Kelsey Piper

2392Joined Jul 2021


We're aiming for a pretty high post volume, enough that I assumed we shouldn't cross-post all posts, but if there were a ton of demand for that we could probably reconsider.

Do you happen to have a further breakdown between "EA" and "EA adjacent"? 

I do not think that bans on a person attending EA events or conferences necessarily should be interpreted as proof that that person was attending them before the ban.

 I would expect that in some cases, a person reports "hey, this person acted violently towards me; I have no idea whether they might apply to attend this event, but I want the community health team to know about this so that, should they ever apply, they would be refused." 

Furthermore, lots of people might attend a professional conference who don't identify with an associated movement or community, and CEA hosts lots of professional events many of which specifically try to attract non-EAs with relevant expertise; it's not only environmentalists who attend climate change conferences, or only animal rights activists who attend events on the future of agriculture and food! It would be bizarre to me to claim it was proof someone was an environmentalist that they'd been banned from a conference on climate change.

More generally, it seems like a situation where there are bad actors who have been systematically banned from all EA events but who are still harming people at other, non-EA events is very different (in terms of what women should do for our safety) than a situation where bad actors are attending EA events, so I think it's important for our safety to be clear about which of those situations is what's happening.


Yeah, I was surprised to see Davis claiming in this comment section that he merely thinks we should combat inappropriate pressure to be polyamorous (which of course we should do!) and of course I want to create space for his views to evolve if they have evolved, but the views he is expressing here are not the views he has routinely espoused in the past, and "I've faced backlash for my views" without explaining what the views were does seem disingenuous to me. 

Hmm, if Davis had said "I think pressure to be polyamorous has been a problem in the community..." or "I've received backlash for speaking out against dynamics surrounding polyamory" then I think I would have reacted differently.

But he said "I think polyamory has been a problem" and "I've received backlash for speaking out against polyamory". He has indeed long been outspoken against polyamory -- not against dynamics in polyamory that make the community unwelcoming or unprofessional, against the practice under all circumstances.  He has told me at other times that polyamory is inherently immoral and wrong and that no one should ever be polyamorous, which inclined me towards the broader interpretation of what he was trying to say.  

I agree many people in the comments do not object to anyone practicing polyamory, but to pressures and dynamics it can create, and those comments did not give me the same reaction. But Davis in particular does think, and has said to me, that my relationships are inherently immoral and that polyamory is never acceptable  and I think the wording of his comment reflected that belief of his, and that's why his framing bothered me when the framing in these other comments (which was focused on specific potential harms) did not bother me. 

That seems basically reasonable to me,  though it feels operative that you would be acting in your independent capacity as a person with opinions who tries to convince other people that your opinions are correct. I'd be much more uncomfortable with an EA institution that had a 'talking people out of polyamorous relationships' department. 

I think there are some forms of social pressure which are fine for individuals to apply but which are damaging and coercive if they have formal institutional weight behind them, so calls for "people who agree with me polyamorous relationships are damaging" to advocate for that stance don't make me uneasy the way calls for "the community" to "handle" those things make me uneasy. 

Kelsey Piper2mo164140

I am very bothered specifically by the frame "I wish we had resolved [polyamory] "internally" rather than it being something exposed by outside investigators."

I am polyamorous; I am in committed long-term relationships (6 years and 9 years) with two women, and occasionally date other people. I do not think there is anything in my relationships for "the community" to "resolve internally". It would not be appropriate for anyone to tell me to break up with one of my partners. It would not be appropriate for anyone to hold a community discussion about how to 'resolve' my relationships, though of course I disclose them when they are relevant to conflict-of-interest considerations, and go out of my way to avoid such conflicts. I would never ask out a woman who might rely on me as a professional mentor, or a woman who is substantially less professionally established. 

There are steps that can be taken, absolutely should be taken, and for the most part to my knowledge have been taken to ensure that professional environments aren't sexualized and that bad actors are unwelcome. Asking people out or flirting with them in professional contexts should be considered unacceptable. People who engage in a pattern of coercive, harassing, and unwelcoming behavior should be unwelcome as a result. People should have trusted avenues to report misconduct. People should not ask out their employees or anyone they have substantial direct power over. 

We should talk openly about it when these incidents occur, in order to improve, and we should be fine with those conversations being "external" because the insistence that we resolve things "internally" is to me incredibly inappropriate and associated with handling things badly.

But outside those steps, what would it mean to "handle" my polyamorous relationships? What would "resolving polyamory" look like"? Are we talking about statements from formal organizations about which relationship styles are permissible? Informal social sanction aimed not at misconduct but at anyone in a nontraditional relationship? Why is that something that the 'community' should do?

I basically feel the same confusion and dissatisfaction that Josh is expressing here. This is a very big mistake. It doesn't feel to me like a misunderstanding that would be likely to happen in the normal course of business without several underlying things having gone quite wrong. I don't feel like I understand how those things went wrong, and so I don't feel sure they've been fixed. 

I'm not totally sure what I think the correct market behavior based on knowable information was, but it seems very hard to make the case that a large crash on Feb 20th is evidence of the markets moving "in tandem with rational expectations". 

Almost everyone I knew was concerned with the pandemic going global and dramatically disrupting our lives much sooner than Feb 20th. On January 26th, a post on the EA Forum, "Concerning the Recent 2019-Novel Coronavirus Outbreak", made the case we should be worried. By a few weeks later than that, everyone I know was already bracing for covid to hit the US. Looking back at my house Discord server, we had the "if we have to go weeks without leaving the house, is there anything we'd run out of? Let's buy it now" conversation February 6th (which is also when my Vox article about Covid published, in which I quote a source saying“Instead of deriding people’s fears about the Wuhan coronavirus, I would advise officials and reporters to focus more on the high likelihood that things will get worse and the not-so-small possibility that they will get much worse.”) 

The late January SlateStarCodex open threads also typically contained 10-20 comments discussing the virus, linking prediction markets, debating the odds of more than 500k deaths and how people in various places should expect disruptions to their daily life. ("‘If everyone involved massively bungles absolutely everything, this would be pretty-bad-but-not-apocalyptic.’, a commentator argued on January 29th.)

In late January/early February, I think attitudes were that the virus was a big deal but still more likely than not to be successfully contained, though people should prepare just in case. I think people with our knowledge state wouldn't've bet confidently on a failure of containment on January 30th (some did, but it wasn't the median community stance), but the markets would have started moving in that direction steadily from very early in February.

 I think financial markets not responding until Feb 20th was a clear case of markets doing substantially worse than the people around me.

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