[ExI] Security clearances

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sat May 14 20:37:07 UTC 2016

On 2016-05-14 21:01, BillK wrote:
> This may mean that the younger generation will find it extremely 
> difficult to get security clearance granted by the strait-laced older 
> generation of officials.

That is one of my concerns. How much does vetting and clearing 
perpetuate a particular culture or particular biases? I can easily 
imagine that this process could make for a community with very divergent 
views from the rest of society, simply because it selects people of a 
particular kind, who get to define what normal is, and from whom the 
next generation of selectors are selected.

I recently met the president for a major UK charity, who had noticed 
they mostly hired people from Oxbridge. Sure, those universities are 
good, but why were there no hires from the other universtities? They 
looked into the interview process and realized it consisted of having 
somebody ask the candidate tricky questions and discussing the answers 
over the span of an hour - exactly the same process as a tutorial in 
Oxford or Cambridge. The candidates had years of training for this 
situation. When they changed it to involve a group doing the same 
process, the Oxbridge dominance disappeared and they got other good 

Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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