Hi and welcome to my corner of the internet!
Warning: In case we know each other personally — which is most likely —, this section will not tell you anything you don’t already know.
I complain all of the time — we all need a hobby. That does not mean i do not appreciate how extraordinarily lucky i have been for the past 28 years of my life. I can only hope it keeps being that way.
I work as a software engineer (or something along those lines). I am most interested in wealth: its distribution and the politics that go with it (well, and my own, if i’m being honest).
Azorean living happily in exile in Lisbon.
I try to do my altruism efficiently. I don’t see giving money away as the solution for many of today’s pressing problems, but relatively rich people in rich countries can effectively help out people in poor countries. My contribution won’t solve world hunger, but i’m sure each of us is capable of ending someone’s hunger — actually, multiple people’s — and that can only be worthwhile.
I would urge you to consider giving away the monies you can spare.
Below are organizations i support:
- Give Directly
- Against Malaria Foundation
- Helen Keller International
- Evidence Action
- New Incentives
Politics and Economics
I am worried about the insane levels of inequality we have today. I’m ok with someone’s labor being paid at twice the rate of another’s. I can understand arguments on why 5x the rate or even 10x can be deemed acceptable. Today, even within wealthy countries, it is possible for someone to make 10 000 000 times more money per year than someone else working full-time. This is absurd and no amount philanthropy makes it acceptable, in my opinion.
I would much like to see rich countries lowering the taxes for those that earn/have less than the median (or even those below the 90th percentile) while raising the overall tax revenue - so that universal education and healthcare may improve without putting the burden on those who have less.
I have gathered here some ((exclusively) external) content on economics and politics. I’m aware french economists are very much over-represented. While i really appreciate their work, i’ll try and expand this list with additional interesting material coming from other parts of the globe. Please do share with me other bodies of work you recommend!
I am a member of Bloco de Esquerda. Whatever your political inclinations, I urge you to join a political party — there’s plenty to do and not enough people take up their civic duty, in my opinion.
I consider the internet to be absolutely amazing. I try to use open source software and to be mindful of the data my online activities generate. There are HUGE tracking networks out there (google being present in 75% of the web) that follow you around the web, regardless of whether or not you actually use Google or Facebook. This is easy to solve! Use DuckDuckGo’s privacy essentials or some other extension to the same effect. Be sure to install them on you phone and PC.
WhatsApp is closed-source software with access to dozens of sensors on your phone (microphone, multiple cameras, GPS, movement sensors, et cetera) - essentially a black-box with near unlimited access, owned by Zuckerberg. I prefer not to turn my phone into such an intrusive and potentially dangerous device. What i wrote above applies to Instagram and many other applications. To make matters worse, these track, store and monetize every interaction of the user with the app - from the time you take to scroll to (potentially) where your eyes are looking at. Yes, these platforms do have some great content. But the content is platform-independent. All this amazing technology does not come coupled with predatory practices - some businesses just decide to make it look like an inevitability. I use Signal exclusively for messaging. It is open source (anyone can inspect the code and many have - there are no hidden procedures) and, frankly, an amazing app functionally equivalent to Whatsapp.
Feel free to drop me an email at f at mesquita dot xyz. Or get creative: anything at mesquita dot xyz gets through to me.
Have a great day!
(last update: 2024.01.05)