Has anyone tried hiring “totally random” people to work on a problem area? Basically you hire someone you don’t know well (maybe currently working a job known to be both intellectually challenging and under-paid [like teachers?] if you want some selection), give them a large lump sum of money, and tell them to work on some problem area in the way they feel is best, with accountability in the form of having to do a weekly/monthly report or something. (If you’re really feeling ambitious, maybe have them read some EA/business literature or something first, if that would increase effectiveness.)
I’m asking this because there seem to be a lot of problem areas where the main bottleneck is manpower, rather than money, and I wonder if we might be unnecessarily limiting manpower with our current hiring practices. Hiring non-experts obviously would be a very bad idea in problem areas where imperfect work could lead to strong downsides, but there are plenty of requests for further work/bounties mentioned on this forum where the only downside of improperly completing such requests would be a waste of money. I also don’t want subject-matter experts wasting time working on projects which non-experts can also work on successfully, as that would effectively be time wasted for them. Another important aspect here is that the person hiring them is not spending a lot of time on the process, and training is “outsourced” by giving them the time/money to research the area themselves. There may also be a side-benefit of getting more people interested in the problem area/connected with EA, and bring a greater diversity of perspectives to the problem area. Has this been tried before?
Are you sure that all problems we’re facing are necessarily difficult in this he sort of way a non-expert would be bad at? I don’t have the time right now to search through past bounties, but I remember a number of them involved fairly simple testable theories which would simply take a lot of time and effort, but not expertise.