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Too Much Philanthropy News! (The downfall of Sam Bankman-Fried, plus Bezos’s big pledge & Scott’s latest gifts).

In this episode we take a look at a few of the biggest stories from what has been a notable newsworthy couple of weeks for philanthropy – focusing on the fallout from the spectacular implosion of crypto billionaire and high profile Effective Altruist Sam Bank-Fried. We also take a look at a big philanthropy pledge from Jeff Bezos and the latest on Mackenzie Scott’s radical no-strings-attached big giving.



  • What the hell has happened in the SBF story?
  • What impact might this have on wider efforts to promote the idea of cryptophilanthropy?
  • Will SBF’s downfall lead to further calls to clamp down on big money donations in politics, given his prominent support for the Democracts in recent years?
  • Is it likely to mean more skepticism about philanthropic funding for journalism, given that some feel SBF’s significant donations to news outlets led to him receiving less critical coverage?
  • Does his downfall present an existential crisis for Effective Altruism (EA)?
  • Should we distinguish between different ways of understanding EA: EA-as-movement, EA-as-ideology, EA-as-academic-field? What is the likely impact  on each of these?
  • Do EA movement leaders have questions to answer about whether they were complicit in what was going on at FTX, or just naive? And what are the ramifications of either?
  • Did SBF’s EA beliefs lead him to adopt a radical “end justifies the means” view that allowed him to justify bad behaviour?
  • Is this situation a killer blow for EA’s “give to earn” idea?

Scott & Bezos

  • How excited should we be about pledges to give big in the future?
  • What details do we have about what Bezos is actually planning to do?
  • Why does the idea that “giving money away is hard” have such a long history? How is Mackenzie Scott challenging this idea?
  • How should we understand “effectiveness” when it comes to philanthropy?
  • Why has Bezos given $100m to Dolly Parton…?

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