Just adding that we made a similar suggestion: that people should cut back their donations to ~1% until they’ve built up at least enough savings for 6-12 months of runway.
We also suggest here that people also prioritise saving 15% of their income for retirement ahead of substantial donations. If people want to donate beyond this level that’s commendable, but I don’t think that’s where we should set a norm.
Yeah. My impression was that “prioritize savings and runway” had gotten a fair amount of traction the EAsphere, but it hadn’t quite hit the point where it was the obvious advice newcomers were getting.
I would note, responding to the article, that I think it’s important to have enough runway that you can live without doing things like manage an airBnB, because part of my motivation here is to make sure people can spend their runway devoting their full cognitive attention to solving important problems.
When I was broke and airBnBing to survive, the airBnB took a lot of overhead. It was worth it, but only as a backup-backup plan, not as something I’d want to be part of my found-a-startup plan.
Similarly, living with my parents for a bit was stressful, and meant that I didn’t have immediate access to my usual network for either social support, or cross pollination of ideas, or easy exposure to opportunities.
In “Taking AI Risk Seriously”, one of the important points (but buried a bit) is advocating for people to have comfortable runway, not “you can technically live off of Ramen in your parent’s basement runway.”