1 karmaJoined Jan 2021


BA Philosophy MS Computer Science from Stanford University

Interested in AI Governance and AI Safety


Interesting post! 

I think there is a lot of potential in shifting individual social status dynamics (which are inextricable from human nature) away from conspicuous consumption and potentially towards "conspicuous, effective giving". The impact would be enormous if the wealthiest 5% of the world turned away from spending discretionary income on Louis Vuitton handbags and expensive jewelry for status, and instead used how many lives they've saved through GiveWell charities, etc. 

From a simplified labor-based perspective, this would be functionally equivalent to diverting money to encourage people to spend their time working in global health, x-risk reduction, etc, as opposed to using money to encourage people to spend time laboriously crafting opulent luxury goods, mining and refining gemstones with no functional utility, and spending entire careers advertising lavish goods to no effect other than allowing those at the top of the materialist social hierarchy to flaunt their status.

I'm curious what an effective top-down approach to promoting these social dynamics would look like.