Aspiring EA from Netherlands (Indian by birth)

agent18's Comments

Why We Sleep — a tale of institutional failure

Very interesting! Can you please cross-post?

A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Claims that you find to be false? please post evidence as well.

A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

If you find formatting issues please state here:

A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained

Do you know of actual TC positions? Can you please cite your source?

Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG

I'm currently trying to transition to effective animal advocacy research, reading more research, offering to review research before publication, applying to internships and positions at the orgs, and studying more economics/stats, one of the bottlenecks discussed here,

Your options sounds solid. I guess your 28 and can thus still get into relatively different quantitative Finance.

But, how did you decide that it is best for you to dedicate your time to AAR? You could be working at GiveWell/Open Phil as a GR, or in OpenAI/MIRI in AI safety research (especially with your CS and Math background), you could also be working in ETG at the FAANG. Also 80khours no where seems to suggest that AAR of all the things are "high-impact-careers" nor does the EA survey say anything about it. In fact the survey talks about GR and AI safety.

And did you account for replaceability and other factors? If so, how did you arrive at these numbers?

I feel that EA orgs have been a bit weak on causal inference (from observational data), which falls under econometrics/stats.

So you hope to apply causal inference in AAR?

Lastly I want to thank you from the heart for taking your time and effot to respond to me. Appreciate it brother.

Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG

Charity Entrepreneurship is starting many more EA orgs with their incubation program (incubated charities here). Maybe worth reaching out to them to see what their applicant pool is like?

Good idea. I will contact them as well to see the talent pool. If they still need "high-quality people", somehow getting better (gaining) in that direction seems like a good opportunity.

I think there are also specific talent bottlenecks, see [1], [2], [3].

Micheal, I have written an article here: in my unfinished blogspace about [1] and [2]. I really don't find evidence for their claims of bottlenecks. Or I don't understand what they are trying to say. For example, GR in GPR is recommended by 80khours in their high-impact-careers post, also in the surveys, also in the separate problem profiles etc... but yet during open phil's round on there is literally 100s of "good resumes" and "many candidates worthy of positions" but OP could not consume all of them.

Peter Hurford can also be seen talking about the lack of Talent constrian in GR (I think)

Actually, this last one comes from Animal Advocacy Careers, a charity incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship to meet the effective animal advocacy talent bottlenecks.

This I really need to look into. Thanks for that.

Btw, I think you have the wrong link for Carricks.

Thanks. Corrected it. Sorry about that.

Bottom line

I don't know how people evaluate which career to choose. Many people are redirecting me to posts from 80khours. But I find only claims there. When I ask organizations on value generated replaceability I don't get any info from them. I think people do a guess at max, falling prey to vague words like Career Capital or possibly primarily focusing on what they are good at or I don't know.

Anyways... It seems like a dead end to think that I can actually evaluate what I should be doing. Your thoughts?

How did you end up choosing to go to DarwinAI? Why not something else like GR in GPR or FAAANG?

Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG

Thanks Michael. As you said, we would need to confirm it from GiveWell. In 2019 they planned to hire 3-5 for new research staffs. It looks like they are physically limiting the growth of GiveWell compared to the available "talent pool" as expressed in Open Phil's hiring round. Also the priors suggest that GiveWell would like to "grow slowly":

So I really doubt we should go by the claim of 80k in this regard.

Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG

Peter please bear with me.

To make a very long story very short, I think you should focus on trying to get a direct work job while still doing what is needed to keep your FAANG* options open. Then apply to direct work jobs and see if you get one. If you don't, pivot to FAANG.

  1. So it looks like you are suggesting that ALL DIRECT WORK (DW) any day is better than FAANG type of work, provided you get a job, EVEN if THE MARKET pool IS has many strong applicants. Is that correct?

  2. I think I can focus on one, either on keeping FAANG open or on DW opportunities. I am 29, Indian by birth and working in Netherlands right now. The common route to a Big Bucks FAANG job (hence California), would require 50k$ in costs and a Master's degree to get into the US. And I probably need to start masters in 1-2 years max, if I hope to be a FAANG guy in US (Guess, feeling). So prepping on this from "now" on would be option 1.

    I don't think I will make it to Direct work jobs now based on what I have seen. I would need to work intensely on it separately as well, depending on what type of job. This would be option 2 provided I know what to focus on. Focusing on option 1 and 2 I think will be hard at the same time I think in this case! Thoughts?

  3. Direct work in what? Each seems to need its own separate prep: GR, AI safety tech researcher, Management positions

    How do I compare different opportunities? It circles back again I think to calculations, examples of values.

  4. On the other hand I could try to COPY YOU.

  • Get a Data Science Job in the US (by doing a Master's maybe?)
  • Be REALLY GREAT at something! Have atleast a Triple Master Rank on Kaggle (for e.g.,) (2-3 years maybe)
  • Be involved with EA community (treasurer, research manager-->No idea how to get there though!)
  • Build relevant skills for direct work (Not sure what "relevant skills" mean)
  • And SOMEHOW IT WILL WORK OUT! (possibly because there is a lot of overlap between research, Data science?)

Also, while doing a FAANG job, you could still aim to build relevant skills for direct work and then switch. This is what I did (except I didn't work in FAANG specifically).

Can you give 2 examples of relevant skills you built for a particular direct work? And how you built it?

Also, from what I know, donating $200k/yr while working in FAANG is possible for the top ~10% of engineers after ~5 years.

Wow. The Power of ETG at FAANG.

Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG

I suppose I'm not directly answering your question, but I think it might be pretty hard to answer well, if you want to try to account for replaceability properly, because many people can end up in different positions because of you taking or not taking a job at an EA org, and it wouldn't be easy to track them.

If one hasn't taken into account replaceability, or the displacement chain, how do you know it is better to work in EA orgs rather than ETG (for X dollars).

Milan Griffes reports with a replaceability of 10% (guess) and attributing 60% (guess) contribution to the donor, that his impact was 244k. Now if you remove the replaceability it is 2.4m.

I doubt anyone has tried to. See this and my recent post.

And the 80khours article you cited on replaceability seems to be so off with its suggestions. 80khours are suggesting that "Often if you turn down a skilled job, the role simply won't be filled at all because there's no suitable substitute available". Whilst the only evidence I can find says completely otherwise: Carricks take on AI S&P, Peter representing RC, Open Phil's hiring round, Jon Behar's comments, EAF's hiring round.

As for your post, I saw it as well, and gained on the "displacement chain" verbiage and calculation. It was very difficult for me to follow the discussion on difference in priorities. In any case, I think we need atleast one real example to test a claim.

How are people so confident in saying that working at an EAO is better than doing ETG especially considering how "full" the talent pool is (Carricks take on AI S&P, Peter representing RC, Open Phil's hiring round, Jon Behar's comments)?

What is the evidence?

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