Hey David, thanks for the post, always healthy to hear ideas about what not to do. I have a much more positive view of the promise and importance of antivirals for future pandemics, broadly for the following reasons.
Biological diversity & over-updating from one disease
COVID-19 vaccines have been exceptionally successful, in fact surprisingly effective to the expert community. It appears that COVID-19 is a disease that is (1) sufficiently immunogenic to elicit strong and lasting immunity, (2) was readily adaptable to the new vaccine platforms, thanks to... (read more)
I'm not convinced that academia is generally a bad place to do useful technical work. In the simplest case, you have the choice between working in academia, industry or a non-profit research org. All three have specific incentives and constraints (academia - fit to mainstream academic research taste; industry - commercial viability; non-profit research - funder fit, funding stability and hiring). Among these, academia seems uniquely well-suited to work on big problems with a long (10-20 year) time horizon, while having access to extensive expertise and col... (read more)
Hey Jan and Howie,
thanks very much for the clarifying discussion. The fact that there is this discussion (also looking at the high number of votes for the comments) illustrates that there is at least some confusion around rating EA org vs. non-EA org careers, which is a bit concerning in itself.
FWIW my original claim was not that people (neither 80k nor community members) get the rational analysis part wrong. And a career path where actual impact is a few years off should totally get a reduced expected value & rating. (My claim in the initial post is t... (read more)
I'm sympathetic to your comment. The fact that (I think) 80k is not making this particular mistake in its IASPC system does not imply that there's nothing to be concerned about. I think your post as well as some of the comments in other threads do a good job of laying out many of the factors pushing people toward jobs at explicitly EA orgs.
Hey, I'm thinking of professional 'groups' or strong networks without respect to geography, though I would guess that some professions will cluster around certain geographies. E.g. in finance you'd expect EAs to be mainly in London, Frankfurt, New York etc. And it would be preferable for members to be in as few locations as possible.
I agree that local groups are very important, and plausibly more important, than professional groups. However, local groups work largely by getting members more involved in the community and providing '... (read more)
You could try to model by estimating how (i) the talent needs and (ii) the talent availability will be distributed if we further scale the community.
(i) If you assume that the EA community grows, you may think that the percentage of different skillsets that we need in the community will be different. E.g. you might believe that if the community grows by a factor of 10, we don't need 10x as many people thinking about movement building strategy (the problems size increases not linearly with the number of people) or entrepreneurial skills (as the average org... (read more)
Thanks a lot for sharing this. The topics and readings lists strike me as pretty well chosen and interesting. This could be a very useful resource for local groups running discussion groups.