Fixed! Thanks for catching that.
Good question! The Al Smith example is from The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert Caro. The examples with Sam and Rohin were from personal conversations/interviews. I think I also drew in a bit from Rohin's FAQ https://rohinshah.com/faq-career-advice-for-ai-alignment-researchers/. The Scott Young example I pieced together from his blog post and book. I tried to link to some of the relevant blog posts above.
A few quick meta comments: It feels like this level of polish is sufficient for getting some people to read the post to begin with. The alternative would be to put a lot of time into creating an engaging, compelling post building your idea, but I don’t actually have a good sense of how much better that would be than simple, conversational tone and brevity you used. The epistemic status note at the top was helpful.
On the other hand, I suspect that almost none of your readers will actually do anything based on this. You probably want to put more effort into making the suggested action easy and compelling if you want to get people to do something.
On net, I vote for more quick posts like this.
The individual receiving the grant has to pay taxes on it, so the net benefit may be somewhat less than you're anticipating.
I love Miranda's fanfic series "A Song for Two Voices" for EA-themed fantasy. https://www.archiveofourown.org/series/936480
"Major themes include the complexity of thinking about ethics, the challenge of taking on problems in the world that seem insurmountable, and trying to do good while dealing with serious mental health issues. The characters do not start out masters of rationality, but they do learn from their mistakes and grow as people, and do their best to help support each other."
Compared to HPMOR, I think "A Song for Two Voices" does a ... (read more)
What’s a skill you have spent deliberate effort in developing that has paid off a lot? Or alternatively, what is a skill you wish you had spent deliberate effort developing much earlier than you did?
I hear the vague umbrella term “good judgement” or even more simply “thinking well” thrown around a lot in the EA community. Do you have thoughts on how to cultivate good judgement? Did you do anything - deliberately or otherwise - to develop better judgement?
What is your process for deciding your high-level goals? What role does explicit prioritization play? What role does gut-level/curiosity-/intuition-driven prioritization play?
For you personally, do you think that loving what you do is correlated with or necessary for doing it really well?
Do you (or did you) ever have doubts about whether you were "good enough" to pursue your career?
(Sorry for posting after the deadline - I haven't been on screens recently due to a migraine and just saw it.)
As a second data point, my thought process was pretty similar to Claire's - I didn't really consider medication until reading Rob's post because I didn't think I was capital D depressed, and I'm really glad now that I changed my mind about trying it for mild depression. I personally haven't had any negative side effects from Wellbutrin, although some of my friends have.
I'm guessing it's mostly because I put less emphasis on them filling it out. When I started coaching, I got more information from new data than I do now, so I put more effort into getting as many people as possible to fill it out. Additionally, I got feedback that it seemed strange paying clients were spending so much time giving me feedback. So now, e.g., I haven't been following up as much if people don't fill it out, and the ask is probably easier to ignore.
Larger groups, coaching busier clients on average, and only asking at the end (instead of also after the first four calls) might also contribute.
Unfortunately, I don't have an easy control group to do such a trial. I do my best to take on every client who I think is a great fit for me to help, so there isn't a non-coached group who is otherwise comparable. Additionally, as a for-profit business, there's an understandable limit to how much my clients are willing to humor my desire for unending data.
I just checked, and 43% of clients who started coaching in 2020 filled in the survey, compared to 81% of clients who started coaching in 2018.
A couple tips that seemed to help me:
I agree that option value is important, but I think there's a trap where preserving option value means never testing one path. I lean toward trying to rapidly and cheaply test multiple paths, while preserving option value.
Thanks for the comment, Meerpirat. This is the latter, but felt closely enough related to use the same terminology. I'd started writing the "Getting Excited about Efficiency" post and realized that the idea didn't resonate with some people because they didn't viscerally grok why getting more stuff done was valuable. So I wrote this post about why people should care about the ideas in Half-Assing It, or my later Noticing and Getting Excited posts.
I find it useful to stagger asking for advice, roughly from easy to hard to access. E.g. if I can casually chat with a housemate about a decision when I just need a sounding board, I'll start there. Once I have more developed ideas, I'll reach out to the harder to access people, e.g. experts on the topic or more senior people who I don’t want to bother with lots of questions.
So, that example looks like an example of time pressure, rather than just being aware of time.
My understanding is that the literature on time pressure is considerably more nuanced and interesting. At its simplest, increased pressure (e.g. tight deadlines or expectation of evaluation) seem to improve performance on tasks where it’s clear exactly what needs to be done. On tasks that require creativity or novel problem solving, pressure seems to reduce performance compared to low to moderate time pressure. E.g. Ted Talk and study. I haven’t act... (read more)
Do you know what the landscape is of people working on this now, and whether any of them are doing it in an EA-ish way?
The biggest expenses are costs typically paid by the employer separately from salary (e.g. self-employment taxes and health insurance together are about $16,000). The next largest is outsourcing some work to help me scale coaching.
This question is too broad for me to fully answer, but checking out the productivity tips on my fb page and reading Deep Work are probably decent places to start.
I wrote up some advice for people interested in becoming coaches a while ago, you can check it out here.
I average about 13 calls a week (which works out to about $80,000 a year), and about 40% of total revenue goes to business expenses (which leaves a salary of <$50,000).
1. The NPS is 39. However, I'm not sure exactly how to interpret it. Broadly speaking, scores above 0 are considered good, but it depends a lot on the industry and I don’t have benchmarks within the coaching industry for comparison. It would be really interesting to see how this compares with other EA orgs, e.g. EAG.
2. The number of hours added is an effect size – standardized effect sizes are usually used when the mean difference is hard to interpret. Since I only have the estimated change (and not the baseline value), I can’t calculate a cohen’s ... (read more)
People generally profit most from working with me if they have a clear area(s) that they know could be improved in order to more effectively accomplish their goals, but haven't yet successfully fixed it. I generally think the returns are good if improving could save you a couple hours a week that then is used more impactfully.
When discussing outcomes, I encourage my clients to try estimating what the concrete impact has been, so I can get a sense of what each person means rather than vague ideas such as "much more productive". So most of them are estimates based on their personal judgments.
I think the difference is along the lines of a lighter touch, ongoing intervention space vs a one-time, immersive experience. My coaching is focused on implemented changes to your mindsets, strategies, and habits in your daily life. I view this as a structured approach to making gradual changes that last. My understanding is that CFAR, on the other hand, aims to immerse their participants in an unusual context with specific tools and ways of thinking intended to rapidly open you up to new ways of thinking and acting. I don't think they are mutually exclusive since you'll take away different things from both.
Hey, sorry for the late replies. Didn't realize there weren't notifications for comments.
Good question. You could get a lot of the benefit of working with me from another good productivity coach. I think there is some benefit of working with someone within the EA community, which has somewhat different goals and norms than the general population. I expect my coaching may be particularly more helpful when you're trying to make life decisions. Given my personal goals and the EA grant, my coaching is also more accessible, compared to that of other coaches, for members of the EA community/people contributing toward impactful causes.