Allocation of talent

Allocation of talent is the matching of labor or skill with output or value, so that people are working on what they individually can do most to produce things of value. In the context of a career, allocation of talent becomes the problem of Job selection. Currently a lot of talent or skill seems to be misallocated, in the sense that people are working on things that may not produce a lot of value or that they’re not good at.

In terms of cause prioritization, some questions to ask are:

  • How badly is talent misallocated?
  • Who is working on this problem? (What are some names under which this same idea is known?)


  • gwern:

    There too is an incredible amount of material to cover, by some really smart people (what did geeks do before science and modernity? well, for the most part, they seem to have done theology; consider how much time and effort Isaac Newton reportedly spent on alchemy and his own Biblical studies, or the sheer brainpower that must’ve been spent over the centuries in rabbinical studies).

External links

Some places to begin looking:

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click on ads. This sucks.” - Jeff Hammerbacher