Just spinning off of this, being also someone without an elite school brand to fall back on, I am often hesitant to pursue non-technical work in any capacity and especially so at an EA org due to the nicheness and its lack of legibility.
A decent compromise is technical work at an EA org but even that feels like a gamble sometimes without grinding my way into a FAANG company to establish the aptitude credential first.
As someone who is still in the process of developing a technical grasp around AI, yeah I honestly am a bit overwhelmed sometimes by the degree of focus on AI stuff (at least in my college age EA social circles) over bio and nuclear security and would love to deep-dive more into those areas but it seems like AI Safety where most of the visible opportunities are (at least for now...).
I'm also wary of cargo-culting some of the AI risk arguments to newcomers as a community-builder when I don't necessarily understand everything myself from the ground up.
Just some random Twitter comments I've seen:
"I received a flyer for Flynn multiple times a week for months. Made me 100% sure I wasn’t going to vote for him."
"Great! I voted for her. There IS a point where you can run too many commercials. Was turned off by the non stop deluge of ads from the Flynn PAC. A little more restraint might have tricked people. Way too obvious of an attempt to buy a seat."
"I guess you really can't buy anything with crypto."
"Crypto bro goes down just like crypto did"
Even if they get net energy generated (which may very well be possible but I'm skeptical), that's still a very long path toward viable commercial generation at scale when you consider the supply chains you'd have to establish for stuff like tritium fuel cycles, all these special magnets, general manufacturing of reactor components and other infrastructure-esque issues. Not to mention, the kinds of materials that can withstand the radiation damage you'd have while the fusion reactor is in operation in the long term do not yet exist. Then if we're talking about building any reactors in the US, we have to take into account the US' abysmal record in building any kind of large infrastructure and factor in the (likely) overrun costs in construction.
And tbh, at this point, the LCOEs of even renewables+storage are becoming pretty viable so aside from the coolness factor, fusion might have some supporting role to play but I honestly just don't find it that exciting anymore.
Fin's comment sums things up pretty well.
See more on the economics of fusion: https://wernerantweiler.ca/blog.php?item=2019-12-17