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Will MacAskill of Effective Altruism Fame — The Value of Longtermism, AI, and How to Save the World


Will MacAskill of Effective Altruism Fame — The Value of Longtermism, Tools for Beating Stress and Overwhelm, AI Scenarios, High-Impact Books, and How to Save the World and Be an Agent of Change | Brought to you by LinkedIn Jobs recruitment platform with 800M+ users (https://linkedin.com/Tim), Vuori comfortable and durable performance apparel (http://vuoriclothing.com/Tim), and Theragun percussive muscle therapy devices (http://therabody.com/tim).

William MacAskill (@willmacaskill) is an associate professor in philosophy at the University of Oxford. At the time of his appointment, he was the youngest associate professor of philosophy in the world. A Forbes 30 Under 30 social entrepreneur, he also cofounded the nonprofits Giving What We Can, the Centre for Effective Altruism, and Y Combinator-backed 80,000 Hours, which together have moved over $200 million to effective charities. You can find my 2015 conversation with Will at tim.blog/will.

His new book is What We Owe the Future (https://www.amazon.com/What-Owe-Future-William-MacAskill/dp/1541618629/?tag=offsitoftimfe-20). It is blurbed by several guests of the podcast, including Sam Harris, who wrote, “No living philosopher has had a greater impact upon my ethics than Will MacAskill. . . . This is an altogether thrilling and necessary book.”

Bookshop.org members can get 50% off pre-ordering What We Owe The Future with the code FERRISS50 at this link: https://bookshop.org/books/what-we-owe-the-future/9781541618626

Please enjoy!

Show notes and resources: https://tim.blog/2022/08/02/will-macaskill-what-we-owe-the-future/

00:00 Start
00:01:46 Recommended reading.
00:08:00 How Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment changed Will’s life.
00:12:33 Maintaining optimism in the age of doomscrolling.
00:18:41 What is effective altruism?
00:21:22 Resources for maximizing the impact of your philanthropy.
00:23:13 How adopting a check-in system has most improved Will’s life.
00:26:43 Caffeine limits.
00:28:08 Effective back pain relief.
00:35:49 What is longtermism, and why did Will write What We Owe the Future?
00:38:21 Future generations matter.
00:41:30 Finding the line between apathy and fatalism that spurs action toward ensuring there’s a future.
00:47:22 What Will hopes readers take away from What We Owe the Future.
00:51:08 What is value lock-in?
00:57:13 Most concerning threats projected over the next 10 years.
01:05:41 Most promising developments happening now.
01:10:09 How Will refocuses during periods of overwhelm.
01:15:02 Perils of AI considered plausible by the people who create it.
01:27:24 Longtermist-minded resources and actions we can take now.
01:33:22 Parting thoughts.

About Tim Ferriss:
Tim Ferriss is one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Business People” and an early-stage tech investor/advisor in Uber, Facebook, Twitter, Shopify, Duolingo, Alibaba, and 50+ other companies. He is also the author of five #1 New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers: The 4-Hour Workweek, The 4-Hour Body, The 4-Hour Chef, Tools of Titans and Tribe of Mentors. The Observer and other media have named him “the Oprah of audio” due to the influence of his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, which has exceeded 700 million downloads and been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three years running.

Connect with Tim Ferriss:
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