Carolina F Toth

25 karmaJoined


Makes sense that there would be some jerk-around in a movement that focuses a lot on prioritization and re-prioritization, with folks who are invested in finding the highest priority thing to do. Career capital takes time to build and can't be re-prioritized at the same speed. Hopefully as EA matures, there can be some recognition that diversification is also important, because our information and processes are imperfect, and so there should be a few viable strategies going at the same time about how to do the most good. This is like your tail-risk point. And some diversity in thought will benefit the whole movement, and thoughtful people pursuing those strategies with many years of experience will result in better thinking, mentorship, and advice to share. 

I don't really see a world in which earning to give can't do a whole lot of good, even if it isn't the highest priority at the moment... unless perhaps the negative impacts of the high-earning career in question haven't been thought through or weighed highly enough. 

I'm giving to GiveDirectly again, as I have every year since learning about them. I think they're undervalued in the EA community in general, because we don't yet have a way to give enough weight to subjective wellbeing, the value of self-determination, or justice. I think it is good that extremely poor people would have the opportunity to choose how to improve their own lives - rather than those types of decisions being made for them, however rigorously.

This I think fits into your bucked "translating evidence into policy" - but the Behavioral Insights Team (full disclosure - where I work) did some work several years ago published in the Lancet, where sending a single letter to doctors that reduced antibiotic prescribing  by 3.3% among the highest prescribing 20% of doctors. This translated into around 75,000 fewer doses nationwide in the study period. While we've replicated this in a few places successfully, I don't think this idea is in use globally and would be quite cost effective in the near-term.