Eli Zarrindast

20 karmaJoined


Is there a preview anywhere? One of the biggest factors for me in buying any book is writing style ; if it isn't compatible with how my brain parses things, or is unpleasant somehow, there's no point. Generally to evaluate whether I want to give a book a chance I just open to somewhere in the middle and read a couple paragraphs or even just a couple lines in the case of fiction (believe it or not, this has yielded fantastic results for me on a large sample size). Thirty bucks is too much for me sight unseen. 

Can someone clarify this "taking money from billionaires bad" thing? I know some people are against billionaires existing, but surely diverting money from them to altruistic causes would be the ideal outcome for someone who doesn't want that money siloed? The only reason I can think of (admittedly I don't know a lot about real leftism, economics, etc.) that someone wouldn't want to, assuming said billionaire isn't e.g. micromanaging for evil purposes, is a fear of moral contamination-- or rather, social-moral contamination... Being contaminated with the social rejection and animosity that the billionaire "carries" within said complaining group. To me this seems like a type of reputation management that is so costly as to be unethical/immoral. It's like, "I'm afraid people won't like me if I talk to Johnny, so I can't transport Johnny's fifty dollars to the person panhandling outside." Surely we can set that sort of thing aside for the sake of actual material progress? Am I missing something? Because if it essentially amounts to "Johnny is unpopular and if I talk to him I might become unpopular too," we shouldn't set a norm of operating under those fears. That seems cowardly.

For several years after university I lived on about $12k a year (which is low by UK standards, though high by world ones). It's pretty surreal to be able to even consider applying for say 5x this as a salary. It's like going to a fancy restaurant for the first time ("the waiters bring the food to the table?") I just can't shake how surreal this all is.


While I do not have anything to contribute to the conversation, I want to comment under my real name that I have experienced this same financial history and these same feelings. It is emotionally overwhelming to see how far one has come, it's socially confusing to suddenly be in a new socioeconomic class, and it's a computational burden to learn how to manage an income that is far greater than required for bare survival (a US standard for bare survival, not a global standard). I have actually sought therapy for this specific topic. There are people who specialize in this. It is my opinion that the absolute first priority if you can possibly help it is to get a "lay of the land" in regards to the scope and detail of your own emotions and subsequent biases, and take concrete action toward regulating your emotions in any potentially highly consequential areas. (Some of your feelings around this may actually constitute trauma. Being poor and the instability it induces trains one to stay constantly alert for danger, dissociates one from one's unpleasant surroundings, etc. In my observation, trauma is the single most dangerous inter/personal force on the planet.) It is not only okay, but desirable, to slow down one's decision-making and regulate oneself, even if there is opportunity cost. Reasoning under both ambiguity and (subjective) pressure is a very dangerous situation to be in, and I have concluded that it is best to address this psychological milieu before doing anything else, since impaired judgement has high and broad potential for negative impact. 

If you want to talk about this in private, I am willing to do that as well. I know the reason that I don't like to discuss this publicly it that there is a "preferential attachment" (networks sense) effect where resources are concerned in many social settings, and I am reluctant to stigmatize myself as having ever been poor-- perhaps when I am further into my career and have been extremely financially secure for longer than I was financially insecure, I will not have the same concerns regarding any signaling that could disrupt my acceptance within a higher social class. I encourage persons who are already in that position to take on this burden, which will endanger you much less.

I have long and often complained about the cowardice of people who would not respond to a true and vulnerable call from another in public, even when the person is trying to help the demographic of the silent person. I don't AT ALL want to post this comment and frankly dread this being a search result for my name, but I don't see a reason that I should be exempt from this moral duty to undersign your experience as being at least twice-anecdotal: a product (at least partially) of external factors that bear consideration, not something generated from within you alone.