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Thanks for gathering the data. Enough of these results are just batshit crazy that it further cements my view that bioethicists, as a group, should not be given any say in the questions they purport to be experts on. I'll point to two that I don't think anyone else has highlighted yet. 42% apparently believe that in a perfectly just society, blindness would not be a disadvantage. Not being able to drive a car isn't a disadvantage? Because no technology currently exists that would allow the blind to do that. And 66% think that a person's life being worth living is somehow not a reason to bring them into existence? If not that, then what would be a reason to bring someone into existence? That may not be a sufficient reason to bring someone into existence, but if you don't think it is a necessary one then there is something deeply wrong with your morals. I do not understand at all what would cause someone to give this answer.

The most important effect of parenting on productivity is left out here. A whole new person is created, meaning a whole additional person's worth of productivity! And with only a two decade or so delay. Not to mention a whole additional person's worth of happiness, and of combating demographic decline. So while it may be true that in the short term additional children decrease productivity, in the long term (which is what we as EAs should be caring most about) each additional child massively increases productivity. 

I have two points regarding point 2. Firstly, what matters is the relationship between the expected happiness and the expected suffering, not the best happiness and the worst suffering. There is no particular reason that these relationships should be the same. It may be that the worst suffering outweighs the best happiness, and also that the expected happiness outweighs the expected suffering.

Secondly, why do you think people would skew towards the suffering dominating? My intuition is that the expected happiness will generally dominate. I've noticed there are a subset of EAs who seem to have an obsession with suffering, and the related position of anti-natalism, but I do not think EAs are representative of the broader population in this regard, and I do not think this subset of EAs are epistemically justified.

I think what this comes down to for me is: If Kat Woods’ Forum username was pseudonymous, would we have taken down Ben’s post? (Or otherwise removed all references to Kat by her real name?)

If the answer to this is “yes,” then I don’t think Alice+Chloe should be deanonymized.


I do not like the incentive structure that this would create if adopted. Kat did not get to look at this particular drama and decide whether she wanted it discussed under a real or pseudonymous username. Her decision point was when she created her forum account however many years ago, at a time when she had no idea that this kind of drama would erupt. If this position becomes policy, then it incentivizes every person, at the time that they create a forum account, to choose a pseudonym rather than use their real name, to avoid having any unforeseeable future drama publicly associated with their real name. I think this would be bad. People in a community can't build trust if they don't know the identities of the people they are building trust with.

My understanding is that Kat and Emerson did in fact get their names on CEA's blacklist to some extent.

Here is the bigger problem I see with your proposed solution. If an employer reviewing an application from Alice or Chloe believes their side of this, then the employer would not factor in the fact of their presence on CEA's blacklist, since the employer, by hypothesis, thinks CEA was mistaken to put them there. If, on the other hand, an employer reviewing an application from Alice or Chloe believes Nonliner's side of this, then the employer may justifiably look at the fact that CEA erred by having blacklisted Kat and Emerson and choose not to consult CEA in their hiring decisions at all, and therefor not discover that their applicant was Alice or Chloe. Either way, CEA blacklisting Alice and Chloe seems ineffective.

This word "retaliation" seems to be doing a lot of work in your thinking, so I'd like to disect it a little bit. What exactly do you mean by "retaliation"? One could use retaliation to mean "any time Alice hurts Bob, and later Bob does something that hurts Alice, which he would not have done but for Alice's initial hurtful action." If that is your definition, then yes, sure, this is obvious retaliation. So what? Lots of things that are retaliation under this definition are fine, some are even optimal. Every time that a US military unit attacked a Japanese one during ww2 was retaliation for Pearl Harbor under this definition, yet clearly waging war on Japan was correct. I think when you use the word though, you mean it to carry some additional meaning. You seem to think that it is necessarily bad. And that requires a more constricted definition and an argument that nonlinear's actions satisfy it.


I'm not sure I would have used Ben as the example had I been writing it, but I think I understand why they did, and I certainly don't blame them for it. There is no drama where everyone is on the same side, so any real life example would antagonize some readers. Hypothetical examples are always weaker because the reader might think they are unrealistic. And Ben is in no position to complain about people sharing negative one-sided stories on the EA forum.

I think even with just the behaviours that Nonlinear has publicly confirmed, there is cause for major concern.

Lets look at one specific claim that you pointed to - whether there was a legal contract agreed beforehand specifying a salary. Unless I've missed something, I don't believe nonlinear has publicly commented on this. All I'm saying is don't let your confidence exceed the strength of the evidence.

The emotion of guilt is usually what leads to accountability and behaviour change. See e.g. this video with clinical psychologist June Tangney, co-author of the book Shame and Guilt.

It is certainly one emotion that can. But your video just talks about guilt  and shame, it doesn't talk about other emotions. I would expect all emotions have the potential to change behavior under the right circumstances - otherwise, they wouldn't serve an evolutionary purpose. I can think of instances where I've altered my behavior after social drama out of fear of getting hurt again, rather than guilt or shame. So when I look at someone else, I don't need to settle on a particular explanation of why they've changed their behavior to accept evidence that they have.

Even if we assume that all of the allegations are true (which seems unwarranted when the evidence is hearsay from two anonymous sources), you seem to think that remorse is the only mental state that could cause people to change their behavior. Why do you think that?

Are you familiar with any concerns about nonlinear not raised in Ben's post? Ben seems particularly concerned that nonlinear creates an epistemic environment where he wouldn't know if there was more. If there is, that seems pretty central to confirming Ben's concerns.

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