::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact

Magical Healing Powers

August 11th, 2012
stupid_posts  [html]
Imagine you had magical healing powers. Sitting quietly with someone and holding their hand you could restore them to health. While this would be a wonderful ability to have, it would also be a hard one: any time you spent on something other than healing people would mean unnecessary suffering. How could you justify a pleasant dinner with your family or a relaxing weekend at the beach when that meant more people living in pain?

But you already have these powers. Through the magic of effective charity you can donate money to help people right now. The tradeoff remains: time you give yourself when you could be working means money you don't earn which then can't go to help the people who would most benefit from it.

(I don't think this means you should try for complete selflessness; you need to balance your needs against others'. But the balance should probably be a lot further towards others' than it currently is.)

Update 2012-08-12: this is a response to hearing people offline saying that if they had magical "help other people" powers then they should spend lots of time using them, without having considered that they already have non-magical "help other people" powers

Comment via: google plus, facebook, lesswrong

Recent posts on blogs I like:

I’m Giving a Talk About Construction Costs Tomorrow

By popular demand, I’m giving the talk I gave 2 weeks ago at NYU, again. The database will be revised slightly to include more examples (like Ukraine, which I added between when I gave the talk and when I blogged about it), and I may switch around a few t…

via Pedestrian Observations December 2, 2019

Your room can be as bright as the outdoors

The effect was huge: I became dramatically more productive between 3:30pm and whenever I turned off the light. I estimate the lamp bought me between half an hour and two hours a day, depending on how overcast it was.

via benkuhn.net November 26, 2019

git-subtrac: all your git submodules in one place

Long ago, I wrote git-subtree to work around some of my annoyances with git submodules. I've learned a lot since then, and the development ecosystem has improved a lot (shell scripts are no longer the best way to manipulate git repos? Whoa!). Thus, I …

via apenwarr November 24, 2019

more     (via openring)

More Posts:

  ::  Posts  ::  RSS  ::  ◂◂RSS  ::  Contact