113 karmaJoined Oct 2016


Also, the only known raids on the corporate assets happened post-crash and therefore long post-audit. Under the espoused worldview of the management, everything before that was plausibly 'good for the company'. In that it benefitted the company in raw EV across all possible worlds with no discount rate for higher gains or for massive losses.

That wasn't the question. The question was why any company would go to less-than-maximally-trustworthy auditors.

And it makes you wonder why companies would go to these known-worse-auditors, especially if they can afford the best auditing like FTX should have been able to, if they don't have something to hide.

Complying with an audit is expensive, and not just in money.

A thorough audit in progress is going to disrupt the workflow of all or most of your company in order to look at their daily operations more closely. This reduces productivity and slows down the ability to change anything, even if nothing improper is happening. It is expensive and disruptive.

A thorough audit is also going to recommend changes. Not just changes required to be technically in compliance, but ones which will make it easier to audit for compliance in the future and ones which remove something that could potentially be mistaken for bad behavior in a dim light. Making those changes is expensive and disruptive. 

If you don't need extremely high levels of trust from your customers and partners, choosing to receive a thorough audit means you're paying a bunch of unnecessary costs. Much better to get a more lax audit, which is less disruptive to have ongoing and less disruptive to handle once the results are in. Better still if it also costs less money. 

The correct audit is the one that provides your customers and clients - and/or your own management - with exactly as much trust and reassurance as you need them to get and no more. Anything less and you lose business that doesn't trust you; anything more and you're paying a cost for a benefit you don't actually benefit from.

Simple: It's another meta thing. Those have a very poor track record and seem to require extraordinary competence to be net-positive.

That's literally just the same thing I said with more words. They don't have reasons to think finance is net negative, it just is polluted with money and therefore bad.

Those two are perfectly good examples. They did. Every successful startup does something approximately that bad, on the way to the top.

Because finance people are bad people and therefore anything associated with them is bad. Or for a slightly larger chain, because money is bad, people who spend their lives seeking money are therefore bad, and anything associated with those people is bad.

Don't overthink this. It doesn't have to make sense, there just have to be a lot of people who think it does.

Why wouldn't it be controversial? It suggests something other than people acting according to their personal pet projects, ideologies, and social affiliations, and proposes a way by which those can be compared and found wanting. The fact that it also comes with significantly more demandingness than anything else just makes it a stronger implicit attack.

Most people will read EA as a claim to the moral high ground, regardless of how nicely it's presented to them. Largely because it basically is one. Implicit in all claims to the moral high ground - even if it's never stated and even if it's directly denied - is the corollary claim that their claims to the moral high ground are lesser or even invalid. Which is a claim of superiority.

That will produce defensiveness and hostility by default.


Many people's livelihoods depend on ineffective charity, of course, and Sinclair's Rule is also a factor. But it's a minor one. The main factor is that the premise of EA is that charity should be purchasing utilons. And  even starting to consider that premise makes a lot of people tacitly realize that their political and charitable work may have been purchasing warm fuzzies, which is an unpleasant feeling that they are motivated to push back against to protect their self-image as a do-gooder/good person/etc.

Of course, there is no need for contradiction. You can purchase both utilons and warm fuzzies, so long as you do it separately. But in my estimation, no more than 5% of the world, at the absolute most, is amenable to buying warm fuzzies and utilons separately. (More likely it's less than 0.5%.) The other 95% will either halt, catch fire, and reorient their internal moral compass, or, much more commonly, get outraged that you dared to pressure them to do that. (Whether you actually applied any pressure is basically immaterial.) 

No, you're thinking about it entirely wrong. If everyone who did something analogous to Alameda 2018 was shunned, there probably wouldn't be any billionaire EA donors at all. It was probably worse than most startups, but not remarkably worse.  It was definitely not a reliable indicator that a fraud or scandal was coming down the road.

C, Neither. The obvious interpretation is exactly what he said - people ultimately don't care whether you maintained their standard of 'ethical' as long as you win. Which means that as far as talking about other people's ethics, it's all PR, regardless of how ethical you're being by your own standards.

 (I basically concur. Success earns massive amounts of social capital, and that social capital can buy a whole lot of forgiveness. Whether it also comes with literal capital which literally buys forgiveness is almost immaterial next to that.)

So he's said essentially nothing about his own ethics and whether he believes he stuck to them. Later elaboration strongly suggests he considered his actions 'sketchy' but doesn't even say that outright. This is entirely consistent with SBF believing that he never did anything wrong on purpose. 

Whether you think that belief is true, false but reasonable, or totally delusionary, is a separate matter. Just based on this interview I'd say "false but reasonable", but there's a lot of unsubstantiated claims of a history of lying that I haven't evaluated.

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