Posts

Net Salary after Tax deductions US 2020-09-06T13:26:58.372Z · score: 5 (2 votes)
Examples of loss of jobs due to Covid in EA 2020-08-28T08:20:39.861Z · score: 6 (3 votes)
Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years 2020-05-26T09:03:01.598Z · score: 29 (16 votes)
A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained 2020-03-23T23:09:37.901Z · score: 30 (17 votes)
Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG 2020-03-14T21:09:26.819Z · score: 10 (4 votes)

Comments

Comment by agent18 on Apply to EA Funds now · 2020-09-16T18:36:59.191Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Link to Long term fund: https://app.effectivealtruism.org/far-future doesn't exist. 404 error.

Comment by agent18 on Buck's Shortform · 2020-09-13T19:28:09.434Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I think that EAs, especially on the EA Forum, are too welcoming to low quality criticism.

can you show one actual example of what exactly you mean?

Comment by agent18 on Net Salary after Tax deductions US · 2020-09-09T19:50:14.196Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

IRS says here it is 50-60% for public charities: https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/tax-exempt-organization-search-deductibility-status-codes

I used 13.3% as state income tax for california.

If you have any suggestions for AGI calculators please let me know.

Thanks for the comment, in an otherwise deserted post. :(

Comment by agent18 on Examples of loss of jobs due to Covid in EA · 2020-08-30T19:19:20.910Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Most EA organizations seem to have a decent amount of runway

How long can RC survive without additional funds? What is your typical runway (in months)?

If there's a big loss of jobs in EA orgs, I'd suspect it to hit around January or February, after organizations take stock after giving season.

Yes, seems highly likely. I will check back around that time.

Thank You very very much.

Comment by agent18 on Examples of loss of jobs due to Covid in EA · 2020-08-30T19:05:14.317Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Hi dpiegrass,

Sorry about your job. I wish you the best of luck in your job search.

this chart shows that unemployment in the U.S. jumped from 3.5% in February to 14.7% in April, and fell steadily to 10.2% in July.

Sounds like a proxy I could use. Thanks for the idea.

Comment by agent18 on I'm Linch Zhang, an amateur COVID-19 forecaster and generalist EA. AMA · 2020-07-03T09:23:02.777Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

What sort of training material did you use to predict and get feedback on (#deliberate practice)

Comment by agent18 on effektiv-spenden.org: 2019 - Year in Review · 2020-06-09T08:46:18.187Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

All numbers seem to not be in the same format across the entire post. Here is one example.

Altogether, ES raised 358,869.75 Euro for regranting to effective charities in 2019. The following >table lists the distribution of donations per charity and cause area.

Charity Payout in Euro Payout in % Against Malaria Foundation 27.395,69 € 7,63%

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-31T08:05:13.242Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Khorton. I agree that we should not just look at orgs identifying as EA.

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-31T07:58:55.416Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the suggestions.

most of the most valuable roles (certainly in my 'field' but I suspect in many others, especially the more applied/concrete) will not be at 'avowedly EA organisations'

do you have an example?

it seems wise to have a career plan which does not rely on securing such a role (or at least have a backup).

Agreed that I should have a backup. But why does it seem unwise? Based on what? Have you looked at the possible impact based on replaceability and displacement chains?

What else is there to do I don't know, other than working in some form (researcher, program manager) in "orgs that do good"? I think I can ETG (in the US) but owing to my lack of citizenship there is a 50% chance (H1B and RFE issues) that I make it just considering just random factors. This is still my back up.

Although there's a sense of ways one can build 'EA street cred' (or whatever), it's not clear these forms of 'EA career capital' are best even for employment at avowedly EA organisations.

I am never going to be able to find what the best way to "EA CC" for EA orgs. Alternate being I look at examples. What do you suggest to do then and why?

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-31T07:21:49.018Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I would appreciate an explanation, when you downvote something. Thanks. :)

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-29T16:22:03.502Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the detailed response and taking the time once again.

You keep suggesting that "you had a feeling" about the impact. What does this mean? I guess it's more than just a feeling like seeing how much money or lives or DALY's what your doing counterfactualy adds.

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-26T21:39:46.320Z · score: 8 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thank You for the detailed answer.

In general, I think that everyone’s situation is different and you shouldn’t base
actions on stuff like this too much.

Then, I do not know what else to base my actions on. I also don't understand what you mean by "too much". Do you have an example in mind?

I am trying to look for "similar" (big quotes) people and see how they did it. And copying actions and testing it out seems to be the "better" options I have. It might work, it might not work out in the end to a variety of reasons. But atleast there is one example instead of empty claims about how to get an EA job. Your example, Peters example and MSJs example tell me one thing, it requires persistence and a lot of time (2-5 years), hardwork, long time EA engagement, writing/researching, applying, criticizing, learning about EA etc... I now have an understanding that it would take 2-5 years (and that I need to be ready to accept this). This never hit home to me before today. So BIG THANK YOU for that.

And one more question:

Why were you so bent on getting an EA job? Why not ETG. You are a software engineer I see from your Linkedin.

P.S I am asking you these as I am struggling myself with such questions.

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-26T21:20:02.253Z · score: 6 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Well said Peter. I needed this. thanks!

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-26T12:01:04.716Z · score: 2 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks a ton Sauliu. May I ask you a few more questions:

  1. Are there other internships/jobs you got rejected to? (and where in your timeline were those rejects)

  2. Can you please tell me more about what all you did in that gap year other than write those two articles to "boost your chances"? Did you take a break from normal FT work during that gap year?

  3. So the articles drew the attention to a hirer at RP? Not your connections.

  4. How did you get the EA community building internship? Why was it "unrelated"

Comment by agent18 on Examples of people who didn't get into EA in the past but made it after a few years · 2020-05-26T11:19:02.287Z · score: 5 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Thank You StJules. Appreciate it. This is actually great. Thanks for the details. Ultimately it is about getting a job in EA. But Interships also sounds good.

And congratulations on the Internship.

Comment by agent18 on EA Survey 2018 Series: Do EA Survey Takers Keep Their GWWC Pledge? · 2020-05-22T09:36:19.346Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

@Peter_Hurford

To look at this in depth, we turn to data from the 2017 and 2018 EA Surveys.

Link doesn't work.

Comment by agent18 on EA Organization Updates: April 2020 · 2020-05-19T13:26:51.028Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

of policy and research ideas to reduce existential risk

This is the link: https://80000hours.org/articles/longtermist-policy-ideas/ that is broken. It doens't look updated. I do not know what is the correct link. It takes me to a Page not found when I click. I am not sure it is fixed.

Comment by agent18 on Hiring Process and Takeaways from Fish Welfare Initiative · 2020-05-19T12:06:29.901Z · score: 8 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hi thank you for this. Very much appreciate the effort. Is it possible to answer these questions?

  1. Of the 82, how many people were of the "level" where you would want to hire them? But couldn't due to "lack of funding", "wanting to grow slowly", "don't want to overwhelm the management" (how good was the talent pool)

  2. Why are you not able to hire more than 2 people? (Are you low on funding or wanting to grow slowly, don't want to overwhelm the management etc...)

  3. Did you get the type of candidates you set out to hire? Or did you have to settle for someone with "lesser experience" than you wanted?

Comment by agent18 on EA Organization Updates: April 2020 · 2020-05-19T10:47:24.531Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This month, 80,000 Hours put out their list of policy and research ideas to reduce existential risk > from Dr. Toby

Link broken: https://80000hours.org/articles/longtermist-policy-ideas/

Comment by agent18 on EA Forum: Data analysis and deep learning · 2020-05-18T18:27:02.628Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Would it be possible to make 2-grams and 3-grams as well. Maybe that provides more insight.

P.S It takes more time to generate it and more ram. It does not scale linearly with the n-grams.

Comment by agent18 on A glowing review of two free online MIT Global Poverty courses · 2020-05-07T22:32:24.648Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks a lot. :)

Clarification

  1. Are the tests and weekly assignments peer "graded"?

  2. Ah so I will also be able to start courses in September. This way I could do 2 courses over a semester (6 months). One from June and one from Sept. I think this is what you mean. Correct?

Replies

  1. Unable to access the archived course. Takes me to enroll into the latest.

  2. So 12-14h/week per course (over 3 months) would be needed. Got it!

  3. Ok. I will also try doing 2 for now at the same time.

Comment by agent18 on A glowing review of two free online MIT Global Poverty courses · 2020-05-03T20:04:39.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Hi, I just read their entire FAQ. Can you confirm the following:

  1. The course can only be take at specific times: (e.g., Jun or September) and you must follow it for 3 months (like in a regular school but online). And you have no choice but to follow the schedule? I mean you can't finish the course in your own time (say in 6 months time).

  2. While auditing you are able to take tests, submit weekly assignments (except the proctored exam), correct?

  3. The FAQ says I would need 12-14 hours for the program (does this mean for each course or the whole program (i.e., 3 courses + 2 electives)?

  4. How many courses did you take at a time? in addition to your job or Study?

Comment by agent18 on The counterfactual impact of agents acting in concert · 2020-05-03T10:36:40.667Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't understand the difference between the following in "Notes on leveraging and funging". Is that a typo? They look the same to me.

Comparison 1: Counterfactual world (A): A doesn’t act, B and C act as they would have done if A had not acted.

"B and C act as they would have done if A had not acted."

Comparison 2: Counterfactual world (A): A doesn’t act, B and C act as they did in the actual world.

"B and C act as they did in the actual world"

Comment by agent18 on The counterfactual impact of agents acting in concert · 2020-05-03T10:08:19.705Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Found it.

https://ea.greaterwrong.com/posts/fnBnEiwged7y5vQFf/triple-counting-impact-in-ea?hide-nav-bars=true

Comment by agent18 on The counterfactual impact of agents acting in concert · 2020-05-03T09:59:26.198Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I don't see Joey's article cited anywhere. Can someone help pointing to that article?

Comment by agent18 on What should Founders Pledge research? · 2020-05-03T08:55:40.636Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

There are many organizations doing research work on different projects, such as GiveWell, OPP, CE, ACE, 80k etc... Why not stand on their shoulders? Instead of doing more research? Or fund researchers specially to work in these organizations (as they already have the way of work sorted)?

Comment by agent18 on What are some good online courses relevant to EA? · 2020-04-25T18:03:37.907Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I would think this somehow led to or was a "prime factor" in getting an EA job.

Comment by agent18 on How to increase your odds of starting a career in charity entrepreneurship · 2020-04-19T20:39:47.641Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks for the wonderful article. I assume many of the claims in the article (e.g., 'actions suggested in getting a degree in EA, helping to get into CE') are based on some hiring round that you did some data analysis on and concluded. Do you have a link to such an analysis? Or is it just based on the 15 people who joined the incubation program the last time? (in which case I would think you wrote from your experience what these 15 people had done to get into CE)


You suggest in "possible actions section" that doing courses like the ones by J-PAL could be very useful. I was considering doing them, but when I did a quick check on LinkedIn I didn't quite find anyone who has done these courses currently in your incubation program. Can you please let me know based on what you are suggesting these particular courses as a good initiative to get into CE?


In CE we give people a lot of points for listing an online course on their applications.

Does this apply to any online course (e.g., Data Science Specialization by Coursera) ? How many points are we talking about (5%, 20%, or...)

Is this only about getting as far as the interview?

Comment by agent18 on What will 80,000 Hours provide (and not provide) within the effective altruism community? · 2020-04-19T20:08:15.520Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

For instance, both an advising programme aimed at undergraduates

Small Clarification: It doesn't seem to look like it is aimed at undergraduates (alone) (as shown below). I acknowledge you didn't say "alone", but it feels like it when I read it.

We now offer career mentoring to recent graduates and students at a variety of university groups... --- EASCM 'About'


Can you please let us now when the latest survey coming out?


P.S

Very much appreciate the effort to give examples for many of your claims. Thanks. For example (in the spirit of the game of concrete thinking)

Many of our interviews are also exploratory or of general interest (e.g. Bryan Caplan on the value of education, or David Chalmers on philosophy of mind).

Comment by agent18 on What are some good online courses relevant to EA? · 2020-04-14T16:52:21.641Z · score: 3 (3 votes) · EA · GW

May I ask why you think these are good? Do you know anyone who did it and got "ahead" in their career or?

Thanks.

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-04-11T18:00:33.736Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Now I get what you were trying to say, I think. So you are saying you look at the ratio of "percentage of fundraising in latest job ads" vs "percentage of fundraising in current jobs". That sounds like a smart proxy. Really interesting.

Thanks.

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-04-11T13:49:52.586Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

TL;DR

I think we might be on the same page.


I think it is worthwhile to note that in your latest article in the abstract you make a few claims such as: "EAs are struggling to fill fundraising and operations roles". But you also think it is important and have dedicated a whole article to a bunch of similar claims on bottleneck, showing why you think there is "weak evidence" and explain what the "weak evidence" is.

If you are saying you will make representative statements but provide the evidence you have for it, then this discussion is moot (rendered unimportant by recent events). For me evidence gives a way to understand how "struggling" EAAs are and quickly test it.


Claims: Representatives for most certain purposes seems to be more useful than specificity/concreteness.

Example:

If, via some research, you have the ability to either 1) make claims about TC across a movement or range or orgs, with moderate confidence or 2) make claims about TC in one or two orgs, with higher confidence, an individual might opt for (2), as they can focus on orgs they're more interested in. But 80k/AAC would opt for (1), because the advice is useful to a larger number of people

Discussion

This doesn't look like an example that satisfies the claim. Atleast I am unable to see how it is "useful". Plus there is another claim in the explanation that this type of advice will be useful for a larger number of people. Instead, can you show me one actual "representatives-statement" that satisfies "being more useful" than its "concreteness" alternative. In the previous reply to you I believe I clarify with one example how "concreteness" overpowers "representatives" in being "useful", when people read it.

Given that the ideal distribution of roles and applicants and how this compares to the current situation is only really one consideration among several important considerations that affect career decisions (i.e. it affects your comparative advantage), maybe a high level of precision isn't that important?

And I don't get what you mean by "ideal situation and current situation is an important consideration for career decisions".

Are you trying to say that looking at one example might not be useful as it is somehow not precise? and that we should be rather happy with general statements? Do you have an example to show what you mean?

Thanks.

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-04-05T11:03:14.210Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW
  • In our "spot-check" [note, this is forthcoming research, which will likely be released within a week] of current roles and advertised roles at 27 animal advocacy nonprofits, fundraising was the skillset that was most notably overrepresented in animal advocacy job adverts (appearing to be important in 17% of identified job ads) relative to the number of current roles in the movement (appearing to be important in 10% of current roles);

I find this very hard to understand. My understanding is that 17% of "identified job ads" was related to fundraising. I don't get the next part where you say talk about 10% of the current roles.

  • this may imply that these roles are unusually hard to fill and that fundraising expertise is undersupplied in the community, relative to its needs. As discussed in our blog post on the spot-check, however, this research provides only very weak evidence on the question of what the movement's greatest bottlenecks are.

I get it that fundraising is "over-represented" in animal advocacy jobs with 17% of job ads talking about it, but what are the percentages for the other skills? Without that I think it is hard to say if 17% is high or not right? or Am I mistaken?

  • There is evidence from a 2013 report that senior fundraisers are difficult to hire in US nonprofits generally. This makes it seem more likely that animal advocacy nonprofits face the same difficulty.

Very interesting report (especially the sample size of 2000 non-profits). Looking at the sample it looks like only 1% of all the 2000 odd organizations was from "philanthropy, volunteerism and Grantmaking". And highest was human services, educational institutions and arts, culture, humanities. I think it can really skew the results. Your thoughts?

  • The same report found evidence that smaller nonprofits may struggle to attract the most experienced fundraisers. Given that many animal advocacy organisations have small budgets, this provides another reason to expect that animal advocacy organizations will struggle to hire fundraisers, though this is only very weak evidence that this is a bottleneck for the movement.

Claims: Smaller nonprofit have fewer struggle to find most experienced fundraisers

Evidence:

DDs with no experience based on salaries

8% > 50k$

23% < 50k$

This above evidence is confusing me to verify the claim. As it directly doesn't associate with small non profits but through some association in salary. But the following seems to be causing less confusion.

prospective donor research

24% have no experience for DDs in general
32% have no experience for DDs in small
32.25% have no experience for DDs in non-small (back calculating)

Securing gifts

26% have no experience for DDs in general
38% have no experience for DDs in small
25% have no experience for DDs in non-small (back-calculating)

I am concerned now by the wording "struggling". This doesn't seem to be too bad. Smaller nonprofits seem to have fewer people of experienced staff. But are they "struggling"? I am not sure. And as a result this seems like weak evidence for bottleneck claims. Agree. Am I mistaken?

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-04-04T18:12:43.351Z · score: 5 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hi Jamie,

Thank You for your comment.

Isn't TC in the movement just the aggregation of TC in relevant orgs and actors?

Yes it seems to be. All I wanted was to avoid a level of abstraction. "AI strategy is TC in DR" vs "FHI is TC in DR". I really feel confused thinking about the former. The later is so concrete. I can test it. I can go in depth in that ONE EXAMPLE. The former is too broad. I find it easier to think in concrete examples.

There's a tradeoff between specificity/concreteness and representatives/unreliability, and for most purposes, the latter seems more useful to me?

Interesting! Would you be able to give me a real example to satisfy your claim? I claim that concreteness seems useful to me and if I get an example I hold on to it for dear life and test all claims atleast against that one example.

Claim: Concreteness seems useful.

Example: Consider: "Many community members should seek positions in government, academia, and other existing institutions."

I am lost. What is "MANY"? What does a "position in government" even look like. All this until I saw this beautiful example: "DoD’s new Joint AI Center alone is apparently looking to hire up to 200 people.". I understand finally what many and position in government is.

Animal Advocacy Careers will be offering one-to-one advising soon. Before it is officially launched, people can sign up to express their interest here.

That's great. I subscribed already. Thank You very much Jamie.

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-04-04T14:48:34.076Z · score: 4 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thank You for acknowledging this post. I very much appreciate your reply.

We've been trying to do a better job communicating our uncertainty in the new key ideas series, for instance by releasing: advice on how to read our advice

I really wish you can put more of your evidence out there instead of sentences that are a summary of the evidence you have. "Another bottleneck to progress on GPR might be operations staff" (GPR Key-ideas). Is it a bottleneck or is it not? I don't know what to make of "might be". In this case if you presented your evidence that helps conclude this, say in a footnote, I think it will be more useful. People can then draw the conclusion for themselves.

  • To be specific, I think it's longtermist organisations that are most talent constrained. Global health and factory farming organisations are much more constrained by funding relatively speaking (e.g. GiveWell top recommended charities could absorb ~$100m). I think this explains why organisations like TLYCS, Charity Science and Charity Entrepreneurship say they're more funding constrained (and also to some extent Rethink priorities, which does a significant fraction of its work in this area).

I am glad you clarify about your position that you are focused on longtermism TC. I only know of two cases where longtermism positions are TC. Disentanglement research as informed by Carrick Flynn in Sep 2017 and AI Policy in US in Jan 2019 article). It still stands that Open Phil in GR seems to be not TC. ("The pool of available talent is strong, ... more than a hundred applicants had very strong resumes... but ... (to) deploy this base of available talent is weak")

I think what helps is to keep the TC debate focused on to specific cases. And this can be done with providing evidence as done in AI Policy in US.

  • Even within longtermist and meta organisations, not every organisation is mainly skill-constrained, so you can find counterexamples, such as new organisations without much funding. This may also explain the difference between the average survey respondents and Rethink Priorities' view.

Claims: Average Survey respondents feel they are TC more than RP because they have less funding needs than RP (and is "new").

Example: Open Phil is an average survey respondent (I presume). Open Phil has funding. Open Phil does not seem to feel TC in GR though.

It looks like the example does not satisfy the claim. So now I don't really know what you are talking about. I don't have one example of an org and a position that is skill-constrained in research in GPR. I keep hearing you saying that "research is the biggest need right now" (key-ideas post) but when I look in Open Phil it doesn't seem to be so. They are unable to absorb more researchers. So what exactly are you talking about?

You might wonder why I am quoting the same Open Phil example like a parrot. That is because that is one of the few hiring rounds available. And trying to ask companies like FHI or Open Phil etc., for more info on this or dollars moved by researcher or about replaceability does not seem to produce results unfortunately.

  • It doesn't seem to me that looking at whether lots of people applied to a job tells us much about how talent constrained an organization is.

The definition for TC is that an org is unable to find "skilled people" despite hiring actively. I agree that number of people applied is not a measure for TC. But the number of people in the last round (after 4 other rounds) seems to suggest something regarding if orgs are able to find skilled people or not. Even if that is not the case --> When you look at what Open Phil says, I can't imagine that they are TC in GR based on the numbers of people who they thought had good resumes. In fact it seems like a bad idea to push for research at Open Phil (GPR) in GR considering replaceability atleast. And the more I talk to people like Peter Hurford (about replaceability) the more I feel like there is less point in being a GR.

About "successful applicants might have been still much better" (due to the potential log-normal distribution of candidates ability), I would also like one example for a case where this is true. I don't think that is the case with Open Phil in GR based on their hiring round.

Aaron also raised this point as well. Yes that is definitely a possibility that people would still be hired but the organization would continue to be TC. Seems like a reasonable hypothesis but still needs evidence (one example at least) to support it I think. Nevertheless, I don't think that is the case with Open Phil in GR based on their hiring round.

  • Something else I think is relevant to the question of whether our top problem areas are talent constrained is that I think many community members should seek positions in government, academia and other existing institutions. These roles are all 'talent constrained', in the sense that hundreds of people could take these positions without the community needing to gain any additional funding. In particular, we think there is room for a significant number of people to take AI policy careers, as argued here.

AI policy careers in the US seems to match the definition of TC. "80,000 Hours has attended, speakers have lamented the government’s lack of expertise on AI, and noted the substantial demand for such expertise within government. For example, DoD’s new Joint AI Center alone is apparently looking to hire up to 200 people.". I didn't know this before. This is so clear for me now, that I have an example for what you mean with "significant number of people". I wish the same was available for other top problem areas.

Thanks for this.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I very much appreciate it. I would really appreciate more evidence displayed for claims and less generalization with 80khours blogs.

P.S

If you already know many opportunities are high-impact, I expect that you have looked at the value contributed by several people, and factored things like replaceability etc., before you came to a decision. Why not just publish it? Asking companies doesn't seem practical and no one seems to be giving out such information. One author even suggested that only if I am writing an academic paper he would be able to help otherwise he didn't find time for it.

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-04-04T07:26:04.398Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

[TLDR: I don't think that anyone can give you the examples relevant for you.

I don't need examples "relevant to me". I just wanted to know what sort of impact people are making say in Open Phil CE or other EAs considering relevant factors such as replaceability in fields like GR, AI SSP, and management positions. Sorry that was not clear.

I think 80K is actually saying it is better for most people to do direct work (including but not limited to neglected roles at EA orgs) than ETG.

This is a claim what 80khours makes. Do you have ONE example for this claim?

The preference for roles outside of EA makes sense to me, because, while an EA org is likely to find a few good top candidates they consider value-aligned, acting in the wider world using EA principles is a much more reliable (and even stronger) counterfactual.

This is similar to how earning to give is more of a reliable counterfactual than working at an EA org, in that you are almost certainly adding 100% extra money in the pot--the candidate who would have gotten your high-paying job would almost certainly not have donated to an effective charity.

In the end, though, the path for you depends on a lot. You must consider your personal fit and your EA comparative advantage. It also depends on how you expect your favored cause areas, funding, and EA as a movement to evolve. I recommend brain dumping and drafting out as much as you can regarding those 5 things to clarify expectations and cruxes! If you can find cruxes, then you can investigate with expert interviews. Reach out to individuals, not orgs.

It looks like "career advice" to me. What I am asking seems to be different. Evidence for claims "working at EA org is better than ETG (for most people)" based on NOW. That's all.

I don't know what you mean with cruxes. I guess you mean things that are stopping you from going further. The QUESTION posted is what I wanted more info about. But sadly NO ONE seems to be able answer it.

Regarding direct work options, reach out to individuals in roles that you could see yourself in (within or outside of an EA org). Even if you are stuck with half a dozen possible roles, that is narrowed down enough that you can ask people in those roles:

I reached out to several orgs and people regarding the question above. But most of them aren't able to provide me any useful info such as amount of dollars moved or replaceability. The only people that answered me are Peter Hurford and Jon Behar. I also wanted to get some info on the fully longtermism projects but I have 0 info.

Maybe I check with Aaron Gertler on how to go about it or try arranging one on ones during the conference in London in a few months.

-If they feel they are making an impact

-What other options they were deciding between and why they chose what they did

-Where they think the field will go and what will it need

-If they think you would be a good fit.

Sounds good in case in case I manage an interview. Thanks.

Now you can compare ETG to what you learned about direct work. You can interview people earning to give in the field you'd work within and people related to philanthropy in the space you'd be donating to. That could look like:

Thanks for outlining how to go about determining the value and comparing different options. I appreciate it. Interviews might be something I would need to go after. I shall see how I can do that. Emailing, pming and posting in ea forums does not seem to help or am missing something.

If you need to further clarify ETG advantage, you can speak to hiring managers or heads of people at EA or non-EA places you'd be excited to work at. Ask them how much better their best candidate tends to be than their second-best candidate.

It appears that people don't have these numbers and are not interested in them. I didn't get any useful answer from EAF, Open Phil, FHI, CEA and didn't get far with this EXACT SAME QUESTION on replaceability.

On the whole, informational interviews are priceless.

You can find all these people using this method or by asking others if they know someone who is doing a certain role.

Here is a recent forum post on how to prepare for informational interviews; (keep in mind you might want to be more formal toward non-EAs). Don't forget to say thanks and cement the bond afterward. If you can help the person in any small way, you should.

And here are two blurbs from 80k encouraging informational interviews and other types of exploration.

Perfect. I hope EAG can help me out with IIs (informational interviews).

So, long story short, you will need to find those people, examples, and evidence that are relevant to you. I get that it is really not easy... I'm in the middle of it too. But just keep getting things down on paper and things will start to become clearer. Take it bit by bit, and try to get more (not necessarily complete) clarity on one aspect per day.

Good luck to you. Have you tried reaching out to people, what was the response like. Who responded? What did you ask exactly? (Maybe in pm? I can share with you more details of my approach and info, if it helps)

Also, you don't have to have your path figured out now. If you can narrow it down to 2-3 options, see what next step you could take that would be relevant to both/all paths. If you are at the exact branching point today, then try out a role for a year in a way that should give you pretty good career capital for the other option(s). Then switch to try out another role in a year's time if it still is not clear. Most likely, a couple of key cruxes will arise while you work.

Well am 29 and want to know if I should go in the direction of a masters (to keep ETG open) or upskill in research at EAOs.

Good luck and feel free to PM

Thank you for the post. Will do.

Comment by agent18 on Why We Sleep — a tale of institutional failure · 2020-03-27T21:47:51.266Z · score: 1 (4 votes) · EA · GW

Very interesting! Can you please cross-post?

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-03-25T19:39:52.014Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I corrected it. Thanks.

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-03-23T23:17:15.698Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Claims that you find to be false? please post evidence as well.

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-03-23T23:15:31.020Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

If you find formatting issues please state here:

Comment by agent18 on A naive analysis on if EA is Talent constrained · 2020-03-23T23:14:09.532Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Do you know of actual TC positions? Can you please cite your source?

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-03-17T19:43:12.183Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I'm currently trying to transition to effective animal advocacy research, reading more research, offering to review research before publication, applying to internships and positions at the orgs, and studying more economics/stats, one of the bottlenecks discussed here,

Your options sounds solid. I guess your 28 and can thus still get into relatively different quantitative Finance.

But, how did you decide that it is best for you to dedicate your time to AAR? You could be working at GiveWell/Open Phil as a GR, or in OpenAI/MIRI in AI safety research (especially with your CS and Math background), you could also be working in ETG at the FAANG. Also 80khours no where seems to suggest that AAR of all the things are "high-impact-careers" nor does the EA survey say anything about it. In fact the survey talks about GR and AI safety.

And did you account for replaceability and other factors? If so, how did you arrive at these numbers?

I feel that EA orgs have been a bit weak on causal inference (from observational data), which falls under econometrics/stats.

So you hope to apply causal inference in AAR?

Lastly I want to thank you from the heart for taking your time and effot to respond to me. Appreciate it brother.

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-03-16T21:17:05.959Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Charity Entrepreneurship is starting many more EA orgs with their incubation program (incubated charities here). Maybe worth reaching out to them to see what their applicant pool is like?

Good idea. I will contact them as well to see the talent pool. If they still need "high-quality people", somehow getting better (gaining) in that direction seems like a good opportunity.

I think there are also specific talent bottlenecks, see [1], [2], [3].

Micheal, I have written an article here: http://agent18.github.io/is-ea-bottlenecked-2.html in my unfinished blogspace about [1] and [2]. I really don't find evidence for their claims of bottlenecks. Or I don't understand what they are trying to say. For example, GR in GPR is recommended by 80khours in their high-impact-careers post, also in the surveys, also in the separate problem profiles etc... but yet during open phil's round on there is literally 100s of "good resumes" and "many candidates worthy of positions" but OP could not consume all of them.

Peter Hurford can also be seen talking about the lack of Talent constrian in GR (I think)

Actually, this last one comes from Animal Advocacy Careers, a charity incubated by Charity Entrepreneurship to meet the effective animal advocacy talent bottlenecks.

This I really need to look into. Thanks for that.

Btw, I think you have the wrong link for Carricks.

Thanks. Corrected it. Sorry about that.

Bottom line

I don't know how people evaluate which career to choose. Many people are redirecting me to posts from 80khours. But I find only claims there. When I ask organizations on value generated replaceability I don't get any info from them. I think people do a guess at max, falling prey to vague words like Career Capital or possibly primarily focusing on what they are good at or I don't know.

Anyways... It seems like a dead end to think that I can actually evaluate what I should be doing. Your thoughts?

How did you end up choosing to go to DarwinAI? Why not something else like GR in GPR or FAAANG?

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-03-16T20:53:38.436Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Thanks Michael. As you said, we would need to confirm it from GiveWell. In 2019 they planned to hire 3-5 for new research staffs. It looks like they are physically limiting the growth of GiveWell compared to the available "talent pool" as expressed in Open Phil's hiring round. Also the priors suggest that GiveWell would like to "grow slowly": https://blog.givewell.org/2013/08/29/we-cant-simply-buy-capacity/

So I really doubt we should go by the claim of 80k in this regard.

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-03-16T20:44:17.668Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Peter please bear with me.

To make a very long story very short, I think you should focus on trying to get a direct work job while still doing what is needed to keep your FAANG* options open. Then apply to direct work jobs and see if you get one. If you don't, pivot to FAANG.

  1. So it looks like you are suggesting that ALL DIRECT WORK (DW) any day is better than FAANG type of work, provided you get a job, EVEN if THE MARKET pool IS has many strong applicants. Is that correct?

  2. I think I can focus on one, either on keeping FAANG open or on DW opportunities. I am 29, Indian by birth and working in Netherlands right now. The common route to a Big Bucks FAANG job (hence California), would require 50k$ in costs and a Master's degree to get into the US. And I probably need to start masters in 1-2 years max, if I hope to be a FAANG guy in US (Guess, feeling). So prepping on this from "now" on would be option 1.

    I don't think I will make it to Direct work jobs now based on what I have seen. I would need to work intensely on it separately as well, depending on what type of job. This would be option 2 provided I know what to focus on. Focusing on option 1 and 2 I think will be hard at the same time I think in this case! Thoughts?

  3. Direct work in what? Each seems to need its own separate prep: GR, AI safety tech researcher, Management positions

    How do I compare different opportunities? It circles back again I think to calculations, examples of values.

  4. On the other hand I could try to COPY YOU.

  • Get a Data Science Job in the US (by doing a Master's maybe?)
  • Be REALLY GREAT at something! Have atleast a Triple Master Rank on Kaggle (for e.g.,) (2-3 years maybe)
  • Be involved with EA community (treasurer, research manager-->No idea how to get there though!)
  • Build relevant skills for direct work (Not sure what "relevant skills" mean)
  • And SOMEHOW IT WILL WORK OUT! (possibly because there is a lot of overlap between research, Data science?)

Also, while doing a FAANG job, you could still aim to build relevant skills for direct work and then switch. This is what I did (except I didn't work in FAANG specifically).

Can you give 2 examples of relevant skills you built for a particular direct work? And how you built it?

Also, from what I know, donating $200k/yr while working in FAANG is possible for the top ~10% of engineers after ~5 years.

Wow. The Power of ETG at FAANG.

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-03-15T12:32:51.976Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

I suppose I'm not directly answering your question, but I think it might be pretty hard to answer well, if you want to try to account for replaceability properly, because many people can end up in different positions because of you taking or not taking a job at an EA org, and it wouldn't be easy to track them.

If one hasn't taken into account replaceability, or the displacement chain, how do you know it is better to work in EA orgs rather than ETG (for X dollars).

Milan Griffes reports with a replaceability of 10% (guess) and attributing 60% (guess) contribution to the donor, that his impact was 244k. Now if you remove the replaceability it is 2.4m.

I doubt anyone has tried to. See this and my recent post.

And the 80khours article you cited on replaceability seems to be so off with its suggestions. 80khours are suggesting that "Often if you turn down a skilled job, the role simply won't be filled at all because there's no suitable substitute available". Whilst the only evidence I can find says completely otherwise: Carricks take on AI S&P, Peter representing RC, Open Phil's hiring round, Jon Behar's comments, EAF's hiring round.

As for your post, I saw it as well, and gained on the "displacement chain" verbiage and calculation. It was very difficult for me to follow the discussion on difference in priorities. In any case, I think we need atleast one real example to test a claim.

How are people so confident in saying that working at an EAO is better than doing ETG especially considering how "full" the talent pool is (Carricks take on AI S&P, Peter representing RC, Open Phil's hiring round, Jon Behar's comments)?

What is the evidence?

Comment by agent18 on Examples for impact of Working at EAorg instead of ETG · 2020-03-15T12:08:31.314Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

I mean, it's kinda intertwined, right? Presumably you are earning to give to fund people to do stuff. So someone needs to do that stuff. That person could be you. Or you could be the one funding. I think it really comes down to comparative advantage / personal fit (how good are you personally at doing vs. earning?) and marginal resources (of the orgs you would donate to or work for, how much do they want a talented person versus more money?).

How do I do this Peter? I would think I need to start with what values of impact I can get with ETG and working at an EAorg? And based on the outcome I can choose to get better/pursue in ETG or GR-sills.

For example, if it turns out that 30k donation is enough to meet the EA org impact, then I would do an MS and get a job in the FAANG and 30k would be easy to donate. But if it turns out that working at GiveWell creates an impact of 200k as a GR, then I would rather spend the next few years doing focused practice on GR-skills as I know for that 200k in donations is going to be super hard unless I do something like trading (which I can't). I would like to maximize my impact.

So I am looking for examples that show how people came to the conclusion that it is better to work in research in an EAO rather than ETG. These examples would include replaceability and other factors I think.

In short, I think getting general examples of people having a high impact by working in an EA org would be misleading for anyone actually making this kind of career path decision.

I don't want general examples. I would like specific examples of impact of people in GR and management positions in Open Phil (and the like), AI safety (technical researcher) positions in OpenAI (and the like) etc...

AT WHAT ETG DO I BECOME INDIFFERENT TO WORKING IN EA ORGS (specifically GR, Safety strategy research and management positions)?

Comment by agent18 on Dealing with Network Constraints (My Model of EA Careers) · 2020-03-14T21:35:14.908Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Very much appreciate the detailed response. I think you have answered both my questions. Very much appreciate the clear example. If there are only 100 jobs in EA per year, it seems unlikely to support 1000s in the way you have suggested (rate limited).

How does a "median EA" look?

  1. he (the median EA) is within the 60-90th percentile (I am unsure of what, IQ?)
  2. In the case with LW, he was able to talk about rationality and the "surrounding ecosystem". If you can, I would really like an example for this?

P.S I am trying to judge if I could be a potential "median-EA". Hence the questions.

Thanks.

Comment by agent18 on Dealing with Network Constraints (My Model of EA Careers) · 2020-03-07T18:35:40.671Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

This is still a bit rate limited, and couldn't handle an influx of thousands of people. But I think it can handle more than it currently does.

Why do you say it is rate limited and that it can handle more "median EAs" than it currently does? I hope you can give an example for this or perhaps quote your experience if you are up close to such events.

Comment by agent18 on Dealing with Network Constraints (My Model of EA Careers) · 2020-03-07T18:31:53.484Z · score: 1 (1 votes) · EA · GW

Thank You for your post. I have placed quotes on things that I am not sure I understand you correctly. Hence I seek an example.

I was wondering if you have one example for this "median EA" who got into an "early stage project" as a result of getting into the "EA network". And can you also inform how the example-EA got into the "EA network"?