Greater than 7,500 folks signed a petition urging The Occasions to not publish his title, together with many outstanding figures within the tech business. “Placing his full title in The Occasions, the petitioners stated, “would meaningfully injury public discourse, by discouraging non-public residents from sharing their ideas in weblog type.” On the web, many in Silicon Valley consider, everybody has the proper 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 Know-how in Lausanne. He was nervous 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 stated. “It provides a platform to individuals who maintain extra excessive views.”
However for Kelsey Piper and plenty of others, the primary difficulty 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 web site Vox, stated she didn’t agree with every thing he had written, however she additionally felt his weblog was unfairly painted as an on-ramp to radical views. She nervous his views couldn’t be lowered to a single newspaper story.
I assured her my objective 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 stated, was someway show statistically which aspect was proper.
After I requested Mr. Altman if the dialog on websites like Slate Star Codex might push folks towards poisonous beliefs, he stated he held “some empathy” for these issues. However, he added, “folks 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 publish, Mr. Siskind shared his full title.