This will be a long post. I will be presenting how I think I want to live my life ( at least for now)
i saw a video the other day, inventing on principle and i think it gave me some insight into how i want to live my life. If you’re interested, the non-computer science, philosophy part of the talk starts at 35:45
Bret Victor says that there are three type of people in the world
1) craftsman – he believes that many programmers are just very glorified craftsman, confined to some particular skill i.e. database engineer
2) entrepreneur/academics – problem solvers, taking an open problem and coming up with a solution.
3) people who live by a principle
I want to expand on this last one: people who live by principle.
they are not mutually exclusive from type 1) and type 2) . There are also type 3) people who are very good at a particular skill or at solving problems, the difference is that there is no common theme connecting all of their skills and achievements. Type 3 people first identify a moral, cultural wrong in our society. Then, they spend their whole life trying to fix this problem.
But identifying that principle takes a really really long time. You catch glimpses of it now and then. It’s only after you experience lots of different things that you find it and spend a lot of nights thinking before it comes to you.
I have a very crude version of my principle so I wanted to share it with you.
The moral wrong:
a) People who need the most access to resources i.e. food, education, technology are not getting access
b) People who have access to those things waste it.
I want to give access to people who need it by convincing people who have it to share it.
This can only be achieved through increasing the sensitivity people have towards suffering, especially teenagers.
I believe that people who want to save the world should have the funding to do so.
People who do want to save the world need to apply for grants every time they need money. And it’s only worth their time if the amount of money is sufficient.
This is akin to making workers at a for-profit write about reasons why they deserve their pay.
Thus, grants are highly inefficient ways to give out money for people to save the world.
But in today’s society, it is much more unlikely for NGO’s to receive funding than it is for for-profits.
The reason is obvious and simple. The fundamental problem is that an NGO’s impact in the world can’t be valued in monetary terms where as a worker’s work can.
The end goal for any organization I understand is to be self-sufficient, whether that means through their normal operations or through donations (for NGO’s)
Some form of an ethical problem arises. What separates charities and for-profits? Is the only difference between them that charities ask for you to voluntary give them your money while for-profits mandates an exchange of money for their services.
There is an undeniable benefit of becoming some sort of a for-profit. They are naturally efficient on monetary terms at least.
My idea of poverty seems to fit with Hans Gosling’s explanation of poverty: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZoKfap4g4w
Having said all of this, I think I need to make a new disclaimer for my benefit that I’m always wrong. Sometimes we assume we’re correct and other people are always wrong because 1) we don’t have same information 2) if 1) is not true, then the other person is just stupid 3) if 1) and 2) are not true, then the other person is just deliberately ignoring the truth.