MathiasKirkBonde's Shortform

post by MathiasKirkBonde · 2020-06-08T20:32:37.534Z · score: 3 (1 votes) · EA · GW · 6 comments

6 comments

Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by MathiasKirkBonde · 2020-06-12T21:08:45.505Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

I wrote down a list of all the things I could spend one hour every day doing. Among high scorers was teaching myself Mandarin.

Has anyone looked into the value of learning Mandarin, for the average person disinterested in China?

comment by Benjamin_Todd · 2020-06-12T21:24:48.347Z · score: 10 (6 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Some thoughts here on how quick it is to learn: https://80000hours.org/articles/china-careers/#learn-chinese-in-china

In there, I guess that 6-18 months of full-time study in the country is enough to get to conversational fluency.

I've seen other estimates that it takes a couple of thousand hours to get fluent e.g. here: https://linguapath.com/how-many-hours-learn-language/

My guess is that it's more efficient to study full time while living in the country. I think living there increases motivation, means you learn what you actually need, means you learn a bunch 'passively', and lets you practice conversation a lot, which is better than most book learning, and you learn more of the culture. So, I'd guess someone would make more progress living there for a year compared to doing an hour a day for ~4 years, and enjoy it more.

That said, if you use the hour well, you could learn a lot of vocab and grammar. You could could then get a private tutor to practice conversation, or you could go to China (or Taiwan) later building on that base.

comment by Milan_Griffes · 2020-06-12T23:45:45.515Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)
My guess is that it's more efficient to study full time while living in the country. I think living there increases motivation, means you learn what you actually need, means you learn a bunch 'passively', and lets you practice conversation a lot, which is better than most book learning, and you learn more of the culture.

+1

Being there definitely increased my motivation to learn the language, even though I didn't know any Chinese beforehand and wasn't intending to learn any.

comment by Khorton · 2020-06-12T22:48:08.158Z · score: 4 (3 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Why would you learn Mandarin if you're disinterested in China? What made it high scoring?

comment by MathiasKirkBonde · 2020-06-08T20:32:37.835Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

Triplebyte is a company that interviews and vets software developers, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. Triplebyte can cut down the time spent on draining interviews significantly. More importantly it makes it easy for firms to find candidates and vice-versa.

Would it be useful to have similar service for EA organisations?

It seems to me the skills EA organisations look for, seem harder to generalize than software development skills. This means centralized interviews are much less valuable.

What does seem useful is reducing the friction that arises from matching companies with candidates.

Less well known orgs could more easily find the labor they need and persons interested in direct work at EA orgs can devote their full focus on their current occupation knowing they will be visible to potential employers.

It seems the 80k job-board is already accomplishing much of this, does anyone reckon there would be demand for an expanded version of this?

comment by MathiasKirkBonde · 2020-06-22T09:31:22.367Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

At what point do feel with ~90% certainty you would have done more good by donating to animal charities than you've harmed by consuming a regular meat-filled diet?

It would be nice to know the numbers I have in my head somewhat conform to what smart people think.