Manuel Del Río Rodríguez

Satellite School Head of Studies - Noia (Spain) @ EOI Santiago (Official School of Languages, Santiago)
223 karmaJoined Working (6-15 years)


English teacher for adults and teacher trainer, a lover of many things (languages, literature, art, maths, physics, history) and people. Head of studies at the satellite school of Noia, Spain.

How others can help me

I am omnivorous in my interests, but from a work perspective, I am very interested in the confluence of new technologies and education. As for other things that could profit from assistance, I am trying to self-teach myself undergraduate level math and to seriously explore and engage with the intellectual and moral foundations of EA.

How I can help others

Reach out to me if you have any questions about Teaching English as a Foreign Language, translation and , generally, anything Humanities-orientated. Also, anything you'd like to know about Spain in general and its northwestern corner, Galicia, in particular.


I feel one is always allowed not to speak about what they don't want to, but that if one does decide to speak about something, they should never make a statement they know is a lie. This is sad, because depending on the issue and how it relates to your career and other stuff, you might not be able to just keep quiet, and besides, your silence is going to be interpreted uncharitably. People who have shown to consistently value and practice truth-saying should be allowed some sort of leeway, like 'I will only answer n randomly chosen questions today (n also randomized) and you are not entitled to press further on anything I don't answer'.

I am not being precise with language, but what I meant was something like sometimes you know that stating some truths, or merely accepting the possibility of some things being true and being willing to explore them and publicize them no matter the consequences might have negative consequences, like being hurtful and/or offending to people, frequently for good, pragmatic and historical reasons. Prioritizing not to harm would feel like a perfectly valid, utilitarian consideration, even if I disagree with it trumping all others. In Haidt's moral framework terms, one can prioritize Care/Harm versus Liberty/Oppression. Myself, I have a deontological, quasi-religious belief in truth and truth-seeking as an end in itself.

I agree with that, and that our goal should be to achieve both, but reality being what it is, there are going to be times when truth-seeking and kindness confront each other, and one has to make a trade-off. Ultimately, I choose truth-seeking in case of conflict, even weighing in the negative effects it can generate. But to each his own.

Really agree with this take. Ultimately, I get the impression that there seems to be a growing divide in EA between people who prioritize more truthseeking and those who prioritize better PR and kindness. And these are complex topics with difficult trade-offs that each has to navigate and establish on a personal basis.

I respect you and your opinions a lot, Geoffrey Miller, but I feel Scott is really on the right on this one. I fear that EA is right now giving too much the impression of being in full-drawn war mode against Sam Altman, and can see this backfiring in a spectacular way, as in him (and the industry) burning all the bridges with any EA and Rationalist-adjacent AI safety. It looks too much like Classical Greek Tragedy - actions to avoid a certain outcome actually making it come into pass. I do understand this is a risk you might consider worth taking if you are completely convinced of the need to dynamite and stop the whole AI industry. 

"This is like saying that if I break into the Federal Reserve Bank, make off with a million bucks, spend it all on Powerball tickets and happen to win, it was okay." – Judge Kaplan

Mostly agree and have found your post insightful, but am not too sure about the 'confront this a bit' part. I feel both most EAs and most Rationalists are very solidly on the left (not the radical, SJW fringe, but very clearly left of center, Democratic-leaning). I vaguely remember having read somewhere Tyler Cowen describing EA as 'what SJW should be like'. Still, I feel that political partisanship and accepting labels is such a generally toxic and counterproductive affair that it is best avoided. And I think there's probably some inevitable tension inside EA between people who prioritize the search for veracity and effectiveness, and a high degree of respect for the freedom to explore unconventional and inconvenient truth, and others who might lean more towards prioritizing more left-coded practices and beliefs.

It was for me. Also, I had read about Tara and others leaving Alameda and having issues with Sam, but not the gory details.

I'd say there are two main aspects that impact negatively on EA portrayal. One I've mentioned below - Lewis goes out of his way to establish that the inner circle were 'the EAs', and implicitly seems to be making the point that Sam's mentality is a perfect match to EA mentality. But much more damning is how he depicts The Schism in early Alameda. Even though he is practically siding with Sam in the dispute, from what he describes it beggars belief how the EA community -and more so its top figures- didn't react in a stronger way after hearing what the Alameda quitters were saying. The pattern of the early Alameda mess very eerily prefigured what would happen, and Sam's shadiness. 

Reading the book right now like everybody else, I guess. If Lewis is to be believed (complex in parts, as he is clearly seeing all this through Sam-tinted glasses), ALL the members of his inner circle (Caroline, but also Nishad and Wang) were committed EAs, which is something I find disturbing.

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