A Final Thought on Charity

One of Robin Hanson and Kevin Simler's closing thoughts in their chapter about charity in The Elephant in the BrainĀ reads, "The forms of charity that are most effective at helping others aren't the most effective at helping donors signal their good traits. And when push comes to shove, donors will often choose to help themselves." … Continue reading A Final Thought on Charity

Marginal Charity – An Opportunity for Big Business

Big businesses strive for efficiency. If something can be reduced, eliminated, streamlined, and automated then at some point it will be. Each tiny advantage can be huge at scale, and can mean the difference between growing and laying off employees. Flaunting success, hiding failure, and maximizing at the margins are standard business operating procedures, but … Continue reading Marginal Charity – An Opportunity for Big Business

On Charity, Evolution, and Potential Blind Spots

"Spontaneous generosity may not be the most effective way to improve human welfare on a global scale, but it's effective where our ancestors needed it to be: at finding mates and building a strong network of allies." Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson include this quote in their book The Elephant in the Brain when looking … Continue reading On Charity, Evolution, and Potential Blind Spots

Well Known Charities

Another interesting consideration about charitable giving addressed in The Elephant in the Brain hasĀ  to do with which charities we chose to donate large sums of money to. If part of our charitable donations is intended to impress other people and show them how generous and caring we are, then we want to make sure … Continue reading Well Known Charities

Why Don’t We Care About People Living Far Away?

In human societies, it is quite OK to be biased toward local rather than foreign or distant concerns. We care a lot about our own family, care a little less about our neighborhood, care less about the people on the other side of town, care less about people across our state, less about people in … Continue reading Why Don’t We Care About People Living Far Away?

Motivated to Appear Generous

One of the big challenges in life is being content with ourselves and our work without needing others to notice the good things we have done. As social creatures we want acknowledgement, praise, and approval from our fellow humans, so simply being good or doing good on our own doesn't seem to satisfy us in … Continue reading Motivated to Appear Generous

Donating to Faces

In the United States there is a lot of wealth and a lot resources that are directed toward charity. One problem, however, is that the people who are the most in need of charity are generally in developing countries and economies on the other side of the globe. Those counties and individuals, where our donations … Continue reading Donating to Faces

Donations and Visible Peer Pressure

I have never been super comfortable with fund raiser activities, but there is a reason we go through so much effort with fundraising when we are parts of groups, organizations, and cash-strapped clubs. "Up to 95% of all donations are given in response to a solicitation," write Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson in The Elephant … Continue reading Donations and Visible Peer Pressure

Five Factors To Consider Regarding Our Donation Behavior

In The Elephant in the Brain, Kevin simler and Robin Hanson ask just how much of our behavior is influenced by our self-interest. As an explanation for why we do what we do, simply saying that we did something because we gained some material good, gained more social status, or received some type of pleasurable … Continue reading Five Factors To Consider Regarding Our Donation Behavior