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

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Comment author: ScoobyDoo 27 October 2017 05:29:05AM 7 points [-]

Many of these are good arguments, and I really appreciate the honesty and detail Kelly has put forth here. But zoinks, some are also quite controversial, and not accepted by many scholars in academia.

Here are some sharp thinkers who argue against the notion that diversity and inclusion can be enforced without severe repercussions:

Prof. Jonathan Haidt's presentation on Truth and Social Justice.

Prof. Jordan Peterson's presentation on equity and authoritarianism.

Prof. and EA Geoff Miller's argument about the neurodiversity case for free speech.

Prof. Steven Pinker, who endorses MacAskill's book, and EA, and identifies as utilitarian, said these words in his book on the decline of violence:

“Politically correct sensibilities may bridle at the suggestion that a group of people, like a variety of fruit, may have features in common, but if they didn’t, there would be no cultural diversity to celebrate and no ethnic qualities to be proud of. Groups of people cohere because they really do share traits, albeit statistically. So a mind that generalizes about people from their category membership is not ipso facto defective. African Americans today really are more likely to be on welfare than whites, Jews really do have higher average incomes than WASPs, and business students really are more politically conservative than students in the arts — on average.

The problem with categorization is that it often goes beyond the statistics. For one thing, when people are pressured, distracted, or in an emotional state, they forget that a category is an approximation and act as if a stereotype applies to every last man, woman, and child. For another, people tend to moralize their categories, assigning praiseworthy traits to their allies and condemnable ones to their enemies. During World War II, for example, Americans thought that Russians had more positive traits than Germans; during the Cold War they thought it was the other way around.”

EA supporter Peter Thiel's comments on diversity from twenty years ago.

Professor Thomas Sowell gives his perspective on social justice. Sowell's book Vision of the Anointed has set ground for much of the discussion that came later.

There is the Heterodox EA Facebook group, inspired by Haidt's Heterodox Academy.