The Tim Ferriss Show

Tim Ferriss: Bestselling Author, Human Guinea Pig

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Tim Ferriss is a self-experimenter and bestselling author, best known for The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been translated into 40+ languages. Newsweek calls him "the world's best human guinea pig," and The New York Times calls him "a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk." In this show, he deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use.


#121: Will MacAskill on Effective Altruism, Y Combinator, and Artificial Intelligence

November 22nd, 2015

Episode 227 of 396 episodes

Will MacAskill (@willmacaskill) is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Lincoln College, Oxford. Just 28 years old, he is likely the youngest associate (i.e. tenured) professor of philosophy in the world. Will is the author of Doing Good Better and a co-founder of the "effective altruism" movement. He has pledged to donate everything he earns over ~$36,000 per year to whatever charities he believes will be most effective. He has also cofounded two well-known non-profits: 80,000 Hours, which provides research and advice on how you can best make a difference through your career, and Giving What We Can, which encourages people to commit to give at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities. Between them, they have raised more than $450 million in lifetime pledged donations, and are in the top 1% of non-profits in terms of growth. He is one of the few non-profit founders who have gone through Y Combinator; for-profit companies get $120,000 for 7% of equity; as a non-profit, 80,000 Hours got $100,000 for 0% of equity. In this episode, we discuss his story and a ton of actionable tips, including: Why "following your passion" in a career is often a mistake. Thought experiments: Pascal's Wager versus Pascal's Mugging Why working for a non-profit straight out of college is also a mistake. How it's possible to "hack" doing good in the same way you would a business. Implications of artificial intelligence. The best ways to really evaluate if you (or charities) are going good in the world. The reasons donating to disaster relief typically isn't the best use of your money. Why ethical consumerism typically isn't a great way to do good. Running a non-profit in the Harvard/Navy SEALs of startup incubators: Y Combinator This podcast is brought to you by Wealthfront. Wealthfrontisa massively disruptive (in a good way) set-it-and-forget-itinvestingservice, led by technologists from places like Apple and world-famous investors. It has exploded in popularity in the last 2 yearsand now has more than $2.5B under management. In fact, some of my goodinvestorfriendsinSiliconValley havemillionsoftheir own moneyinWealthfront. Why? Because you can get services previously limited to the ultra-wealthy and only pay pennies on the dollar for them, and it’s all through smarter software instead of retail locations and bloated sales teams. Check out wealthfront.com/tim, take their riskassessmentquiz, which only takes 2-5 minutes, and they’ll showyou—for free–exactlytheportfolio they’d putyouin. If you want to just take their advice and do it yourself, you can. Or, as I would, you can set it and forget it. Well worth a few minutes: wealthfront.com/tim. Mandatory disclaimer:WealthfrontInc.isanSECregisteredInvestmentAdvisor. Investing in securities involves risks, and there is the possibility of losing money. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Please visit Wealthfront dot com to read their full disclosure. This podcast is also brought to you by Mizzen + Main. These are the only "dress" shirts I now travel with -- fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. No more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Don't forget to use the code "TIM" at checkout. Show notes and links for this episode can be found at www.fourhourworkweek.com/podcast.

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