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Opinions that are stupid are going to be clearly stupid.

So the thing is, racism is bad. Really bad. It caused Hitler. It caused slavery. It caused imperialism. Or at least it was closely connected.

The holocaust and the civil rights movement convinced us all that it is really, really bad.

Now the other thing is that because racism is bad, our society collectively decided to taboo and call horrible arguments that racists make and use.

The next point I want to make is this: As far as I know the science about race and intelligence is entirely about figuring out causation from purely observational studies when you have only medium sized effects.

We know from human history and animal models that both genetic variation and the cultural forces are powerful enough to create the observed differences.

So we try to figure out which one it is using these observational studies on a medium sized effect (ie way smaller than smoking and lung cancer, or stomach sleeping and SIDS). Both causal forcesnl are capable of producing in principle the observed outcomes.

You can't do it. Our powers of causal inference are insufficient. It doesn't work.

What you are left with is your prior about evolution, about culture, and about all sorts of other things. But there is no proof in either direction.

So this is the epistemic situation.

But because racism as bad, society, and to a lesser extent the scientific community, has decided to say that attributing any major causal power to biology in this particular is disproven pseudoscience.

Some people are good at noticing when the authorities around them and their social community and the people on their side are making bad arguments. These people are valuable. They notice important things. They point out when the emperor has no clothes. And they literally built the EA movement.

However, this ability to notice when someone is making a bad argument doesn't turn off just because the argument is being made for a good reason.

This is why people who are good at thinking precisely will notice that society is saying that there is no genetic basis for racial differences in behavior with way, way more confidence than is justified by the evidence presented. And because racism is a super important topic in our society, most people who think a lot will think hard about it at some point in their life.

In other words, it is very hard to have a large community of people who are willing to seriously consider that they personally are wrong about something important, and that they can improve, without having a bunch of people who also at some point in their lives at least considered very hard whether particular racist beliefs are actually true.

This is also not an issue with lizard people or flat earthers, since the evidence for the socially endorsed view is really that good in the latter case, and (so far as I have heard, I have in no way personally looked into the question of lizard people running the world, and I don't think anyone I strongly trust has either, so I should be cautious about being confident in its stupidity) the evidence for the conspiracy theory is really that bad.

This is why you'll find lots of people in your social circles who can be accused of having racist thoughts, and not very many who can be accused of having flat earth thoughts.

Also, if a flat earther wants to hang out at an ea meeting, I think they should be welcomed.

Nitpicky reply, but reflecting an attitude that I think has some value to emphasize:

Based on what you wrote, I think it would be far more accurate to describe GBD as 'robust enough to be an useful tool for specific purposes', rather than 'very robust'.

I think what this means in part is that we need to also work to create institutions that are actually trustworthy around ai.

I'm probably further from the problem than you, but it is a kind of silly projection in a different way, because it also has embedded in it a reason why there is no chance that current methods will be scaled up -- they are too expensive. The far higher carbon cost implies a far larger amount of energy and other resources are used also.

Maybe a simple argument is that A) it doesn't actually matter (the real money is in stuff being forwarded to Microsoft to integrate into everything, are you planning to boycott windows?), and B) open ai is doing somewhat better on paying attention to safety than should be expected as a default for a major corporation.

Reward people for being directionally correct.

I'm not saying that there aren't counter arguments against this model.

I think what I said about getting laid as an incentive to showing up was rather misunderstood. I'm not actually good at being precise, and this issue makes it harder for me to speak carefully.

I'm drawing here on two core sets of background ideas, one is the ssc essay about the Fabian society, where it seems like one of the things that made them extremely effective was that the group meetings were an excellent place for people to meet a large set of their social needs (including finding marriage partners), and not just a place where they talked about socialism.

The second is that I grew up in a church where one of the things everyone knew was that one reason young people went to church meetings was to meet other young Christians to date. This was part of why it worked as a cohesive community.

Based on these models I expect communities where people form romantic relationships inside the community to end up more cohesive, more successful, and more functional in terms of their mission than communities where this is disallowed.

Of course nothing here disagrees directly with the idea that 'sleeping around is bad.'

I suppose I get to disliking that as a statement of a norm because it sounds (to me) sex puritanical, and because it is saying (in my head) that the members of our community are not adults who can make their own choices about how to live their lives and who to sleep with. And, frankly because of the whole context that makes me interpret things unchraritably.

A norm of generally don't hit on newbies until they've been around for a while is probably good (though details in implementation matter!) .

I think there is also a distinction between people like me who see EA primarily as a social organization built around a set of ideas, rather than those who see it as a professional network. The rules for a social network are, and should be different. But part of the strength of EA is that it is both, and unfortunately the two seem to be in tension (and not just around this issue - the whole who gets to go to EA global is another example of the same problem).

I also suspect that EA without a social cloud around the professionals is dead in the long run, because the just here to hang out and talk people are where the money for those jobs come from (and if that view is correct, the way to make EA strongest in the long run is to make it a good social group, and hanging out with cool people where there is a chance you might meet someone to date really is almost always strictly better than the same social group where there is no chance of that).

One last point: The current scandals are caused by visibility and maybe sbf. People out there are trying to attack EA by actively looking for the worst sort of true things they can say about the community. Taking what those attacks say as representative of the community is a serious mistake.

I don't think Owen did anything that requires more than a private apology and a suggestion from friends to be less of an idiot, and even that is only necessary because the people around him are idiots in a different way.

However, I accept that some people think that what he did was awful and reprehensible, and I agree with them that a tendency to behaviors of that sort is likely to be common.

Also, the phrase 'sexual harassment' is not a clear symbol pointing to a concept cluster that is structured the same in everyone's mind, but in fact a muddy and politically contested thing that probably links to a different set of things in my head than yours.

Hence the request elsewhere in the comments for CEA to give a more precise definition of 'sexual harassment'

I don't think you disagree with the community. You disagree with a smallish number of people who are active on the forums, and who on average are younger and more newly entered the community. 

'the community' as a whole does not have an opinion of this, but due to fear of being seen as defending bad behavior, I think there is a strong tendency to self censor on only one side of this discussion. At the very least I know I self censor. 

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