Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Best PR Money Can Buy

This New Yorker piece on Oxford Professor William MacAskill, the "Reluctant Prophet of Effective Altruism," is hilarious for a million reasons. And by hilarious I mean bullshit from start to finish. Hasn't been this much bullshit in the New Yorker since Jeffrey Goldberg was chasing Hezbollah in South America! But I wanted to pick one thing:
MacAskill limits his personal budget to about twenty-six thousand pounds a year, and gives everything else away.
If you're wondering how this weirdo has a plum position at Oxford, the answer is, "because he brought in lots of grant money." Anyway, if you know anything about how the world works, you know that MacAskill - buddies with Sam Bankman-Fried - has had to spend some time with rich people. Rich people go out to dinner and drop 500 pounds without even thinking about it. Rich people just spend money. Limiting his "personal budget to about twenty-six thousand pounds a year," even if we pretend this is true at all and not complete bullshit, requires taking a very very very very very narrow view of what "personal budget" means.

New Yorker, various substackers, Vox, Democratic polling firms. Tremendous con, guys, hats off to you.