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I think where outside critics get it wrong, is the interpretation that because EA is funded by social elites, it actively sides/colludes with social elites.

In the reddit comment section they discuss this a little further. Specifically in this comment the author says that it is less the closeness of EA with powerful people, but that the philosophy of EA itself fits powerful people. So they can still do "dirty hand stuff" but justify it with "it is necessary for generating value to do good". I agree with the author here, that the philosophy of EA can provide this cover. And combined with the closeness to the power centers in the US, can derail.

SBF is a good example I think (please correct me if not. I am no EA follower and only here for the discussion). Crypto currency projects have currently very dubious value for humanity. To oversimplify a little: effectively consuming enormous amounts of energy in times of an energy crisis, while mostly being there so people can do financial speculations with the aim to become rich. How does this fit with doing good?