Greater than 7,500 individuals signed a petition urging The Occasions to not publish his title, together with many distinguished figures within the tech trade. “Placing his full title in The Occasions, the petitioners mentioned, “would meaningfully harm public discourse, by discouraging non-public residents from sharing their ideas in weblog type.” On the web, many in Silicon Valley imagine, everybody has the appropriate not solely to say what they need however to say it anonymously.
Amid all this, I spoke with Manoel Horta Ribeiro, a pc science researcher who explores social networks on the Swiss Federal Institute of Expertise in Lausanne. He was anxious that Slate Star Codex, like other communities, was permitting extremist views to trickle into the influential tech world. “A neighborhood like this offers voice to fringe teams,” he mentioned. “It offers a platform to individuals who maintain extra excessive views.”
However for Kelsey Piper and plenty of others, the principle challenge got here right down to the title, and tying the person identified professionally and legally as Scott Siskind to his influential, and controversial, writings as Scott Alexander. Ms. Piper, who’s a journalist herself, for the information website Vox, mentioned she didn’t agree with every part he had written, however she additionally felt his weblog was unfairly painted as an on-ramp to radical views. She anxious his views couldn’t be decreased to a single newspaper story.
I assured her my purpose was to report on the weblog, and the Rationalists, with rigor and equity. However she felt that discussing each critics and supporters might be unfair. What I wanted to do, she mentioned, was in some way show statistically which aspect was proper.
After I requested Mr. Altman, of OpenAI, if the dialog on websites like Slate Star Codex may push individuals towards poisonous beliefs, he mentioned he held “some empathy” for these issues. However, he added, “individuals want a discussion board to debate concepts.”
In August, Mr. Siskind restored his previous weblog posts to the web. And two weeks in the past, he relaunched his weblog on Substack, an organization with ties to each Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. He gave the weblog a brand new title: Astral Codex Ten. He hinted that Substack paid him $250,000 for a 12 months on the platform. And he indicated the corporate would give him all of the safety he wanted.
In his first submit, Mr. Siskind shared his full title.