A few years ago, I wrote a Less Wrong post about why almost everyone should at least consider working in Australia for a year when they’re young.
“Optimal Employment” has since gone on to become one of the most popular LW posts ever.
It’s been viewed by over 100,000 people, and is eclipsed in popularity only by lukeprog’s top 3 posts: “How to Be Happy“, “How to Beat Procrastination“, and “The Best Textbooks on Every Subject“. As a group, Less Wrongers want to be rational… but they also want to be happy, productive, smart, and employed.
Now one of the original people who followed my advice and did his own working holiday in Australia is running a fulltime business helping others get visas so they can go work in Australia too.
I mention this because no one sticks up for Less Wrong and acknowledges when cool stuff happens there. Also, I knew my post would work before I wrote it… and it did. The day it went up on LW, I told my friend Kevin that at least 10 people would do it. In fact, over 100 people contacted me about traveling to Australia. Over a dozen actually followed my advice and traveled there for working holidays — many of whom later told me it was the best decision of their lives. And now there’s this whole new company as a result of just one post. Think about that next time you consider discounting your ability to knowably make an impact. And add one more business to the list of “cool things that only exist now, because once upon a time, people were posting about it on Less Wrong”.
April 25Marius van Voorden
*adds “work in Australia” to the list of backup plans*
*sends “Optimal Employment” to some friends who need a life plan*
April 25Andrew McKnight
The other lesson from this is to be careful giving advice to LessWrongers because they might actually take it.
April 25Louie Helm
Well, 0.01% of Less Wrongers might take your advice.
April 26Jeff Alstott
You’re doing great work, Louie. This mini-project has created a lot of good, perhaps due to being so focused and concrete. I have recommended it to several people; if conditions were different I might have even done it myself.
With that said:
“I mention this because no one sticks up for Less Wrong and acknowledges when cool stuff happens there.”
Your social network is different from my social network. And given that you work for MIRI, I’m surprised how yours looks.
“Also, I knew my post would work before I wrote it… and it did…Think about that next time you consider discounting your ability to knowably make an impact.”
Where are the times that one “knew” they would make an impact, and it did not? How do those numbers compare to the frequency of making an impact when one didn’t “know”?
I was seriously thinking of doing this, then I saw the age requirement. I turned 31 a few months ago.
If I had read this in January, I would probably be in Oz right now 🙁