Strongly upvoted, and think this is a great post with advice I hope people take seriously.
A minor critique of this part - “but in practice, they’re usually solving ops bottlenecks at the cost of building harder-to-acquire skills” -- I worry people will take this to mean that solving ops bottlenecks is something easily done by most young EAs without much career capital. This hasn’t been my experience. I think solving ops bottlenecks effectively is really hard, and is in fact one of the things I wish more young EAs would build skills in doing by going into work outside of EA with lots of mentorship and feedback loops.
Saw this post for the first time after it was linked from one of the recent FTX posts, and wanted to say thank you for having taken the time to write and express these concerns, which clearly weren’t very popular but turned out to be...prescient. I’m a bit frustrated this didn’t get more karma or engagement at the time.
I’m also frustrated that I probably just scrolled past without clicking or considering because it didn’t have that much karma and seemed ‘against the mood.’ It feels important for everyone (like me) who was caught off guard this week to recognize that this was not, actually, unforeseeable. It’s humbling to realize how much work our cognitive biases must have been doing . Anyway, thanks!