Comment by Alaeriia on Efficient Charity: Do Unto Others... · 2011-11-14T18:02:01.197Z · LW · GW

I apologize if I am rehashing somebody else's post; I find that skimming the comments and then putting my own .02 in is a more valuable use of my time than thoroughly reading the comments (and thus allocating less time to an English paper I have coming up) and trying to sound like I'd exhaustively researched the topic (which would take way too much time). The payoff in terms of lives saved per work unit expended (either directly through volunteering or indirectly via donating money) varies from person to person. Even among those who consider themselves rationalists, there may be variations in which charity is most "efficient". For example, if one is incapable of becoming a high-powered lawyer for some reason, one may well have a different payoff matrix in terms of "fuzzies" and ways to go about donating. In addition, a high-powered lawyer who quits his $1000-per-hour job to work at a nonprofit may inspire others to donate to said nonprofit, which might increase the amount of lives saved. Personally, I am not concerned with world-optimization; in my opinion, perfection is unattainable in any discipline (Godel undecidablilty generalized) and, as such, we should be concerned with improvement; any improvement over the baseline is "good" and should be accepted. My goal is not to leave the world as close to perfection as I can; my goal is to maximize my happiness. As such, I donate to charities that align with my beliefs and volunteer at places I enjoy volunteering at. This may not be strictly rational, but a strict rationalist is much like a working communistic government: only attainable in fiction. I apologize if I have offended anyone; I am relatively new to LW and have much to learn about the community and rationality.

Comment by Alaeriia on 2011 Less Wrong Census / Survey · 2011-11-13T20:08:08.728Z · LW · GW

Took the survey. Afraid to look up the calibration question, because I know I'm off.

Comment by Alaeriia on Welcome to Less Wrong! (2010-2011) · 2011-11-13T19:52:18.313Z · LW · GW


I am a 22-year-old middle-class male from the Boston area. I was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at a young age, and have lived most of my life on medication, primarily Concerta. I found this site after reading all of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality in one sleepless night and wanting to read more about rationality. I consider myself to be a rationalist-in-training; while I am capable of actually changing my mind (I believe), I am a procrastinator and let my emotions get the better of me at times. I am pleased to find a community of rationalists, as I can learn from them and better my own skills as a rationalist. I will likely not post very much, but the posts I do write will hopefully be of high quality. (I find that negative incentives, e.g. karma downvotes, have a powerful effect on me; also, I am a perfectionist and want anything I do to be done right the first time according to objective criteria, such as using proper grammar and such.) I can type approximately 50 words per minute (hunt-and-peck) and am obsessed with roller coasters. I hope that I will be accepted into the Less Wrong community.