More than 7,500 individuals signed a petition urging The Times to not publish his title, together with many outstanding figures within the tech trade. “Putting his full name in The Times,” the petitioners stated, “would meaningfully damage public discourse, by discouraging private citizens from sharing their thoughts in blog form.” On the web, many in Silicon Valley consider, everybody has the correct not solely to say what they need however to say it anonymously.
Amid all this, I spoke with Manoel Horta Ribeiro, a pc science researcher who explores social networks on the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. He was anxious that Slate Star Codex, like different communities, was permitting extremist views to trickle into the influential tech world. “A community like this gives voice to fringe groups,” he stated. “It gives a platform to people who hold more extreme views.”
But for Kelsey Piper and plenty of others, the principle situation got here all the way down to the title, and tying the person identified professionally and legally as Scott Siskind to his influential, and controversial, writings as Scott Alexander. Ms. Piper, who’s a journalist herself, for the information website Vox, stated she didn’t agree with the whole lot he had written, however she additionally felt his weblog was unfairly painted as an on-ramp to radical views. She anxious his views couldn’t be lowered to a single newspaper story.
I assured her my objective was to report on the weblog, and the Rationalists, with rigor and equity. But she felt that discussing each critics and supporters may very well be unfair. What I wanted to do, she stated, was by some means show statistically which facet was proper.
When I requested Mr. Altman if the dialog on websites like Slate Star Codex might push individuals towards poisonous beliefs, he stated he held “some empathy” for these issues. But, he added, “people need a forum to debate ideas.”
In August, Mr. Siskind restored his previous weblog posts to the web. And two weeks in the past, he relaunched his weblog on Substack, an organization with ties to each Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. He gave the weblog a brand new title: Astral Codex Ten. He hinted that Substack paid him $250,000 for a 12 months on the platform. And he indicated the corporate would give him all of the safety he wanted.
In his first publish, Mr. Siskind shared his full title.