To share some anecdotal data: I personally have had positive experiences doing regular coaching calls with Kat this year and feel that her input has been very helpful.
I would encourage us all to put off updating until we also get the second side of the story—that generally seems like good practice to me whenever it is possible.
(also posted this comment on the EA forum)
I strongly disagree with the premise that we haven’t gotten the second side of the story.
I actually believe that the Bayesian evidence for what the second side of the story is is quite strong.
As Ben explains, Nonlinear was given three hours to provide their side of the story. I would strongly expect there to be a Pareto Principle thing that applies here. In the first hour, I’d expect that—let’s just make up numbers -- 70% of the thrust (ie. the big idea, not necessarily every little detail) of the “second side of the story” would be provided. Then in the next two hours, 90% of the thrust would have been provided. And from there, there continue to be diminishing returns.
Emerson did say that Ben’s paraphrasing was a “Good summary!”. There are caveats and more details discussed here, but even after taking those caveats and details into account, I still believe that Nonlinear’s response to their opinion of the paraphrase would have been very different if there were in fact important things about the paraphrase that were wrong or omitted.
Similarly, I would expect that, if there were important things here that were wrong or omitted, Nonlinear would write a comment expressing this within a day or two. As ElliotJDavies says, the accusations have happened for over a year, and so you’d think that Nonlinear would be able to provide the thrust of their response relatively quickly.
Note: In her post, Kat does discuss the point that even a relatively easy to dispute claim took them hours to refute (tracking down conversations and stuff). However, a simple “Here are the top five important and cruxy things that we believe are wrong or omitted. It will take some time to collect all of the evidence, but here is a quick description of the main things that we anticipate providing.” probably shouldn’t take more than a few hours.
There is a bunch more Bayesian evidence than this, but I think these three bullet points get the point across and are a good starting point.
I suppose people might dispute what “second side of the story” really means. My thoughts on this are that something along the lines of “received strong Bayesian evidence for the second side of the story” is the right place to draw the boundaries around what it means to have “gotten” the second side of the story.
Suppose that your friend Alice tells you about an argument she had with her partner Bob, and how Bob was being very contentious or something. It depends on the context of course, but I could imagine Alice’s telling you this not being very strong Bayesian evidence in favor of Bob actually acting very contentiously. In which case, I think it would make sense to say that you haven’t “gotten the second side of the story”. I don’t think that’s the type of thing that is happening with Nonlinear though.
So there’s a danger of: “I read the accusation, the response comes out and for whatever reason I don’t see it or I put it on my to-read list and forget, and I come out believing the false accusation”.
There’s also a danger of: “I don’t read the accusation, or read it and withhold judgment, pending the response. Then the response doesn’t come out when it was promised, and I think oh, these things sometimes take longer than expected, it’ll be here soon. And at some point I just forget that it never came out at all.” Or: “Then when the response comes out, it’s been long enough since I read the original that I don’t notice it’s actually a pretty weak response to it.”
So I dunno what good policy is in general.
This is also my concern. Especially considering non-linear have been aware of these accusations for over a year now, and don’t have a ready response.
Yeah, I think I’d be like “the situation seems to me like they really hurt some people and had basically successfully intimidated them into silence”, so to me it seems great to move the accusations into public view.
Personally, I think it’s correct to update somewhat, but in situations like this where only one side has shared their perspective, I’m much more likely to overupdate (“those monsters!”) so I have to guard against that.
I did hear your side for 3 hours and you changed my mind very little and admitted to a bunch of the dynamics (“our intention wasn’t just to have employees, but also to have members of our family unit”) and you said my summary was pretty good. You mostly laughed at every single accusation I brought up and IMO took nothing morally seriously and the only ex ante mistake you admitted to was “not firing Alice earlier”. You didn’t seem to understand the gravity of my accusations, or at least had no space for honestly considering that you’d seriously hurt and intimidated some people.
I think I would have been much more sympathetic to you if you had told me that you’d been actively letting people know about how terrible an experience your former employees had, and had encouraged people to speak with them, and if you at literally any point had explicitly considered the notion that you were morally culpable for their experiences.
and IMO took nothing morally seriously
and IMO took nothing morally seriously
Are there any good examples of this, because this would be pretty important for us to know.
Thinking about “situations like this” does sound like it could be helpful. Some come to mind, and caveat that it’s hard to remember how I felt at different points in time but:
Case one: if the accused ever gave their perspective, I don’t remember it.
Case two: the accused sharing their perspective initially made me more sympathetic to them, but that that was a mistake on my part because it turned out to be full of lies.
Case three: the accused sharing their perspective made me less sympathetic to them.
Case four: I dismissed the accusations offhand and think I was right to do so.
So this is weak evidence, but I don’t feel like I personally have a history of overupdating in the direction of “those monsters”.
I’m not sure if it was intended as such, but I see this to be very weak evidence for, for lack of a better phrase, the “correct judgement” being “in favor of” rather than “against” Nonlinear.
I say this because people who are manipulative and unethical (and narcissistic, and sociopathic...) tend to also be capable of being very charming, likable, and helpful. So I think it is very possible that Kat both is “significantly in the wrong” about various things while also having lots of positive interactions with others, in such a way that would make you think “surely someone so nice and friendly would never do all of these other unethical things”.