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Comment author: Lumifer 01 December 2016 03:43:43PM 0 points [-]

the mindset of seeing disagreements as good

It's interesting how you assume that disagreements are not likely to lead to bad real-world consequences.

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 02 December 2016 10:34:21AM 1 point [-]

I don't think I was assuming that, but good point - there are of course lots of nuances to whether disagreements are good/bad/useful/problematic in various ways. I definitely wasn't meaning to say "disagreements are always a good thing", but rather something much weaker, like "disagreements are not always a bad thing to be avoided, and can often be a good opportunity to learn more about the world and/or your own reasons for your beliefs, and internalising this mindset more fully seems very useful."

I don't think this means we should try and create disagreements where none exist already, or that the world wouldn't be a better place if people agreed more. But assuming a lot of disagreements already exist, identifying those disagreements can be a very good thing if you have good tools for resolving/making better sense of them. So when I say I'm excited about finding more disagreements, I mean that given the assumption that those disagreements already exist, and would have any potential bad real-world consequences regardless of whether I'm aware of them or not.

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 01 December 2016 10:13:25AM 5 points [-]

Thanks for writing this up! One thing I particularly like about this technique is that it seems to really help with getting into the mindset of seeing disagreements as good (not an unpleasant thing to be avoided), and seeing them as good for the right reasons - for learning more about the world/your own beliefs/changing your mind (not a way to assert status/dominance/offload anger etc.)

I feel genuinely excited about paying more attention to where I disagree with others and trying to find the crux of the disagreement now, in a way I didn't before reading this post.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 09 August 2013 11:32:58PM 0 points [-]

By "what kind of applicant field are you looking at?" I mean do you guys have a good number of relatively strong applicants already.

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 10 August 2013 12:31:30PM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure there's much I can say on this I'm afraid: I'm not in charge of receiving and scoring applications so I don't actually know at this stage (and even if I was I'm not sure it would be appropriate for me to post a judgement on here)

In general I'd just reiterate the point though that we do find it relatively difficult to find good people, so if you think you might fit what we're looking for, it's definitely worth applying.

Comment author: John_Maxwell_IV 09 August 2013 05:18:57AM *  1 point [-]

I know 80K is based in the UK... should US citizens apply? Also, what kind of applicant field are you looking at right now?

BTW, might be worthwhile to mention the other EA organizations that happen to be recruiting right now.

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 09 August 2013 07:23:55AM 1 point [-]

Yeah, US citizens are very welcome to apply. We can fairly easily hire US citizens for internships. For permanent paid roles my understanding is that it's a bit more complicated, but definitely possible - so it just means the application will be more competitive (because we may have to pay for visas etc).

Can you clarify what exactly you mean by "what kind of applicant field are you looking at?"

You're right, I should have put in a link to the GWWC and EEA positions. Will add.

Comment author: lukeprog 08 August 2013 06:50:40PM 13 points [-]

You should also mention that you're currently sharing office space with FHI, which many LWers would think is pretty attractive.

Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 08 August 2013 07:36:54PM 0 points [-]

Thanks Luke, added!

Should you work at 80,000 Hours?

17 Jess_Whittlestone 08 August 2013 02:04PM

The purpose of this post is to discuss some considerations relevant to whether it is high impact for you as an individual to work for 80,000 Hours.


Disclaimer: I am an employee at 80,000 Hours (from here on 80k). We are currently recruiting, and want to attract people to work for us who are likely to add the most value to 80k so that we can increase our impact. It seems likely that some such people might be found on LessWrong, so we want to encourage critical discussion on here about who should work at 80k. 

This post will be in the format of an interview with Ben Todd, co-founder and executive director of 80,000 Hours, and thus best placed to begin a discussion about who should work for 80k. In what follows, we’ll cover:

  • If you want to support 80k, whether you should work for 80k or fund 80k. This involves some discussion of whether to earn to give or to work directly, adding to the discussion elsewhere on LW.
  • What skills and characteristics are most valuable to 80k
  • Whether working at 80k is likely to help your future career prospects
  • How working at 80k might compare to some alternatives: other EA organisations and professional jobs
  • Who probably shouldn’t work for 80k

What this post won’t cover:


continue reading »
Comment author: Jess_Whittlestone 05 October 2012 10:38:12AM *  7 points [-]

Hi, I'm Jess. I've just graduated from Oxford with a masters degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. I'm trying to decide what to do next with my life, and graduate study in cognitive science is currently top of my list. What I'm really interested in is the application of research in human rationality, decision making and its limitations to wider issues in society, public policy etc.

I'm taking some time to challenge my intuition that I want to go into research, though, as I'm slightly concerned that I'm taking the most obvious option not knowing what else to do. My methods for doing this at the moment are a) trying to think about reasons it might not be the best option (a "consider the opposite" type approach) and b) initiating conversations with as many people as possible doing things that interest me, and getting some work experience in different areas this year, to broaden my limited perspective. Any better/additional suggestions are more than welcome!

I'm about to start an internship with 80000 hours, doing a project on the role of cognitive bias in career choice. The aim is to collect together the existing research on biases and mitigation techniques and apply it in a practical and accessible way, identifying the biases that most commonly affect career choice and providing useful strategies for avoiding them. I was wondering if anyone here has a summary of the existing literature on cognitive bias mitigation, or any recommendations of particularly useful/important research? Equally if anyone has spent much time thinking about this, I'd love to hear about it.