All of branperr's Comments + Replies

What is the best way to earn money outside your career?

So this isn't a full answer to your question, but one thing you should factor in when making your decision is how much time/energy do you have? Stocks and bonds are pretty great for that because they're passive income earners. If you already have a full-time job, then renovating property might be a huge time sink unless you're willing to shell out the cash for hiring someone to do it. Some of this also depends on what skills you have. If you're a programmer, doing some side projects/contract work might make you some decent cash. If you can turn a hobby that you would already do anyways into a profitable venture, that can save you on the time/energy cost.

Thanks. Time and energy are definitely relevant factors. I'm quite ignorant of all of this, but when it comes to property renovation I would think you could be highly involved at the start (drawing up plans etc.) and then could more or less leave the builders to execute the plan, and then put it on the market. So not no time - but perhaps not a huge amount. As I say I'm a complete noob so would appreciate any further information! I hope it goes without saying that I'm asking this on earning to give/earning to save grounds by the way.
Effective Altruism and International Trade

I think this might be underestimating how much it costs to implement a new bill. You cite 200k USD, but I don't think that includes the chance that it fails to pass or fails to get a legislator to sponsor it. I think it would be useful to try different numbers for that.

OK, thanks! Although these should be adjusted for probability of failure (as per Drutman's analysis), the 200K may still be a bit low. Also see my response to Matt_Lerner. The number may even go up to 5m. I will revise these numbers.
EA Hotel with free accommodation and board for two years

I forgot to include this in the Google forum I filled, so I wanted to come back and comment on this. Are you going to help EAs with student loan debt on their payments? I know that many people, including myself, have a few hundred dollars a month that we have to pay, and being without income for a long period of time could make this a non-option for them. Alternatives like deferments could potentially be used, but it's an area that should be explored at least.

I think this is something that would come under the "hardship" fund mentioned above. Any kind of debts would probably be best treated as special cases deserving of individual assessment and means testing. (Student debt is not something I've especially considered as in the UK it only has to be paid if you are earning a significant amount, and gets written off after a number of years otherwise, so can basically be better considered as just another form of income tax).
Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy

Thank you for your reply Holden! I submitted my application yesterday after hearing you all were talent constrained, so I hope to hear from you all sometime soon. What does the training process look like for people who are hired on as research analysts?

1Holden Karnofsky4y
Broadly speaking, we're going to try to give people assignments that are relevant to our work and that we think include a lot of the core needed skills - things like evaluating a potential grant (or renewal) and writing up the case for or against. We'll evaluate these assignments, give substantial feedback, and iterate so that people improve. We'll also be providing resources for gaining background knowledge, such as "flex time," recommended reading lists and optional Q&A sessions. We've seen people improve a lot in the past and become core contributors, and think this basic approach is likely to lead to more of that.
Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy

What's daily work and office culture look like in the OPP? Do you all host group activities, happy hours, or anything like that outside of working hours?

4Holden Karnofsky4y
We currently have a happy hour every 3 weeks and host group activities as well, including occasional parties and a multiple-day staff retreat this year. We want to make it easy for staff to socialize and be friends, without making it a requirement or an overly hard nudge (if people would rather stick to their work, that's fine by us).
Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy

How do you enjoy living in/near and working San Francisco? How's the commute, the expensive housing, and all that affected your lives?

I am a Program Officer at Open Philanthropy who joined as a Research Analyst about 3 years ago. The prior two places I lived were New Brunswick, NJ and Oxford, UK. I live in a house with a few friends. It is 25-30m commute door-to-door via BART. My rent and monthly expenses are comparable to what I had in Oxford but noticeably larger than what I had in New Brunswick. I got pay increases when I moved to Open Phil, and additional raises over time. I’m comfortable on my current salary and could afford to get a single-bedroom apartment if I wanted, but I’m happy where I am. Overall, I would say that it was an easy adjustment.
2Holden Karnofsky4y
Perhaps other staff will chime in here, but my take: our pay is competitive and takes cost of living into account, and we are near public transportation, so I don't think the rents or commutes are a major issue. As a former NYC resident, I think the Bay Area is a great place to live (weather, food, etc.) and has a very strong effective altruist community. I don't see a lot of drawbacks to living here if you can make it work.
Hi, I'm Holden Karnofsky. AMA about jobs at Open Philanthropy

Hi there! Thank you for doing this. Is there a place for people who have just or recently finished their undergrad to help in your AI governance and policy position?

2Holden Karnofsky4y
I'd recommend that recent grads looking to help with AI governance and policy apply for the Research Analyst [] position. With Research Analysts, we'll first focus on mentorship & training, then try to figure out where everyone can do the most good based on their interests and skills. Someone who has a high aptitude & interest for AI strategy would likely end up putting substantial time into that within a year or so (maybe less). You can also check out roles at the Future of Humanity Institute [].
Why we should be doing more systematic research

What kind of systematic research would be good for AI strategy?