geoffreymiller comments on 80,000 Hours articles aimed at the EA community - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: geoffreymiller  (EA Profile) 16 August 2017 10:25:58PM 5 points [-]

I would love to see some '40,000 hours' materials for mid-career people pivoting into EA work.

Our skills, needs, constraints, and opportunities are quite different from 20-somethings. For example, if one has financial commitments (child support, mortgage, debts, alimony), it's not realistic to go back to grad school or an unpaid internship to re-train. We also have geographical constraints -- partners, kids in school, dependent parents, established friendships, community commitments. And in mid-life, our 'crystallized intelligence' (stock of knowledge) is much higher than a 20-something's, but our 'fluid intelligence' (ability to solve abstract new problems quickly) is somewhat lower -- so it's easier to learn things that relate to our existing expertise, but harder to learn coding, data science, or finance from scratch.

On the upside, a '40k project' would allow EA to bring in a huge amount of talent -- people with credentials, domain knowledge, social experience, leadership skills, professional networks, prestige, and name recognition. Plus, incomes that would allow substantially larger donations than 20-something can manage.

Comment author: 80000_Hours 07 September 2017 02:13:33AM 0 points [-]

Hi Geoffrey, we agree this would be very valuable. Our materials are already heading in that direction, but I think it will be at least a year or two before we do a major research push to produce that guide due to other competing priorities.