As you can see, I'm leaving Rationalwiki. Retiring is probably not exactly the right phrase, because to me, it implies that I hold both age and wisdom far beyond my 24 years. I was just hired by an NGO, and once my paperwork is finalized, I'm headed to a position abroad, and spending much time online seems an unlikely pursuit.
I've certainly learned a lot from much of what I've read on this site; as someone with a degree in finance/economics, most of the articles I read (those that related to the biological sciences) seem like an alien world to me. I did my best, though, and after running much of the information through my sister the science student, it did start to make some sense. A little snark can always make a long statement of earnings presentation a tad brighter, too. My only regret is that I
couldn't didn't contribute more.
For what it's worth, I thought I'd stand on my soapbox one last time. My assignment is in an area of sub-Saharan Africa where clean/running water, antibiotics, etc, are all in exceedingly short supply. Internet access, medical personnel, and other niceties like these that many of us in the first world have come to take for granted are virtually nonexistent.
Realistically, it's easy to assume that one person, even one NGO, can't "make a difference," as the cliche goes, but as long as I'm on said soapbox, I implore anyone that reads this to at least think about what they can do. Even if you can only do what I did for so many years and just "throw money at the problem" by sending 5 bucks to a charity every once in a while, do so. It can't hurt. (Setting up automatic deductions from your payroll are also a really easy way to contribute, since you never forget to send the check! Talk to your HRM department.)
If you do have the time to volunteer, donate other resources, etc, more power to you. If you don't, it's not a statement on your conscience or your moral character. Maybe your job or life interest isn't working for an NGO, trying, maybe in vain, to save the world one micro-finance loan at a time, live your life ethically and honestly. In many cases that alone is enough, and the opportunities to stand for social justice are abundant.
If you've made it this far... well, thank you! To engage in a vast understatement, I'm not a religious person, so I'll spare any Godspeeds! for you. However, seeing as I am Irish by heritage, I'll leave you with the opening lines to the Irish blessing that everyone's heard "billions and billions" of times, but spare you the final theist sentiments; thank you for your time!
“”May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back.