About the author

Matt is the author, co-author, secondary-author, ghost-author, and non-author of articles, speeches, book chapters, and even entire books! The most recent is his blockbuster The Accidental Activist, which Amazon claims is by his wife Anne Green. So it goes. Currently, he is President of One Step for Animals; previously, he was shitcanned from so many nonprofits that we can’t list them all here. Before Matt’s unfortunate encounter with activism, he was an aerospace engineer who wanted to work for NASA (to impress Carl Sagan). His hobbies include photography, almost dying, and {REDACTED}. He lives in Tucson with Anne, along with no dogs, no cats, no guinea pigs, and only the occasional snake or scorpion.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Taking Suffering Seriously


One of the bloggers I read regularly went to the Global Effective Altruism conference. It is a useful take on how a highly intelligent and thoughtful individual outsider views the "movement."


I especially love the conclusion - something I've tried to convey for decades, and what drives us at One Step.

"I’m not much of an effective altruist – at least, I’ve managed to evade the 80,000 Hours coaches long enough to stay in medicine. But every so often, I can see the world as they have to. Where the very existence of suffering, any suffering at all, is an immense cosmic wrongness, an intolerable gash in the world, distressing and enraging. Where a single human lifetime seems frighteningly inadequate compared to the magnitude of the problem. Where all the normal interpersonal squabbles look trivial in the face of a colossal war against suffering itself, one that requires a soldier’s discipline and a general’s eye for strategy. 
"All of these Effecting Effective Effectiveness people don’t obsess over efficiency out of bloodlessness. They obsess because the struggle is so desperate, and the resources so few. Their efficiency is military efficiency. Their cooperation is military discipline. Their unity is the unity of people facing a common enemy. And they are winning. Very slowly, WWI trench-warfare-style. But they really are."

Thanks Scott! And thanks to everyone who supports maximum suffering reduction.

1 comment:

peace said...

Your thoughts throughout this blog remind me of something I saw in real time in regards to the Women's Marches that were held after Trump's inauguration.

Some vegan demonstrators joined, holding signs that had slogans along the lines of, "I stand in solidarity with all females," and displaying photos of cows and hens.

Vegans were happily retweeting these images, with a lot of back-slapping going on within their own social bubbles. Yet when you expanded the images, you saw that the comments mainstream people had left were almost 100% negative--from mocking to outright hostile. This included many people who had taken part in the March for Women.