[These are notes that I wrote August2012 and were not really meant for anyone but myself. Collapse recovery scenarios is what makes really bad GCRs into extinction risks, so I thought it would be good to know about existing bunker facts. I had engineered pathogens (which I refer to as "bioterrorism"), world nuclear war, and maybe asteroids in mind. A little bit embarrassing but there's a few good ideas and sources in there, I think.]
[These are barely started posts for my earning to give for the far future blogging attempt]
Ambition causes strategic gaps but is still anchored to the present
No matter how crazy unusual and ambitious your goals are, you still need to deal with yourself. Self improvement continues to matter, your health, your savings, your routine. This is the place you still have in common with muggles though you've abandoned the every day goals they aspire to.
On top of this, the same analogy goes for society and the far-future. No matter how crazy unusual or ambitious your goals or the goals society should have, society still needs to manage itself. Avoid catastrophy continues to matter, which includes a stable economy, the ability to direct unexpected resources at a problem, how it governs itself. This is the place your utopian dreams and plans has in common with the traditional forms of stable society though you've abandoned the everyday future results society aspires to.
Paying to reduce risks from a specific GCR
How could I best donate money to prevent damage from a specific GCR like synthetic pathogens or super-volcanoes? For each of these causes, I could give to the upper-meta EA organizations, give to GCRI, or FHI. These organizations should make generic progress towards solving these issues, but I'm interested in finding the options that are specific enough to have different giving targets for each cause.
Finding an organization whose direct and only mission is reducing the GCR
Fund analysts to break down the issue (like x-risk into anthropogenic x-risk, or dystopic futures)
Form an organization that can interface with related orgs, like GCRI did
[This is an unfinished blog post attempting to split up and name some earning to give styles based on the budgeting breakdown in Funnel Budgeting.]
Lumpers vs Tricklers
Lumpers give at the end of the year and tricklers give monthly. These styles lie on the general frequency dimension. Extremes include a save-and-bequest model on the lumper side and Bitcoin transaction stream on the trickler side.
Budgeters vs Surplusers
Budgeters give from their budget. Thresholders give from their unbudgeted surplus money. A Fractional Surpluser breaks their surplus money into targets and then puts their money into each target at a specific fraction, per target. A Full Surpluser has charity as their only target, but other options would be 50/50 charity/savings, or 20/40/40 charity/travel/savings.
I'm undecided on the appropriate giving frequency but lean towards monthly, am currently budgeting but will transition to surplus giving, and am leaning towards keeping travel and savings in my budget and so would be giving everything over a threshold.
So in 2014 I'll likely be a Fully Surplusing Trickler wrt E2G.
[I was going to start blogging on earning to give for the far future (E2G4FF Blog) and this was the intro post.]
WTF are you talking about?
Great question! Here's some context. EffectiveAltruism is a movement whose members are trying to help others the best way they can. They focus on increasing welfare and on taking evidence seriously when selecting causes and charities to support.
Current effective altruists focus on 4 broad areas: Humans, Animals, the Far-Future, and Meta activities. An even broader distinction is whether effective altruists are giving their time or their money. People usually occupy more than one of these 8 focus-giving pairs, e.g. focusing on both animal and meta charities, or giving both volunteering time and some money.
For those serious about giving money who are not already rich, there's a new strategy called 'Earning-to-Give' which is about finding ways to earn money to give to charity.
Working on a Far-Future cause is both controversial and extremely complicated. Earning-to-Give is also controversial and psychologically terrifying. Neither make it easy to feel warm fuzzies because the consequences are so distant. But knowing people will rationalize away from Earning-to-Give and giving to Far-Future charities makes it even more important that someone is picking up the slack. So I'm going to suppress the excuses and start Earning-to-Give for the Far-Future. Find out how and help me do by following this blog!
[An almost finished blog post that was supposed to be a set up for talking about E2G Strategies.]
Budgeting is important but annoying, so I have pictures! [Needs the picture. Should be a funnel with little spillover thingies on top.]
Imagine green glittery goo. If you have a steady income, you can imagine it flowing out of a hose or maybe sputtering out every 2 weeks. A personal budget can be usefully split into three budgeting mechanisms, all of which can be implemented with a special funnel. There are continuous funding targets that do not change as your income changes, but need constant replenishment. There are buffer funding targets that require filling once and then never again unless they are used. Then there are surplus funding targets that change as your income changes. Continuous targets determine the nozzle size, Buffer targets determine the height of the funnel, and Surplus targets determine the the spillover partition sizes.
Now we can ask, where should I put a specific funding target? Let's look at rent. If you don't plan on moving, your rent budget doesn't need to change as your income changes. If you make more, that extra money will go elsewhere. If you make less, you'll still have to pay rent, and so money will need to be taken from elsewhere. This makes it a good Continuous funding target.
What about travel? One scheme would be to give yourself a fixed yearly travel budget, but most people seem to travel using their spare money as well. You could imagine making it part of the Continuous funds or the Surplus funds. You need to get the goo from somewhere so to fund your traveling you'd either widen the nozzle or create a spillover partition.
Does it make sense to both widen the nozzle and create a partition? This would mean you fund travel at a fixed rate and also a dynamic rate as a fraction of your surplus. Most people seem to treat travel this way, implicitly, and of course you can fund anything any way you want to, but I think the power of the Funnel model shines through here. You should never have a nozzle and spillover partition feeding into the same target. Thinking you need both is a sign that you're conflating two targets. With travel you might think you need to go on vacation whether you're rich or poor to avoid burnout, but you also think that your spare money should go to further travel. In this case it means you should think in terms of two targets, a fixed Travel Sanity Budget and a dynamic Earned Travel Budget.
Let's look at savings. Of course, there are many saving purposes so we can expect to treat each differently. Many people live paycheck to paycheck, but most people agree you should have enough to cover K months (4-8?) without a job. This kind of savings is best modeled as a Buffer fund and so is equivalent to the Funnel height. If we want 6 months of Buffer savings, this means we need a tall enough funnel so that even after our incoming goo-flow stops, there will be enough goo inside to drain for 6 months without running out.