Émile P. Torres

Nov 30, 2022

Mathematical Morality

The Ideology that Justifies Billionaires

New Books Network 2022

How can billionaires justify the endless accumulation of wealth? Effective altruism. An almost religious philosophical belief. Sam Bankman-Fried, the former CEO and founder of collapsed crypto exchange FTX is a major proponent, as is Elon Musk.

Now, SBF and many in Effective Altruism have also embraced longtermism, a strand of extreme utilitarian thinking that tells us we should worry about the interests of future people -- trillions of future people, 1000s of years into the future, and in planets far away. We examine the complicated moral math of longtermism with Émile P. Torres, a former longtermist who is now one of the movement's sharpest apostates.

SUPPORT THE SHOW

You can support the show for free by following or subscribing on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or whichever app you use. This is the best way to help us out and it costs nothing so we’d really appreciate you clicking that button.

If you want to do a little more we would love it if you chip in. You can find us on patreon.com/dartsandletters. Patrons get content early, and occasionally there’s bonus material on there too.

ABOUT THE SHOW

For a full list of credits, contact information, and more, visit our about page.

Listen to more episodes on:

Your Host

Gordon Katic

Gordon Katic is an award-winning radio producer and journalist with a background in health, science, and climate reporting. He is director of Cited Media Productions, which produced Cited Podcast and CRACKDOWN. Now, Gordon hosts Darts and Letters. When he’s not making podcasts, he’s working on a PhD at the University of Toronto focussed on theorizing a critical theory of science communication. Previously, he earned a Masters in Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

Learn More