AFU

Anonymous (for unimpressive reasons =[ )

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Here is one instance of what I consider vote manipulation.

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/cTQfWpobqk4nDWsfG/new-use-the-nonlinear-library-to-listen-to-the-top-ea-forum#comments

I interpret the situation as an incident that Kat did not honor her word about content, Kirsten was upset, and Kat suppressed Kirsten's concerns. As you can see, Charles He (who seems otherwise unintelligent) pointed this out clearly.

I grudge providing this, and I do so because of interest which I think is disproportionate, as this is not substantive compared to the rest of the claims. Frankly, I assumed this voting behavior was common knowledge.

I am satisfied with the truth, accuracy and confidence of my statements in this post. Based on some of the responses from Non-linear, I would probably change my content to increase my concerns somewhat.

 

I'm not immediately able to say anything useful about the meta question of anonymous comments—this seems extremely complicated and I probably might not agree if I think about it.

I might be anonymous (?) right now. I have unique reasons that I am anonymous, and I might not be for long.

 

I am interested if you have contravening information about my representations on my account, or any other concerns. Please write them publicly.

What’s disappointing is not that Eliezer can’t make even a minor acknowledgement for the relevance of the models or experiences of others, that he is probably outright wrong on the substantial issues, but that Eliezer struggles to communicate and hold a thread in this conversation.

His counterpart is a literal domain expert and maybe very valuable talent to EA. (As a statement considering the totality of the votes and writing) this person is being badgered under what to any outsider should be the scary or unclear norms and power structures of the EA community on its own forum, while Eliezer’s de facto community keeps him afloat.

Elizier’s behavior is unacceptable for a funded, junior community builder, much less a senior leader.

Imagine a newcomer witnessing this, much less experiencing this. 

What you did was valuable, useful and brave.

 

With difficulty, trying to communicate in a way that gets at the heart of the issue and not pick out facts and tries to be fair: 

My guess (50% true/certain) is that it's probably fair to say that Kat and Emerson have a bit of a hustle vibe (I mean look at Emerson's description).

Like I would do, and you would do, they try to maximize their local success. However, their output hasn't been extremely high. There might be a small departure from some EA cooperate norms, that might be due cultural differences.

 

With the greatest uncertainty, but the most importance?: I think the potentially major issue is that by trying to sit as a meta org, Nonlinear can attract inflows of EA talent that scales with the movement (and not their ability), and also self-replicate. That is bad for movement health and incentives. EA is also small enough (and the course has seen a negative trajectory) that this could be an issue, e.g. the lemons sit in the aftermath, there's a path dependency. The communication/publicity maximization adds to this concern.

As this thread shows, they are unpopular enough at this point, that I think the concerns are probably minor, like top #30-50 item on the list of things that CEA or OP needs to worry about in the next year or two.

More minorly, they also manipulate things like voting scores on the EA forum (and pay a lot of attention to online presence). 

 

More substantively but with greater uncertainly: 

Back in 2021, there were a bunch of potential EA meta orgs, that are essentially natural monopolies, there can only be one. As another feature, these meta EA orgs naturally have to attract/involve a lot of EA resources and talent. The nature of these potential orgs is that they have less legible or viewable output (than say, distributing mosquito nets or producing research).

1+ grantmakers at a major EA grantmaking organization said it's known people didn't have ideal views on them (but suggested I meet with Kat because we had to, they were in the space). 

After the meeting, I got a bit of an elbowing/redirection vibe, which in hindsight was extremely not justifiable by their output.

Here is some questions/content that might be interesting to discuss? 

(You might not want to given if your fatigue though.)

Can you answer two questions related to the source of SBF's early business wealth?

Were the Kimchi arb returns real?

As you know, the "Kimchi premium" was this difference in BTC price between Korea (Japan?) and the rest of the world.

The narrative is that SBF arbed this price difference to make many millions and create his early wealth.

The Sequoia puff piece makes this cute story:

Curious, SBF had started looking into crypto—and almost immediately noticed something strange. Bitcoin was trading at a higher price in Japan and Korea than it was in the U.S. In theory, this should never happen because it represents a riskless profit opportunity—in other words, a free lunch. One simply buys Bitcoin at the lower price, sells it at the higher price, and pockets the difference. Jane Street built an empire on high-frequency trades that took advantage of fraction-of-a-cent price differences. But here was Bitcoin, trading at around $15,000 in South Korea: an unheard-of 50 percent price premium.

After SBF's fall, Twitter speculation says this is dubious. 

This is because the cause of the Kimchi premium was strict legal capital controls, and the liquidity was orders of magnitude too small to produce the wealth in SBF later used. At best, SBF was actively breaking laws by this trade. The amount of money he could make may have been too small to justify the narratives around his early success.

Do you have any comments on the above? 

 

Jaan Tallinn investment

Tallinn later ended up funding SBF with $50M. 

What would you say to the speculation that it was this funding, and not the Kimchi arb , that really launched SBF's career?

 

If this is mostly true, the takeaway is that there's little cleverness or competency being expressed here here?

It seems like power, money and access led to SBF's success. This theme would fit with SBF's later behavior, with bluffing and overaweing spend. 

That tradition seems hollow and bad, maybe contagious to the things that SBF created or touched.

This could be useful in some way? It seems like the vector EA or EA PR could take, could counter this.

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