Episode 349

Generosity, Cynicism, and the Future of Doing Good

A Conversation with Chris Anderson

January 16, 2024

Sam Harris speaks with Chris Anderson about generosity in the age of the Internet. They talk about the new spirit of cynicism in tech and finance, the problems with DEI, the Coleman Hughes controversy at TED, the norm of color blindness, the science of generosity, the leverage of the Internet, the false opposition between selfishness and selflessness, mixed motives in giving, results vs reward, the importance of intentions, looking for the good in people, digital business models, the economics of TED, TEDx, wealth inequality, the ethics of billionaires, philanthropy at scale, the power of pledges, the arguments of Peter Singer, the Sam Bankman-Fried scandal, problems with Effective Altruism, how to improve our digital lives, and other topics.

Chris Anderson is the curator of TED. Trained as a journalist after graduating Oxford University, he launched more than 100 magazines and websites before acquiring TED through his nonprofit foundation in 2001. His TED mantra—"ideas worth spreading"—continues to blossom on an international scale, with over 3,600 videos free on TED.com and 100,000 more on YouTube. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller TED Talks and has overseen the introduction of, among others, the TEDx program, the TED-Ed initiative, and the Audacious Project, a bold new philanthropic model to inspire change at scale. His latest book is Infectious Generosity.

Website: https://www.infectiousgenerosity.org/

Twitter: @TEDchris

Related Link: Both the income pledge and the 2.5% wealth pledge can be signed at givingwhatwecan.org


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