For this exercise, you’ll begin to think about what these ideas might mean for your life. We don’t expect you to come up with a full plan now: you should probably continue to explore the ideas and think through various options. But we think that it can be useful to come up with some initial guesses at this stage, to structure your thinking.

  1. Based on the readings in previous sessions, which global problems do you think are most pressing and why? (Remember, experts are quite uncertain about this question!)
  2. What are your 3-5 biggest uncertainties about the above?
  3. What could you do over the next few weeks to explore those uncertainties? (For example, do more reading, talk things through with a friend, or write an EA Forum post on your key uncertainties to get feedback.)
  4. What aptitudes are you most interested in exploring or using next? You might want to think about what you’re unusually good at, what activities make you feel energized, and what skills seem especially useful for addressing the problems you listed above.
  5. How could you begin to test out those aptitudes over the next few weeks?
  6. While you’re figuring out your uncertainties, are there any actions to improve the world that you want to do now? (E.g. make a donation, or do things that make it more likely that you remember to apply these ideas in your life (like signing up for newsletters, committing to discuss your career with a friend, or making a task to apply for high-impact jobs/internships)).

If you want to do a more in-depth and structured career planning process, we recommend checking out the 80,000 Hours Career Guide. 80,000 Hours also offers 1:1 advising to people interested in using their career to work on the world’s most pressing problems. 

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Based on the readings in previous chapters, which global problems do you think are most pressing and why? (Remember, experts are quite uncertain about this question!)


Biorisks: Whether through a bioweapon, a lab leak, or a naturally occurring pandemic, I believe that dangerous microorganisms that spread globally and cause immense amounts of suffering and deaths are very plausible (since it has already happened and we're increasing the potential for bioweapons and lab leaks as technology progresses)

Nuclear War: Given the constant tension in international relations that seems to permeate History and the fact that these nuclear warheads already exist and can easily be deployed, it would not be a surprise if a full nuclear war between two nations would eventually unfold and lead to hundreds of millions of deaths, and many more injured people (let alone a potentially catastrophic Nuclear Winter).

Global poverty: Over 4,000,000,000 people (±50% of the world population) have to survive daily on less resources than $6.7 dollars can buy in the US (for comparison, the US poverty line is below $37.23). Poverty seems to be strongly correlated with a lower quality of life in all relevant domains (child mortality, life expectancy, access to healthcare, education, learning outcomes, life satisfaction). Just to connect to the other two problems above, global poverty would be worsened both in cases of pandemics or nuclear war that negatively impacts the world economy.

Battery-caged hens: Billions of chickens are living possibly net negative lives every year, and their situation can be improved considerably by abolishing the use of battery cages, which seems a feasible intervention, given that many companies have already done it.

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What are your 3-5 biggest uncertainties about the above?


Uncertainties about nuclear war: What is the chance that we'll have a nuclear war that poses existential risk? What can be done to lower the risk? Some people have argued that the existence of nuclear weapons is part of the cause for why the world has been more peaceful in the last decades, compared to before. If this is true, then how does that change our relationship to the existence of nuclear weapons?

Uncertainties about global poverty: Would it be solved just by redistributing the world's wealth, or would that not be enough? What is the risk that, by making people richer, the environmental destruction increases to a point of no return?

Uncertainties about battery-caged hens: How much better are their lives outside the cage? If still net negative, what's the chance that the abolition of cages would lead to "moral licensing", i.e., society feeling that we don't need to abolish factory-farmed hens, because they are already cage-free?

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What could you do over the next few weeks to explore those uncertainties? 


Do more reading! :-)

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What aptitudes are you most interested in exploring or using next? You might want to think about what you’re unusually good at, what activities make you feel energized, and what skills seem especially useful for addressing the problems you listed above.


I'm particularly interested in mathematical modeling and statistics, which seem very useful tools for evaluating scientific evidence, which, in turn, helps to shed light on most of these questions and uncertainties.

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How could you begin to test out those aptitudes over the next few weeks?


I'll continue my studies of mathematics and statistics, as planned :-)

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While you’re figuring out your uncertainties, are there any actions to improve the world that you want to do now? 
Yes! I plan to create a one-hour presentation about some of the world's biggest problems and how to address them to some friends of mine (I plan to do one-on-one meetings) who have the resources and the desire to have a positive impact on the world, but might not have thought about it.
I also plan to contact the one-on-one 80,000 Hours mentorship some time this year.

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Thank you all for striving to make the world a better place!

poverty, leadership and environmental issues,are the top issues,on my global listing,which I feel should be looked into,as the rate of poverty and inequalities,could be related to economic issues,which have continually been at the expense of one benefiting more than the other,and that of leadership,linked to political issues,which spans across local and international levels,where diplomacy, alongside international relations are charted for several reasons,which posits several division, despite a common course,that binds us all as humans.finally,the environmental issues,consist of several outcomes, which climate change is incorporated along,and has made people, battling for several reasons ,as the quest for much better environmental structure, cutting across several communities within the globe, cannot be overemphasized. my biggest uncertainty with respect to the above outcomes is that,can there be fairness,on the global stage for this issues? and towards exploring this uncertainties,I would engage in further research and other engagements, towards unraveling measures,which will help curb the situations,as I would continue with my community and social engagement,which it's ongoing, towards improving the lots of our communities,in relation to global engagements and partnerships, which E .A, is a platform, towards attaining that,and I really appreciate, and seek working with this network ( the e.a community, in relation to other global partners), towards improving our communities and the world at large.