Silicon Valley’s Safe Space
More than 7,500 people, including several prominent figures in the tech industry, signed a petition urging The Times not to publish their names. “Putting his full name in the Times, the petitioners said,” would discourage public discourse meaningfully, by discouraging them from sharing their views in private in blog form. On the Internet, many in Silicon Valley believe, everyone has the right to not only say what they want, but to say it anonymously.
Amidst all this, I spoke with Manoel Horta Ribeiro, a computer science researcher who researches social networks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He was concerned that the Slate Star Codex, Like other communities, Allowing influential ideas to be manipulated in the world of influential technology. “That’s how a community gives voice to fringe groups,” he said. “It gives a platform to those who hold more extreme views.”
But for Kelsey Piper and many others, the main issue came up for the name, and tying the man as professionally and legally known as Scott Siskin, and the controversial, writing as Scott Alexander. For the news site Vox, who is a journalist herself, Ms. Piper said she did not agree with everything he had written, but also felt that her blog was misconstrued as a ramp up on radical views Was depicted. He was worried that his thoughts could not be less than a newspaper story.
I convinced him that my goal is to report on the blog and rationalists with rigor and impartiality. But she felt it might be unfair to discuss both critics and supporters. What I needed to do, he said, was somehow to statistically prove which side was correct.
When I talked about sites like Slat Star Codex, OKAI’s Mr. Asked Altman, if they could push people toward toxic belief, he said he had “some sympathy” for these concerns. But, he said, “people need a forum to debate ideas.”
In August, Mr. Sisind restored his old blog post to the Internet. And two weeks ago, he left his blog on Substack, a company with ties to both Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. He gave the blog a new title: Astral Codex Ten. He Indicated That subtack paid him $ 250,000 for a year on the platform. And he indicated that the company would give him all the security he needed.
In his first post, Mr. Sisind shared his full name.