Go read this New York Times report on SlateStarCodex and Silicon Valley tech leaders

Final yr, the pseudonymous author behind the SlateStarCodex weblog abruptly shut it down, claiming a forthcoming story from The New York Occasions was going to disclose his actual title and doubtlessly put him in peril. Reporter Cade Metz says he was capable of simply discover the blogger’s actual title —Scott Siskind— on-line. After a farewell submit on the weblog, Metz says he and his editor have been harassed on-line by its indignant followers. Now, Metz’s reporting on SlateStarCodex and the philosophical views that made it so well-liked is lastly right here. It’s a compelling take 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 additionally the epicenter of a neighborhood known as the Rationalists, a bunch that aimed to re-examine the world by way of chilly and cautious thought

Rationalists, Metz writes, consider AI might ultimately destroy the world. Many have been very into the musings on SlateStarCodex. The weblog was learn by high enterprise capitalists and startup leaders, he writes, who felt it was as much as them to construct AI in a protected manner. Most held a deep-seated mistrust of mainstream media (and a few even contemplated methods to focus on a “single weak hostile reporter” for doxxing).

A part of the attraction of Slate Star Codex, trustworthy readers stated, was Mr. Siskind’s willingness to step exterior acceptable subjects. However he wrote in a wordy, typically roundabout manner that left many questioning what he actually believed.

Metz goes deep into the mix of subjects SlateStarCodex touched on and the way the weblog resonated with contrarians in Silicon Valley and others with extra excessive views. Siskind has since reinstated previous SlateStarCodex posts, and has launched a Substack newsletter for his continued musings the place he revealed his actual title.

Anybody who covers or performs shut consideration to Silicon Valley and its tech tradition has been witnessing this undercurrent of rigidity for a while. Tech firm leaders have a really particular view of what constitutes “free speech,” and plenty of favor to not have their views challenged by journalists. However Metz’s article means that there’s truly a guiding philosophy, past libertarianism, one which most tech business leaders would favor be saved quiet. Go learn his fascinating article Silicon Valley’s Safe Space.

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