Wei_Dai

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Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

Can you explain more about this part of ACE's public statement about withdrawing from the conference:

We took the initiative to contact CARE’s organizers to discuss our concern, exchanging many thoughtful messages and making significant attempts to find a compromise.

If ACE was not trying to deplatform the speaker in question, what were these messages about and what kind of compromise were you trying to reach with CARE?

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

but the main EAA Facebook group does not seem like an appropriate place to have them, since it’s one of the first places people get exposed to EAA.

I might agree with you if doing this had no further consequences beyond what you've written, but... quoting an earlier comment of mine:

You know, this makes me think I know just how academia was taken over by cancel culture. They must have allowed “introductory spaces” like undergrad classes to become “safe spaces”, thinking they could continue serious open discussion in seminar rooms and journals, then those undergrads became graduate students and professors and demanded “safe spaces” everywhere they went. And how is anyone supposed to argue against “safety”, especially once its importance has been institutionalized (i.e., departments were built in part to enforce “safe spaces”, which can then easily extend their power beyond “introductory spaces”).

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

It makes sense that what is most important, powerful, or influential in national politics is still highly correlated with what most people in our society sincerely believe, due to secret ballot voting and the national scope, but I think in many other arenas, some arguably more important than current national politics (e.g. because they play an outsized role in the economy or in determining what future generations will believe), local concentrating of true believers and preference falsification have caused a divergence between the two senses of "dominant".

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

Maybe we're just using the word "dominant" in different ways? I meant it in the sense of "most important, powerful, or influential", and not something like "sincerely believed by the majority of people" which may be what you have in mind? (I don't believe the latter is true yet.)

Concerns with ACE's Recent Behavior

I’m sceptical that further content in this vein will have the desired effect on EA and EA-adjacent groups and individuals who are less active on the Forum, other than to alienate them and promote a split in the movement, while also exposing EA to substantial PR risk.

I've refrained from making certain posts/comments on EAF in part for these reasons. I think in the long run these outcomes will be very hard to avoid, given the vastly different epistemic approaches between the two sides, and e.g., "silence is violence", but it could be that in the short/medium term it's really important for EA to not become a major "public enemy" of the dominant ideology of our times.

ETA: If anyone disagrees with my long-run prediction (and it's not because something happens that makes the issue moot, like AIs take over), I'd be interested to read a story/scenario in which these outcomes are avoided.

Progress Open Thread: March 2021

Thanks for this explanation. That part of Habryka's comment also struck me as very suspicious when I read it, but it wasn't immediately obvious what's wrong with it exactly.

Progress Open Thread: March 2021

I came across an article titled Improving Long-Term Outcomes in Adolescent Adoption which seems potentially very useful for you, both before and after adoption. (You may have already found it through your own research, but just case...)

Please stand with the Asian diaspora

I think you are strongly focused on a part of the conversation that is of particular importance to you (something along the lines of whether people who are not motivated or skilled at expressing sympathy will be welcome here), while Jacob is mostly focused on other aspects.

This seems clearly true to me, but I don't see how it explains the things that I'm puzzled by. I will stop here as well, as my previous comment answering your question was downvoted to negative karma, perhaps indicating that such discussion (or my specific way of discussing it) is not appropriate for this forum.

Please stand with the Asian diaspora

To the extent that this story causes an emotional toll on readers, we should partly blame the media here for trying to fit a racial narrative to an event where it is not at all clear it fits.

I just came across a great article by Andrew Sullivan about this. His conclusions:

And so it seems to me that the media’s primary role in cases like these is providing some data and perspective on what’s actually happening, to allay irrational fear. Instead they contribute to the distortion by breathlessly hyping one incident without a single provable link to any go this — and scare the bejeezus out of people unnecessarily.

The media is supposed to subject easy, convenient rush-to-judgment narratives to ruthless empirical testing. Now, for purely ideological reasons, they are rushing to promote ready-made narratives, which actually point away from the empirical facts. To run sixteen separate pieces on anti-Asian white supremacist misogynist hate based on one possibly completely unrelated incident is not journalism. It’s fanning irrational fear in the cause of ideological indoctrination. And it appears to be where all elite media is headed.

Please stand with the Asian diaspora

What do you believe needs explaining?

The series of seemingly elementary errors in Jacob's recent comments, which were puzzling to me given his obviously high level of reasoning abilities. I tried to point them out in my earlier comments and don't want to repeat them all again, but for example, his insistent defense/support of Khorton's downvote based on his own very mild interpretation of what a downvote means, when it seems clear that what's more important in judging the consequences and appropriateness of the downvote is how Khorton, Dale, and most other EAF participants are likely to understand it, and then ignoring my arguments and evidence around this after I pointed them out to him.

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