GMcGowan

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What would you do if you had half a million dollars?

Thanks for the post, I found your thoughts interesting. I’m always glad to see discussions of where people are donating.

In general, it kind of seems like the "point" of the lottery is to do something other than allocate to a capital allocator. The lottery is "meant" to minimise work on selecting a charity to give to, but if you're happy to give that work to another allocator I feel like it makes less sense?

With that in mind, I have a couple of thoughts for things you might consider:

  • Lottery again! You could sponsor CEA to do a $1m lottery. If you thought it was worth it for $500k, surely it would be worth it for $1m!
  • Be quite experimental, give largish grants to multiple young organisations, see how they do, and then direct your ordinary giving toward them in the future. This money can buy access to more organisations, and setup relationships for your future giving.
  • Do you know of people outside established organisations, in your personal network for example, who could use EA funding? If so, that represents an edge over capital allocators and you could exploit that.
EA Superpower?! 😋

There is a fantastic short story about an EA superman. Quite indulgent but I highly recommend: 

There were two words that Superman lived by, and they were “pay me”.

His time was auctioned off in blocks of five minutes. He didn’t need to sleep, so he stopped sleeping, which meant that there were 288 blocks of his time available per day, with ten blocks set aside for administration. It was rare that any of these blocks went for less than a million dollars, which meant that after his first full year in operation as Superman, he made over a hundred billion dollars. If he were a nation, he would have been ranked 63rd, just below Morocco.

Where are you donating in 2020 and why?

Thanks for reading!

I meant investing for a shortish period of time, and retaining control of the funds until I donate. So it would mostly be about deferring the decision for a bit while still getting tax benefits, as opposed to delegating the decision to the trustees of the Long-Term Fund. 

I  lean towards giving sooner instead of later for "hinginess" reasons. I also think the vast majority of EA resources are already invested in some sense (in human capital, expansion orientated organisations or  Open Philanthropy finances). 

I do think your fund is a good idea though, I can imagine changing my mind and there are certainly plenty of people who disagree with me!

How You Can Counterfactually Send Millions of Dollars to EA Charities

I broadly agree that cash management could be improved at many charities, so thanks for this post!

The interest rate for the fiscal year should probably be based on the best available bank account rate. I think that is considerably less than your given interest rates, for example in the UK the best business savings account I could find offered about 0.9%.

Where are you donating in 2020 and why?

I wrote about my donation decisions this year on my blog. I'm hoping to ramp up my giving over the next four years so I've decided to be more public about my thoughts.

TL;DR: I’m giving away £35k this year. £3.5k to SCI and the remainder to the Long Term Future Fund

Long-Term Future Fund: Ask Us Anything!

What would you like to fund, but can't because of organisational constraints? (e.g. investing in private companies is IIRC forbidden for charities).

Where are you donating in 2020 and why?

I have a cryonics contract with Alcor, and I pay annual dues to them. Most of this is counted as charitable giving.

Can you say a little bit more about this? I tend not to think of cryonics as charitable.

Tax Havens and the case for Tax Justice

There seems to be something wrong with your footnotes formatting. They all direct me to create a new post on the EA forum, as opposed to linking to the bottom of the page. E.g. `https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/newPost#sdendnote3sym`

Interesting angle that I hadn't considered before!

Presumably this reasoning would change the calculus for a lot of other actions one could take as well? E.g. various types of global development spending that pay off in the future (e.g. deworming) would become worse relative to spending that pays off soon (e.g. bednets).

Rather than a mere 14 QALYs, kidney donation produces hundreds if not thousands of expected QALYs.

I feel that this may be too strong a claim. In the very long run, I would expect the population to rise to whatever the carrying capacity was (or whatever level was agreed on by the AI or something). So saving a life now would be good (+~7 years) but not worth thousands of years of QALYs, as a new person might well have come into existence if the kidney donee had died.

In particular, this argument reminds me of discussions about cryonics possibly being an EA cause - e.g. Jeff Kaufman's essay on the subject here. Excerpt of the most relevant part:

If you're a total hedonistic utilitarian, caring about there being as many good lives over all time as possible, deaths averted isn't the real metric. Instead the question is how many lives will there be and how good are they? In a future society with the technology to revive cryonics patients there would still be some kind of resource limits bounding the number of people living or being emulated. Their higher technology would probably allow them to have as many people alive as they chose, within those bounds. If they decided to revive people, this would probably come in place of using those resources to create additional people or run more copies of existing people.
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