I don’t think I was assuming that, but good point—there are of course lots of nuances to whether disagreements are good/bad/useful/problematic in various ways. I definitely wasn’t meaning to say “disagreements are always a good thing”, but rather something much weaker, like “disagreements are not always a bad thing to be avoided, and can often be a good opportunity to learn more about the world and/or your own reasons for your beliefs, and internalising this mindset more fully seems very useful.”
I don’t think this means we should try and create disagreements where none exist already, or that the world wouldn’t be a better place if people agreed more. But assuming a lot of disagreements already exist, identifying those disagreements can be a very good thing if you have good tools for resolving/making better sense of them. So when I say I’m excited about finding more disagreements, I mean that given the assumption that those disagreements already exist, and would have any potential bad real-world consequences regardless of whether I’m aware of them or not.
Thanks for writing this up! One thing I particularly like about this technique is that it seems to really help with getting into the mindset of seeing disagreements as good (not an unpleasant thing to be avoided), and seeing them as good for the right reasons—for learning more about the world/your own beliefs/changing your mind (not a way to assert status/dominance/offload anger etc.)
I feel genuinely excited about paying more attention to where I disagree with others and trying to find the crux of the disagreement now, in a way I didn’t before reading this post.
I’m not sure there’s much I can say on this I’m afraid: I’m not in charge of receiving and scoring applications so I don’t actually know at this stage (and even if I was I’m not sure it would be appropriate for me to post a judgement on here)
In general I’d just reiterate the point though that we do find it relatively difficult to find good people, so if you think you might fit what we’re looking for, it’s definitely worth applying.
Yeah, US citizens are very welcome to apply. We can fairly easily hire US citizens for internships. For permanent paid roles my understanding is that it’s a bit more complicated, but definitely possible—so it just means the application will be more competitive (because we may have to pay for visas etc).
Can you clarify what exactly you mean by “what kind of applicant field are you looking at?”
You’re right, I should have put in a link to the GWWC and EEA positions. Will add.
Thanks Luke, added!
Hi, I’m Jess. I’ve just graduated from Oxford with a masters degree in Mathematics and Philosophy. I’m trying to decide what to do next with my life, and graduate study in cognitive science is currently top of my list. What I’m really interested in is the application of research in human rationality, decision making and its limitations to wider issues in society, public policy etc.
I’m taking some time to challenge my intuition that I want to go into research, though, as I’m slightly concerned that I’m taking the most obvious option not knowing what else to do. My methods for doing this at the moment are a) trying to think about reasons it might not be the best option (a “consider the opposite” type approach) and b) initiating conversations with as many people as possible doing things that interest me, and getting some work experience in different areas this year, to broaden my limited perspective. Any better/additional suggestions are more than welcome!
I’m about to start an internship with 80000 hours, doing a project on the role of cognitive bias in career choice. The aim is to collect together the existing research on biases and mitigation techniques and apply it in a practical and accessible way, identifying the biases that most commonly affect career choice and providing useful strategies for avoiding them. I was wondering if anyone here has a summary of the existing literature on cognitive bias mitigation, or any recommendations of particularly useful/important research? Equally if anyone has spent much time thinking about this, I’d love to hear about it.