Comment author: DonyChristie 27 November 2017 09:48:25AM 0 points [-]

Did you look into coherence therapy or other modalities that use memory reconsolidation? It is theoretically more potent than CBT.

Comment author: ateabug 27 November 2017 08:56:45PM 2 points [-]

Could you provide any links to clinical trials that show coherence therapy to be effective compared to other therapies?

Comment author: ColinBested 18 November 2017 09:47:38PM 1 point [-]

I just played with Parable of the Polygons recently http://ncase.me/polygons/ and I think it illustrates a simple general strategy for building more diversity which may underly many of the strategies in this article. The simple strategy is to have a preference against high levels of sameness (/homogeneity), given that one already has a preference for more diversity. I think it is important to not be okay with a demographically homogenous EA movement, manifested with more general strategies, e.g. 'I will try to notice, feel bad/ disapproving, and do something about an EA meeting with over 80% white, male, tech, etc.', along with the many great general and specific strategies in this article.

Thanks for the article Kelly.

Also, parable of the polygons is fun to play around with, aside from its instructive benefits. :)

Comment author: ateabug 18 November 2017 10:22:25PM *  1 point [-]

'I will try to notice, feel bad/ disapproving, and do something about an EA meeting with over 80% white, male, tech, etc.'

This will only work if you get the 80% to have a preference for more diversity first (as explained in the Parable of the Polygons), otherwise it will be ineffective even if you are pushing for more diversity from the top.

Comment author: Michael_Wiebe 01 November 2017 09:52:46PM 0 points [-]

My understanding of Myers Briggs is that 'thinking' and 'feeling' are mutually exclusive, at least on average, in the sense that being more thinking-oriented means you're less feeling-oriented. The E vs. A framing is different, and it seems you could have people who score high in both. Is there any personality research on this?

Comment author: ateabug 02 November 2017 09:19:21PM 0 points [-]

Is there any personality research on this?

Doesn't personality psychology use the BIg Five instead of Myers Briggs? AFAIK there isn't enough research to determine the validity and usefulness of the 'thinking' / 'feeling' categories (and Myers Briggs in general).

Comment author: Khorton 31 October 2017 11:02:42PM 5 points [-]

Hi Wyatt,

I'm a Canadian currently studying public policy in London. I'm planning to write my dissertation on AI policy and gender, so naturally I'm fascinated by your organization.

The topics you're planning to discuss, especially the risk of a general artificial intelligence, seem quite sensitive. You didn't say a lot about your background. What relevant experience does your team have at handling sensitive issues or framing political debates? (I mean in your day jobs; I know the nonprofit is new.)

Kirsten

Comment author: ateabug 31 October 2017 11:48:22PM *  3 points [-]

I'm a Canadian currently studying public policy in London. I'm planning to write my dissertation on AI policy and gender, so naturally I'm fascinated by your organization.

Out of curiosity, what is the connection between AI policy and gender you're looking at?

Comment author: xccf 30 October 2017 05:12:23AM *  9 points [-]

Some more thoughts:

  • I mentioned my concern that pro-diversity efforts in EA might "spiral" towards a mob mentality. I think one way in which this might happen is if the people working towards diversity in EA recruit people from underrepresented groups that they know through other pro-diversity groups, which, as you mention, frequently suffer from a mob mentality. If the pool of underrepresented people we draw from is not selected this way (e.g. if the majority of black people who are joining EA are against affirmative action, as is true for the majority of the black population in general), then I'm less worried.

  • I think some of your suggestions are not entirely consistent. For example, you mention that EA should not "throw around the term “AI” with no qualification or explanation". From my perspective, if I was hearing about EA for the first time and someone felt the need to explain what "AI" was an acronym for, I would feel condescended to. I imagine this effect might be especially acute if I was a member of a minority group ("How dumb do these people think I am?") Similarly, you suggest that we cut our use of jargon. In practice, I think useful jargon is going to continue getting used no matter what. So the way this suggestion may be interpreted in practice is: Don't use jargon around people who are members of underrepresented groups. I think people from underrepresented groups will soon figure out they are being condescended to. I think a better idea is to remember that we were once ignorant about jargon ourselves, and make an effort to explain jargon to newbies. Hopefully they feel like members of the ingroup after they've mastered the lingo.

  • Relatedly, there is a question which I think sometimes gets tied up with the diversity question, but perhaps should not get tied up, which is the question of whether EA should aim more to be a committed, elite core vs a broad church. My impression is lots of people privately favor the committed, elite core approach. I think we can have both diversity and a committed, elite core: consider institutions such as Harvard which are both elite and diverse. Furthermore, I think being more public about our elitism might actually help with diversity, because we'd be making our standards clearer and more transparent, and we could rely less heavily on subjective first impressions. (CC Askell on "buzz talk".) To put it another way: although "diversity" and "inclusion" are often treated as synonyms, it's actually possible to be both "diverse" and "exclusive" (and this seems likely ideal).

  • A benefit of diversity you didn't mention: Insofar as the EA movement has world peace and global cooperation as part of our goals, it's useful to have people from as many different groups as possible. This is also useful if we want to be able to speak authoritatively on topics like how AI should be used for the benefit of humanity and whatnot.

  • Unjustified hunch here, but I think maybe another failure mode that can come up when a movement tries to increase diversity is that people who are underrepresented start to receive more attention. Even if this attention is positive (e.g. "How can we cater to people like you better?"), I think this can result in an increased level of self-consciousness. (See my previous point about how people who look different may feel self-conscious by default even if they're not discriminated against.) Further unjustified conjecture: the sort of black person who supports affirmative action tends to enjoy the power they get from this, whereas the sort of black person who doesn't support affirmative action doesn't like it, thereby enhancing the "spiral" effect.

  • Another possible failure mode: Diversity advocates see something they don't like (e.g. a person suggesting that women do not contribute to society and are leeches if they don’t offer men sex), and they want to root the problem out. In order to rally support, they let everyone know about the problem (like you did in this post). But by letting everyone know about the problem, they've also made it in to a bigger problem: now every woman who reads this post knows that someone, at one point in an EA-related discussion somewhere, made this outrageous claim--which results in those women feeling less welcome and more on edge. The toxic echo of this person's post continues to reverberate as it is held up as part of a broader trend within EA, even though their post itself was long ago deleted. (This could contribute to the "spiral" effect I described, if the women who stick around after hearing about posts like these are disproportionately those that enjoy engaging in flame wars with people who make outrageous statements.)

  • I mentioned the EA Survey. One thing you could do is look at existing EA survey data and try to understand whether our issues with underrepresentation seem to be getting better or worse over the years. My impression is that gender thing, at least, has gotten much better since EA was founded. In any case, if things are already on a good path, I'm more skeptical about major diversity initiatives--"if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Incidentally, I realized some of the points I'm making here are redundant with this essay which was already posted. (But I highly recommend reading it anyway, because it has some great points I hadn't thought of.)

Comment author: ateabug 30 October 2017 01:57:23PM *  1 point [-]

But by letting everyone know about the problem, they've also made it in to a bigger problem: now every woman who reads this post knows that someone, at one point in an EA-related discussion somewhere, made this outrageous claim--which results in those women feeling less welcome and more on edge. The toxic echo of this person's post continues to reverberate as it is held up as part of a broader trend within EA, even though their post itself was long ago deleted.

This can get very dangerous as it opens a door for trolls to negatively impact the community and potentially damage its reputation. Maybe these kinds of discussions need to be gated in some way, or be had offline or something.

Comment author: ateabug 28 October 2017 10:35:43PM *  2 points [-]

I'd like to point out that the main post is written in a somewhat "culture war"-y style, which is why it has attracted so many comments/criticisms (and within 3 days it already has more comments than any other thread one these forums, ever, as far as I can tell). Here's a somewhat similar thread that makes some good suggestions about diversity without getting too much into politics: http://effective-altruism.com/ea/mp/pitfalls_in_diversity_outreach/ (also take a look at the top comment).

Comment author: DonyChristie 26 October 2017 09:17:21PM *  22 points [-]

Discussion about inclusivity is really conspicuous by it's absence within EA. It's honeslty really weird we barely talk about it.

Are you sure? Here are some previous discussions (most of which were linked in the article above):

http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1ft/effective_altruism_for_animals_consideration_for/ http://effective-altruism.com/ea/ek/ea_diversity_unpacking_pandoras_box/ http://effective-altruism.com/ea/sm/ea_is_elitist_should_it_stay_that_way/ http://effective-altruism.com/ea/zu/making_ea_groups_more_welcoming/ http://effective-altruism.com/ea/mp/pitfalls_in_diversity_outreach/ http://effective-altruism.com/ea/1e1/ea_survey_2017_series_community_demographics/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/effective.altruists/permalink/1479443418778677/

I recall more discussions elsewhere in comments. Admittedly this is over several years. What would not barely talking about it look like, if not that?

Comment author: ateabug 28 October 2017 10:25:23PM *  4 points [-]

All these threads are framed in a very non-"culture war"-y style, and there is little disagreement or criticism expressed in the comments, which is why they feel inconspicuous. This one, on the other hand, has already amassed 200+ comments within 3 days, which is more than any other thread on this forum, as far as I can tell (the only one that gets anywhere close is an II/Gleb drama thread).