Posts

Biodiversity Loss: In the Shadow of Climate Change 2022-05-09T22:10:45.630Z
Next Generation Biosecurity - Summary of Course by University of Bath 2022-04-19T16:14:40.842Z
Antifungal Resistance - The Neglected Cousin of Antibiotic Resistance 2022-02-04T15:47:16.205Z
How does choosing an effective career change now that switching careers is more common? 2021-10-09T17:37:03.359Z
Detailed tips on being helpful 2021-09-18T12:05:08.719Z
How do you communicate that you like to optimise processes without people assuming you like tricks / hacks / shortcuts? 2021-07-15T15:11:30.531Z

Comments

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Impact Markets: The Annoying Details · 2022-07-15T10:49:53.542Z · EA · GW

I don't understand the incentives of the "oracular funder." What are some examples of organisations/individuals that would be oracular funders? Where would they have gotten their money? What would make them want to participate in this idea? What are their alternatives (in how they spend their money)? Would it be fair to say that if they decided not to take part in this, then the idea wouldn't work?

 

I appreciate your clarification!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Making Trillions for Effective Charities through the Consumer Economy · 2022-07-04T23:22:58.189Z · EA · GW

Useful perspectives! If you were inclined to write a followup post with some of the data you've seen thus far at BOAS, I think it'd help with establishing credibility for CPI :-)

RE: "I am inclined to think that few, or even one, charitable profit destination would be appealing to consumers."
I can see how both of you reached your conclusions. Empirical data would be the best solution :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Making Trillions for Effective Charities through the Consumer Economy · 2022-07-04T23:16:15.545Z · EA · GW

RE: Making  a Dropshipping site
I have web development experience. If you have clear goals/a 'why' behind making the site, I can get it done for you for free. Feel free to message when you get to that stage :-)

RE: Inelastic Products + general customer exposure
Good point, I hadn't thought of this :-)

RE: "One of the functions of the Consumer Power Initiative is to create a mass social movement questioning why..."
I'd be eager to hear your marketing plans when you have more specific information.

Maybe Development Media International would know EA-aligned marketers who'd be willing to help out? 

RE: "Guided Consumption seems to be unique in that popular shareholder identity does not have an attendant cost (vis a vis other investors)."
Lots of social justice charities have tried to market black owned businesses / businesses started by former felons. Ex: Inmates to Entrepreneurs

Have you looked into how scalable / effective their 'P-value' is? Do you think it'd help to talk to them to learn what has/hasn't worked well for them? 

RE: "The value proposition that CPI and Guiding Producers offer consumers and other economic participants is pretty singular and clear: significantly further worthy causes by going through me. "
This may be true when customers choose you from a directory with exactly the right information. It's less true on a Google Search page. Less true still on an industrial product datasheet. Less true still on a supermarket aisle. 

What I'm saying is that the context (channel) by which consumers buy the products of guiding companies will influence the value proposition(s) they see for those products vs. competitors' products. And given how much information is sometimes thrown at consumers, the decisions they make on average might be surpising to you or me. 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Making Trillions for Effective Charities through the Consumer Economy · 2022-07-03T11:43:53.923Z · EA · GW

I'll continue adding on here, just in case the public discussion helps anyone else too :-)

Glad to see the milestone on the 501(c)(3)! I could imagine that it's easy to just stick to academia, so good on you for bringing the ideas to more practical/uncertain grounds. 

RE: "We can construct experiments and otherwise come to determinations  about what industries profit destination is likeliest to provide the greatest potential for charitable profit."

  • Agreed on your points here. Which metrics do you think are useful to decide which industries guiding companies make sense for? 
  • One idea is that we could research willingness-to-pay-premium on organic or fairtrade products. As a proxy for how much consumers are willing to switch their buying choices based on non-price determinants. Though there are differences (ex: a guiding company's product may/may not have a premium relative to competitors).
  • Another idea is price elasticity of demand. My hypothesis is that inelastic products could be seen as a proxy of staples that people won't go without. Ex: "If I'm going to buy baby formula anyways, I might as well buy it from the option that does more good?"
  • Curious to hear your ideas :-)

RE:  "The tendency of large companies to have complexity and disadvantages  is one shared by traditional firms that work for the benefit of rich shareholders."

  • Agreed. I was more so comparing guiding companies' complexity to nonprofits investing in smaller companies (like with the VC fund). 

RE: "One of the most important functions of the Consumer Power Initiative will be to maximize the value of P, in [value(charity_funded) = value(investor_funded) + P]"

  • What are your ideas on how to maximise the value of P?
  • So far, we've already seen lots of 'certifications' for various products (ex: fairtrade, non-GMO, organic, etc.). They've had various challenges in 'doing good.' Though if we focus on just their ability to increase the value of their product compared to traditional profit-making products, what do you think are some lessons to learn from how well fairtrade/organic certifications increase the brand value of their products?
  • In real life, I've heard a lot of entrepreneurs talk about how 'mixed value propositions' actually lead to fewer customers deciding to buy a product than a single, clear value proposition. How have you thought so far about ensuring that product marketing leads to one deciding factor separating a guiding company from competitors, not unclear value propositions that repel customers.

RE: "The reason that charities (or charitable investors working to benefit charities) should invest in the creation of Guiding Companies over other forms of investment is because this is a form of investment in which they can enjoy a structural advantage"

  • If I were managing money at a charity that's tight on donations, my priority would be ensuring reliable returns starting in a year or less. Ie. Index funds would seem like a pretty good option :D
    • How are you thinking about meeting these needs for nonprofits investing in guiding companies?
  • From my interpretation of what you mean by "structural advantage" - it's what comes about in a guiding company funded by charities after all else is equal with competitors. Given what we talked  about unlocking economies of scale while balancing diseconomies of scale, it would seem reasonable to me that a guiding company wouldn't achieve significant market share for at least 2-3 years. 
  • That said, I can see that some charities (especially in EA) are willing to place funds with longer time horizons on social/investment returns. Maybe choosing which nonprofits invest in guiding companies is very key in the short run? And once the guiding companies' market share (and thus returns) are established, it would be a nice move for these larger nonprofits to sell some stakes to smaller nonprofits so they can also get returns. 
  •  Curious to hear your thoughts on getting around the initial high investments / low returns :-)

RE: "If we had a skilled set of EA  venture capitalists and angel investors. Perhaps P in this context would increase the likelihood of the incidence of unicorns, increase the profitability of unicorns even more , increase the profitability of non-unicorns, and decrease the incidence of total duds."

I don't have any evidence to suggest this is/isn't possible. 

Maybe @--alex-- or someone else at EA Angels might have more relevant comments?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Making Trillions for Effective Charities through the Consumer Economy · 2022-07-01T20:23:40.362Z · EA · GW

I appreciate your detailed followup!

"I am positing, and believe strongly that research will substantiate this, that consumers will value profit destination at a nonzero level."

  • I intuitively can see why you say this.

"In the commodity space, this advantage should be decisive. In sectors with more differentiation, it is less likely to be decisive."

  • That said, could it be possible that the higher margins in sectors with more differentiation are worth gaining only a fraction of customer purchases instead of (nearly) all of them? Ie. Do we want to maximise volume sold x profit per unit or volume sold only?
  • On an individual organisation level, I've seen plenty of case studies of nonprofits using cross-subsidisation to reduce reliance on donations/grants. One notable example that comes to mind is Me to We's model of selling Rafiki bracelets (bracelets being a product with lots of differentiation and very high margins)

"Your commodities of scale point definitely makes sense. It will be difficult to compete without hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. This is why research and working on educating the public is critical to satisfy charitable investors that the targeted creation/acquisition of companies that serve effective charities is best use of their resources."

  • Large companies tend to be very complex to manage and have their own disadvantages to scale. 
  • How would investing in large guiding companies compare to, say, charities investing in a VC fund of startups? Or investing in institutional options like a bond and getting steady returns? 
  • Ie. Some charities already invest in profitable companies via various means. What leads you to conclude that investing in guiding companies is a better alternative to these existing investments?
Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Making Trillions for Effective Charities through the Consumer Economy · 2022-06-30T22:29:39.044Z · EA · GW

A few questions:

  • "creating the “no-brainer” for the consumer. This could make it sensible to introduce Guiding Companies to sectors where there is not much difference between products." - if there is low brand differentiation, wouldn't that lead to commoditised products and lower margins? Which makes the guiding company less incentive for nonprofits/philanthropists to invest in as a way of making returns that they can use for their priorities? 
    • Similarly, more commoditised products tend to create more conglomeration to take advantage of economies of scale. What are potential strategies to get around industry incumbents which use monopoly powers (or state support) to block the path for guiding companies? I'm thinking of sectors like telecom, steel, finance, etc. 
  • Even well-funded nonprofits are 'strapped for cash' in the short run. Whereas businesses often require large lump-sum investments for capital expenditures and research and development. What are your thoughts on how to acquire that money? 
    • It seems to me that a likely outcome is that more than one nonprofit/philanthropist would invest in a guiding company? What happens if their cause areas especially misalign with some of the guiding company's practices? Ex: an especially strong-willed animal advocacy nonprofit might not want to invest in a company in the food sector that uses animal ingredients - even if this is fairly common. What happens if the nonprofits would like to have some decision-making power to avoid these kinds of cases? What about their PR concerns? Several private investment companies and even public pension hedge funds are coming under increasing scrutiny about exactly where they invest. 
Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on 20 Critiques of AI Safety That I Found on Twitter · 2022-06-25T11:34:37.854Z · EA · GW

I also find the screenshotted post in #7 problematic:  "Once AGI is so close to being developed that there's no longer sufficient time for movement building or public education to help with AI safety, I guess I can go on holiday and just enoy the final few months of my life." 

I'd be doubtful that official AI safety organisations or their representatives would communicate similarly. But a good takeaway in general is to not promote content on global priorities that insinuates a sense of powerlessness.

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on [Talk Tuesdays] The Changing Landscape of Climate Philanthropy · 2022-05-10T00:55:26.181Z · EA · GW

Where can we find the Zoom link for this event? :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Biodiversity Loss: In the Shadow of Climate Change · 2022-05-10T00:51:53.479Z · EA · GW

Happy to hear you're interested in the issue :-) Regarding the skepticism on whether alternative meats can move the needle on biodiversity loss - I understand, I was there too :D 

On the problem side of things, it's clear we need to reduce meat consumption to slow down biodiversity loss. I interviewed the author of this paper that talks about it. If you don't have access but would like to read it, DM me and I can share my notes :-)

On the solution side of things, there is uncertainty. Alternative meats aren't the only proposed solution. Another major one is behavioural 'nudges' that can reduce animal product consumption. Though they seem to have low effect size - when used individually, at least. (Source)  Also, scientists have theoretically also proposed changed diets that don't try to mimic meat - just cut it out entirely. (Source)

I don't have any quantitative proof to say one approach is better. Though there are lots of opinions out there if you want to ask people ;-) If you're aware of any quantitative data or other proposed solutions, feel free to share them!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on A Biosecurity and Biorisk Reading+ List · 2022-05-02T16:18:10.025Z · EA · GW

I really liked this list of technical solutions you listed! It's ominous reading their warnings about ventilators and seeing them come true :O 

Would you happen to know if any of the 15 technologies have gotten more attention between 2018 and now? :-)

Also, when I was looking at the list, I couldn't help but thinking: "What don't I see?" And I thought of these areas:

  • Solutions to deal with misinformation. Ex: Proof of Identity
  • Solutions to reduce risks of natural outbreaks (especially regarding wildlife encroachment, livestock production practices)
  • Solutions to improve biosafety / biosecurity in healthcare facilities
  • Passive technologies (ex: materials chemistry to reduce pathogen transmission)
  • Solutions to minimise economic damages of social distancing. Ex: Better online work options.
  • Proactive solutions to increase immune system health in general populations. Ex: Correcting vitamin deficiencies (especially vitamin D) and increasing regular exercise.
  • Solutions for cyberbiosecurity. I don't even know what'd move the needle here :D

Would you happen to know of any resources on the bolded areas? :-)

Comment by madhav-malhotra on [deleted post] 2022-03-15T00:06:51.922Z

As @Devansh Pandey said, it depends on the person. Instead of trying to find people at the right age, find people with the right pursuits. Ex: If you look at high school students, then some will be trying to volunteer at nonprofits, some will try to take part in STEM competitions / hackathons to solve global issues, some will be applying to entrepreneurship bootcamps, etc. You're more likely to find people for whom the EA message will stick in those subgroups. 

Personally, I'm 18 and I'm part of this program where youth are trained in entrepreneurial and technical skills to solve global programs. I discovered EA 2 years ago and have since been trying to spread it to others in this program, since I know the people there will be very interested in its principles. Regardless of whether they're 14 or 18. 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Get Russians out of Russia · 2022-03-07T00:04:00.157Z · EA · GW

Which actions can which stakeholders take to act on this?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on 23 career choice heuristics · 2022-02-26T11:43:53.882Z · EA · GW

Regarding bottleneck skills of the future - I think one skill here is understanding network science. (In progress notes here :D)

A lot of people are decentralising _________ these days :D But network scientists have clear ways to measure the 'degree' of decentralisation and the pros/cons of that degree. Ex: Resiliency to shocks, speed of decision-making, stability of connections. 

I think that'll be more useful in scaling/maintaining decentralised _______ instead of starting decentralised _______.

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on 23 career choice heuristics · 2022-02-26T11:25:56.553Z · EA · GW

Could you please explain the "moments of progress" in your life? I didn't quite understand :/

"Moments of progress - notice where progress happens in your life and find a career path that integrates those"

Edit: my best guess is that you're referring to doing actions that turn out to help you in moments of your life where you have a high 'activation potential'. Ex: When you're in university and have a lot of talented people to work with. Ex: When you're going to be at a conference and have a lot of experts in one field to learn from. 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-18T15:13:38.982Z · EA · GW

This is a very comprehensive answer! I especially appreciate your summary up top and you linking to sources. Thank you :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:12:45.030Z · EA · GW

Let's compare the existing initiatives against different catastrophic risks (especially AI, nuclear weapons, asteroid impacts, extreme climate change, and biosecurity). 

Which of these areas do you think are most conducive to market oriented solutions? Which do you think are most conducive to government oriented solutions? And which do you think are most conducive to philanthropic solutions?

If that's too broad, feel free to focus on the most common type of initiative in each area instead of the areas as a whole :D

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:10:14.452Z · EA · GW

Let's compare the existing initiatives against different catastrophic risks (especially AI, nuclear weapons, asteroid impacts, extreme climate change, and biosecurity). 

Which of these areas do you think <10 individuals could make the most impact in? Those 10 individuals could be the most powerful lawmakers, the most brilliant researchers, the greatest startup founders, whatever. 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:07:57.884Z · EA · GW

Let's compare the existing initiatives against different catastrophic risks (especially AI, nuclear weapons, asteroid impacts, extreme climate change, and biosecurity). 

How would you rank each in terms of tractability? Ex: % reduced risk / unit of work. What is the most tractable effort we could take to reduce risk in each area?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:05:57.568Z · EA · GW

Let's compare the existing initiatives against different catastrophic risks (especially AI, nuclear weapons, asteroid impacts, extreme climate change, and biosecurity). 

What are the most neglected areas of research in each?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:04:39.646Z · EA · GW

If you could broadcast one statistic about catastrophic risks to the screens of everyone in this forum, what would it be? :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:03:44.719Z · EA · GW

What are the 3 biggest problems currently slowing GCRI in achieving its goals?  What are you currently doing to solve them?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on AMA: Seth Baum, Global Catastrophic Risk Institute · 2021-12-16T22:02:18.388Z · EA · GW

Let's compare the existing initiatives against different catastrophic risks (especially AI, nuclear weapons, asteroid impacts, extreme climate change, and biosecurity). 

In which area of catestrophic risk  initiatives do you see:

  • The most cooperation between different individuals/institutions
  • The most transparent communications
  • The most scalable governance (ex: employee management, decision-making systems, etc.)

If it's too broad to answer that at an area-wide level, feel free to point to examples specific institutions :D

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-23T16:45:30.582Z · EA · GW

Thank you for the well-researched response :-) Excited to maybe ask again in a year and see any changes in your practical lessons!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-21T23:37:17.388Z · EA · GW

Thank you for the specific estimates and the wide variety of factors you considered :-) It may be that @MichaelA is also working primarily on improving cause prioritisation. I guess maybe you've both discussed that :D

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-21T23:32:14.205Z · EA · GW

Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share this! 

It sounds like you're focusing a lot on working on the right things (and by extension, fewer things)? And then becoming more efficient at the underlying skills (ex: explaining, writing, etc.)  involved?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-21T23:25:06.659Z · EA · GW

Your work-life balance and ownership points remind me of the culture at Valve!

Here are some notes I took on their culture if you'd be interested in ideas to implement. The points highlighted in orange are the actionables to implement :-) 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-21T23:22:03.836Z · EA · GW

I really appreciate your structured response :-) Would you happen to have any documents about the actionables behind each of these? Like this handbook at Valve? :D

*I ask because I'd be curious to learn about the actionable tips that others can replicate from your experience :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-21T23:09:55.516Z · EA · GW

This is very well-communicated! Thank you for taking the time to type all that out and label the responses :-)

Regarding (3) - making each employee happy and productive

Are there any examples of organisations that you aspire to model RP's practices after? Ie. Exemplars of how to "be bigger and more efficient" while making each employee happy and productive?

*I ask because I'd love to learn about real-life management  cultures/tools to grow my skillset  :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-18T12:01:43.231Z · EA · GW

Part b) is more important. Part a) is just to make the question more real to the person answering.

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-17T20:50:50.115Z · EA · GW

What have you been intentional about prioritising in the workplace culture at Rethink Priorities? If you focus on making it a great place for people to work, how do you do that? 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-17T20:49:24.769Z · EA · GW

To any staff brave enough to answer :D 

You're fired tomorrow and replaced by someone more effective than you. What do they do that you're not doing?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-17T20:48:04.370Z · EA · GW

Let's say your research directly determined the allocation of $X of funding in 2021. 

Let's say you have to grow that amount by 10 times in 2022, but keep the same number of staff, funding, and other resources.  

What would you change first in your current campaigns, internal operations, etc.?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-17T20:44:30.676Z · EA · GW

What are the top 2-3 issues Rethink Priorities is facing that prevent you from achieving your goals? What are you currently doing to work on these issues?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on We’re Rethink Priorities. Ask us anything! · 2021-11-17T20:42:55.227Z · EA · GW

In your past experiences, what are the biggest barriers to getting your research in front of governmental  organisations? (ex: official development aid grantmakers or policy-makers)

Biggest barriers in getting them to act on it?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on [Creative Writing Contest] The Rise of The Effective Shoppers · 2021-10-21T22:05:23.626Z · EA · GW

This is very well written! I really admire all the imagery in your writing. And how you leave it up to the reader to interpret the meaning here (give 2 + 2, not 4). 

May I ask what made you write this? :-) What else have you written? Where did you learn to write like this?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Seeking feedback on new EA-aligned economics paper · 2021-10-21T21:50:03.951Z · EA · GW

@Kevin Kuruc at the University of Oklahoma might have something to add :-) 

Sidenote: I'm sure an engineering undergrad isn't your target audience, but all the big words (pecuniary, idiosyncrasy, premia, etc.) are a bit hard to parse :O 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on When and how should an online community space (e.g., Slack workspace) for a particular type/group of people be created? · 2021-10-08T23:28:13.411Z · EA · GW

In the past, I tried to create a forum where customers and small businesses shared ideas on what sustainability options customers wanted and would pay for. Seemed like a great idea in my head. 3 months later, everyone who tried it told me they found it interesting to read the ideas but no one wanted to post. 

I was banging my head against a wall when my mentor told me to read a book on how to test for demand with new ideas, The Mom Test. (My notes here). The biggest lesson it taught me that I thought might be relevant for you to think about: "If they're not already looking for a solution, they're not going to try or buy mine."

Hope you don't waste your time while uninformed like me :D

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on What are examples of technologies which would be a big deal if they scaled but never ended up scaling? · 2021-08-28T00:21:27.352Z · EA · GW

For historical examples, consider:

One general theme = for any standard X that we use, there was probably a better standard Y that wasn't widely-used enough. 

Another general theme = when it comes to failed stuff, government archives are a great resource :D 

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Betting on the best case: higher end warming is underrepresented in research · 2021-08-06T14:54:04.932Z · EA · GW

It's good to be aware of where you're not an expert. Thank you for being honest!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Civil Servant (UK foreign policy) · 2021-08-06T14:53:13.664Z · EA · GW

Thank you for the followup! Appreciate you writing about your job just to help others :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Civil Servant (UK foreign policy) · 2021-08-04T22:21:43.297Z · EA · GW

I understand the terms have different meanings, yeah :/ I was actually thinking about it in the context of the Big 5 personality trait 'openness'. 

I'm not sure whether the work you're describing is consistent. :/ I'd need a lot more specific examples to add judgement there.

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Betting on the best case: higher end warming is underrepresented in research · 2021-08-03T12:28:59.096Z · EA · GW

Would you have more specific hypotheses? :-) Ex: Within geoengineering, carbon capture is one possibility. Do you know of neglected areas regarding other types of geoengineering?

Or within exploring the effects of higher end warming, which crops/livestock do we need more research in? Which industries in the economy?

Thank you for any clarifications!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Economics Professor · 2021-08-03T12:25:52.082Z · EA · GW

Thank you for the context :-) I really appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective here!

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Civil Servant (UK foreign policy) · 2021-08-02T23:30:55.295Z · EA · GW

Regarding the hierarchy / formal bureaucracy - do you think that suits your personality? Do you like clearly-defined, consistent work? Are there any colleagues of yours who value spontaneity / openness that you've talked to about the work? :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Economics Professor · 2021-07-31T13:50:50.634Z · EA · GW

It sounds like you still had to slog through the drudgery at times, but the drudgery didn't last very long after you'd mastered the skills? And that's because mastering the skills let you quickly iterate and hop to new ideas?

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Economics Professor · 2021-07-29T12:54:11.147Z · EA · GW

Could you tell me more about the 'switching subtopics' part? Do you notice that the subtopics are often at a 'similar' sublevel? 

For example, I'm interested in learning about the environment, but I can get bored researching just one area. Ex: Plastic pollution. But switching to another area (ex: energy storage) is enough to get me excited again. 

But I don't get similar excitement when switching from one sub-aspect of plastic pollution (ex: marine plastic pollution) to another sub-aspect (ex: waste infrastructure in developing countries). It's like moving between nodes one layer deep into environmental issues excites me, but two layers deep doesn't. Has that been similar or different for you with your greater years of experience? :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on How to reach out to orgs en masse? · 2021-07-28T20:14:25.534Z · EA · GW

The best outreach is warm outreach. At the end of every conversation you have, ask some variant of: "Who should I talk to next?" Even IF the charity you talked to isn't interested in what you have available, they might know someone who is. That starts a pile of exponential growth :-) 

I learned this from The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick.

 

When you do want to do cold-outreach, I'd agree that it does take a lot of time away from the main talent you have. Have you considered getting a volunteer to help with your volunteering? :D Ex: Find a comms/marketing student who's looking for experience and they can search for charity listings online / do the boring emailing. Hopefully, they don't have to do it too long after you get the warm outreach connections :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Writing about my job: Economics Professor · 2021-07-28T20:05:55.037Z · EA · GW

What life events happened between when you started and stopped having the feeling you mentioned? 'Walking the tight rope between lots of disciplines, but never fitting into any one'

 

I often feel like I have my interests fluctuate a lot and value learning many different skills (design, writing, speaking, math, ...). But I'm just 18 and I've never had a real job. So I feel like I'm doing the wrong things and not pursuing anything deep enough. But I hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is that I become good at doing MY niche of things and be good enough at it to create value for others.

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Undergraduate Making Life-Altering Choices While Sober, Please Advise · 2021-07-26T13:21:04.003Z · EA · GW

I also think dealing with depression is the most important step in my life. I made this list of things that help me personally. Maybe you find something in there useful :-)

Comment by Madhav Malhotra (madhav-malhotra) on Undergraduate Making Life-Altering Choices While Sober, Please Advise · 2021-07-26T13:19:06.326Z · EA · GW

What if you made a daily checklist? :-) I like to make a checklist when I wake up every day. After a week or two, it just becomes habit! And an alarm would fit into that perfectly :D