I looked up CRPS and kidney stones, and it looks like both of them have relatively mild symptoms in most cases. Are you sure that this isn’t a case of conflating the pain of the most extreme cases and the prevalence of all cases?
You’re right about the 8% figure for chronic severe pain, though.
I wonder if we sufficiently understand the psychological dynamics of chronic or extreme pain. The existence of the bullet ant glove ritual makes me wonder to what extent the cultural context of pain influences our remembered perception of its quality, intensity, and meaning.
It seems helpful to distinguish between meaningless, “I would’t wish this on my worst enemy” pain, which probably accounts for the vast majority of extreme pains, “a little pain is necessary to toughen you up” pain, and “this is a sacred extreme-pain ritual.”
I came into the movement already sharing the basic philosophy and in the midst of exploring career change, and I’ve been involved for perhaps 6 months both through my local meetup and exploring online resources. I believe that two of the ways this project will help our communities by validating individual struggles and through creation of new online resources. My writing, conversation, tech, and project management skills will all be helpful in that effort.
Seeking EAs to Interview on Career Change Resources
Hi everyone! Vaidehi Agarwalla and I (Benjamin Skubi), are collaborating on a project to develop career resources for the EA movement. We believe that a pressing issue is enhancing the resources for people newer to the movement and in the earlier stages of a career change. Existing EA resources focus on job placement for already-qualified individuals, and on broadcasting the results of cause prioritization research. While these are extremely useful projects, the movement as a whole struggles in some regards with coordination of other efforts, providing user-friendly and up-to-date resources, and integrating interested people into pre-existing communities. For many people whose involvement with EA might be mutually beneficial to them, the movement, and the world, the challenge of making sense of all the information (if there are relevant resources) may be a significant barrier to taking the next step.
Our plan is to conduct exploratory (video) interviews, lasting perhaps 30-40 minutes, with EAs who are in the early stages of exploring a career change. We hope that we can benefit interviewees by helping connect them with relevant people and resources, and better understand the challenges they face.
If you would like to be interviewed, please fill out our contact form. We hope to interview as many people as possible, although we will begin with only a few interviews for the initial round. We will also be providing updates as the project advances. We look forward to hearing from you!
Also, just read through your extensive and thoughtful comments—thank you for that. As you noted, this was more a worksheet than a survey, and I’ll try to keep a clearer distinction between those two projects.
Thanks, good insights. I was imagining a way to help individuals think through their personal situation in a more in-depth way (the worksheet linked here), and a set of interview questions to spark conversation (my last post). I’ll give that some thought.
Followup post: Open for comment: EA career changer questionnaire
Link to Google Docs questionnaire (open for comments)
As per title, I’m working on a questionnaire for EA career changers. The goals are to help individuals better manage their deliberation process, and to provide structure for productive community networking among career changers. Right now, I have a number of concerns:
Is it too complicated?
Missing important questions?
Is it an inferior version of another questionnaire?
It’s meant to stimulate public discussion yet asks about private information.
It may result in a giant text blob that becomes hard for the user to process.
Could it be more specific to EA?
I originally meant to create a checklist, but don’t see a way to do that right now in a way that preserves the general applicability of the device. If you have thoughts on any of these questions, please comment below or in the doc!
My post here and on the Facebook Effective Altruism Career forum attracted a lot of “likes” and, on FB, quite a few responses from interested people. I’ll be thinking about next steps and updating next week both here and in a separate post.
Thanks for the idea, and for reading. Are you imagining me using some independent survey service and linking to it in this post, or does this forum have its own survey feature?
This argument is called moral cluelessness.
Added, thank you! I did already search for terms like that in order to assemble the initial list.
Here is an editable archive of all EA Forum and LessWrong cash-prize essay contest links, with some measures of their web impact. Please feel free to expand, edit, and share—I’ve got it backed up.
I want to note that mental health as a general EA cause area was the subject of another EA forum contest in December 2018.
That’s a good catch—I was thinking of EAs pursuing positions as psychedelic therapy researchers/practitioners, but clearly you could advocate for more research funding or donate toward it as an EA project.
The best way to increase long term aggregate wisdom in our time is probably to push for better governance. If the gov had better policies, voting methods, and higher research funding, that would likely lead not only to more psychedelic and other pharma research, but also numerous other benefits.
From a longtermist perspective, other technologies and trends might promise a better cure for mental health problems. Genetic engineering, AI based therapy, nanotechnology, declining levels of global trauma as war and material hardship diminish.
This contest itself is evidence that global priorities research is neglected. Why devote yourself to one particular trendy medication when we have such a limited wisdom base for making such decisions? Better to focus on running contests like this, or finding ways to build a career in developing better frameworks or technologies for evaluating impact generally.
Psychedelic therapy isn’t that neglected—it’s in a stage 3 clinical trial and has had a major book published on it already, and plenty of mental health professionals have been covertly working on it as underground psychedelic therapists. There are so many biology PhDs already that the bigger bottleneck appears to be general research funding and FDA regulations. Working on these problems is broader scale, and will still support psychedelic research without being limited to it.
In general, pharmaceuticals are only one tool in the box for working on mental health issues, so even if they are a majorly impactful drug, it’s never going to be more than a partial solution to a specific and still hazily defined problem.
As a side note, I wonder whether the winner of contests decided by upvotes will be determined not by the strongest argument but by who posts first. In the future, perhaps a panel of judges casting votes after the deadline would be a better method?