Advanced Tools and Techniques for Becoming Happier in 2017

Word count: 1,988

In the past, I’ve thought New Year’s Resolutions were a waste of time. If something is important enough to start, shouldn’t it be important enough to start now, rather than waiting for the Sun and Earth to be in a particular, arbitrary configuration? Nevertheless, this year I’ve decided to […]

January 16th, 2017|

Are You Sure You Want To Donate To The Against Malaria Foundation?

Word count: 1,838

In advance of the Christmas charity season, GiveWell has announced that the Against Malaria Foundation (‘AMF’) is once again their top pick for the world’s most effective charity. The explanation for this is quite straight forward: AMF provides bednets that stop very young children (mostly under-5’s) dying prematurely from […]

December 3rd, 2016|

The Unproven (And Unprovable) Case For Wild Animal Suffering

5,467 words.


I’ve been surprised to learn recently that so many people I know in the effective altruism community believe there is more total suffering than happiness in the lives of wild animals. Brian Tomasik appears to be the main current proponent of this view, developing the work done by economist […]

November 25th, 2016|

Learning To Love The Rain

People hate rain. You don’t need to ask them. You can just tell. Brollys go up and eyes down as people hurriedly dodge puddles on their way to the nearest plane, train or automobile that’ll trundle them home at the end of a hard day’s grind.

I don’t hate the rain. […]

October 18th, 2016|

Is The Pursuit Of Happiness Self-Defeating?

A couple of friends asked me for my thoughts on this Vox article “America is obsessed with happiness — and it’s making us miserable” so I thought I’d blog about it.

It’s tricky to discern exactly what the author is arguing for (she makes several points), but I take the main point […]

October 11th, 2016|

4 Reasons Almost All Happiness Advice Sucks (But Not This Article, Obviously)

[You haven’t found the droids you were looking for]

Reading time: 3-5 minutes, 1200 words, 5 pics, only one of a topless Arnold Schwarzenegger

Realistically, I’d be surprised if there are a dozen people in the world who spend more time reading and thinking about happiness than I do. Unsurprisingly, I come across […]

September 24th, 2016|

The Surprising Unimportance Of Saving Lives

Reading time: 11-15 minutes

When we think about doing good, saving lives is at the top of the list. Doctors, firefighters and Batmen are regarded as heroes because they save lives. We give soldiers medals for rescuing wounded comrades. As far as I know, we don’t award medals for ‘really […]

September 19th, 2016|

How Socrates Can Make You Happier Than Kanye West – notes from Wilderness talk

I’ve written this post so people who attended my talk at Wilderness festival on 05/08/16 can find more info including the resources I promised.

If you want to check out the slides again, I’ve put them at the bottom of the page. Before that, there are some useful links.

If you want […]

August 5th, 2016|
I’m Michael Plant. I’m doing a PhD in Moral Philosophy at Oxford University. I research the most-effective ways to improve world happiness. I use ths blog to share my poorly-formed ideas.

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As a consequence of trying to simultaneously start a start-up and finish a PhD, I don’t have much spare time, including for this blog. However, if you have an opportunity or introduction you think could increase world (or my) joy, please email me at the address below. For the reasons stated above, I can only promise to respond to suggestions that fit my current schedule and interests.

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