Thursday, March 30, 2023

Cult Leader

People don't appreciate how deep into our politics these guys were getting.
Despite formal attempts by Alameda Research staff to push Bankman-Fried out at the time, figures including Oxford professor William MacAskill continued publicly burnishing the FTX founder’s image as he built one of the largest financial frauds of all time. MacAskill and others were ultimately rewarded for their defense of Bankman-Fried’s behavior in the form of funding and prestige as FTX appeared to succeed in later years.

This was not a matter of dismissed rumors and personal grudges, but of well-documented corporate processes derailed, in part, by people whose entire careers are premised on cultivating moral action. In April 2018, four top Alameda managers called a meeting to offer Bankman-Fried a buyout to leave the hedge fund, based on already-extensive concerns about his disdain for basic corporate processes and accounting.

According to Time, MacAskill was warned about Bankman-Fried’s behavior and the plan to oust him. So were Nick Beckstead, an EA-aligned moral philosopher, and Holden Karnofsky, co-CEO of EA-centric funding platform OpenPhilanthropy. MacAskill didn’t just dismiss the allegations against Bankman-Fried but “basically threatened” those raising the concerns, according to Naia Bouscal, a former software engineer at Alameda.
All those PR placed pieces, dutifully retyped by reporters, about how Will was some sort of monastic saint.

Haven't seen any of them go back and address whether they got scammed, because that's not how they roll.

How does this man have this position at Oxford? The answer, of course, is money.
Like all tumors, this one should be excised: MacAskill’s continued presence at Oxford, in particular, is a nasty, dripping blemish on the face of the entire field of academic philosophy.
Reporters often love investigating nasty goings on in academia, but not this one for some reason!