Big Hairy Audacious Projects
WARNING: UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Eventually, this page will house my most ambitious and outrageous project ideas.
Currently, I don't have fully fleshed-out plans of action for most these projects, but I hope to be able to collaborate with people that can eventually help these ideas/projects grow.
Return on Wellness (RoW) Project
- Assumption: Moral/ethical decision making should be primarily utilitarian in nature and be focused on increasing well-being and reducing suffering. The specifics of "what is well-being" and "to what extent do we do this" can be worked out as we go, but that the basic idea, that that the foundation of morality and of civilization building should be based on well-being/suffering is non-negotiable.
- Develop a "good enough" (as in doesn't-have-to-be-perfect) algorithm for predicting and modeling changes in human well-being/suffering. Some type of standardized well-being/suffering unit of measurement will have to be defined.
- Once we have an algorithm that can fairly reliably predict how different government actions, societal attitudes, economic transactions etc, will (even approximately) impact overall well-being, it should be pretty easy to optimize society for maximal human well-being by directing our resources to whatever gets the highest "return on wellness" for each unit of resources. The hope is that this would dramatically improve the world.
- Yes, I understand how ridiculously hard of a project this is since terms like "well-being" and "life satisfaction" are fairly subjective, and that utilitarianism can have some "repugnant" conclusions. Despite these legitimate concerns, a project like this is still worth a significant portion of societies resources.
- Assumption: Governments can redistribute financial capital easily enough (progressive taxation + social programs) however network/social, cultural, and technical capital is much more difficult to redistribute.
- To help redistribute those non-financial types of capital, I would like to see an after-school program, in every major city, where high-skilled tech workers mentor underprivileged students from the same city they work in.
- Most cities are full of BOTH smart, successful tech workers AND impoverished kids with few successful role models to learn from. Despite living in the same city, these two demographics almost never interact 1-on-1 in any meaningful way. This projects would bring these folks together in a way that is hugely beneficial to both, and will allow both non-financial capital, poverty awareness, and FRIENDSHIP to flow between the two democraphics much more freely.
National Service Year
- Assumption: America is growing more polarized across differences in political ideology, social identity, rural vs urban geography, etc. Increasingly, we live in geographic clusters and digital echo chambers that enable us to avoid people with different identities and lifestyles. These are very few "shared experiences" that transcend demographics in a way that all Americans have in common.
- A possible solution might be to institute a National Service Year (between high school graduation and college/employment) that would "mix-up" kids from all across the country into a small (8-15 member) groups that would spend a year working on Service Projects across the country. Perhaps the year would be split into 4 three-month projects in different regions of the country. This would be funded by taxpayers
- The result would hopefully be a common shared experience that all young Americans would have had and the forging of critical friendships between people of extremely different identities, socio-economic statuses, and lifestyles. This would hopefully help reduce the animosity that exists between the different groups and form bridges between our differences, all the while completed important Service Projects that the country needs.
For-Profit Super Non-Profit Experiment (working title lol)
- It would be really cool to start a company (any company) where 90% of the profit (after growth investments) goes directly towards Effective Altruism and the employees and/or shareholders split up the remaining 10%. That should align incentives nicely.
- The buzz factor and social investment alone would be a competitive advantage (at least for a time) and would attract employees/investors with those shared values.
- I haven't worked out the details yet, obviously, but it would be very interesting to experiment with this very different system of employment/corporation/charity.