Donating and Altruism

Discussion in 'Films, TV, Music, Books, Etc.' started by Sightless, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Sightless

    Sightless Veteran

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    1. Emotional pleas to the heartstrings of humans by creating personal and relatable icons tease out more cashmonies than appealing to the rational and mathematical statistics of efficacy. Surprise.

    e.g., Saving the starving African kid will pull out a million dollars, whereas advocating support for the mass production of malaria-ridding vaccines that save numbers of numbers will pull out $50k. Nouns and figures here are representative only.

    2. Compelling people to donate doesn't necessarily mean more dollars are donated overall; in reality, people often feel that they have "done their part" and do not donate to other charities. This effectively means that whichever cause tugs on your soft heart the most effectively is indirectly redirecting funds from other charities you might donate to towards their own pot.

    e.g., I love curing malaria, but this African kid is so poor and helpless and Africa. so I need to donate $10 to save his life and provide rice for his family. What was that about malaria? I don't know those people. Who's even affected by malaria anymore?

    I'm not saying we're terrible people, but depending on your outlook, we could be really terrible people. There are large discussions regarding altruism out there, and what the best method is for a) conducting your life in a way that is in accordance with altruism; and b) in the meantime, choosing the most efficient/effective charities to support. You don't have to be into altruism to make effective and smart use of your money, but maybe it's relevant for you, and it'll help encourage people to make altruism integrated into their lives such that they avoid the minimum-expectation-achieved syndrome.

    There is a certain responsibility that, in my opinion, should be placed on individuals to make good choices and be conscientious of the consequences of their actions. They could make bad decisions, but a lot of people aren't even making the first step by considering the question.



    Re: ALS ice ice water bucket holes

    Nobody's really talked about the other impact that ice water was supposed to have, which is to shock/paralyze the nervous system in a way that comes however close to lack of motor function or whatever other sensations/lack thereof that's different for most people. But anyway.

    Sure there's money being donated out of people's pockets, but what good that does ought to be evaluated on where that money would otherwise be spent, I think. Would and could. Does anybody know where that money is going, ultimately? Not 100% of that money is going towards research.


    That's all I can post now. Maybe more when I get home. Also, Moderators, not Dictators! etc. etc. More discussion about ice water and why we actually mean drinkable water when we say water.
     
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  2. Longo_2_guns

    Longo_2_guns Forum Moderator
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    NO MORE! WE'RE IN A DROUGHT!
     
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  3. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

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    The last thread was closed for obvious reasons.

    Can we please leave our egos out of this one?
     
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  4. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    I read UghRochester's Facebook post about the ALS ice bucket challenge and it honestly gave me more insight and education into why they use buckets of ice water and how it sort relates to ALS, so thank you Ugh for that post.

    I've been trying to look up more information on ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) and it sounds horrible. I'll be completely honest though, I had never heard of ALS before, only until the ice bucket challenge videos started appearing that I actually heard about it. So in a way, those ice bucket challenge videos did raise some awareness and they got people talking but as we've previously discussed, unfortunately a lot of the celebrities didn't quite give much information on the topic, e.g. what ALS was, how/where to help and donate etc. Then a lot of fans and followers decided to make their own videos and kinda followed suite.

    I think the ice bucket challenge videos was an interesting and "fun" idea, although it did get a bit out of hand. However it got people talking, it did raise a bit of awareness but most of all, money was donated. Over fifteen million dollars or something? I think that's a pretty good achievement and certainly nothing to sneeze at. I would like to think that this money is going to help and I would hope this money would be used for research or/and treatments, but I'm not actually sure how the money is going to be used.

    In all honesty, maybe these celebrities participating in the videos could have perhaps dug a bit deeper into their wallets (donated more money) and as mentioned before with their videos, they certainly could have provided more information on what ALS is, how we can help, where/how to donate etc. The Foo Fighters' video was pretty good, for example.

    Lady Gaga's video though was so dumb and was clearly doing it for attention and just to be "cool" (no pun intended), essentially further feeding the idea that these challenge videos are a fad, when it shouldn't be, if that makes sense.

    A little off topic but the charity I donate most to is the Australian Cancer Council. I like to think I'm "helping" and "doing my part" but really I actually have no idea what they're doing with my money, or the money from all their other donations. I would like to think and hope that they're doing things such as research, at the very least, so I hope it's worth while so to speak. Cancer is a big, big deal to me and a bit of a touchy subject.
     
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  5. intoTheRain

    intoTheRain Regular

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    Intotherain signing out. Stay safe in here.
     
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  6. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    I don't believe this was at all relevant to the genesis of the ice bucket challenge or its eventual tie to the ALS charities, but it can be seen as an interesting coincidence, I guess.
     
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  7. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    I read about that in UghRochester's Facebook post about the whole thing and I agree, it is very interesting. Had no idea about that.
     
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  8. Wes

    Wes Rookie

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    As I was trying to say before a certain jackass decided to judge me and then troll me, I think this just taps into the dumbing down of society. Hollywood is known for being both fake and pretentious and the ice bucket challenge is evidence supporting this.

    And you're right Sightless, I think only 29 cents out of a dollar actually goes to the charity. This is something we would know if we cared to actually educate ourselves on the ice bucket challenge instead of just dumping ice cold water over your head and naming off three random people.

    I suggest all the Intotherain's out there who stick their head in the sand then point and laugh at anyone who disagrees gives this article a read. It points out how awareness is not money.

    http://skeptoid.com/blog/2014/08/19/the ... not-money/
     
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  9. Master_Craig

    Master_Craig Forum Moderator
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    I'm half way through the article now Wes, haven't read the whole thing yet but I will finish it once I've finished posting in response.

    I think this is a good article and I'm surprised... and I'm going to sound like a complete, ignorant idiot right now (geeze, I've used the word "ignorant" a lot lately to describe myself):

    The article here states that apparently, the original idea of the ice bucket challenge is that you either donate money to ALS, or you don't donate which results in you getting a bucket of ice water poured over you.

    I actually didn't know that! I honestly thought that the celebrities who are dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads were also donating. I would like to think that is the case. That being said though, I can imagine some celebrities would just be doing the challenge because everyone else is doing it and it'll get them likes, views and publicity, e.g. Lady Gaga or Calvin Harris.

    We've all said before, but if you're going to do the ice bucket challenge and share it on social media, at least tell the viewers what ALS is, why you're doing it, that you're also donating and how others can help and donate too. In saying all that, it actually does look like a lot of fun! But while you have fun, be informative. :)

    If anyone is interested, you can donate to the ALS Association here - http://www.alsa.org/

    [Edit/Update] Just finished reading the article. It's very interesting and well worth the read.
     
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  10. used44

    used44 Forum Moderator
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    29 > 0
     
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  11. WickedLiquid

    WickedLiquid Regular

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    Not even a little bit concerned about what happened to the other 71 cents huh?


    I kid, I kid :p
     
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  12. Green_Lantern

    Green_Lantern Forum Moderator
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  13. Sightless

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    I definitely should have fleshed out my post more before I hit the button. I didn't really have a good way of saving a draft, though.

    To clarify, I only mentioned the ALS thing to be a bit of a dick; I didn't really expect the locked thread to continue here. I'm adjusting expectations now. Sorry Wicked.

    Longo, just move to Canada for a while. Live in a lake, and stop using up your state's resources. I'll even let you bring back four gallons of water.

    Also, the most hilarious thing from that other thread was when Ugh asked what was to the left of California.

    used44, I don't think it was part of the genesis in its original form, if you know what I mean, but that's not to say that that aspect wasn't useful or part of propagating the challenge. Many practices have multiple spawn points that get tangled up, especially if someone sees an additional or alternate way to use/promote it.

    Wes, I respectfully disagree with you. I think the Hollywood aspect of the challenge is done with good intention (for the most part), because I think they do feel good about raising awareness. Granted, that awareness isn't actually spread that effectively, but I think they mean to spread the word, pretty literally (and Wicked, knowing what the abbreviation stands for assumes nothing about knowing the actual characteristics of the disease). I'll venture to say that awareness is money, in a sense: some illnesses are intangible to some, perhaps because of a difficult name, and people suffer for it. Nobody talks about * sclerosis much because there's no easy common-language way to do it. I think the fight with awareness is to make these words, or abbreviation, mean something more to people than just "Oh, that means unhealthy, and that is bad." Knowing that people understand even the basics of a disease you or your significant other has is something people tend to value. And maybe sometimes it just starts with something silly.

    That's not to say that They don't need money, but that maybe money is not the only good reason to do something like this challenge.

    Green_Lantern, fair enough, but I think that's a bit ignorant. http://www.alsa.org/about-us/financial-information.html is also important. And the rest of my post. ;P


    Anyway, back to what I was talking about...

    This thread was meant to examine how people donate, and why they donate. And the rest of the questions that follow from that.

    On the points I made earlier: http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/arti ... -the-head/ explains some science (by which I mean experiments conducted, not neurophysiological explanations for a phenomenon) around donating, altruism, and motivations.
     
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  14. C_nate

    C_nate Rookie

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    Everyone likes a feel good story, so part of the problem is when you raise any kind of questions or concerns about the activity involved, you are immediately labeled a cynic. Critical thinking to these people is a foreign concept. To them, the end justifies the means: "Well, it raised money, it doesn't matter how they did it." Except that sometimes, yes, it does matter. I'm not saying what they are doing is bad or wrong, but when the stunt becomes the focus of the stories (Look at the latest celebrity to do the challenge!) more than what the stunt is supposed to draw attention to, I think it loses some of its meaning and message.

    Also, it raises the question of whether now other charitable organizations will now feel pressured to come up with stunts of their own to try and "compete" with this one, since there are only so many charitable donations floating around out there. In this age of social media, is the future of charity going to be seeing who can come up with the most wacky stunt that they can get celebrities to involve themselves in?
     
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  15. intoTheRain

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    Don't be such a conformist sheep. Surely you can find something negative about the situation, and complain about it instead. Sure 41 million dollars for ALS that wouldn't have been raised otherwise is good and all, but if the Ice Bucket Challenge never came to be in the first place we wouldn't have ignorant celebrities making YouTube videos we don't even have to watch, and which effect us in no way. The latter undoubtedly being the ideal alternative.

    If you couldn't tell, I'm kidding. You're correct.

    Would you not agree that there is, and will be FAR more awareness of ALS worldwide after this whole thing is done and over with? The short answer is yes.

    Would you not agree that FAR more money will have been raised due to this challenge, than had it never happened? I know you already stated this one, yes.

    For those reasons it is very hard for me to find a downside to this situation. No one, aside from a few idiots that had buckets dropped on their heads will have been hurt by this in the end, only helped. So forgive me if I find it cynical to complain about it.

    I do get a little worked up over people that get negative about these things, because we live in a world of negativity now. You can't venture anywhere on the internet without reading people bitching, bitching, and bitching some more, over the most minuscule issues. It just gets tiresome.

    However you are stating your opinion in a much more civil way than most, so it doesn't bother me at all.

    And trust me I know I can be a dick at times, which no doubt comes across as hypocritical. For example the first part of this post. But one thing you'll notice is I only ever act that way when responding to unnecessary cynicism/negativity.


    I'm also totally fine with this. I don't see why other charities coming up with stunts to generate more money for their cause is a big deal. But maybe I'm missing something.
     
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  16. C_nate

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    Sure, it did raise money, and it did raise awareness, there is no denying that. But I also think there is no denying that the stunt took on a life of its own. Is the expectations of this organization now changed due to the success of the stunt? Is it something they hope to repeat or was it a one time deal? I ask because it can run into the movie sequel problem. Every subsequent sequel tries to one up the movie before it, but the model is unsustainable so it finally reaches a tipping point where they decide the blow the whole thing up and start over from scratch, but as far as I know, you can't really reboot a charitable organization.

    We're talking short term goal vs long term goals. Short term, yeah, everything worked out great, but what is the long term plan? A year from now when the celebrities have moved on to another cause, and the public interest has died down, and the donations are back down to what they were before, is the organization going to need to come up with something else for another cash infusion?

    The problem with this becoming a "thing" with other organizations is that, again speaking strictly long term, I don't think it is something that is sustainable because there will reach a point where there are no more stunts, or they just become background noise to the public, and then these charitable organizations are right back where they started: trying to figure out a way to bring more attention and money to their cause.

    p.s. for what its worth, I don't think you are a dick and I don't mind at all discussing things with people with a different point of view than mine. What I do mind is people who hand wave and dismiss people who don't think the same way they do or actually don't contribute anything meaningful to the discussions (on any topic, not just this one) and just pop in to make a snide comment and inflate their post count. They should be hanging out on twitter, not a discussion forum.
     
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  17. Sightless

    Sightless Veteran

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    Yes, and I think it's sort of already like that. Charities already have/get celebrities to endorse them, but it's often a gamble of audience, and if the people they're targeting will actually respond well to sexiness, or silliness, or stupidity.

    Sometimes, the meaning and message don't have to be important. In that case, we can raise money and people can be ignorant about the help they're providing. This happens all the time, because not that many companies or organizations are all that transparent about where their money goes. Huge companies in the billions of profit dollars support charities or churches or people the public probably don't know about. Normally we want people to be educated and choose to make what we generally think are "good" decisions (e.g., to help people in need as we are able). It's sad that providing more information seems to put people off of donating... so mainly my question is whether we try to combat this, or give up in a way and make use of this information. How much can you change what people want, or are willing to pay for.


    How do you know what harm or good your donation does? What goes into this organization's educational plans? Are they doing a good job of informing people about the disease? Is their research directed towards finding a cure through rational and scientific means? It also depends on whether you think you are doing harm by not donating to more effective charities. If your money would have saved a hundred lives by a more efficient and effective charity, would you still choose to donate to this charity instead? Somewhere this becomes a question of morality, although it's very slippery. Why are you donating?

    I get that it's tiring. There are differences between negativity, cynicism, skepticism, and critical thinking. I'm advocating more critical thinking and responsibility, which is arguably a heavier burden now than it was before, as our lives become increasingly complex and the number of possibilities explode. The hope is that this is investigation is actually worthwhile, and should be seen positively because it means we can be better.
     
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  18. C_nate

    C_nate Rookie

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    This is exactly what I was talking about when I was talking about one upsmanship and saying how the stunt took on a life of its own.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eULsQKb4qA

    At this point it has basically turned into a meme.
     
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  19. Lien

    Lien Rookie

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    *Blink blink*

    ...are you guys still on about this? This is just a trend created to start donations drives... like i don't get the criticism even in that article that wes posted (note: skeptoid is not really a good site to prove your point, maker of the site is still under supervised release for his fraud sentence! Dude's insane!).

    Look, we went through this in a previous post. It's popular, It's becoming a meme. some people might not get the message. What really matters is how the ASL view this since this concern them. They love it, the people who they are trying to help say they love this, they are receiving donations thanks to this. C_Nate, i love you but linking how people get hurt or die doing a meme is really redundant... remember planking? Wes, you were just a douchebag that couldn't tolerate intotherain's view on this by calling his post trolling. But it's cool we all already knew that and we love you just the way you are! *group hug*

    Also, don't give me no "This is silly cause there's a water shortage so this charity is BS" when half of south east asia does things like this every year. Like it was said, there's a difference between drinking water and regular water.

    Seriously... Where did the trend for opposing this started at? An atheist forum thread? A 4chan board? Cynicismisgood.org? Like dude, let it go! I'm waiting for Ugh to do his video over here!


    Let's just stop the hate and turn this freaking thread into posts of our favorite Ice buckets videos!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuaVFZ95TqQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dt_ZMw-eZnw
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekCtNK5bgP0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOKwo9squfQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDC0Dceu-3U (that one is made just to spite you guys)

    And just for laugh:
    http://hollywoodlife.com/2014/08/21...ant-confirmed-als-ice-bucket-challenge-video/
    Hurray for tabloids!

    Also, that festival is called the Songkran to those interested, it's really fun! Celebrated there a couple of times!
     
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  20. Green_Lantern

    Green_Lantern Forum Moderator
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    I don't see what's wrong with that financial pie chart sightless. You're delusional if you think every penny from ANY research charity all goes to the research. People have to run these things and they sure as hell aren't doing it for free.
     
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