Robin Hanson makes the case that the best way to encourage intellectual innovation is to tip intellectuals.

Since it is much easier to evaluate what has worked than what will work, folks who read a lot of intellectual work and who are inclined to support future intellectual work via charity should consider making a habit of just giving money to those who have already accomplished something noteworthy. Most intellectuals have some resources at their disposal and look for promising future directions on which to spend such resources. Your awards for previous achievements should increase the incentive to all intellectuals to achieve similarly praiseworthy results in the future. This will better target your goals because you can better judge what past work has promoted your goals than which future people and approaches might do so.

There are a number of bloggers who have a Tip Jar and from time to time I have considered throwing one up. The biggest impediment is that it feels like it would surrender a significant amount of status for little profit.

That is, not that many people would give, but many would see the Tip Jar and think – what wretches, no one must be willing to pay them for their ideas.

On the other hand Calculated Risk has had a Tip Jar for some time and seems to be suffering no loss in status.

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