Doing alignment research with Vivek Hebbar's team at MIRI.
Edit: I forgot to add, OP could have phrased this differently, saying that people with productive things to say (which I assume is what they may have meant by "better takes") would be busier doing productive work and have less time to post here. Which I don't necessarily buy, but let's roll with it. Instead, they chose to focus on EA orgs in particular.
The causal reason I worded it that way is that I wrote down this list very quickly, and I'm in an office with people who work at EA orgs and would write higher quality posts than average, so it was salient, even if it's not the only mechanism for having better things to do.
I also want to point out that "people who work at EA orgs" doesn't imply infinite conformity. It just means they fit in at some role at some organization that is trying to maximize good and/or is funded by OpenPhil/FTX (who fund lots of things, including lots of criticism). I frequently hear minority opinions like these:
"Quality of person" sounds bad to me too. I also find it weird that someone already gave the same feedback on the shortform and the OP didn't change it.
Thanks for pointing this out. I just edited the wording.
I agree that this list is "lazy", and I'd be excited about someone doing a better analysis.
Of the 15 people other than me who commented on the shortform, I only remember ever meeting 4. I would guess that for shortforms in general most of the attention comes from the feed.
Pablo made a survey for the first 8 points, and people seem to agree most with 1 (newer EAs have worse takes on average) and 5 (meta/community stuff gets more attention), with mixed opinions about the rest.
I wouldn't be quick to dismiss (3-5) and (7) as factors we should pay attention to. These sorts of memetic pressures are present in many communities, and yet communities vary dramatically in quality. This is because things like (3-5) and (7) can be modulated by other facts about the community:
So even if they cannot be solely reponsible for changes, they could have been necessary to produce any declines in quality we've observed, and be important for the future.
Promoting shortforms to top-level posts, preserving replies. I wanted to do that with this, because reposting it as a top-level post wouldn't preserve existing discussion.
Having to wear masks would reduce the value of EAG by >20% for me, mostly due to making 1-1s worse.
EA forum content might be declining in quality. Here are some possible mechanisms: