Hey Marcus, nice to hear from you. Made me think about where I’m 15 months later.
What changed for me after CFAR workshop (the same one as Marcus as we happened to be room mates):
I did read afterwards some portion of the Sequences and am committed to eventually finish them and I see that it is shaping my way of thinking and reflecting a lot—I particularly started to be the 5 year old curious again—how does this work? OK and that inside? OK and that further inside? Worship/ignore/explain… Which with the education behind makes everything rather interesting again. Plus the whole more probabilistic view of the world and how did I get to that conclusion and what is supporting my opinion on X and Y… So now I’m very acutely aware that say I think this person is pretty good but the supporting evidence I have is that one guy said some praise about them or showed them respect and so on.
I do use a lot of the techniques actually to a varying degree of detail and I ended up explaining them to people when appropriate and helpful and also using some of them in the work context.
Actually, my most favorite techniques are not about some die hard rationality and Bayesian reasoning but more about taking a notice of a phenomena and observing it, boggle, try to understand stuff with fresh eyes, try things. I’m definitely much more perceptive listener than I used to be, I plan better and am much more organized and directed (and I was quite focused before already but some things clicked in place).
I was also rather surprised that a lot of it was about how to make use of the System 1 and yeah, it is actually very useful thing when used well.
I seek impact in what I do and it became a factor when thinking about my continuation at job and what and how can I achieve where I’m already. Should I stay? Will I have big enough impact to justify staying or can I make bigger elsewhere? What impact I want to have on the world? How do I help solving the problems of this world? As a direct consequence I managed to pull through a project of a donation button that finally launched to the customers of our bank now supporting World Food Programme as part of a campaign. And I hope that is a good step towards enabling donations to EA recommended charities in as simple way as possible and educating customers on effectiveness of donations. Will I manage? Don’t know but I’ll for sure try :)
I work professionally for more than 12 yrs yet I never before felt as fulfilled by my work and the direction and the agency over what I try to effectuate when working.
Problems become actionable. I kinda ran out of problems at CFAR. The techniques helped me to identify at least some steps forward. Then one tries some and starts walking in the right direction and that feels really great. Now I kinda do not have problems. There are topics I’m making progress on. It is not that I do not struggle with decisions but I am much quicker to tell what information I need, what is the crux to make the decision, etc.
I spend often 5 minutes thinking hard about the problem at hand. Which is actually massive! Since one may spend hours and days on issues not honestly trying for five minutes.
My expectations were tuned down by my friend who recommended the workshop and also mentioned that you may feel silly after first two days for paying so much money but than it all adds up and it will be good. And it was exactly that :) The curriculum is very well curated and organized. And the workshop is also warm and enjoyable while being exhausting.
And I keep going. This is not the end, this is still more a start. I can subscribe to the higher rate of self-improvement post CFAR. Really happy I could take CFAR. Of course your mileage may vary :)