People and Things I Would Fund If I Were a Billionairecreated date: ; modified date: ; status: always in progress
- The development of new scientific tools, as many scientific discoveries arise from utilizing novel tools
- For a recent example of how this can be useful, see Open Philanthropy’s funding of Edward Boyden lab’s expansion microscopy, which was rejected by government funding bodies multiple times
- Expansion of human senses, e.g.
I believe that one of the highest impact uses of money is to pay individuals to critically assess, summarize, systematize, and put into larger perspective new (and old) scientific knowledge. Examples are
- Sarah Constantin’s The Longevity Research Institute
- Bret Victor’s Dynamicland
- Throwing money at scientists and designers in search of vastly better teaching materials, as described in the Addendum on motivation of Michael Nielsen’s Reinventing explanation
- actually, I’m planning to try working on much better teaching materials myself
- Fund Gwern (his Patreon).
- Fund a friend who’s a first class economic historian but who works 9-5 because he needs money to do research full-time
- Fund a polymath friend who lives on the edge of poverty due to an executive function disorder
Note: if you want to fund any of my friends mentioned here, do message me
An Interlude on Important Problems and Where to Get Funding for Them
Speculative businesses / services
- Fund Twitter alternatives (since Mastodon sucks)
- Fund a Facebook alternative?????
- Fund development of Visual History-like browser extension, which would provide browsing history as a directed-graph.
- Create the new ACLU
Translations from Russian
- Most of Andrei Movchan’s facebook posts (I translated one myself)
- Занимательная Греция, Михаил Гаспаров — this is the best book on Ancient Greece I’ve ever read
- И возвращается ветер, Владимир Буковский — an autobiography of a famous Soviet dissident. There is an English translation but for some reason it skips parts of the book.
- Pay someone to make Hugo generate TOC and render KaTeX simultaneously (right now it’s TOC with .md or KaTeX with .mmark)
- Randomly anonymously donate to people maintaining open source projects (not stating what the donation is for, so that not to mess up their incentives)
- Fund somebody to create a wearable compass à la North Paw / feelSpace