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Linking to hitpieces is not cancel culture, but if your objection to some group is "look at all these bad people they associate with," and then you link to poorly reasoned and educated hitpieces, that is bad. 

I think they're very unconvincing--EA does a ton of good https://www.astralcodexten.com/p/in-continued-defense-of-effective

I do think Hanania is interesting.  He's a pro immigration conservative, for instance, and constantly writes about things the right is wrong about.  In particular, I found his much-maligned essay about pronouns and genocide pretty fascinating--a shockingly honest look into the unflattering bits of his own psychology.  

I think a lot of the people there were prototypical gray tribe members--a bit left of center but with lots of weird heterodox views.  Scott, for instance, is left of center, so is Nate Silver, so is Kelsey Piper.  I also got an invite and I'm thoroughly left of center--albeit a bix heterodox--having praised Chomsky at some length, written critically about U.S. foreign policy on about a dozen different occasions, and written in support of open borders.  

I don't think that Hanania is a conformist, for instance.  This shtick of "actually the non-conformists are the real conformists," is silly.  

Worth noting that Manifest wasn't an EA conference.  It just had some EA people there who wanted to go to a cool conference.  Not sure what EA is supposed to do about that. 

I think that there are certainly legitimate critiques of some of EA.  But the ideas that either: 

A) EA does more harm than good.

B) Doing EA things like giving to givewell charities isn't very valuable 

C) One shouldn't strive to do good effectively

are all very crazy and supported by nothing. 

I'm not against taking serious the criticisms at the margins--like that we should spend less on A and more on B.  But I think we spend too much time getting worked up about what e.g. Torres has to say about EA being rooted in eugenics and colonialism. 

Re 1, as Richard says: "Wenar scathingly criticized GiveWell—the most reliable and sophisticated charity evaluators around—for not sufficiently highlighting the rare downsides of their top charities on their front page.8 This is insane: like complaining that vaccine syringes don’t come with skull-and-crossbones stickers vividly representing each person who has previously died from complications. He is effectively complaining that GiveWell refrains from engaging in moral misdirection. It’s extraordinary, and really brings out why this concept matters." 

Re 2: I just don't think this is true.  EAs often note the uncertainty.  

3. This is true but constantly talked about EAs.  Furthermore, I don't know what the alternative is supposed to be--just ignore all non-quantifiable harms. 

This just seemed to be a list of false claims about things GiveWell forgot to consider, a series of ridiculous claims about philosophy, and no attempt to compare the benefits to the costs.  Yes, lots of EA charities have various small downsides, most of which are taken into account, but those are undetectable compared to the hundreds of thousands of lives saved.  He suggests empowering local people, which is a good applause line, but it's vague.  Most local people are not in a position to do high quality comparisons between different interventions.  

Thank you!  It was your speech at the OFTW meeting that largely inspired it. 

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