I think there's value in discussing ops decisions. They still represent how an org runs.
The most expensive coffee table I find in my local IKEA is $150, the cheapest $16. I wouldn't quibble over the outright choice to buy the $150 one and agree at some point spending time comparing items to save cash is not a good use of time. I agree the difference saved between these tables is less than the value of some people's time, sure.
But $10,000? That's just unreasonable. That amount of money could save two lives and would be appalling spending if this is true. There has to be a cheaper alternative that can be found in little time. Say 20 minutes. Which would mean there is no one at Atlas whose time is below $30,000 an hour? Hard to believe.
I am pleased to see increased discourse and transparency in regards to funding in the EA space, and I appreciate your contributions to the conversation.
I share your reservations about Atlas. I agree particularly in regards to the potential pool of applicants for a $25,000 grant being similar to the current one. I would be keen to explore alternative methods of funding, such as providing unconditional funds with the option for additional and conditional 'top-ups.'
However, I have some concerns about the methodology behind Atlas' 'talent search.' The evidence for the predictiveness of commonly used measures, such as personality tests, is mixed and subject to manipulation and self-report bias. I would need more information on the evaluation process beyond what is available on the Atlas website to ensure that the selection criteria is rigorous and not based solely on interest and involvement in the EA community, personality, or EA language fluency.
Additionally, we must consider that the developmental differences between young people can rapidly evolve during their teenage years, making it challenging to accurately filter for promising individuals.