Radical Empath Ismam

354 karmaJoined


I also want to say I've been really impressed by the work of the Quincy Institute ( They advocate for an anti-war & anti-interventionist foreign policy, which is very neglected amongst think tanks in this area due to the high levels of funding by weapons-makers and the military-industrial complex. They're work on the Iran nuclear deal was highly lauded.

Nuclear weapons are of course a specific area they focus on, but their more holistic Anti-war & Anti-interventionist advocacy has noticeably improved the foreign policy debate and challenged hawkish perspectives that dominate this space and I suspect is a very effective way to reduce X-Risk.

Would love to see EAs engaged in Anti-war & Anti-interventionist spaces as they seem very neglected and a chance to make an outsized impact.

The nobel-winning ICANW also does really excellent work and spoke at EAGx Australia.

Can I add one more fear - mischaracterising the scientific credibility of scientific racism/ HBD.

Having these voices like Hanania & Razib Khan at Manifest (with no counterbalance) is going to make people think that there is more scientific support for the "race realist/ HBD" position than there actually is.

In actual fact, the opposite is true.

Response by evolutionary biologists responded to Nicholas Wade's book: the

American Society of Human Genetics statement and the American Association of Biological Anthropologists statement

Further papers on Race & IQ

I was involved in the EA movement from around 2014 in Sydney Australia, which I expect is similar to the UK as you mentioned (but all the same, the UK & Australia were and are major centres for the EA movement and our lack of interaction with the Rationalist community in those early days should be noted).

From my recollection, in those early days the local EA Sydney community would co-host events with the local Less Wrong Rationality, Transhumanist, and the Science Party groups just to get the numbers up for events. So yes, the Rationalists did mix with EA, but their contribution was on-par with the Transhumanists.

I don't recall rationality being a major part of major EA literature at the time (The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save). Even utilitarianism was downplayed as being fundamental to being an EA. It was later on that Rationality became more influential.

I'm in favour of distancing "Rationality" from EA.

As I've said elsewhere, Less-Wrong "rationality" isn't foundational to EA and it's not even the accepted school of critical thinking.

For example, I personally come from the "scientific skepticism" tradition (think Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Steven Novella, James Randi, etc...), and in my opinion, since EA is simply scientific skepticism applied to charity, scientific skepticism is the much more natural basis for critical thinking in the EA movement than LW.

I've been in the EA movement for a long time and I can attest Rationality did not play any part in the EA movement in the early days.

I feel exactly the same way. I love the idea of "lowercase" effective altruism. I've also dabbled with term "evidence-based altruism", where "evidence-based" I hope signals to people that I am not interested in hypothetical/rationalist/extremely philosophical issues.

EA to "decouple" from LW/rationality

I mean, why not? Less-wrong "rationality" isn't foundational to EA, it's not even the accepted school of criticial thinking.

For example, I personally come from the "scientific skepticism" tradition (think Skeptics Guide to the Universe, Steven Novella, James Randi, etc...), and in my opinion, since EA is simply scientific skepticism applied to charity, scientific skepticism is the much more natural basis for criticial thinking in the EA movement than LW.

You should absolutely do it, and I would agree that you probably would not receive material backlash.

But I would be careful to assume that your success means that any plain old person can critique EA and receive a warm reception.

You've spent a long time building amicable relationships with EAs (I suspect by walking on eggshells, self-censoring - hope I am not being presumptuous here David).

It is confusing I agree, but the confusion isn't helped by coming up with further conflicting definitions.

I've studied & work in finance, and as I understand things, the term capital markets really just refers to the market of longer-term debt/equity instruments (e.g. bonds, shares etc). That term sits in contrast to money markets which refers to short-term instruments (e.g. repos, bills which are just bonds that mature <= 90 days).

There's nothing particular about capital markets that are particularly more objectionable to socialists than say the money market, so your emphasis on capital markets is misplaced in my opinion.

RE participatory socialism, I was not familiar with this idea, but from a quick read it does seem to advocate for the majority of the economy to operate under public or worker ownership of the means of production. So I think this would generally be considered socialism under the official definition of socialism. Happy to be corrected if I've misunderstood Piketty's system.

Social democracy, whilst it may involve some elements of socialism (welfare state, unions, large public sector, state ownership of some companies), and may be embraced by socialists as a transitory economic system towards socialism, is generally considered a form of capitalism. Historically it gets more complicated, where the terms social democracy and democratic socialism were interchangeable (e.g. the precursor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, was the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party). But with history, they've come to mean different things.

So in summary, I think you are wrong to point to Participatory socialism and social democracy as not involving public ownership of the means of production, or being socialism respectivel. And I think you are furthering the confusion of these ideas by emphasizing the importance of capital markets in this discussion.

I do applaud you looking into this and the ideas of Piketty & the nordic model. But be careful about theorising too much on your own when there is a wealth of existing work produced by more informed/ dedicated people (including academics, commentators) you could leverage. For example, jacobin, the socialist magazine, has a few articles on what AI means for socialists: An article like that could have been a good starting point for you to support/ critique in the forum post.

Keep looking into this stuff - glad to see it being posted on the progress forum also. These discussions are needed more for sure.

I'm surprised you didn't bring up the most commonly cited defintions of capitalism and socialism.

Capitalism is the private ownership of the means of production.

Socialism is the public ownership of the means of production.

Whilst there's a great deal of variation in how people envision their form of captialism/ socialism, the above are the generally agreed upon dictionary definitions of the two economic systems.

Load more