In 2019 Glen Weyl wrote the article Why I Am Not A Technocrat where he asserted that while he isn't a technocrat the rationality community is technocratic. I think he suffers from a case of projection because he fails to understand the problem of technocracy.
Weyl presents the challenge of one between the humanities on the one side and people believing in technology on the side. He sees himself on the side of the humanities and thinks that doesn't put in on the technocrat side.
In a reply to Scott, Weyl writes about him finding it surprising that Scott sees the technocratic response to COVID-19 a positive example. When talking about why it surprises him, he writes about him co-developing the Harvard Covid-Roadmap that was a lot worse then Audrey Tang's response in Taiwan.
Scott wrote about how the rationalist community with it's way of thinking did well on COVID-19 not that the technocrats in power, which partly includes Weyl, got things right. It seems that Weyl understands that his response was awful, but fails to understand why he's the kind of person who reacted with an awful technocratic response that is different from the rationalist response of our community.
What did the Covid-Roadmap get wrong? In the key points of the roadmap to tackle Covid it doesn't include any of the phrases:
science, experiment, trial, probability, uncertainty, knowledge, education, ventilation, mask, drug, vaccine, cost-benefit analysis, FDA, QALY, utility, work-from-home, distancing, bureaucracy
The roadmap calls for upholding bureaucracy by saying:
programs established by states and administered by local health authorities—can and should be fully aligned with civil liberties, due process, non-discrimination, data and health privacy protections, and health ethics.
From the Harvard perspective health ethics likely means the bioethics people who are the reason we don't have challenge trials. Managing to both avoid speaking about the need for science will at the same time advocating regulation that make it harder to do the necessary science is quite an accomplishment for Harvard ethicists.
As far as developing additional technology, the only new technology that they think should be developed is track-and-trace apps. They argue that it's important that any track-and-trace apps follows all the bureaucratic norms they can think of while considering adoption of the app unimportant enough to speak about policies that would make sure the app gets adopted.
If you haven't read the roadmap, you might ask yourself how Harvard, with it's anti-science position, thought we should respond to Covid. Harvard beliefs in problems getting solved by bureaucrats and advocates hiring 100,000 bureaucrats to do track-and-trace and do a lot of testing.
While Glen Weyl was willing to criticize the rationalist community as technocratic, he put his name under a technocratic treatise when lives were on the line and it mattered.
While rationalists spoke about the need for uncertainty about the effects of Covid, masks, building out vaccine factories and speeding up vaccine trials via challenge trials, Weyl sided with the people who prefer bureaucracy.
In addition to getting the priorities wrong, the roadmap also argued "Consensus is emerging about what we need." This means that Weyl signed up to a paper that argues that there's little uncertainty and any diverging opinions like those that call for masks should simply be ignored.
The problems of technocracy are about using bureaucracy and expert judgement when faced with uncertainty. Science and new technology development are different ways to deal with uncertainty and Weyl's article fails to see that distinction.
I'm uncertain whether Weyl put his name on the Harvard roadmap because he believed in it at the time or whether he didn't want to lose his good standard at Harvard and Yale but a crisis reveals a person. This crisis revealed Weyl as a technocrat.