As you may have guessed from the previous two posts I’m not happy at my current job and looking for a better one. Some of that is figuring out what kind of environment I work best in and some of it is developing skills, but I also needed to figure out what problems I wanted to solve. This was where So Good They can’t Ignore You was so helpful- it helped me realize I needed to look at what would make me feel most impactful, rather than what I would find entertaining.
I know what things interest me: health, poverty, education, psychology,
video games, mental health, nutrition, medicine… but no one else seems to think these things are as linked as I do. I think I finally what they have in common, for me: they waste potential. People who could have done great things die or don’t have the money to pursue them or are too sick or pained or no one will teach them the necessary skills. That’s tragic. That’s loss on an enormous scale.
I don’t find anti-poverty work as emotionally compelling as the intricacies of mental health or CFAR. But if I bother to think it through, I realize there’s a lot of people who will never get to the level of calibrating their predictions because they’re starving, or because all of their mental energy is going to keeping them from starving. In a very real sense, giving money to poor people is one of the most effective rationality-raising interventions possible.
So that’s my goal. Remove things that are keeping the most people from being all they can be.