Answers to interesting questions from Colin Marshall.

3 responses to “Interview

  1. mitchell porter

    Katja says in her interview

    “These days my most unusual practical application of thinking is to try to save most of my money to give to the most worthy cause I can find.”

    Can all the readers of this blog please gang up and demand of her that she save this money for her own use, thereby investing in herself? Katja really does appear to be a completely unworldly person who has no idea that the institutions and practices of society have not anticipated the existence of a person like herself, and have made no advance provisions to support her.

    Katja, the more of your money you give away, the less capable you will be of meeting your own needs, and no-one else really understands what those needs are. If you ever do decide that your purpose in life can be satisfied from within some prefabricated social niche, like economics PhD student, this will no longer apply so much, because there are social mechanisms for funding such people. Right now, though, it seems to me that you’re at university just because it’s a moderately stimulating place to park yourself while you get on with your real career of Internet polymathy. But that career does not pay and you will run out of money eventually.

    You have enough fans and come from enough of a middle-class background that it seems unlikely you will just end up on the street. But it is truly the height of folly for you to want to give your money away. *You* are an investment priority, the world should be investing in you, and if it isn’t doing so, then you have to do it yourself!

  2. It seems Katja has rationalized her altruism the same way Peter Singer has. Singer acknowledges his hypocrisies and defends them by saying “at least I give more than *you* do.” That’s fair. For a brain that evolved to propagate DNA in primitive hunter-gatherer societies it is capable of impressive feats of logic and reason (if you tweak it just right and take especial care in checking those biases peculiar to what we call “reason”), but you can’t completely deny what you are. There is a sweet spot between asceticism and feeding the beast.

    Also, as Mr. Porter suggests, please invest in yourself Ms. Grace. Consider it meta-charity.

  3. Pingback: Being ethical vs feeling ethical «  Modeled Behavior


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