Wait, was Tara a Leverage person? Kerry and Larissa work for Leverage now and Tyler was affiliated in the past, but I wasn't under the impression Tara was particularly involved with Leverage -- though I could of course be wrong!
A while ago I remember seeing some discussion of EA analysis of Ukraine relief following the Russian invasion -- perhaps some EAs from Poland were involved? Did this ever get comprehensively written up anywhere?
I quite suspect people at Anthropic are already thinking of considerations like this when deciding what to do and am not sure that an anonymous post is needed here.
Thanks for posting this! I appreciate the legibility and insight into the process here, especially during a stressful time in EA/on the Forum.
Thanks for posting this. I think giving detailed reflections and "lessons learned" like this can be really helpful in these sorts of situations, but I also recognize it can be tough to do in public. Positive reinforcement for this openness and frank discussion!
Historical note: If EA had emerged in the 1970s era of the gay rights movement rather than the 2010s, I can imagine an alternative history in which some EAs were utterly outraged and offended that gay or lesbian EAs had dared to invite them to a gay or lesbian event. The EA community could have leveraged the latent homophobia of the time to portray such an invitation as bizarrely unprofessional, and a big problem that needs addressing. Why are we treating polyamory and kink in 2023 with the same reactive outrage that people would have treated gay/lesbian sexuality fifty years ago?
This comparison seems quite misleading to me because it glosses over the type of "event" in question. The OP was calling for people to avoid casually inviting coworkers to sex parties, not just "events". I certainly hope that casually inviting a coworker to to attend a sex party -- whether that be gay, lesbian, straight, or whatever -- would be considered inappropriate and grossly unprofessional even today!
Side-note: the OP says "Wildly unusual social practices like polyamory", but I think poly is fairly common in the Bay Area outside of EA/rat circles.
I suspect it's fairly common in other young, blue-tribe, urban contexts in the US too? (Especially if we treat "polyamorous", "non-monogamous", and many "monogamish" relationship styles as more-or-less the same phenomenon.)
I've heard this argument before but I think it's quite overstated. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and still am in touch with many friends from childhood. They are generally young, blue-tribe, urban/suburban, etc.
Of that group, I think zero of them are polyamorous, with perhaps one exception (though I'm not sure if this person actually practices polyamory or has merely thought about doing so/been attracted to the idea) -- and that one exception is also the one member of the group, other than myself, with by far the most contact with the Bay Area rationality/EA scene.
(Of course, it's possible and perhaps indeed somewhat likely that some people I knew in childhood are now polyamorous but I haven't learned about this, as they keep it quiet or we've fallen out of contact or whatever? But it certainly does not seem to be a big mainstream thing.)
It's also worth noting that I am an adult convert to Catholicism and was involved with the Bay Area rationalist and EA community (and uncomfortable with the "polyamory pressure" in that community) for years before joining the Church, including some time when I didn't take religion seriously much at all. Claiming or implying that I hold my views (or faced backlash against them) just because I'm Catholic does me a disservice.
I note also that others in the community who are not (as far as I know) Catholic have faced backlash for their views against polyamory or the related pressure, that as I understand it there are several who are afraid to speak up publicly even now, and so on.
As such, ozymandias's comment feels like a really unfair way to summarize the situation.
No, but if you say "polyamory has been a problem in the EA (and rationalist) communities for a long time" and people know that you do in fact believe polyamory to be immoral, it's completely reasonable for them to respond as Kelsey did?
Most people don't know that and I wasn't asserting it here -- that would be much more controversial and much more of a debate than I wanted to have, and further one that I don't think is very appropriate for the EA Forum! My hope is (was?) that even people who quite disagree with me -- including many polyamorous people -- would have common cause in opposing the pressure to be polyamorous that has been prevalent.
Yes, to be clear I don't think Oli was necessarily claiming that -- I was replying to Jonas here, who listed Tara as one of "the Leverage people" in his own comment.