Research Scholar @ Future of Humanity Institute
160 karmaJoined Oct 2016Working (0-5 years)


I'm TJ (they/them), a research scholar at FHI, and a co-organizer of PIBBSS.


I want to point out to you that regardless of whether Torres is worth engaging with or not, misgendering them like this signals lack of cooperativeness to the several queer and trans* 'EAs' who have nothing to do with the issue (which is fine, as long as you really intend to be uncooperative with them, in which case doing so helps them get accurate maps of who is worth working with for the future lightcone and who is not).

I'm writing this comment to merely report my position, rather than to intellectually explain it, on the dimensions presented by the author.

[ETA: This response does not imply an agreement with the author on whether the listed characteristics do describe EA thought or not, and I'm mostly inclined to think that they don't.]

This looks like a large judging panel (so consensus and social dynamics will likely be important even without veto powers) that consists entirely of EA insiders who likely buy into the core EA principles.

As a member of the judging panel, I'm doing this primarily to provide evidence (perhaps anecdotal at best) that members who may seem 'EA insiders' may not necessarily be as homogeneous as the author claims, and that the above claim may be more complicated.(I expect this to mostly be valuable to bystanders seeking data about diversity of opinions)

I strongly endorse/resonate with #2 and #16. And weakly endorse/resonate with #3, #8, and #20.

I think my views are complicated, and do not amount to either endorsement or disagreement (though I might find some of these as valuable concepts to have in your moral practice), on #5, #6, #7, #10 and #17. Most of this has to do with something like 'there is ambiguity in the framing, and I might agree with some version, but might strongly disagree with some other common interpretations'.

I think 'utilitarianism' (#1) is underdetermined, and therefore not totally helpful, and find value in other moral philosophies. While I think that Benthamite thought has valuable ideas, my overall position is closer to Parfit's 'climbing the same mountain from different sides'.

On #19, I respect veganism and find it aspirational, but fail to practice it, mostly out of akrasia-related and habit-related reasons.

I think I weakly disagree with #4, #9 and #15, and the role they play. And I strongly disagree with #11, #12, #13, #14, #18 and #21.


At the same time, if the shift in EA practice as claimed by you is indeed real (which I think it is), then it would also seem that EA has failed to do adequate mistake acknowledgement with respect to past critiques. This might hold some insights as to why certain forms of criticisms are by-default disincentivized.

(I do hope that this contest will make a genuine attempt to correct that disincentive landscape.)