2650Joined Oct 2017


Improving rodent welfare by reducing rodenticide use


Idk I think it might be pretty hard to have a role like Head of Communications at CEA and then separately communicate your personal views about the same topics. Your position is rather unique for allowing that. I don't see CEA becoming like MIRI in this respect. It comes across as though he's saying this in his professional capacity when you hover over his account name and it says "Head of Communications at CEA". 

But the thing I think is most important about Shakeel's job is that it means he should know better than to throw around and amplify allegations. A marked personal account would satisfy me but I would still hold it to a higher standard re:gossip since he's supposed to know what's appropriate. And I expect him to want EA orgs to succeed! I don't think premature callouts for racism and demands to have already have apologized are good faith criticism to strengthen the community.

Hey Shakeel, thanks for your apology and update (and I hope you've apologized to FLI). Even though call-out culture may be popular or expected in other contexts, it is not professional or appropriate for the Comms Head of CEA to initiate an interaction with an EA org by publicly putting them on blast and seemingly seconding what could be very damaging accusations (as well as inventing others by speculating about financial misconduct). Did you try to contact FLI before publicly commenting to get an idea of what happened (perhaps before they could prepare their statement)?

I appreciate that you apologized for this incident but I don't think you understand how deep of a problem this behavior is. Get an anonymous account if you want to shoot from the hip. When you do it while your bio says "Head of Communications at CEA" it comes with a certain weight. Multiplying unfounded accusations, toward another EA org no less, is frankly acting in bad faith in a communications role. 

I took OP to be talking about major donors with independent wealth (not earning to give or GWWC donations wealth) but I think this is a good point. It could be used to argue that the community should have had more control over SBF’s funds since he choose to focus on earning so he could contribute to EA that way.

I nodded vigorously the entire time I read this post. Thank you.

It would be really great if EAs didn't take out their dismay over SBF's fraud on each other and didn't try to tear down EA as an institution. I am wrecked over what happened with FTX, too, and of course it was major violation of community trust that we all have to process. But you're not going to purify yourself by tearing down everyone else's efforts or get out ahead of the next scandal by making other EA orgs sound shady. EA will survive this whether you calm down or not but there's no reason to create strife and division over Sam et al.'s crimes when we could be coming together, healing, and growing stronger. 

FWIW, I was always uneasy with SBF's massive donations to (mostly) Democratic politicians, and with his determination to defeat Trump at any cost, by any means necessary. It just didn't make sense in terms of EA reasoning, values, and priorities. It should have been a big red flag. 

I thought it was not super consistent with EA but easily explained by Sam's parents' careers and values. I often expressed worry about how it would affect our epistemics for EAs to become politicians bankrolled by Sam or for the community as a whole to feel pressure not undermine political moves that they would have to make to succeed, but I gave him personally a pass for wanting to spend some of his seemingly unlimited funds on political stuff because I assumed he had strong beliefs about politics as a lever for good from his upbringing. 

We also need to avoid thinking and framing our actions as a group identity. It’s to be expected that people come to different and opposing conclusions even within a movement with clear stated principles. As such, political action shouldn’t be done in the name of the group as a whole.


Aww, these comments mean everything to me! Thanks for taking to the time to write it <3

I don’t think they know they are concerned about optics. My suspicion was that the bad optics suddenly made utilitarian ideas seem false or reckless.

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