Why are your comments hidden on the EA Forum?
Added: It seems the author moved the relevant post back into their drafts.
No it’s not! Avoiding the action because you know you’ll be threatened until you change course is the same as submitting to the threat.
By the way Ian, I’ve not followed these posts in great detail and I mostly think getting involved in partisan politics in most straightforward ways seems like a bad idea, but I’ve really appreciated the level of effort you’ve put in and are clearly willing to put in to have an actual conversation about this (in comments here, with Wei Dai, with others). It’s made me feel more at home in the Forum. Thank you for that.
Naturally, you have to understand Rohin, that in all of the situations where you tell me what the threat is, I’m very motivated to do it anyway? It’s an emotion of stubbornness and anger, and when I flesh it out in game-theoretic terms it’s a strong signal of how much I’m willing to not submit to threats in general.
Returning to the emotional side, I want to say something like “f*ck you for threatening to kill people, I will never give you control over me and my community, and we will find you and we will make sure it was not worth it for you, at the cost of our own resources”.
It’s a good question. I’ve thought about this a bit in the past.
One surprising rule is that overall I think people with a criminal record should still be welcome to contribute in many ways. If you’re in prison, I think you should generally be allowed to e.g. submit papers to physics journals, you shouldn’t be precluded from contributing to humanity and science. Similarly, I think giving remote talks and publishing on the EA Forum should not be totally shut off (though likely hampered in some ways) for people who have behaved badly and broken laws. (Obviously different rules apply for hiring them and inviting them to in-person events, where you need to look at the kind of criminal behavior and see if it’s relevant.)
I feel fairly differently to people who have done damage in and to members of the EA community. Someone like Gleb Tsipursky hasn’t even broken any laws and should still be kicked out and not welcomed back for something like 10 years, and even then he probably won’t have changed enough (most people don’t).
In general EA is outcome-oriented, it’s not a hobby community, there’s sh*t that needs to be done because civilization is inadequate and literally everything is still at stake at this point in history. We want the best contributions and care about that to the exemption of people being fun or something. You hire the best person for the job.
There’s some tension there, and I think overall I am personally willing to put in a lot of resources in my outcome-oriented communities to make sure that people who contribute to the mission are given the spaces and help they need to positively contribute.
I can’t think of a good example that isn’t either of a literal person or too abstract… like, suppose Einstein has terrible allergies to most foods, just can’t be in the space as them. Can we have him at EAG? How much work am I willing to put in for him to have a good EAG? Do I have to figure out a way to feed everyone a very exclusive yet wholesome diet that means he can join? Perhaps.
Similarly, if I’m running a physics conference and Einstein is in prison for murder, will I have him in? Again, I’m pretty open to video calls, I’m pretty willing to put in the time to make sure everyone knows what sort of risks he is, and make sure he isn’t allowed to end up in a vulnerable situation with someone, because it’s worth it for our mission to have him contribute.
You get the picture. Y’know, tradeoffs, where you actually value something and are willing to put in extraordinary effort to make it work.
Thx for the long writeup. FWIW I will share some of my own impressions.
Robin’s one of the most generative and influential thinkers I know. He has consistently produced fascinating ideas and contributed to a lot of the core debates in EA, like giving now vs later, AI takeoff, prediction markets, great filter, and so on. His comments regarding common discussion of inequality are all of a kind with the whole of his ‘elephant in the brain work’, noticing weird potential hypocrisies in others. I don’t know how to easily summarize the level of his intellectual impact on the world, so I’ll stop here.
It seems like there’s been a couple of (2-4) news articles taking potshots at Hanson for his word choices, off the back of an angry mob, and this is just going to be a fairly standard worry for even mildly interesting or popular figures, given that the mob is going after people daily on Twitter. (As the OP says, not everyone, but anyone.)
It seems to me understandable if some new group like EA Munich (this was one of their first events?) feels out of their depth when trying to deal with the present-day information and social media ecosystem, and that’s why they messed up. But overall this level of lack of backbone mustn’t be the norm, else the majority of interesting thinkers will not be interested in interacting with EA. I am less interested in contributing-to and collaborating-with others in the EA community as a result of this. I mean, there’s lots of things I don’t like that are just small quibbles, which is your price for joining, but this kind of thing strikes at the basic core of what I think is necessary for EA to help guide civilization in a positive direction, as opposed to being some small cosmetic issue or personal discomfort.
Also, it seems to me like it would be a good idea for the folks at EA Munich to re-invite Robin to give the same talk, as a sign of goodwill. (I don’t expect they will and am not making a request, I’m saying what it seems like to me.)
Yeah. Well, not that they cannot be posted, but that they will not be frontpaged by the mods, and instead kept in the personal blog / community section, which has less visibility.
Added: As it currently says on the About page:
Community postsPosts that focus on the EA community itself are given a “community” tag. By default, these posts will be hidden from the list of posts on the Forum’s front page. You can change how these posts are displayed by using...
Posts that focus on the EA community itself are given a “community” tag. By default, these posts will be hidden from the list of posts on the Forum’s front page. You can change how these posts are displayed by using...
Thanks, I found this post to be quite clear and a helpful addition to the conversation.
(I like this post.)
You can subscribe with RSS via using the “Subscribe (RSS)” button at bottom of the left menu on the frontpage.
(Yes, I’m pretty sure this is the standard way to use those terms.)
I find Big 5 correlates very interesting, so thanks for doing this! The graphs make it very easy to see the differences.
For those who don’t know Zvi’s series, it has come out weekly, included case numbers and graphs, and analysis of the news that week. Here’s a few:
The latest: Covid 9/24: Until Morale Improves
Covid 9/10: Vitamin D
Covid 8/27: The Fall of the CDC
Covid 7/23: The Second Summit
Covid 6/25: The Dam Breaks
Covid 7/16: Becoming the Mask
Covid 7/2: It Could Be Worse
Plus some general analysis, like Seemingly Popular Covid-19 Model is Obvious Nonsense, and Covid-19: My Current Model which was a major factor in me choosing to stop cleaning all my packages and groceries and to stop putting takeout food in the oven for 15 minutes, as well as feeling safe about outdoors.
His 9⁄10 update on Vitamin D also caused me to make sure my family started taking Vitamin D, which is important because one of them has contracted the virus.
Do you mean CS or ML? Because (I believe) ML is an especially new and ‘flat’ field where it doesn’t take as long to get to the cutting edge, so it probably isn’t representative.
Yeah, I agree about how much variance in productivity is available, your numbers seem more reasonable. I’d actually edited it by the time you wrote your comment.
Also agree last year was probably unusually slow all round. I expect the comparison is still comparing like-with-like.
I read the top comment again after reading this comment by you, and I think I understand the original intent better now. I was mostly confused on initial reading, and while I thought SLG’s comment was otherwise good and I had a high prior on the intent being very cooperative, I couldn’t figure out what the first line meant other than “I expect I’m the underdog here”. I now read it as saying “I really don’t want to cause conflict needlessly, but I do care about discussing this topic,” which seems pretty positive to me. I am pretty pro SLG writing more comments like this in future when it seems to them like an important mistake is likely being made :)
By the way, I also was surprised by Rob only making 4 videos in the last year. But I actually now think Rob is producing a fairly standard number of high-quality videos annually.
The first reason is that (as Jonas points out upthread) he also did three for Computerphile, which brings his total to 7.
The second reason is that I looked into a bunch of top YouTube individual explainers, and I found that they produce a similar number of highly-produced videos annually. Here’s a few:
3 Blue 1 Brown has 10 highly produced videos in the last year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). He has other videos, which include a vide of Grant talking a walk, a short footnote video to one of the main ones, 10 lockdown livestream videos, and a video turning someone’s covid blogpost into a video. For highly produced videos, he’s averaging just under 1/month.
CGP Grey has 10 highly produced videos in the last year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). He has other videos, which include a video of CGP Grey talking a walk, a few videos of him exploring a thing like a spreadsheet or an old building, and one or two commentaries on other videos of his.
Vi Hart in her peak made 19 videos in one year (her first year, 9 years ago) all of which I think were of a similar quality level to each other.
Veritasium has 14 highlighy produced videos in the last year, plus one short video of the creator monologuing after their visit to NASA.
CGP Grey, 3Blue 1Brown and Veritasium I believe are working on their videos full time, so I think around 10 main videos plus assorted extra pieces is within standard range for highly successful explainers on YouTube. I think this suggests potentially Rob could make more videos to fill out the space between the videos on his channel, like Q&A livestreams and other small curiosities that he notices, and could plausibly be more productive a year in terms of making a couple more of the main, highly-produced videos.
But I know he does a fair bit of other work outside of his main channel, and also he is in some respects doing a harder task than some of the above, of explaining ideas from a new research field, and one with a lot of ethical concerns around the work, not just issues of how to explain things well, which I expect increases the amount of work that goes into the videos.
:) Appreciated the conversation! It also gave me an opportunity to clarify my own thoughts about success on YouTube and related things.
Following up, and sorry for continuing to critique after you already politely made an edit, but doesn’t that change your opinion of the object level thing, which is indeed the phenomenon Scott’s talking about? It’s great to send signals of cooperativeness and genuineness, and I appreciate So-Low Growth’s effort to do so, but adding in talk of how the concern is controversial is the standard example of opening a bravery debate.
The application of Scott’s post here would be to separate clarification of intent and bravery talk – in this situation, separating “I don’t intend any personal attack on this individual” from “My position is unpopular”. Again, the intention is not in question, it’s the topic, and that’s the phenomenon Scott’s discussing in his post.