Topic Contributions


U.S. EAs Should Consider Applying to Join U.S. Diplomacy

That's really interesting, as an American who has been active in EA in the US and Europe I usually felt that England had an outsized weighting on EA stuff, not the U.S.

How many EAs failed in high risk, high reward projects?

I can say that I failed at what I would consider a high risk, high reward project. I was a member of a charity entrepreneurship cohort and worked on an a nonprofit idea focused on advocacy for a pigouvian tax but unfortunately couldn't really get things off the ground for a few reasons. That said, I still highly recommend trying something ambitious. That failure taught me a lot and got me more into the policy realm which helped pave the way for my current work doing policy advisory in Congress which I think is relatively high impact. 

Go Republican, Young EA!

As someone working in a Republican office in Congress doing tech policy this really resonates with me. I think for folks who are libertarian or just apolitical/ambivalent generally about culture war issues then this is a solid way to go, especially on the tech policy front which skews heavily D and means it'll be easier to stand out. As a warning though, these labels stick, so just think hard about whether you're ready to commit to a pathway (not that you can never cross the aisle, it just becomes significantly more difficult to do so after a few years in one party).

Awards for the Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition

Posting a comment because I expect people who read this to also be somewhat entrepreneurially aligned. If anyone is interested in the below areas and wants to kick ideas around, potentially cofounder match, etc. I'd love to chat as I'm considering doing something in one of these spaces after I finish my fellowship in Congress:

  • Charter Cities (e.g. SEZ near the U.S.); especially those that could also serve as a stopgap while other orgs advocate for domestic immigration reform for critical areas (e.g. AI researchers from India or China who would have a hard time getting a visa)
  • Purchasing coal mines in order to 1) preserve them for future generations in case of a catastrophic event and 2) prevent the near-term use of coal to prevent additional harmful emissions and 3) to see if there are other things we can do with them that would be interesting... unsure what that is yet. Underground bunkers next to the mine for biological weapons shelters?
  • Any startup ideas around defense, helping make humanity multiplanetary, or anything far future that is closer to a venture backable company than a nonprofit.
Awards for the Future Fund’s Project Ideas Competition

I think the lead exposure project is quite interesting but isn't this already done by LEEP which spun out of Charity Entrepreneurship a while back? What's the rationale for another organization here? Or is RoryFenton already involved in that project.

Brain preservation to prevent involuntary death: a possible cause area

Are there any other products that could be leveraged by current cryonics facilities that could also help decrease those costs in the interim before moving to plastination? I know sperm storage is becoming increasingly popular; maybe there are other products that someone already interested in cryonics would also be interested in that could leverage the facility?

Brain preservation to prevent involuntary death: a possible cause area

Not sure if you considered it as a potential benefit but my understanding is that right now the government and health care systems/insurers spend an inordinate amount of money mainly to extend life for the last 5-10 years of an elderly person now. This imposes broad costs on state run health systems and private insurers which need to charge people more from younger ages to cover these expected costs. It's possible that more elderly people are inclined to engage in cryopreservation just before they enter this "sickly period" (for lack of a better term) if they believe in the future they could be revived helping to spare a huge amount of costs on medical systems today. 


P.S. Great writeup; I've thought occasionally about trying to build a business in the space focused on longevity and making cryo more approachable for the average person. I know some folks in Germany started a startup around it which gives me some hope that it isn't too crazy an idea for venture funders and has some potential for returns.

U.S. Executive branch appointments: why you may want to pursue one and tips for how to do so

Echoing Ian's comment, I'd appreciate if you could share more information about your background. I understand that you want to remain anonymous but maybe you could share how you're connected to folks on the transition team, potentially how influential you expect your recommendations to be, if there are any departments you have more or less influence in, etc. so folks can judge whether they want to expose all of this info to you.

Problem areas beyond 80,000 Hours' current priorities

Agreed, from the foreign policy folks I follow who focus on the region that one seems especially dangerous, especially if you care about stopping the usage of nuclear weapons which would be somewhat more likely in an India v. Pakistan conflict given it's likely Pakistan would lose a war waged with purely conventional weaponry

Problem areas beyond 80,000 Hours' current priorities

Because of the likelihood of it occurring or because the potential for human/economic damage or both? It also is concerning to me given that India would probably be somewhat more inclined to use nuclear weapons in a China v. India conflict than America would be (although who knows with the current admin), especially if Pakistan started making moves at the same time as India was focused on China. But I'm not sure why China would really push a conflict, that means they have to move huge amounts of men and materials to the west and potentially leave an opening on their coasts, plus they import huge amounts of energy products that flow past India that would surely get massively disrupted in the case of a conflict and don't have that strong of a blue water force projection capability as the US and others who would probably come to India's aid

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