Gordon Seidoh Worley

Working (15+ years of experience)
1752Oakland, CA, USAJoined Aug 2017



aka G Gordon Worley III


To be clear, I am mostly saying don't date other EAs most of the time, especially if you are doing more than small scale earning to give. If you plan to work in EA, then EA is your office. EA is too small to think of it as an ecosystem where people can find other opportunities. There's one EA game in town. That's the place I think it's fraught to date.

There's a lot I disagree with in this post, but there's one part I super agree with:

Be much, much less accepting of any intersection between romance and office/network

Traditionally dating happens with your 2nd and 3rd order connections, not your first. Also, dating in a professional (or related) setting is very likely to lead to bad outcomes. We know this.

I realize people want to date like-minded people. There are lots of them out there who aren't in EA! You just have to look for them.

I'm curious why this has gotten so many downvotes but no comments indicating disagreement.

It's on net positive karma but vote count makes it clear there are downvotes.

Crossposting has been a huge win in my opinion.

It used to be what you did was post on one site and then manually crosspost to the other. This was annoying and somewhat error prone and you had to setup the links yourself by editing at least one post after it was published.

Automatic crossposting eliminates that mess, and it adds the nice feature of letting you know if there's comments on the other site (since you don't want to read the same thing twice but you might want to know about the conversation on the other site).

The feature is also fairly easy to ignore if you don't like the other site, and there's not a ton of cross posts so it's not generating a lot of noise.

I guess if you don't like Less Wrong it might feel annoying to see Less Wrong content on EAF, but honestly you were going to see it anyway, it just would have been less clearly labeled.

I think Scott's argument for for openness to eccentrics on the ground that a couple of great ideas have far more positive value than a whole bunch of negative ones have negative value in generalises to an argument for being open to 'eccentrics' who comprise large numbers of new or intermittent posters.

You've got to consider the base rates. Most eccentrics are actually just people with ungrounded ideas that are wrong since it's easy to have wild ideas and hard to have correct ideas and thus even harder to have wild and correct ideas.

In the old days of Less Wrong excess criticism was actually a huge problem and did silence a bunch of folks incorrectly. EAF and Less Wrong (which has basically the same cultural norms) have this problem to a much lesser extent now due a few structural changes:

  • new posters don't post directly to the front page and instead only can post there once they get enough karma or explicit approval by moderators
  • this lets new posters work out the site norms without being exposed to the full brunt of the community
  • weighted voting also allows respected users to correct errors on their own, so when they see something of value they can give it a strong upvote rather than it languishing due to five other new people voting it down

If your concern is that the site is not making it easy enough for eccentrics with good ideas to post here, I can say from the experience of the way Less Wrong used to run that it's likely they'd have an even worse time if it weren't for weighted voting.

Sure, not everyone likes curated gardens. If that's not the kind of site you want, there's other places. Reddit, for example, has active communities that operate under different norms.

The folks who started the Forum prefer the sort of structure it has. If you want something else and you don't have a convincing argument that convinces us, you're free to participate in discussions elsewhere.

As to deeper reasons why the Forum is the way it is, see, for example, https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/tscc3e5eujrsEeFN4/well-kept-gardens-die-by-pacifism

My personal commentary: probably not much of a loss, but directionally sucks. No charity was receiving much money this way as far as I know, but was a nice way to feel a bit better about shopping on Amazon since you got to pick where their charitable giving went, and I'm sure it had some marginal impact for some charities. I'm also sure there's a backstory, like wanting to not be neutral on where the funds go because they leave it up to customers to choose from any registered charity, but that's not present in the announcement.

I voted against this one because it's not specific to EA. This is a general phenomenon of people who have a "disfunction" of not having 99th percentile executive function seeking ADHD diagnoses to get access to amphetamines. It might be happening in EA, but it's not clear there is an EA problem rather than a society-wide problem.

Addressing it as a general problem might be worthwhile, but we'd need to analyze it (maybe someone already has!).

Almost no organization in the world that gets stuff done on reasonable timelines operates this way. I think there's a very high prior against this.

Democracy makes sense for things you are forced into, like the government you're born under and forced to be ruled by. EA organizations are voluntary orgs that are already democratic in that funders can take their money and go elsewhere if they don't like how they are run. This would add a level of complication to decision making that would basically guarantee that large EA orgs would fail to achieve their missions.

This is a mechanism for maintaining cultural continuity.

Karma represents how much the community trusts you, and in return, because you are trusted, you're granted greater ability to influence what others see because your judgement has been vetted over a long series of posts. The increase in voting power is roughly logarithmic with karma, so the increased influence in practice hits diminishing returns pretty quickly.

If we take this away it allows the culture of the site to drift more quickly, say because there's a large influx of new folks. Right now existing members can curate what happens on the Forum. If we take away the current voting structure, we're at greater risk of this site becoming less the site the existing user base wants.

I don't speak for the Forum by any means, but as I see it we're trying to create a space here to talk about certain things in a certain way, and that means we want new people to learn the norms and be part of what exists first before they try to change it, since outsiders often fail to understand why things work the way they do until they've gotten enough experience to see how the existing mechnismism make things work. Once you understand how things work, it becomes possible to try to change things in ways that keeps what works and changes what doesn't. The voting mechanism is downstream of this and is an important tool of the membership to curate the site.

That said, you can also just ignore the votes if you don't agree with them and read whatever you want.

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