80,000 Hours

You have 80,000 working hours in your life.

How do you decide what to do with them?

80000hours.org is an interesting website which offers advise to students and graduates of how they can best make a difference in the world during their careers.

Some of their key ideas –Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 11.50.41 AM

They recommended that I work for a thinktank. I don’t know how happy I am about that. But I appreciate their evidence based approach to helping people decide what they want to do with their lives. I’m not so sure how altruistic it is. It could be construed as a way for people who have been very fortunate in a highly unequal world justifying their good fortune and continuing to try and earn as much as possible, without doing anything to truly tackle the engrained unfairness in the world. The vast wages that it is possible to earn in the developed world perpetuate an unjust global system. You don’t tackle it by trying to earn as much as possible whilst giving a large percentage away, you tackle it by being consistent and principled in your belief that these astronomical wages are not necessary in the first place and are a problem on a macro not a micro level. Professional philanthropy props up perpetual poverty. PPPPP.

For a debate over what makes an ethical career see – https://oxfordleftreview.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/issue-7.pdf – The Ethical Careers Debate: a Discussion between Ben Todd, Sebastian Farquhar, and Pete Mills, edited by Tom Cutterham

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