[LINK] Why I’m not on the Rationalist Masterlist

A long blog post ex­plains why the au­thor, a fem­i­nist, is not com­fortable with the ra­tio­nal­ist com­mu­nity de­spite think­ing it is “su­per cool and in­ter­est­ing”. It’s di­rected speci­fi­cally at Yvain, but it’s prob­a­bly gen­eral enough to be of some in­ter­est here.


I’m not sure if I can sum­ma­rize this fairly but the main thrust seems to be that we are overly will­ing to en­ter­tain offen­sive/​taboo/​hurt­ful ideas and this drives off many types of peo­ple. Here’s a quote:

In other words, priz­ing dis­course with­out limi­ta­tions (I tried to find a con­ve­nient anal­ogy for said limi­ta­tions and failed. Fen­ders? Safety belts?) will re­sult in an en­vi­ron­ment in which peo­ple are more com­fortable speak­ing the more so­cial priv­ilege they hold.

The au­thor per­ceives a link be­tween LW type open dis­course and dan­ger to minor­ity groups. I’m not sure whether that’s true or not. Take race. Many LWers are will­ing to en­ter­tain ideas about the ex­is­tence and pos­si­ble im­por­tance of av­er­age group differ­ences in psy­cholog­i­cal traits. So, maybe LWers are racists. But they’re racists who con­tinu­ally ob­sess over op­ti­miz­ing their philan­thropic con­tri­bu­tions to Afri­can char­i­ties. So, maybe not racists in a dan­ger­ous way?

An overly rosy view, per­haps, and I don’t want to deny the re­al­ity of the blog­ger’s ex­pe­rience. Clearly, the per­son is in­tel­li­gent and at­tracted to some as­pects of LW dis­course while turned off by other as­pects.