Is there even 1 exclusively about people working at EA organisations?
If someone had taken a different job with the goal of having a big social impact, and we didn’t think what they were doing was horribly misguided, I don’t think we would count them as having ‘dropped out of EA’ in any of the 6 data sets.
I was referring to things like phrasings used and how often someone working for an EA org vs not was discussed relative to other things; I wasn’t referring to the actual criteria used to classify people as having dropping out / reduced involvement or not.
Given that Ben says he’s now made some edits, it doesn’t seem worth combing through the post again in detail to find examples of the sort of thing I mean. But I just did a quick ctrl+f for “organisations”, and found this, as one example:
Of the 14 classified as staff, I don’t count any clear cases of drop out. 12 are working at EA organisations, and I think the remaining 2 would still be interested in working at an EA organisation in the future.So, we could summarise this as 0% drop out over 6 years, and 14% becoming less involved, though not clearly in a permanent way.Of the 24 categorised as ‘speakers’ (which mostly don’t overlap), I could only count 1 case of drop out (4%).It’s also interesting to note that 20 out of the 24 (83%) are currently working in EA organisations.
Of the 14 classified as staff, I don’t count any clear cases of drop out. 12 are working at EA organisations, and I think the remaining 2 would still be interested in working at an EA organisation in the future.
So, we could summarise this as 0% drop out over 6 years, and 14% becoming less involved, though not clearly in a permanent way.
Of the 24 categorised as ‘speakers’ (which mostly don’t overlap), I could only count 1 case of drop out (4%).
It’s also interesting to note that 20 out of the 24 (83%) are currently working in EA organisations.
This is definitely not explicitly saying “not dropping out = working at an EA org”. Instead, I think it’s meant as something more like “There are many ways one can stay involved in EA, but in this case we had the obvious evidence that most of these people were still working at EA orgs, making it unnecessary to check if they were still involved in other ways.”
I think that, for various reasons that I mostly don’t pin on 80k, various people feel like working at an EA org is one of the most impactful and/or “EA-y” things to do, even if they don’t necessarily explicitly believe that. (I think you highlighted this well in your own recent post.) So it seems worth being extra careful about things that could accidentally exacerbate that feeling.
The text I quoted does sound like it categorises 2 of the first set of 14 people as “becoming less involved” because they’re not working at an EA org, without saying anything about whether they’re still doing potentially high-impact things.
On the other hand, it also suggests that 3 of the set of 24 people aren’t working at EA orgs but are still not considered to have not dropped out, which pushes against this.
Plus, it’s totally plausible Ben did consider whether those 2 people were doing other potentially high-impact things, found they seemed not to be (or not as much as they had been), and just didn’t mention that.
Also, to be clear, I didn’t mean my original comment as even a mild criticism of this post, really. I just thought it would be useful for this point to be explicitly made, to push against an impression some people might erroneously form after reading this post.
 To the extent to which it seems plausible that 80k has contributed to this phenomena, I don’t think it would’ve been easy for someone else to have done better. I think 80k has an unusual degree of prominence and respect in the EA community that makes it unusually likely that people will be influenced by 80k in ways that 80k didn’t intend, even if 80k is doing a well-above-average job of communicating carefully and with nuance. (And I indeed think 80k is doing a well-above-average job of that.)