Mathematical Morality: The Ideology that Justifies Billionaires


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How can billionaires justify the endless accumulation of wealth? Effective altruism. An almost religious philosophical belief. Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO and founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX is a major proponent, as is Elon Musk.

Now, SBF and many in Effective Altruism have also embraced longtermism, a strand of extreme utilitarian thinking that tells us we should worry about the interests of future people -- trillions of future people, 1000s of years into the future, and in planets far away. We examine the complicated moral math of longtermism with Émile P. Torres, a former longtermist who is now one of the movement's sharpest apostates.


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