• 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:

    Experiences in raising children in shared housing

    Sometimes I see posts about people’s hope to raise children in a group housing situation, and it often seems overly optimistic to me. In particular they seem to expect that there will be more shared childcare than I think should be expected. Today I talke…

    via The whole sky October 18, 2021

    What to learn

    It's common to see people advocate for learning skills that they have or using processes that they use. For example, Steve Yegge has a set of blog posts where he recommends reading compiler books and learning about compilers. His reasoning is basicall…

    via Posts on Dan Luu October 18, 2021

    EDT with updating double counts

    I recently got confused thinking about the following case: Calculator bet: I am offered the opportunity to bet on a mathematical statement X to which I initially assign 50% probability (perhaps X = 139926 is a quadratic residue modulo 314159). I have acce…

    via The sideways view October 12, 2021

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact