IN  WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo—a sometime artist, economist, poet, trader, expat, EA, and programmer—writes on things of int­erest.

# Reading Feed (last update: March 17)

A collection of things that I was glad I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.

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Blog: Marginal Revolution | The rise of the temporary scientist — relevant to my interests, naturally.

Blog: Marginal Revolution | Has the Tervuren Central African museum been decolonized? — "In a word, no. They shut the place down for five years and spent $84 million, to redesign the displays, and what they reopened still looks and feels incredibly colonial. That’s not an architectural complaint, only that the museum cannot escape what it has been for well over a century..." Neat: Submarine Cable Map ### (15) READ MORE # Donations 2018 Well, it's been a crazy calendar year in any number of ways...and here at the end of it, I have a few commitments to uphold. I remaincommitted to donating at least 10% of my income to the organizations that I think best make the universe a better place, and to talking about it on this blog. Here are my thoughts at the end of 2018. ### (0) While I've recently been conducting some independent research into investment strategies for effective altruists (results forthcoming), I haven't been particularly active in producing my own independent opinions on the effectiveness or value of organizations. So, as in 2017, my perspective here is primarily a synthesis of a raft of conversations I've had with a (uncredited) gaggle of friends and friends-of-friends. disclaimers: I've made no particular attempt to be discriminating or fair in these conversations. Some of the friends who have helped me form my opinions here are involved in some capacity in the areas or organizations I'll mention. Some have their READ MORE # Donations 2017 I don't write about it much on this blog, because it it's slightly awkward to talk about, and I'm a small little mind that isn't used to fighting against hyperbolic discounting. But I remain committed to donating at least 10% of my income to the organizations that I think best make the universe a better place, and to talking about it on this blog. Here are my thoughts for 2017. ### (0) These reflect a relatively small amount of thought, reading and discussion with people in the Effective Altruism community, and effectively no independent research. I don't expect that I'm particularly advantaged in evaluating charities, and so my opinion-forming strategy this year has mostly been to seek out the opinions of better-advantaged friends who I believe share my values, ask for their thoughts and reasons, and attempt to understand them. However, I want to support a culture of sharing and building on each others' opinions, and to that end, I'm sharing my thoughts on my donations for this year, to create READ MORE # Good-Adjacency (Examples) content warning: Short descriptions of non-violent sexual situations where consent is unclear. (first block quote only) ### (0) Leah Libresco asks: Is "Kindness-Adjacent" a Useful Category?, riffing off their previous post Avoiding Rape-Adjacent Sex. The latter (which came first): I do believe them that there's plenty of sex happening now, that isn't experienced as rape by either partner, that doesn't meet the affirmative consent standards proposed. That could include sex where both partners kind of just leapt into the act, not checking in with each other, but not hitting any snags. Sex where one or both partners was somewhere past tipsy and within sight of "too impaired to consent" but no one pulled out a breathalyzer and both parties felt ok in the morning (aside from the headache). Sex with coercion/pressure, where one partner didn't back down after an initial "No" or "I'd rather not" but the reluctant party felt more like someone who's been guilted into going to a boring party READ MORE # Something About Bernie warning: speaking from significant socioeconomic privilege. ### (0a) Scott Alexander, writing at Slate Star Codex, has some words: So presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has proposed universal free college tuition. On the one hand, I sympathize with his goals. If you can’t get any job better than 'fast food worker' without a college degree, and poor people can’t afford college degrees, that’s a pretty grim situation, and obviously unfair to the poor. ... But, well, when we require doctors to get a college degree before they can go to medical school, we’re throwing out [$5 billion], enough to house all the homeless people in the country... Senator Sanders admits that his plan would cost $70 billion per year. That's... enough to give$2000 every year to every American in poverty.

At what point do we say "Actually, no, let's not do that, and just let people hold basic jobs even if they don't cough up a a hundred thousand dollars from somewhere to get a degree in Medieval

# I'm in the HPR!

I'm in the Harvard Political Review today, with a guest piece responding to Eric Posner's anti-effective-altruism opinion in Slate:

Posner...is convinced that this tendency toward scrupulosity is enough of an issue that we should abandon the concept of effectiveness in altruism entirely. His critique, though, is not a new one—several effective altruists are also concerned about scrupulosity, and many of them have shared stories from their own lives about balancing giving effectively against more personal cares. For me, these stories are important because they demonstrate that caring about effective opportunities to do good is not mutually exclusive with making the world better in other ways you choose. (...)

Much-deserved thank-yous go to Advik Shreekumar, Ben Kuhn, and Leah Libresco for helping with edits. Meanwhile, here's the original version with footnotes (the HPR doesn't do footnotes).

Man, writing for real publications is so stressful. Word limits, even if they're only suggestions, suck.

A few things that didn't make it into the HPR version (besides those glorious, glorious footnotes):

Scott