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We’ve also included some detail about the process in an appendix below.

The Google doc isn’t set to be publicly available.

What would it take for EA to become the kind of movement where SBF would've lost?

I sorta feel like this is barking up the wrong tree, because: (a) the information that SBF was committing fraud was private and I cannot think of a realistic scenario where it would have become public, and (b) even if widely spread, the public information wouldn't have been sufficient.

Before FTX's fall, I'd remarked to several people that EA's association with crypto (compare e.g. Ben Delo) was almost certainly bad for us, as it's overrun with scams and fraud. At the time, I'd been thinking non-FTX scams affecting FTX or its customers, not FTX itself being fraudulent; but I do feel like the right way to prevent all this would have been to refuse any association between EA and crypto.

However, this is also starting to sound like a proof that there's no such thing as a clean judicial system, quality investigative journalism, honest scientific research into commercial products like drugs, etc.

Good point! I'm probably being overly skeptical here, on reflection.

I’m suspicious that Lightcone has already been deterred.

Even if they haven’t, we should prefer/pursue punishments that don’t involve setting a bunch of money on fire to pay lawyers, with a lawsuit as the last resort; we are not yet at that last resort, and probably won’t ever end up there.

I think a war between SBF and EA would have been good for FTX users

To be clear, what I'm saying is that SBF would just flat out win, and really easily too, I wouldn't expect a war. The people who had criticized him would be driven out of EA on various grounds; I wouldn't expect EA as a whole to end up fighting SBF; I would expect SBF would probably end up with more control over EA than he had in real life, because he'd be able to purge his critics on various grounds.

Your point about conflict of interest for investigative journalists is a good one. Maybe we should fund them anonymously so they don't know which side their bread is buttered on.

I don't think that's enough; you'd need to not only fund some investigators anonymously, you'd also need to (a) have good control over selecting the investigators, and (b) ban anybody from paying  or influencing investigators non-anonymously, which seems unenforceable. (Also, in real life, I think the investigators would eventually have just assumed that they were being paid by SBF or by Dustin Moskovitz.)

Even if you think Lightcone misfired here -- If you add FTX in your dataset too, then the "see something? say something!" norm starts looking better overall.

No, I don't think it does. You also need to assume that a "see something? say something!" rumor mill would have actually had any benefit for the FTX situation. I'm pretty sure that's false, and I think it's pretty plausible it would be harmful.

(1) The fraud wouldn't have become publicly known under this norm, so I don't think this actually helps.

(2) I don't think it would be correct for EA to react strongly in response to the rumors about SBF- there are similar rumors or conflicts around a very substantial number of famous people, e.g. Zuckerberg vs. the Winklevoss Twins.

(3) Most importantly, how we get from "see something? say something?" to "the billionaire sending money to everybody, who has a professional PR firm, somehow ends up losing out" is just a gigantic question mark here. To me, the outcome here is that SBF now has a mandate to drive anybody he can dig up or manufacture dirt on out of EA. (I seem to recall that the sources of the rumors about him went to another failed crypto hedge fund that got sued; I can't find a source, but even if that didn't actually happen it would be easy him to make that happen to Lantern Ventures.) (I expect that the proposed "EA investigative journalist" would have probably been directly paid by SBF in this scenario.)

whether there should be a justice system within the EA/Rationality community and whether Lightcone can self-appoint into the role of community police

These are two different questions! 

EA already has a justice system of sorts- the CEA Community Health Team. Ben chose to do this because he thought it was ineffective. The second question should instead be, whether Lightcone can self-appoint themselves as a replacement for the CHT.

The fact that somebody thought the CHT was ineffective and tried to replace it, then immediately faceplanted, makes me more confident in the actually existing CHT. (In particular, if Alice did indeed lie to Ben, it's then pretty likely that she said she didn't trust the CHT/didn't want info shared with them because they would fact-check her claims.)

I believe that Nonlinear would win, and that actually doing so as of now would be mildly wrong.

It’s worth distinguishing between the threat they made and bringing the actual lawsuit; in this comment you talk about the lawsuit, but in your clarification below you talk about the threat of one. Even if I lay aside the obvious justification for the threat and only consider the possible harms, they’re so insignificant that I don’t think they’re worth considering; I feel like the threat was well justified.

I disagree that they should necessarily sue if they can win.

NL suing would cause further controversy and damage to their reputation.

Lawsuits should be a weapon of last resort; in this case, it remains plausible that either Lightcone will eventually apologize, or that NL can win over the community. (Arguably they are in the process of doing so?)

A lawsuit is a negative-sum game for the EA community, due to the substantial lawyer fees; depending on the damages, it could be financially negative even for the winner.

In the event of a successful lawsuit, I believe we should think very mildly poorly of NL, and extremely poorly of Lightcone.

I initially upvoted/delta'd/insightful'd this, but on looking into it further I don't think that this concern can possibly be right. You mention "extraordinary sums of money", but Puerto Rico only requires $3,000 dollars of liability insurance; the default liability insurance wouldn't be relevant if "extraordinary sums of money" are involved. It's possible that Nonlinear had better insurance for their car; but I feel like the concern here should be about them pressuring their employee to break the law, while your comment's proposed harms would be almost equally bad if everything were legal but Nonlinear didn't have good supplemental insurance. (In particular, your comment seems to imply that it's significantly immortal/problematic for anybody to drive in Puerto Rico without additional insurance.)

(Regardless, I think it's important to note that, even after receiving Nonlinear's comments, the original post gives driving without a license as an example of something that "could have had severe personal downsides such as jail time in a foreign country"; that's what they were presumably responding to.)

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