The world has too few people who are solution-oriented. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems of our time. Or worse, to become jaded and cynical, develop "Cheems Mindset", and then not even try to improve things.

This page is my personal antidote to such thoughts.

Remember: every previous generation also faced problems that felt just as unsolvable at the time. A lot of progress (especially moral progress) seemed impossible, until it wasn't. We have more knowledge, experience, and tooling than at any preceding point in history. We have greatly expanded access to the democratic process. We have the Internet now! We have more reason to be optimistic in our ability to make a difference than ever before.

What we do not have is a guarantee of progress. It's time to do our part.

The fastest, most immediate action you can take right now is to donate. For example:

  • GiveDirectly sends money directly to people in extreme poverty, letting them use their local knowledge to decide what would improve their lives most.
  • GiveWell's Top Charities Fund supports evidence-based interventions that do the most good for improving global health and reducing poverty.
  • The Global Catastrophic Risks Fund from Founder's Pledge focuses on reducing existential risks, like nuclear war, catastrophic pandemics, and misaligned AI.
  • (Whichever political entity you think has the best theory of systemic change and the ability to bring it about.)


Sometimes what's needed is a reminder of the difference you can make. Near-term results are key for sustaining long-term commitments, by giving positive reinforcement within human-scale feedback loops.

Local volunteering often isn't globally optimal but it reaffirms the identity of being someone who does their part. It's viscerally satisfying to see a blighted neighborhood be restored to splendor. Link the short-term joy of volunteering to the long-term impact of your donations and career. Find ways to see and feel the results of your work on a more immediate timeline. Rather than being limited by our biology, we can transcend it.

To that end, find a local cause area that matters to you. For example:


If you're interested in how to orient your career towards doing more good, start with this summary or this guide. For thoughtful critiques of this approach to doing good, see this post, this one, this article. and this one. I've also found Progress Studies to be a key source of inspiration.