As you guys know, I get panic attacks at the dentist, but she was able to navigate me through
where I didn’t. I only sweat through half my shirt. You have panic attacks at the dentist?
No, but I sweat profusely and I get very nervous. Why? What is that about? We all have weaknesses,
Jason. We all have weaknesses. This is my Achilles heel. My Achilles heel is a dentist.
Really? Yeah. I don’t like going to the dentist either. No, the dentist really freaks. I don’t
know why it freaks me out, Sax. Have you thought about this? I had a really bad experience when I
was a kid. Tell us more about your childhood trauma. Have you ever seen the movie Marathon
Man? It was kind of like that. Is it safe? Is it safe? All right, here we go.
Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. Welcome again to another episode of the All
In Podcast, episode 37. With us today on his noble crusade conquering Europe, Chamath
Palihapitiya calls us from a castle somewhere. I don’t know. I can tell by the light switches
you’re in Europe. And joining us again, the two AIs, AI number one, David Sachs, and AI number
two, David Friedberg, are here. And of course, I’m Jake Howell. Do we want to get right into the show
or I don’t know, Chamath, if you want to talk about the dueling AIs in the group chat,
debating the nature of the pod? I mean, one guy told the other guy or one robot told the
other robot to fuck off. This is what we know. It’s the singularity. It’s when the robots start
arguing with each other. See, you don’t even know because you don’t have any emotions.
You told Friedberg to fuck off. Oh, that’s kind of true.
He was drinking a beverage with 14% alcohol content. No, no, no. I just think that we,
I think the format of the pod is working and I don’t think we need to turn it on its head.
That’s all. I think my… So, just for the…
We’re going to do this.
I’m so tired and out of it right now, but let’s do it. Just for the listeners’ benefit,
on our little group text where we do our incredibly well-prepped rehearsal for this
show by texting each other, maybe for four minutes a week, but the day before the show…
And insult each other for three hours.
Yeah, mostly other stuff is covered over the group chat. But we were kind of debating,
maybe throwing in a spin and, you know, doing a little group Q&A kind of format.
Sax doesn’t like it. And we were kind of joking with Sax that he loves
getting his soundbites in and then turning them into little short soundbite video clips with his
BFF Henry Belcaster and putting them on Twitter and promoting them around the internet.
And my point of view was, I don’t think that this show should be about getting to the soundbite,
that this show should be about something very different, which is elevating a conversation
and creating the context for people to make decisions on their own.
And that is to give people multiple points of view and all of the data and consideration when
there’s a big topic or a big debate underway. And it’s too easy for us to take a soundbite
and then use that as the narrative to try and influence people to do things or to have a point
of view. And I think that is largely the problem we’ve broadly had in the Twitter social media era
is we are very reductionist, we bring things down to kind of a one sentence or 140 character statement.
And then we use that as an emotional pivot point for people to get them to go on one side or the
other side, as opposed to recognizing that many of the topics we address are… that is the way
things are done. I get it. And here is Sax’s response. That is a valid point,
Friedberg. However, humans all need to be led. They are sheeple. We need to tell the
sheeple what to think and to get Tucker Carlson into office. Jason, I would like to cut to
a segment, a new segment that I call Chamath does a dramatic reading.
So Friedberg did say this. And now a dramatic reading from the group chat.
I will be playing all characters, starting with myself. Friedberg rants, to which I say,
I’m down with that. David Sax, you keep trying to fuck with the format of the show.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Fuck off. Fuck you. Fuck her.
My response, I’m down with that.
Am I going to be able to respond here?
Yes, go ahead.
Okay, Sax. In your defense, you’re running for office, we know.
No, no, no. Look, I think that the Friedberg position on many issues often comes down to the
idea that this issue is so complicated, it’s so nuanced, we can’t have a definitive take.
And I just reject that. I think it’s true for some issues. I think it’s great to have the
conversation. But I think there are many issues where it is possible to have a definitive take,
to come down strongly on one side of it. And I think the audience wants us to do that.
I think it’s a little bit of a cop out to say, oh, we’re just going to table all the issues.
So the audience can say, no, the audience wants to hear us give our point of view.
And I didn’t seek Henry Belcaster out. He found us.
No. Yeah, but you just talk to him seven times a day and direct every frame of the animation.
Let him go.
No. Henry is one of our super fans, started making these videos, okay? I ignored the first 10.
And then finally, I was like, okay, I got to see what this guy’s into, right? You did too.
You slid into his DMs.
What is this about? I hope it’s to promote his business or something,
because he’s just spending way too much time on this. Anyway, so now Henry does run his videos
by us as a courtesy, but he comes up with them. He chooses what takes he wants to run with,
and he puts it all together. Sometimes I’ll have a note for him. I’ll say, you know.
Oh my God. He’s never sent me anything.
You’re going to get ahold of you. He keeps coming to me. Me and Jason are on a throne.
Jason, don’t pretend you’re not on the DM.
With Henry Belcaster?
Yes. Because he can’t get through to you.
Is it okay for me to do this? And I’m just like, go ahead. But then David’s like, well,
actually, if we could change this and cut this word, and David’s like, oh, you don’t need any
editing. Just let the chip fall where they may. And then he’s like Machiavellian back there,
like he’s Scorsese, changing every fucking frame of Henry Belcaster animated GIF made in San Paolo.
I just think it’s a courtesy that Henry’s running it by us. And you know, that’s it.
Are you paying him?
Have you given him any compensation?
Okay. Well, no. Separately. Hold on.
Let’s get to his point. Here it comes.
Separately, I, after finding out that Henry and then his partner, Dylan, they’ve got like a,
it is a business for them. Okay. So I said, listen, you guys are doing great work.
I think he does great work, by the way.
Yeah. I said, listen, why don’t you guys start doing like product videos or videos for startups?
You can do the first one for a call in. So they’re working on a video for that. I think
we’re going to pay him like five grand. And if it’s good, it’ll be great for their business.
I want them to be successful.
No, but let’s get to the point. Let’s get to the point about, you know, reducing the conversation
to soundbites. And I want to respond to your point about not taking a position on things.
But, okay. So I feel like, first of all, within this group, there are hard takes within this
group of four people. So there are hard takes already in the show. And I think that it’s
important in many debates and many of the topics we cover, there is more than one side to the story.
And we can have our formed opinion. But I think understanding what the other counterpoints and
counter arguments might be, is critical to get people to actually get to that opinion themselves,
as opposed to just telling them, this is the single point that you should believe,
nothing else matters. And so, I really think also many of these conversations are generally
two sides of the same coin. And more often than not, if you zoom out,
there are shared values, and many of the things that we all argue about,
broadly as society, and I’m not trying to get too kind of philosophical here.
But if you kind of distill things down to different points of view with the same set of values,
or recognize that there are actually different values, you can come to a point that allows
people to think more progressively, and, you know, achieve a point of view on their own.
And I think that’s critically missing today, broadly in society, that so much is all about
the good and the evil, good and bad, them and us. And we don’t recognize that in moments where there
are shared values, we’re just sitting on, you know, both sides of the same coin, or recognizing
that sometimes having different values doesn’t necessarily make someone evil, it makes them
different. And that’s why I try and kind of elevate the conversation a little bit and why I care so
much about this point, because I really think it’s worth everyone getting a broader perspective on
everything that they’re addressing, so that they can kind of go into things eyes wide open.
Now, sacks, I will say, on nearly everything, I actually fundamentally agree with you on many of
the points on the show. And so it’s a little bit kind of, you know, gets a little echo chambery for
me to kind of say, I agree with sacks, like, that’s it. I think it’s also worth highlighting
why there are other points of view and why there are other arguments to be made out there. And for
me, I certainly have strongly held opinions. And, you know, I, I just don’t think that it’s worth
getting to my opinion without taking the broader context of the conversation.
Did you notice that Friberg got a little emotional there?
I think it was a little emotional.
I was tuned out right now.
I was confused. I am on my iPhone.
Okay, let me let me try and find some.
Let me just ask you one question about this, because this is getting I mean, we’re kind of
in the dugout right now. And I don’t know if this is fabulously boring to people or not.
But do you frequently hold back your opinions on the show? Because you don’t want to influence
people or you’re afraid of being canceled or it having an adverse effect to your business
as it has to David’s business.
I don’t give a shit about that. No, I care more about the the path to an opinion.
Okay, and about the process?
No, and I care more about like, achieving the objective. So what I mean by that is,
if you just say this is my opinion, take it or leave it.
The other half that has a different opinion doesn’t change their opinion.
If you if you zoom out for people, and you say, here’s the broad set of facts and circumstances
and why different groups have different opinions, it ends up being a lot easier to actually get
people to see what may be the better path forward.
Listen, I want to get mad. You want to zoom out?
I got I have I have formed my opinion on many of these matters.
I don’t think stating my opinion changes anyone’s mind. I think zooming out and giving people the
broader perspective so they can get there themselves is the way to kind of achieve change.
Okay, guys, enough. We’re done. We’re done with this topic. This is we can walk and chew gum at
the same time. Here’s the point. I think that David, David Sachs has opinions. They are strong
opinions. But as I’ve known him for 20 years, they’re also weekly held and he changes his mind.
And I think that’s powerful. David Friedberg, and I’ve known you for a very long time as well
is great at explaining things. All of it is additive. So let’s all just keep
Yeah, and of course, of course, you know, I support having a nuanced conversation that
gets all points of views out on the table. The point of the pod is not to, you know,
engage in sort of soundbites. It’s just that what Henry creates is a result of a conversation. He
boils it down from 30 minutes into one minute. I think that performs a service for the audience,
maybe gets our takes out there in a way that, you know, that more people can hear them.
So I think that’s useful.
But do you understand Friedberg’s? I mean, I feel like I’m I feel like I’m a couples therapist here.
But do you understand Friedberg’s position, David?
doesn’t want people to look at the podcast as reduction, a reduction down to a 60 second clip
or a 30 second clip of soundbites. He wants them to hear the full discourse.
Yeah, well, that’s great. Well, then they can listen and do that. But I mean, realistically,
a lot of people don’t have time to listen to the full 60 minutes that made sense to the clip.
But look, I think if there’s a meta purpose to me being on the pod, I think it’s to expand
the parameters of what people think they can say. Because actually, I agree with Friedberg that the
debate is shut down in a lot of contexts, and we want to open it back up. And, you know, you just
The Overton window needs to be reopened.
Yeah, like, look at what the whole Frank Slootman thing last week, where he puts out a pretty
mild statement about supporting diversity, but not to the point where it’s it jeopardizes merit.
You know, there was a giant uproar over that he has to walk it back and issue an apology.
There was no discussion about the CEO of Snowflake.
Yeah, there’s no there’s no discussion or debate there. That was a shutting down of the
conversation because one side of the debate is basically engaging in moral indictments
against the other side. They’re not really interested in having a serious debate about
the issues. I think that my meta purpose in speaking on the pod about all these issues
that I think are just common sense, you know, is just to kind of reopen the debate.
Yeah, I mean, it is that merit versus diversity. And what is the point of a business? And should
the business be compromised or throttled? I think that’s a very hard thing for people to say,
should we throttle this business? So that we have diversity? Should we slow down in order
to have more diversity? We can’t find the right candidate, but we have a candidate here
who’s a white male, but God, you know, we already have seven or eight people on this.
Right. We’ve talked about that. My point in giving that example is just to show how
shut down the debate is because the day after Slootman said, CEOs are having this conversation
in private. They’re telling me this, and they’re afraid to say it publicly. The very next day,
he walks it back and issues an apology, kind of buttressing his original point that people can’t
say what they really think. So in my view, like part of the reason why the all-in pod is successful
is we’re getting issues on the table that people want to talk about, but feel they can’t.
And I think Freeberg brings a very valuable perspective to that conversation.
But my goal is kind of, if I have a meta goal, besides just expressing my point of view,
it is to expand, like you said, the Overton window.
All right. So speaking of the Overton window, New York City has voted for a, basically,
universally, both on the Democratic side and on the Republican side, for a tough on crime mayor,
70% of San Francisco feels worse about crime in a separate poll. And Eric Adams is the current
borough president and a former NYPD officer. And he is looking like he, because of this
stacked voting, which can take a little time to figure out who will become the mayor of New York,
but he has 32% of first place votes among 800,000 Democratic voters.
This guy is a really decent, centrist, moderate human being,
grew up where he was affected and touched by crime, decided to fight through that,
wasn’t, you know, complaining, became a police officer, did that, you know, eventually borough
president has done that, runs for mayor, he goes on television, he gives an interview where they
say, what is your perspectives on stop and frisk? And the answer he gives was pretty specific,
which is that, you know, I believe in stopping and investigating potential crimes or some such,
right? Jason, you can probably find the exact
Well, I mean, having been in the, you know, a New York City Police Department family,
the and living in New York during stop and frisk, they left out a key word, it was stop question
frisk. So in high crime areas where there were a lot of shootings or guns, they would do
stop question and then possibly frisk. Obviously, all policing techniques can be
abused. But his feeling on it was when deployed correctly, stop in question is a great technique.
And I can tell you, when I lived in New York previously, 70 80% of people, including people
of color, including people from the toughest neighborhoods were in favor of this, this was
universally seen as a huge success at the time, because they were taking guns off the street
illegal guns constantly, because somebody would hop a turnstile. Or there’d be people hanging out
on a street corner. And cops would come up and say, Hey, you’re hanging out here at three in
the morning, what’s going on? But the problem, the problem is that he gave a pretty reasonable answer.
Yes. And then they tried to cancel them.
Yep. And he would not allow himself to be canceled, which he went on the breakfast club,
and all kinds of other media outlets, and explained his position, and they couldn’t cancel him.
Which is, I thought it was an incredible testament to what we’re going through right now, which is
right now, nobody knows what to do to solve the things we feel. We’ve tried the radical right
version of a candidate, it didn’t work. We’re now wondering to ourselves, while we have a custodian
in the White House, whether we go to the radical left, that’s probably not going to work either.
Because unfortunately, San Francisco, I mean, unfortunately, it looks like the the
progressive left or the radical left is really, really judgmental. And none of these folks have
really done anything. And so they they are easy to complain. It’s almost as if they know that they
what they want won’t work. So they don’t want anything else to work. And so they just want
everything to devolve into chaos. That’s a shame. And so you know, people tried to literally lie
about what this guy said on television that was taped.
No, five times and clarify, I am not the way they were.
There were people Jason, I don’t know if you saw that they are the video link that
there were people holding a press conference in front of his office,
literally screaming about stop and frisk when he never said stop and frisk. He said stop in
question is a reasonable strategy. If somebody if we think that there’s the potential of a crime.
And the fact that people could not have that conversation, and had to go to basically,
this guy needs to either quit or be completely removed from his ability to run for mayor.
Yeah, and you can people seem to have lost this ability to hold two conflicting ideas in their
mind. Which is, you could be for criminal justice reform, you could be against police violence.
And you could be for strong policing of violent crimes, and law and order. And what seems to be
happening in both cities, New York, San Francisco, and other places where crime is getting acute,
is that they, people are voting, here’s here’s two other to be safer.
Here’s here’s another conflicting thoughts. You can believe that, you know,
Asians are awesome. But you can also believe that the coronavirus may have come from the Wuhan lab.
And believing the latter doesn’t mean that you’re supporting Asian hate. I’m just going to put that
out there. Right? Okay, can I chime in on this? On this? On the on the Adams win? Because I think
this is this is huge news. Do you have your notes from Harry to make? Okay, go.
Look, I mean, Eric Adams is going to be the next mayor of New York City. And I think there’s like
three big takeaways from this. Number one, crime is the issue that I’ve been saying on this pod
that it is for at least six months. It is the number one issue when people do not feel safe
in their homes and in their neighborhoods. You know, nothing else matters. And here comes
this really underdog candidate. He is despised by the sort of the progressive left and sort of the
elites of the Democratic Party. And he wins. I mean, he this is a huge underdog victory.
He’s only a former cop. He still carries a gun. I mean, he is packing. And that sent a message
to the electorate. I am going to be tough on crime. I’m not standing for defunding the police
and deprosecution and decarceration, which are the hobby horses right now, the progressive left.
I’m going to protect you and the city and the voters. We’re eating it up even in the Democratic
Party. So, number one, crime is the huge issue. And I think it’s going to reverberate throughout
America for the next few years. Number two, it showed how out of touch these sort of progressives,
these and I’d say predominantly white progressives are, how to touch they are with the constituencies
they claim to represent. You know, the mostly black and Latino neighborhoods who voted in large
numbers for Eric Adams were having none of this sort of elite woke progressive thinking around
decarceration, deprosecution. They are interested in real solutions for the problems that they see
not engaging in this sort of identity socialism. There’s actually an interesting nugget in what
you’re saying, which I think you can broaden out, which is the radical left. I don’t even call them
the progressive left, because that would mean they were making progress. And they’re thinking,
I think it’s just this radical left. They seem to be white, rich, affluent people. Yes. And they
seem to be super. And they’re super guilty about something totally disconnected from what actual
people of color want. They’re totally disconnected. Like they’re speaking for a group of people who
maybe are like, that’s not actually my position. I want my kids to be safe on the way to school.
I want guns off the street. If somebody, you know, and I think that I want to read the quote
that he had, because this is really important is to go to the source material, not the headlines
from, let’s face it, the radical left is running these news publications, and they’re determining
how they frame him. And here’s the question from Vanity Fair. So you think there is a way to use
stop and frisk that isn’t abusive? It’s a reasonable question. And his answer? Well,
there’s a word that’s missing in there. It’s called stop question and frisk. So two o’clock
in the morning, you look out your door, you see a person standing in front of your house,
he places a gun in his waistband, you go to call the police, I hope that police officer responds,
he needs to be able to question that person. What are you doing with that gun? If we’re telling
police officers, you can’t question people, we are jeopardizing the safety of the city. I mean,
this is the most common sense logical framing of the discussion. It’s not like they’re saying,
just pick a random person on the subway and say, empty your pockets and get up against the wall,
like the Gestapo, you know, somebody called something and you question people in the area.
We’ve seen this in San Francisco that you’ve got these, you know, social justice crusaders who
claim that they’re helping minority communities, and you see an increase in the number of victims
from those communities. And what Eric Adams said is, listen, we can’t just care about the cops
abusing their power, we also have to care about violence against these communities when it’s
perpetrated by criminals. And people responded to that message. And I think the final point that I
think that the Eric Adams win represents is that Twitter is not… Or likely win, likely win.
Likely win, okay, fair enough, is that Twitter is not real life, okay? Eric Adams has 14,000
Twitter followers. Yang has 2 million, okay? Yang came in fourth, okay? And, you know,
Yang was sort of the darling of the, you know, sort of the Twitter elites, you know, he sort of,
I mean, look, when he first got into the Democratic primary for president, he was a
little bit of a breath of fresh air. But ultimately, he kind of adopted the generic progressive
positions on things that did not resonate with the people of New York. They wanted someone tough on
crime. And so, I think, you know, Eric Adams, he had another great quote, I think, on election
night, he said, social media does not pick a candidate, people on social security pick a
candidate, okay? Great line. And I mean, so here’s the thing is, I think we all are distorted in our
thinking based on what this like very loud, but ultimately small number of voices on social media
says. And I think it’s not just politicians. By the way, I mean, it’s not just Eric Adams who won
because he ignored Twitter. I mean, Biden won because he ignored Twitter, right? I mean,
Biden was not on Twitter, and he was able to win the Democratic primary for president.
So, you know, I think there’s a lesson here for politicians, which is ignore Twitter.
Moderates can win anything and everything as long as they show up and they do the work. But if you,
to your point, spend all your time trying to curate your Twitter image, all you’re going to
do is validate a bunch of people that really, at the end of the day, are trying to punch up,
right? If you think about all the people that are spouting off, trying to cancel, trying to judge,
there’s a great quote in many Drake songs, which is like, these people have more followers than
dollars. And what he’s trying to say is like, you make them important when they don’t need to
be important. Totally. Now do CEOs, right? You’ve got CEOs of some of the biggest companies in the
world, like Tim Cook, like Frank Slootman, who are making their company policy based on what this
small number of loud voices on Twitter are saying. It’s ridiculous. I mean, I think the Eric Adams
win is a watershed because it shows the emperor wears no clothes. These very loud, progressive,
woke voices ultimately do not have that many supporters. And all people have to do is stop
listening to them. Not when it goes into the privacy of the ballot box. You have a lot of
people, again, similar to what we saw in the Trump election in 2016, where all these people
quietly said, oh, I cannot support Trump. And then one in two people went into that ballot box and
said, fuck you to everybody. And this is the exact same thing that’s playing out except the opposite,
which is now, if you are not completely progressive, at least in your posture and your
vocabulary, there’s this threat of being canceled. And so you adopt this stuff almost to make your
life easy. But when push comes to shove, and we see it here in New York City, and we’ll probably
see it all over the country, you get into the ballot box, you’re going to go for somebody
moderate and reasonable that does the simple things that you want to get done.
And by the way, they tried to cancel the New York Times tried to cancel Andrew Yang,
because he had made very, he basically said, you know, that mentally ill men who are addicted to
drugs, basically, are punching people in the face. And, you know, we need to address that.
And the New York Times framed it really interestingly. And I’ll read you the tweet,
watch Andrew Yang’s response to a question about how he would handle mental health during
Wednesday’s New York City mayoral debate, drew fire on social media from people who said it
lacked empathy or understanding. And when you look at that framing, he said how he would handle mental
health. He wasn’t talking about mental health, generally and broadly. He was talking about
people suffering from mental health on the streets who were homeless who are addicted to drugs and
who punch people on the face, right massive subset. Yeah, but they framed this to attack
them. Let me just finish the other way they framed it. It drew fire on social media.
So instead of saying this person said this, they literally the New York Times is trying to get
Andrew Yang canceled and to get more people to subscribe by being part of the woke mob.
Yes, literally their Twitter handle does it he I could find 10 times as many people who said,
yeah, we can’t have people who are mentally ill and violent on the street punching people.
It was Andrew Yang’s. It was Andrew Yang’s single best moment of the campaign
is he talked honestly about the risk to the public of mentally ill people living on the streets and
attacking people. It was his single best moment. The reason he did it is because he saw the
traction that Eric Adams was getting on the safety issue. And if Yang had done that from
the beginning of the campaign, he might be the next mayor. Yeah, let me let me read this.
He was he was Yang cared too much. Ultimately, his Achilles heel was caring too much about the
very online voices on Twitter, like the New York Times. And we’ve just seen that Eric Adams has
proved us all a house of cards. Nobody really cares what they think. Here’s the here’s the
quote from Eric Adams. If the Democratic Party fails to recognize what we did here in New York,
they’re going to have a problem in the midterm elections, and they’re going to have a problem
in the presidential election. The Brooklyn Borough President said America is saying,
we want to have justice and safety and end inequality. And we don’t want fancy candidates.
We want candidates. Their nails are not polished. They have calluses on their hands,
and they’re blue collar people, common sense, common sense, return to common sense.
Freeberg, I had CCG on this thread where somebody said they found missing sequencing of the COVID
genes that were submitted to a database. Did you have a chance to review that at all?
I did. And since you sent that, it’s become a little bit of a story. A lot of people have
kind of picked it up and followed up on it, because it did ignite quite a bit of interest.
So, the story is a guy named Jesse Bloom, who’s a researcher at the Hutchinson Cancer Center in
Seattle, and has been studying, you know, COVID as a lot of scientists have kind of
shifted their attention over the past year, but has a background in virology.
He was trying to pull some early genomic samples that may have been taken from patients early in
China. So, what this means is, you know, when patients kind of, in the early days were emerging
as potentially having SARS-CoV-2, they were swabbing them, and then doing a genomic read
of the RNA they find from the virus in that swab. And around the world, a lot of scientists
contribute to this openly available genomic database. And they contribute their whole
genome samples when they run studies and so on. So, other scientists can use it in the future
for research. And what this guy found was that there were a few dozen of these samples
that had been on this genomics database that were now missing. And they had been pulled down.
And using a little technical sleuthing, he realized they had been pulled down from the directory,
but the raw genomic sample read data was still available on the Google Cloud. So,
he used the Google Cloud API to pull that actual data down from the servers,
and then ran a study on it. And it turns out that the interesting kind of intrigue around this story
is why did that data get deleted? Who deleted it? And it turns out the only way it gets deleted
is if the original kind of authors go in and make a request to have it removed. And these
were some random scientists in China who had submitted this data. And so, in the days following
this publication of this guy, so, this guy published this on a preprint server called
bioRxiv. So, it’s not a peer reviewed journal. It basically is a place for bioRxiv is a place where
biology scientists can submit early versions of their research papers or to get a new finding out
really quickly. And then the world can kind of study it. And you don’t have to wait for the
journalistic kind of cycle of getting things approved, which is common now. And so, he put
this thing out there. And everyone’s kind of questioning, well, okay, where did these samples
go? It turns out that these Chinese scientists had submitted them. And now it has shown or it
has come out that apparently some US officials made the request to have it taken down after
being asked to do so by some Chinese officials to pull this data down. And so, there’s a really
weird kind of intrigue going on right now around this whole story. Now, so, that’s kind of thread
number one, which is why was this request made to pull this data down? What was the motivation,
etc? Thread number two is what does the data show us? And what the data shows us, unfortunately,
is a little bit inconclusive. So, a guy named Trevor Bedford just put out a tweet earlier today
analyzing this. He’s a world class virologist, also worked at the French Hutchinson Center
in Seattle. And he basically highlights that in the early days of the SARS-CoV-2 explosion in China,
you can really identify from a genomic variant perspective, two lineages of the virus. That
means, you know, we’re trying to get back to origin or patient zero. And it turns out there
were kind of like these two families of the virus that were emerging. And even with that new data,
you could kind of reconstruct the family tree in such a way that the Wuhan meat market could have
been the origin, meaning the root virus could have come out of that Wuhan market, or the Wuhan
meat market could have been one of the two branches of the tree that emerged early on.
So, there may have been an even earlier origin. And Wuhan market was just one place where it
started to take off. So, you know, he said, look, he still thinks that it’s about a 50-50,
you know, there’s no clear evidence one way or the other based on these newly uncovered samples.
But, you know, there is still this question of does the Wuhan market kind of paint the patient
zero story? Or is it one of the places where the explosion happened and patient zero was,
in fact, much earlier than Wuhan market? I will say, a couple episodes ago, I kind of made a
comment, you know, with respect to the origin of this virus that I don’t know, don’t care. And I
just want to clarify, because I know that some people kind of reached out to me about that.
I didn’t really, my intention with that statement was that this was really meant to be,
I think, a little bit more of a canary in a coal mine for us broadly about, you know, hey,
what we should be looking forward to is what’s next, not just about what happened in the past.
This has happened already. Let’s move on to the next thing is what you’re saying,
not being callous that it doesn’t matter.
Yeah, I think I think what’s more important is that we need to get prepared for how do
we prevent these things happening in the future? And what are the, you know, the key kind of
checkpoints we have around us in the future, because one thing I am most concerned about
is a huge step back, but I’m concerned about our normalization of cancel, you know, we kind of have
started to cancel people, but we’ve also, you know, these shutdowns have been normalized.
And the normalization where shutdown is the response to an emerging variant or emerging
virus is really scary. Because, you know, how is society going to function properly when there’s
going to be a proliferation of these viruses, a proliferation of risks, with new technologies
being made available to us, and then shutting down becomes our immediate response.
Well, how do you feel about shutting down borders, Friedberg as the first course of action,
if everybody in unison had shut down the borders in February, and said,
no intercountry travel, you know, it would have obviously been devastating for the airlines,
but it might have stopped the pandemic in its tracks.
There was no way to stop the pandemic. Once the genies out of the bottle, the genies out of the
bottle. And we saw this in states that had lockdowns and states that didn’t have lockdowns
where we saw equivalent, but why wasn’t Taiwan and Australia and those kind of places that are
islands that lockdown? Why were they spared? I don’t know if you can really say that they
were spared. And I don’t know if you can really say that people are happy with the life that they
led for that year, right? I think what we need to solve for is how do we have these vaccines come
to market much faster, and be much more variable in their efficaciousness, because we are going to
have a lot more of these kind of emerging variants over the next couple of years with SARS-CoV-2,
but also with potentially engineered bugs that we need to be careful about.
Question for Chamath and Sachs then, in Friedberg’s sort of analysis there,
and what was explained on the web about the these new sequences, the US was allegedly involved in
taking this down with the Chinese. If the USA and I’m just creating a hypothesis here just to do a
little game theory. If the US was allowing China to take this down, what would the game theory be?
If the US was involved in, dare I say a cover up, or being opaque, like the Chinese have already
been proven to be? Why would the US do that, Chamath? What would be the possible theories and
Sachs? Why did why did the NBA shut down Daryl Morey? But that may not be that made a sorry,
that may not be national policy, Jake. All right. So like a scientist, an American scientist or an
American official, right, could have made that request. It doesn’t mean that it was a
conspiratorial process to remove this stuff. Yeah, no, I want to jump the gun. I want to
jump the fence and say, if in fact, the some US people were involved, so to your point, it could
be an individual covering it up, or it could be an organization in America, or it could be,
you know, some set of organizations, but Sachs, you wanted to?
Well, look, I don’t believe the wet market theory, precisely because there is a cover up. I mean,
the wet market theory was the official CCP who party line about where the virus came from. If
that was the case, why would they just throw open the gates to investigators, let them go into the
Wuhan Institute of virology? You know, why? Why all the cover up? Why? And when they shut down
all wet markets? Maybe, I mean, but I mean, the logical conclusion, but why? Why obstruct the
investigation? Why ask these American researchers to delete these sequences of DNA or whatever?
And in terms of why would the researchers do it? Because they were asked to and they’ve
got a relationship. Why would Americans be if in fact, they were?
Why is the WHO been carrying water for the Chinese government?
Because they get their paycheck from them.
No, because I think the WHO is stupid. I mean, let’s
Well, they’ve all got all these, you know, institutional incentives. They all work together.
And, you know, there’s money involved, there’s sort of relationships involved,
there’s bureaucracy involved.
And then there’s a level of incompetence.
So it could be incompetence. Could it also not be that we funded that laboratory? In some way,
right? We had given some money towards it. That’s, I think, established.
I think it’s a if I if look, I am a better so
on our face, if they were, in fact, doing this, so we don’t want to look bad, or we don’t want
to be in conflict with them. Because I think Americans in the West might demand we be in
conflict with China.
No, I think it’s I think it’s what Friedberg said, which is like, look, what seemingly a
low level request is made to basically delete an entry in a table, you do it, you know,
not thinking anything of it. It, I think it’s pretty clear that this was something that leaked
out of that lab. The thing that we will never ever know is how and why, and whether it was
purely accidental or something more nefarious than that. And I think this is why to Friedberg’s
point, we just have to put a pin in all of that, and move on and try to figure out a way where we
set ourselves up so that the next time, for example, the like, you know, we hear about the
delta variant. Now, we’re going to hear about other variants in the fall, it’s going to be
a tough winter. We cannot shut down. Yeah.
What happened here in order to inform our plan for the future. So I think to your point,
walking and chewing gum at the same time. Why can’t we do both?
Yeah, well, I mean, think about it if the so I’ve never I’ve never heard anyone seriously
argue that the lab leak was intentional. I mean, I think because that would have posed,
I think, a risk to China itself. But but let’s say let’s say it was an accidental lab leak.
What that suggests is look, the Chinese knew everything about this virus for months,
while we were all here pulling out our hair trying to figure this thing out. What is it?
Who does it affect? You know, what are the risks? We’re all having these debates in the United
States and trying to get to the bottom of this thing. And they knew everything about it. And
they weren’t telling us about freeberg. I mean, the I think I think I read this somewhere. But
Moderna had characterized the vaccine 48 hours after getting an email of the DNA sequence of
the anyone can do that. Yeah, within within 40. So this was done in January, as soon as we got
didn’t make it to David’s point. Why don’t they tell us how they made it?
months to understand the pathology of the virus, right?
Yeah, it’s that’s not what matters. J kal. You can read the code. It’s very
readable. You can read the code within a day. And then you can pick the area that the spike
protein, which we already knew about. And you can say, let’s go build some, you know, target
how they got there doesn’t matter is what you’re saying freeberg how they how they created it.
How they got to the Chinese, you’re saying you’re asking how the Chinese edited the virus in a lab?
Is that what you’re saying? Yeah, how they was just like a three year project? Is this the 17th
version they worked on or the second? You know, like, there’s so many things, Jason, you’re
speaking about, you’re characterizing this as if it was a designed weapon. Is that what you’re
saying? Well, I’m, I’m saying it was designed and not as a weapon. But they were doing what it’s
evolutionary function research. But gain of function means that it there was a gain of
function in plain English freeberg. So when they say biology in virology, they’re going to study
what changes in the genome might do to biology to an animal to a biological system. And that study
gives them insights into how a virus may evolve, or how certain parts of a virus may affect humans
ultimately in different ways. And so understanding viruses and really important when you’re studying
viruses is you want to understand where they’re headed, not just where they’re coming from.
And so to understand where they’re headed, you may make genomic changes and study how those
genomic changes affect biology enhanced. Can I use the word enhanced or evolved,
you could say evolved, you could say enhanced, you could say engineered, but, but very much,
it’s about understanding where the changes in the proteins in the virus can affect biology in
different ways in the future, so that we can better understand, you know, what these viruses
are capable of and prepare ourselves. We found out we found out the implications of COVID-19.
And thank God we didn’t have to find it out for 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 1098. You know what
I mean? Like, yes. So that’s my point, Friedberg, would it not be helpful to open kimono look at
every single enhancement they made, and what the results of those were, like, they did something
in that lab for the last couple of years, who’s got that information? They knew the name is the
same. What this database thing represents is look, there was a cover up here, and that cover
up has fingerprints, and the information is leaking out. And we are seeing more evidence
and more information is going to come out. I actually disagree with you guys that we’re not
going to learn more about what happened. We’re going to learn a lot more. We’re going to learn
a lot more. And it’s going to get worse and worse. It’s going to be but sacks, where does it head?
So like, let’s say we discover, that was my original question. Let’s say we discover that
there’s an accidental lab leak out of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a scientist got infected,
left the lab gave it to her boyfriend, people spread it in the street suddenly became a whole
pandemic. What do we do? What do you think the response is? Do you think Americans basically now
impose sanctions on China and we and we lead to a Cold War? Like where’s this all headed?
What are the motivating principles of politicians who are going to respond as that comes out?
Yes, that’s what I want to know.
Okay, number one, I’ve said before, we got to reassure the whole pharmaceutical industry
cannot be dependent on China for our pharmaceutical supply chain or antibiotics or PPE. That is
insane. Second of all, I mean, we got to be more realistic about the nature of the regime
that we’re dealing with. They knew everything about this virus for months while we were trying
to figure it out. Where does it take us? Like, let’s say we find out that to be true.
What happens now decoupling decoupling here. And here’s another thing that I think needs to happen,
which is that to cover, but I guess that’s sorry, come off one sec, but doesn’t decoupling happen
either way? Like, why do we need all this? Because there is such a motivating principle on
on both sides of the aisle to decouple from China. And there is a motivating principle.
There is a reason to not decouple. It’s called money. There is a group of elites who do not
want the decoupling to happen. No, no, no MBA to iPhones. No, the NBA and Disney do not want
to decouple. They want to integrate these two societies so that we can make money. I’m not sure
that decoupling is my theory of what people are scared of. No, okay. People are scared of a
decoupling. I just want to say two things. I don’t think that there’s like a group of elites that
want that to happen necessarily, because I think that their lives are complicated. And what they
would love to have, I think, is actually two end markets. You have to remember, if you go from one
global market to a duopoly market, and you’re a seller of services, you actually have more pricing
power in a duopoly than you do in a monopoly into a monopoly. So, you know, if you’re Disney,
theoretically, and you have the ability to differentially price two different pieces of
content, you’re going to do that. So I tend to think, in general, it’s better for economic systems
to have this bifurcation. So the I just want to go back to the thing that I wanted to
bifurcation, you’re saying two different markets, but what if there is,
hey, we’re going to sanction, we’re not going to send Disney movies, or they’re not going to let
Disney and NBA and like, they don’t let Google and Twitter in, or iPhones are not going to be
made there. And Apple’s going to start making iPhones in Vietnam and Pakistan and Sri Lanka,
I actually think what happens is it accelerates democracy. Because again, you have an enormously
difficult and thorny issue inside of China, which is they have a cataclysmic demographic
bombshell going on. Yep, they have we have the average age in China versus the average age in
the United States is now the same. Yep, which is an unbelievable thing, because China was
China was 15 or 20 years younger in the early 90s, when all of this offshoring started to happen in
full scale. By the end of 21, by the end of this century, China’s population, I think,
is projected to shrink to about 700 million people. So they are in a hugely difficult
demographic situation where there’s no young people, people are getting older and older and
older. And so there’s just going to be a lot of upheaval. You just saw people cost a lot of money
to much, much more money as Japan has learned China just, you know, relax their one child policy
to two, then within a month, they relax their two child policy to three. And they’re gonna be
paying people to have kids. I mean, we have tax incentives. Well, and now they’re, they’re
floating a policy which has unlimited kids. Okay, so so that’s why you can I just, I just want to
go back to what one of the practical things we can do coming out of Wuhan is all this new data comes
out is instead of vilifying China, or trying to enter some Cold War, which is stupid, we should
just go and reshore everything as Zach suggested. One thing that you can say is, wherever there is
this kind of research happening in the world, every single variant needs to go to some basically
open source repository that virologists all around the world can basically watch what’s happening in
lockstep. Maybe so that well, right, I mean, what was going on here, then? Yeah, they deleted it.
It was deleted.
What are they doing?
That is exactly the principle. And that is exactly what goes on within the academic and research
communities worldwide. There’s very open and cooperative dialogue with academics around the
world about these matters. And generally, that is absolutely true in the way things are done,
because scientists don’t care about politics. They care about, you know, human health and progress.
Answer this question, please. Is every single variant of COVID that led up to COVID-19,
well characterized and well understood by a broad class of scientists and virologists all over the
world? Or? Yeah. Or a small subset of people, the plurality of which were working in the Wuhan lab
for virology, we didn’t know that the argument goes, you don’t know that you have SARS Co v2
in those early days. And so you see some people getting sick, and then suddenly you put your head
up and you’re like, wait a second, what’s going on here? That’s not what I’m asking. Well, my point
is, you’re not you’re not running a genomic sequencing on all those people in those early
days. No, no, I’m asking something else. You have this original virus that you’ve been testing and
mutating and, you know, reprogramming your testing, you’re basically doing a massive
Monte Carlo simulation on an original virus. Are all the intermediate instantiations of that virus
well characterized? Okay, that’s my point. Yeah, okay. If they were publicly available,
wouldn’t that be super dangerous? Also, also, by the way, like, wouldn’t it make sense? And if you
were doing these iterations of these viruses, that that the DNA sequences should go to places
like Pfizer and Moderna, where you are mandated to create vaccines just in case? Well, we are
going to enter a stage here in the next decade, where we will have vaccine printers around the
world, they’re going to be small bioreactors, you’re going to be able to effectively ship code
to them, they’re going to print vaccines, there’s several companies pursuing this.
I’m just gonna go to a limit. I like your idea, though. I’m just gonna say this system
is immature, naive and inefficient. And I think that’s something that we can fix.
That’s why what matters most, in my opinion, and based on the comments I made a few episodes ago,
is that we need to focus on how to get there versus trying to trace back the origins. Because
I think honestly, tracing back the origins is just going to put kindling on a fire that’s already
burning. And so my this, this has been my point about this whole, like, you know, blame China,
we want to get to a point where we can quote unquote, blame China for this. But the decoupling
in the onshore, there is already enough motivation there. And there’s already on both sides of the
aisle, there’s already kind of an obvious trajectory that we’re headed this way. I’m
not sure this is a catalyst, maybe, or it’s a little bit more kindling, we’re already headed
there. And it doesn’t actually answer our forward looking question, which is how do we secure our
future? And how we secure our future is really where technology and industry and some of these
freeburg, let me let me build on Chamath idea. What if the mRNA vaccine creation, and the research
laboratory were the same facility, and you had a cross disciplinary approach,
where they’re making stuff, and then they’re curing it next door in real time so that they
can trade notes? Why would that be a terrible idea? It seems like a brilliant idea.
And you could just, you could just transfer the data from the research and print the vaccines
with the people that are really good at making vaccine. Right? You know, you don’t need to have
an intricate understanding of the biology to actually be effective at making vaccines, right?
No, but isn’t there something about scientists who are cross disciplinary sharing space and having
collisions building relationships? Isn’t that part of the science process that’s worked over the last
couple years, you talk about how in synthetic biology and all this you want the mathematicians,
computer programmers, you know, and the biologists in the same area and the chemists
resolving to a world where we have very cheap, very fast and distributed production of vaccines
is an engineering problem. And the engineering work is what is kind of being undertaken now by
several companies and will be fueled by this, this new bill that Biden’s trying to get past
this infrastructure bill is a ton of money in there for it. And as that happens, that engineering
process is effectively think about them like printers, and they can take code. And that code
allows the printer to now print whatever you want to print, the question of what you want to print
is going to be determined by the research that’s being done over here, which is okay,
here’s what we’re discovering, here’s what we should print, here’s what we should protect
against and why. But I think that there’s a separate engineering exercise was, you know,
let’s build this distributed production system. I’m going to go on a limb and say these labs are
immature, naive, and unsophisticated in the checks and balances that exist. And I think we’ve
seen that and we need to fix it. And you need to do something more than just have a bunch of
folks that are focused on science going ham in whatever way they want.
All right. So just to wrap sacks, anything else on this as we put a cherry on it?
Well, I just you asked the question, what do we do about China? I think that is a question.
That’s a generational question. We’re going to be asking that for decades. This is an area
where we need Friedbergian nuance because it’s something that we’re going to have to navigate
as a country for decades. A really good book about this is the Thucydides Trap
by Graham Allison, who’s a Harvard professor. And he discusses different strategies we can take.
He quotes Lee Kuan Yew, who is the president of Singapore, who has a great quote about this.
Lee Kuan Yew said that the size of China’s displacement of the world balance
is such that the world must find a new balance. It is not possible to pretend that this is just
another big player. This is the biggest player in the history of the world. That was the Lee
Kuan Yew quote. So we were dealing with this issue even before COVID, but I do think that
COVID has unmasked this regime a little bit and caused people across both sides of the spectrum
to look at this regime, I think, more realistically. All right. So in somewhat related
news, Apple obviously building all their phones over there and now having servers and data over
there has led to a lot of scrutiny of big tech. But the more pressing issue is the antitrust bills
that seem to be fast tracked. On Wednesday, US House Judiciary Committee discussed six
proposed antitrust bills. One bill sponsored by a Democrat from Rhode Island would call for Apple
to allow third party app stores, seems reasonable, and provide iPhone technologies to third party
software makers. So I think that means maybe opening up iMessage, which would be delightful.
I’m not sure exactly what they mean there. And so Apple and Tim Cook is in a panic,
he apparently called Nancy Pelosi and said, Can you pump the brakes?
Just to give you an idea of what’s going on here. Apple’s revenue, even though it’s a small
percentage of just 10% of their $274 billion in 2020 revenue, it’s obviously pure profit,
profit margins got to be in the notes here, it says 75%. But I would think it’s even more
clearly services and the app store inside of Apple is I think, analogous to the AWS for Amazon
is money printing machine that’s growing really fast. What do we think about Apple being forced
to put other app stores on their phones, just like you can on your Android phone?
I support it. I’ve been blue pilled on this issue. Actually, that’s what the that’s what
the commenters on of our the all in fans have said is that why sacks taking blue pills on this issue.
And and look, the reality is because I’m not in the business of, of helping $2 trillion
market cap companies. I’m in the underdog business. I’m in the business of helping
the entrepreneur get started with a new company. And the fact of the matter is,
is that Apple has the market power, the same market power greater than Microsoft did in its
heyday with the Windows monopoly. They are total gatekeepers of what applications can be built on
these iOS devices. Windows Windows, you could windows was open. It was open. I mean, it was
open. They didn’t have an app store. Right. So this this proposal by
right. So this proposal by representative Sicily and the Democrat from Rhode Island
would allow this side loading, it would basically loosen the grip that Apple has over the apps that
can be loaded onto Apple devices, it would at least, you know, create some degree some potential
tremendous competition. And it’s very easy to execute. Go ahead, Jamal.
I think you said it really well, I am also in the underdog business. So I think the,
the faster they’ve ran this thing through the better off it’ll be. The thing that is important
to recognize is that Apple will make this argument that, well, look, there’s always Android. And also
look, there’s the open web. And that’s structurally not true for a couple of reasons. The overwhelming
amount of development, at least in Silicon Valley, and broadly speaking in tech starts on the iPhone.
Sure. And it’s only then as an afterthought, almost, I mean, you have to remember, it took
Snapchat three or four years of being a public company before they actually had a reasonable
Android app. Right. And so Android is has always been sort of the low ARPU afterthought, even
though it has meaningfully more users, they’re just not average revenue per user. And so exactly.
And so, you know, it’s kind of a baseless argument, the overwhelming revenue, the North
Star for developers, where all of the venture capital money goes into is the funding and
developing iOS apps. And in that worldview, iOS is a complete monopoly. And breaking up the ability
for them to basically dictate a 30% take rate, and also loosening the technical guardrails,
I think is a huge step forward. There’s only one thing that I would say, however,
Apple has done an incredible job with privacy, locking down the phone,
sandboxing instances, and we’ll have to find some technical alternative to fortifying.
Oh, no, actually, they don’t come up. Actually, I think what they do is when you go to your
settings, you say unlock iPhone, you now are not protected, Apple is not responsible,
you’ve decided to sideload stuff. And it’s basically like putting your your phone into
jailbreak or dev mode, where they are not going to support you. That’s the way I think Apple should
execute it is that would be like they’re, you know, if you want to load anything you want,
when you get viruses, and your privacy gets hacked, it’s not on us, you’ve just essentially,
all the we have one warranty for people who are not jailbroken and sideloaded,
and one warranty for people who decide to jailbreak their phones.
What’s what’s incredible to me the other the other point on this is how quickly these guys
pass this bill, and actually, actually, all six, and then how reasonably well they were written.
I mean, this is one topic where sometimes, you know, politicians can really kind of get it wrong,
or they can get lobbied in one way or the other. And these bills come out, they don’t make sense.
I mean, if you have to remember where how far we’ve come, you know, wasn’t the first antitrust
thing, where like some guy as Zuck a question about like a Model T Ford or something. I mean,
it was just so stupid. They were so dumb. And they’ve gone from there to this is really incredible
how fast they’ve caught up. I think this is just a terrible precedent. And I, I think if you guys
weren’t going to make money by weakening Apple and Alphabet, you guys put your free market hats on,
you kind of acknowledge that this is just a we’re not angel investors.
We did not do the series A of either of those companies, Friedberg.
Yeah, I recognize that. And I think if you guys had a bunch of shares in Alphabet,
or Amazon or Apple, your your opinion would be a little bit different. But
I’m just observing exactly what I’ve shared. I’ve shares in Amazon and Facebook.
Yeah. Well, look, I think in this particular case, he’s in the process of selling.
At the end of the day, if Apple and Alphabet didn’t make incredible products for consumers
and focus on consumer happiness, they wouldn’t be as successful as they are.
And much of if you remember kind of the early days of the Apple App Store
ideology, it was about curating apps and curating the quality of those apps so that the quality of
the overall iPhone experience would be superior to anything else out there and consumers would
love it. It wasn’t about blocking out competitors and blocking out rivals and blocking out other
platforms. It was about making something that consumers would absolutely love.
And the same I think is true.
Incorrect, Friedberg. They blocked third party bookstores and book readers. They blocked browsers.
They want to tell the experience.
VLC and open source players. They did that because they wanted you to use their own products.
They set standards on the App Store. And as long as you met those standards,
those apps got in there. So YouTube’s in there. Google Chrome is in there. You know,
I’ve got Chrome installed on my iPhone. I think it’s a better browser.
It took them years, Friedberg.
Years. And they realized they had to give that up. They had to give up the browser.
Because that’s what consumers wanted.
Because they knew it put a target on their back.
No, the only reason that Chrome is there is because
of the amount of money that Google pays Apple for search.
Yeah, I look.
And that was a quid pro quo in that search deal.
I will bet you dollars to donuts that that’s the only reason.
Yeah, I don’t think Apple is that dumb. I’m pretty sure that these guys recognize that if
consumers want something, they better give it to them. And if consumers wanted a bunch of
shitty apps on the phone that didn’t work and broke down all the time.
You will then go through the process of jailbreak. Should you be able to jailbreak
your phone and hack it, Friedberg?
I don’t I don’t think that I should be telling Apple how to make their friggin hardware.
They should make their hardware and I as a consumer in the free market should decide
if I want to buy it or not. And if I want to
It’s not a free market. It’s a monopoly.
It’s a duopoly.
I can go buy a friggin Samsung or I don’t know if HTC still makes phones or, you know,
Nokia or Blackberry. I guess these guys are all dead because their products suck.
But at the end of the day, if there’s an alternative out there, I will buy it.
And if you guys want to go fund a hardware company that builds a software platform on
top of the hardware and make it
Look at the monopolist over here.
I’m not a monopolist.
Okay, Robert Barron.
Now I know why you didn’t want to say your opinion.
You’re a goddamn robber.
It’s really interesting that Friedberg actually on this issue is actually the free market.
No, and everybody else is sort of blue pill.
But I’ll point out, I don’t think it’s about red pill, blue pill, like, you know,
No, I’m speaking my book.
I completely agree.
I really better for startups.
I think it’s better for startups.
I don’t particularly have a lot of trust or faith that these big companies when they get
this big are particularly well run or have the best interests of the broad market in
And so, yeah, I’ll be honest with you.
I hope these companies get broken up.
I think it’s great for what we do.
I think it’s great for entrepreneurship.
I think it’s super phenomenal for the innovation cycle we could be a part of.
And I would hope to participate in that and make a bunch of money.
The best way to destroy a monopoly is to build better technology that disrupts them.
And that has always been the case throughout history.
And anytime government gets involved and tries to break up a monopoly in a way that is not
natural to the way the market forces might demand, you end up declining an innovation
We have to disrupt Apple.
We have to disrupt Amazon.
We have to disrupt Alphabet using technology if we want to have an advantage to go win in
And by having government come in and intervene, I feel like it ends up being like this cronyism,
which ultimately affects markets in an adverse way.
Here’s the problem is that the developer network effects around an operating system
monopoly are insuperable.
You cannot overthrow them.
There are now thousands and thousands, maybe even millions of apps have been developed
on the iOS system.
And no competitor can ever get that kind of traction.
It is the Windows monopoly all over again.
And by the way, Microsoft and Windows might have dominated the internet if it weren’t
for the government coming down with the whole Netscape litigation.
Netscape didn’t survive, but it kind of froze Microsoft in its tracks and prevented them
from dominating the nascent internet.
And so, I think that turned out to be a good government intervention in terms of allowing
innovation to move forward.
And by the way, just on the Sicilian proposals, I think part of the reason why they make so
much sense is because we can’t break up Apple.
How would you break up Apple, right?
I mean, Apple sells one product, which is iOS on different sizes of sheets of glass.
The only way to break up Apple is to force them to use their, let their operating system
be licensed to other hardware.
But that’s not breaking them up.
That’s not breaking them up.
So it would certainly create downward pressure on their margins if Dell could make a competing
Okay, fair enough.
But what I’m saying is there’s no natural fault lines within Apple like there are at
Amazon or Google, right?
Yes, there’s nothing to chop off.
Amazon could spin out AWS very easily.
Google could spin out YouTube or maybe Enterprise.
Apple’s not going to separate iPad and iOS.
Yes, of course.
So what that means is because you can’t split up the company, if you want to address their
power, the only way to do it is with proposals like sideloading.
I feel like you’re either looking at a capitalist monopoly or you’re looking at a government
So if you think about what’s happened in financial services in the United States,
the regulatory burden on being a service provider in the financial services industry is so high
that it is very difficult for startups to come in and compete.
And look at what emerged, Bitcoin, right?
I feel like there is always going to be a consumer innovation model that will supplant
And you can’t just say, hey, the government’s going to come in and sideload or break up
these big businesses.
What ultimately happens when you do that is you create a regulatory burden that makes
it equally difficult for competition to arise over time, or to reduce innovation that’s
going to benefit consumers.
This is the Princess Leia, you know, basic theory, the tighter you squeeze, the more
galaxy slip through your fingers.
And maybe TikTok and Snapchat are examples of that with Facebook, but there aren’t many
and I don’t know who’s coming up to fight against Amazon at this point.
So Shopify and Shopify is crushing it.
And they’re incredible.
And they’re going to create this long tail of stores that ultimately could end up competing
really effectively with Amazon.
And we’ve seen it right and consumers choose it.
And just because Shopify is making a lot from SaaS revenue does not mean that the majority
of goods are not going to go through.
I will tell you the consumer, the consumer experience on Shopify stores is fantastic.
I mean, we all don’t realize it, but we’re buying a ton of Shopify stores.
And it has forced innovation, you know, and I will also highlight that one of the benefits
of these scaled businesses is that they end up having the resourcing to fund new and emerging
businesses that otherwise wouldn’t be fundable.
I don’t think that AWS would have emerged and therefore Google Cloud and all these other
alternatives wouldn’t have emerged if Amazon didn’t have this thing.
Yeah, it didn’t have this incredible Chromium open source project.
And think about the industry that emerged around Waymo, Android.
But nobody, David, nobody’s nobody’s suggesting to have broken these thing up in 2007.
But it’s 2021.
And things have changed.
I don’t know what’s down the road that we’re going to miss out on, right?
I mean, I guess my point is, like, you know, let the consumer make the decision, as opposed
to create regulatory burden that over time has its own.
What is the downside to allowing somebody who wants to put an app store on their iPhone?
What’s the downside?
What’s the downside to letting me have Amazon’s app store or Android app store and me to pick
that I want to just have one subscript set of subscriptions.
And I prefer the Android store.
The I’m not making it personally, the Apple argument is that the quality of the quality
of I think I just think it’s a little bit short sighted for us to all jump to say,
let’s break up big tech, like the quality of what?
No, no, no, no.
Over the last decade is incredible.
And the new products that have come out is just mind blowing.
And, you know, we all kind of miss the fact that these are the beneficiaries of scale
And, you know, you can’t really see a startup free.
We are not saying break up big tech.
We’re saying get rid of the 30% app store fee because that negatively impacts our portfolios.
Let’s be clear here.
This is screwing with the margins.
And a lot of the companies we invested.
We want that take rate lowered.
I mean, this is if Apple just made the take rate 15%, this entire thing goes away.
Epic Games feels great.
Spotify’s feel great.
That’s what they should have done when you overplay your hand.
And then all of a sudden, you create a group of enemies from Netflix to Spotify to Epic
That was Apple’s big mistake.
They should have given those people a lower rate and just slowly lowered the rate, which
is what everybody’s doing now with creator percentages.
And I think that’s what YouTube should do now.
The 45% they’re taking, just lower that to 30.
Just give up a little bit of the take rate and people will feel more reasonable about
what you’re taking.
Can I can I bring in the that Substack article by Antonio Garcia Martinez?
It was called.
You want to end on that or you want to end on McAfee getting killed by the Musad and the CCP?
I want to end the Apple segment on on on AGM’s article, which was called Bad Apple.
Although great article.
I mean, it was it was unbelievable.
David was so I just want to let people know how excited David was about this.
David, I think, is like ready to be in a full blown romance with Antonio.
I mean, which David are you talking about?
I’m talking about you, Sax.
Are you in love with Antonio?
It’s a big pause.
Oh, oh, he got cut out.
We lost him on Zoom when I asked him if he’s in love.
Apple came in and they pressed pause.
Press pause on the stream.
Look at the frozen look at his eyes.
That’s the look of love.
Jamal, did you read that article?
I thought it was really well written, too.
It was well written.
He’s a great writer.
He’s a really, really good writer.
But here’s the thing.
He is getting paid probably 300,000 to $700,000 to write on Substack after getting fired and
after getting a giant settlement from Apple, whatever that’s going to be.
So he is making out like a bandit.
But I thought the funniest part was like, I’m not being silenced here because I’m now
being paid to talk about Apple for the next year by Substack.
But I thought his most salient point was Steve Jobs would not have been able to exist in
the Apple that exists today.
He would have gotten run out of Apple, is what he said.
He would have been canceled.
I mean, Steve Jobs would have 100%.
David, you broke up when I asked you if you were in love with Antonio.
You just, I think you got.
Apple cut you off.
No, look, I think I don’t agree with everything AGM writes, but I do think he is a fantastic
writer with a lot of interesting perspective.
And that ending of that article, the reason I want to mention it is it goes to Friedberg’s
point about how much innovation is there really at Apple now that the genius who created it
And he ends his article by saying, when Apple launched the Mac computer in 1984, they famously
ran that Super Bowl ad that featured a solitary figure flinging a sledgehammer into a big
brother-like face spewing propaganda at the huddled ranks of some drab dystopia.
And then AGM says the tech titans nowadays resemble more and more the harangue figure
on the screen rather than the colorful rebel going against the established order.
Whether it be hiring policy or free speech, Silicon Valley has to decide whether it becomes
what it once vowed to destroy.
The reality is the great genius who founded Apple is long gone.
It is run by HR people and woke mobs.
It’s run by a supply chain manager.
And so there is no more innovation there.
They are just a gatekeeper collecting rents.
And, you know, Friedberg, you’re right to raise the issue of what’s going to create
the most innovation.
But the thing that’s going to create the most innovation is letting entrepreneurs create
new companies without needing Apple’s permission.
I will tell you something.
I think that over the next decade, because of exactly what you guys said, that Apple
is run by managers who don’t want to see loss but aren’t driven to gain, you’re going to
end up seeing Amazon in particular, and Apple likely as well, lose to the likes of Shopify
and Square and Stripe.
Shopify, Square, and Stripe are all formidable threats to Amazon over time.
And now that Bezos is actually going to step out, and it is going to be run by a bunch
of managers, and you have these founders of these three companies still running all
three of those businesses.
And all three of those businesses are going to be incredible competitive threats from
different angles on Amazon.
That is where innovation wins.
And you will see it because leadership driven by founders at those businesses could take
them to compete directly with these guys.
And you don’t need the government to come in and intervene.
All three of them are building and are going to continue to build better experiences for
consumers and for merchants that could end up disrupting the Amazon monopoly.
I’ll give you a different take.
I think that all four companies are going to win, including Amazon.
Yeah, they’re going to continue to win.
And I think what it shows is that Shopify and Stripe and Square had to have very precise
entry points in markets.
And in many ways, the things that they are allowed to do is still quite constrained because
I think that that’s fine.
That should be allowed.
But I don’t think that’s what’s going to get, you know, legislated and then litigated over
the next 10 or 15 years.
It’s a handful of very specific practices that constrain what folks can do.
I think the app store is a constraint.
The algorithmic nature of Facebook’s newsfeed and Google search are constraints, and people
are going to test those things.
And I think that in testing it, you’re probably going to do what the government was successful,
as Zach said, in 2000, which is just slow these guys down.
You have to remember, at some point, there were probably more DOJ lawyers inside of Microsoft
than product managers.
And everything, if I remember correctly, from a feature perspective, had to go to the DOJ
for approval for some time.
That’s probably the best thing that can happen to these companies, which is you completely
gum up the product infrastructure.
Then, you know, Friedberg, you’re right, the human capital equation changes, people leave,
it’s not that fun to be there.
They go to startups.
But again, you needed the government to step in.
And they’re not going to necessarily solve it, but they can really slow down the overreach
of these companies for the next 20 years.
And I think that that’s net additive for the world.
Here’s here’s my prediction.
I think the pirates are assembling themselves, whether it’s Coinbase saying we’re not gonna
have politics at work or Antonio, and the end of cancel culture, the end of taking the
hysterical left or the historic or the trolling right seriously, I feel like that is ending.
And this great like nightmare of hysteria.
And is going to end and the Overton window is going to blossom and open up and people
are going to be more innovative and accepting of new ideas and be reasonable and not cancel
people who wrote something five or 10 or go go reasonableness.
Yeah, well reasoned.
All right, everybody.
This has been another episode of the all.
What am I doing today?
Well, you are you inviting us somewhere?
No, I’m just wondering, or is this a flex?
Are you gone?
Did you get an electric?
You got an electric surfboard, didn’t you?
It’s a 30pm for me.
So I got to go hang out with my family.
I’ve got an aboard meeting and that’s it.
I’m in the Mediterranean general area.
Yes, I’m actually conquering Europe.
I’m in Miami.
But I did.
Again, I just want to say I did go to the dentist.
And my film pretty good.
Are you hearing about people moving back from Miami?
This like little thing going on about people saying no, that’s people are so happy here.
Do you think you’re going to end up living there?
I mean, we’ll see.
Did you get orthopedic shoes when you bought that shirt?
Did you join a golf club?
Are you in a retirement community right now?
Guys, I’m on a diet.
I predict by the end of the summer, I’ll be thinner than Jason.
Is there a weight back coming?
Go to Dexatrim.
Let’s bring it.
Go to Dexatrim.
Go to Dexascan.
And let’s go.
Show your Dexascan.
I’ll show mine.
Oh, weigh in, weigh in.
Do it, do it, do it.
And then we’ll propose a bet.
What are you wearing right now, Jake?
Jake, what is your weight?
I think I’m 194.
195, something like that.
What’s your height?
Five feet and a half.
What are you?
You do look thinner.
You do look thinner.
Yeah, I think I’ve lost about five pounds already.
I’m about 185 right now.
And what’s your height?
Oh, we’re the same height and you weigh 10 pounds less.
You look good.
You want any pharmaceuticals to lose weight?
No, I’m doing intermittent fasting.
I’m doing no carbs.
And I’m trying to be as plant-based as possible.
Good for you, Saks.
You do look better.
You feel good?
I mean, I, yes, I was getting like just that extra five pounds.
Like kind of tipped me over.
I think I got like another 15 to go, but.
You think you could be 170?
That’s my goal.
Have you cut back on drinking?
We had some incredible wine last night, you know.
Well, I thought you were a vodka guy.
Can’t you just do like a vodka and soda and be good?
I don’t want to give up.
I can’t give up wine.
I can’t wait till we play poker and drink some more Tomas wine.
It was so fun.
Oh, I can’t wait either.
Love you, Saks.
Love you, Harry.
Love you, Harry videos.
This has been the All In Podcast brought to you by nobody.
And if you’d like to join the All In chat, you can join our iMessage group.
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We’re going to monetize by allowing 10 people to be in the iMessage chat for $10,000 a month each
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I got to figure out a way to monetize this.
We’ll see you all next time.
What your winners like.
What your winners like.
What your winners like.
Besties are gone.
That’s my dog taking a notice in your driveway.
My avatar will meet me at Blitz.
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.
What are the B’s?
What are the B’s?
You’re a B.