All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - E32: Behind the scenes of Elon hosting SNL, CDC failures, America's real-time UBI experiment, post-COVID boom in jeopardy & more

Look at this red on my stock screen, I can’t believe what’s going on.

Stocks are down, doesn’t mean I’m a loser, I don’t know, I need some self-worth now.

Oh God.

In 3, 2, 1.

Let your winners ride.

Rainman David Sachs.

And it’s said we open-sourced it to the fans and they’ve just gone crazy with it.

Love you guys.

Queen of Kinwan.

I’m going all in.

Hey everybody, hey everybody, welcome back.

The All In podcast is back.

Apologies about last week, I had a personal emergency.

Are we allowed to say why?

Of course, I mean.

You can say it, go say it, say it.

Say it, it’s a humble brag.

With us today on the program.

Explain it, explain it.

Queen of Kinwan, David Freeburg, Tremont Folly, Hoppity and the Dictator.

And the Rainman himself, David Sachs.

I was on a world tour.

I was on a world tour.

No, no, no.

Come on.

I’ll tell the story.

Obviously I don’t like to talk about a certain friend of mine because he’s very high profile.

And I don’t talk about it in public.

Just flex.

Just flex.

Just do it and move on.

I have been lifting, I just want to let people know the good shows back.

No, you were backstage at SNL helping Elon with the SNL appearance.

This is true.

Tell us what that was like.

Tell us about the backstage experience at SNL.

Tell us about the backstage experience.

I mean, we were living it out in real time with you guys.

But tell us what it was really like.

First tell us why Elon recruited you to do it.

Are you Elon’s funniest friend?


Well, I mean, he’s got a lot of friends.

Guys, hold on.

Don’t you remember the joke at Sachs’ roast five years ago?

Remember when Elon was late and I had that ad-lib joke?

No, Jason, my thing.

When I was being roasted?


Wait, was it Jason’s party?


Oh, yeah, yeah.

I hosted Jason’s roast.

That’s right.

It was your roast.

It was your roast.



Okay, go ahead.

You’re the funniest.

Otherwise known as the funniest night of all of our collective lives.

It was really funny.

That was really funny.

We’ll have to tell stories from that sometime.

Sometime we’ll tell the J-Cow roast.

You probably are Elon’s funniest friend and have a talent for writing.

Let’s not beat around the bush.

You do.

Let’s not beat around the bush.


I’ll take the compliment.

So I left to go on a little trip to go to Austin to see some friends and then Miami to

see some friends.

One of those friends who I hooked up with and was hanging out with in Miami was obviously


And he was doing Saturday Night Live and we were just coming up with ideas around the

dinner table and we were just laughing our asses off, just brainstorming ideas that wouldn’t

never be allowed on television, you know, and he said, hey, would you come with me

to Saturday Night Live?

And I was like, oh, that’s great.

Do you have enough tickets?

I assumed he meant Saturday night, you know, and he said, no, I don’t have a lot of tickets.


It’s like half his money.

Would you come with me to the writer’s room and just, you know, be my wingman, basically.

So I had like three or four board meetings and five podcasts.

So I just, you know, I talked.

So it was like an instant yes?

You checked your schedule?

I was like.

You had to check your schedule?


I didn’t have to check my schedule.

No, I mean, I take my work seriously.

You’re like, Elon, Elon, can you give me about half a second to decide?

I had already made the decision in my mind that if my friend needs help, you guys have

been in similar situations where you’ve asked me for help.

I’ve rolled with Chamath on speaking gigs or going down to try to, you know, save Saks

from going into complete, utter madness.

Oh my God.


This is not crisis management.


So you said yes, you went.

So I said yes.

And, you know, without giving, well, without giving away anything that was private or confidential,

they have a process that they’ve been doing for 46 years.

And we came in, you know, with our own process of what we wanted to do.

And it kind of was, you know, kind of an interesting thing, because a lot of the ideas I had were,

let’s just say a little too far out for the cast or for the writers, but some of them


And I got to spend a lot of time with Lauren Michaels, and I really worked on my impersonation

of him.

He’s Canadian.

He’s Canadian.

And I was like, so Lauren, tell us, who were the worst hosts ever?

And he’s like, um, it’s an interesting question, Jason, you know, we don’t like to think of

it that way, but with, um, in terms of people who thought they were smart and maybe were

not as smart as they thought they were, Steven Seagal was a little bit difficult.

And there was Chris Christopherson, you know, back in 78, he wasn’t a musical guest.

That was Carly Simon.

And he liked to drink.

And in this very green room in 78, he had a couple of drinks during the rehearsal, the

dress rehearsal.

We all did some coffee.

And like any sports team, when the game starts, we play the game.

Okay, so who was responsible for the Chad skit?

Okay, so Chad’s an existing character.

And that was a really amazing one to watch, because we went to Brooklyn to a warehouse

and the production was incredible.

And the role I played, if I’m being totally honest, is to just, you know, be Elon’s friend

and be there with him.

But also, you know, was that funny for you?

Should I do that?

Punch up.

You were a punch up man.

I was a punch up guy.

I wrote some lines without, you know, taking anything away from the writers there who do

the bulk of the work and the actors and the set designers.

It is amazing to see what they do.

Like we had to go through 40 scripts and you know, when you read something in a script,

it’s kind of hard to know if it’s funny.

But then when you put Chloe or you know, Kate McKinnon or Colin Jost or Che or Mikey Day,

like these people are phenomenally talented.

So all of a sudden the script comes alive.

So for the two punch ups, I got really good.

I’ll just give you one anecdote because I don’t want to get myself in too much trouble.

Were you responsible for besties in the Gen Z hospital?

No comment on that one.

I thought that as soon as I saw it, I thought of you.

Yeah, of course.

The other one that I thought was incredibly well done was murder dirter.


So I had nothing to do with that one.

And I thought we thought that was like, we thought that one was incredibly dumb.

Like when you read it on the script, it was like, is this funny or not?

But they, you know, this is the thing, you add tremendous performance, and you add incredible

set design.

And we were we were in Brooklyn at three in the morning, and Ilan comes out with that

wig on in a suit.

We just started laughing hysterical.

And he just goes right into creepy priest.

It was hilarious.

That was great.

What about the Asperger’s joke?

Because yeah, that was me.

Yeah, because you use that as a tease amongst people we may mutually know a lot.


I was like, Oh, that’s a Jason show.

That’s actually what I’m proud of.

But what’s so ironic, no, but what’s so ironic is the Asperger’s joke came out.

And then everyone, all these press articles got written saying, Ilan has admitted publicly

to having Asperger’s and he is we are so proud of him.

And it is such a moment to come clean about having this this thing.

And it was like a Jason joke.

Yeah, this Jason joke that became a Oh my gosh, you know, what are the I’ll tell you,

I’m particularly proud of that one.

Because here’s how that one went down.

They had an idea to do Jeopardy.

And it was probably the flattest pitch.

Because you know, it’s like 11 o’clock at night, a writer comes in and says, we want

to do Jeopardy auditions.

And we want it’s a kind of a feature for the cast to do auditions.

I don’t know if you ever saw the Star Wars auditions, Jurassic Park auditions kind of

in that vein.

So I was like, for me, I was like, Oh, that sounds like it’s got potential.

But it was a very dry pitch.

They didn’t have any examples.

And when they actually did it, it was like really weird characters that were obscure.

So I had pitched my own version of Jeopardy and Elon had his version of Jeopardy.

Elon’s version of Jeopardy was Dictator Jeopardy, which was Kim Jong Un, you know, MBS, Putin,

you know, etc.

And then I was like, how to deal with your adversaries.

And he was like, for 800 and he’s like, Plutonium and I was like, Genocide, it got really dark.

So we are laughing our asses about that.

You know, but then like, there were security concerns, basically, we’re kind of dialing

this around.

It would be as funny as the, it would be a direct correlation of funny to the chances

of Elon being assassinated by one of those people.

So then we decided maybe we don’t do that one.

And I said, I’ve got a great idea, Asperger’s Jeopardy.

And it would be Zuck, Elizabeth Holmes, which Chloe from the show, who’s an absolute genius,

incredibly sweet.

And she really engaged deeply with Elon and connected with our team.

And then obviously, Elon.

And so you’d have Elon playing Zuck, somebody playing Elon, and then Chloe playing Elizabeth

Holmes, and they would be like, you know, how to deal with an intense situation with

an employee and then press it, don’t make eye contact, you know, like, so one of the

writers, I could tell she was not happy about this.

And she says, listen, my husband has Asperger’s, my two brothers have Asperger’s.

And all of a sudden, we’re in like, okay, you know.

We can’t offend anyone, Landon.

We can’t offend anybody, Landon.

I would say, you know, 80, 90% of the staff is very, you know, like, let’s go for it.

And then there’s probably 10 or 20 who are very sensitive to different topics.

And so there’s a little navigation you have to do there.

But we really want, and then so Elon goes, I have Asperger’s.

And you know, like the whole room is like, wow.

So then I was workshopping with somebody and I wasn’t in the writer’s room.

I contributed 2% that max.

Other than, you know, being Elon’s friend and supporting him.

But, you know, they came in and said, hey, when they didn’t want to ask Elon something,

they came to me.

And I negotiated some situations like they didn’t originally want to have any Dogefather

or any cryptocurrencies on the show.

We had to negotiate that.

Oh, my God.

Well, I mean, no, they have they have they have general counsel there.

They have standards.

They’re now on it.

Now we know why the show is not funny anymore.

There’s too many people with the veto.

I love the show.

I think it’s very funny.

I just think Elon made it culturally relevant for the first time in like a decade.

But what you’re describing is too many people with a veto right over the content of the


That’s what makes it not funny.

You got to be willing.

No, no, I think the show is very funny.

I think they take some artistic risk.

And what’s not funny to us might be like funny to some other folks.

So that’s why it’s hit or miss.

But certainly moving the show from 1130 on the West Coast definitely has an impact.

So what they could have done 10 years ago, before the timing was synced between the West

and East Coast is different.

They’re now on time.

There’s still a big cultural shift that’s happened.

It’s like, yeah, I’ll give you the two.

It’s not John Belushi anymore.

When the like the corporate CEO comes on the show and wants to do crazier, wilder stuff

than the people, you know, the regulars.

But anyway, keep going.

So anyway, you know, one of the folks who’s working on the monologue, you know, comes

in and the original monologue, you know, all these things go from rough to potential, to

good, to great, to amazing.

And so for me, it was, you know, just you guys know my career choice.

That just really made me think like, maybe I picked the wrong career choice because I’m

pretty fucking good at this.

I should do this.

So I started to call it at the after party.

I was like, you know, I’ve kind of made my money already.

Is there any chance I can get an internship?

He’s like, no.

But I think Jason, you can, you can always take credit for being the third or fourth

writer on Elon’s monologue.


So anyway, they’re doing the, they said they wanted to do an Asperger’s joke.

I said, so I wrote the Asperger joke of, you know, Hey, I just want to let people know

I’ve got Asperger’s.

And so there’s not going to be a lot of eye contact tonight.

So if you see me looking off screen, it’s not that I’m looking at cue cards.

It’s just that I have Asperger’s.

So they didn’t keep the cue card part, but they kept the rest of it.

And then they did the OJ joke, which was written by Colin Jost, who is absolutely phenomenal

as a human, just as a writer and a collaborator.

And we spent a lot of time with Colin Jost.

He came in and they had this joke about OJ having been on in 79 and 96.

The 96 was a joke.

He wasn’t actually on a 96.

I think that’s when he went to jail or something.

And I said to him, I said, I don’t think people understand the joke.

They actually think he was on a 96.

He goes, well, let’s just rehearse it.

So we’re in the green room rehearsing.

And Elon goes, you know, so hey, and you know, like OJ, like, you know, like I’m smoking

weed on every podcast.

That’s like saying OJ, you know, you know, you murdered once and now he’s a murderer

forever, you know.

And, you know, side note, he was on in 79 and 96.

And I just go like this and he killed both times.

And the room, there’s like a silence and then everybody goes hysterical.

It’s like one of my, you know, poker asides.

Yeah, that’s fabulous.

When I drop a joke and I take a sip of my wine.

That’s fabulous.

I bet there was like a split second where everyone looks left and right.

It’s like, is it okay to laugh?

No, that’s my point.

Like, is it okay to laugh at this?


And Colin Jost just looks at me and goes, that’s getting in there.

And so I landed that one.

So there were, you know, some moments like that.

For me, I tell you, I’ll get emotional talking about it.

It’s one of the happiest times I’ve ever seen in Elon’s life.

And I’ve been with him for 20 years.

Actually, I’ve known him for 25, obviously.

In the feeling of Monday and Tuesday that, oh my God, this could be a complete, utter disaster.

I mean, that was our fear.

And that like, we were just not in sync here.

And these, maybe it’s going to be unfunny.

And this is a huge mistake.

Like, that was kind of our vibe from our squad.

And we had three of us there, including Elon.

And then, you know, we, the Asperger jokes lands.

And I tell you, a woman from a wardrobe comes in and she’s crying.

She’s crying.

And she says, you know, she sees me first.

And we, she had been there when we were doing the joke.

And she said, my son, you know, was beat up for having Asperger’s.

And, you know, this changes everything.


Just tears.

It became like a serious thing.

Three or four people came in to the room.

I kid you’re not crying.

Oh my God.

One in 20 boys, I think now have Asperger’s.

Do you guys remember In Living Color?

Do you remember that show from the early 90s?


Oh my God.

Can you juxtapose like comedy today and comedy from In Living Color,

where they had like Damon Wayans as like the homeless guy

and like everything that would be so like non-PC today

and like totally inappropriate.

And how much things have shifted where like,

even the joke becomes like, you know, a serious kind of.

Can I ask a question?

Sorry, Jason, when people were getting emotional,

it was because of why they were like,

thank you for validating and putting it out there

and showing a role model.

One of the Squawk Alley guys, you know,

basically got choked up twice on Monday.

And he said, Elon can do no wrong in my mind now

because I’m dealing with a son who has Asperger’s

and they do something sometimes

that can be very challenging as a parent, right?

And it just explains a lot about,

and we all know people who have Asperger’s,

and we know people who have it further on the spectrum.

And as someone who’s been accused of being on the spectrum,

can I speak to this issue?

I mean, like, look, if anything, Asperger’s is correlated

with an extreme ability to focus and to be successful.

That’s why there’s so many people in tech

who have Asperger’s or have been accused

of having Asperger’s.

So I don’t know that it’s something

that people have to be, I guess,

unless you have like an extremely like extreme case,

like on the kind of in the autistic part of the spectrum,

but like mild Asperger’s probably is correlated

with success because it’s like the opposite of ADD, right?

It’s the extreme ability to focus.

But honestly, like what you’re describing to me

sounds so lame.

Like, this is why the show’s not funny anymore.

It’s not about the jokes.

Look, it should be about the jokes.

The joke landed, I disagree 100%.

That joke landed, it made everybody laugh.

It may have landed a little too close to somebody.

Hold on guys, guys, just to disintroduce.

The reason, David, you’re saying this

is because we all know, at least the three of us,

four of us, what did not make it

and what’s on the cutting room.

That’s why you’re saying it.

And so I think you have to just kind of move on.

And I can’t say what didn’t make it to the cutting room floor,

but I will tell you, I will reveal one skit

that made it to rehearsal.

No, you can’t, you cannot, you cannot.

I can.

It’s just one.

I mean, there was one they recorded,

which I think will come out as a digital short.

And the premise is FOMO Capital,

Fear of Missing Out Capital.

That was good.

That was a good one.

That was your idea or Elon’s?

I’m trying to remember where it originated.

We were just talking about, you know,

just the state of like people buying NFTs and everything.

And I think Elon may have said, like, they all have FOMO.

And then I was like, yeah,

I’d be like a venture capital firm.

And then he named it FOMO Capital.

So it was a little bit of a collaboration,

but I think mostly Elon in that one.

And this person comes in and the skit is hilarious.

So they’re probably going to release it as a digital short,

like cut for time, but release it.

And the skit, the person comes in

and there’s like an associate who’s being trained.

And they’re like, welcome to FOMO Capital,

where we never say no to nothing.

And he’s like, okay, I don’t know if I understand that.

Like sit down, you’ll get the hang of it.

And then people come in with increasingly ridiculous ideas.

And I’ll just tell you one of them,

which is when it comes in, it goes,

so you guys know Impossible Meats?

This is impossible vegetables.

These taste just like vegetables,

but this broccoli is made with endangered white rhinos.

And she takes a bite of it, tastes just like broccoli.

And Elon goes, this is amazing.

And they hand them a Picasso.

And then somebody comes in and says like,

it’s just hilarious.

It’s just more and more money being poured.

Why didn’t that get in the show?

Well, what they do is they do a two hour show

with a live audience and they just take out two or three skits.

And so there were three skits,

I think that were taken out for time.

And then those could be released digitally now.

So they just want to have extra.

They did a long opening.

They did like, I think it was like 10 minutes

on the Mother’s Day one.

Can I just say Miley Cyrus has the most incredible voice.

Oh my God.

I could listen to her sing forever.

Oh, she has got an incredible voice.

So I thought the opening was really shaky.

I mean, I was there.

This is the first time I’ve watched live TV

in like 10 years, ever since Apple TV was invented.

I’m sitting there waiting for Elon to come out

and crush the monologue.

And then Miley Cyrus does this long,

unfunny thing with all these mothers.

It’s great.

You know, it’s meant to be.

First of all, first of all, David, it’s not a thing.

It was a song.

It was a song.

It was a tribute.

It was a WTF moment for me.

I was like, where is Elon?

Bring out Elon.

I’m not here to see a bunch of mothers.

I mean, that’s an interesting, I’ll tell you,

that was an interesting moment, David.

Because they were like, Elon,

we’ll put you in like four of the skits out of the seven.

And Elon, and we don’t want to work, you know,

Elon too hard.

So I was doing these sort of sidebars

with some of the producers,

one in particular, who is just a phenomenon.

She’s, she’s an amazing producer

who just gets everything done.

Because this all occurs from Monday to Saturday.

And they work 16, 18 hours a day.

And, you know, she said, you know,

we don’t want to take up too much of his time.

So we think four is the right number.

And I said, you know, he gave up the week.

He’s the busiest guy in the world, arguably.

He wants to be in every skit.

And she’s like, well, nobody really does that.

Maybe a comedian here or there.

And Elon just said, if I’m here, use me.

I want to be in every skit.

And like, we had to like reshuffle the deck a bit.

And he was willing to do anything,

including Wario or, you know, and wear a costume

or be the creepy priest.

Elon was funny.

I think he surprised everyone

in terms of being a performer.

Just in terms of his performance.

I think it was really strong.

It was as good as like, you know,

someone who’s in the entertainment business would be,

I think.

Yeah, exactly.

It’s a universal take.

Even Elon’s sort of haters had to concede

that he performed well.

He kind of committed to all those roles,

even when it was like poking fun at himself.

Yeah, I had to dunk on Professor Dummy Galloway,

who was like, I’m going to live tweet Elon.

And he’s just like going on CNN, talking about Elon.

He’s going on every fucking cable channel he can

to like ride Elon’s coattails.

And he tweeted Elon would,

Tesla would lose 80, 90% of its value two years ago.

Like, just are you kidding me?

But I agree.

Like even someone like Professor Galloway,

who said Tesla was worthless.

He’s now just all over it.

And it humanized him, you know, which is nice.

I think he did a great job.

And it was fun.

I’m super happy for him.

Lauren Michaels came in and said,

Elon, you did a great job.

Come back any time, sincerely.

And I said, how about next year?

Like, uh,

You’re his agent.

You’re like his agent.

I’m like, basically, I’m his agent.

What do we, what do we do in sequel?

And he’s a punch up guy.

He’s the agent.

He’s the hype man.

The negotiator.

I was doing mostly negotiations.

And, and, and Lauren Michaels said,

absolutely, Jason, we’d love to have Elon back.

You absolutely crushed it.

And I, you know, Elon’s busy in the green room.

By the way, do we know what the ratings were?

A third best show of the season so far.

I think not counting all the YouTube views

and the international views.

I think Chappelle’s the only person who beat him.

So a couple of those, a couple of those skits

are going to live forever.

I think on YouTube.

I mean, the Chad skit in particular

was really hit it out of the park.

By the way, my observation on the skits were

the ones where Elon was kind of indispensable

were like the real, we’re really great.

Like the Chad thing.

And I thought that the Western run where, well,

LaRon, you know, where he plays this like 18th century

old West version of himself.

It’s like this genius in the old West.

Who’s telling them to ride electric horses or something.


For me, that was really funny.

So I thought the ones where Elon was sort of indispensable,

the more indispensable Elon was to the skit,

I thought the better it was.

And then some of the skits, I mean, look,

live sketch comedy is very hit or miss.

I thought the ones that were more missed

were the ones where they could have done them

without Elon.

It could have been a skit.

Any, any, you know, any SNL.

And it’s kind of like, yeah, it’s like,

why wouldn’t you take advantage of having Elon there?

And they did, you know, and just to the staff,

you know, first off, I’m sorry.

I was such a ruckus disruptor in the space.

But really, I mean, what a great time.

Elon had a great time.

The after party was amazing.

And describe the after party, were they wearing masks?

Oh, that’s a good segue.

That’s a good segue.

That’s outside.

No, I’ll just leave it outside.

It was an outside party.

But we danced until, this is actually for real.

And I think it’s a good segue into

just what we’re seeing out there.

I left San Francisco having been yelled at somebody

because my mask fell off.

I didn’t know it.

And I had gone into, you know, a store

and they were like, your mask.

And they yelled it across the store, you know,

and I was like, oh, sorry.

You know, it was just kind of, you know,

when they fall off, you don’t notice it.

Then I got to Austin.

And when I’m in Austin, I’m walking down the street.

I’m the only person in Austin wearing a mask.

And somebody points at me and goes,

you don’t have to wear that mask, son.

And I was like, oh, and I look around.

There’s nobody wearing a mask.

It’s my first day there.

And he goes, you’ve been vaccinated?

I said, yeah.

He goes, you really don’t need to wear a mask.

So I take the mask off.

I get to Florida.

A friend of mine was out, you know,

having a cocktail at a bar.

Invites me to meet him for a cocktail.

I go to meet him for a cocktail.

There’s a DJ and he who shall not be named.

Anyway, I went to have a cocktail,

as one does in Miami.

There’s 100, 200 people, 200 people in the club.

The only people wearing masks are the staff

who are wearing them as chin guards.

And I’m like, that’s not the purpose of this, but OK.

So and then I get to New York

and everybody in New York is wearing one

or two masks on the street.

And I walked down an empty street.

OK, so we should talk.

We should talk about that CDC article

that was in The New York Times,

because that’s an incredible summary, Jason,

of this whole issue in a nutshell,

which is it’s it’s unbelievable.

And then to just give Saturday Night Live a nod.

Every day, everybody tested.

You got, you know, two tests like that.

I forget the names of them now

since I stopped taking them.

But you did like the big one and the small one.

Every day you got tested.

Every day you got wristbands.

You had to wear a mask 100% of the time.

And then when you were in the studio,

you had to wear the glass shield.

So if you saw the picture I did of myself and Elon

and Blood Pop, Michael, who’s a famous producer

for Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga,

who’s a friend of ours, Mike had to wear it, too.

So we’re I mean, Elon had a mask on

because he had to take it off to do skits.

But all the rehearsals, everybody was masked up,

including the actors.

And everybody was vaccinated.

So they really are taking this seriously.

And I understand because they in New York,

they had a ton of people die.

And to get my understanding,

that’s what I heard secondhand,

was that Lauren Michaels had to get a special variance

to keep Saturday Night Live on the air

from, you know, the governor and the mayor

and everybody had to sign off on it.

But I tweeted-

This is not taking COVID seriously.

This is basically an irrational fear of COVID.

Well, because they got hit the hardest, David.

So I think that they got hit the hardest.

And I tweeted,

why is everybody wearing a mask in New York?

And of course, I got like 100,

because there’s a pandemic.

But then what the two reasons that made sense were

so many people died

and there was so much suffering in New York,

that people out of a sign of respect

are still wearing them

until they hit herd immunity officially,

which I know you could roll your eyes at, David.

But, you know, they did have a-

It would be an equation.

I don’t think that’s the real reason.

No, I do actually do think it’s the real reason.

Because multiple people said to me,

it’s a way of showing people

that you actually care about them

and that you’re going to really take this seriously

until the end.

No, I think it’s more what Ezra Klein said,

which is this is the red MAGA hat for Team Blue.

This is pure virtue signaling.


The other thing they said was on a practical basis,

in New York, you’re, you know,

on the subway, your office,

and in, you know, going into a cafe,

you have to wear it,

and you’re doing that 17 times a day.

So taking the mask on and off

just becomes less work than just leaving it on.

That’s, those were reasonable answers I got.

But anyway, somebody summarize the story.

Another reason I think is that,

look, if you’re in a blue part of the country,

the media sources for Team Blue

are still promoting this idea

that outdoor spread is a thing,

that it’s a risk.

We’re finally now getting,

I mean, we’ve known since last summer

that there were no cases,

no documented cases of casual outdoor spread

anywhere in the world.

The Atlantic was reporting on this, okay?

This is not a conservative publication.

This is a liberal, a skew liberal publication.

Liberal leaning.

Yes, exactly.

So we’ve known since last summer,

I mean, when Gavin Newsom declared

that we weren’t allowed to go to the beach,

it was widely mocked.

And so only now is the CDC getting around

to loosening its guidance on outdoor mask wearing,

but it’s still not loose enough.

And so there was a great article

by David Leonard in the New York Times

that just came out, I think yesterday

or two days ago,

about the cautious CDC.

And what he said is,

by the way, this just validates

everything we’ve been saying on the pod

for the last few months.

Leonard chronicles the sort of absurdly

conservative guidance given by the CDC.

Basically, the CDC continues to suggest

that outdoor transmission accounts

for up to 10% of cases,

when the real number is certainly under 1%,

is probably under 0.1%.

And this is all based on a single study

in Singapore that was misclassified.

It was based on a construction site

that really wasn’t even an outdoor spread.

And yet the CDC still insists

that unvaccinated people need

to wear masks outdoors,

that vaccinated people wear them

in large public values,

and that children at summer camp

wear them at all times.

This is the current CDC guidance.

And so yesterday, when the head of the CDC

was pulled in front of a congressional hearing

and asked about this,

she doubled down on this less than 10%.

And the reason why it’s so misleading

is technically speaking,

less than 10% is correct.

But when the real number is 0.001%

or something like that,

it’s highly misleading to give 10%.

And the reason-

The line in the article, which I loved is,

it is accurate to say that sharks eat

less than 200,000 humans a year.

But it is also more accurate to say

sharks attack 150 humans a year.


And 150 is very different than 200,000.

But if you say sharks attack,

you know, 200,000 people or less a year,

you would think that it’s a much bigger problem

than it actually is.

And I think that’s the whole point,

which is, we’re not being scientific,

we’re being emotional and reactive.

And the paper that Leonard references,

basically, they took this data

that identified how spread was occurring empirically,

and identifying, you know, through tracing,

you know, where are people actually picking up COVID.

And that’s really where this empirical evidence suggests,

we’re talking about a less than 0.1%

casual outdoor spread rate.

And you can see that empirically

in the data.

But then there’s also this deterministic kind of approach

where you could say, like, look, how does spread happen?

Spread happens with viruses.

We know that viruses need to live in liquid

in order to survive when you’re outdoors.

If there’s any amount of wind or UV light,

the virus can very quickly degrade,

the protein can degrade, the RNA doesn’t transfer.

And so there’s a deterministic rationale

for scientific rationale for why that may be the case.

And this evidence that this paper,

which I’ve now shared, kind of gathers together

shows that, you know, that is indeed

what the statistics are showing.

And so yeah, you’re right.

But I think the precautionary principle,

David, is where the argument would be made

on the other side, which is, you know,

what’s the cost of wearing a mask

if there’s any risk at all?

And by the way, I’m not making this case personally,

but I think that’s where a lot of people

would make the counter argument.

Rather than debate the facts and the evidence

and the science, they would say,

but who cares?

It’s just a mask.

Why does that matter?

And so I think the question is,

why does it matter, right?

Like, why does it matter if they’re telling us

to wear masks?

Is there really that much of a cost

to people to do that?

Well, I mean, if people are doing it voluntarily,

that’s their right to do so.

But the question is mass mandate.

Should we continue to have mandates

on the population for something

that isn’t necessary?

And look, I was one of the first people

in March of 2000 to call for

mass wearing and mass mandates

because we were seeing the data

out of the Asian countries

showing that they were effective.

They were high cost or high benefit,

low cost.

So I was in favor of it

when there was a pandemic raging.

But when T zero, the rate of transmission

is in free fall everywhere,

and now we’ve learned that outdoor spread

is not an issue,

I don’t support restricting people’s freedom.

And if, you know, for a reason

that’s not rooted in science.

And, you know, the problem

with the CDC guidance

is that people really act on it.

So you’ve got politicians,

you’ve got local jurisdictions

who will not do schools.

I mean, so the schools

have remained closed.

And by the way, the schools have been open

in Texas and Florida for six months.

We know based on empirical data

in the real world,

seeing what’s happening

in Texas and Florida,

that you’re not seeing an increase

in COVID cases in those places

because of school reopening.

And yet the CDC has not moved

its guidance on school reopening.

You have summer camps now

that for liability reasons

will make kids wear masks

because they can’t take the risk

of getting sued.

And then you’ve got politicians

like Gavin Newsom

who won’t wipe their ass

without the CDC’s

permission to do so.

So it has a real consequence

in the real world

that the CDC is stuck

on this ridiculous guidance.

Did we read the actual sentence

from the New York Times

about under 10%?

So you could read it

because it’s really sad, actually.

Just in terms of

the misleading CDC numbers,

they said, in quotes,

under 10% of the spread

has occurred outside.

When in reality,

the share of transmission

that occurred outdoors

seems to be below 1%

and maybe below 0.1%

multiple epidemiologists told me.

Right. Well, also read the quote.

This is directly from David Leonard

of the New York Times.

And I think it’s important to,

you know, it’s great

when you can quote

the New York Times

or the Atlantic

because these are

left-leaning publications.

So Team Blue should be

more willing to accept them.

What Leonard said is

there is not a single

documented COVID infection

anywhere in the world

from casual outdoor interactions.

But do people know that?

I mean, do the people

walking down the street

with masks on know that?

They’ll know it now

because according,

by the way, did you guys know?

Jason just told me this.

We accumulate a million

views slash listens

a week to our podcast.

Yeah, now the archive’s growing.


So now a million people

will at least know.

I mean, at least.

I think it’s, you know,

it’s a little bit self-selective.

So let’s be honest.

Yeah, for intelligence.

I mean, the people weren’t.

No, no, no.

But the real question is like,

isn’t this an opportunity

for the CDC to actually

reestablish some credibility,

which is to say, OK,

we’re going to get back to facts.

We’re not going to.

We are not.

We know that people will be prone

to acting on anecdote and emotion.

So we’re going to be

grounded in truth.

In fact, we went back.

We looked at the Singapore study.

Here are the flaws in it.

Here’s how it applies.

And so we’re going to own it

and revise it.

And that would go such a long way.

The fact is,

it’s important to understand,

like, what do you think

the incentives are for them

to keep doubling down

on bad decision making?

There’s no downside.

I think I said this.

I think I said this a few months ago,

which is I don’t think that the CDC

or any kind of medical,

you know, administrative

group in particular

has to think about

the synthesis of the effects

of some of the policy

that they’re recommending.

Their objective is to save lives.

So if I’m running the CDC,

I’m going to tell people,

don’t leave your home ever.

Don’t drink alcohol.

Don’t eat red meat exercise.

You have to exercise 60 minutes a day

or you get taxed.

I mean, there’s a lot of things

that you could see

if you were purely focused

on saving lives,

you would make specific recommendations

only to save lives

without thinking about

the consequences

outside of saving lives.

The consequences outside of saving lives

of telling people to wear masks

is it minimizes economic activity,

some might argue.

Therefore, there’s going to be

an impact on airlines

and hotels and outdoor

thing and spending

and all this other people

being willing to go to work

and people being afraid

of being in the office.

I mean, I see this.

I see this across

all my companies

where people,

even though they’re vaccinated

and they’re scientists,

they’re afraid to go to work.

And so, you know,

part of the perpetuation

of the fear that arises

from these policies

that are all about

the absolute saving of any life

is that you end up

having a significant cost

that’s not related

to the objectives

of that particular

medical organization.

And we see it around the world.

Sorry, this just goes back

to what I said about leadership.

A few episodes ago,

which is the leadership

of the administration

should be synthesizing

the recommendation

of that group,

along with the effect

that other groups

might be indicating

would arise from

that recommendation

and coming up with

a kind of concrete,

you know, kind of objective

around, okay, well,

how do we balance these

these different effects?

What you’re saying

is absolutely correct.

The people who are

making the decisions

are only thinking about

their responsibility.

So it’s like a secret

service agent

when the president’s like,

can I go out and sign


Absolutely not.

They’re going to say no,

because they are responsible

for keeping the president alive.

Now, the other

pernicious thing about this

is they kept trying

to game the public

and the public

when you try to game

the public and you get caught

where they say don’t

Fauci says don’t wear a mask

because he doesn’t want

to run out of masks.

Then they say,

keep the masks on

because they want to,

you know, virtue signal

or whatever it is,

or they won’t simply say

the vaccine is not dangerous

or that the vaccine

is actually going to

keep you from dying.

They undersold the vaccine

and now everybody’s

going to question

everything they do

for all time.

Don’t manage us.

Manage the facts.

Stop trying to manage people

and just start managing

your communication

and make it crisp

and clear.

And then somebody

has to be a goddamn

leader and say,

OK, the doctors

are saying this.

The economy is saying this.

And here’s how those

two things overlap.

In schools being closed

means more suicide

in kids,

more depression in kids,

and people not being

able to put food

on their tables

means we’re going to create

who knows what

this economic policy

is going to create,

which is another segue.

David, you had something to say.

Well, look, I agree with that,

but I think you guys

are being a little bit

too charitable to the CDC.

It’s not just that they’re wrong

and it’s not just that

they have a bureaucratic

incentive for CYA

and to be too conservative

in their guidance.

It’s the fact that when

an error gets pointed out,

like by David Leonhard

in the New York Times,

they double down on the lie.

And so, Leonhard

followed up his article.

It happened.

So, go to this tweet

that I just put in the chat.

He said,

at a Senate hearing today,

Senator Collins asked

CDC Director Dr. Walensky

about today’s edition

of Morning,

which was his article,

which explains why the CDC’s claim

that less than 10% of COVID

transmission is misleading.

And Walensky then doubles down

and has a bunch of excuses

and basically defends

this 10% number,

which is a lie.

Now, why would the CDC

be doing this?

There was separate reporting

by the New York Post.

Go to this article

on teachers’ unions

collaborated with the CDC

on school reopenings.

So, this guidance

that the CDC put forward

on school reopenings,

the teachers’ unions

were part of writing

that guidance.

And all of their suggestions

were actually accepted

and incorporated by the CDC.

Now, how is this science?

This is politics.

Last year,

there were a bunch of articles

accusing the Trump administration

of incorporating,

you know, political considerations

into their guidance.

There were huge scandals about this.

Where is the reporting today

about the influence

that the teachers’ unions

are wielding over the CDC

to deliberately keep schools closed,

even though the science

does not support that?

This is a gigantic scandal,

and yet no one’s covering it.

It’s left for the New York Post

to cover this

instead of the New York Times.

By the way, I think

this is a good transition

to that Druckenmiller interview,

because, you know,

Saxe, I just retweeted

what you had sent,

which was a link to the video


So, you know, Stanley Druckenmiller

is this incredible investor.


G-O-A-T, goat.

There’s many stories

about Druckenmiller.

At one point, you know,

he’s the guy that notoriously,

they say, broke the Bank of England,

where he was betting

against the British pound

and forced the central bankers

in the UK to devalue the pound.

And he’s made billions of dollars

managing initially George Soros’ money

and then spun off

and runs his own money now

as an investor.

And so he’s a macro guy.

So he thinks about kind of

macroeconomic conditions and effects.

And he talks a lot about Fed policy.

So he gave this interview on CNBC.

And I think the, you know,

the most kind of prescient quote,

and it was also based on an op-ed

he wrote, right, Saxe,

in the Wall Street Journal?

Yeah, yeah.

But the interview is fantastic.

The TV interview is great.

Just watch that.

The interview is great.

And he said, in the write up,

he said, clinging to an emergency

after the emergency has passed

is what the Fed behavior

indicates right now.

And I think that, you know,

kind of what we’re talking about broadly

is perhaps the emergency

in the United States

where you have this uncontrolled

increase in COVID cases.

That’s not the case today.

So the emergency has passed.

We still have COVID,

but it is not an emergency.

And the point is,

there’s a lot of institutions

and individuals and businesses

that are still operating

as if we were in the throes

of the emergency.

And so Druckenmiller is making the case

that the Fed,

and the Fed policy is acting

as if we’re in an emergency.

But broadly, we’re seeing this

across a lot of institutions

like the teachers unions and others

where people are effectively,

you know, never let a good emergency

go by without taking advantage

or whatever the saying is.

Never waste a crisis.

Never waste a crisis.

And the crisis,

keep the crisis going

is kind of the model

everyone’s in right now.

Milk the crisis.

Milk the crisis.

They’re keeping it going

as long as they can.

And Druckenmiller gave

some pretty amazing quotes.

He said that, well, first of all,

he described our current

monetary fiscal policy

as being the most radical

he had ever seen.

And this guy’s been watching markets

for decades.

The Fed has pumped 2.5 trillion

of QE into the economy


post-retail recovery.

He said that right now,

retail demand is five years

above trend,

meaning not only has retail demand

fully recovered,

it’s where,

if you look at the trend line,

it would be five years from now.

So they are pumping

demand like crazy.

They’ve issued 6 trillion

of new debt.

And then this is the thing

I didn’t know at all.

He said the Fed is buying

60 percent of new debt issues.

Without this,

the bond market would be

rejecting this massive

fiscal expansion

because interest rates

would become prohibitive.

And he said that when

interest rates revert to the norm,

the historical norm,

interest expense on our debt

will be 30 percent

of the government budget.

So, I mean, think about that.

Look, the markets

have had to intervene

and we have essentially decoupled

what the government

thinks is happening

with what the capital markets

needs people to know.

And that’s a really unique dynamic.

I’m not nearly as successful as Stan

or have been in the markets

as long as him,

but in my 20 years,

this is the first time

I’ve really seen that.

So just to give you a sense of this,

the markets are now

acting to establish

inflation expectations

that the Fed just seems to not

want to do anything about.

And what was so for

just to give you guys

a sense of this,

like, you know, when in February,

the markets really kind of

had its first capitulation.

What happened was that

all of a sudden people digested

all these facts that Stan just said

and realized, wait a minute,

like all of this money

is going to drive prices higher.

And so what they did was

they took the yield

on the 10 year bond

up by like 100 basis points

and the markets freaked out.

They went from like 0.75 to 1.75.

And the Fed came out and said,

hey, hold on, nothing to see here.

This is everything’s going to be fine.

But then everything since then

has been sort of leading

to this realization.

Commodity prices are up 50%.

There’s this kind of like joke

that like, you know,

you see a bed of lumber

moving across a railroad.

That’s like a billion dollars of lumber

just because of how expensive it is.

You know, there are shortages everywhere.

You’ll be shocked to know that today

Chipotle put out the following guidance,

which is they said they are

increasing the minimum wage to $15

and that within three years

you can make $100,000 a year at Chipotle.


That is as much as some engineers

and coders in the United States.

Dara Khorshashouy, the CEO of Uber

said on the Uber earnings call last week

that the average hourly rate

that some drivers in New York,

Uber drivers in New York were getting paid

was $38 an hour.


$38 an hour.

So what does all of this mean?

I think what Stan is trying to say

$100,000 a year.

But we’re in this weird place

where we’ve decoupled

the government institution

that’s responsible for fiscal stability.

And then the overall capital markets

used to work in tandem

and they are no longer working in tandem

because you have a narrative

and a set of data points

that aren’t supported by the facts.

And so this is an interesting thing.

So in the CDC versus

the American people example,

there’s no way to push back, right?

I mean, governors can act independently.

Cities will act independently.

But at the end of the day,

you know, the teachers unions

are working with the CDC.

The school camps have this guidance

and you’re stuck in this morass.

In the capital markets,

that’s not necessarily true.

And so you can change

and you can re-rate asset prices

based on sentiment.

And I think what everybody is saying

in this example is

we’re past the emergency.

We’ve put too much money in the economy.

We need to reopen.

And we now need to face the fact

that there are massively rising prices,

which means that there will be inflation.

And if you don’t act,

the capital markets

will continue to act for us.

And so this is an example today

where you’re just seeing

a bloodbath in the markets.

And by the way,

the only time the two government officials

tried to be on either side,

Janet Yellen last Friday,

kind of casually in an interview,

kind of put her toe out in the water

as Treasury Secretary

and kind of said something

that said there could be inflation

and literally was hand slapped

and had to put out something

that disavowed her comments

less than 24 hours later.

So that’s where we are.

There is a bloodbath

in the markets today.

And there’s been one

for the last couple of months.

And in particular,

all the growth stocks have been hammered.

And just to build on

what you’re saying, Chamath,

so there’s an announcement today,

there’s some data that the inflation,

the CPI is up 4% and climbing.

And so people are now pricing in

big interest rate increases.

And so that makes growth stock,

that hammers growth stocks

because all the earnings

are in the distant future.

And so they get now

discounted at a higher rate.

And so the valuations

get absolutely hammered.

So, you know, it’s absolutely souring.

The markets are basically souring

on this Biden agenda.

And, you know, I just, you know,

I’m beginning to wonder

if Biden’s going to be a Jimmy Carter here,

because frankly, all he had to do

was leave things well enough alone.

COVID was winding down.

We had a vaccine.

All they had to do was distribute it

to as many people as possible,

end COVID, let the recovery take shape.

And instead they push this insane

$10 trillion agenda of taxes and spending

that are now overstimulating the economy

that are causing inflation

that are now creating interest rate increases.

No, that’s not true yet.

Meaning he did do a good job

on the vaccine, David.

But then to your point,

the federal government’s posture

on reopening is still been stunted.

And he’s proposing so much

more incremental capital,

which we all know probably

will not be efficiently spent.

And there isn’t any other good ideas.

And so he believes his path

to reelection, which is true,

is to spend and to put money

to put money to the economy.

I think it’s going to backfire.

I think it’s going to backfire massively.

And to tax, right?

So he’s the spending,

he’s trying to offset with higher taxes

on the wealthy, which, you know,

from his point of view

is not going to affect him.

And the analysis is probably fair.

It’s not going to affect

his his voter block.

He’s going to backfire massively.

Look, if the economy turns,

we were set for a post COVID boom.

And right now that is all at risk

because like you’re saying,

they’re keeping the economy closed

or parts of it way too long.

They then overcompensate for that

by printing a ton of money.

And then they overcompensate for that

by raising taxes too much.

Just to build on that.

So that second step

of their overcompensating

their inability to open

with money is so true.

Because then what happens

is your labor force stays impaired

because people make enough money

by not working.

This is the key issue right now

for a lot of businesses.

I mean, you have restaurants

that are overbooked, cannot get servers.

Jim Cramer was saying he’s,

he’s up to $18, you know,

per hour per servers,

he’s going to move it to 20.

It won’t make a difference

because with that extra 300,

I think in federal,

federal unemployment,

plus three to 700,

I think, depending on where you are,

you’re now at 60, 70, 80%.

And people are like,

well, people will still go to work.

And it’s like,

yeah, but you’re saving commuting

and you probably have side hustles

and you’ve lowered your commute expense.

So what is going to incentivize people

to go back to work?

We are now running a dry run

with cryptocurrency and,

you know, stimulus,

a UBI experiment.

And the result of this UBI experiment

is negative economic growth

or throttled economic growth.

We cannot be productive

if people don’t want to work and contribute.

So just to your point,

we need more people to go to work.

So just to your point on Friday,

Montana, which was part

of the federal government’s,

you know,

pandemic related UI benefits program,

basically said that

we’re canceling those benefits

and we’re opting out.

And on top of that,

I think they’re now offering

a $1,200 bonus to return to work.

And the problem is

because Montana now

has a severe labor shortage,

but it’s not just Montana.

It’s every state in the union.

So we have these two opposing forces, right?

We have so much stimulus.

We have an under motivated labor force.

We have more taxation.

That’s also just going to be wasted.

So very poor ROI.

And then now we have input costs going up

and prices going up

to try to attract people.

It’s all going to drive.

Here’s the quote from

the governor of Mississippi.

The purpose of unemployment benefits

is to temporarily assist

Mississippians who are unemployed

through no fault of their own.

After many conversations

over the last several weeks

with Mississippi,

small business owners

and their employees,

it has become clear

that the pandemic unemployment assistance

and other like programs

passed by the Congress

may have been necessary

in May of last year,

but are no longer.

So in May of this year,

and can you imagine

the hit you’re going to take

from voters,

from woke mobs,

from people who believe

in income inequality,

when you say,

I think we have to stop

sending people free money

so they go back to work,

like this is a very hard

position to take.

And we now have this occurring

on a micro basis in California.

We have a is it true

we have a $75 billion surplus this year

as the city devolves?

Yeah, now we’re going to take that.

And instead of lowering taxes

and maybe trying to get Tesla

or Oracle or other venture

capital firms that have left

instead of doing that,

what would be what could we do,

David, with that $75 billion?

OK, well, OK, so great point.

So the $75 billion surplus,

one third of that

is from the federal bailout,

which obviously we don’t need.

And that’s the money printing

that’s coming out of Washington.

So we’re giving that back, right,

to another state that could use it?

Good luck, exactly.

No, the other two thirds

is because last year

we had all these unexpected tax receipts

from the stock market boom.

And so you had all these

California taxpayers

paying capital gains on that.

So but what this highlights to me is,

and what I wonder about

is how many of those taxpayers

have left the state?

Because we know that we had net

migration loss of 182,000 in 2020.

So how many of those people

left the state and won’t be

paying taxes this year?

And if Biden breaks the stock market

through this insane tax and spend,

then where is this surplus

going to come from next year?

And what this highlights to me is

I think we have people in Washington

and Sacramento, for that matter,

who’ve lost sight of the fact

that ultimately the private sector

and the public sector are a partnership

because the private sector generates

the largesse and the wealth

to fund the public sector

and to fund the creation

of these public goods,

to fund education,

to fund law and order,

to fund social programs.

And they’ve stopped seeing it that way.

They see the private sector

not as something like a cow to be milked

or a sheep to be sheared,

but they want to skin the sheep

instead of shearing it.

And so they’re really at risk

or killing the golden goose,

I guess you could put it that way.

And I think that during the Clinton years,

just to take a contrast,

we had government spending,

federal government spending

as a percent of GDP

was between 8.5% and 22%.

That was the range.

And we had a boom.

So when you have a federal spending

as a percent of GDP around 20%,

it works, right?

And that doesn’t mean

you can’t increase government spending.

It just means that government spending

will increase as the economy gets bigger.

But what you have now

is federal spending over 30% of GDP

and everything is starting to break.

That’s the problem.

Very, very big problem.

And of course…

And that’s why we’re all

getting red-pilled, right?

How many people in Silicon Valley,

frankly, who make a living

off gross stocks

are now starting to scratch their heads

going, gee, what did I vote for?

It’s definitely becoming a thing.

And I would say the purple pill party,

you know, like chop it up.

Let’s mix these two things.

Let’s candy flip, whatever it takes

like to get out of this,

you know, we got to get this party restarted.

Centrism is the answer.

It absolutely is.

And, you know…

Centrism is the answer.

And I think it’s probably good

for us to take a pause here

and maybe talk about this

Business Insider hit piece

or what was likely to be a hit piece.

But turned out, I think,

on Emerging Fair,

calling this all-in podcast.

And I don’t know if this is accurate,

but I thought it was pretty funny.

Possibly the single most disruptive click

in California politics this year.

I think they’re referring to the four of us.

And then, of course,

I get absolutely skewered

for making clucking noises.

I own those clucks.

I’m proud of those clucks.

Here’s what I’ll say.

Can I say something?

I think that, look, our…

I don’t know.

I’m a little exhausted

about local politics

and California politics.

I’m not exhausted by federal politics

because I think it’s an important lens,

as David said,

into like how we actually conduct business

because all of the businesses

we’re involved with

are inherently global

and America leads.

Here’s what I’ll say, though,

about that article,

which I didn’t read,

like most of these things,

which I don’t really read.

Never read your press.

Rule number one in the game.

I think it’s incredibly important

to realize that California

was a bellwether for opportunity

and the ideals of American upward mobility.

And a lot of people came here

irrespective of the taxes

because they sought out like-minded people.

They sought out a moderate liberal viewpoint

and an economic set of opportunities.

Two of those three boundary conditions

are changing.

And that’s why I think California

is now important

because it is a canary in the coal mine

for the rest of the United States,

which is,

do we become a balkanized country of 50 states

or are there like generic, progressive,

moderate ideals

that everybody can agree to and sign up to

and where governments largely still get out of the way?

This, like, I don’t think,

you know, if you look at sort of like tech oligopolists

and the hatred we have for them,

I don’t think political oligopolists are any better.

And so, you know,

I don’t think we want either of them in charge

is really the answer.

And so, we just got to use this election cycle,

I think, to kind of like vote a moderate agenda,

the most disruptive thing that can happen in California

is somebody emerges who is rational and moderate,

who says,

you can categorize me as a Republican or Democrat

on a whole bunch of issues.

I had to pick a platform

because the stupid election model makes me pick one.

So call me a Democrat or call me a Republican,

but the reality is I’m a centrist.

Here’s what I believe.

And if that person gets voted in,

then hopefully it changes the conversation

for the rest of the country.

Otherwise, we are headed to 50 balkanized states

operating independently.

And Jason, the thing where you make a joke

is actually kind of sad.

If you get $25 billion and you don’t need it,

the ideal thing is that you actually give it back

to the federal government

because you think there’s some accountability

for all these dollars

and it actually is the right thing to do.

And the fact that everybody laughs

because we know, no, of course not.

We’d rather just dig a ditch and fill a ditch for 25 billion

or, you know, two and a half miles of high speed rail,

whatever the crazy thing is.

That’s kind of sad.

It’s sad and it’s corrupt, right?

It’s a corruption.

It’s a corruption that we’ve just gotten used to,

which is you’re going to take 26 billion

that you don’t need, that you don’t deserve.

It’s like the school board in San Francisco announcing

they’re going to open school for one day

to qualify for incentives for reopening

that Gavin Newsom gave them for 12 million bucks.

It’s a pure money grab.

It’s outrageous.

You know, it’s all about the Benjamins for these guys.

And by that, I do not mean students named Benjamin.

Wow, there you go, folks.

David Sachs punching it up on the next SNL.

I wonder why he didn’t invite you to come with him.

I’m going to stick with my, I’m not as good as you, Jason.

I’m going to stick with my day job.

But let me, can we go back to this article?

I want to give you my two cents on this article.

I did, you know, it was behind a paywall,

so it was hard to read, but I got a copy of it.

Here’s my view on it.

First of all, I think they did pull their punches a little bit

because we did the pre-buttle.

You know, we called them out before

based on their very biased list of questions

they sent me.

But in any event, they kind of pulled their punches

a little bit, but the article was kind of suffused

with this, how dare they pissiness, you know?

And in a couple of areas, one was, you know,

the reporter was very upset that we’re going direct, right?

We’ve talked about going direct,

meaning going around reporters

and speaking directly to the public.

It’s kind of, well, how dare they do that?

You know, they should be talking through us,

you know, we, the objective reporters,

and then we’ll tell the story for them.

No, we’re going direct.

We want to have an influence.

We want to speak our minds.

And the second thing they’re upset about

is the fact that we’re contributing to these elections.

And the reporter made a point of saying

that I sought out the Boudin recall.

They didn’t just come to me.

I sought them out and wrote $25,000

as if, what is he really up to?

Why did he seek them out?

Well, if you want to know what I’m up to,

I’ve written about it.

I wrote a blog on, you know, the problem of Chase Boudin.

I’ve written a blog on how Gavin Newsom

has moved very far to the left.

You don’t need to speculate or wonder

what I’m up to.

I’ve spent thousands of words.

Yeah, but here’s the problem, David.

David, they want you to go through them.


And the fact that this podcast has bigger reach

than when we go on CNBC or bigger reach

than we’re in Business Insider.

And, you know, when the New Yorker article

on Chamath comes out,

more people will listen to this podcast

than read that article.

That’s what this is about.

Yes, absolutely.

There’s a certain threatening nature

to what we’re doing here,

where, you know, as they admit,

we’re more influential than they are.

Well, then why read them?

Like, what is the point?

Especially if they’re doing link baiting,

they look even, they look dumb

when compared to the dialogue we’re having here.

They can’t have the dialogue we’re having here

because let’s face it, we’re four insiders.

We see what’s happening on the inside.

And if we talk to them,

they might get 10 or 20% of the picture.

And in aggregate, they might get to 50 or 60,

but we get 100%.

Let me connect a couple of dots

because I think what you’re saying is really important.

In my mind, I think this is another example

of like the CDC example

or the financial markets example,

where in all of these cases,

what we have is the following dynamic,

which is like, if you think about

when the newspaper used to hit your front door, right?

Like you used to wake up and, you know,

when the paper was delivered, right?

We all remember that.

And you’d pick it up and it was a physical paper.

Now, I’m just going to use it,

this number to make an example.

Let’s just say it was eight and a half by 11.

You take this eight and a half by 11 piece of paper

and what you have is a fixed container.

And so what there was, was inherent competition.

And so inherently you had this leverage

where it was only the best things

that got into the paper, right?

They segregated by sections,

people wanted to advertise against it.

And having a fixed amount of real estate

really made that real estate precious.

And I think that that was really, really important.

Now think about what’s happened.

When you go to that same paper online,

let’s just use the New York Times,

effectively that container has become infinite.

And so now you’ve completely taken away

the ability for anybody to actually assign real value.

There’s no above the masthead

or above the fold concept as much as there used to be,

especially in infinite scrolling.

The point of all of this is,

this is why there’s no value in coming back

and re-telling the truth.

You just go to the next clickbait title

because you’re just keep on going and going

and you just wonder, hey, wait a minute,

to tell the truth is an inconvenient artifact

of my business model today.

Whereas before telling the truth was really important.

It was an anchor which created more value

for you to sell ads.

Now it’s just, it just gets lost in a sea of things.

There’s such an agenda.

So the point is the financial markets

in this interesting way is the only,

or it’s one of the few places left

where you can vote in real time about the truth, right?

And so for example, like, you know,

you get all of these readings

and you get all of these documents from the Fed,

which is the financial markets version of the CDC,

but you can vote that you don’t believe them.

And you can see it every day,

the gap between what they say is narrative

and what the facts are.

And that’s a really healthy dynamic

that still exists in finance and capital markets.

We just need to figure out a way

where it exists everywhere else.

Otherwise, people will always want to make sure

that they have a direct conduit

to tell their version of the truth

and allow people to decide for themselves.

Before we get to science with Friedberg,

if he gets his camera back up and running,

I don’t know if you guys know,

but Vox canceled us this week

with an assist from Taylor Lorenz.

The funniest story in all of this

is the multimillionaire VC is co-opting

the language of young women,

MLM marketers in an effort to seem cool and hip with us.

Why white men are using the term besties.

I don’t know if you saw that.

I think Taylor Lorenz has had

her sense of humor surgically removed.

I mean, doesn’t she understand

that this is a self-deprecating,

self-mocking bit that we came up with

or that you came up with?

I mean, come on, it’s a gag.

We know it’s funny for 50 year old guys

to be calling each other besties.

The reason why, by the way,

just if everybody wants to know

the origin of that is

one of our other friends, Phil Hellmuth,

kept calling me bestie C.

And we used to think it was the dumbest thing

that we’ve ever heard.

And then what we thought would be even funnier

is to just co-opt it.

And it was done mostly-

And give him no credit.

But it was done initially to make fun

of how Muth used to call me.

Well, Phil, Hellmuth actually has

the maturity level of a teenage girl.


That’s true.

That’s true.

With the name dropping.

When he used the term bestie,

he was not using it ironically.

We’re using it ironically.


Hey, let’s talk a little bit about science

so we can keep the Friedberg ratio up

for all these Friedberg stands,

including whichever maniac

is running Friedberg’s dogs,

anonymous Twitter handle.

I don’t know if you talked to Twitter security

about that yet, Friedberg.

My dog’s on a walk right now.

He’ll come back

and then he can tweet later as well.

It is my dog that runs the account.


So much for our ratings.

No tweet.

What is your dog’s name again?


Monty. Montgomery Wiggins.

With no Montgomery,

this is going to be lowest episode

in a long time.

His name was Wiggins at the SPCA

where I adopted him from.

And I wanted to name him Monty

because he’s like a hustler.

He hustled his way, you know,

from the streets of the mission

into a nice condo in Pack Heights.

So I gave him the full name Montgomery.

So he’s Montgomery Wiggins now.

Oh, here he is.

Monty, come here.

Come on.


Come here.

Come here.


Come on, D.

Come on, Monty.

OK, tweet something.

Hey, there’s a lot going on

with synthetic biology.

We saw two different IPOs

in, I believe, the last month or so.

Tell us about the Ginko Bioworks

public offering

and the Zemmergen IPO.


So the premise of synthetic biology,

which dates back, you know,

many years, right?

Genentech is one of the first companies

to effectively use synthetic biology

to make products.

So, you know, Genentech and Amgen

started making these proteins

that became biologic drugs.

And the way you can kind of think

about synthetic biology

is the DNA is software

and we can program the software

to get the organism of the,

you know, whatever DNA we’re changing

to make something that we want to use.

And so synthetic biology

is all about editing the genome

or editing the DNA of an organism,

editing its DNA

and doing that in a way

that you can kind of make a product.

And so this was done initially

for biologic drugs.

And over the last kind of 20 years or so,

using synthetic biology

as a kind of approach,

we’ve kind of thought about,

well, how can we make things like fuel

and increasingly more commoditized products

like, you know, proteins

that we might consume

for animal consumption

instead of using animals to make proteins.

And so the underlying technologies

have all followed an accelerated path

that’s greater than Moore’s law.

You know, DNA sequencing costs

have dropped faster than Moore’s law

over the last 10 or 15 years.

The ability to synthesize or print DNA,

CRISPR, you know, kind of provides us

with a set of tools

to do much more precise DNA editing

and so on and so forth.

And there’s just a confluence

of technologies,

sort of like there were leading up

to the personal computing revolution,

that are now going to enable

this incredible proliferation

of a new industry

that many argue will rewrite

all industrial systems,

all industry that makes everything

that humans consume from materials

to food, to the chemicals,

to the plastics,

everything that we use in our daily life

can be rewritten using synthetic biology.

And so the promise of this dates back

again, like two decades or so,

there was a company called Amaris

that John Doerr backed,

that was one of the first companies

that was one of the few companies

from the original synthetic biology companies

that actually survived and made it through.

And they’re still around,

they’re still a publicly traded company.

And more recently,

there have been these kind of

more digitally enabled,

at least that’s the premise

that they kind of make

for what for their businesses, companies.

So Zymergen, which was, you know,

got a bunch of SoftBank money,

they raised a billion dollars

as a private company.

They got public with like,

I think 13 or 14 million of revenue.

And they’re worth $5 billion

in their IPO.

So they just went public.

And this other company

called Ginkgo Bioworks,

which is a similar sort of,

you know, synthetic biology

platform company just went public,

or just announced that

they’re going public via SPAC

at a $15 billion market cap

with, you know,

I think less than 100 million revenue.

So, you know, the game is on.

And I think one way

to kind of think about this is,

these businesses aren’t

great businesses today.

But the promise of the next century

being all about synthetic biology,

you know, where biology becomes software,

and you can program

biological organisms to make

and print pretty much anything

we as humans consume,

is a premise that everyone believes

is going to come to fruition this century.

And it will completely reinvent industry

will improve sustainability.

I think it is going to be

the great savior for this planet,

and for our ability

to sustain on this planet.

So these are kind of, you know,

two big IPOs that validate

that the capital markets are there.

There’s so many big

institutional investors,

Chamath can share more on this

that are like backing,

quote, unquote, ESG companies.

Synthetic biology is this kind of ESG,

you know, moment.

And, and these two IPOs

happening at the valuations

that they’re happening at

and the capital that’s going in.

I think these are kind of like

the Netscape moments

for synthetic biology.

And we’re going to see

a tremendous amount happen

over the next couple of years.

So Chamath, how close are these

from being science projects in a lab

to being scalable revenue

companies in your estimation?

Because these are de minimis

amounts of capital we’re talking about.

So this feels like

de minimis amounts of revenue.

De minimis amounts of revenue.

Large amounts of capital.

Large amounts of capital.

Is this, is this,

how far is it to actually

cross that chasm?

We, I think that we’re still

trying to figure out

what the right business model

for these companies is.

So for example, like

if you look at chip design, right?

Like, so there’s an entire value chain

where there’s the people

that manufacture the equipment, right?

There’s the people that run the factory.

There are the people

that develop the tool chain.

So the software that you can use

to characterize and build a chip, right?

And if you look at those industries,

the factory in the middle

tends to be the least valuable.

Companies like Verilog,

you know, folks that make the software

are really important.

And then folks that make the equipment,

because the equipment is so precise

and very complicated is valuable.

If you translate that to biology,

we need to sort out

where the value is going to be.

So the amazing thing about Ginkgo

is what its promises,

what the promise that they

that they’re going to make to the market

is we’re going to make

biology programmable

so that an entire generation

of biologists and chemists

who would otherwise

have not been able to

just actually literally like

write into a command line interface

and generate biologic samples,

we’re going to be able to enable that

the same way an electrical engineer.

So like, you know, for example, like,

you know, when I was doing internships,

or you would literally be writing Verilog,

and it would get, you know,

basically generating

what was called a netlist,

and you could send a netlist to a fab,

and all of a sudden outcomes a chip.

So that’s what we’re trying to do.

The problem that they have to figure out now

is, are you a tool provider?

Are you, you know, picking shovels?

Are you doing it yourself

on balance sheet?

Are you a product company?

And this is where we’re too early

to know what the answer is.

But as the market sorts that out,

as David said,

more people will get comfortable

applying money.

This is why Zymergen and Ginkgo

are two really important data points,

because as David said,

it will force the market

to help these companies rationalize

where they are

and what the tool chain looks like

and compare it to semiconductors.

And in that you’re going to have

an entire generation of companies get built.

It’s super exciting.

I spent time in and around these businesses

without getting too specific.

And I think they’re really compelling,

really interesting.

And this is I mean, I never I don’t

generally speak my book.

But this is where I spend most of my time,


So I really am making a bet on my career

and my capital and my time

on synthetic biology

and the opportunity it presents

for our species this century.

So all of the work I do

and I have several businesses

that I would say compete

with Ginkgo and Zymergen in different ways

and are attacking this problem

in different ways,

which is I mentioned this last time,

but how do you produce enough

biological material?

How do you make stuff?

Once you’ve got fermenters and you know,

so are there fermenter tank companies?

Are there, you know,

cheap fermentation platform companies?

You know, do we need to scale

these things up?

Do we need to kind of reinvent

how they’re operating?

There’s a lot of stuff we need

to kind of figure out over

the next couple of years

for this to really kind of

sweep the world.

But the fact that we can like

program biology to make stuff for us

is kind of where we’re at today.

That’s the moment.

So here’s another example

of a fabulous company.

This is a private company,

but you know, you’ll see them

in the next probably three or four years

debut as a public business

called Pivot Bio,

another synthetic biology company,

which I think is just masterful.

And you know,

what essentially Pivot Bio does,

it essentially is a clean alternative

to synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

So like you put this shit in the ground,

when you’re planting seeds,

and what it enables is plants

that were previously

incapable of nitrogen fixation,

meaning getting nitrogen

out of the soil.

They’re able to do it.

Now, all of a sudden,

yields go up,

density goes up,

predictability of the crops go up.

And it’s a huge advance for farming.

What’s interesting about,

you know, so Pivot Bio,

like Chamath mentioned,

there’s a lot of plants

like soybeans, legumes

that will fix nitrogen.

They’ll take nitrogen out of the air,


70% of the air is nitrogen.

And so plants need nitrogen to grow.

All protein has to have nitrogen in it.

So nitrogen is key to growing plants.

Corn, you need to put nitrogen

on the ground.

So around 6% of global electricity

is used to make ammonia,

which is the fertilizer

that farmers around the world

put on their fields

to grow their corn.

And the ammonia that sits on the field

and doesn’t get absorbed by the plant

turns into nitrous oxide,

which is a 300x worse greenhouse gas

than carbon dioxide.

Think about that.

300 times the heat capacity

of carbon dioxide

when it goes up into the atmosphere.

So the environmental effects

of nitrogen-based agriculture are awful.

And, you know, Pivot is one of the first,

they actually commercialized

a research microbial strain to do this.

And you put it on the seed

before you put it in the ground.

But now the ability for us

to engineer microbes,

and the microbes now pull the nitrogen

out of the air

and stick it into the plant.

The ability for us to engineer microbes

opens up this universe of possibility

where Pivot is kind of like,

you know, kindergarten level

of what’s going to happen

over the next couple of years,

where we can now engineer

all these microbes

to pull nitrogen out of the atmosphere

and maybe reduce all fertilizer use

and have a huge effect on greenhouse gas

resulting from agriculture.

A lot of what you’ve mentioned

seems to be things in the world,

products that can be improved and refined.

What about inside of our bodies?

I know there are some efforts

to understand what cells are doing

and maybe use synthetic biology

to get a reading on a molecular

or cellular level

as to what is going on inside your body.

And then there are these

self replicating systems

that might be able to,

you know, I don’t know

if your white blood cells were low,

you know, and it was the 80s

and it was HIV,

you could just boom,

produce more white sub blood cells

with a shot or something.

Well, the original idea of Moderna,

which we all know now

as being kind of this RNA vaccine producer

was you could put RNA in your body

and therefore provide the code

to get yourselves to make specific proteins

that can do things in your body.

And so we did this example.

Well, the example we’re using now

is the COVID vaccine, right?

So it makes the COVID the spike protein,

which we then develop

an immune response to.

But the idea with Moderna

is you could eventually replace medicine

with these RNA shots.

And now yourselves can start

to make specific proteins

to do specific things in your body.

Now, we’re very elementary as a species

in our understanding of how proteins

drive systems level biology and outcomes.

So we’re starting to learn about this.

But I will tell you,

there is a really interesting research team

at UCSF led by a woman

named Hannah El-Sameed.

And this research team is identifying

they’re building a toolkit of proteins,

where these proteins can almost have

like robotic arms,

they can have really interesting function.

Think about Martin Short in inner space.

Remember that machine he went in,

he went in the body,

and he started doing stuff in the body.

They’re working on building

basically a toolkit.

So it’s not just a single protein

that now it goes and does something,

but really complicated combinations

of proteins that can now go in the body

and fix things and repair things

and react environmentally

to specific conditions in the body,

like, oh, there’s a cancer cell here,

I’m going to go do something to it now.

And so there’s this whole,

there’s this whole world of like dynamic,

called, you know,

kind of making things more dynamical

than they have been historically.

Just just thinking about aging,

would it theoretically be able to help

with hearing loss, eyesight loss,

you know, and those type of things?

Would you be able to

there’s another area of biology,

we could talk about this at length,

but there’s another biology called

stem cell therapy,

where you can basically take,

you know, all cells evolve

from stem cells in your body.

So these are kind of the original cells

that you have initially in an embryo, right?

And then as your body kind of grows,

you end up with these stem cells,

and you have stem cells in your body today.

Those stem cells, when they make a copy,

they could differentiate

into different cells in your body.

So for the last, you know, 10, 20 years

in California, by the way,

has about a $4 billion,

if I remember right stem cell grant program,

where they’re funding research

into stem cell therapies.

So there are significantly successful

therapies right now,

multiple companies are productizing

and launching and they’re already active

in the market for fixing blindness

with people that have specific diseases

called retinitis pigmentosa,

where your your the retinal cells

in your body and your eyes

degrade and stop working,

you will get a stem cell injection

of progenitor retinal stem cells

into your eye,

and you will grow a new retina

and you can see again.

And the efficacy is insane.

It is incredible how well this works.

And they are doing this with lots

of other stem cell therapies.

So we’re getting so smart.

And here’s an incredible thing

scientists discovered a few years ago,

and I think these guys won

the Nobel Prize for this,

you could take any cell

in the human body

and induce it chemically,

meaning you put a bunch

of chemicals on that cell

and get that cell to convert

back into a stem cell.

Now you’ve created your own stem cells

from your own body.

And you can now put them

back in your body and get them

to turn into any other cell

in your body.

So this is called induced

pluripotent stem cell therapy,


So IPSC now forms the basis

for a lot of these stem cell therapy

kind of programs

that are underway.

And so this is going to be

an insane field

over the next couple of decades.


if we took the $25 billion

that we don’t need in California

and gave it to these companies,

how quickly could we survive?

How quickly could we solve this problem?

Nothing drives me more nuts

than when I see money

not going to science.

I mean, it is just nuts.

Seriously, like let’s,

we need to start

our own political party

that is based on reasonable suggestions

like the one I just made

or the ones, you know,

the middle ground party,

just a reasonable party.

Tax, do you think

there’s possibility for a third

for a true third party

in the United States?

Structurally, no,

it’s really set up

to be a two party system.

You have to really take over

one of the two parties.

And frankly, the problem

in our politics right now,

I’m not saying

the Republican Party is great,

but the Democrat Party

has basically been taken over

by woke socialists.

So, you know, but

so I think that kind of

like limits your options.

But I mean,

what you have to do

is create a movement

and then you basically

take over one of the parties.


I mean, what we’re describing today,

I mean, just to up level it is,

it almost feels like

we’re in a race

between technological acceleration

and social and political deterioration.


So like technology.

One more time.

We’re in a race,

I think, for the future

between technological acceleration

and social and political deterioration.


And the question is,

which one of these forces

is going to win the future?

Everything Friberg describes

is incredibly hopeful, right?

We’re going to be able to cure people

with all these miracle technologies.

I mean, even the new mRNA vaccines

that were developed for COVID.

I mean, it’s miraculous, right?

And we’re going to be able

to use that same mRNA technology

for other things, other diseases,

maybe even to attack cancer cells.

So there’s so many

positive things happening

and we all see it

in the technology ecosystem.

There’s been an explosion

of wealth creation and opportunity

created over the last 20 years

in technology.

And so we have this

very positive force.

And then everything

that seems to be happening

in our politics and society

is negative.

It involves deterioration.

It’s basically

special interest corruption.

It’s basically people

wedded to these insane ideologies.

And you’re right.

Like what we really want

is just a pragmatic party

that allows the private sector

to do its job,

generate the wealth necessary

to then fund social programs

instead of trying to upturn

the whole system,

which is what it feels

like so many people in power

are trying to do today.


So I registered Reason Party for us

if we ever want to go there.

So if you want to bookmark Reason Party.

Let’s talk about this tonight, boys,

because I got to run.

Is it on?

Yum, yum.

I’m going to see two of you tonight.


I cannot wait.

Sax, you got to fly up.

You got to fly up.

Sax, what’s the point of having a bird

if you don’t let the bird out of the cage?

Our friend from L.A. is flying up.


I mean, you can fly up.

Our other friend who puts the ball

in the basket is coming.


There are many friends.

As many friends.

Come on, Sax.

Come on.

Basketball friends.

Free the bird.

I’ll take it under advisement.

Speaking of bird,

they just announced a SPAC today.

Oh, here comes the plane.

Oh, here we go.

Here we go.

Here we go.

Love you guys.

You ain’t got no fuckings.

I got to go.

I got to go.

I’d like to give a shout out to bird on SPAC.

I love you, besties,

and we’ll see you next time.

See you guys.

On the All In podcast.


Love you guys.

The queen of quinoa.

I’m going all in.

What your winners like.

What your winners like.

Besties are gone.

That’s my dog taking a notice

in your driveway, Sax.

Oh, man.

My avatars will meet me at Plymouth.

We should all just get a room

and just have one big huge orgy

because they’re all just useless.

It’s like this like sexual tension

that they just need to release somehow.

When you’re the bee.

When you’re the bee.

You’re a bee.

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