It’s easy to see that was wrong in hindsight.

But imagine he had managed to keep the ball rolling a few years/decades, producing billions for good causes in the meantime and promoting at the higher level. And that vanished little by little without much attention — yet another promise failing.

The main “victims” would have been a bunch of wealthy celebrities and investors (and yes, also tens of thousands of small customers; mostly relatively rich human beings living in wealthy countries). I can see how the positive impact could outweigh all those losses.

I’m not saying he did the right thing. (For one, we don’t know yet what he did, exactly. Of course, if rumours of funds being siphoned out of turn out to be true, and SBF and his circle are behind that, the guy is a monster.) I’m just saying we all face analogous (if also much lower-stake) trade-offs routinely, and we make decisions estimating odds and computing expected value (perhaps unconsciously) all the time.

The () conundrum might be solvable by throwing these propositions into the mix:

  1. He’s “earning to give”
  2. He’s an utilitarian
  3. He thinks that “the end justifies the means”
  4. He’s explicitly risk-neutral

He simply computed the probability of getting away with financial engineering and deception times the potential increase in well-being (by tossing billions at causes), and that seemed to him higher than the odds of being caught times {investors and customers’ funds lost plus the huge reputational damage that would inflict to the cause}.

So he pressed the red button and bet the world. And he lost.

It’s not trivial to find the flaw in his reasoning, though.

I’m thinking of donating to a few services, products and organisations that I use and respect, and that I think are doing a lot of good. (That on top of my yearly 10% donation and the tiny contributions that I do every month through .)

I’m making a little list of beneficiaries. My idea is to throw ~1m₿ to each project, or the equivalent in fiat.

I’ll share the list soon. There are some obvious entries (eg, Wikimedia Foundation, F-Droid, Mastodon), but if you want to suggest something specific, I’m all ears!

The core of effective altruism is the Drowning Child scenario. The world is full of death and suffering. Your money (or time, or whatever resource you prefer to spend) could fix more of it than you think — one controversial analysis estimates $5,000 to save a life. You would go crazy if you tried to devote 100% of your time and money to helping others. But if you decide to just help when you feel like it or a situation comes up, you’ll probably forget. Is there some more systematic way to commit yourself to some amount between 0% and 100% of your effort (traditionally 10%)? And once you’ve done that, how do you make those resources go as far as possible? This is , the rest is just commentary.”

Last week I donated 10% of my gross income of 2021 to Ayuda Efectiva as part of my commitment to the “Giving What We Can” Pledge.


This is more or less how I spend the #money I earn #finance #economics #EffectiveAltruism #EA #philanthropy

being sued by again, this time in 🇮🇳 . Some members are mounting a defence.

Contribute with legal expertise, money, or diffusion. Also, if you’re a professor, you can sign in support of SciHub.

“I discovered when I started making that I didn’t really need it. When you have such an excess of money you don’t need, the most sensible, most human and completely obvious thing is to give to people in need.”


If you know me IRL, and you are the kind of friend or colleague who would buy me a for my (imminent) , please take a look at


📅 International Effective Giving Day 🌐

A free online giving you the chance to hear from some of the world's most eminent thinkers in . Keynote address: Nobel Laureate Professor . Supported by the world’s leading organizations in effective philanthropy and charity evaluation. Also featuring: Johannes Ackva (Climate Lead Founders Pledge), Leah Edgerton (Executive Director Animal Charity Evaluators), Neil Buddy Shah (Managing Director, ).

Nov 30 2020 @ 18:45 CET

🇪🇸 + Juan García (Allfed):
«Alternativas alimentarias en caso de catástrofe global»

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