- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Avery (July 28 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1592409105
- ISBN-13: 978-1592409105
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.4 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 454 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #166,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference Hardcover – Jul 28 2015
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“Beautifully written and extremely smart. Doing Good Better should be required reading for anyone interested in making the world better.”—Steven D. Levitt, #1 New York Times bestselling co-author of Freakonomics and When to Rob a Bank
“This is the most valuable guide to charitable giving ever published. Even readers who disagree with MacAskill’s conclusions about the value of particular charitable donations will make smarter decisions by learning from his analysis.”—Paul Brest, co-director, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and former president, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
"A straightforward guide to help anyone make the largest possible difference in the lives of others." —Sue Desmond-Hellman, CEO of the Gates Foundation
"We research hotels and headphones and sushi bars—but not charities. That is lunacy. And in this powerful and persuasive book, William MacAskill shows us how much we stand to gain from a little bit of thoughtfulness: The same donation could do hundreds of times more good if given to the most effective charities, rather than the least"—Dan Heath, co-author of the New York Times bestsellers Made to Stick, Switch, and Decisive
“Effective altruism—efforts that actually help people rather than making you feel good or helping you show off—is one of the great new ideas of the twenty-first century. Doing Good Better is the definitive guide to this exciting new movement.”—Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and author of The Better Angels of Our Nature
“Doing Good Better is a superb achievement. This must-read book will lead people to change their careers, their lives, and the world, for the better.”—Peter Singer, Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, author of Animal Liberation and The Most Good You Can Do
“Doing Good Better is a must-read for anyone with both a heart and a brain. MacAskill demolishes the lazy myths of nothing-you-can-do-ism and demonstrates the power of asking the right questions. This is an important book. It's also surprisingly fun. Figuring out what really helps people is a challenging scientific puzzle, and these pages are full of unexpected twists—enlightening and invigorating.”—Joshua Greene, director of Harvard's Moral Cognition Lab, author of Moral Tribes
“Humanity currently spends more money on cigarette ads than on making sure that we as a species survive this century. We've got our priorities all wrong, and we need effective altruism to right them. If you want to make a real difference on the biggest issues of our time, you need to read Doing Good Better.”— Jaan Tallinn, cofounder, Skype and Kazaa
“Doing Good Better has rare combination of strikingly original ideas, effortless clarity of delivery, and a thoroughgoing practicality that leaves the reader inspired to get out of their chair and take on the world. Humanity faces some big challenges in the 21st century; this is a much-needed manifesto for social change, and Will MacAskill is the ideal ambassador.”—Eric Drexler, founder of nanotechnology and author of Engines of Creation
“MacAskill tackles a monumental question: how can we make the biggest difference for the greatest number of people? His answer is a grand vision to make giving, volunteering, spending, and working more worthwhile.”—Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take
“Are you interested in giving away money more effectively? This is the very best book on how to do that.” —Tyler Cowen, Holbert C. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University and author of Average is Over
“I wish I'd had this structure and insights twenty years ago!”—Caroline Fiennes, Director, Giving Evidence
About the Author
William MacAskill is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at Oxford University and the cofounder of the nonprofit organizations Giving What We Can and 80,000 Hours. These nonprofits have raised over $400 million in lifetime pledged donations to charity and helped to spark the effective altruism movement. He is a contributor to Quartz, the online business magazine of The Atlantic and he and his organizations have been featured in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and TED, among other media outlets. He lives in Oxford, England.See all Product description
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I sometimes got the feeling that MacAskill enjoys being a contrarian, which can get in the way of his objectivity. His recommendations also sometimes seem sounder in theory than in practice. For example, he recommends that people donate to Cool Earth as a way to offset their greenhouse gas emissions, but Cool Earth doesn't actually provide a way to purchase offsets -- you can save an acre or save a tree, but you can't currently purchase an area of forest that stores an amount of carbon equivalent to your personal footprint. Similarly, the "don't follow your passion" advice may prove difficult for many people to follow over the long term, and in fact at least a few early adopters of the "earning to give" concept have since switched careers.
Most people surveyed want to help the world, but don't think very hard about how to do it most effectively, especially using numbers to guide your actions. Even if you don't follow all of the advice in this book, it is a great starting point for thinking about how to live your life.
It gets my highest recommendation.
The techniques he proposes are widely used in other situations and if one had a predisposition to use them one would be doing so already. He's preaching to the choir.