Doing Good Better: How Effective Altruism Can Help You Make a Difference
Product rating: 4.6 with 34 reviews
Most of us want to make a difference. We donate our time and money to charities and causes we deem worthy, choose careers we consider meaningful, and patronize businesses and buy products we believe make the world a better place. Unfortunately, we often base these decisions on assumptions and emotions rather than facts. As a result, even our best intentions often lead to ineffective—and sometimes downright harmful—outcomes. How can we do better?
While a researcher at Oxford, trying to figure out which career would allow him to have the greatest impact, William MacAskill confronted this problem head on. He discovered that much of the potential for change was being squandered by lack of information, bad data, and our own prejudice. As an antidote, he and his colleagues developed effective altruism, a practical, data-driven approach that allows each of us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists believe that it’s not enough to simply do good; we must do good better.
At the core of this philosophy are five key questions that help guide our altruistic decisions: How many people benefit, and by how much? Is this the most effective thing I can do? Is this area neglected? What would have happened otherwise? What are the chances of success, and how good would success be? By applying these questions to real-life scenarios, MacAskill shows how many of our assumptions about doing good are misguided. For instance, he argues one can potentially save more lives by becoming a plastic surgeon rather than a heart surgeon; measuring overhead costs is an inaccurate gauge of a charity’s effectiveness; and, it generally doesn’t make sense for individuals to donate to disaster relief.
MacAskill urges us to think differently, set aside biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse. When we do this—when we apply the head and the heart to each of our altruistic endeavors—we find that each of us has the power to do an astonishing amount of good.
Posted in Personal Transformation Tagged with: Altruism, Better, Difference, Doing, Effective, Good, Gotham, Help, Make
Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow: My Life as a Country Vet
Product rating: 4.8 with 300 reviews
The star of The Incredible Dr. Pol shares his amusing, and often poignant, tales from his four decades as a vet in rural Michigan.
Dr. Jan Pol is not your typical veterinarian. Born and raised the Netherlands on a dairy farm, he is the star of Nat Geo Wild’s hit show The Incredible Dr. Pol
and has been treating animals in rural Michigan since the 1970s. Dr. Pol’s more than 20,000 patients have ranged from white mice to 2600-pound horses and everything in between.
From the time he was twelve years old and helped deliver a litter of piglets on his family’s farm to the incredible moments captured on his hit TV show, Dr. Pol has amassed a wealth of stories of what it’s like caring for this menagerie of animals. He shares his own story of growing up surrounded by animals, training to be a vet in the Netherlands, and moving to Michigan to open his first practice in a pre fab house. He has established himself as an empathetic yet no-nonsense vet who isn’t afraid to make the difficult decisions in order to do what’s best for his patients—and their hard-working owners. A sick pet can bring heartache, but a sick cow or horse could threaten the very livelihood of a farmer whose modest profits are dependent on healthy livestock.
Reminiscent of the classic books of James Herriot, Never Turn Your Back on an Angus Cow is a charming, fascinating, and funny memoir that will delight animal lovers everywhere.
Posted in Memoirs Tagged with: Angus, Back, Country, Gotham, Life, Never, Turn, Your