[Question] What is Going On With CFAR?

Whispers have been going around on the internet. People have been talking, using words like “defunct” or “inactive” (not yet “dead”).

The last update to the website was December 2020 (the copyright on the website states “© Copyright 2011-2021 Center for Applied Rationality. All rights reserved.”), the last large-scale public communication was end of 2019 (that I know of).

If CFAR is now “defunct”, it might be useful for the rest of the world to know about that, because the problem of making humans and groups more rational hasn’t disappeared, and some people might want to pick up the challenge (and perhaps talk to people who were involved in it to rescue some of the conclusions and insights).

Additionally, it would be interesting to hear why the endeavour was abandoned in the end, to avoid going on wild goose-chases oneself (or, in the very boring case, to discover that they ran out of funding (though that appears unlikely to me)).

If CFAR isn’t “defunct”, I can see a few possibilities:

  • It’s working on some super-secret projects, perhaps in conjunction with MIRI (which sounds reasonable enough, but there’s still value left on the table with distributing rationality training and raising the civilizational sanity)

  • They are going about their regular business, but the social network they operate in is large enough that they don’t need to advertise on their website (I think this is unlikely, it contradicts most of the evidence in the comments linked above)

So, what is going on?