T

temporalis

347 karmaJoined Nov 2022

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I just want to add that I can't think of anyone denying (1) - that there are actual observed differences in IQ tests between races.

I think you're mainly correct about individual EAs (though there are exceptions). People's general policy is not to explicitly deny it, it's just to ignore it, and shun those who mention it with a vague accusation of racism. But on a systematic level we clearly do deny it. For example, disparate impact tests, which punish firms for discrimination, assume equal levels of aptitude by race. Racial IQ gaps is not an acceptable defense in US civil rights lawsuits, nor in the court of public opinion if your group is accused of lacking diversity!

Seems like a cheap applause light unless you accompany it the equivalent stories about how the optimal number of almost any bad thing is not zero.

Everyone that was accused of assault was banned from the club. Members that engaged in more minor offenses were warned, and kicked out if they didn’t change. To my knowledge, no innocent people were kicked out by mistake (false accusations are rare). I think this made the community a much more pleasant place.  

I often see suggestions like this, so I think it's worth taking a minute to explain why this is a terrible idea. There is a reason both political parties abandoned this policy.

The idea that false accusations are rare is somewhat dubious. It's a commonly quoted idea, but when you dig down into the citations, the claim often relies on some dubious statistics (like simply assuming all accusations not proven false are true). For more details you can see here

Even if those statistics were correct, they are based on data from a previous time period, one where defendants were treated with considerably more due process. As such, there was much less incentive to create a false report. As society regresses back towards a witchhunt/lynching model, where an accusation is taken as sufficient proof of guilt, the incentive to make false accusations significantly increases. (I am curious how you can be so confident that no innocent people were kicked out by mistake if you really were following a shoot-first-ask-questions-later policy!)

So this policy is self-undermining. If you accept accusations as sufficient proof, strategic accusations will be made more often. We know many people, and the EA movement as a whole, have enemies; literally adopting such a policy would make us trivial to destroy. We often ask people to accept huge personal sacrifices and dedicate large fractions of their life to EA; no reasonable person would be willing to invest in the movement if they knew they were a hair-trigger away from exile at all time.

We use a spreadsheet that tracks racial and gender diversity and representativeness across cause areas. Along the way, we adjust our invites based on who has accepted so far to ensure a breadth of topics and expertise from a range of fields as well as racial and gender diversity across speakers. To be clear, we don't invite people to be speakers solely because of their race, gender, or cause area. We invite people we think will have interesting and useful things to say and have these systems to feature qualified people from underrepresented groups and subject matter experts from various fields.

This feels like a preemptive defense against a strawman of the criticism. I don't think anyone would suggest you're inviting people based solely on their race - that you're just mailing invitations to people selected totally at random among all their co-racialists. 

Presumably it is the case that, on the margin, you accepted some people because of their race or gender? That there are some people who were accepted who would have been rejected, if they had been otherwise as good a candidate (aptitude, alignment, interest, etc.) but of another race. And there are some people who were rejected who would have been accepted, if they had been otherwise as good a candidate (aptitude, alignment, interest, etc.) but of another race. 

No, saying that we should do X rather than Y does not mean you disrespect Y. It could just be you respect X even more, or disagree "respect" is the right framing, or think that X is required for Y.

In any case I think Cinera's argument that Bostrom's behavior was actually a positive update is somewhat credible.

I think it's pretty outrageous to suggest that the OP is allowed to make this argument in the post, by calling it 'discredited' and a 'disqualifying views', but commenters are not allowed to object. If you want to criticize someone for bringing an irrelevant issue into it, you should direct your ire at the OP.

Part of the goal is to persuade them to act more safely, and it's easier to do this if they are able to explain their perspective. Also, it allows others to evaluate their arguments. We can't adopt a rule that "people accused of doing something dangerous can't defend themselves" because sometimes after evaluating the arguments they are in the right - e.g. nuclear power, GMOs.

I agreed with you a few months ago; it does seem like FHI has suffered significant mismanagement, though as Sean suggests maybe a strong co-director would work also.

However, after recent events I think the case for him staying on is actually stronger, because it is important to set a precedent that we support people genuinely thinking for themselves and do not give in to bullying. I don't see how we can hope to build an inclusive community of original thinkers if everyone has a Sword of Damocles hanging over their head, knowing they might be denounced and fired if that became politically expedient. For more details on this I recommend Cinera's excellent post.

I also think you have significantly overstated your case in various places. For example, while CEA did condemn him, their statement was widely criticized and they ended up issuing a partial apology for it. You mention funding, but don't provide any evidence this will prevent FHI from fundraising; any funder that wants to promote a diverse and inclusive group of intellectuals producing novel work will have to accept that they will sometimes strongly disagree with grantees. Similarly, freedom of speech is a major concern for the english government right now, and it is currently passing a law to help combat cancel culture and defend academic freedom against pressure from university administrators. 

Finally, I'm not sure what you're referring to by 'discredited race science'. As I discussed with Habiba, Bostrom's views are not very different from those of scientifically informed leading anti-racism campaigners. They simply use slightly different wording.

Combining these two views, I think the best approach might be for him to step down or take on a strong co-director after a sufficiently long period has passed to make it clear he wasn't just giving in to pressure.

selection people having to be in a sufficiently positive frame of mind to take surveys (what exactly is the inverse selection effect you imagine from Westerners

In the west I think being willing to spend time to fill in a survey in return for $1.00 is probably a negative selection effect. Happy people are too busy being awesome.

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