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Leverage Research: reviewing the basic facts

Some participants of the Pareto fellowship have told me that Leverage resembles a cult. I can't remember many specifics. One thing is that the main guy (Geoff Anders?) thinks, 100% in earnest, that he's the greatest philosopher who's ever lived.

1. The CEA, the very organization you juxtaposed with Leverage and Paradigm in this comment [] has in the past been compared to a Ponzi scheme []. Effective altruists who otherwise appreciated that criticism thought much of the value was lost in comparing it to a Ponzi scheme, and without it, the criticism may been better received. Additionally, LessWrong and the rationality community; CFAR and MIRI; and all of AI safety have been for years been smeared as a cult by their detractors. The rationality community isn't perfect. There is no guarantee interactions with a self-identified (aspiring) rationality community will "rationally" go however an individual or small group of people interacting with the community, online or in person, hope or expect. But the vast majority of effective altruists, even those who are cynical about these organizations or sub-communities within EA, disagree with how these organizations have been treated, for it poisons the well of good will in EA for everyone. In this comment [] , you stated your past experience with the Pareto Fellowship and Leverage left you feeling humiliated and manipulated. I've also been a vocal critic in person throughout the EA community of both Leverage Research and how Geoff Anders has led the organization. But that to elevate a personal opposition of them to a public exposure of opposition research in an attempt to tarnish an event they're supporting alongside many other parties in EA is not something I ever did, or will do. My contacts in EA and myself have followed Leverage. I've desisted in making posts like this myself, because digging for context I found Leverage has cha
Leverage Research: reviewing the basic facts

I was interviewed by Peter Buckley and Tyler Alterman when I applied for the Pareto fellowship. It was one of the strangest, most uncomfortable experiences I've had over several years of being involved in EA. I'm posting this from notes I took right after the call, so I am confident that I remember this accurately.

The first question asked about what I would do if Peter Singer presented me with a great argument for doing an effective thing that's socially unacceptable. The argument was left as an unspecified black box.

Next, for about 25 minutes, they taught... (read more)


I had an interview with them under the same circumstances and also had the belief reporting trial. (I forget if I had the Peter Singer question.) I can confirm that it was supremely disconcerting.

At the very least, it's insensitive - they were asking for a huge amount of vulnerability and trust in a situation where we both knew I was trying to impress them in a professional context. I sort of understand why that exercise might have seemed like a good idea, but I really hope nobody does this in interviews anymore.

Leverage Research: reviewing the basic facts

CEA appears as a "participating organisation" of the EA Summit. What does this mean? Does CEA endorse paradigm academy?

As an attendee to the 2018 EA Summit, I've been informed by the staff of Paradigm Academy that not even the whole organization, nor Leverage Research, initiated this idea. Geoff Anders nor the executive leadership of Leverage Research are the authors of this Summit. I don't know the hierarchy of Paradigm Academy or where Mindy McTeigue or Peter Buckley, the primary organizers of the Summit, fall in it. As far as I can tell, the EA Summit was independently initiated by these staff at Paradigm and other individual effective altruists they connected with. In the run-up to organizing this Summit, the organizations these individual community members are staff at became sponsors of the EA Summit. Thus, the Local Effective Altruism Network; Charity Science; Paradigm Academy and the CEA are all participants at this event, endorsing the goal of the Summit within EA, without those organizations needing to endorse each other. That's an odd question to ask. Must each EA organization endorse every other involved at EA Global, or any other EA event, prior to its beginning for the community to regard it as "genuinely EA?" As far as I can tell, while Paradigm is obviously physically hosting the event, what it means for the CEA and the other organizations to be participating organizations is just that, officially supporting these efforts at the EA Summit itself. It means no more and no less than for any organization other than what Julia stated in her comment. Also, I oppose using or pressuring the CEA in a form of triangulation, and to be cast by default as the most legitimate representation of the whole EA movement. Nothing I know about the CEA would lead me to believe they condone the type of treatment where someone tries speaking on their behalf in any sense without prior consent. Also, past my own expectations, the EA community recently made clear [] they don't as a whole give license to

CEA is not involved in the organizing of the conference, but we support efforts to build the EA community. One of our staff will be speaking at the event.