Agreed, more public figures of people who found something meaningful and impactful that wasn't what they initially thought they would/should work on would help with that :)
This is great to hear and an interesting read, thank you for sharing!
Ah, yeah that wasn't intended as my meaning. Will edit :)
Hey, thanks for the comment! Just to clarify because I may be too sleep deprived to track what you're saying... I originally read that as proportional by percent but not by absolute numbers, right?
So if roughly 900 new people per year are considered engaged enough to count as part of the community, ~20% of that and ~20% of 650 would still leave a growing number of people in the community working EA jobs, and even ~30% or ~40% increase in jobs would still leave a growing absolute number of people in the community not working EA jobs.(Again, not to say that this is bad necessarily, and as you noted there's also people who were funded by grants or doing research or similar)
Yeah, this seems a hard problem to do well and safely from an organizational standpoint. I'm very sympathetic to the idea that it is an onerous cost on the organization's side; what I'm uncertain about is whether it ends up being more beneficial to the community on net.
It's been an ongoing discussion at SPARC and ESPR to try to decide how much or how little exposure to EA (as opposed to "EA ideas") we want to make explicit during the camps. So far the answer has been mostly "fairly little," and of course we do focus quite a lot on frank conversations about the ups and downsides. But it's definitely difficult to pass down wisdom rather than just knowledge, and some of the questions have no genuine or easy answer. Thinking on this is certainly something that keeps me up at night every so often.
There's a subreddit called /r/rational which discusses and shares "rational" and "rationalist" fiction. Many of these include EA themes, both explicitly and implicitly.
Some I'd recommend along with the ones others here have already shared include Worth the Candle, an original fiction about a teenager who gets transported into a fantasy world of his own creation and has to overcome personal challenges like grief and societal ones like complex coordination problems, Animorphs: The Reckoning, a fanfic that re-imagines the alien-body-snatchers story of the original through a much more serious and thoughtful lens, and my own fanfic, Pokemon: The Origin of Species, which explores the pokemon world from a more rational/EA lens while also teaching some psychology and therapy.
There's also comics like Strong Female Protagonist, which is about a superheroine who quits fighting crime and goes to college because she realizes she doesn't know how to "actually" save the world.