Is EA a community of elites?

post by Milan_Griffes · 2019-03-01T06:24:31.846Z · score: 7 (7 votes) · EA · GW · 6 comments

This is a question post.


    16 Khorton
    7 Evan_Gaensbauer
1 comment

More precisely: to what extent is EA a community of elites?

I mean "elite" in the "coastal elite" sense, not in the "extremely good at a certain task" sense.

This comment [EA · GW] on the giant EA jobs are really hard to get [EA · GW] (a) thread has me pondering...


answer by Khorton · 2019-03-01T09:50:03.757Z · score: 16 (5 votes) · EA · GW

Almost entirely. EA in London is very much targeted at middle-class, cosmopolitan young people. The majority of people I meet at those events have incomes in the 70th to 100th percentiles for the UK, despite being very young. They're generally well-travelled and usually come from a middle-class background. AFAIK, they exclusively voted 'remain.' ... What are the other signals of being an elite? I can probably find them in EA London.

comment by Khorton · 2019-03-01T09:58:12.883Z · score: 7 (3 votes) · EA · GW

I'm a little surprised that this is a question. Do people not know this?

comment by Milan_Griffes · 2019-03-01T10:02:32.692Z · score: 2 (1 votes) · EA · GW

"elite" feels like a fuzzy-enough concept that I'd guess different people have pretty different models of it.

I'm just curious to hear more about what people think around this, given that it's come up a few times on the giant "EA jobs" thread.

comment by Khorton · 2019-03-01T10:26:27.537Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA · GW

Yeah, that makes sense. Most of the people I know wouldn't call themselves elite, but I still think it's broadly true of my EA friends, even though there are other, elite-er people out there.

answer by Evan_Gaensbauer · 2019-03-01T09:29:54.022Z · score: 7 (4 votes) · EA · GW

"Coastal elite" brings to mind often mostly white, politically progressive people from well-to-do backgrounds. Most EAs are white and liberal, and I know a lot of them have gone to elite colleges or top universities. Demographically, they're similar. There are aspects of EA characterized as elitist, but I can't think of much else that comes to mind that makes EA clearly the same as the "coastal elite" stereotype. At least, while people may have anecdotes, I can't think of any more data from the EA community that's directly relevant.

comment by Milan_Griffes · 2019-03-01T09:52:56.759Z · score: 6 (3 votes) · EA · GW

Hmm... I'd bet that very few EAs voted for Trump, and even fewer would admit to having done so. (Just another dimension for assessing this.)


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