Final year, the pseudonymous author behind the SlateStarCodex weblog abruptly shut it down, claiming a forthcoming story from The New York Times was going to disclose his actual title and probably put him at risk. Reporter Cade Metz says he was able to simply discover the blogger’s actual title —Scott Siskind— online. After a farewell publish on the weblog, Metz says he and his editor had been harassed online by its indignant followers. Now, Metz’s reporting on SlateStarCodex and the philosophical views that made it so widespread is lastly here. It’s a compelling have a look at the mindset amongst many in Silicon Valley’s tech business.
It was nominally a weblog, written by a Bay Space psychiatrist who known as himself Scott Alexander (a close to anagram of Slate Star Codex). It was also the epicenter of a group known as the Rationalists, a bunch that aimed to re-examine the world by chilly and cautious thought
Rationalists, Metz writes, imagine AI may finally destroy the world. Many had been very into the musings on SlateStarCodex. The weblog was read by high venture capitalists and startup leaders, he writes, who felt it was as much as them to construct AI in a Safe approach. Most held a deep-seated mistrust of mainstream media (and a few even contemplated ways to focus on a “single susceptible hostile reporter” for doxxing).
A part of the appeal of Slate Star Codex, devoted readers said, was Mr. Siskind’s willingness to step exterior acceptable matters. However he wrote in a wordy, typically roundabout approach that left many wondering what he actually believed.
Metz goes deep into the blend of matters SlateStarCodex touched on and the way the weblog resonated with contrarians in Silicon Valley and others with extra excessive views. Siskind has since reinstated outdated SlateStarCodex posts, and has launched a Substack publication for his continued musings the place he revealed his actual title.
Anyone who covers or performs shut attention to Silicon Valley and its tech culture has been witnessing this undercurrent of pressure for a while. Tech company leaders have a really particular view of what constitutes “free speech,” and lots of choose to not have their views challenged by journalists. However Metz’s article suggests that there’s truly a guiding philosophy, past libertarianism, one which most tech business leaders would favor be saved quiet. Go read his fascinating article Silicon Valley’s Safe Space.