I have a job outside EA where reputation is a concern, so as is normal for people in such industries I post mostly anonymously online, and start new accounts periodically to prevent potential information leakage. If the only way to engage with EA discussion online was under my real name I wouldn't do so.
That's probably on the extreme end, but I think lots of people exist somewhere on this spectrum. If that is disallowed or discouraged you get a situation where only "professional EAs" who have merged their real life reputation and their EA reputation would comment in discussions or be listened to. Which seems like a recipe for increased group think and insularity.
We all agree expanding the moral circle is an end in itself so this seems obviously correct
How do you define "wokeness"? The term is often used very broadly as a placeholder for vaguely culturally left things the writer dislikes, broad enough that anyone in the audience can feel like its referring to specifically the things they dislike. And there's often a degree of strategic ambiguity/motte and bailey in how its used.
I also didn’t seek adequate backup given that I was friends with Owen. (Owen and I live in different countries and were not close friends, but we and our families have spent social time together.) When the woman in the TIME piece told me that her concern was about Owen, I flagged to her that I was friends with him. She and I decided to proceed anyway because we couldn’t think of a better option, although she felt it was unhealthy for EA that people who had power were entwined in these ways.
This seems to be a recurring issue in a lot of the recent controversies, that decisions are made by a relatively small and close knit group of people. Is there any work going on on ways to reduce this problem in the future?
I think EA has a particular problem where the emphasis on getting people who are "value aligned" means they don't get in experienced people from outside. Software startups have at least learned to bring in an experienced COO to help run day to day things
I feel like there's also an ambiguity in the term "community" being used to both mean:
A lot of the posts about EA community issues seems to be implicitly about the stereotypical "people who go to Bay Area house parties" community. Which is not representative of the wider community of people who might attend EA conferences, work/volunteer in EA orgs or donate.
That's probably on the extreme end, but I think lots of people exist somewhere on this spectrum and it would probably be bad for the movement if discussions were limited to only people willing to post under their real names, or persistent identities, as that would exacerbate problems of insularity and group think.
This is not just a question of the attitude of EA employers but of wider society. I have been involved in EA for a long time but now work in a professional role where reputation is a concern, so do all my online activity pseudonymously.
I would dislike it if it became the norm that people could only be taken seriously if they posted under their real names, and discussion was reserved for "professional EAs". And that would probably be bad for the variety of perspectives and expertise in EA discussions.
I'm not particularly young anymore, and work in a non-EA field where reputation is a concern, which is a large part of why I post pseudonymously. I think it would be bad if it became the norm that people could only be taken seriously if they posted under their real names, and discussion was reserved for "professional EAs".
Very interesting seeing your process for all this, thanks for laying it out.
On the tractability and neglectedness questions, how do you account for other interventions that impact child marriage rates? I'd assume that programs aimed at general economic growth and education also raise average marriage ages