Emerson Spartz

Co-founded Nonlinear.org (x-risk incubator) and Superlinear (x-risk prizes/bounties).

Also into complex systems, history, and crypto.


Wiki Contributions


@Ben Pace  Can you please add at the top of the post "Nonlinear disputes at least 85 of the claims in this post and intends to publish a detailed point-by-point response.

They also published this short update giving an example of the kind of evidence they plan to demonstrate."

We keep hearing from people who don't know this. Our comments get buried, so they think your summary at the bottom contains the entirety of our response, though it is just the tip of the iceberg. As a result, they think your post marks the end of the story, and not the opening chapter.

"Alice quit being vegan while working there. She was sick with covid in a foreign country, with only the three Nonlinear cofounders around, but nobody in the house was willing to go out and get her vegan food, so she barely ate for 2 days."

Seems like other people besides Ruby are confused about this too, maybe also because Ben sometimes says "the Nonlinear cofounders" and Emerson/Kat/Drew

Just FYI Drew is not a cofounder of Nonlinear. That is another inaccurate claim from the article. He did not join full time until April 2022.

I'd like to kindly remind you that you are making a lot of judgments about my character based on a 10,000 word post written by someone who explicitly told you he was looking for negative information and only intended to share the worst information. 

That is his one paragraph paraphrase of a very complex situation and I think it's fine as far as it goes but it goes nowhere near far enough.  We have a mega post coming ASAP.

Ben has also been quietly fixing errors in the post, which I appreciate, but people are going around right now attacking us for things that Ben got wrong, because how would they know he quietly changed the post? 

This is why every time newspapers get caught making a mistake they issue a public retraction the next day to let everyone know. I believe Ben should make these retractions more visible.

This is more false info.  The approximate/expected total compensation was $70k which included far more than room and board and $1k a month.  

Chloe has also been falsely claiming we only had a verbal agreement but we have multiple written records.  

We'll share specifics and evidence in our upcoming post.

Just FYI, the original claim is a wild distortion of the truth.  We'll be providing evidence in our upcoming post.

Rob Bensinger replied with:

I think that there's a big difference between telling everyone "I didn't get the food I wanted, but they did get/offer to cook me vegan food, and I told them it was ok!" and "they refused to get me vegan food and I barely ate for 2 days".


And this:

This also updates me about Kat's take (as summarized by Ben Pace in the OP):

> Kat doesn’t trust Alice to tell the truth, and that Alice has a history of “catastrophic misunderstandings”.

When I read the post, I didn't see any particular reason for Kat to think this, and I worried it might be just be an attempt to dismiss a critic, given the aggressive way Nonlinear otherwise seems to have responded to criticisms.

With this new info, it now seems plausible to me that Kat was correct (even though I don't think this justifies threatening Alice or Ben in the way Kat and Emerson did). And if Kat's not correct, I still update that Kat was probably accurately stating her epistemic state, and that a lot of reasonable people might have reached the same epistemic state.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

1) I disagree with that interpretation.

2) She was not an employee of Nonlinear at the time, just a friend. Ben's post said she was, but that was a factual inaccuracy, one of many we are working hard to correct in our forthcoming post.

Just to clear up a view things:

  1. It was $70k in approximate/expected total compensation. The $1k a month was just a small part of the total compensation package.
  2. Despite false claims to the contrary, it wasn't just verbally agreed, we have written records.
  3. Despite false claims to the contrary, we were roughly on track to spend that much. This is another thing we will show evidence for ASAP, but there is a lot of accounting/record keeping etc to do to organize all the spending information, etc.

Yes, that is what I intended to communicate here, and I was worried people might think I was trying to suppress the article so I bolded this request to ensure people didn't misunderstand:

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