Will the Effective Altruism Movement experience another major scandal not related to FTX by the end of 2023?
318
318
2K
resolved Jan 25
Resolved
YES

This market resolves "Yes" if, by 11:59 p.m. AoE on 31/12/2023 at least three Wikipedia-notable publications publish an article about the misbehavior of a major philosophical voice or financial donor of the Effective Altruism Movement that directly relates the purported behavior to the ideals or structure of the Effective Altruism movement (i.e. "Figure X accused of Embezzlement" does not count; "Figure X, sheltered by 'Effective Altruists', accused of Embezzlement," does). Reports by minor publications, accusations on Effective Altruism forums, etc. do not count. If no such thing occurs, this market resolves "No."

UPDATE 1 (13-1-2023 @ 10:01 P.M.): There is a Business Insider article that explicitly mentions Bostrom, his relationship to effective altruism, and the email scandal. Insofar as I can tell, this is the closest thing to an article about the scandal as it exists now that ties it to Effective Altruism. I am inclined to count this as one in favor of the requisite three, but am open to more discussion on this in the comments.
UPDATE 2 (17-1-2023 @ 7:54 A.M.): Discourse in the comments leaves me inclined to not count the above-linked article.

UPDATE 3 (20-1-2023 @ 9:57 A.M.): See the status of particular articles here. When three distinct articles on the same topic get a "Yes," that's what this market will resolve to. If the movement makes it the rest of the year without such an event, this market resolves "NO." This is not a change in the stipulations I laid out above, but rather a more effective and public way of tracking it than the analog method that I was probably going to end up using. Thanks to @HenriThunberg for making this spreadsheet.

Jan 23, 7:42am: Will the Effective Altruism Movement will experience another major scandal not related to FTX by the end of 2023? → Will the Effective Altruism Movement experience another major scandal not related to FTX by the end of 2023?

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bought Ṁ206 of YES

✅ EA mention
✅ "directly relates the purported behavior to the ideals or structure of the Effective Altruism movement", "Racism is one of the most pernicious and intractable causes of suffering and inequality in the world. And a philanthropy rooted in racist ideas will not alleviate injustice and poverty."
❓Depending on how you view "an article", an Opinion piece might not count. Since it's a regular author for the outlet, I think it should.
https://www.alternet.org/nick-bostom-perfect-congruence-bigotry/

3 for 3, then?

@HenriThunberg Yes, this counts for me and it is precisely the thing that I had in mind when I made this market. I am resolving it as "YES."

bought Ṁ100 of YES

If there’s a follow up to the truthdig article (written by the same author in response to comments), would that count as a third article?

https://twitter.com/xriskology/status/1617997942241243136?s=46&t=PiNDMrlLAQ11JdlEuk3XxQ

bought Ṁ100 of YES

@NathanNguyen I suggest no, on the spirit of it.

@NathanNguyen I would also go with "No," in reference to this question. If I allowed for that, Torres (or anyone else for that matter) could just take one small incident and write a bunch of articles about it. It would pass the market's measuring stick, but could easily be about something that is not at all a scandal to the rest of the world.

bought Ṁ10 of YES

I predict that many prominent effective altruists will simultaneously tweet the word "rationalussy". This will be a major scandal for the movement.

predicted YES

There’s an extra “will” in the title.

@EMcNeill Fixed that, thank you!

predicted YES

❌ Doesn't explicitly mention EA. But if you tried to describe salient aspects of a movement without explicitly naming it, this is pretty much how you would do it.
❌ "an article about the misbehavior of a major philosophical voice or financial donor" – I think the article is not about misbehavior, but general ponderings on existential risk that also mentions negative aspects of the thinking.
✅ "directly relates the purported behavior to the ideals or structure of the Effective Altruism movement" regarding Bostrom's email.
https://thepointmag.com/forms-of-life/apocalypse-soon/

@HenriThunberg "makes one worry about the whole Bostrom-adjacent thoughtspace." Honestly I am having a tough time with this one. It seems extremely likely to me that this person had the EA community in mind when they wrote that sentence. That being said, this article is not really about Bostrom's email or Effective Altruism specifically, so I think you are right in that is falls short on that front.

predicted YES

❌ Doesn't explicitly mention EA
❌ "an article about the misbehavior of a major philosophical voice or financial donor" – I think the article is not about misbehavior, but general ponderings on existential risk that also mentions negative aspects of the thinking.
✅ "directly relates the purported behavior to the ideals or structure of the Effective Altruism movement" regarding Bostrom's email.
https://thepointmag.com/forms-of-life/apocalypse-soon/

predicted YES

@HenriThunberg I can't edit or delete comments? 🤦

predicted NO

If an article is published that’s critical of EA in general and lists Bostrom in passing as an example of Something Bad, would that count?

@NathanNguyen I'm going to tentatively answer this "No" unless someone gives a good reason as to why I instead should say "Yes." The Emile Torres article was about Bostrom and mentioned specifically him, his email, EA, and the way everything is tied and impacts one another. The Jacobin article did the same. In those senses, they were about Bostrom and how his racism is a problem for or revealing of EA values. The Business Insider Article seems to sort of be along the lines of what you were describing, but it wasn't really "about" Bostrom, the email, or his connections to EA. Unless there are good reasons as to why I should count an article like that, I'm currently erring towards No.

bought Ṁ126 of YES

@amoebus Yep! 2/3 on the Bostrom email.

predicted NO

@amoebus I'm not an EA, and I share the opinion that most (although not all) of the 'HBD' movement is thinly-veiled traditional racism, but even so... HOLY guilt by association, Batman! The entire article is basically just a long, fancy version of 'some people who have had influence on movements adjacent to EA have said prejudiced things, therefore the EA movement is actually just racism and if we ever listened to anything EA had to say we'd get Holocaust 2.0'. Reading it was really depressing :(

predicted NO

@AngolaMaldives It was written by Emile Torres. This is to be expected.

predicted YES

@AngolaMaldives Agreed. I was shocked at how poorly thought out it was. You could very easily paint an equally nasty portrait of any movement via some guilt by association.

predicted YES

i thought the article was great and correctly laid out an argument that bostrom and hanson and scott alexander are white supremecists. you gotta believe that most people in EA aren't racists like these leaders are, and are annoyed at being unable to criticize EA leaders because they're scared of getting blacklisted. you gotta imagine a schism occurring this year in the EA institution

predicted YES

@JamieCrom, what makes you think that Scott Alexander is a white supremacist? In general, he seems like he does his research, and my mental model of him is somewhat center-leftish, but certainly not racist (in the sense of believing that there are meaningful biological differences between ethnicity A and B, that make B measurably worse than A.).

@CadeMataya I don’t think this article should count because the author explicitly sets out to dig up dirt on longtermism and EA, so it doesn’t actually provide any support for this being a “scandal.” A publication digging up dirt and writing a hit piece doesn’t make a scandal. It only becomes a scandal once other publications, without direct interest in the dirt digging, write about it.

@Yoav While this is a fair point (especially because of the Author's history with EA), the circumstances shift this, for me.
A scandal is some sort of misbehavior deemed morally wrong that results in public outrage. The way I have tried to measure this is by using Wikipedia-notable publications. I think that Bostrom's email clears the bar for scandal, the thing is that it has not been definitely linked to Effective Altruism by three publications. Admittedly, I could revise that, but I will grant that you may be right in that I should not count initial hit pieces as part of the three used to measure "scandal" (and there are some things that may not be reported on by major news sources that could constitute scandal; EA is not the center of the universe after all, so that marks a major limitation of this market's measuring stick, in my opinion). However, given the fact that Bostrom revealed this prior to Torres, I will count it, as the prior revelation was factored into the Truthdig article, meaning that it still constitutes a reaction to Bostrom's more recent behavior and is more than the original hit piece would have been.

predicted YES

@CadeMataya Though for full reference Torres admits it was them who went looking for the article which proceeded all this.

predicted NO

Weird that the market is still a lot higher than it was before even though Cade is no longer counting the Business Insider article as one of the three.

predicted YES

@JosephNoonan It's only 19 days into the year, and we've had two as-of-yet insufficiently noteworthy scandals with Bostrom and Tegmark playing the unlikely leads so far. At this rate @ScottAlexander will be doing blow off of underage hookers by mid-season. I'm strapping in for the ride.

predicted NO

@EdwardKmett *doing modafinil off of underage hookers

bought Ṁ0 of NO

@NathanNguyen I thought I was supposed to give an unlikely scenario?

predicted YES

@NathanNguyen lol too real

bought Ṁ10 of YES

@EdwardKmett Yeah, turns out I was wrong to say this, since Nathan Nguyen posted the Jacobin article that is counting towards the Bostrom scandal as was typing the comment. But oh well, I still made a profit by selling No shares just as it got down to near 50%.