tamgent

Posts

Sorted by New

Wiki Contributions

Comments

More EAs should consider “non-EA” jobs

I wonder if others' understanding of neglectedness is different from my own. I think I've always implicitly thought of neglectedness as how many people are trying to do the exact thing you're trying to do to solve the exact problem you're working on, and therefore think there's loads of neglected opportunities everywhere, mostly at non-EA orgs. But now reading this thread I got confused and checked the community definition here and which says it's about dedicating resources to a problem, which is quite different and helps me better understand this thread. It's funny that after all these years I've had a different concept in my head to everyone else and didn't realise. Anyway, if neglectedness includes resources dedicated to the problem, then a predominantly non-EA org like a government body might be dedicating lots of resources to a problem, but not making much progress on it. In my view, this is a neglected opportunity.

Maybe we should distinguish between neglected in terms of crowdedness vs. opportunities available? 

Also, what are others' understandings of neglectedness?

More EAs should consider “non-EA” jobs

I agree that if you choose at random from EA org and non-EA org jobs, you are more likely to have more impact at an EA org job. And I agree that there is work involved in finding a high impact non-EA job. 

However,  I don't think the work involved in finding a high impact non-EA org job is hard because there are so few such opportunities out there, but because finding them requires more imagination/creativity than just going for a job at an EA org does. Maybe you could start a new AI safety team at Facebook or Amazon by joining, building the internal capital, and then proposing it. Maybe you can't because reasons. Either way, you learn by trying. And this learning is not wasted. Either you pave the way for others in the community, highlighting a new area where impact can be made. Or, if it turns out it's hard for reasons, then you've learnt why, and can pass that on to others who might try.

Needless to say this impact finding strategy scales better than one where everyone is exclusively focused on EA org jobs (although you need some of that too). On a movement scale, I'd make a bet that we're too far in the direction of thinking that EA orgs is a better path to impact and have significantly under-explored ways of making impact in non-EA orgs, and there are social reasons why we'd naturally bias in that direction. Alternatively, like Sarah said elsewhere, it's just less visible.

I just realised I haven't asked - why are high impact non-EA org jobs are hard to find, in your view?

More EAs should consider “non-EA” jobs

Yeah I'd imagine much of the work of bringing EA ideas into spaces where folks might not want the identity is less visible, sometimes necessarily or wisely so. I'd love to see more stories told on forums such as this one of making impact in 'non-EA' spaces, even in an anonymised/redacted way.

More EAs should consider “non-EA” jobs

Thanks for writing about this. I wanted to a while ago but didn't get round to it. I also get the sense that too many folks in the EA community think the best way they can make an impact is at an EA org. I think this probably isn't true for most people. Gave a couple of reasons why here

I wrote a list of some reasons to work at a non-EA org here a while ago, which overlap with your reasons.

What EA projects could grow to become megaprojects, eventually spending $100m per year?

Mozilla have a fellowship aimed at this: https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/what-we-fund/fellowships/fellows-for-open-internet-engineering/

Is effective altruism growing? An update on the stock of funding vs. people

Do you think it is useful to speculate about what these orgs could be, in any sense (cause area, purpose, etc.)?

This is being done here: https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/ckcoSe3CS2n3BW3aT/what-ea-projects-could-grow-to-become-megaprojects 

Is effective altruism growing? An update on the stock of funding vs. people

I think they were pretty low profile, and the types of things that Jan-WillemvanPutten is suggesting are about being more present/visible in EA in order to attract a subculture to develop more. I think this example supports his main point more actually, because movement growth is quite driven by culture and attractors for different subcultures.

(As an aside, I was engaged with the longtermist incubator and found it helpful/useful.)
(Another aside, I can think of a few downsides of Jan-WillemvanPutten's specific suggestion, but I think the important part is the visibility and culture building aspect.)

AMA: The new Open Philanthropy Technology Policy Fellowship

Is the staff availability problem more about certain skillsets being in short supply (e.g. ability to evaluate, connect and mentor candidates) or just raw operational power (and if so, is the problem here that it's hard to recruit enough people because of the overhead in recruitment, or you don't want to for another reason), or something else?

AMA: The new Open Philanthropy Technology Policy Fellowship

Is this something OP is likely to be facilitating in future years to come too?

Load More