Too Much Philanthropy News! (The downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried, plus Bezos's big pledge & Scott's latest gifts).
December 01, 2022
In this episode we take a look at a few of the biggest stories from what has been a notable newsworthy couple of weeks for philanthropy - focusing on the fallout from the spectacular implosion of crypto billionaire and high profile Effective Altruist Sam Bank-Fried. We also take a look at a big philanthropy pledge from Jeff Bezos and the latest on Mackenzie Scott's radical no-strings-attached big giving. Including:
- What the hell has happened in the SBF story?
- What impact might this have on wider efforts to promote the idea of cryptophilanthropy?
- Will SBF's downfall lead to further calls to clamp down on big money donations in politics, given his prominent support for the Democracts in recent years?
- Is it likely to mean more skepticism about philanthropic funding for journalism, given that some feel SBF's significant donations to news outlets led to him receiving less critical coverage?
- Does his downfall present an existential crisis for Effective Altruism (EA)?
- Should we distinguish between different ways of understanding EA: EA-as-movement, EA-as-ideology, EA-as-academic-field? What is the likely impact on each of these?
- Do EA movement leaders have questions to answer about whether they were complicit in what was going on at FTX, or just naive? And what are the ramifications of either?
- Did SBF's EA beliefs lead him to adopt a radical "end justifies the means" view that allowed him to justify bad behaviour?
- Is this situation a killer blow for EA's "give to earn" idea?
Scott & Bezos
- How excited should we be about pledges to give big in the future?
- What details do we have about what Bezos is actually planning to do?
- Why does the idea that "giving money away is hard" have such a long history? How is Mackenzie Scott challenging this idea?
- How should we understand "effectiveness" when it comes to philanthropy?
- Why has Bezos given $100m to Dolly Parton...?