Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
AaronSW may have left everything to Givewell, an efficient meta-charity
92 points by Eliezer on Jan 12, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments
* http://www.reddit.com/user/AaronSw#c4e7n4h

* http://www.givewell.org/

In this age of famous tech names donating millions or billions to charity, it may surprise you to realize that many of us consider these donations to be missed opportunities in terms of how much good could have been accomplished for the same amount of money, given more quantitative ways of evaluating the good done by a charity. Givewell is the leader in this form of evaluation and makes an extremely credible claim to be able to identify charities that use well-analyzed methods to achieve literally orders of magnitude more good per dollar than the usual suspects. There is no efficient market in utilons, but Givewell is trying to create one.

By giving to Givewell itself, Aaron Swartz's final legacy may be expected to accomplish far more good in the world than less carefully chosen gifts involving hundreds of millions of dollars.

I am not myself employed by or otherwise involved with Givewell, and my opinions and phrasing of the above have not been seen or approved by Givewell.

I haven't followed Givewell recently, but they were involved in a fiasco over at metafilter where they were sockpuppeting to promote themselves and bad-mouth competitors. Unethical behavior of the founders aside, the devil is in the details and you should do your homework before falling in love with their elevator pitch.

http://metatalk.metafilter.com/15547/GiveWell-or-Give-em-Hel... is the main thread, but search metatalk for several follow-up threads.

Yep, they discuss that on their mistakes/shortcomings page: http://www.givewell.org/about/shortcomings#overaggressiveand...

Looks like it ended in late 2007.

Aaron has had a very expensive federal court battle. It may be that he still had leftover money from the sale of reddit, but Lessig's blog on the subject suggested financial troubles. Lets remain silent on this topic at the moment, unless this turns out not to be the case.

I should have expected no less from someone with such clarity of thought and breadth of study.

Relevant link, a post of his: http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/stepback

Or really, that entire series of posts, called 'Raw Nerve': http://www.aaronsw.com/weblog/rawnerve

I am quite sad today - I really am. :-(

It's OK to feel sad. If you start feeling worse, reach out to someone. Happy to talk if you need---email in profile.

Same thoughts myself. I am still in Vegas for CES, and I can't even imagine partying- instead I just feel I need to write more articles and I want to donate to EFF and the likes this year more. We need to support those who make us have access to "real information". Such a tragic day for not just information advocacy spaces, but new media...

This post pretty much sums up my thoughts of how I feel I should deal with what happened. http://lessig.tumblr.com/post/40347463044/prosecutor-as-bull... Justice is thwarted and heroes are painted as evil... the brilliant work hard to give us information and the government makes their life hell.

:( Same here, but rather perplexed...

Same here Denzil. :(

So sad for friends of AS

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact