All of EmeryCooper's Comments + Replies

Money Can't (Easily) Buy Talent

I think this advice is missing a very important qualification: if you are a highly talented person, you might want to consider direct work. As the post mentions, highly talented people are rare—for example, you might be highly talented if you could plausibly earn upwards of $1m/year.

I expect this isn't what you're actually implying, but I'm a bit worried this could be misread as saying that most people who are sufficiently talented in the relevant sense to work at an EA org are capable of earning $1m/year elsewhere, and that if you can't, then you prob... (read more)

Agreed. I appreciate this post and responses alike, but think there are many examples of:

  • Brilliant mathematics/CS graduates who might earn $1M+ in finance, but of which there is an undersupply in direct work
  • Brilliant PhDs in history or other fields whose private-sector alternatives are rarely >$90K/year, and of which there is also an undersupply in direct work

I expect there are several cases a year where the world would be better off if an individual in category 1 would EtG and fund direct work of 5-10 individuals in category 2, than if the individual i... (read more)

Thanks for that clarification—maybe the $1m/year figure is distracting. I only mentioned it as an illustration of this point:

The post argues that the kind of talent valuable for direct work is rare. Insofar as that's true, the conclusion ("prefer direct work") only applies to people with rare talent.

Chi's Shortform

I didn't downvote your comment, but I did feel a bit like it wasn't really addressing the points Chi was making, so if I had to guess, I'd say that might be why.

4Linch8moIf my comment didn't seem pertinent, I think I most likely misunderstood the original points then. Will reread and try to understand better.
Chi's Shortform

This is a really interesting point! I think I'm also sometimes guilty of using the norms of signalling epistemic uncertainty in order to mask what is actually anxious social signalling on my part, which I hadn't thought about so explicitly until now.

One thing that occurred to me while reading this - I'd be curious as to whether you have any thoughts on how this might interact with gender diversity in EA, if at all?

3Chi8moThanks for the reply! Honestly, I'm confused by the relation to gender. I'm bracketing out genders that are both not-purely-female and not-purely-male because I don't know enough about the patterns of qualifiers there. * In general, I think anxious qualifying is more common for women. EA isn't known for having very many women, so I'm a bit confused why there's seemingly so much of it in EA. * (As a side: This reminds me of a topic I didn't bring into the original post: How much is just a selection effect and how much is EA increasing anxious qualifying. Intuitively, I at least think it's not purely a selection effect, but I haven't thought closely about this.) * Given the above, I would expect that women are also more likely to take the EA culture, and transform it into excessive use of anxious qualifiers, but that's just speculation. Maybe the percentage change of anxious qualifier use is also higher for men, just because their baseline is lower * I'm not sure how this affects gender diversity in EA as a whole. I can imagine that it might actually be good because underconfident people might be less scared off if the online communication doesn't seem too confident, and they feel like they can safely use their preferred lots-of-anxious-signalling communication strategy. * That being said, I guess that what would do the above job (at least) equally good is what I call "3" in my reply to Misha [] . Or, at least I'm hopeful that there are some other communication strategies that would have that benefit without encouraging anxious signalling. * edit: I noticed that the last bullet point doesn't make much sense because I claim elsewhere that 3 can encourage 4 because they look so similar, and I stand by that. Interestingly, maybe not instructively, I was kind of hesitant to bring gender into my original post.
You have a set amount of "weirdness points". Spend them wisely.

Over time, I’ve become less convinced of the value of thinking explicitly about weirdness points for most individuals, and I’m concerned that for many people the concept can actually be pretty harmful. To a large extent, I’m referring less to this actual post, and more to weirdness points as a meme, which I think is somewhat less nuanced than the original post. So I might not be maximally charitable in my criticisms, since what I am criticising is the concept as it is often expressed, rather thanas  it was originally expressed.

My concerns are a combin... (read more)

What book(s) would you want a gifted teenager to come across?

I just want to flag up that The Better Angels of Our Nature, whilst a great book, contains quite a few graphic descriptions of torture, which even as an adult I found somewhat disturbing. I don't necessarily think teenage-me would have been affected any worse, but you might still not want to put it in a school library.