Re: Effective altruism has a sexual harassment problem... (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34646361)
EA appeals to exactly that kind of really-smart-person who is perfectly capable of convincing themselves that they're always right about everything. And from there, you can justify all kinds of terrible things.
I came to the same conclusion after a group of my friends got involved with the local rationalist and EA community, though for a different reason: Their drug habits.
They believed themselves to have a better grasp on human nature and behavior than the average person, and therefore believed they were better at controlling themselves. They also had a deep contrarian bias, which turned into a belief that drugs weren’t actually as bad as the system wanted us to believe.
Combine these two factors and they convinced themselves that they could harness recreational opioid use to improve their lives, but avoid the negative consequences that “normies” suffered by doing it wrong. I remember being at a party where several of them were explaining that they were on opioids right now and tried to use the fact that nothing terrible was happening as proof that they were performing rational drug use.
Long story short, the realities of recreational opioid use caught up with them and they were blind to the warning signs due to their hubris. I intentionally drifted away from that group around that time, so I don’t know what happened to them.
I will never forget how confident they were that addiction is something that only happens to other people, not rationalists like them.
PragmaticPulp, 1 day ago (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=34648499)