indrekk

Chemist, longevity enthusiast, crypto sceptic

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Writing about my job: pharmaceutical chemist

Unfortunately I don't have any deep insight to offer. All things science have interested me since age 6, and when I first encountered chemistry in high school it seemed like the most interesting subject by far.

To get an idea of what you would like to do, it helps to try as many different things as possible. Job shadowing is good, but the closer you get to trying out the job itself, the better. Try to intern in any company that would take you.

If you have the financial means, it's much better to take a year or two off before college to figure out what you want, rather than spend 3-5 years in college on a hastily chosen major and realize only after graduating that you don't actually like it.

80 000 hours has also written extensively about finding a career that you love https://80000hours.org/articles/dont-follow-your-passion/

Writing about my job: pharmaceutical chemist
I'm no chemist, but I can imagine this kind of expertise being useful for vaccine production (maybe?)

Organic synthesis sadly is a bit too far from immunology to have much skill crossover. Though of course making an immunologist out of a chemist would be faster than out of a layperson.

We do quite often help universities and startups with research and clinical trials, so the net good from my work is still above average, I would hope.

Not that I think this is essential — it sounds like you're living your dream, and that's an extremely good reason to have a job, EA considerations aside. Just curious if that's something you've thought about.

Yeah that's my one regret about this job, haha. It fits too perfectly with everything I could ever want from a job, so I would not consider a sharp change in career trajectory for the sake of EA priorities. I compensate for that through being quite active in my local EA group.

The transformative potential of cryptocurrencies

I'm not saying it should be "suppressed", but that it should fall under similar regulations to normal money, to prevent abuse and fraud.

Cryptocurrency is a solution looking for a problem. Buying drugs is one of the only problems it's a significant improvement upon, everything else we can already do with normal money. I see no reason to believe it will ever account for more than 1% of the world's transactions.

And yes, if the monetary system is completely dysfunctional and a tool for stealing wealth from your citizens, like in Venezuela, then I guess internet money is better than normal money. In the case of Venezuela, Runescape money for example has been used for this same purpose.

The transformative potential of cryptocurrencies

>2) Smart individuals (or lucky early-adopters) can become, or have become quite rich by utilizing the enormous growth of the crypto market which certainly is transformative for the individuals in question

This is  called speculation, which you seem to be against. If you like the idea of your cryptocurrency being worth lots of dollars, you're not supporting the idea of crypto, but the idea of dollars.

>3) It has created a new eco-system in the technology/financial space, where money and ideas flow quite differently than before

This is a sentence constructed entirely of buzzwords.

>the only realistic possibility that would lead to cryptocurrencies not mattering too much in the future is if they get suppressed by governments

This is already happening, because without government intervention people start doing all sorts of immoral things with crypto, such as pumping and dumping, which is already illegal in the normal financial world

>The more idealistic possibility is that cryptocurrencies would be distributed more fairly, based on need and merit

This is called communism, we've already tried that many times.

>Nano for example was distributed through faucets, which while quite arbitrary and susceptible to manipulation (eg click farms) at least had the intention of distributing the currency without preferring privileged people.

Bad things done by well-intended people are still bad things.

>What such a currency would look like is of course a complex question when it comes to the details, but there seem to be realistic ways of making huge improvements compared to present distribution models.

It seems a common theme throughout your post that you admit that crypto has many problems and then just hand-wave the problems away.

>rules against abuse and an organization behind it that works with stakeholders and representatives to make sure funds are not only being distributed with a degree of participatory legitimation, but also in an effective manner

This is what a central government already does.

>not have too much authority which would go against the idea of a decentralized currency, but serve more of an educational, regulatory and representative function

Without authority, an organization has no ability to effectively regulate or represent.

>an infinite, slowly rising monetary supply

This is how normal currency already works.

>Maybe some form of cooperation with governments would be ideal so that the currency will not perceived as a competition to traditional money

If the cryptocurrency can be exchanged for goods and services, it is inevitably competition to traditional money

 

Money is a super tricky problem to manage. Upending the current system and replacing it with a new half-baked one will solve nothing and recreate many problems that we've already solved with fiat currencies.