Harrison D's Shortform

How would you feel about reposting this in EAs for Political Tolerance ( ? I'd also be happy to repost it for you if you'd prefer.

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior
I'm honestly a bit flummoxed here. Why would contributing to a Facebook group explicitly aligned with one side of this dispute help avoid a split?

The group is still new, so it's still unclear exactly how it'll turn out. But I don't think that's a completely accurate way of characterisating the group. I expect that there are two main strands of thought within the group - some see themselves as fighting against woke tendencies, whilst others are more focused on peace-making and want to avoid taking a side.

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

"On the other hand, we've had quite a bit of anti-cancel-culture stuff on the Forum lately. There's been much more of that than of pro-SJ/pro-DEI content, and it's generally got much higher karma. I think the message that the subset of EA that is highly active on the Forum generally disapproves of cancel culture has been made pretty clearly"

Perhaps. However, this post makes specific claims about ACE. And even though these claims have been discussed somewhat informally on Facebook, this post provides a far more solid writeup. So it does seem to be making a signficantly new contribution to the discussion and not just rewarming leftovers.

It would have been better if Hypatia had emailed the organisation ahead of time. However, I believe ACE staff members might have already commented on some of these issues (correct me if I'm wrong). And it's more of a good practise than something than a strict requirement - I totally understand the urge to just get something out of there.

"I'm sceptical that further content in this vein will have the desired effect on EA and EA-adjacent groups and individuals who are less active on the Forum, other than to alienate them and promote a split in the movement, while also exposing EA to substantial PR risk"

On the contrary, now that this has been written up on the forum it gives people something to link to. So forum posts aren't just read by people who regularly read the forum. In any case, this kind of high quality write-up is unlikely to have a significnat effect on alienating people compared to some of the lower quality discussions on these topics that occur in person or on Facebook. So, from my perspective it doesn't really make any sense to be focusing on this post. If you want to avoid a split in the movement, I'd like to encourage you to join the Effective Altruists for Political Tolerance Facebook group and contribute there.

I would also suggest worrying less about PR risks. People who want to attack EA can already go around shouting about 'techno-capitalists', 'overwhelmingly white straight males', 'AI alarmists', ect. If someone wants to find something negative, they'll find something negative.

Rationality as an EA Cause Area

Part of my model is that there is decreasing marginal utility as you invest more effort in one form of outreach, so there can be significant benefit in investing some resources in investing small amounts of resources in alternate forms of outreach.

EA Debate Championship & Lecture Series

I hope you find finding to pay someone to organise this as I suspect this program could be extremely impactul.

I would also love to see some amount of prize money funded for this. I wouldn't be surprised if a relatively small amount of money by philanthropic standards could tempt more of the top debaters to enter.

EA Debate Championship & Lecture Series

I actually found the Facebook group very difficult to search for - link is here.

Our plans for hosting an EA wiki on the Forum

Making a Wiki successful is always about seeding content. There's a lot of past content that could be copied over and updated, but it's not pleasant work, so it's good that Pablo has a grant.

In diversity lies epistemic strength

As an addendum: First, suppose you compare a group of random people from the same demographic to a random groups of people from different demographics. Next suppose you compare a group of random lawyers to a group of random laywers of different demogaphics. I would suggest that in the second case the increase in diversity from adding demographic diversity would be significantly reduced as the bar to becoming a lawyer would filter out a lot of diversity of experiences from the first case. For example, a greater proportion of African Americans experience poverty than the general population, but the difference among those who become laywers would be much less.

In diversity lies epistemic strength

"They were founded under the premise that conservative viewpoints are underrepresented in scientific discourse" - that's definitely a possibility, although I suspect that for research into underrepresented groups in general almost all research will have been conducted by people withn strong pre-existing beliefs about whether or not such a group is underrepresented.

I think there's value in considering people's possible psychological motivations, but I find it more helpful to consider these for all parties. In such a conversation, the rich could very well be afraid of losing their privilege and the poor could very well be jealous or resentful.

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