Over the last year, I've written six posts about mistakes in the effective altruism community. I thought it would be helpful to collect them all here:
- Focus more on talent gaps, less on funding gaps
- Don't assume diminishing returns for small charities
- We need to use different rules of thumb to coordinate with the community
- Safe credentials are not always the best way to get career capital
- Working at effective altruist organisations is good for career capital
- Lots of people are analysing replaceability incorrectly
- Why effective altruism is totally wrong
I think if you put all of these together, the message is that:
- Probably more people should be aiming to do direct work. In particular, at startups and in less explored cause areas.
- Probably fewer people should be aiming to earn to give.
- When donating, we should be doing more to quickly fund startups.
I'm unsure how large the shift from earning to give to direct work should be, but if you're undecided between the two, then (1) find out your specific options and reassess (i.e. compare specific job offers rather than broad classes) (2) ask where you have the greatest comparative advantage compared to the community, then if still undecided (3) consider leaning towards direct work.