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Alaeriia comments on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... - Less Wrong

130 Post author: Yvain 24 December 2010 09:26PM

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Comment author: Alaeriia 14 November 2011 06:02:01PM 0 points [-]

I apologize if I am rehashing somebody else's post; I find that skimming the comments and then putting my own .02 in is a more valuable use of my time than thoroughly reading the comments (and thus allocating less time to an English paper I have coming up) and trying to sound like I'd exhaustively researched the topic (which would take way too much time). The payoff in terms of lives saved per work unit expended (either directly through volunteering or indirectly via donating money) varies from person to person. Even among those who consider themselves rationalists, there may be variations in which charity is most "efficient". For example, if one is incapable of becoming a high-powered lawyer for some reason, one may well have a different payoff matrix in terms of "fuzzies" and ways to go about donating. In addition, a high-powered lawyer who quits his $1000-per-hour job to work at a nonprofit may inspire others to donate to said nonprofit, which might increase the amount of lives saved. Personally, I am not concerned with world-optimization; in my opinion, perfection is unattainable in any discipline (Godel undecidablilty generalized) and, as such, we should be concerned with improvement; any improvement over the baseline is "good" and should be accepted. My goal is not to leave the world as close to perfection as I can; my goal is to maximize my happiness. As such, I donate to charities that align with my beliefs and volunteer at places I enjoy volunteering at. This may not be strictly rational, but a strict rationalist is much like a working communistic government: only attainable in fiction. I apologize if I have offended anyone; I am relatively new to LW and have much to learn about the community and rationality.