David Mathers

3265 karmaJoined Dec 2021


I meant something in between "is" and "has a non-zero chance of being", like assigning significant probability to it (obviously I didn't have an exact number in mind), and not just for base rate reasons about believing all rich people to be dodgy. 

I feel like "people who worked with Sam told people about specific instances of quite serious dishonesty they had personally observed" is being classed as "rumour" here, which whilst not strictly inaccurate, is misleading, because it is a very atypical case relative to the image the word "rumour" conjures. Also, even if people only did receive stuff that was more centrally rumour, I feel like we still want to know if any one in leadership argued "oh, yeah, Sam might well be dodgy, but the expected value of publicly backing him is high because of the upside". That's a signal someone is a bad leader in my view, which is useful knowledge going forward. (I'm not saying it is instant proof they should never hold leadership positions ever again: I think quite a lot of people might have said something like that in similar circumstances. But it is a bad sign.) 

(Well not quite, Wiki edit out "or our culture" as an alternative to "form of government").

Please people, do not treat Richard Hannania as some sort of worthy figure who is a friend of EA. He was a Nazi, and whilst he claims he moderated his views, he is still very racist as far as I can tell.

Hannania called for trying to get rid of all non-white immigrants in the US, and the sterilization of everyone with an IQ under 90 indulged in antisemitic attacks on the allegedly Jewish elite, and even post his reform was writing about the need for the state to harass and imprison Black people specifically ('a revolution in our culture or form of government. We need more policing, incarceration, and surveillance of black people'  Yet in the face of this, and after he made an incredibly grudging apology about his most extreme stuff (after journalists dug it up), he's been invited to Manifiold's events and put on Richard Yetter Chappel's blogroll. 

DO NOT DO THIS. If you want people to distinguish benign transhumanism (which I agree is a real thing*) from the racist history of eugenics, do not fail to shun actual racists and Nazis. Likewise, if you want to promote "decoupling" factual beliefs from policy recommendations, which can be useful, do not duck and dive around the fact that virtually every major promoter of scientific racism ever, including allegedly mainstream figures like Jensen, worked with or published with actual literal Nazis ( 

I love most of the people I have met through EA, and I know that-despite what some people say on twitter- we are not actually a secret crypto-fascist movement (nor is longtermism specifically, which whether you like it or not, is mostly about what its EA proponents say it is about.) But there is in my view a disturbing degree of tolerance for this stuff in the community, mostly centered around the Bay specifically. And to be clear I am complaining about tolerance for people with far-right and fascist ("reactionary" or whatever) political views, not people with any particular personal opinion on the genetics of intelligence. A desire for authoritarian government enforcing the "natural" racial hierarchy does not become okay, just because you met the person with the desire at a house party and they seemed kind of normal and chill or super-smart and nerdy. 

I usually take a way more measured tone on the forum than this, but here I think real information is given by getting shouty. 

*Anyone who thinks it is automatically far-right to think about any kind of genetic enhancement at all should go read some Culture novels, and note the implied politics (or indeed, look up the author's actual die-hard libertarian socialist views.) I am not claiming that far-left politics is innocent, just that it is not racist.   (Just so people can get a sense of how very bad his views at least were, and could still be.) 

I think she provided excellent evidence that at least some of your sources are in fact accurately characterized as "Nazi". Did you actually read the article she linked? 

This is a meta-level point, but I'd be very, very wary of giving any help to Hanania if he attempts (even sincerely) to position himself publicly as a friend of EA. He was outed as having moved in genuinely and unambiguously white supremacist political circles for years a while ago. And while I accept that repentance is possible, and he claims to have changed (and probably has become less bad), I do not trust someone at all who had to have this be exposed rather than publicly owning up and denouncing his (allegedly) past views of his own accord, especially since he referred to being exposed as some sort of somehow unfair attempt of critics to discredit him.

Whilst he has abandoned violent fascism (he says) he also seems still quite racist. It's not very long since he last referred to some black people he didn't like on twitter as "these animals" or something along those lines. (I can't recall what the black people in question had allegedly done: EDIT:  not that I think anything they'd done could really make that ok, I just don't want someone to say I'm being unfair  to say "black people" and not "black people who had done X") I don't think I am wildly out there in seeing him as still racist. Matt Yglesias, who no one could accuse of being mindlessly woke in all cases, reacted to Hanania's exposure as an (allegedly ex-) Nazi by saying that it was hardly news that Hanania is racist:

'Naive consequentialist plans also seem to have increased since FTX, mostly as a result of shorter AI timelines and much more involvement of EA in the policy space.'

This gives me the same feeling as Rebecca's original post: that you have specific information about very bad stuff that you are (for good or bad reasons) not sharing. 

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