a choice. I want to argue that, sometimes, participation in protests is not a choice: it is wrong not to participate.
I don’t claim that community or solidarity or anything like that has inherent importance. Instead, I want to argue that it may be immoral to stay home from a protest because doing so causes harm.
To start, I offer perhaps the most influential thought experiment of contemporary times – one that has led thousands of people associated with a m…

Welcome!

Welcome to the Groff Spot! This will be a blog (for now) about effective altruism, economics, animal liberation and anything at the nexus of numbers and justice. If I feel like it, I might throw in a film review or two (for those of you who don't know, I'm a cinephile). All views expressed in this blog are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employer or any organization with which I am associated.

As for me, I'm a recent Yale College graduate working as a Research Analyst at Innovations for Poverty Action, which researches the most effective ways to help the world's poor. I will be applying to Ph.D. programs in economics in the fall. I am anti-speciesist (this includes leaving animals off my plate) and donate 10% of my salary (with an aim to contribute much more later) to highly effective charities.

I'm also a Connecticut organizer for Direct Action Everywhere, a network of animal rights activists that take nonviolent direct action on behalf of farmed anim…