Go read this New York Times report on SlateStarCodex and Silicon Valley tech leaders - 2021-02-13
Last year, the pseudonymous writer behind the SlateStarCodex blog abruptly shut it down, claiming a forthcoming story from The New York Times was going to reveal his real name and potentially put him in danger. Reporter Cade Metz says he was able to easily find the blogger's real name —Scott Siskind— online. After a farewell post on the blog, Metz says he and his editor were harassed online by its angry fans. Now, Metz's reporting on SlateStarCodex and the philosophical views that made it so popular is finally here. It's a compelling look at the mindset among many in Silicon Valley's tech industry.
It was nominally a blog, written by a Bay Area psychiatrist who called himself Scott Alexander (a near anagram of Slate Star Codex). It was also the epicenter of a community called the Rationalists, a group that aimed to re-examine the world through cold and careful thought
Rationalists, Metz writes, believe AI could eventually destroy the world. Many were very into the musings on SlateStarCodex. The blog was read by top venture capitalists and startup leaders, he writes, who felt it was up to them to build AI in a safe way. Most held a deep-seated distrust of mainstream media (and some even contemplated ways to target a "single vulnerable hostile reporter" for doxxing).