As 2023 gets underway, we’re taking a look back at the content we produced in 2022 and highlighting some particular standouts.
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We published a lot of new articles and podcasts to help our readers have impactful careers — below are some of our favourite pieces from the year.
Standout posts and articles
My experience with imposter syndrome — and how to (partly) overcome it
80,000 Hours team member Luisa Rodriguez wrote this powerful and insightful piece on a challenge many people face when trying to have an impactful career. In it, she describes clearly what it’s like to have imposter syndrome from her own first-hand experience and provides a lot of helpful advice and guidance on how to manage it. I think a lot of people will benefit from reading it.
Know what you’re optimising for
Alex Lawsen, one of 80,000 Hours’ advisors, has noticed that people often fall into the trap of trying to optimise the wrong things — like students who spend so much time worrying that their homework is neatly written, rather than actually understanding and learning from the material. The piece offers practical advice for overcoming this issue.
Anonymous advice: If you want to reduce AI risk, should you take roles that advance AI capabilities?
This is a really challenging question that we are still struggling with, and this post was one way we have grappled with it. We asked 22 people we trust as thoughtful and informed experts in the field of AI safety for their thoughts, and we received 11 replies. They present different perspectives, which we hope will help people make responsible choices as they face these kinds of difficult decisions in their careers.
Standout career reviews
Why do we think software engineering could be a high-impact career? The skills are widely applicable at a range of organisations working on solutions to many different pressing problems, such AI safety and effective altruism community building.
This was one of my first pieces for 80,000 Hours, based on my experience as a journalist. In it, I discuss many different aspects of this challenging career path and include specific historical examples of impactful journalism.
Standout problem profiles
Preventing an AI-related catastrophe
This was a big one. We consider preventing an AI-related catastrophe to be at the top of the list of pressing world problems in terms of its scale, neglectedness, and tractability. But the reasons for this aren’t obvious, and there are a lot of misunderstandings about the issue out there — we hope this piece can clarify some of them.
This is quite a unique piece, written by contributor Fin Moorhouse. Space governance is not generally thought of as a pressing global problem, but there’s good reason to take it seriously. There are fewer opportunities to work on this issue than some of the other problems we think are especially pressing, but we’re happy some people are thinking about it.
Standout podcast episodes
Audrey Tang on what we can learn from Taiwan’s experiments with how to do democracy
Audrey works as Taiwan’s “Digital Minister.” In that role, she “has been helping Taiwan increase the flow of information between institutions and civil society and launched original experiments trying to make democracy itself work better.”
Sharon Hewitt Rawlette on why pleasure and pain are the only things that intrinsically matter
Sharon has written a provocative book on a relatively obscure topic in philosophy known as “metaethics” — and she argues her theory has deep implications for how we should understand right and wrong.
Lewis Dartnell on getting humanity to bounce back faster in a post-apocalyptic world
In an unusually brief episode (only a single hour!), the author of The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm discusses the promise and perils of humanity’s potential efforts to recover from catastrophe.
Michelle and Habiba on what they’d tell their younger selves and 80,000 Hours’ 1-1 advising
Two 80,000 Hours team members give their personal takes on what it’s like giving advice to people who want to have impactful careers.
More to come in 2023!
We hope you’ve benefitted from our content this past year, and we plan to produce a lot more in 2023 to support our readers in their ambitions to have a high-impact career.