Miscellaneous

“Is Leaving Wall Street Immoral? Thoughts on Effective Altruism” by Michael Kling – Since charitable donations can vastly improve many lives, the morality of leaving a well-paying job on Wall Street is unclear. The author describes hypothetical situations regarding effective altruism, referencing Peter Singer’s book The Most Good You Can Do and his TED talk. Kling also touches on issues pertaining to Wall Street, self interest, and more existential concerns such as global warming. (2015 blog post)

“S-Town is a stunning podcast. It probably shouldn’t have been made.” by Aja Romano – The author gives an overview of S-Town, a podcast produced by Brian Reed. In S-Town, John, a clock restorer living in Alabama, asks Reed to investigate a local murder before unexpectedly committing suicide. Most of the podcast delves into John’s private life, and although Romano praises the podcast for its emotional content, she raises questions concerning John’s privacy and the story’s overall message. (2017 opinion)

“You and Your Research” by Richard Hamming – Hamming discusses the pursuit of great research, while referencing multiple anecdotes from his own career. He emphasizes that luck and brains, while necessary to some extent, must accompany the courage to do important problems, tremendous drive and focus, and tolerance for ambiguity. Great research also requires being sold through clear writing, formal talks, and informal talks; ego checks, anger management, and optimism are also important. (1986 speech, transcribed by J. F. Kaiser)

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