At one point an EA fund manager told me something like, “the infrastructure fund refuses to support anything involving rationality/rationalists as a policy.” Did a policy like this exist? Does it still?
Like Max, I don’t know about such a policy. I’d be very excited to fund promising projects to support the rationality community, eg funding local LessWrong/Astral Codex Ten groups.
I’m not aware of any such policy, which means that functionally it didn’t exist for this round.
I don’t know about what policies may have existed before I joined the EAIF, and generally don’t have much information about how previous fund managers made decisions. FWIW, I find it hard to believe that there was a policy like the one you suggest, at least for broad construals of ‘anything involving’. For instance, I would guess that some staff members working for organizations that were funded by the EAIF in previous rounds might identify at rationalists, and so if this counted as “something involving rationalists” previous grants would be inconsistent with that policy.
It sounds more plausible to me that perhaps previous EAIF managers agreed not to fund projects that primarily aim to build the rationality community or promote standard rationality content and don’t have a direct connection to the EA community or EA goals. (But again, I don’t know if that was the case.)
Speaking personally, and as is evident from some grants we made this round (e.g. this one), I’m generally fairly open to funding things that don’t have an “EA” branding and that contribute to “improving the work of projects that use the principles of effective altruism” (cf. official fund scope) in a rather indirect way. (See also some related thoughts in a different AMA answer.) Standard rationality/LessWrong content is not among the non-EA-branded things I’m generally most excited to promote, but I would still consider applications to that effect on a case-by-case basis rather than deciding based on a blanket policy. In addition, other fund managers might be more generically positive about promoting rationality content or building the rationality community than I am.