AI safety is harder than most things
I recently got a visceral sense that AI safety is harder than most things when I started writing my Tao Analysis Solutions blog. After two months of near-daily blogging, I got blog comments from a smart-seeming high school student (?) and also a very nice thank you letter from a different person. In contrast, working on AI safety feels like .... there's absolutely no feedback on whether I'm doing anything useful?
I also had a similar feeling one day when I took a break from studying math and learned some microeconomics. The latter just felt so much easier.
When you've been at AI safety for too long, you're so used to just "[staring] at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead, trying to figure out what to think next" that you might forget that other things aren't like this. You might start to think that, actually, you're just incompetent. So I think it's nice to sometimes take a break and do easier things.