"Should Blackmail Be Legal" Hanson/Zvi Debate (Sun July 26th, 3pm PDT)

post by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2020-07-20T04:06:26.275Z · LW · GW · 13 comments



This weekend's LessWrong event is a debate! Robin Hanson and Zvi Mowshowitz will be debating blackmail this coming Sunday.

The Zoom link is here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85013937335. (Facebook event.)

We will release a recording and a transcript afterwards. There'll be a Q&A (live on Zoom).

See you there :)


Robin's initial post on the subject is Checkmate on Blackmail.

Zvi's initial post on the subject is Blackmail [LW · GW] (epistemic status: surprisingly controversial).

Paul Christiano and Tyler Cowen both wrote posts too, Checkmate on Blackmail? and Why should blackmail be illegal? respectively.

There's also a blackmail tag [? · GW] for various related posts (someone should write a description and add any missing posts).


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Zvi · 2020-07-27T00:27:44.680Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Congrats to Robin. He represented his side well. Looks like the crowd shifted substantially towards him after the debate.

I do not think I did as good a job, and in particular did not think to prepare concrete examples where legal blackmail would do harm, and had trouble thinking of good ones in the moment. Of course, now, it's easy to think of a list.

Part of that, ironically, is that I was afraid of my statements in a public form implicitly endorsing or admitting to something that could be used against me later.

comment by Bjartur Tómas · 2020-07-21T14:34:30.119Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have created this Google Calendar link if anyone wants to quickly setup a reminder: https://calendar.google.com/event?action=TEMPLATE&tmeid=MjM5cnQ3cmUwcW5lNXIxM3Nva2pqYTI4MXUgZGtrcXJnamwyM2R1aG8wcjIxZ3ZudWRuMjhAZw&tmsrc=dkkqrgjl23duho0r21gvnudn28%40group.calendar.google.com

comment by Rudi C (rudi-c) · 2020-07-25T14:00:56.603Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I recently got an email from JuliaCon, they had attached an ics file that contained all the events and I could just open it and my calendar would automatically import them and send me notifications. That's a good practice for event organizers.

comment by Zvi · 2020-07-27T00:19:38.845Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Looks like the meeting got cut off by the host?

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2020-07-27T00:34:26.470Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Alas, I'm going to call it 'technical failure'. The event is now over, apologies for the sudden end, but solid conversation from both, I learned a bunch.

comment by rockthecasbah · 2020-07-27T02:44:20.628Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I had the same question. Thanks for clarifying.

comment by Itsnotme · 2020-07-27T13:33:02.110Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Was the event recorded? Any chance to watch the record?

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2020-07-27T17:04:57.675Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There'll be a transcript up this week.

comment by finkoP · 2020-08-14T17:24:16.651Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Any progress with a transcript?

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2020-08-14T18:29:04.990Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

This week I'm on team retreat. Will get to the transcript next week.

comment by internety · 2020-09-10T00:50:31.610Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Hi Ben. Are you still planning to post a transcript sometime?

comment by Ben Pace (Benito) · 2020-09-10T00:51:51.398Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, I published it that week! Here's the highlights post [LW · GW], that links to the transcript.

comment by Czynski (JacobKopczynski) · 2020-07-26T22:10:07.660Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

It seems pretty unlikely that this debate will have anything novel to add. Zvi is obviously in the right, and Robin hasn't displayed the ability to generate new ideas in five years.