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Project lead of LessWrong 2.0, often helping the EA Forum with various issues with the forum. If something is broken on the site, it's a good chance it's my fault (Sorry!).


Topic contributions

We implemented this on LessWrong! (indeed based on some of my own bad experiences with threads like this on the EA Forum)

The EA Forum decided to forum gate the relevant changes, but on LW people would indeed be prevented from voting like I think voting is happening here: https://github.com/ForumMagnum/ForumMagnum/commit/07e0754042f88e1bd002d68f5f2ab12f1f4d4908 

Given that the quote was "our," was written by Austin, and was in a post about Manifest, I don't see the argument for including non-Manifest RSVPs in the denominator. 

Agree! I just accidentally looked up the wrong number in my comment, and then didn't want to stealth-edit it.

I've never seen anyone express frustration or disappointment about Dustin, except for Habryka. However, Habryka seems to be frustrated with most people who fund anything / do anything that's not associated with Lightcone and its affiliates, so I don't know if he should count as expressing frustration at Dustin in particular.

There is a huge amount of work I am deeply grateful for that as far as I can tell is not "associated with Lightcone and its affiliates". Some examples: 

  • The historical impact of the Future of Humanity Institute
  • The historical impact of MIRI 
  • Gwern's writing and work
  • Joe Carlsmith's writing
  • Basically all of Holden's intellectual output (even if I disagree with his leadership of OP and EA in a bunch of very important ways)
  • Basically all of Owen Cotton Barratt's contributions (bar the somewhat obvious fuckups that came out last year, though I think they don't outshine his positive contributions)
  • John Wentworth's contributions
  • Ryan Greenblatt's and Buck Shlegeris's contributions
  • Paul Christiano's and Mark Xu's research (I have disagreements with Paul on EA leadership and governance things, but I think his research overall has been great)
  • Rohin Shah's many great contributions over the years
  • More broadly the Deepmind safety team

There are also many others that I am surely forgetting. There is an enormous number of extremely talented, moral, and smart people involved in the extended rationality/EA/AI-x-risk ecosystem, and I am deeply grateful to many of them. It is rare that my relationship to someone is purely positive and completely devoid of grievance, as I think is normal for relationships, but there are many people for which my assessment of their good vastly outshines the grievances I have.

I expect that conducting a similar percentage analysis on other topics would show the eugenics/controversial cluster fairly high on the list of clusters. This is a form of relative significance; the topic drew a relatively high amount of interest when compared to various other topics at hand.

I think I would take that bet, in the sense that if you actually ranked all clusters (including overlapping clusters) of content at this level of coherence of a cluster, that it probably wouldn't rank in the top 10. This is of course not a great operationalization, and it would take a lot of work to get to an actual bet, but as someone who attended the event, my current best guess is we disagree on a relatively concrete object-level claim.

I have heard from many conversatives (and some grey tribe people) over the years that they feel very unwelcome at EA events (which is not very surprising, given quotes in the OP which expresses horror at a conference that might be 50% republicans, though I understand that might be more of a US/non-US cultural misunderstanding). 

I don't pay that much attention to which speakers go to EAG, so I am less sure about speakers, but there have been a bunch of radical-leftist animal rights people at various conferences that have been cited to me many times as something that made very promising young people substantially less likely to attend (I don't want to dox the relevant attendees here, but would be happy to DM you some names if you want).

Now that I'm looking at these with a more careful eye, I can see that they all say Manifest is independently operated with its own organizers, etc. I can understand how from the inside, it would be obvious that Manifest was run by completely different people and had (I'm now presuming) little direct LessWrong involvement. I just think it should be apparent that this is less clear from the outside, and it wouldn't be hard for someone to be confused on this point.

Yeah, I think this is fair. I think using the language "no idea what people mean" in exchange for "I think these people are wrong and I think are capable of figuring out that they are wrong" (which is closer to what I meant) is a bad rhetorical move and I shouldn't have used it. 

Oh, I would totally partake in discussions around HBD. In as much as people consider that a harmful action, I strongly disapprove. I think a lot of the claims around it are bunk, and disagree with many people in the space, but I would totally talk to people about it, as I am willing to talk to people about almost everything.

Yeah, to be clear, I think this is a real dynamic (as Scott Alexander has I think cogently written about here [1]). I think in as much as this is the concern, I am pretty into thinking about the dynamics here, and strongly agree that defenses for this kind of stuff are important. 

I also think similar things are true about people on the far left and a bunch of other social clusters with a history of trying to establish themselves in places with attack surface like this.

I think a reasonable thing would definitely be to see whether any specific subculture is growing at a very disproportionate rate in terms of attendance for events like Manifest, as well as to think about good ways of defending against this kind of takeover. My model of Manifest is probably not doing enough modeling about this kind of hostile subculture growth, though my guess is they'll learn quickly as it becomes a more apparent problem.

  1. ^

    The moral of the story is: if you’re against witch-hunts, and you promise to found your own little utopian community where witch-hunts will never happen, your new society will end up consisting of approximately three principled civil libertarians and seven zillion witches. It will be a terrible place to live even if witch-hunts are genuinely wrong.

I am pretty sure that the donors that Open Phil is talking to would not meaningfully undo the huge shift in OPs relationship to its own cost-effectiveness estimates. Maybe you disagree here, I would be happy to bet about survey outcomes of OP staff.

It seems clear you actually do not want them to recruit donors for the grantees you're focused on

I am not sure what you mean by this. I would love for Open Phil staff to find additional donors for domains I support. I also think that donor would then probably be well-advised to hire away some of the OP staff, or hire additional staff of their own, and my guess is would end up with a very different relationship than you have to OP, but that doesn't really bear on the question of whether I would OP staff to try to recruit donors for these things. I would like to see more funding to stuff that I care about, including from OP.

I don't think Davis was at Summer Camp or LessOnline. I would have said hello to him, and also I can't find anyone on the ticket list for any of the events with the name "Davis".

(Edit: OOps, I was just looking at the Manifest guest list. He sure was at LessOnline. Sad to have missed him!)

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