Thinking and writing about minds and social systems. https://amoretlicentia.substack.com/
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Crafting the Community


I don't understand how this is relevant to what I'm writing, as I don't intend to do mediation only for people who know AR or circling. But the number of upvotes indicates that others do understand, so I'd like to understand it, too. Jeroen, would you mind elaborating?

That's an excellent question!

For organization-internal mediations, I guess that's not a problem, because everyone within the org has an interest in the process going well?

One version for grievances between orgs/community members I could think of: Having an EA fund or E2Ger pay all my gigs so I can offer them pro bono and have no financial incentives to botch the outcome.

Plus, I'll definitely want to build a non-EA source of income so that I'm not entirely financially dependent on EA.

Where do you see gaps in these ideas?

Perhaps another consideration against is that it seems potentially bad to me for any one person to be the primary mediator for the EA community. There are some worlds where this position is subtly very influential. I dont think I would want a single person/worldview to have that, in order to avoid systematic mistakes/biases.

Well, good that my values are totally in line with the correct trajectory for EA then!

No, but seriously: I have no idea how to fix this. The best response I can give is: I'd suspect that having one mediator is probably still better than having zero mediators. Let's not make the perfect the enemy of the good. Plus, it's an essential part of the role to just be a catalyst for the conflict parties rather than try and steer the outcome towards any particular direction. (Of course, that is an ideal that is not perfectly aligned with how humans actually work.)

Perhaps you coordinating a group/arrangement with external people could be a great idea.

So far, every single time I've done ops work without guidance and under precarious financial circumstances has made me miserable and lead to outcomes I was less than satisfied with. I'm definitely not the right person to do this.

Plus, I have some evidence this will probably not work within any reasonable amount of effort: One person with an insider perspective of many EA orgs' conflicts said that so far, the limiting factor for hiring an external mediator was having one available who is sufficiently trusted. I.e., being known and trusted in the community is crucial for actually doing this. It's hard enough to build a reputation for myself, even if I'm around at conferences and in the forums a lot. Building a reputation on behalf of external mediators I work with seems like a near impossible task.

Huh, sounds plausible. At the same time, it has me wonder whether EA should imitate the corporate world less here. Wouldn't "Would it be high EV to have an EA insider with competence in this?" be a more relevant question than "Is this something that's already common and generally useful in the non-EA world?"

I guess the heuristic you point at is for avoiding vultures?

What would be cheap tests to determine if this would be valuable? 

Good prompt, thanks!

Mediation is a high risk/high reward activity, and I'd only want to work with EA orgs when I'm already sure that I can consistently deliver very high quality. So I started advertising mediation to private people on pay-what-you-want-basis now to build the necessary skill and confidence. If this works out, I'll progress to NGOs in a couple weeks.

The AuthRev and Relating Languages links look like nonsense to me.

I wince every time when I look at their homepages, way too optimized for selling stuff to a mainstream audience rather than providing value to rationalish people.

But, if you think Authentic Relating and Circling are legit (which a bunch of EAs in at least Germany and the Bay do), it makes sense to take AuthRev pretty seriously. Their facilitator trainings and their 350-page authentic relating games manual make them one of the core pillars of the community. Plus, some early-days CFAR folks were involved in co-founding the company.

That impression is very valuable evidence though. Afaict, AR is way more popular among EAs younger than the grantmaker generation.

Oh dear. Well, there goes that bit of evidence out the window.

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