My talk on earning to give

Which I gave last weekend, can be found here. I learned a lot from the ensuing discussion, which is included in the linked audio, so I strongly recommend you give it a listen. The discussion continued after the part recorded above, and during that time someone made an interesting point, relevant to wannabe tech entrepreneurs, [Read More...]

So you’re thinking of applying to App Academy…

The entire reason I have my current programming job is because of App Academy. App Academy is a great program, because they take people with talent but little programming experience and, after a nine week intensive course, graduates are able to get jobs with starting salaries averaging $100,000 a year. Best of all, you don’t [Read More...]

Philosophy vs. programming

I used to be a PhD candidate in philosophy, but now I’m working as a software engineer, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I got a Facebook message asking for advice for someone trying to decide between philosophy and programming as careers, from the point of view of what career will allow [Read More...]

Why it kinda sorta matters that early Christian leaders could have been frauds

I say the topic of my post only kinda sorta matters, because anyone’s obligated too much to worry about what exactly happened with the origins of Christianity. Anyone who knows their Biblical scholarship 101 should realize that the available evidence is extremely sketchy to the point that it’s obviously ludicrous to try, as some Christian [Read More...]

Information toxicity, or why I feel bad about my post on Elliot Rodger the other day

Earlier this week, a friend shared a rather amusing Guardian article on Facebook: If I’ve learned anything, it’s that I don’t much care for mood-altering substances. But I’m not afraid of them either. With one exception. It’s perhaps the biggest threat to the nation’s mental wellbeing, yet it’s freely available on every street – for [Read More...]

Scattered thoughts on Elliot Roger, evolution, and gender

I have a theory on Elliot Roger that I haven’t seen anyone else mention yet. The theory comes from chapter 6 of Steven Pinker’s excellent book How The Mind Works. The chapter is entitled “Hotheads,” and begins as follows: On March 13, 1996, Thomas Hamilton walked into an elementary school in Dunblane, Scotland, carrying two [Read More...]

Why I changed my mind and took the Giving What We Can Pledge

It costs the Against Malaria Foundation $5 to distribute an anti-malarial bednet, and it’s been estimated that they manage to save one life for about every $2,000 they spend on malaria prevention. * The Schistosomiasis Control Initiative provides deworming treatments for pennies on the dollar. Given this, if you want to make the world a [Read More...]

I’m giving a talk on earning to give on June 8th

I’m giving a short talk on earning to give on June 8th, as part of a meetup that will include two other short talks relating to effective altruism. The event is taking place a 2pm at 1561 Cayuga Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112 (a private residence, but I have permission to post the address online). [Read More...]

PSA: This Easter, please remember to fact-check before sharing or retweeting

ishtar-easter

Hey everyone, see this image? The claims it makes are bullshit. As you could find out with literally a minute on Google or Wikipedia: The modern English term Easter, cognate with modern German Ostern, developed from the Old English word Ēastre or Ēostre.[nb 2] This is generally held to have originally referred to the name [Read More...]


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