In an attempt to figure out what career path to take, I wrote this in my Google Docs.
"Lawyer that helps administrators make schools that helps budding lawyers form law firms that helps form businesses that intend to expand technology’s spread that could spur journalism which could spur new political parties which could spur more funding to research and charity. If that doesn’t work, form a school, if that doesn’t work, form a business to spread tech and information, if that doesn’t work, form a political party.
Measure of success: improved government funding to key nonprofits and suffering reduction agencies.
Lawyers help → Heads of schools make → Heads of law firms which help→ Heads of telecoms and heads of media → which helps Heads of state and party→which creates mass amounts of taxpayer funding for key nonprofits and suffering reduction agencies
Mass amount of funding for mass amounts of volunteer work and research. Multiple people working on political party to allocate funds inspired by media. Multiple people running the media and technology inspired by law firms helping out. School administrators running programs to inspire multiple people to run law firms inspired by teachers. School administrators inspired by my altruism. Test if this works by measuring how much more money gets filtered into key nonprofits by governments.
Altruistic Politician - Altruistic lawyer - Multiple Altruistic School ADMINISTRATOR AND TEACHERS - Multiple Altruistic LAWYERs - Multiple Altruistic BUSINESSPEOPLE, (Including multiple media and tech business) - Multiple Altruistic POLITICAL ACTIONS - MUCH NONPROFITS, RESEARCH, and GOOD DOING
I utilized effective suffering strategy through media and began my journey. Others can do so too and I can help them do so by helping altruistic media entrepreneurs and school administrators.
You can check how much good is being done and if a career change is needed by checking on funding for research into suffering risks and funding for agencies aimed at reducing suffering. You will go down the ladder from up above"
Now after reading "Personal fit: why being good at your job is even more important than people think" at https://80000hours.org/articles/personal-fit/, I have determined I should figure out what I am good at, and then follow suit. To this end, I am now enrolled in classes at my local community college that I have previously excelled at, (Government, Philosophy, Sociology, and History). I plan on just following philosophy all the way to a PhD and using these classes as stepping stones to a Philosophy PhD and working as hard as I can in philosophy because I know I am good at it, interested in it, and because it is philosophers, (Toby Ord and Peter Singer in particular), who opened my eyes to the EA Community. If anyone can identify a flaw in my thought processes, please help out. I am trying to eliminate bias. One of the main things I have learned is that I should do what I am good at related to the EA Community and that there are many careers which can make a difference. I have found that I made a cycle in career thought process above and came to realize that my thought process goes in circles.
There's no doubt you want to do good, but just because philosopher's opened your eyes to EA doesn't mean you should also be a philosopher. What if a plumber had handed you an EA book? You were going to be excited about EA no matter who first drew you in...and Ord and Singer drew a lot of people in, but they're not all going to be philosopher's. Instead what you should do is keep learning about what doing different jobs is like, what's the day to day life of a philosopher? For example, many people dream about being a flight attendant because you get to travel, but actually being a flight attendant is like being a waiter in a restaurant with travel benefits...you could get a higher paying job and still be able to travel as much, it's basically serving food and drinks in a long skinny restaurant. Being a lawyer is mostly about pleasing your clients by making sure things go their way. Lawyers have to kiss more a** than you can ever imagine, it's all about billable hours and keeping clients happy. Being a philosopher is like being an architect - only the top few really do the cool stuff, but if you can do it, it's pretty cool. I found in college every new semester my exposure to new ways of thinking kept causing me to change what I wanted to do. I recommend treating undergrad as a way to figure out what you want to do, then take a year or two to work a little, intern, go do charity work, etc. Then really have a much better idea on what graduate program to apply to. The main greatness of who you are is that you are bound and determined that your life is going to make the world a better place. That is amazing.
Thank you for your kind words. I agree, just because a philosopher introduced me to ideas doesn't mean I should become one too. But I think I need more clarification about lawyers kissing a$$. Indeed, lawyers have to worry about staying afloat in their practice. Therefore, yes they must "pander" to the client. But what if said client is an entrepreneur starting a business for a good cause, perhaps a researcher starting their institute, or an animal lover forming an LLC for rescues. Then, isn't pandering a good thing?
Well yes you’re right I was trying to point to the hidden realities of certain jobs, and it’s true many kinds of lawyers have to do some demeaning pandering but actually the best kind of legal work is in the EA non-profit sphere, here you can fight the good fight and in a sense your clients are the poor and disenfranchised you are fighting for, or say a good cause like AI alignment. I should have said that in my original comment. :)
Yeah, I'm going to agree with JeffreyK here and say that you could definitely pursue philosophy as an interdiscipline. Tbh, PhD is a philosophy degree in every area. My law PhD is technically a philosophy degree. I'm doing a lot of philosophy in it despite not having a prior interest in that area, because it's required for new knowledge.
If you have an interest area such as law, tech, animal rights, etc, you can always combine that with philosophy. That way you get to be a philosopher whilst also doing something you enjoy doing.
Also, be aware that EA (for its myriad of amazing qualities) has this weird propensity for hero worship. We tend to pick one individual and put them on a pedestal, whilst also forgetting the large teams it took to get them there. It's not a uniquely EA flaw, it's a hero thing. The event organisers, PR agents, marketers, consultants, ops folk, etc were all vital for their success, but don't make it to the bio section. You can make a big impact in EA without mirroring someone else's career path, even by contributing to wherever you feel most interest.
True. I do agree that those two did have a lot of help along the way.