8 karmaJoined Jan 2022


Thank you for the very thorough analysis! I remain a bit sceptical about the practical takeaways, maybe you could shed some light on your thinking there? 

a) You seem to have a generally positive view of potentially influential advisership to the German government. The article on careers in politics (which I largely agree with, I think) as well as very basic conjecture on the general makeup of influential departments in the German government seems to imply that there is a strong emphasis on party politics, 'Ochsentour'-like progression through the system etc. in getting to positions that can actually meaningfully influence policy (esp. given the comparatively weak role of external advisory bodies like thinktanks). 

To me, this seem to require a relatively substantial commitment to popular positions that make for a good base for quick progression through the ranks of a party - the more counterintuitive or 'outlandish' one's priorities are when starting out, the lower the chance to get to influential positions seems to be. This seems to imply to me that a very particular set of already generally popular positions is rewarded - making it somewhat unlikely that a person with a sufficiently strong commitment to underappreciated EA-positions to actually change things will actually succeed in reaching influential positions in the first place. 

b) This might be more of a metaethical pet peeve of mine, but why do you suppose being unsympathetic towards consequentialist reasoning is necessarily disadvantageous to EA efforts? There seem to be many causes that aren't really particularly controversial between moral theories, but are rather a matter of weeding out irrational biases, perception errors, systemic barriers etc.  - there seems to be lots of room to improve before you hit any barriers created by deep-rooted German Idealism (if they do exist).

(I'm aware the two questions seem to push in opposite directions - I don't really have a strong prima facie opinion on the attractivity of German policy-making, those were just things that came to mind)

I'd be very curious to hear your thoughts, and thank you again for the write-up!