Lawrence Newport

209Joined Oct 2021


The comment below that this is like Bernie Madoff is not right as far as I can see. This is a different situation, with different facts - including that we have, as yet, no idea what those facts are! Your situation will also be individual - if you took the funds as a limited company is different to if you took them individually, for example, with different effects most likely. It is also entirely unknown what is happening. Nothing has been made clear officially, no one knows what's going on and you - importantly - had nothing to do with any of that stuff that is being potentially alleged (not yet actually alleged by any authority).

I'm not giving legal advice here. I'm just stating that being calm is the right response and that googling Bernie Madoff (as suggested below), won't most likely be of any help.

Brilliant post, and much needed. Thank you.

Also, if SBF is made out to be a con-man this has very bad effects for the perception of EA as well.

In a way I suppose EA does rather heavily emphasise against greed in a few directions (giving what we can, earning to give) but it certainly doesn't emphasise many personal behaviours beyond (adjacently perhaps) rationalism.

I do wonder if, as you say, some of the strength of effective religious movements was an emphasis on personal behaviours the community should strive to include and praise. This was somewhat Tyler's point about being Mormon - they have a bunch of behaviours that push the group towards long-term success (for instance, banning alcohol consumption from members and encouraging lots of children).

Yes, I'm not advocating for a belief in God, but perhaps for practices that arose due to a particular belief in God. For instance, Quaker style meetings might have a bunch of unknown positive effects that we just can't reason or realise a priori. It's worth looking at their practices and seeing which ones we consider might be useful for the community (or parts of the community) to adopt

Really great to hear - yes I don't advocate for adopting Quaker views, but I do think Quaker practices may be of some use to us. Which ones, and in what ways, I don't know - but I do consider its worth taking a very broad look at the Quakers and attempting some versions of key parts of their practices.

Thanks for this - really appreciate your thoughts!

On 3 - I think seriously examining what made Quaker membership so impactful, as well as ahead of the moral curve, is something we should consider as a community. I think we should consider that various culture parts of Quakerism may have contributed meaningfully to their productivity - for example, I do wonder if EA meetups that emphasise silence, with occassional spoken words or passages read aloud by members who felt compelled, would actually have a bunch of unknown positive effects to the quality of debate and ideas.

I am definitely uncertain about what this would mean in a multitude of ways but I do think emulation means that you can improve a community through grabbing a series of positives that you might not, through a priori reasoning, realise are positives. Things that seem unnecessary might be very important - and we should be open to historical precedents to see if we can try any of these (at least particularly low cost examples) and see if we find a bunch of unintended positive results.

Interestingly we both posted this on the same day but I have almost the entire opposite approach! Would appreciate your thoughts!

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