I think that changing our minds and owning up to past mistakes are two of the key virtues of effective altruism. I’d love to acknowledge instances of this and try to collect such stories as examples to follow.
Here are some examples to start with:
- Hauke Hillebrandt: [updated] Global development interventions are generally more effective than climate change interventions
- David Manheim: A Personal (Interim) COVID-19 Postmortem
- Holden Karnofsky: Three Key Issues I've Changed My Mind About
- Many organizations in effective altruism have pages about their past mistakes
- Andrew Gelman: I was looking through the wrong end of the telescope (this one isn’t about EA)
Do you know of others? Please feel free to share examples of yourself doing this.
I think the best examples would have the following properties:
- An important error or mind-change
- A public change of conclusion or explanation of the error
- In a context or conversation that’s relevant to effective altruism
- How we can make it easier to change your mind about cause areas
- Epistemic Legibility - EA Forum
- Six Ways To Get Along With People Who Are Totally Wrong*
- If you don't have good evidence one thing is better than another, don't pretend you do
- Discussion norms (topic page on the Forum)
P.S. This is partially prompted by the Criticisms Contest. I’d be excited to see people engage with criticisms or red teaming of their work — especially when this leads to real changes of position or conclusion.