Ben Pace

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My attention continues to be on the question of whether my post was accurate and whether this post debunks the claims and narratives shared in mine. To minimize public attention costs and also to preserve my own sanity, I am aiming to engage with Nonlinear’s response in a way that focuses only on the clearest and most direct critiques of my post. I’m currently focusing on 2-3 of the claims in their response that most contradict my post, investigating them further, and intend to publish the results of that.

Once I’ve finished that process and shared my thinking (including making edits to my original post to correct any mistakes), I’ll engage more with the rest of the comments and what the appropriate norms are and whether I should’ve done things substantially differently, but in the meantime I think my efforts are better spent figuring out what is actually true about the relationship Nonlinear had with its employees.

I am trying to avoid writing my bottom line, and reduce any (further) friction to me changing my mind on this subject, which is a decent chunk of why I’m not spending time arguing in the comments right now (I expect that to give me a pretty strong “digging in my heels” incentive).

(...that said, I think Dialogues are pretty great for respectful discussions about high-stakes topics, and I am definitely more open to having dialogues with people who think I clearly messed up or want to discuss some particular issue. Though it’s still probably worth waiting on those until after I’ve sorted out the object level.)

I am currently quite skeptical about the narratives presented in this post for a number of reasons, not least because the post repeatedly fails to engage with or even accurately describe what I wrote. There are many strawman accusations that it successfully knocks down, which you will notice if you compare the claims that Kat rebukes with what I actually wrote in the original. I also question a number of the factual claims and I am investigating those.

Regarding timing, it’d be great to get something out this week, but also it’s literally 5 days away from Christmas. I don’t strongly expect to post before Christmas Eve, and I don’t want to disrupt my and others’ vacation days by posting in between then and the New Year, so if I’ve not written a post by EOD on the 23rd by then I will not post until the New Year (no earlier than Jan 2nd).

Ben Pace

Brief update: I am still in the process of reading this. At this point I have given the post itself a once-over, and begun to read it more slowly (and looking through the appendices as they're linked).

I think any and all primary sources that Kat provides are good (such as the page of records of transactions). I am also grateful that they have not deanonymized Alice and Chloe.

I plan to compare the things that this post says directly against specific claims in mine, and acknowledge anything where I was factually inaccurate. I also plan to do a pass where I figure out which claims of mine this post responds to and which it doesn’t, and I want to reflect on the new info that’s been entered into evidence and how it relates to the overall picture. 

It probably goes without saying that I (and everyone reading) want to believe true things and not false things about this situation. If I made inaccurate statements I would like to know that and correct them.

As I wrote in my follow-up post, I am not intending to continue spear-heading an investigation into Nonlinear. However this post makes some accusations of wrongdoing on my part, which I intend to respond to, and of course for that it is relevant whether the things I said are actually true.

I hope to write a response sometime this week, but I am not committing to any deadlines.

Not sure if it’s worth mentioning, but I hope that people reading this are aware of what Kat writes at the bottom of the appendices:

A quick note on how we use quotation marks: we sometimes use them for direct quotes and sometimes use them to paraphrase. If you want to find out if they’re a direct quote, just ctrl-f in the original post and see if it is or not.

Many of the things that are quotes next to my name are not things I said and not things that I would endorse, and I believe the same is true of many sentences in quotation marks attributed to Alice/Chloe.

Thanks for saying that, but no request from me. (And my guess is it'll be fine and I'll add my bullets back in a day or so.)

Some brief reactions:

  1. I mostly don't like the 'justice' process involved in other cases insofar as it is primarily secret and hidden. I don't think it's much of a justice system where you often don't know the accusations against you or why you're being punished.
  2. The data on negative performance is also profoundly censored! I am not sure why you think this makes this more likely to make me update positively on the process involved.
  3. I am pro having some surveys of people's general attitudes toward CEA Community Health. Questions like "Have you ever reported an issue to them" and "To your knowledge have you been investigated by the CEA Community Health team" and "How much do you trust CEA Community Health team to protect the EA ecosystem from bad behavior" and "How much do you trust CEA Community Health team to respect you if you go to them" and "For how many years have you been involved in the EA ecosystem". I think that would clear up this question substantially.

Noted. FYI in my culture it's considered pro-social to let people know what trades you'd be up for and what price. 

Also, and there's a good chance that this isn't the main thing you're responding to, but FWIW we're not doing active fundraising any more (as we were successful at getting our basic needs met for continuing), so this isn't like me trying to get my salary fundraised or anything like that.

Appreciate the comment. I sadly decided to edit out a few bullets on that to check in on what's okay to share. That's my fault, I will make sure to leave a new comment when I am able to add them back in, probably in a day or two (but might be longer).

I looked through all the mentions of his behavior in the post. I think only one of them is plausibly misleading. I say

I see clear reasons to think that Kat, Emerson and Drew intimidated these people into accepting some of the actions or dynamics that hurt them

I only have reports of intimidating actions from Emerson and Kat, not Drew. I don't have any reason to think he reduced the level of intimidation, but I don't want to convey that I know of positive acts of intimidation that he took, beyond broadly participating in the dynamics set up by Emerson and Kat and being supportive of his brother. I've edited that bit and included it in an addendum collecting all edits.

Speaking from my perspective, not from anyone else's (e.g. Alice's, Chloe's, yours) I don't see Drew as exonerated from the dynamics at Nonlinear, even while I think that Emerson and Kat are each substantially more responsible for them.

I think the best thing to be said in his favor is that Alice felt he was the only one of the three of them to really hear her concerns (e.g. financially) and sometimes advocate for her needs.

I confirm that this is Chloe, who contacted me through our standard communication channels to say she was posting a comment today.

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