It also seems useful to imagine what we want the EA movement to become in (say) 10 years time, and to consider who this post is talking about when it says “every EA”.
For example, maybe we want EA to become more like a network than a community—connecting a vast array of people from different areas to important ideas and relevant people, but with only a small portion of these people making “EA” itself a big part of their lives or identities. This might look like a lot of people mostly doing what they’re already doing, but occasionally using EA ideas to guide or reorient themselves. That might be a more natural way for EA to have a substantial influence on huge numbers of people, including very “busy and mainstream” people like senior policymakers, than for all those people to actually “become EAs”. This seems like it might be a very positive vision (I’m not sure it’s what we should aim for, but it might be), but it’s probably incompatible with all of these people knowing about most IBCs.
Or, relatedly, imagine the EA movement grows to contain 100,000 people. Imagine,20,000 are working on things like AI safety research and nuclear security policy, in places like MIRI, the US government, and the Carnegie Foundation; 20,000 are working on animal welfare in a similar range of orgs; 20,000 on global health in a similar range of orgs; etc. It doesn’t seem at all obvious to me that the world will be better in 50 years if all of those people spent the time required to gain a high-level understanding of most/all IBCs, rather than spending some of that time learning more about whatever specific problem they were working on. E.g., I imagine a person who’s already leaning towards a career that will culminate in advising a future US president on nuclear policy might be better off just learning even more minutia relevant to that, and trusting that other people will do great work in other cause areas.
To be fair, you’re just talking about what should be the case now. I think prioritisation is more important, relative to just getting work done, the smaller EA is. But I think this might help give a sense of why I’m not sure how often learning more about IBCs would be worthwhile.