Epistemic status: low status, not feeling good, discouraged by life and the future, feeling sick of life in general; permanent state of inaction. Need help/advice. The post is bad written, will probably make you feel that I'm an idiot, but I'm just a human truly looking for help/ some light
Five years ago, I thought "these app developers, they are so dumb! If I only knew what they know, I would be creating life-changing applications, helping millions of people". Then I learned to program, and now I know how to solve problems step-by-step and how to create mobile apps, web apps, databases, etc. Finding LW 1 year behind gave me true purposes, and I want to minimize the number of seconds living beings are suffering and also maximize the number of seconds living beings are enjoying.
I finally realized that most people are not that interesting, because they don't care neither about minimizing the number of seconds living beings are suffering nor maximizing the number of seconds living beings are enjoying life.
Although my goals are clear for me, my highest priority NOW is my grandmother. She doesn't have all teeth on her mouth, and I don't have enough money to fix it. She called me this weekend crying, saying that she doesn't have money to pay the treatment and saying that it hurts a lot to do each meal. And my grandfather just died with coronavirus (two months ago). My reality is that I get $300 monthly by teaching on a school (I am considered a successful person for getting this much, most people (>60%) on my country earn less than $200.00), but I spend $200 just to pay the basic: rent, the condominium, the electricity bill, water, internet and mobile... and the fucking dental treatment is $2000.00, it is easy to see why I should leave the current job and dedicate myself full time for applying my software development skills and monetize it (which I never did, i.e, all my applications I published as free software), but I am not sure how to help without killing even more people.
While you grow on software development, you know how far your actions can go. When you make further research on scaling solutions, on the end all is about numbers, how far, how wide, how many people you will get.
When I try to gather ideas from local tribe or even distant tribes on online forums, all they say is: "WOW YOU HAVE THESE INCREDIBLE SKILLS FOR DEVELOPING MULTI-PLATFORM-APPS, so create this >application that will make 100,000 people watch ads for 5 seconds< and you will get rich quickly. They are so stupid that they can't shut up and multiply, they can't feel the meaning of creating a timeline in which you feel the 500,000 seconds of human experience of watching ads.
This is what I feel from quite every company and quite every person, they are trying to get "money", this universal unit of power in trading of souls. You kill five, but you profit $1000.00, so that's fine. You create billions of seconds of watch-ads-human-experience, and they suck every human every second of their souls to desire to buy products that will kill living beings. No apps for fighting disease. No application for fighting death, no one talks about it, no one wants to brainstorm that. When I talk seriously about preventing death and disease, people disengage. "This is not how to make money", they say. They say: "you should think on yourself first, later you can solve all problems in the world". First kill them, then you live!
Sometimes I think, "Ok, this food delivery app that everyone uses, I could create a local competition, people on my small city would use it and I would get enough money". But wouldn't I be optimizing for food delivery? Isn't food delivery the "buy dead animal corpses from online stores"? Maybe I could think on some vegan app food delivery, but although it is totally feasible with my abilities, it will still take a lot of time to develop it by myself. So I come back to my state of mind that I can't think on any solutions where I can get money on short-term without making people lose money and time (games) or without facilitating the killing of animals (food related solutions), or without destroying the environment (selling useless products to users), or without making people addicted to sliding their fingers on glass screens without caring about everyone dying around them (social networks, games). Because, on the end, all we do is moving our muscles, some beings die, and some smiles appears. How can I get money ethically (besides teaching math on school)? Why is this so hard? Why I'm not finding anyone to financially support developing solutions for the community? I don't like proprietary software and for me it is not the way to go. Can you see the confusion on my mind? I am always afraid of developing solutions because I think it will ultimately make people addicted to uselessly move their fingers on the glass screen; maybe I should create an education app? But education should be free, how I would get money with it? I won't force users to watch useless ads. How can I get the fucking $2000.00 for the dental treatment? I am nervous, I am angry because I feel I am useless and I can't help my grandmother, I feel stupid for knowing so many libraries and so many random theorems, but I don't understand where the money comes from and why it is so hard to get money ethically.
Is there any application that YOU, LessWrong user that is reading my babble until now, is there anything you would pay me for develop? Think about it, you say the specifications. I can develop anything (not AGI, please, this is impossibly hard. When I say >I can develop anything< actually I mean >I can manipulate lists, strings, dictionaries, on web, Android, desktop (linux, windows), the basic machine learning toolbox, databases, etc, i.e, practically any application you normally use on your phone, or your desktop, I could replicate it, provided enough time).
I know you love betting, maybe I could create related to it? Something that would help the LW community, something that is ethical, but something you would pay for? You could pay after I finish developing it; the software would necessarily be free software and anyone would be able to read it and modify it. I don't know, I am lost. I don't even know if I should continue searching or I should already give up on this useless babble.
Until today I haven't listened anyone suggesting great solutions for the community. Although I can make apps, I don't have great ideas to put in life. Actually I have a lot of ideas, but don't have the time to implement them when I am still struggling for the bread of each day. How to minimize poverty, how to stop killing animals on a daily basis, how to provide health for the masses. I don't know what I should do to get there, although if someone gave me a good idea with the math behind it, and it were clear to me how much seconds I would not be sacrificing for the evil gods, I can take it.
I am sorry for making you read this. I feel desperate, angry, I have no one to talk to in my circle of friends, no one understands programming, no one has interesting goals, I am poor and just a number that can vanish on all the useless numbers that don't even count. Please, help me to leave inaction, my grandmother is suffering, give me some idea, some light, I don't even know how to express myself well in English, please forgive me for all stupidity I just said, just help me
You might be interested in https://www.facebook.com/groups/1781724435404945/ - a facebook group where rich rationalists set up $10-$100 tasks for others to do. However, only about 25% of the tasks are doable if you don't live in the US.
Also, I'll pay you $15 if you fix this issue https://github.com/orgzly/orgzly-android/issues/287 in the Android app called Orgzly, which is an implementation of emacs org-mode for android, and make the owner accept it into the main branch or whatever it is they use that gets merged into the app on google play.
I could tell you that your grandmother comes first so you shouldn't overthink it: earn the money doing what you do best until you find a more ethical alternative. It's okay to have strict ethics but it's not helping you much right now.
I could tell you to write your ideas somewhere, to post them online (LessWrong is there for that, isn'it it?) so that they're not lost even if you forget them, even if you don't have the time to bring them to life. So that your knowledge and ideas live on.
I could go on, but I'm not one to tell how people should live their lives. Don't hate yourself, because that's not going to help either. The only remedy to inaction is action; you feel you are in a dire situation, then it's all the more urgent to do something - anything - to solve your issues. Make a list of your problems, establish ways to deal with them and get going. Do something, anything.