I used to be extremely politically engaged, and although I don't want to sound cynical, I'd say that I've largely lost interest in following political trends and movements closely. In the future, I might contribute to some organizations underneath the Effective Altruism banner (i.e. vetted by GiveWell), but other than that, I don't particularly have the urge to be an activist directly. To the extent that I want to make political statements, I want to do them indirectly, through art, which I think can be a very powerful medium for effecting social change (for example, art that humanized gay characters undoubtedly played a significant role in pushing LGBT rights forward).
So here's a random rundown of various opinions I have:
In in my late twenties now, and I've seen enough death to understand that my life is a fragile thing, a contingent thing. I value my time greatly and give thanks for each day above ground. I've never really valued money beyond its basic utilitarian function of freeing up my time (most of my hobbies are cheap or inexpensive), so I've never really chased money as an end in and of itself.
The reason is simple: time is the most important commodity you have. James Altucher explained is thusly: time is the one commodity you trade for everything else.
But what if that assumption is wrong? What if you could exchange money for time?
Life extension technology is an area of active research, but clinical applications are likely decades away. We can assume that, like all advanced technologies, they will only initially be available for the wealthy.
Further, what if life extension technology in, say, 50 years, could extend your lifespan another 50, 75 years? That would significantly increase the probability that you'd make it to the singularity (the term intelligence explosion is probably a better term), where advanced AI could plausibly grant those humans still alive with immortality (biological or digital immortality).
Thus, the utility function of accumulating vast wealth could plausibly be infinite. Consider the following probability function:
Let's say the actual value is super small: like, 0.00001%. It almost doesn't matter, since the utility function would approach infinity (or however long it would take for life to exhaust the entropy of the universe, which, relative to human time horizons, may as well be infinity).
Here's an analogy: if you work really, really hard, and get super rich - you might have a ticket to heaven. It's a really small chance, but it's not zero.
Maybe I should have joined a startup instead of becoming a writer.
I hope Skynet likes my book.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis