This is as good a time as ever to flag potential reforms to distribute power, take tail risks to EA's reputation and impact seriously and leave our movement's impact less to the mercy of poor, unilateral decision making:




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I downvoted this post, not because I disagree with EA needing to look at reforms more carefully, and take reputational risks more seriously (in fact on the object level, I think we're aligned a fair bit). Instead, I don't think it's the right medium. In its current form this post could have been a shortform, or perhaps the beginnings of a more fleshed-out post about the potential reforms once the dust of the last few days has settled. (Though I do grant your prior post might already have this covered from your perspective.)

I also think the title is quite unkind. It's not clear which 'Senior EAs' you are talking about, what your definition of them is, or why the scandals of the last few days have changed your mind about them. The overwhelming majority of them are likely to have no involvement in Bostrom's decision to publish his letter or Tegmark's actions regarding the FLI/NDF grant. It's also a little bit presumptous to talk about 'we', though I think it would make an interesting survey question to get some reliable data on the community's opinions.

Most importantly, however, those 'Senior EAs' are also people who have sacrificed a lot personally to get the movement to where it is today, and regardless of whether they have or have not made poor decisions as leaders they are probably hurting just as much as you or me, and possibly more so, about where the movement finds itself in January 2023.[1]

  1. ^

    This is a completely biased view. I have met people I would consider to be 'Senior EAs' and they are unanimously kind, inspiring people that I care a lot for. Please adjust your opinion of my comment appropriately.

I think it's a reasonable assumption that most EAs will have updated down on how much they trust the decision making of the entire set of senior EAs given that 3 have now caused large amounts of damage to EA's reputation, even though we probably don't expect any other senior EAs to be directly responsible for the Bostrom and Tegmark issues.

I disagree with the title being unkind, I think it's fair to not trust a small number of people with this much power over EA's reputation, even if we are grateful for everything they have put into the movement. They shouldn't even be trusting themselves with this power and I'm sure a decent proportion don't.

Set up survey on cognitive/intellectual diversity within EA

For what it's worth, something like this has been done, with relevant sections on veg*nism, religious affiliation, politics, and morality. Would there be any particular questions you'd be interested in including, were this survey to be done again?

Not really, agree that this has basically been done

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