A Selfish Argument for Making the World a Better Place - Egoistic Altruism

  • Published on Mar 18, 2018
  • Why should you care about the well-being of people half a globe away?
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    A Selfish Argument for Making the World a Better Place

Comments • 23 353

  • Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell
    Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell  3 months ago +4543

    You like our art and want to put it on your wall? Look no further: bit.ly/1P1hQIH

    • Joel Kithinji
      Joel Kithinji 4 days ago

      I never click the like button on USclip videos but this video expressed the ideas so well that I had to start liking videos starting with this one. Thanks for the awesome video. I'll forward this to some people who believe that a trickle down approach to economies works.

    • j_is4_jerry _
      j_is4_jerry _ Month ago

      So wait your saying if we put less money into non productive thing and more into productive thing our kids or grandkids would be 7x as advanced as we are

    • Greg B
      Greg B Month ago

      Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell s

    • Done Account
      Done Account Month ago


    • Uriel Quintos Cordova
      Uriel Quintos Cordova Month ago

      An Ecological topic please.

  • Aandred Aandred
    Aandred Aandred 6 hours ago

    The pie isn't bigger, we're just eating faster.

  • Mr. President
    Mr. President 6 hours ago

    I highly recommend that you all hang out with Lucy at least once, if you haven't already.

  • Rourou Xiao
    Rourou Xiao 10 hours ago

    "Antibiotics kill bacteria." So do bacteriophages.

  • Science Lovesmeback
    Science Lovesmeback 12 hours ago

    Sadly, there is a logical problem about this thinking path : it is just not true that innovation is pursued for sharing and solving problems, just because humans like it and feel compelled to. Like this video tends to express but always fails to really questionned, the principal motivation for humans today to innovate is to make money, in other words : gain some economic markets. This is how capitalism works, and this is the global system we most generally live in. But never, in this video, is actually pointed out that some things may be seen as not desirable to merchandise, like health or education, neither that competition could be a minor emulating function than collaboration. The ideology depicted in this video is the dominant one that identifies happiness and serenity with accumulating money, getting rich. If the industrial world is rich, if the cake has got bigger, is mostly by plunding ressources of other continents and poor people of the world, including the ones of their own countries, and destroying the fragile balance of the nature we depend on. The global ecological disaster, the still very real poverty everywhere, the despair, the sickness of bodies, minds and souls, the on-going racial, sexual and gender injustices and other violences, all these concrete facts at work in modern societies shoud be a reason for every one of you, watching this video (by the way, I deeply enjoy the work of Kurzgesagt's team in a lot of their other materials), to profoundly question the idea that capitalism made the world a better place. Peace out.

  • Memory of the Stars
    Memory of the Stars 13 hours ago

    "This was the state of things 1000s of years ago" Are you sure it is not happening even today?

  • Adriel Fazl
    Adriel Fazl 14 hours ago

    Why are you mesed up

  • Danilo Mattos
    Danilo Mattos Day ago

    Thats a beautiful utopia. But what actually happens is if we discover a cure for cancer, faster and cheaper than the treatment we have now, few people will monopolize and sell it very expensive.

  • Divergent
    Divergent Day ago

    This is all Ayn Rand was ever saying. She just said it in much less gentle language.

  • Vegas Mgtow
    Vegas Mgtow Day ago

    Now, what to do about the Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos), Anna Sarkeesian (video games), Lisa Bloom / Gloria Alred and Feminists in general along with George Soros who want to destroy and destabilize everything United States of America / The West ??

  • American Crusader
    American Crusader Day ago +1

    ya but what if poor degenerate folks from poor degenerate nations flood wealthy prosperous nation and now make those wealthy prosperous nation just as poor and degenerate as the nations the poor degenerates are fleeing from?

  • grégoire Nedelcovici

    We still are in a zero sum planet lets not fool ourselves. Our economic growth has jusr became unsustainable, or vall it "positiv" of you dobt care for tge environment your are living in, or any futur generation (also called kids).

  • Lamp-Stand
    Lamp-Stand 2 days ago +1

    If technology/innovation is mutually-beneficial, how would you explain the nuclear threat posed by foreign powers as they innovate?

  • femur radio
    femur radio 2 days ago +1

    But the nature and primary resources are decreasing

    • Demilio Mason
      Demilio Mason 11 hours ago

      femur radio and you know what doesn't run out? Human resourcefulness and ingenuity.

  • Betabones
    Betabones 2 days ago

    It's as if trickle down economics doesn't work. What blasphemy is this talk about bettering the poorest to stimulate the economy!? It's like they used common sense! Don't they know we live in the spin zone where Trump is the President of America?!

  • Super_
    Super_ 2 days ago

    Why are the birds so cuuuuute

  • Dmitry Win
    Dmitry Win 2 days ago

    Can you make a video about inclusive and extractive institutions and how they influence the development of a state? I think it would be interesting for folks.

  • Vulapa
    Vulapa 2 days ago

    All of the "counter-arguments" towards this philosophy , especially the caustic comments down here, try to argue that YOU are better off when another person isn't.
    The core of this argument holds true, even beyond the positive-sum world. For even in the era where wars are constantly waged, conquerors had to worry about keeping their Ward and their numerous soldiers motivated or at least compensated.

  • hydrargyrum mercury
    hydrargyrum mercury 2 days ago


  • Sebastian Gruchacz
    Sebastian Gruchacz 3 days ago

    I'm too old to give a damn ;-P I will die soon enough to not care about whole universe at all. Not mentioning a pity humankind...

  • Meme Machine
    Meme Machine 3 days ago

    oy vey, the goym knows. shit it down!

  • Kolja
    Kolja 3 days ago

    Oh god saw what some people said to this topic, can you please make a video why some countries are richer or better evolved than others ? This will may show them that it's not a fact of higher IQ 😤

  • Aaron Michaels
    Aaron Michaels 4 days ago

    Yeah right, injustice, justified.

  • dumatwo
    dumatwo 4 days ago

    Who pays this channel? this animation and quality of production seems to be pretty expensive

    • Victor Weizhe Sun
      Victor Weizhe Sun 2 days ago

      Us, they use the ad revenue from the videos, as well as patron and Kickstarter funds.

  • Luis Prill Sempere
    Luis Prill Sempere 4 days ago

    The basic idea is correct, but it would only work in collaborative spaces. And our competitive capitalistic space won't distribute. That's why the positive sum won't reach everybody. Plus the surplus is mainly on cost of natural resources and paid slavery. Innovation can only enhance the surplus by polishing efficiency.

  • Izaya Orihara
    Izaya Orihara 4 days ago

    If you think about it all altruism is kinda egoistic. Among things said in the video, there is also social status to be gained by being good and giving to others, being seen as a good person, being treated better because of it, etc. Even at a basic level, why do you help people? You help people because you want to, maybe it makes you feel good. If you didn’t want to help people, you wouldn’t. That means everyone has at least a basic self interest in helping others.

  • Soccer Stars
    Soccer Stars 4 days ago

    I love this channel when I will start earning some money I will definitely donate it on Patreon!

  • Golden Hacker
    Golden Hacker 4 days ago

    “Today every sick person in the world dies of Cancer, and you might be one of them”
    Well isn’t that nice?

  • Chairman Meow
    Chairman Meow 4 days ago

    This is a good video, but with improvements in lifestyle and ability to innovate, wouldn't resource consumption increase EXPONENTIALLY?

  • noided
    noided 5 days ago

    races can not collaborate with themselves , it's impossible . Look at america . Whites hates blacks , blacks hate whites . There will be a civil war .

  • jesus gonzalez
    jesus gonzalez 5 days ago

    The ignorant People who gave this video a thumbs down probably voted for Donald Trump & believe In the Purge 😂🙊💣.

  • jacob almond
    jacob almond 5 days ago

    What is the true ratio of people that are "better off" now? How is "better off" quantified? Is there even enough technology and resources for everyone to be "better off"? What is the golden ratio of people worse off to better off? What is this video even about? is this political, humanitarian, or universally objective???? If the universe had its way, all particles would be evenly spread and zero kelvin would be the norm.

  • Ignacio Falugue
    Ignacio Falugue 5 days ago

    I think I'm gonna cry

  • Thoughtfull Dane
    Thoughtfull Dane 5 days ago

    How ever there is competition, not everyone will succeed but in general the general state of human life will be less full of hunger etc.

  • erkin tek
    erkin tek 5 days ago

    Melinda bill don't give money enough. Ohh i understand, it is not money, it is convincing people.

  • Oussama Zbair 147
    Oussama Zbair 147 5 days ago +2

    I love his voice

  • Oozy
    Oozy 5 days ago

    "do you like being alive"
    That just sounds like the start of some commercial on TV I don't know why

  • Rob Bakker
    Rob Bakker 5 days ago

    Wait you are supported by bill gates. dang

  • Mambuto
    Mambuto 5 days ago

    This video should be shown in schools. Great video guys, keep doing what you are doing!

  • ParGellen
    ParGellen 5 days ago

    Unfortunately this is not how reality works.

  • sjackal2610
    sjackal2610 5 days ago

    A really fascinating video, but it seems that egoistic altruism has its own problems. More people having more may not always be the way forward. Nowadays there are growing obesity rates, the population growth even though it seems to have peaked is starting to become a problem with the amount of natural resources we have as well putting a pressure on the environment. While innovation and an advance in technology can help us solve a lot of issues, it is creating issues we are simply not capable of handling yet. When nuclear energy was invented, is was a great step forward in delaying the inevitable energy crisis but nowadays its weaponisation is threatening the world. Thanks for sparking a lot of thoughts :)

  • Accidental Genius
    Accidental Genius 5 days ago


  • Catowar Meowson
    Catowar Meowson 5 days ago

    Ah. Globalism. No thanks

  • Elie Elie
    Elie Elie 5 days ago +1

    Positive sum game, but limited by natural resources.
    Exponentially-increasing consumption per person is not sustainable. It inevitably causes damage to the environment, causing serious problems for the future.
    We do not need more economic growth.
    We do not need more jobs or more work hours.
    We need an economy that encourages people to DO MORE WITH LESS.

  • Manish Seal
    Manish Seal 6 days ago

    Donald Trump should watch this.

  • Love Co
    Love Co 6 days ago +1

    This point of view is wrong
    the reason why some countries are prospering is because of the developing countries that make goods cheaper.
    positive sum world?
    im sorry but in poor countries are suffering for the sake of 1st world countries
    saying that everyone is well off now is totally wrong.

  • Deyvson Moutinho Caliman

    I thought this video would show a brighter side to life, but now I'm thinking about cancer.

  • Alien
    Alien 6 days ago +1

    That is why LSD is illegal. The more people that try it the less innovation is made. People who take LSD chose to live more selflessly and take a smaller peace of the pie.

  • Vebjørn Sandnes
    Vebjørn Sandnes 6 days ago

    The more we pollute, overpopulate and exhaust the earth's recources, the better it is for me? No, this is a selfish argument for ruining the earth. And leaving our descendants with scraps and a ruined earth. Civilization is why mother nature will kill us all off.

  • ACE
    ACE 6 days ago

    I wonder what the world would look like if it was operated by birds and ducks...

  • Vano Misoo
    Vano Misoo 6 days ago


  • Quamont
    Quamont 7 days ago

    Kurzgesagt, the USclip channel that gets you into existential crisis and out of them

  • asphalt quake
    asphalt quake 7 days ago

    guys, please make a book.

  • neelkanth sikdar
    neelkanth sikdar 7 days ago +1

    Love your videos

  • Hung Nguyen Khac
    Hung Nguyen Khac 7 days ago

    I like the video but I have many disagreement with the idea of innovation
    the example show that if we invested more in one aspect, it would be highly innovated and advance
    but at the same time, this mean that we are taking away investment to other aspect
    the focus on agriculture needed tools, tools need materials, materials needed effective production line so that in a way, focus on the agriculture help industrial revolution
    we need to have a base of focus to grow an advancement. Now that everyone has their own interest, it's hard to focus on something because medial technology and media technology is not exactly the same. Meanwhile, it was easier back then because the choice of profession was every limited and so the general investment into it was larger.
    I think I may be kinda award in my statement and the logic was conflicted but to sum up is I think that the world current condition can not entirely be interpret base on what happen thousand of years ago

  • Oinksterpork alt
    Oinksterpork alt 7 days ago

    In 1700 it was still pretty shitty in England

  • Beck Barnhardt
    Beck Barnhardt 7 days ago

    Ego death

  • kungfuskull
    kungfuskull 8 days ago

    I realize it is a huge topic, but it is a fascinating one, and one that really needs more accessible explanations like your wonderful videos.
    Game Theory.
    And, A: yes, that is a wide net, but I think you could trim it down to a couple core concepts,
    B: those cores (I think) would be economic applications, decisions, ...essentially throw a fundamentals of logic in there too, and then the philosophical side of things: applying this to real life issues ranging from psychology to, well, games, to war, and overall "conflict resolution." (Like how The Art Of War or The Book Of Five Rings work for arguments, struggling to pay rent, all kinds of things as well as violence, because they are fundamentally about resolving CONFLICT, which can be soooo many things.
    Studying these things my whole life has been an enormous gift to understanding and coping with every type of problem imaginable, but I REALLY struggle to explain it succinctly when I make a new friend who didn’t have that education or upbringing.
    So it would be WONDERFUL if you could help your millions of viewers understand at least the gist too! Problem solving skills are ...well, it’s that whole "teach a man to fish..." idea.
    Of course I realize you are very busy, have lots of other videos you want to do, and this would be its own, like, 12-part miniseries, but I wanted to share my two cents on an issue/topic that has consumed my whole life, and one I strive to help others understand, so it might build a better zeitgeist for all humanity. And because apparently I can’t teach martial arts=logic=math=conversation very easily. And I lack cute animations for my teaching. :)
    But hey, I’d be delighted to help if asked. And I really do think it could be a wonderful thing for millions and millions of people around the world, regardless of circumstance like job, gender, geography, etc.
    Food for thought for you, and thank you for giving me so much to think about!

  • Aboudi
    Aboudi 8 days ago

    We dont need people we need doctor strange

  • Amoony Doody
    Amoony Doody 8 days ago

    Hahaha if only the world was that simple... try making that point to young scientists and engineers who can't find employment because of economics and cost cutting in the name of profit.

  • Creeper Hunter
    Creeper Hunter 8 days ago

    In Europe the health services are free. We don't need to pay so much as the USA's citizens xdxd

  • dina vasquez
    dina vasquez 9 days ago

    Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh Very Scary Wowwwwwwwwww Oooooooooooooooooooooh

  • Zholopshis
    Zholopshis 9 days ago

    globalist utopia

  • Paul J. Burns
    Paul J. Burns 9 days ago

    And then religion reared it's ugly head...that's the thing humanity has to surpass to survive.

  • Edward Feldman
    Edward Feldman 9 days ago

    Such a professional and engaging channel, love the star wars scream throw in.

  • bloom away
    bloom away 9 days ago

    the money is 7 times fold already...in the hands of some who try to make us work 7 times fold...it's the money that should create what needed not people working more for it :) except those who have it don't wanna use it...hmmm

  • ILikeCHEEZ9
    ILikeCHEEZ9 9 days ago

    forgot to mention "in a perfect world" These models never account for the human element. Its why they dont work

  • Miguel M.A.
    Miguel M.A. 9 days ago

    "Do you like being alive?"

  • den m
    den m 10 days ago


  • Roberto Noguera
    Roberto Noguera 10 days ago

    I like this concept but theres still bad people in this world that will use technology for bad things unfortunately

  • jamit the slayer
    jamit the slayer 10 days ago

    now we just need to find a way to get to marsh

  • The Arkitekt's Workshop
    The Arkitekt's Workshop 11 days ago +3

    How many brainless racists pretending to be 'special smart peoples' can comment on one video?
    Judging by the comments, all of them.
    Tip: segregation and nationalism lead to no positive end. Think I'm wrong? Cite a SINGLE historical advancement that resulted from it in a SINGLE culture.
    Oh, right. There's zero.
    And how about when cultures intermingle?
    Suddenly the numbers are so high they cannot be counted.
    But hey. Let's all be nationalist. In fact, let's make a time machine to make sure everybody ever was a racist/nationalist. I'd love to see the outcome if the man who single handedly drove our nuclear program to succeed had remained a German loyalist in the years before the Cold War started. We wouldn't have any White Nationalist Americans, I can assume that much.
    If you are a nationalist or a racist, you are quite literally the definition of retarded. And yes, "literally" was used in its literal sense there, in case you were too slow to catch it. And no amount of stamping like a toddler will ever convince anyone who doesn't share your inherent defect otherwise.

    • Johnny Riley
      Johnny Riley 10 days ago +1

      Finally, someone realizes that globalism isn't poison.

    • Somebody Somewhere
      Somebody Somewhere 10 days ago +1

      Finally someone gets it. Nationalists are fucking stupid.

    BRANDON LIAO 11 days ago


  • Lloyd Nix
    Lloyd Nix 11 days ago

    It could also create more future enemy s though, why should we help them if they aren't under our control and thus can't profit off the products of their well being. I mean sure maybe one of their innovations will help us, but that's not likely. Why should they help us.

  • Muzik
    Muzik 11 days ago


  • Zafira Reiven
    Zafira Reiven 11 days ago

    well... it'll be great if that's true...
    if there's a good person then there's a bad person too. Someone cant be a good person if there's no bad person.

  • Sitting on a chair
    Sitting on a chair 12 days ago

    also known as democracy

  • Zachary Oaks
    Zachary Oaks 12 days ago

    Ayn Rand is proud...

  • Billy Sooner
    Billy Sooner 12 days ago

    Being kind to others will make other People more inclined to be nice to me and help me. That is my selfish reason for being an altruist.

  • Prior of the Ori
    Prior of the Ori 12 days ago +1

    This is incredibly inspiring to me.

  • skiddly
    skiddly 12 days ago

    **cough** **cough** thanos

  • skiddly
    skiddly 12 days ago

    'fun' is not something one thinks of while learning..but this, this doea bring a smile to my face

  • ACE
    ACE 12 days ago +1

    I like how we can explain everything with birds :3

  • Rifty The Swifty
    Rifty The Swifty 12 days ago

    I think even Andrew Ryan would support this form of Altruism.

  • Christopher Enos
    Christopher Enos 12 days ago +1

    the best video ive ever seen on youtube

  • Andreea Montez
    Andreea Montez 12 days ago

    Why the poor bird tho ? :((

  • Nader Nassrallah
    Nader Nassrallah 12 days ago

    Tell that to the big corporations, who are actually benefiting from keeping people poor. The weapon industry that are amassing billions and billions through giving arms to war-torn countries, creating more and more conflict and keeping the people poor undeveloped ignorant week and in need of their weapons creating a vicious cycle.
    Plus there have been numerous claims that the cure for cancer is being hidden in order to keep pumping billions of dollars through research and the high cost of a cancer patient's treatment.

  • Babylonian
    Babylonian 12 days ago

    In an utopia maybe. You know, there are entire religions right now whos main goal is to exterminate the entire population of a different religion, right? Good luck convincing them of this idea

    10 TON DIAMOND FIST 12 days ago


  • Gregory Williams
    Gregory Williams 12 days ago

    >do you like being alive
    no thanks

  • Kurt Radyko
    Kurt Radyko 13 days ago

    If this is really your belief, then you're perhaps against immigration. As an engineer, some of the best in brightest people who work in my company are from India. As they tell me, there is a way higher standard and amount of work to get a degree/transfer to the United States to get an education. They are far more highly motivated than most of my colleagues. By my personal observations of how education and general societal norms are degrading into absolute stupidity (to the point where people will watch your videos and actually think this is a legitimate source of information), we are in a downward spiral, and 2nd and 3rd world countries will surpass us in science and industry in just a few decades.

  • AkridHunter
    AkridHunter 13 days ago

    Why does the video ignore the opportunity cost of investing in the development of less well-off countries? The same argument that says that a broader number of well-off people could invest more in cancer research also says that a limited number of well-off people could invest the same amount in cancer research if they weren't investing elsewhere with no change in the return. This is worth addressing because it's one of the greater practical problems with globalized development - its not in the immediate economic interest of people in already developed areas to pour money and resources into less developed areas on the promise of future payoff somewhere at some point down the line, especially since most of those who pay in (in the forms of taxes) are not going to see the pay out. Also, the video massively oversimplifies the complexity of technological innovation, particularly in medical fields since there's no direct correlation between the amount of money spent on, say, cancer research and actual progress towards a cure. This has been one of the major points of criticism towards cancer research in the West, which sees a lot of the resources granted for cancer research squandered on redundant testing because there's no unifying oversight of research, Making the Pie larger is GENERALLY better, but it takes much more than that to effect actual change, otherwise we'd have fixed the problems in Africa by now through just dumping money on the continent.

  • Bram Joostens
    Bram Joostens 13 days ago

    The problem with this is that resources are limited and it's avoiding the fact that I don't want eg China or North Korea to be a major center for innovation because they might use it for bad ends and I don't want to live under a totalitarian regime.
    I also don't want countries except the EU, North America and other fully democratic nations like it colonizing other planets though, because again, they might become powerful enough to oppress me.

  • clau cris
    clau cris 13 days ago

    So much food yet half population is starving

  • 김영석
    김영석 13 days ago

    If someone finally cure the cancer, and that one person demand to the world every money to pay for him? That is how capitalism works now. That 'pie' producing acceleration is decreasing, because most of the pie are only belongs to the greedy pie makers' bosses.

  • MrPryze
    MrPryze 13 days ago

    Do you like staying alive?

  • DirtyTurban
    DirtyTurban 13 days ago

    soooo for more people to get bowjobs. more people have to start giving them?

    • DirtyTurban
      DirtyTurban 8 days ago

      same concept correct? based on what he is saying then my statement is valid.

    • Somebody Somewhere
      Somebody Somewhere 10 days ago

      yea thats definitely the message of this video

  • Daniil Eremeev
    Daniil Eremeev 13 days ago

    It's not a positive sum game, It's a zero sum game! Economists are wrong!

  • TronHammer
    TronHammer 14 days ago

    The problem of overpopulation would most likely become worse in the beginning of working towards an all-educated world. Once the concept was set in place and everyone was well off the system would most likely work towards everyone's interest. However, until we get there, differing personal interests of cultures, economic interests of companies, and political interests of countries would most likely make the change from our current system to the described system impossible. It would take a uniform effort from every individual to change but in the current state, the people's interests around the world aren't all that uniform due to varying levels of wealth accompanied by differing personal needs. Nonetheless, the descibed state of the world is indeed desirable, nice video.

  • Lucia Occulstone Moreno

    Its all true until a nation ks rich enough to have gender studies courses at which point.....doom