Kaleem Ahmid. Entrepreneur in Residence, and Project Manager for Boston and NY Properties at EV.
Previously a Community Builder in Boston (EAIF grant). Previously a Visiting Scholar at JHU Center for Health Security. EAGxBoston 2022 organiser.
I want to agree with you, but I feel like whenever I come up with an example of someone who is high prestige and fits >3 of your 4 criteria, I can think of someone equaly-ish high prestige who is maybe only fulfilling one or none of them. I've been wondering about how to study or prove these claims about prestige in the community in less subjective way (although I don't know how important it would be to actually do this)
Interesting - do you have any thoughts as to what status within the community is currently aligned? My recent thought was that we make a mistake by over-emphasizing impact (or success) when it comes to social status, rather than “trying your best on a high EV project regardless of outcome” for instance.
The US federal government controls most US infrastructure, either directly or indirectly through regulation, and is generally considered to be leading America.
Okay yes that's true, the government owns a lot of stuff. But aren't they considered 'the leader' because they were/ it was democratically elected to lead?
I guess I should have more accurately said "I wouldn't consider the richest Americans/the Americans who own the most stuff to be the leaders of America solely because they own the most stuff".
I think there are a couple of things you're pointing out which are different issues than the one I'm trying to suggest a resolution to, or I disagree with.
1) I don't think CEA *is* 'the de facto leader' of the EA movement. So I find it problematic that branding/communication issues are leading to people in the community thinking that it is the case.
2) I don't have an issue per se with CEA solely running EA Global or the forum, or doing other things - it's just that there needs to be a clearer understanding (through reiteration and visibility) within the community of what CEA is and is not. Sure, CEA may be disproportionately prominent (mostly through being visible) but at most that makes them one of leading organisations in the EA movement, not the leader. (also I assume when you mean the movement, you're talking about meta-EA or community building stuff, as I don't think you'd really endorse the idea that CEA is in charge of all of this?)
3) I think
"Unless they cede control of these major parts of EA infrastructure then they will continue to be the de facto leaders of the movement".
raises an interesting question/points to a weird way you think about leadership? I wouldn't consider the richest Americans/the Americans who own the most stuff to be the leaders of America. Maybe you're suggesting they control the movement or dictate what EA does, but I would suggest EA's main/only substantive funder, and the 5-20 individuals who decide where its money goes, fills that role, not CEA.
I don't think I'm on board with all the 'democratise EA' cries which have been made over the past year, but I think I'm sentimentally in agreement with you about centralised control - and that it's not great that decision making, through funding, is currently monopolised.
(and Hillary is Oxford Philosophy Professor Hillary Greaves who served as director between 2017 and 2022)
Thanks for writing this and posting it - it is surprising that a text which is increasingly becoming a foundational piece of 'introductory' reading for people interested in x-risk reduction (and TAI more specifically) hasn't been rigorously or critically examined to the extent we'd probably want it to. Hopefully there are more to come after this.
On a different note @mods - it doesn't seem like tagging this as a community post is appropriate, and would lead to fewer people (who'd probably want to see it) from seeing it. It might even be worth posting on lesswrong if you're feeling brave!
- Changing CEA’s name.
For those interested in this point, I've written a separate post where I'm hoping a discussion about this can be centralised.
Hi Alex, thanks for this really detailed post, and for the work you put into the analysis! Its a really nice example of how internal critique in the EA community has lead to a tangible update.
My question: (How) Should the average reader/non-expert update on this -10% re-weighting? Like, if ~-10% is the decided as the official relighting, will this have a non-negligible effect on how we should view the cost-effectiveness of deworming programs etc?
Yeah I wasn't planning on these necessarily being between "famous" EAs - if someone is a content expert and wants to debate, and happens to be "famous" then that'd be okay I think. But the point isn't "Come to EAGx and watch the MacAskill v Holden debate boxing".