Comment by dregntael on Critch on career advice for junior AI-x-risk-concerned researchers · 2018-05-13T09:45:28.364Z · score: 11 (3 votes) · LW · GW

Thank you for posting this here, I mostly agree with the statement that acquiring skills early on is more important than producing anything directly. There's one thing that bugs me, however.

Early in your research career, you need to be in "consume" mode more than "produce" mode [...]

Counterpoint: if you spend most of your early research career in "consume" mode, you won't get any practice at producing valuable research or even know whether producing science is a good fit for you personally. I've personally seen people who are extremely good at processing large amounts of content during their studies, but got completely lost when tasked with finding and studying a novel problem that no-one had written on before. This seems like some kind of trap that many PhD student run into. Sometimes there's just no good way to learn how to do research other than, y'know, by doing research.