I really wasn't expecting a reply from an 80K staff member so I really appreciate taking time out to give myself and other readers more context. FWIW, I think generally the moves you describe make sense.
On "In our experience, these people aren't 'wandering in the dark;'" - this is just anecdotal evidence but I'd like to push back on that a bit: That phrase might be a bit of an exaggeration but I think personally in my own case and in a number of EAs I've come across, a 20-60 min session with an expert cou... (read more)
I think part of what might be driving the difference of opinion here is that the type of EAs that need a 45 minute chat are not the type of EAs that 80k meets. If you work at 80k, you and most of the EAs you know: probably have dozens of EA friends, have casual conversations about EA, pick up informal knowledge easily, and can talk out your EA ideas with people who can engage. But the majority of people who call themselves EA probably don't have many if any friends who work at EA organizations, donate lots, provide informal knowledge of EA, or who c... (read more)
Just wanted to say I appreciate this post and I feel you. I had a very similar feeling when applying to receive coaching from 80K. I think they've improved their message since I applied, but at the time I didn't fully realize the type of person they were taking was literally the going to Harvard, in the middle of a machine learning Phd type.
I also feel like generally there's a huge under-utilization of talent in EA. I see so many cases of smart, motivated people who may not have literally the best resume ever, but could be extremely helpful... (read more)
Howie from 80k here. Note that I'm just one staff member and don't speak on behalf of the whole team, but I wanted to give some thoughts on your comment.
First of all, I appreciate the feedback and I’m sorry to hear that you had a frustrating experience applying for coaching from 80k. Unfortunately, we can only work with a small fraction of the people who apply. Our current coaching page tries to make this clear and I apologize if we’ve done a bad job communicating this (either currently or in the past).
I understand that this situation m... (read more)
It's practically impossible to exactly predict how future technology will shape out, but intuitively I think if there's ANY significant chance whatsoever of blockchain being the next internet, or anything close, it would be massively positive EV to try to shape that for the better. Imagine if an EA person was the head of Facebook for example? It could be absolutely huge, even if simply from an earning to give perspective.
With all the uncertainty here and the obviousness of other causes, I don't know if this should be high on the list of all priorities for... (read more)
It's true that the first mover often fails, but I also think it's clear that there seems to be a window of opportunity early on which gets harder to get through over time. For example, Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon were all around before the dotcom bust. And while Facebook wasn't the first social network, it seems to have gotten to such strong network effects that it's likely to crush any challenger (as it's currently successfully doing to Snapchat). Surely most of the current blockchains will fail (I mean there's over 1000 of them), but it's very possible someone has already built an improved version that can be mainstreamed.
Thought it might be useful to quickly go through that article's counterpoints (I'm basically making the bull case):
The title - it's misleading to use the ten years figure as serious development has only occurred in the past few years. For example, Ethereum, often referred to as Blockchain 2.0, went live in 2015.
Payments and Banking - Comparing to cash is silly as cash can't be sent across the globe instantly. It's like comparing writing letters to email. On comparisons to Visa - it's true in developed countries with strong banking the use case is not obvi... (read more)
The claim in the OP was not that crypto's wealth is currently less centralized, it was that crypto could lead to a massive redistribution/creation of wealth in general. And that if EAs could get involved, that could lead to a more even distribution of wealth on the whole.
It's also misleading to use strong European states' income numbers as a comparison. My understanding is that those are among the countries with the most equal societies and using income numbers is always more equal than using wealth numbers because rich people tend to have a large amount of assets which count as wealth but not income. For example, in America the top 1/10 of 1% hold more wealth than the bottom 60% of Americans.