It's true some CFAR staff have used psychedelics, and I'm sure they've sometimes mentioned that in private conversation. But CFAR as an institution never advocated psychedelic use, and that wasn't just because it was illegal, it was because (as our mentorship and instructor trainings emphasize) psychedelics often harm people.
Yeah, this was the post I meant.
I agree manager/staff relations have often been less clear at CFAR than most places. I claim this isn't relevant here, since (as far as I know) there aren't really even borderline examples of this happening. The closest example to something like this I can think of is that staff occasionally invited their partners to attend or volunteer at workshops, which does I think pose risk of fucky power dynamics, although dramatically less, I think, than "the clear leader of an organization, who's revered by staff as a world-historically important philosopher upon whose actions the fate of the world rests, and who has unilateral power to fire any of them, sleeps with many employees."
Am I missing something here? The communication I read from CFAR seemed like it was trying to reveal as little as it could get away with, gradually saying more (and taking a harsher stance towards Brent) in response to public pressure, not like it was trying to help me, a reader, understand what had happened.
As lead author on the Brent post, I felt bummed reading this. I tried extremely hard to avoid letting my care for/interest in CFAR affect my descriptions of what happened, or my choices about what to describe. Anna and I spent huge amounts of time—at least double-digit hours, I think triple-digit—searching for ways our cognition might be biased or motivated, and trying to correct for that. We debated and introspected about it ad nauseam, ran drafts by friends of ours who seemed unusually likely to call us on bullshit, etc.
Looking back, my sense remains that we basically succeeded—i.e., that we described the situation about as accurately and neutrally as we could have. If I'm wrong about this... well, all I can say is that it wasn't for lack of trying.
I also feel (extremely) frustrated that you wrote this, Anna. I think there are a number of obvious and significant disanalogies between the situations at Leverage versus MIRI/CFAR. There's a lot to say here, but a few examples which seem especially salient:
Insofar as you agree with the above, Anna, I'd appreciate you stating that clearly, since I think saying "the OP speaks for me" implies you think the core analogy described in the OP was non-misleading.
I like the local discourse norm of trying to err on the side of assuming good faith. But like steven0461, in this case I have trouble believing this was misleading by accident. Given how obviously false, or at least seriously misleading, many of these claims are (as I think accurately described by Anna/Duncan/Eli), my lead hypothesis is that this post was written by a former staff member, who was posing as a current staff member to make the critique seem more damning/informed, who had some ax or another to grind and who was willing to engage in deception to get it ground.
Sure, but they led with "I'm a CFAR employee," which suggests they are a CFAR employee. Is this true?
I've worked at CFAR for most of the last 5 years, and this comment strikes me as so wildly incorrect and misleading that I have trouble believing it was in fact written by a current CFAR employee. Would you be willing to verify your identity with some mutually trusted 3rd party, who can confirm your report here? Ben Pace has offered to do this for people in the past.
It looks to me like one can buy this vaccine online without a prescription.
Are you tempted to drop or reduce the size of this trade in light of the UK seeming to have (roughly speaking, for now at least) contained B.1.1.7?
Yeah, makes sense. Fwiw, I have encountered one purportedly 97+ CRI lamp that looked awful to me.