This is a linkpost for https://www.samharris.org/podcasts/making-sense-episodes/303-the-fall-of-sam-bankman-fried
Sam Harris just shared a 20 min podcast with his thoughts on the FTX crash, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), and effective altruism. I think he had a good take, and I'm glad he shared it.
Highlights (written retrospectively; hope I'm not misrepresenting):
- Sam Harris discusses how he didn't expect what looks like serious wrongdoing – and likely fraud – from SBF, who he had glorified on his podcast in December 2021 for an episode on Earning to Give. Even listening to the podcast back again, Sam Harris didn't detect any deviousness in SBF.
- He acknowledges there's a lot we don't know yet about SBF's character and how long this has been going on.
- Sam mentions that he's steered clear of the EA community because he has always found it "cult-like"
- But he defends EA principles and says that this whole situation means "exactly zero" for his commitment to those ideas.
- He compares criticizing EA ideas in light of FTX to criticizing the scientific method in light of elite scientists faking results.
- He extends his defense to utilitarianism and consequentialism: if you're critiquing consequentialism ethics on the basis that it led to bad consequences you're "seriously confused."