Comment author: some_arts_student 08 February 2018 11:49:44PM 1 point [-]

In late 2013, I kind-of based an advocacy campaign on this idea; the Australian government was cutting foreign aid, and I had the idea of getting people to buy those "charity Christmas cards" (where you "gift someone" a goat or similar), write messages of protest inside them, and send them to our local MPs in place of regular letters. The primary goal of spending $5-$20+ on a card, rather than writing on regular paper, was to signal our willingness to donate as a symbol of seriousness about wanting our tax dollars to go there too. The campaign got taken up by a few organisations, including Make Poverty History -- though, as anyone familiar with Australia's current foreign aid situation will know, unfortunately it was a failure in producing political change.

I suppose that the main advantage of using donations AS costly signalling is that even if they fail to produce change, there is some positive effect anyway -- as opposed to, for example, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an advertising campaign encouraging people to donate.

In response to Open Thread #39
Comment author: some_arts_student 14 January 2018 07:18:13AM *  0 points [-]

Is there any forum online where individuals can put their personal circumstances/choices/options up for discussion? Kind of like the 80 000 Hours coaching service, but since they don't have the resources to advise everyone, more of a crowd-sourced effort where someone could say "I'm in this situation, considering X, Y or Z, can anyone provide opinions/experiences/perspectives/alternatives I may not have thought of?"

I was kind of hoping this forum would be like that, but it seems like it's more academic - and the posts are very interesting and high-quality, so I wouldn't want to see it spammed up with thousands of personal questions. But is there anywhere else on the internet where people can ask this stuff? I have literally been asking careers counsellors since high school how I can make an impact on the world, and they havenĀ“t necessarily had the best info.