Content Editor at Open Philanthropy. Views my own.
I think you're overestimating how high EA-org-salary spending is compared to (remaining) total EA funding per year (in the neighborhood of 10%?)
I think the benefits of living in a hub city (SF, NYC, Boston, or DC) are very large and are well worth the higher costs, assuming it's financially feasible at all, especially if you currently have no personal network in any city. You'll have easy access to interesting and like-minded people, which will have many many diffuse impact and personal benefits.
Also, those are probably the only American cities besides maybe Chicago and Philly where's it is easy to live without a car (and arguably it's only NYC).
I loved this Wikitravel article about American culture for this same reason.
What makes someone good at AI safety work? How does he get feedback on whether his work is useful, makes sense, etc?
For the big-buck EtGers, what sort of donation percentages is this advice assuming? I imagine that if you're making $1M and even considering direct work then you're giving >>10% (>50%?) but I'm not sure.
I also actually have no idea how people do this, curious to see answers!
Also, the questions seem to assume that grantees don't have another (permanent, if not full-time) job. I'm not sure how common that is.
Melatonin supplements can increase the vividness of dreams, which seems counterproductive here. But maybe there is a drug with the opposite effect?
The margin/marginal value.
Anyone trying to think about how to do the most good will be very quickly and deeply confused if they aren't thinking at the margin. E.g. "if everyone buys bednets, what happens to the economy?"
It might help to put some rough numbers on this. Most of the EA org non-technical job postings that I have seen recently have been in the $60-120k/year range or so. I don't think those are too high, even at the higher end of that range. But value alignment concerns (and maybe PR and other reasons) seem like a good reason to not offer, say, 300k or more for non-executive and non-technical roles at EA orgs.