From $23-131 trillion UK owes in reparations just to Jamaica. What about to Africa? What about France, Belgium.. Spain... If the UK was paying slave owners until 2015 (fckin redic) for freeing slaves, how many centuries would it do reparations for? Because most of the people who benefited from this won't just give back their fortune they amassed...

https://www.brattle.com/insights-events/news/findings-from-brattle-report-on-reparations-cited-in-the-guardian-article/

How much did it cost to pay the battle group to make this report? Probably not even $50k. How much would it cost EA, just to create a coalition with other justice/human rights orgs, to create more reports, to create action in governments in Europe, to save hundreds of millions of people's lives in Africa who are living in poverty?

Let's see how many trolls downvote this post too. Because this is the root cause and y'all know it isn't a bandaid. Humanitarian bandaids are for feelings, solving root causes is the most logical investment, the most effective. I urge y'all to think deeply about this. AI ain't an existential problem, I bet some genius in Africa will solve it, like Kang 😸🤣😵

I wrote another post about what should be done with the reparations, how to manage it to be effective and not corrupted.

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JWS
6mo20
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So I wanted to respond to you here, and your general posts/comments on the Forum recently, and provide some feedback on why you're getting downvoted and hopefully persuade you (or EA sceptics on left who get linked to this post) that they're differences in perspectives, and not just 'trolls'.

 

In some cases, EAs might just disagree with you:[1] In your recent post Why not invest towards ending neocolonialism? you start off with the 'teach a man to fish' phrase. My understanding is that Global Health EA Space doesn't like this phrase and think that it's mindset tends to contribute to harm. You mention Giridharadas and Winner Take All, who seems to have informed a lot of your thinking on philanthropy and its effectiveness, but many EA-ish people disagree with that viewpoint.[2] In this post, you ask for creating a coalition to save poverty, but many EAs (though not all) think that poverty has declined over the 20th and 21st centuries to date and in general 'the system' has done well on this metric, which is not to say that it can't do better, or ought to do more, or that an alternative might be better.

 

In others, you make large claims without backing them up (imo), such as:

I strongly believe we can solve poverty in Africa in 20 years of this becomes a focus investment. Because we could also get more foundations involved, and another snowball effect of petitions from politicians to end neocolonialism, and ensure there's no corrupt deals, no exploitation, increase transparency in their governments so every citizen can know what's going on.

or:

Because this is the root cause and y'all know it isn't a bandaid. Humanitarian bandaids are for feelings, solving root causes is the most logical investment, the most effective.

or:

AI ain't an existential problem, I bet some genius in Africa will solve it

To varying degress, some EAs may actually agree with you on part of all of them. But I feel like it'd be good to point out sources why you believe so, more than "So I think a lot about how to solve the root problems that end up spiraling out of control". I think you linking to Giridharadas is actually good, because I can understand where your scepticism of philanthropy is coming from. If there were similar sources for your theory-of-change regarding systemic interventions, I think myself and other EAs who are sceptical of your suggestions would feel there's more ground for productive discussion.

 

Finally, I do have to say that your tone when challenged is just... not conducive to getting useful discussion. For example:

It's like fighting over toilet paper, which happened in America so easily, but when it happens somewhere else, who cares?  Who cares about Niger? Not your problem, plus it's religion, and Putin, we can't even mention it. Yemen, theyre arabs it's always their fault. Right?

I don't know how you could in good faith think that this representative of EAs approach to helping the 3rd world.

Or don't, you probably really don't care about anything besides your existential criss that AI will kill us all or wokeness

Again, I don't know how you could know this about the person you replied to. Or think that all EAs only care about AI xRisk to the exclusion of literally everything else.

Let's see how many trolls downvote this post too.

This kind of comment just never goes down well. I think you can voice criticisms of EA, and scepticism of AI xRisk, without resorting to this kind of dialogue or comments. I think these jabs really hurt the chances people will engage with you more than anything else.

 

I feel sympathy at your sense of injustice in the world, and how major institutions seem incapable of correcting that harm with the moral urgency they ought. I can understand how it feels frustrating to share your point of view and be downvoted and not have discussions. I hope this comment might provide some insight as to why your recent contributions have been downvoted on the Forum by genuine EAs, and not by trolls, and how you might be able to share your thoughts and ideas on the Forum in future to get a more collaborative reception without watering down your beliefs.

  1. ^

    I think it's a mistake to think that there is one 'EA' response here. There's probably a range of responses

  2. ^

    Perhaps the Klein/Giridharadas podcast, especially toward the end, is a good example of this