So I have terrible news, I'm reading the Effective Altruism site. Err. Hate-reading it.

"Some of the most promising problems appear to be safely developing artificial intelligence, improving biosecurity policy, or working toward the end of factory farming."

uh huh.


When I look at the world, I go "these are the problems which need the most solution." Oh, sorry, they're rational and thus "promising" problems.

My strongest hate-on for "effective"-style altruism is in Indianapolis. I go there every summer.

Indianapolis has coin donation boxes which say "no one should be bullied to give a handout. give real help. give here."

If I had a different personality, I would destroy all of these with an ax.

These are against every fiber of my ethos regarding human dignity and a direct attack on the people who spend much of their time on the streets where these are posted.

I really can't express how these make me feel. It makes my jaw crack just thinking about it.

I don't fucking care if my money is less "Effective" if I hand it straight to a human who will use it for things I can't and shouldn't control. That is still being a human in some kind of relationship.

and then I learned or re-learned that there's a Berkley Existential Risk Initiative which focuses on things like AI and not on things like weapons technology, nuclear stockpiles, uses of weapons against countries' own citizens, use of weapons in other situations, surveillance capitalism, surveillance state....


@TeamMidwest particularly gets me on this I think

or like climate change, data and technology's roles in climate change (e.g. the amount of power consumed by massive data centers)
I'm gonna passout

@ruth I keep trying to use "he's the kind of person who worries about AI threat but not climate change" as, like, a really cutting insult... but then not everyone recognizes it as an insult and I am overcome by despair.

@ruth hard agreement with you on all of this, except ending factory farming. Factory farming is a massive contribution to environmental devastation, ending it would do a lot for climate change and water protection. CAFOs are destroying many of the watersheds in the Midwest and the South.

@TeamMidwest 100% animal rights, which like ... i'm not NOT behind better treatment of farm animals. but like when this is being elevated over so many other things and in that way

right thing, right outcome, limiting reason

@ruth Not a US citizen really, but what are these boxes actually? Like, I'm curious who do the money given there actually go to?

@maecah it goes to a non-profit, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention.

Who, incidentally, won't get a dime of my money ever because of this campaign and how it is right there telling you not to give money to the real human 5 feet away who may be asking for it.

@ruth Well, great. In America (and the UK?) even non-profits are like full-on capitalistic enterprises. Weird...

@maecah I just finished a book called Winners Take All (and another called The Givers) both about philanthropy and how it actively fights against the kinds of societal and systemic changes we need (partly to make donors feel good, partly because of capitalistic mindsets, partly because changing the world would make the rich less rich and thus less "benevolent") and holy hell they were good/infuriating

@ruth Will have a look at them right now, they sound interesting.

Thanks for the tip!

@ruth @maecah AND is calling the real human right there a bully



@InspectorCaracal @maecah right, it's not just like "your money will go farther and be more effective" (as though that's a better good than giving it to a person to do with as they choose and respecting their autonomy) but attacking the people they're supposed to be assisting. (which is why I would never ever EVER give them even the money I put aside for orgs I think are doing a good thing)

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