More than 7,500 people have signed a petition calling for The Times not to publish his name, including many celebrities in the tech industry. “The inclusion of his full name in The Times, the plaintiffs said,” would meaningfully harm the public’s discussion, by discouraging private citizens from sharing their thoughts. think of them in terms of blogs. On the internet, many people in Silicon Valley believe that people not only have the right to say what they want, but also the right to say it anonymously.
Amid all this, I spoke with Manoel Horta Ribeiro, a computer science researcher exploring social networks at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He worries that Slate Star Codex, like other communities, is allowing extremist views to enter the world of technology with influence. “A community like this gives a voice to marginal groups,” he said. “It provides a platform for those with more extreme views.”
But for Kelsey Piper and many others, the main problem lies in the name, and binds the man who is professionally and legally known as Scott Siskind with influential and controversial writings. His is Scott Alexander. Ms. Piper, herself a journalist at the Vox news site, said she disagrees with everything he has written, but she also feels his blog is unfairly painted as a prop. for radical views. She worries that his opinion cannot be reduced to a newspaper story.
I assure her that my goal is to report on the blog and the rationalists, with rigor and fairness. But she feels that discussing both critics and supporters may not be fair. What I needed to do, she said, was somehow statistically proven which side was right.
When I asked Mr. Altman, of OpenAI, whether chats on sites like Slate Star Codex could push people to malicious beliefs, he said he had “some sympathy” for those this concern. However, he added, “people need a forum to debate ideas.”
In August, Mr. Siskind reinstated his old blog posts to the internet. And two weeks ago, he relaunched his blog on Substack, a company with ties to both Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. He gave the blog a new title: Astral Codex Ten. He hinted that Substack paid him $ 250,000 for a year on the platform. And he said the company will give him all the protection he needs.
In his first post, Mr. Siskind shared his full name.