You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

September, 2009

Donating Money to Innovation

Exploring the idea of donating money for innovation instead of funding hospital wings and academic institutions.
Overcoming Bias makes an interesting point about societal contributions. In talking about how rich people often donate large sums of money to have their name put on stuff (hospital wings, academic institutions), the author, Robin Hanson, wonders whether that money couldn't be better put to use funding innovation:
But when folks like Alex [Grass, founder or Rite Aid,] spend their later years trying to "do good" with the millions they were paid for actually doing good, they usually end up pissing it away. We already have too much medicine and academia, because such things are mainly wasteful signals. We didn't need and shouldn't be thankful for more hospital wings or lecture halls. Imagine how much more good could have been done instead via millions spent trying to make more innovative products or organizations.
Of course the latter strategy is far from guaranteed to succeed, leaving the rich person with a much-less well-rounded life story (theoretically), but it's a good point.
September 2, 2009
Noah Brier | Thanks for reading. | Don't fake the funk on a nasty dunk.