By the way, black, look at this.
I’m down. I’m up a button, up a button.
This is why the all in pod is falling apart is we got one best
to you thinks he’s fucking Hemingway.
We got another one who thinks he’s Italian nobility.
We got another one who only wants to do is geek out about science
and discuss nothing topical.
I mean, you guys are a total mess and you’re a total mess.
And you and you are cold open.
I’m present. I’ve been present.
Present. I’ve been waiting for two weeks.
And we got the guy who wants to be the next Tucker Carlson.
Yeah, well, Henry Belcaster, write that opening for you.
No, what’s your writing team?
Write that soliloquy.
I’m coming in hot.
I’ve been waiting two weeks to go off.
Let your winners ride
Rain Man, David Satterthwaite.
And I said, we open sources to the fans and they’ve just gone crazy.
Love you guys.
I squeeze a kid.
I’m going all in.
OK, everybody, welcome back to the all in podcast.
We took two weeks off for vacation with us today.
Vacation. From Cation.
Saks is off his boat and ready to go
after the tremendous boat episode.
Friedberg, who David, why are you working from an IRS office?
What? David Saks is in the IRS office.
Saks has joined a call center.
Which call center are you working from?
So this is David Saks on the call in app.
Can I set up your podcast for you, please?
Better fucking get here by tonight.
Saks, you better play fucking cards, bestie.
This is best.
You better fucking show up.
This line is a shit show.
Mr. Beast is showing up.
Mr. Beast is going to play cards and he plays eight.
Queen eight off suit to crack Phil.
It’s going to be very entertaining.
All right. I’m flying back this afternoon.
It’s Mr. Beast.
Alan Shippel, Muth.
This is going to be fucking fireworks tonight.
I am going to lock it up.
The AC, your AC is locked up.
Wait, what time does it start?
Asshole seven to seven a.m.
No, it’s going to be here.
Is your is your guest house taken?
No, you can stay in the guest house if you want.
Here we go.
No, we start.
We started the show and we started the show.
We start at six, but we’re going to break for dinner as normal at seven.
So get here by five.
I’ll come. I got to have dinner with my kids.
I haven’t seen him in a month.
I just remember their names.
It’s Boop and Boop.
And there’s three of them.
OK, yeah, there’s three.
I’ll come after dinner, OK?
All right. OK, good.
Good. Here we go.
First topic of the day is you didn’t do the intros.
Asshole. All right.
No, no, no.
You already did that part.
You started with Saxon.
You didn’t say myself.
When did you become the director?
OK, sit down, Scorsese.
All right. With us again.
The dictator himself, Chamath Paliahapitiya.
Back from his Italian castle.
Fresh off his Italian castle retreat.
One button up.
Maybe we should call you the duke instead of the dictator.
Yeah, because you’ve really taken this this Italian nobility thing to heart.
You know, Jason invaded my castle.
He ravaged my toilets several.
He literally had he co-opted the butler.
He co-opted the chef.
And when he would bicycle back into the best life, I’ll be totally honest.
For a bicycle, he would bicycle back to the to the house.
The gate would close and they would scurry out with two little cokes,
a huge glass filled with ice.
I was so confused when I got zero.
What’s going on?
He’s like, Mr.
Jason, he always percent.
What percent of your book did you write, J.Cowell?
Well, a nonfiction book, typically 60,000 is the target.
So I’m going to write 60 and then try to edit it down to 50.
And I got the first 10 done.
Sorry, can I just say on the on the plane, as well as at my house,
Jason read us the intro.
I’m not going to say what they’re about or the title of the book.
The first couple of chapters.
It’s fucking amazing.
Oh, the idea.
No, no, no.
The idea is amazing.
The title is fantastic.
And what he’s written so far is exceptional.
I was genuinely like, oh, it’s great.
It’s really, really great.
Well, a lot of it was informed by the discussions we’ve been having here.
Of course, back in the mix is Friedberg, the queen of quinoa
in front of some Kmart artwork
that he purchased for his new house.
How are you doing, Queen?
How do you feeling about your decision to not come to Italy with us?
Yeah, I don’t want to talk about it.
Hey, can we can we tell our best Italy story?
Oh, my God, I don’t know what the best is.
A lot of best Italy stories.
Well, I want to tell two stories, and one of them is the joke
I didn’t make at the speech, which I thought was the best fucking joke.
And I want to just get your reaction.
So I’m just going to tell.
So just to give a little background here.
Our friend’s 50th birthday.
Two of our friends had 50 birthdays, me and our other friend.
And so we were in Italy for a week as a group
playing cards and celebrating those two birthdays.
The joke I didn’t make was the following joke, which is all right, guys,
I just want to call a friend.
Number one redacted.
I just want to call out the elephant in the room.
You know, there’s really someone very, very famous amongst us.
Oh, you know, he’s known to be one of the richest men in the world.
He’s known, you know, to really love rockets.
He throws, you know, up rockets all the time.
The despotic leader of North Korea is here.
Kim Jong Un, everybody.
And I point to D.C.
Oh, my God, that is so annoying.
I know, wow, that was a joke I didn’t get to make.
You can’t tell that joke because because it would in the context of,
you know, obviously it would have been a very. Yeah.
All right. And
yeah, it was just a great trip, I have to say.
I took my my.
Yeah, my Italy story is that the second birthday is Jekyll.
The first birthday is a friend to remain nameless.
The second birthday redacted.
The second birthday was Jekyll’s 50th.
Then we find out that Jekyll’s birthday was actually like six months ago.
Six months ago, November 28.
Yeah, nobody nobody cared.
And frankly, none of us went to Italy for Jekyll’s birthday.
We went to the other guy’s.
We went to the other guy’s party.
Yeah. Jekyll’s birthday is like COVID.
He keeps trying to bring it back in different variants.
And no one wants any part of it.
So on the last night, the last night of the trip,
we had the Jekyll birthday party.
And what do they serve? Pizza.
I mean, like because it’s on Jekyll’s dime.
I mean, the rest of the week, we had this like magnificent five star.
I think you throw my birthday party for me, Saks.
You didn’t even throw in any breadsticks.
I mean, he was like he just door dash dominoes.
We had truffle pizza.
I will say it was delicious.
I think it was the best meal.
I think you’re just a little jealous because the dinner you hosted
maybe didn’t hit the notes you wanted to hit, Saks.
Oh, my God. Are you serious?
We brought it.
I mean, he flew in a fucking troop from the food.
I was talking about the pizza versus, you know, by the way,
I just want to say that that whole circus thing in the in the water.
I got so mad at one of my kids because it was so dark
and the kids were in the pool and he kept diving.
Yes. And I kept saying, stop.
I can’t see you.
And so I was just like he never none of the kids should have been in the pool.
I agree with that.
And the truth of the matter is, you know, my five years old was in the pool, too.
And all I could do was keep an eye on him.
And I was so worried about it.
I was playing lifeguard with my family.
I didn’t enjoy the show for that reason.
Yeah, me too.
They had the time of their lives.
Yes, they loved it.
And actually, that was that was definitely worth it.
And the day before, I want to give credit to Saks because Saks and I
went down to that restaurant and we made them open up the wine closet.
We raided it.
We found the best three bottles of wine and we brought them back for everybody.
Oh, and then and then I’m not sure if you remember this.
We taped an episode of Colin in which I was a little drunk.
Yeah, I was drunk. I was confused.
Yeah. So anyway, the whole world can listen to us drunk on Colin.
And we’re launching on September 2nd.
So, oh, yeah. Nice. Congrats.
Yeah, it’s going to be a big deal.
And congratulations to the all in syndicate members
who wet their beaks and to my syndicate members.
People don’t know this, but it was the absolute record
we’ve ever had for any syndicate.
I believe at the end of the day, we had 150 slots and we had 950 people.
Amazing. We had a million or so in allocation.
And I think we had seven million in demand.
I am really excited.
I’m really going to be huge.
Yes, I’m really excited about this product.
It’s the best product I’ve been involved in creating.
It’s better than Yammer.
It’s better than PayPal.
Truly. Oh, spicy take.
I think it’s really good.
Daddy, Daddy got a little taste.
Saks, don’t hurt your.
Don’t hurt your elbow patting yourself on the back there, but go ahead.
Oh, that’s a little.
You got a little product manager elbow there.
Pat yourself on the back.
Dislocate your tricep.
Feedback we’ve gotten from users has been incredible.
I mean, it’s just the reactions.
I’ll tell you what’s good about it.
Here’s here’s what I think you nailed
as a person who’s been in podcasting for over a decade.
aspect of this is when you pop up your club or room on call in,
it creates a podcast out of it with an RSS feed
and you can go listen to the previous show.
So if you are listening to this and you wanted to create
your own version of all in, you could do it on call
and just get three of your knucklehead friends and talk about your adventures
on boats and private jets and drinking fine wine wherever you are.
And you can start your own podcast.
Yeah, it’s not really expensive.
Why not included? Right.
It’s not the key insight.
It’s not about the room.
It’s about the show.
You know, like everything we think of as social audio
is really just a feature of creating a show, creating a new podcast.
And so anyway, people really like it.
I’m very excited.
September shows have been created in the beta.
This is the thing that’s blown me away is like well over 100.
I think maybe a couple of hundred.
If you go to the show directory and the cover art that people have created
is really elaborate.
You know, people are really getting into it.
I said this before.
I think you’re a phenomenal you’re a phenomenal product builder.
So I think this is really exciting under underrated product builder, I would say.
But it’s just interesting that this doesn’t exist.
Somebody should have made this already.
Like there’s Zencaster and Riverside for recording podcasts.
There’s Lipson for hosting them.
What what’s happened as a as a protected minority?
I’d like to ask this question.
What happens? What’s happening to clubhouse?
I think it’s irrelevant.
I’ll be I don’t I don’t want to dunk on founders, but I think that
they why can’t they just do these features?
It sounds I mean, I’m not I’m not trying to guarantee you
they will copy sexist features for sure.
I think they will copy it at some point.
Yeah, but but I think that it’s a good question.
And I really think there’s different visions here.
So, I mean, I’ve listened to their founder talk about his vision,
and it’s very much about creating this live serendipitous type experience,
like kind of like a cocktail party.
And that’s fine. We’re not doing that.
We’re creating long tail podcasting is what we’re doing.
And my experience is informed by what we’ve all been doing
on the show for last year and a half, which is podcasting. Right.
And the thing that I’ve seen that I didn’t know until we did the all in pod
is how much work goes into what Jake does behind the scenes.
We got Nick doing six hours of post production on the show.
I want to automate all that work away so anybody can do what we do.
And that’s like a very different vision.
No offense, Nick.
No, I mean, not everybody is going to want to
put the type of post production into this.
They don’t have you know, I’ve got six people on our podcast team.
Like it’s not everybody’s got that infrastructure.
So over time, you’ll build that, I believe it will turn out great.
All right, let’s get to our first topic here.
While we were away.
The United States started the process of leaving Afghanistan
after a 20 year war in which I think it’s pretty safe to say
that was an unwinnable war.
And we have felt like the Russians did.
Sachs had a tweet that was getting a little bit of play on the old Twitter.
What we’re seeing before our eyes is the collapse of the American empire
because the people in charge are completely corrupt and incompetent.
But we can’t talk about that
because insiders can never criticize other insiders.
The Larry Summers rule.
Did I tweet that?
Yeah, I mean, you might have had a couple of drinks.
And then sorry, he actually didn’t.
He just texted that in the group.
OK, so that was a confidential text to our thought, to our group
that we’re not supposed to even say exists.
No, it’s OK. Don’t beep it. It’s OK.
I mean, it’s it’s it’s true.
It’s it’s not exactly what I tweeted, but it’s similar to things I’ve been tweeting.
And tragically, yesterday,
ISIS-K, which is an Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State,
claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings outside of the airport.
And that tragically killed over 100 people,
90 Afghan citizens and 13 American service members.
I guess, you know, we’re not here to talk about wars.
It’s not exactly in the mandate, but everybody wants our opinion on this.
So let’s get started.
Saks, you have strong opinions. We’ll start.
Well, it’s yeah, I mean, it’s how can you not talk about this?
This feels to me, this is one of those events where, you know,
I was glued to my TV for days.
I think I was in France at the time the Taliban overrun, overran Kabul.
And yeah, it was, you know, the Afghanistan war’s been going on for 20 years.
No one’s been talking about it.
It’s just this thing that’s been happening in the background.
But all along, we’ve been assured by the Pentagon that we’re winning.
Hey, you know, don’t worry about this. We got this.
And then you wake up one day and all of a sudden we’ve lost the war
and the Taliban’s overrunning the country.
And you’re like, what is going on here?
You know, not only is the the botched withdrawal incompetent,
the fact that we were lied to for two decades about what was really happening,
the idea that we had created, you know, we were how many times were we told
that we had created this Afghan army? It was 300 strong.
We spent, you know, two trillion dollars in the country, you know, being.
And we were told the whole time that we were building institutions there,
that, you know, that we were creating a democracy in the Middle East,
that we were even, you know, promoting gender equality
and lecturing the Taliban on toxic masculinity or something like that.
And then we find out one day that, poof, the whole thing was just kind of a lie.
It was this giant debacle.
And now we can’t even get our we can’t even get our civilians out of the country.
Not only that, but we’ve seen 12 people, 12 American servicemen and women killed.
Yesterday, trying to 13, trying to protect the airport,
almost 100 Afghans.
Now we’d only have to not only contend with the Taliban,
whose positions I don’t think any of us know about,
but we also have to deal with ISIS-K, which is like some, you know, offshoot
affiliate of ISIS run by a guy who was actually summarily killed by the Taliban.
But that didn’t clearly stop anybody.
The the level of.
Honestly, just to say the the the lying that we’ve been doing.
On this topic is just utterly.
It’s really, really scary.
You know, how could we have gone 20 years, two trillion dollars,
2400 American lives and counting and found a way to just basically waste
all this money and tell ourselves these lies for so long?
And it turns out none of it was true.
And then the back half of it is that.
We look like a little bit of a country that’s sort of in decline
because we can’t even figure out an orderly withdrawal.
It’s not as if, you know, this thing came out of the blue, out of nowhere.
This was a negotiated withdrawal.
So we had months to plan for this, you know, and we had months
to do the right honorable moral thing for all of these
for for all of these people that helped us in that country.
Just to give you a small anecdote.
You know, the day that Kabul was overrun, you know, the Democrats
were actually tweeting out about celebrating Librarian Day.
That’s what they were focused on.
Jason and I, on the way back, you know, we flew back with my
with my mom and my sister.
We stopped in Toronto to drop them off.
And the planes beside us.
Jason, do you remember this?
Yeah, I think I think Brett or Paul were telling us
my pilots were telling us
these planes have been going back and forth.
Saving refugees in Afghanistan.
And it’s like, wow, what an honor to just be beside these
these amazingly heroic men and women.
And, you know, I don’t know, Jason, if you saw, but as we were refueling,
they came and boarded and they were getting ready to leave again.
Wow. Meanwhile, that America cannot get
even to a point of view on the topic.
And I think that’s what’s so shameful.
It’s like not only do we spend the money, not only do we lose all these lives,
not only didn’t we have an orderly withdrawal,
we couldn’t even at the end guarantee the safety of Americans or
do the right thing for all these people who risk their lives
to help us fight clearly a useless war.
Freeberg, you have lots watching all this.
I know you don’t like when we delve into politics too much.
But what do you have?
Any thoughts you want to add? Yeah.
So it’s about politics as much as
I kind of use a little bit of a startup analogy.
Like America never really found product market fit
with what we were trying to do in Afghanistan.
There’s some fantastic
Gallup polling that’s been done in Afghanistan over the past
15, 20 years already, and they’ve actually had people on the ground polling there.
And most recently, which has been consistent for over 10 years,
polling shown that 87 to 90% of Afghans
said that the government is corrupt.
This is the government, you know, put in power, put in place by the United States.
90% say businesses are corrupt.
And if you go back to a poll they ran in 2010, the question was, in general,
which of these statements comes closest to your point of view?
Sharia law must be the only source of legislation.
56% of the Afghan population in 2010 believed that to be true.
And another 38% said Sharia law must be a source of legislation,
but not the only source.
That leaves just 7% of people that think that Sharia law should not be.
Is it Sharia or Sharia?
Sharia, sorry, Sharia law should not be part of the legislative process
in defining the Afghan laws and constitution.
And so, you know, it’s really telling that, you know, it’s almost like
when you when you start a company and you try and create a product
and you sell it to a customer base, you got to figure out what the product is.
You got to make sure the customers want it.
And then the idea for the startup works.
The problem here is our views as a nation
and maybe Western democracy doesn’t necessarily fit with what that market wants.
And we can certainly make the case that we believe that our ethics
and our values are superior and provide more of an opportunity
for individual freedom and liberty, things that we believe
should be available around the world.
But if the market’s not buying it, the customers don’t want it.
You’re really just raising a ton of venture money,
trying to create a product that no one really wants.
And at the end of the day, you’re you’re a trillion dollars down
and you have to shut the thing down and it goes bankrupt.
And that’s effectively what went down here.
And if you look at the history of Afghanistan, remember,
they were in the Soviet-Afghan war in the 80s, nearly the entire decade of the 80s.
Then the Taliban came along and provided a degree of stability in the 90s.
And then all of a sudden, this Al Qaeda 9-11 war began,
you know, after Taliban had been in power for a year.
And it’s been 20 plus years of strife and 20 years of strife and challenge
where the population have increasingly viewed the government to be corrupt,
businesses to be corrupt.
And here’s a really interesting statistic,
which also came out of this polling that Gallup does.
Over the last 10 years, the percentage of Afghans that are happy
with their present household income has gone or are not happy.
Sorry, with their present household income has gone from 60% to 90%.
Nine out of 10 Afghans as of last year
were not making enough money to make ends meet.
So you put all of these facts together, you’ve got this long history of strife
with this company effectively coming in, trying to tell you
how to run your government, how to run your country
that doesn’t match with your beliefs on the way you think a government should be built.
You’ve got all of this turmoil that’s happened historically.
You know, it really was, I would say, to some degree,
this inevitable failure of a startup that got overfunded,
that never found product market fit, that never really got off the ground.
Certainly the exit strategy on how do you wind something down in this case,
and it certainly relates to human lives.
And the tragedy of the partners that we had on the ground
was was totally mishandled.
But the broader picture here is like, I think it’s more corrupt than that.
I think that we basically engage in a $2 trillion wealth transfer
from the people of the United States, the citizens of the United States,
to the military industrial complex.
That’s what we did.
Well, I mean, I have two points I want to I want to build on
from from yours, Friedberg, and now yours, Chamath, which is
the original mandate here was to go and get rid of Al Qaeda and to also
you know, kill Osama bin Laden and to not have the Taliban
giving safe harbor to Al Qaeda that quick that mission got accomplished
in large part in the first year or two.
And then when we finally got to Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, I think
it probably would have been a better idea to understand this is an unwinnable war.
Get in there, destroy the Taliban, leave and then say, if you come back,
we’ll do it again.
But we’re not going to stay here for 20 years.
To your point, Friedberg, and try to create a revolution
if the people are not ready for it.
I think that we have to start looking at our foreign policy and saying
we do need we do have a better view of human rights clearly
than the Middle East and certainly Afghanistan.
And we do want to promote human rights around the world and freedom.
We’re not doing that.
We’re not we’re not we’re not freedom fighters of democracy or justice.
We should be. We should be.
We are led by motives of revenue and profit.
I know that. But we should be.
And when we went and we kicked the Nazis asses and we beat Japan
when, you know, they were trying to dominate the world,
we were doing it to stop communism.
And I think when you look at nation building in these these kind of revolutions,
to Friedberg’s point, they have to want it as well.
So we should be working with the countries that are teetering
on going from authoritarianism to democracy.
I just we should take the high ground and we should be the moral authority
of the world, because if we’re not, who’s going to be?
I agree with that part.
But I think the right thing to do is just to open our doors and say,
you know what? We’re here.
There’s a draft. Right.
And the smart and the capable and the willing,
we’re willing to basically bring inside of our borders
so that they can work on our behalf.
And that’s what other countries, I think, get right about all of this stuff.
Like, again, as a Canadian,
you know, the Canadian perspective of this is not that you deploy troops
and you get embroiled in these, you know, debacles over 20 years
and thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
It’s the exact opposite.
They’re there to support humanitarian efforts, right?
They’re there to send peacekeeping forces as they need to.
But otherwise, their real response is to actually then open the borders
for folks that want to be there, who are then wanting to trade up
Jason to those values, because that’s the simple way to self-select.
Instead of saying, I’m going to impose my version of democracy over there,
I’m actually going to show you what our version looks like over here.
And if you want to come, the doors are open.
Certainly being an example is step one.
And we, I think, do that largely well.
But we do need to sometimes intervene.
And I think that’s the question here is, when is it just to intervene
when there is human rights on the line
and a country is teetering on authoritarianism or democracy?
Like, where is that line?
The just cause here was to go get Osama bin Laden because he attacked us.
And we should have gotten out of that country
as soon as we realized that bin Laden was no longer there.
I mean, that was basically after the Battle of Tora Bora.
And if we didn’t leave then, we certainly should have left
after we got bin Laden in around 2010.
So what were you still doing there?
We were engaged in this exercise of nation building, which, by the way,
we spent six trillion dollars on nation building exercises
in the Middle East between Afghanistan and Iraq.
For what? For not.
This is why the electorate is in such a foul mood.
How many of our domestic disputes are caused by the fact
that we squandered that six trillion dollars?
That’s more than Biden’s entire domestic agenda.
You know, so we wasted all this money.
To Freiburg’s point, we never understood the culture there.
And to Chamath’s point, it was a giant money
funneling operation to defense contractors.
There was a great piece of reporting by an independent journalist
named Michael Tracy, and he talked to frontline grunts
about the wasteful spending.
You know, they had sent 12 Humvees
to some local Afghan partner.
Only two of them would ever get there.
The other 10 would break down and disappear.
No one would even know where all the money went.
It was like an unbelievable orgy of wastefulness.
And, you know, one other important detail on this, there’s a guy
who I think should be much more famous to all of us.
His name is John F. Sopko.
He’s the special inspector general for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
That short for cigar.
He was appointed by Congress about 13 years ago
to look into what was really happening in Afghanistan
and to report on, quote, unquote, lessons learned from the Afghan war.
And so for 13 years, Sopko has been very quietly, diligently
interviewing people, everyone from frontline troops to commanders
about what’s really been happening in Afghanistan.
And he’s been releasing these reports that everyone in D.C.
knows about, but nobody in the country knows about.
Let me just read you.
These are just the chapter titles from his latest report.
OK, Jesus, just the chapter titles.
Harmful spending patterns, resistance to honesty, personnel struggles,
willful disregard for critical information, incorrect theories of change,
poor understanding of local context.
And by the way, that includes ignoring things like the sexual abuse
of young boys by Afghan warlords who are allies.
OK, which The New York Times reported on.
We completely have swept that under the rug.
OK, that’s just a table of contents.
OK, from one of his latest reports, which is about 100 pages,
a complete incompetence on our in our government, complete waste.
The Pentagon was telling us the whole time.
I mean, while this guy Sopko, the cigar, the special inspector general
was telling us the truth of what was happening.
You’ve got the Pentagon telling us and the elected leaders
the whole time that we’re winning this war, that things are improving.
They had all these bogus metrics to prove it.
And, you know, and so it’s just it’s a systemic failure.
But sex, what would be their motivation to say it’s not working?
Look, I think I think that, well, right, will be the motivation, right?
You can’t you can’t fix what you don’t measure.
And so basically, like if you want to lie there, there you have it.
We have that now for 20 years of lying.
Let’s talk about the metrics, because this is actually an important point.
But this is my point is like, what’s what’s the objective for them to be measured?
What’s the objective in that case?
The objective is to demonstrate the objective is to demonstrate leadership.
The objective is to basically say, you know what, this is really not working.
And this is about putting yourself in the position
of a person whose child is over there, OK?
If any of our children were there who signed up because they thought
they wanted to do the right thing and and and, you know, be in the army
or the Navy or the Marines found themselves in Afghanistan,
got killed, God, heaven forbid.
And then that body comes back and this report comes with it.
Which is effectively what it is.
OK, this is the coda to the death of two point, you know, 2400 Americans
and two trillion dollars.
I would be so heartbroken.
I am heartbroken just thinking about this.
Like this is not that’s not what we’re about.
So we can’t keep doing this and we can’t keep lying.
We can’t rationalize lying anymore.
Right. Well, I agree with that.
And let me just speak to the point about the metrics,
because the problem was not that we didn’t have any metrics.
The problem is that the metrics are bogus.
Now, why is that?
Well, first of all, the mission was very unclear.
It’s not clear how you measure the success
of transforming a country to Afghanistan, like Afghanistan, to our values.
I mean, what what really are the metrics for that?
So what the military started doing is not measuring outputs,
but measuring inputs.
So you have, you know, the commanders on the ground saying, well, today
we trained a thousand new Afghan troops, OK?
But what they don’t say is that over 90 percent of those troops are illiterate
and 85 percent of them are on drugs.
I mean, and this is what the journalists who are on the ground
when they would do the interviews with these, you know, with these,
you know, frontline commanders or trainers, they would find this out.
Now, why wasn’t this in the report?
Well, because the military is a culture that’s based on advancement.
It’s basically the Pentagon is a big country club.
It’s a big insiders club.
There’s a dogma.
The dogma was we’re winning the war.
And if you want to advance that organization, you’re not going to be the one.
You’re not going to be the skunk at the garden party
who tells the generals that they’re full of shit.
You’re basically the guy who gives them the metrics they want to hear.
And then their boss, the person who’s the boss of the frontline guy
is going to improve things 20 percent.
He’s going to shape things another 20 percent.
And then the next guy in the chain of command shapes things 20 percent.
And by the time you get all the way to the top,
the chairman of the chiefs is telling Biden, we have an army
that’s three hundred thousand strong.
These guys are going to take over the country.
We’re not going to have a problem.
We’re going to have plenty of time to get our people out.
And that is why we had a lackadaisical withdrawal strategy.
These guys thought they had all the time in the world
because systemically they’ve been bullshitting themselves
about having a 300,000 man Afghan army.
And then, you know, when you actually look under the hood of this thing,
there is no army.
It’s just basically a bunch of kleptocracy.
I think what happened at the end of this thing
is even more dangerous for the future, on top of everything you said, David,
which I agree with, is that what we basically said is that we will engage
in whatever cover up is necessary because we’re not willing to lead
and talk about the mistakes we’ve made
and to do the things that are necessary to really fix it.
And that’s what’s really fucking sad, because as he said, as you said,
the minute that you knew that bin Laden wasn’t there, we had a choice.
Then the minute you knew that he was already dead, we had a choice.
And the choice was to do the fucking right thing.
And instead, what happened was we got caught up in virtue signaling.
We got caught up in personal advancement.
We got caught up in the grift.
We got caught up in graft.
We got caught up in corruption.
We got caught up in the, you know, military industrial complex.
And here’s here’s where we are.
And the crazy thing is, Biden had a moment.
Where he could have stepped in and said, you know what, guys,
I’m looking at all of this data, here’s the new plan.
And he didn’t do it either.
Let me ask you a question.
If Biden had run an orderly exit
and then it spiraled into Taliban and reverted back to what it was,
how would you feel about all this?
I think that would have been that’s the goal, right?
Trump wanted to get out.
Yes. And Biden both wanted to get executed twice as good or 50% better.
There’d be no problem here.
We all want to be out, correct?
Yes, that that decision, the decision to get out was a 70% popular decision
when Biden made the decision in April.
And then they made it last time because he did.
So this is a bipartisan decision to get out.
Let’s not pretend otherwise.
It was clearly the correct decision to get out.
But here’s where Biden screwed it up, OK?
And there’s some blame that needs to be apportioned to Biden
and to the to the generals.
And we don’t really know who screwed it up, but collectively they did.
The big mistake, the original sin of this withdrawal
is that they pulled out of Bagram Airfield at the beginning of July.
OK, they didn’t just pull out.
They literally ghosted the Afghan.
I mean, they pulled out in the middle of the night without telling anybody.
The Afghans army, who are our allies, woke up the next morning
and the Americans were just gone and the electricity had been turned off.
I mean, this was unbelievable.
And so the problem is we then lost our air superiority over the country.
We lost our ability to conduct close combat air support.
We lost our ability to do a mass evacuation.
OK, we basically gave up our central military asset in the country
before we got the civilians out, before we got our allies out.
And there were 18,000 of these so-called civs, the special immigration visas.
These are the Afghani translators and helpers
who are embedded in our combat unit units.
We the State Department, meanwhile, was totally caught up
in bureaucracy, slow walking their applications.
Those 18,000 translators are now stuck there.
OK, they have 50,000 dependents.
We’re talking about spouses and children.
And so they have no way of getting out.
And then the final thing that just takes the cake
is that we gave a list to the Taliban of here’s our biggest helpers.
When if they go to the checkpoints, we want you to let them.
Oh, my Lord.
So there’s basically an assassination.
This is a kill list given a kill list to the Taliban.
I mean, this is really unforgivable.
And it’s and it’s and this was it’s not like this was unknown.
OK, there was a bipartisan working group of both Democrats and Republicans
who wrote a letter to Blinken at the State Department back in May
saying we are afraid of the about the safety of our Afghan allies.
You need to get them out now.
The State Department is taking too long processing the special immigration visas.
You’re totally caught up in red tape bureaucracies solve this problem.
Blinken did nothing.
He was another deer caught in the headlights.
They could have also just
instead of making people fill out all these forms and all this red tape.
I heard one comment or saying like the right thing to do in situations
like this is to just get everybody out, put them in a holding
location and then process them there.
In other words, if this person says they were translating their family
and they have, you know, relatively good paperwork, get them out,
put them into that holding pattern and then figure out how to process them later.
We got to wrap on this discussion, get to some other topics.
But the interesting thing to watch here is what’s going to be the future
And I don’t know if you guys saw the Financial Times story,
but China is watching this like a hawk.
And they China and Russia are just sitting there laughing.
Well, China is even worse.
They have aspirations of partnership in this region
with Pakistan already and Afghanistan and building super highways
and expanding their train network and having their own Silk Road,
essentially, to get to the Middle East from China.
And this is going to be the axis of the United States
authoritarianism by Biden.
And I even asked Putin if it was OK for us to stage military resources from.
You know, from from from close quarters in Asia,
then Putin was like, no, go, Jason, I think what you just pointed out
is the motivating factor for having a presence
in this and other similar similarly situated territories around the world.
Yeah, a lot of people assume it’s about imperialism
and imposing kind of American democratic principles and ideals.
That’s the way the narrative is sold internally here in this country.
But the truth from the intelligence community, and I think the folks
that maybe are a little bit more thoughtful and long term
thinking about this sort of stuff is that the absence of an American
presence in certain parts of the world will enable
the the success of what we would consider competing states globally.
And, you know, there is still that unanswered question, ultimately,
of how do we compete on a global stage,
given what is currently
a very negative view on our having a presence overseas,
a military presence overseas, a physical presence overseas
in these sorts of territories?
And it begs the question of does that really set us up for challenges
and failures in the 21st century as a nation state,
as the other global players, in particular China,
you know, take advantage of these openings?
Yeah, well, I agree with that.
And let me just let me just say why China is so smart and we are so dumb.
China is going to Afghanistan right now and cutting deals with the Taliban
to build a highway so they can get to the rare earth minerals,
which Afghanistan is rich in.
And they’re going to use the superhighway they’re going to build
to get that out and feed their economy.
That is how they’re going to spend their capital in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, we spent over two trillion and we have nothing to show for it.
You know, they go abroad in search of rare earth minerals.
We go there to lecture people on toxic masculinity.
It is absurd. OK.
Now, the president.
Well, you know, it’s it’s a little too cynical.
We were also protecting.
It’s not educating women in that country.
And don’t forget the pronouns.
Yes, we go to the pronouns.
That’s them. They them. It’s very important.
That’s right. We go there to lecture people on their pronouns.
No, that is far too cynical.
No, it’s not.
We went there to protect some people who wanted democracy
and to allow women to read and to be.
Oh, we just decided we just flushed that.
We just flushed that right down the toilet.
Sorry, I know that we do not conflate that.
We just want to lecture.
But David, David is right.
We knew that the minute we pulled out, we were casting 50 percent
of that population to a complete state of stasis
that was completely not known.
So are you saying that we should have stayed there with some presence?
Well, this is this is like the argument in Vietnam.
Don’t tell the truth.
We should have just told the truth.
We’re leaving. We don’t have a plan.
And this is going to risk all women.
It’s going to risk people that helped us.
And we are not sure what’s going to happen.
But you know what?
We decided we’re leaving.
That was the truth.
Remember, remember the Vietnam War?
We killed two million Vietnamese to make the country safe for democracy.
You know what the Vietnamese said at the end of that?
We’d rather have our two million people back.
We see these wars in terms of ideology.
We think we’re going there to spread democracy.
They see it in terms of nationalism.
All they see is a foreign invader trying to impose their values.
That’s why they don’t buy into what we’re doing.
And by the way, the whole idea that we’re going to plant
Madisonian democracy in the soil of the Middle East,
that was a 20 year folly that cost us trillions.
And one of the reasons why there are no Madison’s over there,
there are no Madison’s, there are no Jefferson’s, there are no Washington’s.
Who is going to take up that cause?
What we had in Afghanistan is this president Ghani, who’s a crook
who was off on the first helicopter with millions of our dollars.
That is how stupid we are.
It’s the last place we should be trying to do democracy.
There’s other places where it’s teetering and we can probably be more helpful.
The American president, John Quincy Adams.
This is back when America had a rational foreign policy.
He said America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy.
That used to be our foreign policy.
Now we involve ourselves all over the world to impose our values for no reasons.
It is costing us a fortune and has led to the crumbling
of the America of American wealth and power.
And it completely erodes our trust in institutions,
particularly the institution of the federal government.
And we’re left just scratching our heads, saying, if not these guys,
then who is going to figure this out?
What do we do with Taiwan?
If Chamath and Sachs, if you’re.
Don’t want to be, if you don’t want to support democracy in the world,
what happens to Taiwan in your world?
This sign Taiwan’s death ward.
I’m sorry, but you should just assume that we should just let Taiwan go.
No, my point is the following.
Taiwan will, when the when PRC has the right window,
be under complete Chinese control.
And we because of how we have executed this and how we’ve executed
the rest of our Middle Asia strategy means that we will not really engage.
And the reason is because it will be an enormous food fight
inside the United States where all of these past experiences
of us fucking this up will come up.
Should we defend Taiwan?
By the way, the difference is we’re not going to we would not be going to war
with a bunch of like fucking tribal people in the mountains
carrying sticks and AK-47s from the 80s.
This is China.
So if we get if we if we can’t beat and win in Afghanistan, I mean, we also
what are our chance?
I mean, I’m sorry, guys, but chances alone, it’s not worth it.
With a group of Japan,
South Korea, Australia and the EU, we should be defending Taiwan.
In my mind. What do you think, Freeberg?
Should we try and defend Taiwan when this inevitably leads
to the Chinese government finding their window as Chamath is predicting?
Again, I don’t think that the motivating factor
could necessarily be
imposing democratic principles as the priority.
If you were to to to actually weigh that decision,
you would realize that you should probably have a presence
in some Latin American countries.
You should probably have a presence in Central Africa
where there are authoritarian regimes that are doing terrible things.
But we don’t have a competing global interest there to defend against.
Well, to be clear, Taiwan is right now democratic.
So we would be defending a democracy.
Freeberg, Jake is asking a specific question.
If China invades Taiwan, do you think the United States should get involved?
On a principle basis, or do I think the United States will get involved?
Yeah, I mean, I think the challenge is the escalation with China, right?
So that’s going to be the big calculus.
It’s really about what’s the what’s the long term cost?
Certainly on a on a principle basis, you’d say, let’s go defend the weak
and go protect them because they share principles and ideals with us.
But the backlash, the challenge would be if we were to do this,
global trade would stall.
There would be massive issues at home with people saying
that we’re getting involved in an overseas war.
All of the reasons that from a political perspective,
it would stall our economy, it would cause all these, you know,
I’m kind of speculating a bit here.
But the actual cost isn’t just about sending a few thousand troops
over and surrounding the island and protecting people.
It’s actually much more severe than that.
And if you were to weigh it, it could be that we end up with 25,
30 million people losing their jobs over the next decade
because of the economic fallout that occurs in our doing that and so on and so forth.
And a lot of American prosperity that we get to enjoy,
you know, kind of kind of declines.
And so that’s the real calculus.
And I don’t know how to do that calculus, but I think that is the calculus
that that is being done by the intelligence community
to figure out the answer to that question.
Let’s swing it to Sachs to do a little bit more of this calculus,
because what we’re talking about here is not giving up an authoritarian state
that wants to be authoritarian.
We’re talking about a democracy on the risk board.
Yes. We take it and flipped from a democracy like Hong Kong has been flipped.
I think it’s a I think it’s a very important distinction
that Taiwan is already a democracy.
They got there on their own.
They’ve done a lot of hard work building that country.
Since that, basically, the country became separate from mainland China,
I think, in 1945, it’s never been under the control of the CCP.
It’s a it’s a free enterprise system.
It’s democratic capitalism.
There is basically 24 million free souls who live on that island.
And if we show any weakness and we frankly already have
by what we’ve done in the Middle East, if we show any weakness,
they will fall under the boot of the communist regime.
So I think there’s a big difference between trying to plant democracy
or nation build verse in a country that’s never had it before
in thousands of years and basically being friends and allies
with a country that already is a democracy and just wants to be free.
And I think our message to China should just be we like things the way they are.
We don’t want them to change. That’s it.
We have a policy of what’s called strategic ambiguity to Taiwan.
It basically says that we may come to the defense of Taiwan or we may not.
And I think we should just continue with that policy.
I think our message should just be we like the status quo.
We don’t think it should change. Let’s leave things alone.
I think that that’s fine.
But I think we need to be investing hundreds of billions.
The trillions of dollars we wasted in Afghanistan could have been better served
building an infrastructure in America for chips and semiconductors
and a bunch of these critical components,
because then it would give us a lot more bargaining room
to actually be able to play out that strategic ambiguity more fully.
I think the reality is that despite the policy framework,
the practical economic reality is that we would be engulfed in a war
if if Taiwan were taken over by China, because as Friedberg said,
our economy would ground to a halt because those critical assets are linchpins
for how massive swaths of the American economy work.
Yeah, I’ll tell you one thing we should be making plans for.
I don’t know if our military is competent enough, but we’ve talked on this pod
before about how what 70 percent of the advanced chips come out of Taiwan.
Companies like TSMC, if China takes over that island,
I mean, those chips are the new oil, right?
We’re going to be dependent on them in a way we never should be for our supply chain.
You’re right, Chamath.
We never should have gotten this dependent.
But frankly, our military needs to have a plan to sabotage those chip factories
because we can’t let them fall under the control of the CCP.
I don’t know if they’re competent enough to do that.
But but if Taiwan falls, it needs to be a poison chalice for the CCP.
We’re going to need to make some decisions here because Russia with Crimea
and the Ukraine and their ambitions and then China taking over Hong Kong
and looking at Taiwan.
I mean, I think the lesson here is if you’re a dictator
and you are allowed to take over other regions and other countries,
you’re not going to stop is the nature of dictators.
And we have to at least put our foot down.
You know, Afghanistan’s a shitshow.
But these other places were flat footed right now.
Jekyll, we’re stumbling forward.
We’re not a serious problem.
And so and so we need to we need to sort of like recenter ourselves and get momentum.
You know, you to use a poker analogy.
Yes. Basically, it’s just bluffed off half our stack with the Jack 8 offsuit.
And then and then when you get the ace king suited, you have no chips to play with.
Yeah, right. You know, and you have to reestablish our credibility.
Basically, 9-11, 9-11 put us on tilt.
OK, and we’ve been losing pots for the last 20 years.
Yeah. Now we just lost the big one.
And the question is, to Jamal’s point, are we going to lose the rest of our stack
or we’re going to go take a walk around the block like Muth?
We center our center.
Time to recenter. Time to take a walk.
On the recentering thing,
China is going in the opposite direction in a way that could actually help us,
meaning like, you know, it’s a it’s a pretty scary
set of things that’s happening over there.
But it’s also a kind of instructive about how we could recenter ourselves
because there’s they’re actually enacting the laws that we all talk about.
We’ve been talking about for seven months, but they’re actually willing to do it.
And they and so if American policymakers would actually give it to
what’s going on over there with the China or should we go to robotics?
Let’s let’s finish China and then we can and then we can talk about
China is continuing their crackdown of tech companies
and has proposed a ban on foreign IPOs.
The Wall Street Journal had some exclusive reporting today.
I’ll just read a quote and then hand it over to Chamath.
China plans to propose new rules that would ban companies
with large amounts of sensitive consumer data from going public in the US.
People familiar with the matter said.
And in addition to that, under these new rules,
they are looking at the algorithms that are being run
and different services and making them transparent.
And the Chinese government will basically control the algorithms
that have caused so much chaos here in the United States
with Facebook and Twitter and YouTube.
And then finally, they’re going to close the loophole on VIEs.
Chamath, you want to explain what this means from a market perspective?
Today’s a really big day because of these things, Jason, as you just said.
So let me just break this down, because I think it’s interesting
for us to all learn about this together.
So one thing is around the technology, which I’ll talk about in a second,
which you just talked about and then previewed.
And then the second is around the capital markets and the money flow.
And that this is a really big deal.
So what is a VIE?
Because you’re going to hear this a lot.
A VIE is what’s called a variable interest entity.
And what it is, is just a massive workaround.
So essentially what happened was a VIE was a legal business
where, you know, an entity had control of a company,
OK, through a contract, but not through equity.
So it’s kind of like, you know, Sachs, like I had a contract with Colin
that said, I can dictate, you know, who does what, et cetera.
But I don’t own any equity.
Now, the company that completely ran afoul of all of these things was Enron.
And back in 2001, Enron went fucking ham, as we all know.
They had a bunch of these VIEs and they used it to basically shield
a bunch of losses and do a bunch of shady things.
So then there was a bunch of accounting laws that were introduced.
On a completely separate track around that same time was like, hey, listen,
we want to control our economy, so we’re going to prohibit foreign ownership.
So just for all you guys to know, China to this day
does not allow a foreigner to own a piece, large sections of the Chinese economy.
OK, so as of 2018, which is the last updated list, as far as I could find it,
there are 33 sectors of the economy where China says
you cannot be a foreigner and own any equity.
You have to have a local partner.
No, you cannot own any equity.
You want to start a business there.
You have to have like a partner like Yahoo did.
So all technology companies fall under this.
All data companies, any education company, any media company.
So you can imagine it’s basically every part of the economy that matters.
And so because of all these restrictions, you know, the Chinese
Internet companies were like, hey, hold on a second.
I need to get access to the capital markets.
What do I do?
They dusted off the VIE structure and they basically created
all of these, you know, Cayman’s holding companies.
And that’s where all the American investors would go and buy equity
from or contribute equity to.
And so, you know, Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, Didi.com, JD,
all of these folks have these VIEs.
And what’s interesting about these VIEs is it’s written clear as day,
but not a single investor seemed to care.
But in the prospectuses of these Chinese companies, they were clear.
It doesn’t mean you actually have a claim on the assets.
It doesn’t mean you can actually make a demand of management.
I mean, if you saw this in an American prospectus,
you would not put a single dollar into these companies.
But in fact, the exact opposite happened because people were greedy
and chasing the money.
And and these risks, by the way, came back to bear.
Because, Jason, I think you were the one that gave the example
of the Chinese tutoring guys where, you know, overnight
this guy lost ninety nine percent of his net worth.
I think this is a one or two pods ago.
The way they did that was that they canceled the VIEs.
They said online tutoring.
Nope. Sorry, these things can’t exist anymore.
And so essentially, we have the situation now
where VIEs are part of 58 companies,
massive Chinese mega cap companies that are in the huge indexes
in the United States.
These 58 companies account for two trillion dollars of market cap.
We are we are we are now in a situation now
where the Chinese government basically says for online tutoring,
we’re going to cancel the VIEs in a bunch of other areas.
We’re going to start with regulation.
We could cancel the VIEs later.
And so we’ve essentially put the capital markets, in my opinion, on pause.
And so now let’s transition to the markets in China.
Capital markets in China, I think now are the most volatile
they’ve ever been.
Essentially, the People’s Republic of China, the government,
the CCP chooses how and who will make money.
And they are basically putting their foot down in a big way in the capital.
What happens to the one point six, two trillion in existing shares
that have been bought by people around the world?
Would there be some way to unravel that or a tender offer?
You’re going to have to delist these ADRs.
I don’t exactly know what would happen.
I think what happens is unprecedented. Am I correct?
No, you have capital loss, Jason, because when they canceled
the online tutoring VIEs, the stock prices basically went to zero.
So you could eviscerate two trillion dollars of market cap tomorrow
if they decide, you know what, that VIE for Alibaba, by the way, Nick,
I’ll send it to you.
But it’s a it’s a thing of art.
If you look at the VIE structure for BABA,
I mean, it is a fucking babushka doll of nesting entities and this or that.
I don’t know how any investor who bought shares in Alibaba
actually took the time to understand what they were actually buying.
They suspended disbelief because they were greedy.
So so the point is, that’s happening.
OK, so the the capital markets are now, I think, getting really constrained.
The complement to this is that they’re starting to now introduce legislation
as a prelude, in my opinion, to canceling some of these VIEs
in the most important area that we care about, which is tech.
So, Jason, to your point, the Chinese cyberspace watchdog today
or yesterday, I think it was they just published a list of draft
regulations that will now become law.
I’m just going to read this to you.
So let me just just FYI for you guys.
So let me just give you a sense of them.
Users must be provided with a convenient way to see and delete
all the keywords that an algorithm uses to profile them.
Number two, providers shall not have that.
Providers shall not record illegal and undesirable keywords
in the user points of interest or as user tags and push information content to them.
And they may not become discriminatory or biased based on that information.
Users must be informed that algorithms are being used on them
to recommend content or products to them, and they must be allowed to opt out
and see completely generic, non-personalized results.
The algorithm recommendation shall adhere to me.
This is incredible to mainstream values.
I don’t know what that means.
They must have harmony in China.
They must actively spread positive energy and promote the application
of algorithms for the better.
Providers shall regularly review and evaluate and verify
these algorithms, models and datas with these watchdogs.
These watchdogs will now start to increasingly take board seats
on the on on Chinese companies.
So you put these two things together.
It is a moment in China Tech.
It’s a takeover. Yes, yes.
I mean, so some of those provisions sound like, you know, privacy regulations.
We might want to adopt over here completely, but I think we should focus
on the one towards the end that you mentioned.
The algorithm recommendation
source provider shall adhere to mainstream values, actively spread
positive energy and promote applications for the better.
Now, how do you actively spread positive energy?
I mean, as a business person under that regulation,
like what does that even mean?
I mean, it basically means it means what you’re not spreading, David.
It means you’re not spreading a protest in Hong Kong.
It means you’re not talking about the Uyghurs.
It means you’re not talking about Tiananmen Square.
You’re not creating social unrest.
This is a way for them to say, you know, positive energy means
don’t criticize Xi Jinping or the CCP or bring up topics
that are in the no fly zone like the Uyghurs.
Well, they’re they’re they’re going to have content moderation guidelines.
Yeah, they’re bringing it all under their control.
That’s what it’s about.
I mean, this is the type of thing that despite all of our problems
makes me very happy to be an American.
Yeah. Can you I would say, though, that the first part of what I said
about the regulations to me seem really intelligent.
And I think Americans would want that.
And if American policymakers
would actually just suspend disbelief for a second, go to the Chinese website.
We’d Nick, we can put a link into the into the show notes
of where the regulations were published and actually try to implement those laws.
I think we as Americans, we’d all want most of them except that one.
Yeah, well, that’s what the devil does.
They mix the lies with the truth in order to get you to be convinced
to give up your freedoms.
Friedberg, what are your thoughts?
I’m getting increasingly convinced that this idea of decentralized
blockchain based government governing might work in the 21st century.
I just feel like they’re the you know, we keep hearing more about the overreach
and the ineptitude of centralized institutions like
CCP and the US government and.
You know, I’m not hearing anyone that says, man, you know, this is a great.
Well, I think we’re seeing great progress.
No, but Friedberg, I think I think the CCP is actually pretty good at what they do.
We may not agree with them, but I think they’re trying to agree with you.
I agree with you generally. Yeah.
But I do think it creates an incentive and a motivation also,
because if you don’t agree with their principles.
You know, you’re going to find yourself looking for an alternative.
So, you know, I don’t know.
This is probably not the right time or forum for this conversation.
We should probably do it on another show.
But we should talk about some of the innovations,
blockchain innovations that are taking place.
And Jake, I know you spent a lot of time on this as well, but, you know,
it’d be worth kind of talking about the notion that, you know, can you see
governing move to the blockchain?
And what does society look like in maybe the 22nd century
if this becomes a reality?
And how do we how does the world kind of evolve there?
Well, in the crypto world, you would put in some effort,
you would have some skin in the game and you would because of your
processing power, your nodes on the network would get some votes.
So it’d be like in a democracy, how much money you had
or how much work you produced, you had some sort of say,
which kind of sounds like ours.
I mean, imagine if the US government, instead of, you know, having some folks
go to Congress and say, I want a trillion dollars and spend 25 years in Afghanistan.
You know, it was more of a distributed decision making process
where data was available in real time, metrics were used to make the decision.
And the folks that actually contributed dollars
to the network ended up being the ones that made the decisions
based on how many dollars they’ve contributed
or based on some other principle of decision making
that doesn’t kind of aggregate institutional ineptitude,
which is kind of part of the issue we’ve seen here.
Well, so I think that brings up an interesting point, which is, you know,
when we talk about all the ways that we could have spent
these trillions of dollars better than nation building, here’s
here’s the fundamental problem. I agree with that.
I mean, I wish we had spent the six trillion
that we spent on nation building in the Middle East.
I wish we had spent that at home domestically on our own priorities.
But here’s the problem is, I think what Afghanistan
and specifically the military industrial conflict shows is how good
these special interests get at extracting money from the system
while providing so little value.
You know, we spent these contractors spent or
they they charge so much to basically deliver so little in Afghanistan.
Do you really think it’s going to be much different for the trillion dollar,
the one point two trillion dollar infrastructure bill that’s coming?
You know, and if we create it, they’re licking their lips.
They’re looking. Yeah, exactly.
The people, the groups are going to get that money,
who are going to feast on that trillion dollars are people
who their skill set is lobbying.
OK, that is what they spend their time doing.
Sorry, I think it’s backwards.
No, listen, and if you are really good at lobbying,
why would you even waste your time trying to get good at delivering value?
You’re not. That’s your business is lobbying.
That is your value. Yeah, that is your skill set. Exactly.
So this idea that we can basically spend a trillion dollars
on some domestic innovation program.
The problem is it’ll never go to the right people, never go to the innovators.
Hmm. The best thing we could do is just not spend the money, quite frankly.
So smaller government.
Or how about how about just not a government that’s 20 trillion dollars in debt?
I don’t know how it’s like smaller or small government to
if we were to save six trillion, we’d still be 14 trillion in debt.
It’s not a small government.
I think a good jumping off point here might be the Supreme Court eviction
moratorium and the Supreme Court not upholding it.
And what are your thoughts on that, Sax?
Because it does relate to this never ending free money train.
No repercussions of personal behavior and,
you know, spending insanely forever.
It seems like we’re never going to stop with the stimmies.
Yeah, I think the Supreme Court threw out Biden’s eviction moratorium.
As unconstitutional. Look, I think it’s great.
You know, the government should not be preventing eviction,
you know, especially not the federal government.
I don’t understand how this is supposed to work.
I mean, all you look, I don’t want to see anybody get evicted.
But the reality is you have to pay your rent.
And if and if there are groups of people who can’t pay the rent
and the government decides that that those people should be helped,
the right way to help them is to give them the money to pay their rent,
not just to tell landlords, sorry, like you can’t collect rent.
Yes, Congress could give more stimulus to those people.
Yes, it’s a taking.
It’s a clear taking from landlords to say that, oh,
your tenants don’t have to pay you anymore. How does that make sense?
Well, how do we unwind the free money train?
Because there’s 10 million job openings right now that are not getting filled.
And then we have unemployment starting to unwind or the bonus
unemployment, and then we have all this free rent concept
or just you don’t have to pay your rent.
At some point, it feels like we have to let the free market come back
and maybe people can’t pay their rent.
So they go take one of the 10 million jobs.
I know that sounds cold hearted.
No, Jason, you’ve talked about this before in California.
We have a labor shortage in California.
We’ve basically run a controlled experiment in the UBI,
the universal basic income where we’ve basically been paying people
not to work or paying them regardless of whether they work.
Guess what? They don’t take jobs.
And so we actually have a labor shortage in California
despite having high unemployment.
At some point, the government’s going to have to say to people like, look,
COVID is not an excuse for shirking your adult responsibilities.
You know, we all have a responsibility to go to work, to pay our rent,
you know, to pay our parking tickets.
And COVID has been this excuse for suspending, you know,
this this sort of normal life.
And the problem is COVID is going to be around forever.
It’s like the cold or the flu.
It can’t continue to be this excuse for people not working, not paying rent,
not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.
I think on top of that, though, I think, Jason, maybe you want to talk about this.
I think on top of that, we
are amplifying that by taking people’s agency away.
And we are Prop 22.
And Prop 22 is a perfect example of that, which you should talk about.
But when you put these two things together, on the one hand,
you have a government that basically
wants to subsidize opting out of the system.
And then you have a set of laws that if they’re not unwound,
reinforce that dynamic.
And you put these two things together and folks just want to sit on the sidelines.
Yeah, let’s get freeberg freeberg.
You want to talk about the Prop 22
Supreme Court decision, et cetera.
Yeah, there was an appeals court appeals.
You know, appeals court that overturned some elements of the California Prop 22,
which was a heavily lobbied California proposition lobbied by Uber and Lyft
and other businesses that have built effectively marketplaces
for independent contractors like drivers and delivery people and so on.
The SEIU, which is a big employees union,
had fought very hard to pass legislation in California that made it
effectively very difficult for people to operate as independent contractors
and forcing companies like Uber and Lyft to treat them like full time employees
or to treat them like employees.
And so Prop 22 was to counter the union funded legislation,
which basically provided more freedom and flexibility to workers
where there weren’t all these very arbitrary random rules
that if you’re a writer, you can be an independent contractor.
But if you’re a driver, you cannot.
And, you know, all this nonsense that took place because the unions
were trying to increase the scale and scope of their union base.
And so Prop 22 was passed in California after much spending and lobbying
and it passed by a pretty decent margin.
And then this court ruling basically in the appeals court overruled
the constitutionality of some elements of Prop 22, which brings into question
whether that Prop 22 is actually going to hold in California.
Therefore, are all these people who are drivers for Uber, delivery people for DoorDash
and all these companies that are creating like Thumbtack
and all these companies that are creating marketplaces for individuals
to have flexible work, to go and work where they want, when they want to find gigs,
to find short term jobs, to find tasks and projects that they can run.
Are they now going to be seeing that those marketplaces stop working?
Because when you have to start treating those people like employees,
the flexibility and freedom of those marketplaces enable stalls out.
And as we’re already seeing, so it’s super nasty.
And the implications are that we’re now seeing.
You know, we’re now facing once again, this crisis of, you know,
are basically lower income people, people that want to have flexible labor
going to be restricted from having access to gig jobs
because the unions want to force everyone into a full time job,
which, you know, as our friend Bill Gurley pointed out,
it’s kind of like an archaic element of the 19th and 20th century.
I mean, this is like, let’s play a clip from Bill Gurley.
And here it is.
There’s one big issue that I don’t think is talked about enough, which is,
you know, that if you poll the drivers, they’re not looking for any changes.
They’re really happy with the flexible work product.
If you look at the voters of California, they stepped up and voted
and made it very clear in a state that voted two to one, you know, in favor of Biden.
They came down very strong, 60-40, that they didn’t want this to happen.
And there’s one entity that’s really been pushing this the whole time,
going all the way back to AE5, and that’s the SEIU.
It is a single union, but to call them a single union understates it
because they are the granddaddy of special interest groups.
I sent along some data maybe you can put on the screen.
They spend more money lobbying than any other organization in our country
and have for many, many years.
They only represent two million members.
But oddly, those members are in hospitality, health care and government services.
They’re not even in this industry.
So they’re taking the dues from their members and using it to fight these battles
because they want to expand their footprint.
What they’re really after is putting $400, $420,
which is the minimum member union fee for the two million they have.
They want to expand that to these drivers.
So they don’t actually want to help them.
They want to add to their cost.
But they’re the one that’s been pushing this the whole time.
And I think it’s worth just saying one thing on this, which is,
you know, this is really kind of a question not about California and Prop 22,
but it’s a question about what is work
and all the tech companies that are enabling a new form of work globally.
People don’t want to have 40 hour a week jobs.
People don’t want to have to go sit at a desk all the time.
People want to have flexibility in their lives.
They want to have gigs.
Technology enables us to quickly find short term jobs,
short term opportunities to work on things and make some money
and figure out how we want to build our lives in a more flexible way.
Figure out how workers want to build lives in a more flexible way
across all industries.
And it’s really, frankly,
a non-progressive policy to say
that everyone has to be pigeonholed into working
full time, 40 hour a week labor jobs, be employees.
And not have the flexibility of running their own business
in their own way with the with their own time
and choosing what they want to go do and work on.
And so this sort of legislation and this sort of battle
is a really important one for defining the future of work in the United States,
which will ultimately represent the future of work globally.
And the craziness of all this, David, is that Uber drivers,
Lyft drivers, door dish drivers, et cetera, are getting paid a fortune now
because there’s a labor shortage and.
These ride sharing companies have given a minimum
$21 an hour fee, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on here,
but it seems to me like it’s a union grab because everybody else
who’s affluent or rich real estate folks, you know, doctors, whoever.
Can be freelance, but if you’re a ride share driver or a freelance writer,
you don’t get to be.
And it seems just incredibly unfair.
It is. And, you know, one of the best things about COVID, I think for all of us
is that we learned that we could do our jobs from anywhere.
We didn’t have to go into an office.
We didn’t have to work the standard, whatever, nine to six hours.
We could be anywhere. We had flexibility.
And I mean, I think it’s one of the lasting consequences of COVID
that’s actually been very positive for a lot of people.
And here you have the government basically trying to take away
and prohibit freelance work, flexible hours,
gig type jobs.
These are the sort of modern, flexible working relationships that people want.
Why are they getting rid of it?
Because of lobbying pressure from the SEIU, which only has two million members.
It’s not even a big union.
But they got Lorena Gonzalez in their back pocket.
She passed AB5 in California.
The people of California didn’t want it.
Remember, 58% of Californians said, we don’t want this.
So they overturned it in this ballot initiative.
And now you’ve got this activist judge basically, you know,
inventing these specious grounds for overturning Prop 22,
which is what the people want.
So it’s ridiculous.
And, you know, the common thread to me on this show
that I’ve come to realize about American politics
is just the degree of special interest corruption.
And, you know, people are used to thinking in terms of left versus right.
It’s not. There’s a special interest corruption that pervades everything.
You’ve got this union that is destroying freelance work
and flexible working relationships because of corruption,
because it benefits them.
You’ve got defense contractors in Afghanistan who are just looting,
looting the Pentagon and the federal budget because it’s in their interest.
You’ve got these special interests of both the right and the left.
This is a central problem in American politics.
And, you know, what they do to cover up the naked self-interest
is they disguise it in a kind of woke virtue signaling.
So they’ll start, you know, talking about, you know.
How what they’re doing is for the benefit of these drivers
when the drivers don’t even want it.
And to build on that, I’d say, you know,
my great realization from having this conversation with you all every week
is that we are starting to propose a nanny state
in which people have no agency.
Even if they want to have agency over their life and career,
you are taking it away.
And then if there’s no repercussions to people’s behavior
and they have no agency, they become, you know, disenfranchised from society.
And why are they going to participate?
And then what kind of society do we have?
If people can’t make their own choices
and you see it also in, you know, accreditation laws
and you see it, we’re only rich people can invest.
And now you’re seeing it with this freelancing where, you know,
my dad would have loved to have an extra shift or two to make extra money.
And he’s not allowed to 80% of drivers want flexibility.
They’re willing to participate on things that ultimately.
On things that they think matter,
but don’t necessarily solve the core root cause problems.
There are people right now in America, I think, are focused too much on symptoms,
meaning, you know, they want to fight for the right hashtags.
They want to fight for the right pronouns.
They want to make sure that,
you know, this person gets canceled for things that happened eight or 10 years ago.
And I think what they don’t understand is these are all symptoms.
And this is this is not what solves the problem.
Right. We have a water crisis in America.
We have a food impending food crisis as we shut off the water.
We have a climate crisis that’s engulfing the entire nation.
We’re still in the middle of a pandemic that we can’t control.
We have an economic system that’s fragile, that’s dependent on a country
who’s sometimes our friend and sometimes our foe in China.
These are huge transformational issues
that we can’t get organized around.
And so instead, we spend our time at the edges on the symptoms.
And we think the symptoms are if we get the pronouns right,
everything’s going to come together and everything’s going to get fixed.
The looting will stop.
The graft will stop.
The corruption will stop.
And it turns out, actually, it emboldens those people to say, hey, wait a minute.
I’m tricking these people.
If they think that I want it to happen, can happen.
Let them focus on the pronouns
while I continue to loot the American Treasury for another trillion dollars.
That’s where we are.
Yeah, and the perfect the perfect representation of that is Gavin Newsom.
He represents both of these trends.
He is one of the most corrupt governors we’ve ever had.
As soon as COVID happened, they suspended all sorts of,
you know, the process for contracting so that his
campaign contributors could get all these special contracts.
He cut a sweetheart deal to PG&E to absolve them of liability
for all the fires they’ve been causing.
And on and on it goes, the 12 billion dollars to the homeless industrial complex.
And then he disguises it with all this woke virtue signaling.
And so, you know, I would just give a shout out to the recall campaign.
The election is on September 14th, but the ballots have gone out.
If you want to send a message to the political class
that this special interest corruption has got to stop,
let’s cut the head off the snake here.
Just vote to recall Gavin Newsom on question one. Period.
All right. You guys want to end on Jeff Bezos?
Let’s let’s let’s talk about the AI bot first and then Bezos.
All right. So if you haven’t been watching, Boston Dynamics
tweeted a video which will play right now as I talk over it.
And it’s basically their robots
which have been picking up heavy objects and walking around doing parkour.
If you don’t know what parkour is, it’s basically people jumping off
the side of objects and flipping and doing balance beams
and vaulting themselves all around. It is.
Basically, it’s like breakdancing in France.
Yeah, but from heights and jumping over things as well, and the French
are like parkour experts.
Yeah, I mean, it’s I think parkour is French for jumping.
I made that up.
But if you look at these parks, do parkour?
I have never seen him.
Well, we’ll show that video.
I have seen him so drunk that he’s on the floor, but never seen him do parkour.
But don’t get in the way of a bottle of DRC.
This robot looks more dexterous than any of the Terminators
we saw in the films.
And then adding to that.
Oh, if you didn’t know, Boston Dynamics got bought by Google.
I’m sure Freeberg has some inside information on that.
And then they got sold again.
SoftBank had bought them and now they are owned by Hyundai,
the South Korean Hyundai, the South Korean automaker, because apparently the.
Softies at Google didn’t want to be involved in
government contracting with robots, i.e.
making soldiers of the future, which obviously I don’t know the Chinese have.
I wouldn’t characterize the whole story like that.
I mean, remember, like there was.
Well, Google bought Boston Dynamics in 2013.
And remember, Boston Dynamics had been around for over a decade.
Prior to that, they spun out of MIT like in the 90s, I think.
And they were had always been working on, you know, advanced neural nets
being applied to kind of, you know, automation systems
so you could get things to mimic real life.
And the idea at Google, this was when they had set up Google X
and were starting to kind of do a lot of this,
you know, moonshot type tech investing as a separate entity
outside of the core Google.
And it was like leveraging their cash flow to start new projects.
The idea was, let’s build this into kind of a next gen robotics platform.
They had Andy Rubin, who previously started and ran Android
company was called Danger.
Google bought it, turned into Android,
run the run the unit, and they made several other acquisitions.
They rolled them all up into this kind of robotics platform.
They had spent, I think, 400 million on Boston Dynamics
and hundreds of millions more on these other companies.
And ultimately, I think the challenge was less about like, you know,
who does or doesn’t want to do contracts with us.
But it was more about the fundamental question that is still the question
mark today, which is, do we really need general purpose automation
or do we need special purpose automation for industries, for customers?
Right. Where do you find product market fit?
Do people really need a robot that does parkour or do they need an automation
system that can lift boxes and pack and place things or an automation
system that can move things from point A to point B?
And so if you’re solving for a customer’s problem, you typically find
that the special purpose automation solution is a more elegant, cheaper
solution that you can get to market right away, like building an automated
little truck that moves things around or building a machine that lifts
and puts boxes in the right place.
Parallel the discussion between narrow AI and general. Correct.
And this is exactly the same question.
Jake, I was like, you know, is, you know, is general purpose
AI really what the market needs?
Or are there specific applications of neural network or machine learning
technologies that allow us to solve for the problems that customers have
without needing to replicate the human being?
So when you’re lifting boxes, you don’t necessarily need all the other things
that humans have. Right. You don’t need to mimic a human when you’re moving a package.
You don’t necessarily need to have four legs to do it.
You can have it on four wheels and just have a simple system that moves it around.
And so, you know, I think SoftBank, you know, Masa-san had this whole belief
with Vision Fund One when he raised 100 some odd billion dollars that, you know,
the singularity where machines were going to be smarter and better than humans
in every way. Intelligence and dexterity and all these things
were about was about to kind of we’re about to pass that moment.
And this was part of that core thesis he had, which is this is going to be
the robotics company.
And I think as we’ve seen, they can mimic parkour,
but they can’t do all the other things humans can do.
And if you’re, you know, trying to get a machine to do something
that a customer needs, it’s really not parkour.
Let’s be honest, they can’t even walk a dog
because they wouldn’t know how to deal with the edge cases
if the dog had diarrhea.
And so I think there’s core IP at Boston Dynamics
that’s certainly critically valuable for businesses
that are in special purpose automation, which Hyundai is.
There’s going to be a great set of applications for leveraging that IP
into some of the existing product lines and customers that they serve.
So in related in a related story, Elon then revealed the Tesla bot plans
at his AI day.
He’s in a couple of these AI days, and I think they’re primarily designed
to get AI talent, which is some of the hardest developers to find in the world.
And they said that their Tesla bot will weigh 125 pounds,
five, eight, so I’ll be a half inch taller than it,
but it will weigh significantly less than me.
And it will move up up to five miles per hour and can carry 45 pounds.
Elon said the reason he was doing that is so a human can easily overtake it
in case to become sentient, which was quite entertaining.
Chamath, do you think this is
one of the chances Elon has a robot like this and
it’s operating the real world?
I saw a bunch of journalists dunking on him that this would never, ever happen,
which is kind of hard to believe when there’s a million Tesla’s on the road.
Yeah, no comment.
And I think it’s awesome.
Oh, OK. Can’t comment. All right.
Leave it at that.
Sachs, you have any comments on this?
I was working with Elon at PayPal.
Yeah, I thought it was a little bit of a surprise that he was working on a robot.
But, you know, obviously, this has been an interest of his.
He’s talked a lot about it.
And so it kind of makes sense.
It’s just another innovative thing he’s doing.
Should we talk about Elon versus Bezos on the space?
Yeah, well, I just wanted to let people know, by the way, the robot going at five
miles an hour, it’s not as outlandish as I think some of the journalists
and idiots out there who don’t build anything in the world,
who were kind of dunking on him, like we’re saying.
If you think about those cars going 65, 75, 85 miles an hour on the road,
processing the world, doing a neural network, machine learning on the fly
to figure out where the car should go.
A robot going five miles an hour is an easier task.
I think all those people dunking on him should have just taken a step back
and actually asked the question, am I just being really insecure right now?
And if so, why am I making fun of this guy who just seems to be,
you know, firing on all cylinders?
And maybe it’s maybe it’s me.
Maybe, you know, maybe maybe maybe I’m writing this article out of my own insecurity.
Maybe I’m feeling a little impotent, you know.
And also to dunk on a guy for the version one or even the version
zero point one of a product is so ridiculous.
I mean, I remember the version zero of Tesla.
Now look at the company.
I mean, you know, it’s about iterating.
That’s how you get to product.
So it’s just so stupid and short term.
And by the way, he’s on the current product capabilities and his his
his style of doing these things, I think makes a ton of sense.
When when, you know, he started with Starlink, it was the same reaction.
People were dunking, dunking, dunking too slow, too expensive, not going to work.
And what you find through these events are really technical people
building companies that could help him want to be a part of the mission.
Right. And so, you know, for whatever it’s worth, it’s like
I think Starlink is going to be a real thing. I think.
This is probably going to be a real thing.
I think great companies will get absorbed into this.
These efforts, I think I think it’s great.
And I really think the people that.
Are just so low, like.
There’s like this loathing going on.
I just don’t understand.
What do you think will differentiate the opportunity for success
with Larry Page owning and running
Boston Dynamics, then Masa owning and running Boston Dynamics
and then Elon trying to take on the same project from scratch?
You know, why were these other two kind of well-capitalized
influential businesses that have attract great partners
not been able to turn Boston Dynamics into kind of a successful business?
But but you guys believe Elon will.
If I had to just categorize them, I would say
Larry is absent and is sitting on a hundred billion dollar fortune
with no idea what to do.
I think on one of seven islands.
Yeah. I mean, he’s just absent.
So he’s irrelevant.
I don’t think anybody knows what the fuck he looks like.
I mean, we do.
But, you know, he’s frittered away enormous potential, I think.
Masa is a master capital allocator, but not an engineer.
And I think Elon is the most important
technical product and business mind of our lifetime.
I think the answer is even simpler.
He’s the customer of the robot.
So he understands what the spec should be because he has so many robots
working in the factories.
So he’s going to buy the first thousand to go colonize Mars
or work at a space station to build shit in space.
And he’s going to have them working in the Tesla factory
and for the boring company carrying rocks out of tunnels.
He’s the customer.
Of course, he knows.
And Masa wasn’t the customer.
Masa was looking to increase whatever money.
I don’t think it has to do this, but it’s also it’s also skill set.
Like Masa, of course, is an incredible visionary and investor,
but he’s not going to be the guy in the engine room making the robot.
Larry. Now, in fairness to Larry Page, he could be that good.
And there was a moment in time where Larry was that good
and frankly, better than Elon.
But that window has closed and it’s well past.
And now, you know, it’s kind of like the player
that just keeps getting better and better.
I think that’s Elon Musk.
Great sex. Your thoughts.
I mean, nothing to add to that.
I think you both make great points.
I mean, the amazing thing is that Elon is still working so hard,
doubling down, coming up with new ideas, new initiatives.
I mean, it’s harder than ever when most people are, you know, doing.
Most people would do what Larry did, you know, go buy an island or seven
and yours and hang out, you know.
All right. Bezos is lost his way,
and he left his position as CEO of Amazon to focus on Blue Origin.
And then he sued NASA over the moon program,
accusing NASA of wrongly evaluated its lunar lander proposal,
giving all the funds to SpaceX.
He then did a series of like infographics talking about how terrible
SpaceX’s plans were.
This lawsuit has delayed SpaceX’s work on the project,
according to The Verge.
I don’t know if that’s true or not.
Amazon urged the FCC to dismiss the newly submitted plans for SpaceX
to launch another cluster of satellites to power Starlink.
And Elon tweeted, turns out Bezos retired in order to pursue a full time job,
filing lawsuits against SpaceX, which is hilarious.
Well, how sad is this that it’s a huge miscalculation in the following way,
which is that in order for Jeff to achieve his ambitions,
he needs deeply technical people.
And this is the simplest way to basically turn them off,
because this is not what technical people do.
What do technical people do?
We don’t we don’t take our toys and run from the sandbox crying like a bitch.
We stay there and we keep iterating, trying to make things work.
Yeah, we don’t act like patent trolls.
I have a new I have a new slogan for you, J-Cal.
Go ahead. Winners do and losers sue.
Winners do and losers sue.
OK, folks, there you have it.
It’s the all in podcast. We’re back.
We’re back from a big vacation.
Make it happen.
Yeah, make the banger.
Make the banger. All right, everybody.
What’s your free bird?
Do you have any thoughts on these on the lawsuit?
I feel bad for Bezos.
I feel like he’s just getting so beat up on this shit.
It’s it’s honestly it’s a little disappointing
because I think he’s got all the right intentions.
He’s an incredible engineer, obviously an incredible operator.
I’d love to see him and Elon succeed in the work they’re trying to do,
as well as all the other startups that are pursuing this.
I am concerned about, frankly, the lack of commercial readiness for this industry.
I feel like in terms of the hype cycle, we’re at that early point
where the investment dollars and the number of companies exceeds the market demand.
And therefore, there’s this fight over the one or two customers,
which is basically NASA and the federal government.
And it’s creating this really nasty set of circumstances
because that’s where the money comes from.
That’s where the customers are right now.
And so they’re all fighting over one or two customers.
And Elon filed suits
against the federal agencies when he lost contracts.
And I know he did that when they no bid them.
I get it. I get it.
And it’s slightly different.
I get it. But still, like I think at the end of the day,
you know, Bezos is willing to put his money where his mouth is.
He’s offered to put up a billion dollars or more to fund this.
I’d love to see multiple companies simultaneously going to the moon,
multiple companies simultaneously going to Mars.
But rather than have, you know, a single contract with one customer
or have, you know, private industry figure out ways to make money from this and fund it.
The challenge is just it’s another product market fit question, right?
The market is one customer today.
And Bezos is almost 60 years old.
He’s got 150, 200 billion dollars.
It’s going to cost him two or three billion dollars.
One, two, three percent of his net worth to do all this.
Just fucking do it, Bezos.
And stop crying and you’re right.
He may end up doing that.
Yeah, but the problem is he’s losing a competitor.
No, but he’s losing the human capital that’s required.
So there was a great there was a huge little press cycle about this one person.
He was like the the leader of the of the lander project who just quit and went to SpaceX.
My point is, other engineers don’t want to see that this is the way to win.
He’s got to crawl out of that hole now.
Build, iterate and solve.
Build, iterate, solve.
It certainly seems the case that his PR stunt with shooting himself into space
didn’t do him any favors either.
You know, it’s almost like everyone sees the great work
Elon does when he does these PR events and he gets all this attention
and publicity and gets positive press and accolades.
And then Bezos does them.
And he’s like, oh, Bezos has no besties.
There’s no bestie taking Bezos aside.
He needs bestie-less Bezos.
No, he may have besties, but they’re not they’re not doing the job
that other besties do for other people.
If they’re yes men and women and they’re not being true besties,
they need to tell him when he’s got something that’s a blind spot.
He needs real besties.
And the blind spot here is he was dunking on Richard Branson
and being like, oh, you didn’t go to the right height.
Here’s an infographic.
Stop with the fucking infographics, Bezos.
What are you, 12 years old?
And you’re like going to the teacher with like a drawing like,
I should technically get an A plus and I should be singing the solo
for the choir practice.
And like some other person is like, got the solo.
You got the fucking solo next year, Bezos.
Bezos offered you a huge consulting fee, Jake.
How would you be his bestie consigliere?
I’m a bestie for hire, for sure.
For sure. Bestie as a service.
By the way, I hired this fuck nut.
He flies back with me.
I mean, he literally ate everything on the plane.
And then what are you talking about?
And hold on, let me finish.
You were eating the tiramisu.
Let me finish.
You went double on the tiramisu.
He said to me, Chamath, you have some great toiletries in the back.
I said, yeah, sure.
You know, there’s Marvis.
There’s great toothbrushes.
And then out of his pocket, he pulled some scope bottles that he had.
The more in my bag.
I don’t need to buy scope until 2022.
I was shocked.
And it’s not generic, it’s the real scope.
This motherfucker was looting.
I looted the planet.
I looted all your lactate.
We all take advantage of CP.
Oh, my God.
This this other guy, this motherfucker,
Friedberg, once was so buried, he got so fucking mad.
He grabbed all the lactate in my, you know, our little medicine cabinet
and ran out and came back.
He was angry and he was like, I’m so fucking angry
because he had lost a big pot right during poker.
Then he took all the pistachios and shoved them in his pocket.
It’s like an Afghan warlord.
So he stole the pistachios?
Yeah, I sold the pistachios and the lactate.
And the lactate, and the lactate.
He’s like, fuck it.
I lost ten dimes.
I’m going to get back thirty seven dollars in lactate.
Oh my God.
So sad. So sad.
All right, I’ll see you all.
Wait, Friedberg, you want me to prepare the house?
You want me to prepare the, the.
Yeah, I think so.
I think. Yeah, I think so.
I think so.
That’d be awesome if you could do that.
Oh, my God.
I’m going to. I’ll bring some.
I’ll bring some tests, some Binax tests, too.
I mean, just as an aside, Bill Gurley was talking about this.
We talked about this early in the pandemic.
Why don’t we have fucking one dollar test, Friedberg?
Oh, my God.
Does everybody not have a hundred tests everywhere?
Binax now tests are literally lateral flow strips.
They cost pennies to make.
It’s how much it costs to buy.
Why is it a dollar?
Why couldn’t Biden or Trump get that done?
Is it some graft, graft, greed?
Yeah, you should get Mike Romino on to talk about this.
He’s the the guy to talk about it.
But I mean, if people were taking those every day, we could.
I think you guys may remember this.
I tweeted about this over a year ago, like last April,
where we could actually print these antigen tests for pennies in the US.
I mean, when we had that like whole emergency authority thing
and we were making masks and liquid oxygen tanks and all this shit,
we should have been printing antigen tests on strips of paper.
We have the facilities in the US to do it.
And we could have made, you know, 100 billion 50 cent tests
and made them just free and available to schools, to workplaces, to everything.
It’s absolutely insane.
But people can’t people can’t be freelance writers
or drive an Uber for two hours a day in California.
We can we can mandate that, but we can’t mandate a 25 cent, 50 cent test
and put them in everybody’s fucking mailboxes.
I’m on fire now.
It’s fucking stupid.
Everything is so dumb.
Everybody’s a grifter in this government, incompetent assholes.
I would like to I would like to vote.
I would like to go to war with Fiji because it’s beautiful.
I’d like an island, and I think that Fiji probably has a lot of them.
Well, Fiji is not respect.
It’s better than French Polynesia, just because I think it’s a little closer.
Yeah. So we can go there and spread pronouns.
Also, I’d like to go to war with Iceland, but only in the summertime
because I hear it’s beautiful.
I’m going to go to war with Tuscany over the gelato.
I’m going to war with Florence over gelato.
I’m going to occupy Tuscany for the pizza and the pasta.
I’m on fire.
I’m on fire.
For the pizza and the pasta.
I’m occupying Tuscany.
You’ll need to build a bog room in all these places
just to accommodate all the private jets are going to come in.
I mean, but just in closing, let’s just let’s just say thank you
to the amazing people of Italy for having.
What an incredible greatest country for adults to go on vacation in.
What an incredible country.
Florence is amazing.
Tuscany is outrageous.
Rome is beautiful.
Venice is incredible.
Everything is delightful.
I love Sardinia.
I love you, Italy.
I love you so much.
And I’ll be back next year.
We’ll see you all next time.
I’ll see you next time on the All-In podcast.
What you’re about to be.
David Sacks, you come to me from your boat in Sicily.
My daughter’s wedding day.
Sacks, you come to me and you ask me not to interrupt you
so that Henry Bellacaster can make a clean cut of your speech.
Well, you can stop by acting like a man, David Sacks.
I got interrupted on the podcast.
Oh, you didn’t let me finish my thought.
You wanted this part?
You wanted this part on this podcast?
Who’s the director?
Who’s the producer?
I’ll get you this part.
But someday, Sacks, I’m gonna ask you for a favor, Sacks.
I’m gonna ask you for an allocation in All-In, in your call-in app.
I’m gonna ask you to lead the Series B.
And on that day, I expect a valuation,
cause measure it with what I’ve done for you today.
Okay, David Sacks.
That’s a pretty good bit.
Look at Don Canole over here.