2155Joined Sep 2014


Setting the Record Straight on Effective Altruism as a Paradigm
Effective Altruism, Religion and Spirituality
Wild Animal Welfare Literature Library


Strongly downvoted.

This post quotes Scott Alexander on a tangent about as much as it does Richard Hannania to bolster minor points made in Hannania's post by appealing to a bias in favour of Scott Alexander among effective altruists.

By linking to and so selectively quoting Hanania prominently, you're trying to create an impression that the post should be trustworthy to effective altruists in spite of the errors and falsehoods about effective altruism in particular and just in general. Assuming you've made this post in reinforcing a truth-seeking agenda in a truth-seeking agenda, you've failed by propagating an abysmal perspective.

There are anti-woke viewpoints that have been well-received on the EA Forum but this isn't one of them. Some of them haven't been anonymous, so the fact that you had no reason to worry more about your reputation than 'truth-seeking' isn't an excuse.

You would, could and should have done better if you had shared an original viewpoint really more familiar with effective altruism than Hannania is. May you take heed of this lesson for the next time you try to resolve disputes.

I'm not super familiar with the practices of call-in culture though I'm aware of it. While I'm sure there are some communities that have practiced methods similar to call-in culture well for a long time, they've been uncommon and I understand that call-in culture has in general only been spreading across different movements for a few years now. I also expect this community would benefit from learning more about call-in culture but it'd be helpful if you can make some recommendations for effective altruists to check out.

Yeah, I was assuming your regular job wasn't related to EA and that was one of the less thoughtful comments, so I'm sorry and please pardon my mistake.

Downvoted. If you're procrastinating to do EA work, you should be bold enough to encourage your peers to do more of the same.

I'm going to be explicit in my controversial rejection or even condemnation of criticisms of the perceived status quo in EA from multiple angles and also the defence of it. I want to preregister my intentions before any pending allegations that I'm biased in favour of a particular side. If anything, I will be biased against all parties involved for their common failure to do right by the matters at hand.

In terms of what's considered appropriate in "regular western culture," a lot of this is not true enough to justify the generalizations you're making:

  • There are variations within cultures in any country, never mind between western, and all other countries, whereby the extent to which crude sexism is considered appropriate. I've met many men from some different walks of life just in Canada whose sense of what's normal is such that they'll look down on other men who don't tow the line with their chauvinistic attitudes and misogynistic comments.

  • While it's far from being all of them, there are a lot of sections of the upper class where bragging about how much money one makes is considered respectable, and this influences other aspects of culture too, especially in North America.

  • Making intense eye contact during a normal interaction is considered inappropriate in most cultures, though there is relative nuance here. Spending a longer amount of time making direct eye contact as part of a back-and-forth in conversation is much more accepted in western cultures, for example, compared to in Russia or China, to the point that to avoid too much making eye contact during conversation in western cultures is often considered rude.

I'll probably make a link post with a proper summary later but here is a follow-up from Simon Knutsson on recent events related to longtermism and the EA school of thought out of Oxford.


I can introduce you more. What you drew you in? The more general and philosophical side of it all? Or a particular cause, like existential risk reduction or animal protection or global povery alleviation? 80,000 Hours or LessWrong? Or something else?

Also, do you have profiles on any kind of social media? Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn? Discord? Slack? I can send you some invitation links in a private message to EA groups or whatever on any of those platforms.

This post received a mixed reception a year ago when I initially posted it, though I guess I really called it. If it seems like I'm kind of boasting here, you're right. I've been vindicated and while I feel tempted to say "I told you so," I want to note here that I was more right than I was given credit for, in the name of the principle of solidarity with those who spoke up before me, as I alluded to in this post, and those who've spoken up since, in the wake of the FTX crisis, and after. 

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