Just wanted to say (without commenting on the points in the dialogue) that I appreciate you and Robert having this discussion, and I think the fact you're having it is an example of good epistemics.
Appreciate you saying this, Michel. As you can imagine, it’s been rough. Perhaps accidentally, this post seems to often lump me in with situations I wasn’t really a part of.
Appreciate the comments!
My personal context: I joined Nonlinear full-time in April 2022. We've gone back and forth from being AI safety-focused to more generally x-risk-focused. We removed the fund from our name because we didn't just want to fund projects but also launch relevant ones ourselves, like the Nonlinear Library.
Happy to provide more context here.
Nonlinear is or used to be a project of Spartz Philanthropies. According to the IRS website, Spartz Philanthropies had its 501(c)(3) status revoked in 2021 since it had not filed the necessary paperwork for three years straight. Now the Nonlinear website no longer mentions Spartz Philanthropies, and I am unsure whether Nonlinear is a tax-exempt nonprofit or what legal status it has.
Nonlinear, Inc is a 501c3. Spartz Philanthropies was an inactive entity that Emerson set up in 2018. We were initially planning on using it as the main entity for Nonlinear. We had filed an extension for the tax returns, but somehow the IRS missed the fact we filed it, which led to tax-exempt status being automatically revoked. Our accountant said you can appeal it and were very likely to win, since it was an error on their part, and we began the appeal, but it can take years. In the meantime, we were fiscally sponsored by Rethink Charity. The IRS was taking too long to respond to the appeal, so I set up a new entity.
Back in 2021, Nonlinear launched its AI safety fund with an announcement post which got some pushback/skepticism in the comments section. Does anyone know whether this fund has made any grants or seeded any new organisations? I have not managed to find any information about the Fund on the Nonlinear website.
I’ve actually been working on a more complete list of all the projects we’ve funded and incubated! But have been very unproductive the last two months due to a combination of an extremely painful RSI and chronic nausea/gut issues. We changed our name from the Nonlinear Fund to Nonlinear. Kat made a basic list here: https://www.nonlinear.org/
We aim to send it out to funders within the next 48 hours.
Nonlinear funded it through a bounty, but I'm unaware of any future plans. If anyone has any ideas for improvement or expansion, feel free to reach out.
Just read it and liked it a lot! Added to the recruiting/hiring category.
I haven't! Do you recommend it?
Interesting, that updates me! I've added more qualifiers to that point.
Appreciate the question. We’ve received funding from different sources like the Survival and Flourishing Fund, Future Fund, and other private donors, with Emerson Spartz donating six figures annually.
This project would not fall under the scope of what the Future Fund granted us, so we will not be using their funding for this.
This is coming directly out of our operating budget, so we're aiming to make payouts that have a higher counterfactual likelihood of impact.