Khorton comments on Why & How to Make Progress on Diversity & Inclusion in EA - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Khorton 26 October 2017 10:50:29PM 10 points [-]

I'm seeing a lot of comments questioning the literature around diversity improving performance. EA prizes accuracy, so that's a good thing.

However, I'm concerned we're falling into two very common traps of requiring women to prove themselves more competent than men and status quo bias.

In general, I'd expect teams to be diverse unless a non-diverse team can be proven more effective. Because so many EA leaders are currently white men, I can imagine some reasons why we might have less-diverse teams in the short-term, but my baseline expectation would always be to prefer a more diverse team all other things being equal.

Comment author: casebash 27 October 2017 01:46:19AM 3 points [-]

How do you think we are requiring women to prove themselves more competent than men? For example, if A says study X says P and B points at that it actually says Q, is this an example? Or were you thinking about something else?

Status quo bias exists, but there is also a counter-balancing action bias. When someone cares about an issue, they want to do something about it and they often fail to consider all of the secondary effects are reasons why you might not want to take a particular action.

That said, I am doubtful that there is nothing we can do on diversity.

Comment author: Fluttershy 26 October 2017 11:19:06PM 1 point [-]

Yeah, this sort of thing is basically always in danger of becoming politics all the way down. One good heuristic is to keep the goals you hope to satisfy by engaging in mind--if you want to figure out whether to accept an article's central claim, is the answer to your question decisive with respect to your decision? If you're trying to sway people, are you being careful to make sure it's plausibly deniable that you're doing anything other than truthseeking? If you're engaging because you think it's impactful to do so, are you treating your engagement as a tool rather than an end?