All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - E36: New FTC Chair, breaking up big tech, government silent spying, Jon Stewart, wildfires & more

What’s called a sax LP meeting?

Is it an LP meeting or you go? Are you going to like Peter Thiel a little layer?

It’s 9 a.m. You must be there must be a call going on. It’s actually booted to Ben. Eh, it’s a dish sacks

Every week that Chamath is in Italy another button guts undone

We open sources

Hey everybody, hey everybody, welcome to another episode of the all-in podcast episode 36 back with us today on the

program the queen of quinoa



Friedberg is with us again with leading off last episode Friedberg with a great

Friedberg science monologue the crowd went crazy for it. How does it feel coming off that an epic performance in episode 35?

tell us what were you thinking going into the game and

Yeah, well, I was thinking I would talk about the Alzheimer’s drug approval at Biogen

I felt like I did it when we were done

Great. Yeah, it’s just it’s like literally interviewing quiet Leonard. I feel like a 50-point game

Okay, and with us Rain Man David Sachs with layers for players

He’s been styled and groomed

And he’s in some random hotel room. How are you doing rain, man? Good good. I’m not I’m not in a hotel room. I’m oh

Your home just happens to look like a five-star resort. Got it. Forgot that

And give us an idea coming into today’s game

With the layers you obviously are here to dominate and get your monologues up

Gotta be hard for you to look at the stat line and see yourself trailing in monologues behind the dictator

Referring to all in statistics. Yeah, where some maniac is breaking down how many minutes we each talk

Jason I’m really happy with my performance for me. It’s about quality not quantity. I like to stick and stick and jab

Okay, got it. Got it. What are we talking about right now? What what what?

Hell are you talking about right there is a Twitter account done

You know how this the all-in stands have a ton of skills

Like there is an audience for this podcast that has more skills

Then you know, it’s like the 5% of the most skilled people in the world. Listen to this podcast. So

In addition to doing the merge in addition to doing who’s the guy Henry who does all those incredible videos with animations?

in addition to those

Every time I start crushing those things are great. Those are amazing

Of course you have young Spielberg who led the charge dropping credible credible tracks and now we have this new crew that is

Analyzing somebody put you know, we’ll put in the show notes a link to it, but they do

some type of AI analysis of

The audiophiles and they tell us who had the most monologues and then the running time and then historic running time

So they’re actually looking at it trying to figure out

You know who is speaking the most and they thought Friedberg was gonna run away with the episode

But it kind of disappeared in the second half of the game and Schmott obviously came around the corner and took his 27%

But they live a pie chart of how much we each talk. I have a I always have a very strong first and third quarter

Yes, absolutely. Yeah, and then

He gets frustrated when he passes the ball and somebody misses a shot

It’s kind of like LeBron in the early days

So kicking off today Lena Khan has been confirmed to the FTC with bipartisan support interesting

And this is obviously going to be a challenge for big tech on Tuesday

The Senate voted 69 to 28 to confirm Lena Khan who is a very well-established critic of big tech

And this is obviously really unique because she’s 32 years old and she’s leaving FTC, which is

Unbelievable. I did a little research on her and watch some videos

she’s basically written two amazing papers and

The first paper came out in 2017 Amazon’s antitrust paper the second one came out in June

And was about the separation of platforms and commerce and when you hear her speak, she is incredibly

Credible and knowledgeable it is as if

one of the four of us were discussing that she could come into this podcast and speak credibly about Amazon’s businesses as opposed to the

charades we saw

At different hearings where the senators and Congress people just absolutely had no idea what they’re talking about

Some of the items I picked up from a talk. She gave in Aspen

is that

She she formed a lot of these opinions by talking to venture capitalists who were concerned about Amazon’s dominance and other companies

And the competitive space and she is looking at consumer welfare

One of the lenses of antitrust, which will I’m sure David Sachs will have some thoughts on as our resident attorney here

And the framing of those in terms of harm of the consumer. She believes there’s other harm that happens

And she thinks one remedy is to kill Amazon basics because the marketplace shouldn’t own the goods as well

She’s concerned about cloud computing a consolidation because that creates fragility

And that is another type of consumer harm while she freely admits that prices have gone down services are free

And this is a consumer benefit. So she wants to rethink the entire

Concept and she is savvy. She brought up Facebook buying a novo the

Reportedly spyware VPN to give them a little advantage as to what was being used on phones and maybe give them a little product

roadmap information she also

Brought up Amazon studying the sales of other products to inform Amazon basics a claim that Amazon says they don’t do

But everybody knows they do do because all that information is publicly available

She talked about Amazon’s VC arm using data to invest in and buying companies. Why wouldn’t they that makes total sense?

That’s great signal for them. She seems to want Amazon Web Services spun out which I think would just double

The value of it or maybe add 50% to the value of it and she gave very pragmatic

Examples like maybe separating Google Maps from Android and when you turn on your Android phone

You you would have to install maps or maybe you would pick from the different maps that are out there different

Programs and that there would be integration in them and people could swap out

You know MapQuest or Apple Maps in their Google searches

So a lot of actually very interesting pragmatic approaches and she doesn’t think these need to be decade-long lawsuits

She thinks this is going to be a negotiation

and that people will kind of work together on it, but this is all with the backdrop of

Partisan politics and you know one group of people looking at this through the lens of wealth and

Inequality and another group looking at it through censorship sacks since you are our counsel here. What are your thoughts on this appointment?

Yeah, I mean the interesting thing is that you know, Lena Khan is the the Bernie approved candidate

She is liked by the progressive left. But at the same time she got 21 Republicans to

Support her and so this

Nomination, you know sailed through confirmation. I think what she’s saying it what she’s saying. I think there’s

There’s a very good good argument to it that and I’ve said similar things in the past

Which is you know, what she’s basically saying especially in the case of Amazon is look you’ve got this company Amazon that controls


infrastructure AWS the whole distribution supply chain going all the way from the port to warehouses to

To logistics and distribution that is going to be owned by a scaled monopoly player. You have a massive economies of scale

It’s pretty clear

they’re going to dominate that and what they’re doing is systematically going category by category and

using the monopoly monopoly profits they make by owning the sort of core infrastructure and

subsidizing their entry into each of these new categories that Amazon basics and others and

She calls that you know

It’s predatory pricing and she’s afraid that Amazon’s is gonna end up dominating every category every

Category that you could build on top of this core infrastructure. I think it’s actually a pretty valid concern

I think you see something analogous happening with Apple and Google and the app stores

We had a congressional hearing pretty recently in which you had Spotify on other apps

Complaining about what Apple was doing to them saying they are making our service non-viable with the 30% rake that they’re charging

You remember Bill Gurley had a great post about this saying just because you can charge a 30% rake doesn’t mean you should

Right now we’re seeing this blowback from this massive 30% rake and you had Spotify saying look

Apple is doing this to basically make us

Infeasible relative to Apple Music. So I think there is a legit point here

Which is that if you own the monopoly platform the sort of essential infrastructure

You cannot use it to basically take over every application on top that can be built on top of that platform

That I think is a very appropriate

Use of of antitrust law and I think so. I think that’s the good here now. I think that there there are some

some concerns or some potential downsides and

You know and the downside that I see is that we used to think we used to judge

antitrust law in terms of

Consumer welfare and so we so there was a limiting principle

To the actions of government, which is you would just look at prices and the effect on prices here

You know the the sort of movement that Lena Khan represents the so-called hipster antitrust movement

They’re concerned about power and they want to restructure markets to avoid sort of concentrations of power

I don’t see the limiting principle there. And so I think what the

Market share be a limiting principle

Well, it would be a limiting principle in terms of who you could take action on but it wouldn’t be a limiting principle in

Terms of how you would restructure the market

And I think what we’re in for over the next few years is potentially a hyper politis

politicization of big tech markets

I think these 21 Republicans might soon feel like the dog who caught the bumper in the sense that yes

They’re finally gonna have the regulation of big tech

they’ve been calling for but they might not like all of the results because we because what could happen is a very intrusive meddling by

government in

the markets of technology and it could go well beyond sort of this this this gatekeeper principle

That we’ve been talking about that. I think what would be a valid reason to regulate to mock

I think she has to be careful in focusing on Amazon. So if you break down antitrust law, there are really

Three big buckets where the attack vectors are and I’m not going to claim to be an expert, but I think

They’re relatively easy to understand. So you have the first principle body, which is called the Sherman Act

That’s the thing that everybody’s looked at and that’s you know, sort of where

most current


Enforcement action has failed on tech companies because it largely looks at the predatory nature of pricing power that certain

Companies have and you have to remember this thing was written in the 1800s

And so, you know, what did people do when they control things? They just they drove prices up tech does the exact opposite, right?

they constantly drive prices down and

What’s counterintuitive is it turns out that in the olden days driving prices up drove out competition

Today driving prices down drives out competition. Yes, right. So, you know you make gmail infinite storage

Nobody else can compete with why switch you why switch you make you know

Photos completely subsidized you make certain music products effectively free and you subsidize that you know

You create enormous amounts of content blah blah blah

So give the Sherman Act then somewhere along the way we realized okay, we need to add something

We created this thing called the Clayton Act that was around M&A

Right. We added to that a lot of folks that are listening probably have heard of Hart Scott Rodino HSR

We’ve all gone through it right on M&A events. We have to file these HSR clearances when you make big investments

for example, you know, I just made a

Climate change thing. We had to file HSR

And then there’s this FTC a which is the Federal Trade Commission Act. That is where she can get, you know

If to use a poker term

You know a little frisky why because the FTC a

has these two specific things which says you can have an unfair method of competition or an unfair or

deceptive act or practice

now it falls on her and her team to basically build the strongest case around those two dimensions and

My only advice to her I wrote this in 2019 in my investor letter as well. Just thinking about the breakdown of big tech

If you’re gonna go after these guys, that’s the body of law that probably is the most


But you probably have to start, you know, whether you like it or not with Facebook or Google

And the reason is there are more examples how you can use that language under the FTC a

To give those folks a hard time. I think it’s much harder the example would be Chamath that

We are giving away this product losing money on it to keep you in our store and moat you into our

Advertising Network, etc

That’s an example. Yeah, that’s yeah or or you know, we then we then and

Because then when you have control then you can show that then the first part the Sherman Act part

Kicks in why so you’ve seen 15 or 20 years of Google

Facebook less Apple by the way

Using their edge to decrease price and for the first time in the last quarter both of these two companies

And they were the only two of big tech that announced an increase in pricing, right?

They saw a diminishing of CPM inventory

And so they had to figure out ways to grow inventory as users started to stagnate and what they really said is we’re ramping up

CPMs and CPMs. I think we’re up 28 30 percent in a quarter. Yeah, and there’s a lot of competition right now for it

Put these two ideas together

Which is step one is you surreptitiously basically take all the costs out of the system and then step to raise price over time

There’s probably something there

Friedberg when we look at her age and her obvious

Deep deep knowledge. Do you see that as an overall plus?

I mean obviously if you know David framed her as the Bernie approved candidate

But then conceded that 20 Republicans are backing her. What do you what do you think about?

The massive credibility she has Friedberg in terms of she’s actually understands this deeply


I’m sure she’s not dumb

If that if that’s what you’re asking, I’m not sure. I mean, it’s a 32 year old

I mean, do we have we seen an appointment like that before? I mean, I don’t know. Yeah, that’s good for her. Um, yeah

So I just feel like there’s a bit of a cycle underway

Where we have this kind of anti wealth anti wealth accumulation

Sentiment as an undercurrent right now, you know, obviously Bernie and Elizabeth Warren and others are our key vocal

Proponents of change that’s needed to keep this kind of wealth disparity from continuing to grow and one of the solutions is to reduce the


Capacity of certain business models specifically in technology

The downside that I don’t think it’s realized and and that inevitably comes with

this action under this new kind of business model of the the technology age or the digital age is

the damage to consumers

And so, you know as as Chamath and David pointed out like historically antitrust has been about protecting the consumer

And the irony is the more monopoly or the more monopolistic or the more market share amazon gains

the cheaper things get for consumers

And um, and it’s unfair to small businesses and to business owners and to competitors

But consumers do fundamentally benefit and so the the logical argument she made in her paper that was widely distributed a few years ago

Um what was around this notion?

That in this new world, it’s not about consumer harm

And we need to look past the impact to consumers and look more at kind of the you know

The fact that this company maybe prevents innovation and prevents competition, but ultimately if the consumer is harmed

In the resolution of that concern

We’re not going to wake up to it for a while

And then consumers one day are going to wake up and they’re going to be like wait a second

Why am I paying five bucks for gmail?

And you know, why am I paying an extra ten dollars for shipping to get my amazon products brought to me every day?

And you know all the things that I think we’ve taken um

for granted

in the digital age

With the advent of these, you know

Call it monopolistic kind of business models where they accumulate market share and they can squeeze pricing and keep people out and the bigger

They get the cheaper they get and therefore it’s harder to compete

Consumers have benefited tremendously. I I think all of us would be hard-pressed to say I would love to pay 10 bucks a month

For gmail i’d love to pay for facebook

And at the end of the day these models i’d love to pay more for shipping with amazon

Um, and so, you know, it becomes a value question, right? What do you value more?

Do you value the opportunity for competition and innovation in the business world or do you value as a consumer?

Better pricing and I don’t think that we’re really having that debate

And I think that that debate will inevitably kind of arise over the next couple of years if and as freeberg

How much this kind of played out?

And I think to be clear freeberg what you’re saying is this is driven by the extraordinary wealth of jeff bezos zuckerberg, etc

It’s easy to pinpoint that problem

And then not involve the repercussions to consumers

If you try and change how business operates in a free market system

And these businesses are successful

Because they have customers that like competition

And they drive in a competitive way of pricing down and they prevent people from coming in and competing

Not by entering into contracts and antitrust enforcement all this sort of stuff

They’re doing it because they’re scaling and offering lower prices

I mean this like peter teal and mark andreessen have separately argued for this in really intelligent ways probably

In a far more articulated way than I can

But and they did this early on which is you know

We want to find businesses that can become monopolies because if you can reduce your pricing and improve your pricing power with scale

It’s going to be harder and harder for someone to compete and therefore

The capital theory is rush a bunch of capital into these businesses help them scale very quickly

I mean

This is obviously the basis of uber and others

And then get really big really fast create the moat create the moat drop the pricing and then no one can compete with you on

Pricing consumers benefit and you’ve created the big business and you’ve locked everyone

Okay, so let me go around the horn here and frame this for everybody. Let’s assume that

Uh, big tech does get breaking up this broken up. This is uh an exercise

um, we assume it gets broken up and

YouTube and android are spun out instagram whatsapp are spun out aws is spun out

And you know app stores are allowed on

Apple’s platform

Uh ios for the first time I want to know if this is good bad or neutral

For the following two people so these breakups occur

Is it good bad or neutral for consumers and then two is it good bad or neutral for startups sax?

I generally would lean towards saying yes

I mean a lot depends on better neutral for each party startups and for consumers

I I think it could ultimately be good for for both

But it really depends on how it’s done

And I think there is a big risk here that this just degenerates into

sort of hyper


You get intensive amounts of lobbying by big tech in washington

That what happens is, you know, you have a good cop bad cop where lena khan just becomes the bad cop

She’s there to kind of keep big tech in line threatens to break them up

And then the good cop is you know biden

And the administration and then they they become the protection under the extortion racket they raise on

You know ungodly amounts of money and really it’ll be a bonanza for for all elected officials because now

Big tech’s gonna have to increase his donations even more super cynical. Wow. That’s the that’s the cynical take so we could end up

With something much worse than what we have now, but but I think the legit I think the words you’re going to hear a lot


Are common carrier because what she seems to be saying is look

If you’re a tech monopoly that controls core infrastructure, we need to regulate you like a common carrier

You cannot summarily deny service to your competitors who are downstream applications built on top of your platform

Conservatives can get behind that because that is the argument they’ve been making about facebook cutting off free speech is you are a speech utility

You should be regulated as a common carrier. You cannot cut off people

Summarily, you cannot discriminate against people who should be allowed to have free speech on your platform

And so I think there is I think the left and the right here can cut a deal

Where they regulate these guys these big tech companies as common carriers. I think that is what we’re headed towards

So a bakery can deny service as we talked about previous issue to a gay couple who wants a cake because it’s a tiny little

Company and there’s other choices

But when we’re talking about facebook and twitter

There are not other choices and once you’re removed like trump has been from the public square

There is no recourse you are essentially zeroed out chamath

Is it good for startups bad for startups neutral same thing for consumers if you know one chunk of every company got cleavered off

uh, it’s

Unanimously good for startups in any

Scenario in which they get involved and I think in most cases in which the government gets involved. It’s

It’s good for consumers as well

And why in both cases

So for startups, it’s just because I think right now we have a massive

human capital sucking sound

um that big tech creates in the ecosystem

Which is that there is an entire generation of people?

That are basically unfortunately frittering away their most productive years

Getting paid what seems to them like a lot of money

Uh, but is what is effectively just you know

Um payola to not go to a competitor or go to a startup at by big tech

So to explain that clearly for example, like if you’re a machine learning person

Right, uh those machine learning people

um, you know can get paid

750 to a million dollars a year to stay at google

And instead they won’t go to a startup because they take sort of the bird in the hand, right?

You multiply that by a hundred or a hundred and fifty thousand very talented, you know technical people

And that’s actually what you’re seeing every day now

Those numbers are actually much higher, you know, if you’re if you’re a specific ai person, you can get paid five ten million dollars a year

my point is

They could have started a startup and they could have and frankly

They they look let’s be honest

They go to google facebook and whatever and I don’t think anybody sees the real value of what they’re doing in those places except getting

Paid now they’re making a rational economic decision for themselves. And so nobody should blame them for that


But if startups had more access to those people

Um, or if you know those engineers finally said, you know what enough’s enough i’m actually going to go and try something new

That’s net additive to the ecosystem. It’s net additive to startups, right?

That’s that’s that’s for them and then for consumers. I think the reason why it’s positive is that it’ll start to show you

In which cases you had been giving away something that you didn’t realize was either valuable or you didn’t realize you were giving away

In return for all of these product subsidies that you were getting

And I think that’s the next big thing that’s happening

You can see it in the the enormous amount of investment apple for example

Is making in both advertising the push to privacy as well as implementing the push to privacy, you know this last


You know, they really threw the gauntlet down, you know, they they were really trying to blow up

Um the advertising business models of google and facebook

And as consumers become more aware of that

They’re probably willing to pay more

So a simple example is you know, there are a lot of people now who will pay higher prices for food

If they know it to be organic


There are people who will pay higher prices for electricity or for an electric car because of its impact or the lack thereof in

The climate so it’s not to say that people always want cheaper faster better, right?

I mean, sometimes people will buy an iphone because it’s

Obviously protecting their privacy and they know it’s not an ad based model. And in fact apple is now

making that part of their process, so

Freeberg I asked the other gentlemen, uh, if they thought some large unit being chopped off of every company youtube aws

Uh instagram you pick it

Um would be a net positive for startups or negative or neutral and the same thing for consumers. What do you think?

Which gentleman did you ask you mean?

I was specifically referring to the ones who are wearing layers


i’m using the term

Lightly, so if you guys go back a few years ago, you’ll uh, remember there were these I think there were congressional hearings

And uh, jeremy stoppelman from yelp was pretty vocal

about how google

Um was redirecting

Search engine traffic to their own kind of reviews and they were pulling yelp content off the site

But then they said to yelp if you don’t want us to pull your content, you can turn the web crawler

Toggle off and we won’t crawl your site, but your site is publicly available. We can crawl it and we show snippets on our

Home page, but then their argument was well

You’re using our content to drive your own reviews

And they made this whole kind of case that google’s kind of monopoly in search was harming their ability to do business

Um, you know the counter argument was well

If you guys have a great service consumers will go to your app directly or your website directly to get reviews

They won’t go to google and so it created a little bit of this kind of noise for a while

I think there was some follow-up and this is all very much related because

Ultimately if he was able to get google to stop

Providing a review service his business would do better

Because then google would effectively redirect search traffic to his site as opposed to their own internal site

So it is inevitably the case that in-house apps or in-house services that compete with third-party services when you’re a platform business

um are

You know if they’re removed, it’s certainly going to benefit the competitive landscape, which is typically startups

You know imagine if apple didn’t have apple maps pre-installed on the iphone

Everyone would download and use google maps, right? I mean, they’re

Mapquest whatever or map quest or whatever and so, um, you know

Or whatever startup came along in like ways and said hey, we’ve got a better map

But because they have this ability to kind of put that apple maps in front of you as a consumer

And it’s a default on your phone. You’re more likely to just click on it and start using it and you’re done

it certainly opens up this window, but I think the question is what’s

Ultimately best for the consumer if you believe that consumers will choose what’s best for themselves

You’re starting to kind of manipulate with the market a bit and sax

I don’t know. I think you’ve got a different point of view on this but yeah

Well, i’m a i’m a free markets type of guy but

My experience at paypal really changed my thinking on this because paypal

You know was a startup that launched effectively as an involuntary app on top of the ebay market at that time ebay

Had a monopoly on the auction market and that was the key sort of beachhead market for online payments

So we launched on top of ebay. They were constantly trying to

Dislodge us and remove us from their platform and really the only thing keeping them from just switching us off

Was a was an antitrust thread. We actually spun up

You could call it a lobbying operation where we would send information to the ftc and the doj and say listen

You’ve got this auction monopoly here. That’s taking anti-competitive actions

Against us this little startup

and you know

And so we were able to rattle the saber and and sort of brush them back from the plate

From taking a you know a much more dramatic action against us

and frankly

We did something kind of similar with visa mastercard because paypal was essentially an application on top of visa mastercard as well

We offered merchants the ability to accept visa mastercard, but also paypal payments which were gradually

Eating into and supplanting the the credit card payments

And so, you know visa mastercard had a very dim view of paypal and they were constantly

You know, they were constantly making noise about switching us off

And I I do think that without the threat of antitrust hanging over these big monopolies or duopolies

It would have been very hard for us as a startup

To get the access to these networks that we needed

and so it really kind of changed my thinking about it because

You know if you let these giant monopolies run

Wild run run amok. They will absolutely stifle innovation

They will become gatekeepers

And so you have to have the threat of antitrust action hanging over their heads or you will stifle innovation

Absolutely. I mean if you just look at the interesting google flights over time i’m looking at a chart right now

We’ll put it into the notes

Google flights, you know, I know some of us don’t fly commercial anymore

But you know for somebody who’s uh looking for flights on a regular basis


Google intercept flight information put up google flights and it’s an awesome product and

Just expedia and

So jason that was a company called ita software based out of boston and ita was acquired by google

Ita was the search engine behind flight search for most companies. It was like 70 phds

They were all statistics guys, and they basically built this logistical model that identified, you know

Flights and pricing and all this sort of stuff. Oh, wow. So that should never been allowed. Well, they created a white label

uh search capability

That they then provided and they were making plenty of money providing this as a white label search capability to expedia and kayak and all

the online, uh travel agencies

And google wanted to be in that business because travel search was obviously such a big vertical

And rather than just buy a travel search site

They bought the engine that powers travel search for most of the other so gangster

And then they also revealed the results in their own search result homepage

uh, which effectively cut off the otas and the otas are big spenders on google ads, so

So basically google this is how nefarious it is if i’m hearing what you’re saying freeberg correctly

They watched all this money being made by those otas

They watched where they got their data from then they bought their data source and then they decided you know

What we won’t take your cost per click money. We’ll just take your entire business. I don’t know

So so let me just let me just say it another way

What’s best for consumers? So does a consumer because what happens a lot in the dictatorships, I guess

Don’t want to make money in online advertising. There are a lot of these ad arbitrage businesses

This is one way to think about it where um, you know

A service provider will pay for ads on google to get traffic

The ads will come to their site and then they will either make money on ads or you know

Kind of sell that consumer in another way, right?

And so that’s effectively what the otas were is they were they became

intermediaries online search engine intermediaries that were arbitraging google’s ad costs versus what they could get paid for the consumer

And so google right look at this and they’re like wait a second

We’re only capturing half the pie

And consumers don’t want to have to click through three websites to buy a flight or buy a hotel

And by the way, if they did they would keep doing it

So why don’t we just give them the end result right up front?

And then consumers will be happier the less time they have to spend clicking through sites and looking at other shitty ads

The happier they’ll be and the product just works incredibly. Well consumers consumers lives less arduous

While building a power base that then could make their lives miserable

What I think lena khan is saying though is you can’t just look at the short-term interests of consumers

You got to look at their long-term interests

What’s in the long-term interest of consumers is to have competition in the short term

These giant monopolies can engage in predatory pricing to lower the cost for consumers

And so just looking at the price on a short-term basis isn’t enough

And they can trick people to giving them something else that they don’t know to be valuable

So in the case of these, you know, a lot of these companies, what are they doing?

They’re tricking them to get enormous amounts of user information. Yep

personal information

User-generated content and they get nothing for it

And then on the back of that if you’re able to build a trillion look at look at the value that youtube has generated

Um economic value and then try to figure out how much of that value is really shared

With the creator community inside of youtube i’m guessing it’s less than 50 basis points

They get 55 percent of revenue. Yeah, but you’re saying downstream with all that data

Google’s making a massive amount of money. I just want to if you if you impute the value of all of the pii that google


Personally identifiable information all the cookies that they drop all that information and you equate it to an economic enterprise value

Not necessarily yearly revenue like a discounted cash flow over 20 years

You would be in the trillions and trillions of dollars

And then if you discounted the same 20 years of revenue share that they give to their content producers

It will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars at best and so you’re talking about an enormous trade-off where google

basically has

um built

You know a multi-trillion dollar asset and has leaked away less than 10 or 15 percent of the value

But that’s an example where they are giving people something that they think is valuable

But in return they’re able to build something much much more valuable

Hold on

I just want to address like sax’s point

Which is the regulators are now going to start to think about the long-term interest consumer over the short-term interest of the consumer

as um effectively giving the regulatory throttle

uh to uh elected officials

And this means that you’re now giving another throttle right another controlled, uh joystick

Um, uh to to folks that may not necessarily come from business

Um that may not necessarily have the the appropriate background

And that may have their own kind of political incentives and motivations to make decisions about what is right

And what is wrong for consumers over the long term and ultimately those are going to be value judgments, right?

There’s no determinism here. There’s no right or wrong

They’re going to be decisions based on the kind of opinion and nuance

Of of some elected people and so it is a very dangerous and kind of slippery slope to end up in this world

Where the judgment of some regulator about what’s best for consumers long term versus the cold hard facts

Oh prices went up prices didn’t you know, uh, but really saying well this could affect you in the future in this way

Um starts to become kind of a really, you know, scary and slippery slope

Uh, if we kind of embrace this, uh, this this new regulatory order

All right, moving on big news this week. Uh, apple had a gag order. It has been revealed

Um, this is unbelievable. It’s pretty crazy. Um,

And we we only have partial information here, but the justice department subpoenaed apple in february of 2018

about an account that belonged to donald mcgann who obviously was the

Trump’s white house counsel at the time and obviously was part of the campaign

He is very famously, uh known for being interviewed by mueller and at that

This is the time period by the way, we’re talking about here in february of 2018

When mueller was investigating manafort who of course

Was super corrupt and went to jail and then was subsequently pardoned because they he was also involved in the campaign in 2016

It’s possible that this related to mueller. It’s unknown at this time

Uh, many other folks were also caught up in this dragnet rod rosenstein was his second and it’s um unclear if the fbi agents were investigating

uh, whether mcgann was the leaker, uh, or not trump, uh,

Had previously ordered mcgann the previous june to have the justice department remove mueller which mcgann

refused and threatened to resign and mcgann later

Revealed that he had in fact leaked his resignation threat to the washington post

Uh, according to the times disclosure that agents had collected data of a sitting white house counsel

Uh, which they kept secret for years is extraordinary. Go ahead sacks

Well, I I just think let’s get all the facts out here. I think you’re missing some of the key facts

So the the justice department under trump starts this investigation into leaks of classified information. They’re on a mole hunt effectively

And they start uh making they subpoena the doj subpoenas records

From apple and it goes very broad and they end up subpoenaing the records

Not just of mcgann who’s the white house counsel, which is very bizarre and curious

So they’d be investigating their own white house counsel, but they also uh, well, it wasn’t


Yes, but they’re all they also subpoena records of adam schiff and smallwell and members the house intelligence committee

And so you have now, um an accusation

Which is being breathlessly reported on cnn and msnbc that here you had the trump administration

Investigating its political enemies and using the subpoena power of the doj with apple’s compliance

To now spy on their political enemies that that those are some big jumps

Those are some big jumps set up. Yeah, and and that those are some big jumps because

Um, according to preet bahara and some other folks who are in the industry

Um who who have done these actual subpoenas they could have been subpoenaing, you know, one of manafort’s, you know corrupt, you know

partners in crime

And then those people he could have been talking to many people in the trump administration and then subsequently family members and others

So he might have not been the target. He could have been caught up in the metadata of other people

Yeah, so this might not be trump saying get me his iphone records it could be

There’s some dirty person

They know they’re dirty and that person had reached out to other people and they might have even done one more hop from it

schmuck thoughts

I mean

Okay, that’s one version. Yeah, and then you know the other the other version which is important is

You subpoena your own lawyer by going to apple

Getting basically god knows what data associated with this man’s account

And then you know institutes a gag order on that company so that they can neither tell the person

Until now when the gag order expired nor tell anybody else nor have any recourse to the extent that they think that this is illegitimate

That to me smells really fishy

And so, you know like there are other mechanisms that that we know of like visa requests and other things that these big companies

Have to deal with all the time

This at least the way that it’s written and how it’s been reported is something outside of the pale

And so I think you have to deal with it with this question of like what the hell was going on over there

Yeah, it does seem like they were going


I mean, you know kindly maybe mole hunting more nefariously witch hunting

um, but they were trying to pin it on people and

They may have used this blanket

Sort of deniable plausibility of the russia, you know imbroglio

But really what these guys were doing was they were investigating anybody that they thought was a threat

And that is a really scary thing to have in a democracy

And then the fact that these big tech companies basically just turned it over and didn’t have any recourse to protect the user

or to inform the public

Forget trump for a second. I think we don’t

Necessarily want that to be the precedent that holds going forward

Yeah, and the interesting thing here is that sax

jeff sessions

Rosenstein and bar all say they’re unaware of this. So what would be the charitable reason they were unaware of it?

or what would be the

Nefarious reason or is that important at all? Because that’s really strange

Well, they would go after the white house council and adam schiff and those top three people would have no idea

Are they lying?

I mean what’s next is the se you know, are we going to basically go to a point where like, you know

every single

No, but I mean like every single post that one makes on facebook is basically surveilled

If you make an anonymous post on twitter, will you be tracked down?

I remember like as much as everybody thinks there’s anonymity on the internet

There really isn’t and you should just completely assume

That you are trackable are being tracked have been tracked. Everything is in the wide open

It’s just a matter of whether it’s disclosed to you or not or whether it’s brought back to you or not

So, yeah, so look I mean I I agree with jamath that this stinks

and it’s an invasion of people’s civil liberties, but I would not make it too partisan because

The obama administration was engaging in similar activity back in 2013

And I don’t think people realize this the there’s an old saying in washington that the real scandal is what’s legal

And the fact of the matter is that what the trump administration did was certainly suspicious and it might have been politically motivated

We don’t know but it was legal the doj convened a federal grand jury

Got these, uh got these subpoenas present them to apple and got this information

And in a similar way back in 2013, the obama administration did something similar. It’s quite extraordinary

They subpoenaed the records of the ap they for they for two months. They got the records of reporters

and five branches of the ap and all their mobile records and they were on a

Mole hunt to try and find leakers of classified information

So the trump administration basically did exactly what the obama administration did the only new wrinkle

Is that they’d only went after reporters. They actually subpoenaed records of members. You’re missing one huge

You’re missing one huge

Difference trump was under investigation

For espionage and treason at the time. So it is slightly different. Um,

I I don’t think it’s that different in the sense that trump used powers that were pioneered by the obama administration

They just took them. They just took them. Well one little step in addition to that sacks in addition to that


When obama did it all the top brass at the department of justice were aware of this and in this case

You have three people who are running the department of administration all claiming. They don’t know no

In 2013, there’s a new york times article on this i’m going to post on the in the show notes, but

It said that when first of all the ap was not informed about the subpoenas until a number of months later

So it was a secret

seizure of records same thing here with the gag order

And so you have people being investigated. They don’t even know they’re being investigated

Investigated they can’t even get a lawyer spun up to oppose the invasion of their rights

I agree with you, but the attorney general knew about that

Maybe the attorney general did but the white house claims that it didn’t know so

In any event, I mean look what we I my view on this is that we shouldn’t try to make this too partisan

What we have here is an opportunity to hopefully get some bipartisan

legislation to fix the issue and I think the fix should be this that

when you

Investigate somebody when you subpoena records from a big tech company, you have to notify them

You should not be able to do that secretly because the fact of the matter is that apple and these other big tech companies

Don’t have an incentive to oppose the subpoena. They’re not your lawyer

And actually brad smith the president of microsoft had a great op-ed

In the washington post that we should post that we should put in the show notes where he said these secret gag orders

Must stop he said that in the old way of the government subpoenaing records is that you would have

Essentially offline records you’d have a file cabinet and the government would come with a search warrant

That present the search warrant to you and then you could get a lawyer to oppose it

Well, they don’t do that anymore because your records aren’t in a file cabinet somewhere

They’re in the cloud. And so now they don’t even go to the person who’s being investigated, right?

They just go to a big tech company seize the records and then put a gag order on top of this

You don’t even know you’re being investigated. That’s the part of it. That’s and by the way, it’s even more pernicious than that sacks because


Combine this with the previous story

What incentive does apple have to say to an administration that could break them up? We’re not going to cooperate

of course

Zero incentive

They are not your agent in this and here’s the thing. Those are your records

They’re in the cloud, but they’re your records and every other privacy context

We say those records belong to you not to big tech. So what they’re not apples

This is why apple’s moving everything to your phone, right?

But just this point why should the government be able to do an end run around you the target of the investigation?

Go to big tech get your records from because they’re not your records. Well, first of all, they’re not your records

These companies tricked all of us

By giving it to us for free so that we gave them all of our content

They are fair point just like they are not just the custodian. They are the trustee

of our content

And it’s a huge distinction in what they’re allowed to do and jason brings up an incredible point

which is which is that of course, they’re now incentivized to have a back door and

Live under a gag order because their their defense

In a back room is you guys, you know when when in the light

Somebody says we should break you up in the dark. They can say guys. Come on

We got a back door. You just come in gag order us. Give us we’ll give you what you want

You want a honeypot, right? You don’t want this thing all over the internet

And can you imagine how credible david that is to your point?

because that is a body of

Concentrating power that I think is very scary in fairness to apple friedberg

They have locked down the phone and they’ve moved all of this information from the cloud or they’re starting this process and saying

We’re going to keep some amounts of data encrypted on your phone

And of course with the san bernardino shooting they refused

In a terrorist shooting a known terrorist shooting to not give a back door

Um, well, that’s a crazy standard. It’s like, you know what?

Okay, there was a san bernardino shooter and they were like, nope. Sorry. That’s a bridge too far

But you know don mcgann and basically like, you know

Political espionage they’re like, here you go. I don’t know. I don’t know. How do you make these decisions?

Let me ask you guys a question. Go ahead free bird. Would you be?

Could you see yourself?

thriving in a world

Where all of your information was completely publicly available

But also all of everyone else’s information was completely publicly available


Oh, everybody has all their nudes on the web is what you’re saying. Everybody

There’s a there’s a there’s a book by stephen baxter called the light of other days

It’s one of my favorite sci-fi books. I sent it out to all of my uh investors this last

We do like a book thing every year

And I reread it recently

but the whole point of the book is that there’s like a wormhole technology that they discover and they can figure out how to like

Look in you can boot up your computer and look in anywhere and see anything and hear anything you want

and so all of a sudden society has to transform under this kind of

New regime of hyper transparency where all information about everything is completely available

But I think the fear and the concern that we innately have with respect to loss of privacy

Is that there’s a centralized or controlled power that has that information?

But what if there was a world that that you evolved to?

Where all of that information is generally available quite broadly and i’m not advocating for this by the way

I’m, just pointing out that like the sensitivity we have is about our information being concentrated

In the hands of either a government or a business

um, and

I think you have to kind of accept the fact that more information is being generated about each of us every day

Than was being generated by us a few weeks ago or months ago or years ago, basically

Everybody everybody’s the truma and everybody’s the truman show is what you’re saying. Well in a geometrically growing way

Information which we’re calling pii or whatever is being generated about us and I think the genie’s out of the bottle

Meaning like the the cost of sensors the access to digital the digital age and what it brings to us from a benefit perspective

Is creating information about us and a footprint about us that I don’t think we ever kind of contemplated

But as that happens, the question is where does that information go?

Can you put that genie back in the bottle?

And I think there’s a big philosophical point which is like if you try and put the genie back in the bottle

You’re really just trying to fight information wants to be free information wants to grow

What’s the name of the book you were talking about there?

The light of other days by stephen baxter and arthur c clark helped write it

But the book is most interesting about the philosophical implications of a world

Where all information is completely freely available

Any anyone? Yeah, completely transparent

And so like do we see ourselves because I think there’s two paths one is you fight this and you fight it and you fight

It every which way which is I want my pii locked up. I don’t want anyone having access to it

Yada, yada, yada

You’ll either see a diminishment of services or the other one is you do or you’ll see a selfie on twitter

Where you take a shirt off or you’ll see this concentration of power

Where we all kind of freak out where the government or or some business has all of our information

The other path is a path that society starts to recognize that this information’s out there. There’s you know, whatever

It’s not just about pii here. This is about due process

This is about our fifth amendment right to due process. You have the government secretly investigating people

They could never do this if they had to present you with a search warrant

They are doing an end run around that process by going to big tech just to put some numbers on this

Big tech is getting something like 400 subpoenas a week for people’s records. They only oppose four percent of them

Why they have no incentive to how many of those?

Do you know how many of those are secret or not?

We don’t know how many of them have a gag order

They are required to tell the target what happened but not if there’s a gag order attached to it

We don’t know how many have a gag order

You should have the right to send your own lawyer to oppose the request not if you want to

For it if you want to see an amazing movie the lives of others, uh, which is about

the state security service in east berlin germany, uh

Also known as the stasi and the impact of literally in your apartment building

There are three people spying on the other 10 people

And they’re the postman and you know

the housewife and the teacher and they’re all tapped and secretly recording to each other it leads to chaos and bad feelings and

obviously when east berlin, um

When the wall came down all of this came out and it was really dark and crazy

Yeah, I mean look let me connect this to the censorship issue actually because in my view they’re both very similar civil liberties issues

Which is in the case of the censorship issue you have the government

Doing an end run around the first amendment by demanding that big tech companies engage in censorship that the government itself could not do

You have something very similar taking place here with these records. The government is demanding secrecy

About its seizure of records. They’re imposing that on big tech. They’re making big tech do its dirty work for them

They could never do that

Directly if they had to go to the target of the investigation and ask for their and and subpoena the records that way

So what you have here is a case where we not only need to be protected against the power of big tech

We need to be protected against the power of government


the powers of big tech to engage in

You know behavior they couldn’t otherwise engage in and let’s be honest big tech and the government are

uh overlapping and

in cahoots

Or they’re inside. Yeah, they’re in some really crazy dance. The money is flowing freely from

Lobbyists and it’s a very very complicated relationship. It’s a very complicated. It’s a very complicated relationship

All right, seven day average for covid deaths is uh now at



Finding cases of people who have had covid

Um is now becoming like almost shocking. Uh, I don’t know if you guys saw but uh, the point guard chris paul, uh,

Who is having an incredibly winning season in the nba? He basically got covid

They said he was vaccinated so it could be a mild case, but he’s been

Uh pulled out indefinitely and he’s about to play in the western conference final. So it’s pretty crazy and freeberg. Uh, obviously

california’s opened up after 15 months and

We were the first to shut down the last to open up and we were hit the least I think of any state or amongst

the least of any

We were certainly the least of any large state

Um, and you’re being asked

To still wear a mask at your office

I’m also being asked to take off my shoes when I get on an airplane

Yeah, 20 years later, and yeah, I don’t think al-qaeda exists anymore

Uh, yeah, maybe some yeah parts of it explain what’s happening to you in the presidio, which is a lovely state park

uh here in california

My office in the presidio in california san francisco county and the federal government have all removed mask mandates

But our our landlord has determined in their

Judgment that everyone should still wear a mask to go to work

And so to go into my rented office and work. I have to wear a mask

um, and I think it’s it’s an issue for a lot of people who like there’s people that um,

I’ve been

Probably a couple restaurants this week and you know

You go to some restaurants and everyone’s just chilling the employees are not wearing masks

There’s other restaurants where they’re being told they have to keep wearing masks by their manager or their boss

um, and so

this brings up this big question, which is like we’ve now got the kind of

Psychic shadow of covid that that’s gonna it’s gonna it’s gonna cast a very long shadow. You predicted it you predicted it and um,

And so people that that are in power

Want to continue to kind of impress upon, you know, whatever, you know employees or tenants or what have you they might have

Um in whatever they deem their judgment to be which is obviously in many cases an underinformed uninformed non-scientific

and um

And non-mandated judgment about effectively what people should have to wear

So if the threat or the risk has been removed

And all of the health officials and all of the government agencies are saying the threat has been removed

You no longer need to kind of wear masks

But your boss or your manager or your landlord tells you you have to wear a mask

To conduct your business or to go to work

Um, you know, it’s going to bring up this whole series of challenges and questions I foresee

For the next couple of months at least and maybe for several years about what’s fair and what’s right

And and there will always be the safety argument to be made on the other side

So it’s very hard to argue against that and oh, well, the inconvenience is just a mask

It’s not a big deal

But for you know a number of people to to now kind of be told, you know

What to do and what to wear it’ll take a year

To sort all these things out because they’ll all get prosecuted or not prosecuted but litigated

And they’re going to go to court they will get litigated for sure there will there will be lawsuits on this

And and what’s going to happen is that you’re going to basically have again jason back to that example of the the bakery in colorado

um private institutions will be allowed some level

of independence in establishing

um, you know certain employee guidelines and so on exactly and you you’ll have to conform to those and

um, it is what it is. I mean, I I just it was very strange in austin

in terms of these

Covid uh dead enders who just will not let it go

i’m in austin where nobody is wearing a mask and then there were like I went into lululemon and

They like two people charged me with masks in hands

And they were like you have to wear a mask and I was like do I and they’re like, yes, it’s our policy

I was like fine. I’ll put it on. I don’t care

You know, no big deal thing. This thing has really fried a bunch of people’s brains. I mean, it’s crazy

I mean, it’s it’s basically like you’ve taken an entire group of folks and kidnapped them

And kidnapped them essentially. It’s stockholm syndrome. It’s incredible. No, everyone’s

Everyone’s been held hostage, you know in a prison for the last year

and so you’ve kind of

Accepted that this is the new reality. I gotta wear a mask. I gotta wear gloves

um, and you know

It’s the similar sort of shift in reality that I think was needed going into this

Where people didn’t believe what it was and now it’s hard for them to believe what it’s become

We flagged this human nature. Yeah

Yeah, we we flagged on this pod a few months ago the threat of zeroism. Yeah, which is that we wouldn’t let

You know all the special rules and restrictions lift until there were zero cases of covet

And we all know that’s never going to happen covet will always be around in the background

And just to add a layer to what’s happening here in california is yeah on june 15th. We lifted the restrictions

But governor newsom has not given up his emergency powers and he’s he says he will keep them until covet’s been extinguished

So he’s now embraced zeroism

on behalf of uh

This sort of authoritarianism. Yeah, and you know, so we’ve got this like golden state caesar

and now I

What’s interesting is I don’t think this is just because he’s a tyrant. Although he’s certainly been heavy-handed

I think it’s because that the I think it’s more about corruption than ideology because

federal funds

Emergency funds from the federal government keep flowing to the state

As long as we have a state of emergency

And so the longer he keeps this thing going

The more money he gets from the federal government that he can then use in this recall year to pay people off

And so we’ve already seen he’s been buying every vote he can right

He gave 600 bucks to everyone making under 35 000. He’s forgiving all the traffic fines and parking tickets

he’s doing this this lottery ticket, uh thing for getting the vaccine and so he just wants to keep the the um,

the gravy train from washington

California even though

It’s what government governor timoth would have done

I mean, it reminds me of 9 11 where people were just like hey, we can keep this gravy train. No, I mean like

9 11 is the perfect kind of psychic, you know scenario, uh, you know replaying itself with covid

There are behavioral changes that have lasted forever. There are regulatory changes this, you know department of homeland security

I mean you go through the amount of money that gets spent by the tsa every year

And the qualified risk and the qualified benefit

Completely unquantified right like the amount of money that flows into these programs because you can make the the subjective statement

There is a threat there is risk therefore spend infinite amounts of money right like it’s because because you never kind of put

Pen to paper and say what is the risk? What is the probability?

What is the severity of loss and therefore let’s make a value judgment about how much we should spend to protect against that downside

And we’re now doing the same thing with covid

We’re not having a conversation about how many cases how many what’s the risk?

Should we really still be spending billions of dollars of state funding?

To continue to protect a state where 70% of people are vaccinated and we and we have a massive surplus

And we’re still giving people money

Who may or may not need it and we’re doing it indiscriminately speaking of discussions and hard topics and being able to have them

YouTube which kicked off a ton of people on the platform for talking about things that were not approved by the who

Has taken professor brett weinstein’s podcast down because he had a very reasonable discussion

About ivermectin and its efficacy or lack of efficacy. This is a doctor a phd talking to an md

Um, and the video was removed apple did not remove

This episode these people should not be the gatekeepers of the truth. They have no idea what the truth is

Let’s talk about the the john stewart appearance on steve

Well, that’s what I was about to don’t tell this which is

Yeah, he killed he killed on steven colbert

But the things he was saying about the lab leak would not have been allowed on youtube

If it was three months ago that you would have been removed for it

Even as a comedian the performance was amazing. He basically says

You know the wuhan

Uh, covid lab is where the wuhan, you know, uh, no, the disease is named after the lab. So

Where do you think it came from was like a panel in you know mated with a bat

I mean this isn’t and he goes on this whole diatribe. It’s incredibly funny. Yes, but then at the end of it

Well, I I had two takeaways. I don’t know if you guys felt this at first I was like

I had john stewart’s a little unhinged here

Like I mean there was a part of it that was funny and then there was a part of it

Which is like wow, john stewart’s been trapped indoors a little for 15 months

Yeah, yeah, so I I thought that as well to be honest, but then the second thing which I saw on twitter was

all these people reminding

Uh anybody who saw the tweet that this exact content would have not been allowed on big tech platforms

Were it said three or six months ago?

And I was like wow, this is this is really nuts meaning it takes a left-leaning

smart funny

Comedian to say something satire

If the if the right if the right would have said it would have just been instantly banished and that’s like that’s kind of crazy

Yeah, the great quote was I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science science has in many ways helped ease the suffering

of this pandemic

Uh, which was more than likely caused by science

yeah, well

It was a funny line where he said something like uh, if there was an outbreak of chocolatey goodness in hershey, pennsylvania

It wouldn’t be because you know, whatever the pangolin kissed the bat. It’s because there’s a fucking chocolate factory there

Like I don’t know maybe a steam shovel made it with a cocoa bean

There’s a fucking chocolate factory

He was so funny, he’s so he’s so fun, so I I agree with jamal’s takeaways, I mean this was

Great example of of censorship run amok at these big tech companies

but the other thing I saw that was really interesting was steven colbert lose control of his audience and

You know stewart killed on that show, but you could see steven colbert was I think visibly nervous very uncomfortable

Yeah, very uncomfortable. He did not know what was coming and he was trying to and when and when john stewart kept pushing this

He was like well, uh, he’s not trying to qualify

Well, so what you’re saying is now that falchi has said this might be a possibility

You’re saying it might be a possibility and john stewart was having none of it

He ran right over that said no the name is the same. It’s obvious. Come on

And yeah, like colbert kept challenging him. I don’t know if you saw this part where he said hey listen

Is it possible that they have a lab in wuhan to study the coronavirus disease because one there are a lot of novel

Coronavirus diseases because it’s a big bat population and then stewart is like no i’m not standing for that

He goes I totally understand

It’s the local specialty and it’s the only place to find bats. You won’t find bats anywhere else

Oh, wait, austin, texas has thousands of people out of a cave every night at dusk

And he wouldn’t let it go. So it’s just great watching it was it was a reminder frankly of how funny

Both john stewart and stephen colbert were about 15 years ago

And I frankly I don’t think stephen colbert is funny anymore because no because he’s got to keep his job

He’s carrying water. He’s also too woke and and yeah, yes

He’s become very polemical and and what stewart reminded us is that comedy is funny

when it’s making fun of the people who are pretentious and basically who aren’t telling the truth and

Stephen colbert has become so polemical that he’s lost sight of the comedy and john stewart brought it back and I hope you know

Colbert colbert had this element of satire which even stewart because stewart was in your face funny

Whereas colbert was like subtle and dry and you had to think about it. There was layered

And for sure, he’s totally lost it totally totally lost

Well, if you know and then and then and then I thought stewart came out swinging hard

I do think though sax you have to agree

Did it seem to you though?

Like stewart had not like he just needed more human to human interaction. Absolutely. He was a caged tiger, man

He was a caged tiger. They let him out. He was like, you know going off. Absolutely

But it was the funniest thing john stewart’s done in many years and the reason is because

He connected with the fact that here is this obvious thing that we’re not allowed to say

And that is what comics should be doing. Yes, put a light on it

I mean if comedy is tragedy plus time, I think that this is a great moment for us to

Reflect on like I think we’re gonna go back to normal pretty quick

Um, if you remember after 9 11, there was this idea that comedy was over forever

You were not going to be able to make fun of things and that this was the end of satire people were this is you know

Um a bridge too far etc. And I think we’re back. We’re back and that’s it

You know, we can joke about the coronavirus we can talk about it

We don’t need to censor people for having an opinion. We’re all adults here

um, you know the idea that

You know, we have to take down people’s tweets because they have some crazy theory or put a label on them

Like we went a little crazy during the pandemic

And tried to stifle discussions for what reason?

Exactly. Like when we look back on this, it’s gonna look really strange that we

Demanded that we put labels on people questioning or having a debate including doctors

Doctors were not allowed to debate

to the public on youtube or twitter about

Uh, what was the drug that trump kept promoting?

Hydroxychloroquine chloroquine like remember that whole chloroquine. I think this uh,

Ivermectin or whatever it is

It’s just triggering people because it feels like that last drug

Which is a drug that may or may not work to slow down the progression of covid

But anyway, this is all over if you haven’t gotten your goddamn vaccine, please get it. Stop denying science

Stop denying science and climate change climate change is not real

Oh my god, the youtube just canceled their account javad. What are you doing?

We talk about science as if science is a definitive answer to a question

It’s a process a process by which you come to answers you test them and look hydroxychloroquine may have been completely wrong

But let the debate happen. The answers came out. Anyway, i’ll tell you a fundamental premise of science. It’s a challenge assumptions

and so when you challenge, um

An existing hypothesis or kind of an existing thing that we hold to be true

You are engaging in science and the rigorous debate around what works and what doesn’t work was notably absent over the past year

Because everything became about the political truth

You’re either true or you’re false based on your political orientation and we reduced everything down to kind of this one

Politics this one-dimensional framework, which we have a tendency

Let me just point this out to you guys. I was going to mention this a few weeks ago

But like think about every conversation you have

how um common it is now to immediately think about what the person on the other side that you’re talking to just said

And then trying to put them on a blue or red spectrum

It’s it’s it’s how we’ve all kind of been reprogrammed over the past decade or so

Where it used to be about the topic itself?

And the objective truth finding or the or the specifics of what we’re talking about

and now it’s become about you immediately try and resolve them to being conservative or

Or not red or blue trump or not purple

And so every conversation you kind of try and orient around that simple

Ridiculous one-dimensional framework and it’s a complete loss of the discovery of objective truth in all matters in life

And all matters in that affect all of us

Um, and it’s uh, it’s really quite uh stark and sad. This is why we need a new

Political party the reason party. I think it’s less about that

I think it’s more about everyone just reorienting themselves when you have a conversation just notice yourself doing it

And then recognize that maybe that’s not the way to make a decision about the conversation or about having an opinion or a point of

View but have an opinion or a point of view about the topic itself

Not about the orientation of the topic on a on a single dimensional spectrum

And then layer identity politics into that so not only your politics

But your gender your race your sexual preference the color of your skin

and now how is anybody supposed to have a reasonable argument when I have to process like

Oh chamath’s from

You know sri lanka, but he went through canada and he worked for I mean, it’s well

It’s so reductive that no one gets

It’s so reductive that no one gets to have an identity anymore

Right because we we are all complex and all issues are complex and they are all nuanced

And when you reduce everything down to kind of this one-dimensional framework

You lose any ability to have depth to have nuance to have said another way the issues are complex enough

We don’t have to put identity politics or political, you know leanings on top of it

All right, so we had the worst fire season, uh in california ever last year

Obviously as chamath said global warming is a conspiracy

um by the chinese, uh as per your guy trump, uh sacks and uh

There is climate change in switzerland. There is a center called the center for climate change

There is a reason that there’s climate change in switzerland. It’s coming from that lab. Ah, the center did it

Look at the side

Look at the side. It says

They’re getting paid to propagate this conspiracy theory. Yeah. Uh, all right, so it’s it’s going to be the worst

Well, we are at risk more than ever right? So we’re entering june

So as of june 1st, the california snowpack is down to zero percent of normal. That’s never happened before

So it’s the lowest it’s ever been there. There is absolutely like no snowpack in the entire sierra in the entire state

40 of the state is in a state of extreme drought right now

We’ve had 16 000 acres burned as of a few weeks ago up from 3600 during the same time period the same day of the year

last year

um, and so the the tinder is there now remember

uh last year was the highest um

Uh california has ever seen we burnt 4 million acres

Uh last year california has about 33 million acres of farmland of forest land representing about a third of our total land size in the state

Um, you know 60 of that land is federal 40 is private

um, and so the the big kind of variable drivers this year are going to be um,

You know a wind and heat and we’re already seeing a few heat waves

But it’s the wind that kind of kicks these things off, but the tinder is there right? So like the state is dry

um, the uh, the the the snowpack is gone. We’re on severe water restrictions in a lot of counties throughout the state

Um, it’s worth I think talking about the carbon effect, you know last year

Um based on the forests that burnt in california

Uh, we released about one and a half times as much carbon into the atmosphere from our forest fires as we did from

cars burning fossil fuels in the state

um, and so

Wow, so here’s some statistics for you guys, which I think are just worth highlighting

Um, there’s about 2 billion metric tons of carbon stored in california forest land, which is about 60 tons per acre

um, so there’s

About 9 million new tons of carbon sequestered per uh

In california by our forest land per year when there’s a fire

We release about 10 tons per acre. So about one sixth of the carbon in that in that forest land

The rest of the carbon doesn’t burn up

So remember when there’s a forest fire typically the outside of the tree burns the whole thing doesn’t burn to ash

And so a forest fire can actually if you look at the longitudinal kind of effect of it

burning forests

Can actually preserve the carbon sequestration activity versus, you know, just removing forest or removing trees

And so there is to some extent, um, you know an effort that has been shut down several times

Which is to do these kind of controlled burns through the state, but it’s met with such resistance

Uh given that it’s so controversial. No one wants to have smoke in their in their neighborhood

It shouldn’t be it shouldn’t be controversial

The problem is you can’t present simple data and have people have a logical conversation about it and the cost per acre

To clear land and farm to forest land in california is it ranges depending on the complexity of the land

But it’s somewhere between 50 and a thousand dollars. So call it a couple hundred dollars per acre

So you can very quickly kind of do the math on a carbon credit basis chamath. So it’s about 40 bucks per ton

Uh for for carbon credit today

So you’re actually you know

You can kind of preserve about four hundred dollars per ten per ton by not putting carbon into the atmosphere

And if you can actually manage farmland forest land clearance and forest land preservation

Uh from fire at a cost of four hundred dollars or less and there was an active carbon credit market

You should be able to cover the cost of managing that forest land back

But we’re at incredibly high risk this year

It doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily going to have a fire because weather is the key driver

The weather is highly very wind we need wind we need wind and we need a heat wave with wind and then there will be

Fires, but then what do they do when the when the wind kicks up right now, uh, the electric company turns off power

In california because they don’t want to be blamed when a power line goes down and starts a fire

So we have these regular moments. This is where we just lose power. Yeah, this is not just a california problem

I know everyone wants to beat up on california, but like the whole western us go look at google maps

You’ll see how much green stuff there is on google maps. It’s green up and down the western half of the u.s. Friedberg

It was trump, right that um raking up the forests, uh to put it in

Uh layman’s terms or simple terms is an actual thing that helps 60 percent of forest land in california is uh federal land

And uh, it was the federal government’s responsibility to manage that that cost down to manage that risk down. What is the incentive?

What is the motivation? You know, what are the key drivers? Those are obviously it does work to clear it though

It theoretically when you reduce the amount of tinder you will reduce the risk of a burn, right?

And so the cost but the cost of doing so as we mentioned it probably a couple hundred dollars per acre

And so who’s gonna let’s say you want to do that on five million acres, you know

Wouldn’t this create a bunch of jobs? Oh, wait, we’re paying people to stay home

Yeah, like it would create a ton of jobs. I mean, I hate to be like that guy, but like could we

Thirty five dollar an hour jobs for people i’ve heard scuttlebutt that

Newsom is so worried about fire season that they’re going to try and accelerate the recall election

So it happens before there was you know, the conventional wisdom the conventional wisdom would do that too. He’s so smart

No, if chamat did it it would be strategic

The conventional wisdom was that you’d want to wait as long as possible to do the recall because the longer you wait the longer

You get the rebound of the economy from kovid, right?

But now they’re talking about accelerating it to beat fire season because it’s looking really bad


That we needed much more aggressive forest management. It’s not just climate change. It’s also forest management

We don’t do it in california anymore. And so I think we are in for a really hellish fire season

We are going to have a terrible we’re going to have a terrible fire season

Um, there’s going to be brownouts

Probably throughout a lot of the western states

What played out in texas that affected folks a few months ago, I think will

Some version of that will happen

in many places in the u.s. This is

And it’s all roughly avoidable

And the critical principle act this year is the progressive left

They need to marry

Their disdain for climate change

And their disdain


Uh the things that need to happen to prevent it because right now these two things

For them are just like it’s cataclysmically

not possible

um for us to agree on for example as friedberg says a controlled burn program

as a mechanism of sort of like fighting climate change or you know, investing more in


The greenification of the economy so that we can actually eliminate the use of a lot of these

Non-sustainable energy sources all these things basically just come down to a group of individuals


That they can both have an opinion on something as important as climate change

But then are also willing to then go and act right now. They won’t until they do

Um, it’s just going to spill over everywhere

It’s going to be a very bad fire season

And the only reason I know that it is is that every year before it has been every single year has gotten warmer

It’s not you don’t need to be a genius here better. Yes, by the way

Let me just correct a statistic. I said because the statistic I gave was a few weeks ago

um, but as of today we are actually at the average, uh,

The historical average in terms of number of acres that are burnt in california as we have seen historically

I will also say that you know close to one sixth

of um california’s, uh, uh, uh forest land burnt last year

So there is a tremendous amount of tinder that has been removed from the risk equation

And we typically burn about a million acres a year. I think we burnt like four million last a little over four million last year

so, you know as you look at the the cumulative kind of um reduction of burnable acres, we’re we’re actually

The good thing that’s going on is we’re actually at a lower risk scenario going into this year in terms of total amount of tinder

The risk of the tinder catching is higher because it’s drier

NASA, but but when you add this all up, there’s certainly a high probability of a bad fire season

But there could be a scenario here where we end up with less than a million

Zero scenario that’s going to happen. NASA publishes temperature studies. They do measured

measurements of how

Uh much warming there is in the earth

Last year we set yet another record. It was the seventh year in a row where it was

Warmer than all the previous successive years. It’s just going in the same place

I mean and so if we’re all of a sudden supposed to bet

That a trend that has effectively been reliable for the last decade is going to turn

I’m, not sure that that’s a bet you’d want to make

Or that the wind is not going to blow that

There’s no reason to make that bet. I mean, this is like betting on a one-outer

We need we need we need the left to take control of this issue and solve it get ready for martian skies over


Literally i’m thinking about an escape plan from california

And i’m putting a generator in this month. I bought six new air filters, you know, like beautiful

That’s not that’s not good enough

Well, I have my house is totally sealed and I have the air purifiers in I have a built-in air purifier for the house

And I have six portable ones in each every bedroom

Are you coming back in august?

Uh in at the end of august, but by the way, let me let me tell you where it really the rubber meets the road

Uh, just again

I’m speaking to the progressive left. They care apparently so much

About minorities. I just want to make sure you guys understand that, you know air quality

disproportionately affects minorities why

Because we are not not me anymore, but you know minorities are the ones that typically live near

industrial output near transportation through ways and thoroughfares

Yeah, it is it is statistically proven that blacks brown other minority people are the worst people to suffer from

Respiratory diseases and airborne illnesses and these are things that are that are happening today

So again, I want to go back to the same group of individuals who apparently believe in climate change

But don’t believe in nuclear. They don’t believe in control burns

They believe in inequality, but they don’t want to do what’s necessary to regulate emission

What are we doing guys?

Just at some point do the job do the job. I think do your fucking job

I I what you’re saying is correct your mouth

but I think it’s a sad statement about the progressive left that the only way to reach them through an argument is to argue for

That there’s a disparate impact on a minority. The reality affects all americans. Yes, exactly. Exactly

It’s bad red pill. Give me those red pills. Come on

Come on, sacks. You’re holding out. No, but but

But chamath understands that audience. He is making the argument

they’re going to respond to but the argument that they and everyone should be responding to is

Inequality is bad for everybody the planet all humans. Exactly. What are you guys going to do for fire season?

Do you actually i’m thinking about renting a house?

Like I rented a house in chicago and lake michigan last year and I went there and it was a great escape for a month

To get away from fire season

But I I don’t I don’t i’m very scared to be in california during all of this to be completely honest with you

I don’t just want to be there. Um, yeah, i’m out

I’m gonna try to figure out some come back in uh late of august and hopefully everything has calmed down by then

Although it won’t because it gets very very hot at the end of august

September was the heart of it. It’s typically the heart of it part of it

Jake, how do you think you’re gonna go to miami or austin or something?

you know, I I I went back to austin for a wedding and uh, I met the governor, um, and

Uh, don’t care you went this wedding and you met


You gotta beep that out you went to

Sweating about the governor. Yes. Um and

going to austin

In 2021 is like when I would come to san francisco and go to the battery


2003 and sack

2013 and sacks would say why don’t you live here?

There’s so much going on in san francisco come to san francisco and I did

Uh, and I I got the last five years of the peak but uh, austin very appealing to me

And then I’ve been looking at beach houses in um, miami and

I’m, uh, i’m 50 of the way there folks. Oh my god. I mean the fact that you can now buy a beach house. I mean

God bless america

God bless america

And I forgot that I convinced you to move up to san francisco yet another way in which I

Have contributed to the monster your career towards. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. I’m gonna use call-in every day

call-in syndicates underway

Everything you wouldn’t even be a vc if it wasn’t for me. You’d still be a media figure. That’s right

I’d be doing conference producing you’re you’re you and naval really pushed me towards it and then special

Thank you to you and chamath, uh billy

Uh for anchoring, uh, and dave goldberg. We love you. We love you. You know what?

I mean, I I tweeted the other day

At the end of the day

You know our lives are a collection when we look back on them of memories with our friends

And you know, I include family and friends

And this podcast not to get all gushy and and whatever is uh been a delight over the you know

Really hard pandemic that’s now ending and it’s I just i’m really happy that we get to spend this time every week together every week

I get uh, you know a little bit of excitement

Uh, like I used to get when we go you host poker, uh sacks or chamath, you know those days when we’d have a poker game

Uh sky dayton would tell me and you know, uh, I I get a little tingly feeling

Uh, like oh my god

I’m gonna see my friends tonight and play poker and laugh

And you know

We got that amazing note from the woman who said she was really having a hard time during the pandemic and that the podcast

All on podcast really helped her and you know shout out to sam. Thanks for that. Yeah, sam that really made our week. So shout out sam

Um, that was amazing long way of saying I love you sax. Well, I love you

Jake you are the stephen colbert to my john stewart

I think it’s the opposite. I think you know, I I have to call I have to come on your show and red pill you

And make sure that you’re you’re saying the truth and not getting too wrapped up in your trump derangement syndrome or whatever

at the end of the day

You know, we we are I think all of us working through

Complex issues to friedberg. I really loved your contribution today about how complex these issues are and layering more complexity onto them

Of our identities our wealth

You know our histories immigrants not whatever politics

These issues are so hard and in some ways also so easy with technology and world-class execution

That the world needs to have more reasonable conversations

And I think that what we’ve demonstrated here is that four friends can have reasonable discussions and laugh about life and enjoy life

And that should be for everybody listening. That’s what sam said in her note to us, which was very heartwarming. So thank you

Yeah, that was great. Yeah, I mean love you guys. Love you sax

Jesus fucking asperger

Must download new directions to escape forest fires

Love program active love l-o-v-e querying dictionary a feeling of affection for another entity or human

Like I like playing video games till 2 a.m. And my dog

can I say it to a very similar to coding or

Problem solving using my computer do I

17 b subroutine overheating must play chess with peter teal and stop saying I love you

My shirt was so expensive


How do I look with four collars four you say no, it’s more two but also two chins

Two shirts are better than one

Twice as good

Sax is adding shirts to

Love you guys

We open sources to the fans and they’ve just gone crazy with it


We should all just get a room and just have one big huge orgy because they’re all just useless

It’s like it’s like sexual tension, but they just need to release them out

What you’re about to be


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