167 karmaJoined Dec 2022


Yeah, I can understand how some people might have been uncertain about what happened, but given what was public at the time, anyone following closely would not have been as uncertain as you at that time.

Moreover, I felt Will's statement was quite strong in outright denouncing SBF, and had this qualifier as an afterthought; not in the foreground. 


I just don't understand how you can say that. Almost every tweet had the qualification in the foreground. Certaintly it wasn't an afterthought. His offer to apologize was in the 4th tweet, before he even condemns Sam. (Edit: link to thread)

Based on publicly available information, it seems to me more likely than not that senior leadership at FTX used customer deposits to bail out Alameda, despite terms of service prohibiting this, and a (later deleted) tweet from Sam claiming customer deposits are never invested.

I read "more likely than not" to be ~60% confidence, which doesn't show a very high level of understanding of the situation (which is not very acceptable for someone who should have been monitoring this situation very closely). It also colors the rest of what I read as someone who doesn't think that there is much certainty to be had here.

I am not certain that this is what happened. I haven’t been in contact with anyone at FTX (other than those at Future Fund), except a short email to resign from my unpaid advisor role at Future Fund. If new information vindicates FTX, I will change my view and offer an apology.

But if there was deception and misuse of funds, I am outraged, and I don’t know which emotion is stronger: my utter rage at Sam (and others?) for causing such harm to so many people, or my sadness and self-hatred for falling for this deception.

I want to make it utterly clear: if those involved deceived others and engaged in fraud (whether illegal or not) that may cost many thousands of people their savings, they entirely abandoned the principles of the effective altruism community.

If this is what happened, then I cannot in words convey how strongly I condemn what they did. I had put my trust in Sam, and if he lied and misused customer funds he betrayed me, just as he betrayed his customers, his employees, his investors, & the communities he was a part of.

For years, the EA community has emphasised the importance of integrity, honesty, and the respect of common-sense moral constraints. If customer funds were misused, then Sam did not listen; he must have thought he was above such considerations.

If FTX misused customer funds, then I personally will have much to reflect on. Sam and FTX had a lot of goodwill – and some of that goodwill was the result of association with ideas I have spent my career promoting. If that goodwill laundered fraud, I am ashamed.

Emphasis mine, but I'm afraid we're either talking about different statements, or read these tweets very differently.

Thanks - I will fix the link.

This is kind of my point about why I think less of EA (despite still being a big fan) now than I did before FTX collapse. It's the same with the Guzey thing I mentioned earlier


So this is more from memory at the time although I do have messages I was sending to other EAs so I know I felt like this at the time. For example, my first reaction to Rob's statement for example was to forward it to Nathan Young saying "That's what Holden should have said"

My sense of Holden and Will's statements were they were very equivocal about whether or not anything bad had happened. "If something bad has happened then we condemn it, we must reserve judgement" etc. eg Holden's statement:

I don’t understand the situation very well (and I have no special insight into it – I’ve read the same tweets and news stories as everyone else), and it doesn’t seem that all the facts are in. I will be following the situation as it develops.

Holden worked in finance before going into direct work. There is no way I can believe that at the time  he didn't know better than this. (And I think he did know better and toned down his language because Alexander suggested he should).

I also don't understand how this is relevant to the current complaint (FTX). This happened years ago and she's already publically commented on it and apologized. 

So it's relevant to me because I only put two-and-two together about this after the FTX implosion. As I said in my initial post:

Lots of the reasons I am less approving of EA now than I was prior to FTX collapse are things I could have known.

My point isn't that this is related to FTX. My point is prior to the collapse I didn't know some things about the EA community. Now I know them and I think less of the community. My general point is it seems absolutely nuts to me that Duncan can have an unchanged opinion of the community unless he already knew a bunch of things I was unaware of.


This is even worse than I thought, this is right in the window of "rats fleeing the boat"

If I were a cynic, I'd have thought they were trying to demonstrate they were separable entities for legal reasons when they knew the risk was hitting the fan.

(I don't believe this, but I'm 20% this is true)