J. Cal looks like he’s going to a night at the Roxbury.
I mean, you look horrible.
Absolutely fucking horrible.
Okay. Appreciate it.
Here we go.
Thanks for coming.
This is the Production Board Symposium 2021.
Tell us just a little bit about why we’re here, David,
and what this is and what it represents for the Production Board.
The Production Board Symposium, second ever.
Thank you all for being here.
We have an amazing group of scientists, engineers,
folks from academia, from business, from the investing community,
some of our investors.
So we’re excited to share thoughts and ideas over the next couple days.
And thought we would chase half of you away by hosting the all-in pod tonight.
So here we go.
So first up in the news, Rolling Stone amplifies false
You were following this, Chamath.
What do you think this ivermectin controversy and-
You want to give a little summary of what the issue is
before we talk about the hypocrisy of it?
Well, on September 1st, Oklahoma news station K4 ran a story
and published an article on ivermectin overdoses
backing up rural hospitals.
The article was titled Patients Overdosing on Ivermectin
Backing Up Rural Oklahoma Hospitals and Ambulances.
First line of the article, quote,
a rural Oklahoma doctor said patients who are taking the home
dewormer medication ivermectin to fight COVID-19
are causing emergency rooms and ambulances to back up.
On September 3rd, Rolling Stone amplified the story in its own article.
The only problem was they tweeted it with a picture
that featured people lined up in the cold.
It turns out the picture was people waiting for vaccine shots back in January,
not gunshot victims waiting to get into the hospital.
Yeah, the story is totally false.
You understand that, right?
Well, I didn’t want to say fake news, but I know-
No, it was beyond fake news.
This was basically a doctored up conjured article by some person
trying to incite a moral mania at Rolling Stone.
Look, you tell me if the science of this is wrong.
The whole premise is ridiculous.
Ivermectin basically, as far as we know, because we don’t know that much,
acts on a handful of specific characteristics.
One, we know to be glutamate, which we don’t really express
in the same way as fucking worms.
Yes, technically, it can be used as a dewormer,
but there are four or five other ways in which it acts,
which we don’t know anything about,
because we haven’t taken the time to do a broad-based double-blind study.
I think the fairest thing to say about ivermectin is we don’t know what it is.
Neither the people that propose to use it as a solution for COVID,
nor the people that rail against it aren’t really starting from the basis of fact.
Then what happens is you have these folks who basically are so turned off by the idea
that people aren’t getting vaccines.
They’re going to use this other thing.
They basically doctored up an article.
That wouldn’t be so bad because nobody reads Rolling Stone, right?
It’s an ancient brand.
Nobody’s going there for medical news.
Then the problem is you get a handful of these folks who think they’re really,
really smart who amplify it.
Rachel Maddow amplifies it.
Jimmy Kimmel does it on a comedy skit.
Then all of a sudden, there’s this enormous outrage,
but the problem is you can’t put the genie back in the bottle
when it turns out to be a completely fabricated lie.
Then all the people that are purporting to basically push this lie,
who now have been outed, have no consequences
because they’re on the left screaming at the right.
What happened when it was the other way around,
we basically started to put people in boxes.
We basically kicked them off these platforms.
Again, you have this compounding building double standard.
That, to me, is the worst part about it.
David, when we look at the ivermectin story,
we also saw Joe Rogan got COVID.
That was a big ha-ha moment for a lot of people.
He took ivermectin as part of his treatment,
and then people started amplifying that he was taking a worm drug for horses.
It’s at best an antimicrobial.
And it’s used for both situations.
And a doctor prescribed it to him.
He’s thinking of suing some folks for tweeting this.
What does this overall say about the state of communications around this pandemic?
Yeah, I mean, look, this is really a media story.
You had Rolling Stone publish this article based on a single source.
You have this one crank basically saying that
emergency rooms are turning away gunshot victims
and people having heart attacks, okay?
And all they had to do, all Rolling Stone had to do
was call up any one of these several hospitals,
they immediately would have refuted the source.
But they didn’t do that.
They also could have simply googled the number of toxic ivermectin cases
to find out if it was even plausible statistically
that you could have ivermectin overdoses flooding Oklahoma hospitals.
But they didn’t do that either.
Why didn’t they confirm the sources?
Because the article was too perfect.
It confirmed all of their priors.
Their first prior was about ivermectin.
They’ve been waging this war on ivermectin,
claiming it’s a horse dewormer when it’s actually,
that is one of its purposes, but it’s not the only one.
It was a drug designed for humans and it’s used against parasites.
Now, as Jamal said, we don’t know whether it’s effective against COVID.
They got to do the double blind studies and then we’ll find out.
But that was sort of their first prior.
And let’s face it, the second prior was that this is in Oklahoma, right?
And so Rolling Stone wants to believe you have all these MAGA idiots out in Oklahoma
eating horse paste, okay?
And that’s why they love this story so much.
And that’s why Rachel Maddow loved the story so much.
And she then starts spreading it, okay?
And after she gets called out, including by, say, Glenn Greenwald,
as of last night, she had not taken it down.
She didn’t take it down.
Because she knows there are no consequences for misinformation and lying.
Because Twitter and Facebook do not punish people on the left for misinformation.
That is a penalty.
They only meter out for people who disagree with their cultural and political biases.
She’s part of the secret cabal that gets the get out of jail free card.
I don’t even think it’s secret.
I just think these people all are part of the same cultural sort of milieu.
They all have the same political and cultural biases.
And there is never…
Look, where is the Twitter warning, the Twitter label on the Rachel Maddow post
even now saying that this tweet, this article is misinformation?
It doesn’t exist because it’s inconvenient.
Freeberg, let’s talk about the science of…
I think I would pay $40 for all-in podcast live.
By the way, you’re on the show, so…
Okay, I’m here too.
Tell me the last time we heard a news story that didn’t have bias to it.
What was the last general thing that was reported
that we didn’t feel had the angle that then elicited emotion,
either love or hate or alignment or not?
Well, you can have that reaction to facts.
There was an article in the Wall Street Journal just now
about the Democrats’ proposal on taxes.
I have an emotional reaction to it, but it’s fact-based.
I’ve got 100…
Is it really?
My reaction or…
No, the story.
Yeah, they just said that the House proposal now is to move the cap gains rate from 20 to 25,
the corporate tax rate from whatever it was to 26 and a half.
My point is, there are articles written by folks who just want to get the facts across
and let you judge.
Whether it’s good or bad, who knows?
Time will tell.
Then there are folks that basically manufacture shit because, again, I think,
and I think it was Matt Taibbi that said this, because it creates moral mania.
Well, yeah, drives the narrative, drives the emotion.
But it’s the last grasp of the power of journalism.
That’s all they have left at this point,
is just to basically make it a complete fucking free-for-all.
In it, they still have some kind of relevancy.
I have these old New York Times newspapers.
The whole year printed from 1936 through 1944.
It’s in this huge book.
But you must have been out all the time, but you didn’t have time to read those.
I mean, but you flip through these things.
They are just like old ticker stories.
It had absolutely no narrative attached to it.
There was no…
These are the people, almost the implicit right and wrong,
the implicit morality of every decision that’s being made,
of everything that’s being reported on.
I have a feeling the only thing that’s going to be left in like 10 years is the economist,
and then the mob rule in the metaverse.
And that’s kind of…
Well, I mean, you also have podcasts where people can discuss these things
in maybe a more honest, transparent way.
There’s still a few great podcasts like that.
Mr. and Mr. Anti-Facebook, what do you think about this Wall Street Journal article that
says that there’s a secret cabal that basically gets a get-out-of-jail-free card on Facebook,
and nobody else does?
There’s millions of people, though, it said, right?
That’s a lot.
You work there.
It’s exactly the point I’ve been making, right?
Which is that there’s two sets of rules.
If you are part of the in-crowd, if you share the cultural biases,
if you’re part of the same class, whether it’s socioeconomic or political or whatever,
that of the people who are doing the content moderation, doing the censorship,
you get a get-out-of-jail-free card.
The rules are different for you.
You can be Rachel Maddow and post an article that’s complete bullshit,
and even after the entire Twittersphere calls you out, you don’t post a correction.
But you don’t get labeled, you don’t get censored.
But if you’re on a different part of the political spectrum, you do.
I mean, there’s two sets of rules.
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s insane.
I mean, this is exactly what I think people have been saying for
a long time when people say, oh, you know, it’s algorithmic.
It’s not really human-controlled.
There’s no real intervention.
And then you find out there’s actually literally something called cross-check,
which its definition is, check the algorithm and override it with my own bias.
That’s the definition of what the feature is.
Well, I mean, whenever we start down this censorship route, like,
who gets to decide, and then what is their motivation?
Even if they have pure motivation, there’s no way to, you know, not read into that.
Assume the platforms die.
Assume everything deplatforms and decentralizes.
And then, like, all media is through Substack or through
the call-in app or through other kind of media.
Decentralized, crypto-based, blockchain, Twitter.
There’s no longer a platform.
There’s no longer a censor model.
What’s going to end up happening?
People are going to click on the stuff that they want to hear.
It’s going to become more extreme.
It’s going to become, you know, even more heated.
There’s going to be splintering of media creation as there is right now that we see today, right?
Every element of the spectrum will be kind of produced.
And you’re going to end up clicking on the stuff that creates the greatest emotional response.
Because that’s what people like to consume.
How does a citizen who wants to inoculate themselves from fake news bias,
how do you recommend they go after science?
And how do they have to learn this stuff for themselves?
They have to try to become an expert themselves?
Yeah, it’s hard.
Like anything that’s hard, right?
I mean, there’s got to be a will.
I don’t think that that’s really, it’s not to be discouraging.
I just think that it’s a lot easier to not do that, right?
So it’s a lot easier to consume ice cream all the time.
It’s a lot more fun to consume ice cream all the time than to kind of plan your diet,
eat healthy and work out and all this sort of stuff.
And I think that’s really where, you know, media, like a lot of things is headed
as we create these kind of feedback loops that are all, because everything’s digital,
everything ends up becoming a feedback loop.
I bet you, I bet you.
If you look inside, because like now some rabid politician will get ahold of this Facebook
I bet you, if you look and graph the number of people that were essentially whitelisted
from being able to say whatever the hell they want, versus what was popular on Facebook,
you’d see a left versus right distribution very clearly.
You’d basically see it, because if you look at it now, I think there’s a, I can’t remember
his name, but he’s a, he’s a former New York Times reporter that tweets out every day,
the top 10 links that are shared on Facebook.
It’s like a fucking train wreck.
It’s like one normal article.
And then it’s like nine, like right-wing conspiracies.
Infowars, Ben Shapiro, Daily Wire.
It’s a train wreck every day.
If you’re a hipster sitting in East Menlo Park, at some point the cuffs in your jeans
are rolled up too tight.
The fucking shirt cuffs are rolled up too tight.
And you’re just freaking out.
And then you’re like, we need to create something.
What do we call it?
And we’re like, crosscheck.
And then all of a sudden what happens is you just start introducing people, hoping that
then the list that gets published every day on Twitter changes.
But then what happens actually is you find the exact opposite thing happens.
That people are so like, they sniff out the bullshit.
They’re like, what is going on here?
But then they double down.
And the next thing you know, Ben Shapiro’s nine, eight of the 10 top stories every day
And that’s how you have Donald Trump and everything else.
Well, I mean, I don’t want to belabor it.
They did it to themselves.
Yeah, look, I think both sides are capable of, both sides of the political spectrum are
capable of spreading misinformation and bullshit.
And you have to vary your information diet, right?
I mean, if all you do is participate in, you know, the right wing or left wing echo chamber,
you’re going to buy into the ivermectin hoax.
You’re going to be story here from Rolling Stone or whatever it is.
So you have to make an effort to, again, to vary your information diet.
Or mask, or the lab leak theory.
The lab leak theory, exactly.
We now have five of these during the pandemic alone, right?
But see, what I object to is the fact that the censorship rules only seem to apply to
one side of the spectrum.
Is look, both sides are capable of spreading misinformation, but only one side is being
Because the people running these powerful tech companies agree.
They’re like, you know, 90 plus percent of that political persuasion.
That is not healthy.
Can we survey the audience and see if they agree?
Raise your hand if you agree.
How many people agree with Sachs that Trump should be reinstated on all platforms?
All right, there you go.
How many people agree that the tech platforms have a political bias?
How many disagree with that statement?
So tell Phil, Phil, call him out, call him out.
My wife is the chief business officer of Facebook.
Thanks for the viewers.
Tell us, let us check in with you after the next vesting date.
Requisite hand raise.
For the viewers at home who couldn’t see that because I don’t know.
Do we have the audience on camera?
So it was 99 percent.
Everyone except for Phil Deutsch.
Well, these are Silicon, best described as Silicon Valley.
So that’s why he had to raise his hand.
No, but to be clear for people listening.
Phil’s wife works at Facebook.
He’s got to say no.
But everybody else here agreed with that.
And these are all people who are in the tech industry.
So how many of us are Democrats?
I mean, we’re all mostly Democrats, I would guess.
How many people voted Democrat in the last election?
How many are not Democrats?
How many people voted for Trump?
Raise your hand.
Nice and high.
No, literally, there’s only that’s very interesting.
Here’s a question I have.
OK, so we are we are firmly going down because I think it’s pretty it’s pretty clear to me.
I’d be willing to make the bet that the media is on the side of vaccine mandates.
OK, they want the top down control and the sense of theoretical safety that a vaccine mandate
gives them in their own little bubble.
And so that’s why I think they support this.
And I think, you know, blowing up Ivermectin was kind of a method of many that they’ve
undertaken to do that, whether we believe in vaccine mandates or not.
But now it’s coming.
It’s coming in the L.A. school district.
It’s you know, Biden is trying to push this thing through the BLS.
This is going to be a very, very big deal.
What do you guys think is the right thing to do on vaccine mandates, irrespective of
all we’re going to hear over the next?
Government government or private employer mandates or both?
Well, we should let’s walk through it.
I’m using both for the government, government employees.
Let’s start with that.
Yeah, well, the government mandate.
No, it goes through the BLS.
It says any company, public or private, that is 100 employees or more.
Well, I mean, I think we all agree that people in the military or people in health care,
they should all be vaccinated or they shouldn’t come to work, correct?
Well, but that’s also not not even enforceable.
Like Sorkin, Andrew Ross Sorkin tweeted out like he had to take his kid to the urgent
care and he walked in and the doctors weren’t wearing masks or something.
Yeah, I read that and said something about like not being vaccinated.
It doesn’t matter or blah, blah, blah.
And he like, well, that goes to enforcement.
But I mean, moral and liberal military has said, I thought, wait, you brought your kid
to the fucking urgent care.
Don’t you first need to know what’s wrong with the kid?
You can’t prosecute this person’s opinion on masks and vaccines before you figure out
what’s wrong with your kid.
Well, what do you think, sex, military, military health care teachers?
I think the crux of the issue is whether employers should be able to require that.
Well, there’s two issues.
One is whether employers should be allowed to require it, which I think everybody agrees.
Not everyone, but but most people, I think, agree that private employers and you could
lump the government in with this should be allowed to test or their employees or require
their employees be vaccinated if they want to.
And or at least I would support that part of it is let private enterprises require vaccination
if they want, if they decide, hey, in order to come back to the office, you got to be
vaccinated for everyone’s safety, they can impose those rules.
Now, the question is, do we need to go beyond that to have a federal mandate?
And it’s not that I’m anti vaccine.
I just think that’s like an awfully authoritarian thing to do.
And it raises a bunch of questions.
So for example, I have a friend who owns a chain of dry cleaners, okay?
He’s got over 100 employees, mostly minimum wage in a bunch of different locations.
About 20% of his
What is his ethnicity?
What does that have to do with anything?
He’s Sri Lankan.
He’s the third most famous Sri Lankan American.
Anyway, so he’s got 100 employees, about 20% of them are anti vax,
and they will not get vaccinated.
Okay, so they will walk out.
If you know if this is required to do that job, hold on.
But he can’t run his business.
If there’s a 20% walkout, he just can’t do it.
Okay, so now we get to the soft part of the mandate, which is, well, instead of requiring
the VAX, he can do a weekly test.
Well, we did that outside here.
Who’s going to pay for those tests?
Who’s going to administer them?
Is it like, you know, they had a nurse out here with the full, you know, you know,
Yeah, the hazmat thing.
So, you know, that’s not cheap.
So who’s going to pay for that?
Who’s going to do that?
What’s the documentation around that going to be?
Is that get logged into the computer system?
What kind of proof is it?
Does it require a trip to the lab?
Or is this something we can do in five minutes?
I mean, look, if we had done what Freeburg said a year ago on this pod, we should do,
which is have these $1 five minute tests be available everywhere.
Then maybe that sort of rapid test out would make these mandates more palatable.
But we don’t have that yet.
You know, there aren’t enough of these.
It turns out we still need it even with the vaccines, because no vaccine is going to be
And with rights, but my point is, since we don’t really have that solution operationalized,
you know, having a hard VAX mandate on 100 million employees of private enterprises,
you know, that’s going to cause, I think, chaos in the economy.
What if we get a variant, David, or if we get a variant, God forbid, that is more dangerous
than Delta, let’s say it spreads just as fast, but it’s five times as deadly.
Does that change your thinking about this mandate?
And where do you stand on the mandate?
No, I think the mandate in this very specific narrow instance makes sense.
And I think what we should be fighting about is how we actually write it so that it’s not
And the reason is because we know that there is a probabilistic distribution of outcomes
where a non-trivial percentage of them results in a variant that is deadly.
And so we can understand the math and we can understand a sense of time to figure out that
if we don’t do something, and if we don’t get to some amount of control around what this is,
we’re all in really big trouble.
So because of that specific thing, I just think this is where, look, the president has
the ability to invoke the War Measures Act to do all kinds of things that are super normal.
And we would never say that those abide in normal times.
And we’ve created a framework for him to be able to do those things in non-normal times
and then revert to normal.
I think this is one of those cases just because I don’t think the economic consequences and
the social consequences, if we let this thing continue to compound and continue to
mutate, it doesn’t make any fucking sense.
We’re not learning anything.
We could have used the War Mandate Act across two presidencies to demand some companies
make a dollar test.
We have 7580 tests approved in Germany, they’re down to two or $3.
Why has the FDA not gotten us to that level that Germany’s at?
And why haven’t we done the War Mandate Act?
I mean, we have like a constructed capitalist model of like, let the free market tell the
government what is the right thing to do.
And so then they invite Abbott and they invite the guys in and they’re like, you know, the
White House, they have a consortium meeting.
And everyone’s kind of a little bit chuckling about this.
Like, oh, this is awesome.
It’s another $2 billion payday, which is what they just got.
I don’t know if you saw the write up today, but the federal government is paying Walmart
for the difference between the wholesale cost and the retail cost so that consumers
cannot now go buy Abbott tests at the wholesale price at the store $2 billion taxpayer money
When we could have had a bunch of smart scientists get together at the White House with a bunch
of engineers take over a friggin factory and on a piece of paper, print 8 billion fucking
tests, and then chop them up and distributed them for 50 cents.
And instead, we have this problem where we’re like, depending on the Korean supply, I could
you not have the test kits that are like plastic, that’s where they make all the like
pregnancy test kits and all this stuff.
And these this like the commercial model is like, tell us how you want to make these tests,
tell us what the right model is.
And of course, you end up with a $30 test when in Germany, you can go buy a 50 cent
test at any liquor store.
And so it’s constructed straight up corruption.
And if you go back, like, you know, I don’t know if you know, the production boards named
after the trade into the microphone named after the war production, which was set up
during World War Two humble.
It’s pretty humble.
Took the war out.
You know, but it was, but the idea was like, how do you take a system level design approach
to solving kind of big problems.
And one of the issues that we had during World War Two was a supply chain problem on making
tanks and planes.
And so they put together a bunch of smart people.
Deutsch knows this better than anyone.
Because he was alive back.
He was alive.
And he was sitting in the front guys.
Well, you have the hand before he dies.
He may die in the factory floor.
Old as fuck.
And and there was basically a coordinated effort.
It’s his birthday today, by the way.
Sorry, but I’m happy birthday.
Um, but there was a coordinated effort by engineers at the top down to design a system
for making these things cheap and fast.
And that’s an approach that I think we lost, right?
Like, we kind of gave way to this model of laissez faire.
Like, you come in, you tell me what you think we should do.
Okay, that’s a good idea.
Let’s take photos.
And we’re out.
And that’s it.
Like, we don’t have a wartime mentality right now.
We haven’t had a wartime mentality since COVID hit.
Everyone’s continued to try and parade around and get reelected and, you know, earn votes.
So we’re basically not, we’re not taking this seriously.
We’re not acting.
We’re, you know, like every, every time kind of a business or a government or any organization
goes through a phase, it goes through a wartime phase or a peacetime phase.
We should be acting like we’re in a wartime phase.
And we’re not.
Can I ask you a question?
If you may, three or four of us basically pony up some money,
could you go and print 8 billion of these fucking tests?
In the US, you cannot get them approved without the FDA.
I’m not asking for approval.
I’m saying, could you do it?
And how long would it take?
You could buy some old frigging paper mill in three months.
I mean, you know, this is actually people in this room who could do this in.
Now, isn’t there a framework within FDA that basically allows you to effectively
experiment on yourself?
There’s a compassion.
There’s a it’s for drugs.
It’s for therapeutics, not for diagnostics.
So you’re saying that if I want to build my own test and use it,
if you want to build it, if you want to build a diagnostic test that tells them on whether
or not they have an illness, you have to get FDA approval in the United States.
So that’s also published the summary statement is regulatory capture,
like is one of the biggest issues and related news.
By the way, another insane statistic.
Just sorry to interrupt.
I saw this today.
Someone we know tweeted this.
The who wants to guess the ratio of administrators to doctors in the US healthcare system?
300 to 1.
Yeah, I saw 300 to 1.
900 to 1 today.
Oh my god.
And that is up from 5 to 1 in 1970.
By the way, can I just build on what you said?
900 to 1.
Your initial tweet said 300 to 1.
And it ended in 2010, right before Obamacare passed.
So from 300 to 900 was all Obamacare.
Saks is shaking his head.
Which by the way, nothing against Obamacare, because I think like coming as a Canadian,
I actually believe in subsidized healthcare.
And I think the principle of Obamacare was great.
But there was one fatal flaw, which is it basically said, okay, you know what,
you’re capped at the following margin.
And the minute that people said, wait a minute, I can only have a 20% gross margin.
What do you do?
You just jack up prices to basically jack up revenue.
Because if you can only take 20%, you’re going to take 20% of a bigger number than a smaller
And so it completely burned the incentives for any healthcare company in the United States
to do anything other than just basically walk prices up.
And it’s funny, because if you look at the stock prices of these companies, you would
have made more money being long United Healthcare than you would have been owning Facebook,
Google, any of these other tech companies in the last decade.
Speaking of regulatory capture, Tesla got left out of this new tax credit or proposed
For electric cars.
I don’t know if you saw that.
But Tesla wasn’t invited a couple of months ago to Biden’s EV summit.
Elon responded like, I wonder why I wasn’t invited.
It turns out it’s because they’re not a union shop.
Their employees make much more money than union employees make.
And now as a punishment, but hold on, as a punishment, the $12,000 credit that they’re
giving to or they’re proposing to give to all EV manufacturers is only if you have
union employees, it’s 4500 less to Tesla.
So literally, two massive regulatory captures and corruption go or maybe sacks.
No, I mean, I don’t have much more to add to that.
I mean, you hit the nail on the head.
I mean, this is to serve the unions.
It’s not to serve clean energy, or the EV industry.
I mean, a little bit for you, but it’s mostly for the unions.
The, on the one hand, what we do is we say that climate change is this existential issue.
But then when the rubber meets the road, if you look inside the infrastructure plan today,
we unveiled basically how we’re going to do all the tax credits.
And again, it’s just an enormous amount of just sloppy regulatory capture.
We’re doubling and tripling credits in certain places.
We’re disallowing credits in other places.
When you follow the dollars, what happens is you can map it to companies, those companies tend to
be mostly public, large balance sheets, large lobbying efforts.
And it’s not necessarily the most important companies that matter.
So if I said to you, what are the most important companies in climate change?
You’d probably say, well, maybe it’s direct air capture.
Maybe it’s nuclear.
Maybe it’s some other thing that basically helps you go to a different place.
And where does all the tax credits and tax dollars go?
These are companies that basically have this oligopolistic stranglehold on essentially
installing solar panels and battery walls in homes across the United States.
And it’s not to say that that job isn’t important.
But to basically explicitly block other people out, because all the chatter today on,
or some of the chatter today was around just if this bill passes as written,
you’re going to see these stocks rip.
And so obviously, the positive reinforcement loop of Wall Street and hedge funds getting
behind these companies, their market cap goes up, the amount they allocate to lobbyists
go up, and then all this bullshit just continues to cycle through the system.
Freeberg, how far are we away from small nuclear reactors and fusion,
just from a science perspective, and then on a regulatory basis?
I don’t know enough.
I mean, yeah.
Look, I mean, from what I’ve seen, there, there are great technologies that, you know,
we should be able to kind of realize my understanding and speaking to investors,
some in this room, and I know Chamath looked at this area a lot,
is, you know, there’s the regulatory burden that’s made it so difficult to launch nuclear.
Technically, it seems like there’s great breakthroughs.
There was an announcement from a group this past week,
CFS, yeah, on a new superconducting magnet system that they spent years designing.
This is a Bill Gates backed company.
Anyone here an investor?
And basically, it enables like the tokamak plasma fusion based systems
to be kind of reliably produced now.
And so they’ve had a proof of demonstration of this, of the superconducting magnet system
that effectively allows you to control a plasma, which is like 10 million degrees Celsius,
in a little donut that spins around.
And that plasma allows you to kind of pull energy out that can be used for, you know,
effectively, you put a bunch of material in, this thing runs,
and more energy comes out than you put in, it’s magic.
And so, you know, this has been a theoretical kind of concept for decades.
Getting the superconducting magnet system to control the plasma in a very small space,
using a very small kind of system was proven.
And now they think that they’re, you know, call it four or five years away.
You know, by the way, everything in nuclear is always four or five years away.
So four or five years away with a grain of salt,
from kind of having a demonstrable kind of system.
So there’s technologies that are clearly like on the brink or proceeding nicely.
But as we know, a lot of a lot of these sorts of technologies,
similarly, are kind of regulatory burdened.
We’re about 100 degrees away, I think, from a from an operational,
functional room temperature, semiconductor, and superconductor, sorry.
And, you know, I’ve told a team that I’m working with on this project,
I don’t want to go into energy generation,
or unless we can do it in a small form manufacturing thing that can be adopted broadly.
But if you try to go and, you know, basically build some distributed energy resource
out over here, that powers Cavallo point, it’s impossible, because you run into these people
who don’t really understand the science won’t take the time.
And, you know, we’ve taken so many steps backwards from nuclear,
that it’s probably just going to take decades.
And it’s going to take some cataclysmic climate change event,
where the only way out is this super abundant energy source,
where you’re willing to basically say, ah, fuck it, we’re fucked otherwise.
By the way, if you were to go to Mars today, you wouldn’t be pulling a bunch of fucking,
you know, oil out of the ground and burning it and, you know, rotating,
you should, I mean, and you wouldn’t necessarily I mean, you’d be using,
you know, solar at the beginning, but you wouldn’t necessarily rely on solar the,
you know, the cost of material to transport from here to Mars,
to yield the best energy potential would likely be some sort of nuclear power source, right?
As it is in a lot of military systems.
Elon was saved by Obama.
I mean, just kind of like having we were there, meaning like,
you know, it was in that moment, he was able to get that deal with Daimler,
he was able to get these, you know, tax credits, the auto bailout, you know, all of that stuff.
But then it seems like we’re in the middle of a democrat administration,
and they may go out of their way to basically try to fuck this guy.
I just think it’s like become a special interest free for all.
There was an article today that the national deficit year to date is 2.7 trillion.
And I think that we’re on October 1st fiscal year, so there’s one more month,
so it’ll be about 3 trillion.
Last year was over 3 trillion because of COVID.
There haven’t gotten to the infrastructure bill yet.
That’s gonna be another 1.2 trillion.
On top of that, the Democrats are saying they want another three and a half.
Well, not all Democrats, but thank God for Joe Manchin, but another three and a half trillion.
And, you know, most people can’t even really say what’s in that three and a half trillion dollar
I mean, it’s we’re at 28 trillion, something like that of national debt.
I mean, and it’s all just like special interest plunder.
Well, I mean, if you look at the results, the results aren’t there, correct?
And then on top of that, well, you know, I understand, I mean, with respect to Obamacare,
okay, that’s a major item on, let’s call it the Democrat wish list was to give everyone
And we didn’t even get there.
But you can sort of understand that.
But most people, I think even on the left, can’t really say what the big ticket item
is that’s going to be delivered for this three and a half trillion that is proposing to be
So, I mean, it’s just, it’s just become this like, you know, special interest freefall.
Freeberg, we talked about not having a wartime stance with the pandemic.
We don’t have a wartime stance with global warming or extreme weather, whichever term
you want, should we?
I mean, we’re, we’re burning money out of like a drunken salary.
What’s going on right now.
And actually, a lot of what we’re going to talk about this symposium over the next day
or so, is that there is effectively now a raging free market appetite for these solutions.
The capital is pouring in the entrepreneurship is blossoming, ballooning, the technology
So, you know, to some degree, folks might say, you know, this is going to get solved.
But there are major infrastructure solutions that are needed for us to accelerate the outcome
and win the war.
And those infrastructure solutions aren’t going to get funded by SoftBank.
And they’re not going to get funded by Chamath.
They’re going to need to get funded by a type of dollars.
I mean, keep keep you keep building your book like you are, you will fund them in the next
But sacks, you know, kind of speaks to the kind of numbers that I think, you know, are
I mean, you think about how much money we spent on COVID without any results over the
last year, it really begs the question, if we were kind of to take an ROI based approach
to where we spending these dollars, this would probably be the first on the list.
And by the way, the private market and jobs will benefit.
And what happened in this, this, this bill, this infrastructure bill this past this past
year, that’s now been, you know, more kind of definitively drafted is a bunch of infrastructure
jobs that are basically giveaways.
They’re not actually solving problems with climate change.
They’re not pushing technology forward.
They’re not creating these alternatives that we’re talking about, they create 10x and 100x
They are yesteryear solutions, and they’re not going to move the needle enough.
And so, you know, look, I do think like, it’s unfortunate, but the climate change war production
port is needed to kind of get the kind of dollars motivated that are needed to create
the kind of infrastructure to solve these problems.
Despite the free market appetite, the free market appetite, by the way, fuels the outcomes,
but it still needs, it needs something behind it.
Chamath, is it possible, just as we’re having this discussion here, we’re looking at an
incompetent, corrupt government that is filled with grifters who are bought and sold, and
then on the other side, and causing massive problems.
That’s a that’s a mouthful.
I wouldn’t say that people I disagree that people are corrupt and grifters.
I do think that really, yeah, I do think that there’s a lot of good motivations.
I just think that the government Yeah, look, there may be corruption, but I don’t think
that that’s the the universal truth, right?
People are generally you, you know, you, we’ve all met people, which one is it?
It’s it’s a it’s a point of perspective, right?
And there’s a perspective.
My perspective is that they’re all being told by their constituents what they want, and
then they’re doing it or by lobbyists or by lobbyists.
But listen to at the end of the day, the way that the system is set up is people get
reelected by doing what they’re the people that are going to vote and put the dollars
and put the votes out for them are asking them to do.
And that’s the way that this has kind of resolved itself.
So, and by the way, when the war when when wars happen, you know, when I guess when a
war happened in the 20th century, that wasn’t the driving force, the driving force was existential,
and it was we have to win the war.
And that’s the that that really needs to be the mindset we all need to adopt today,
which is an existential mindset, we need to win the war.
And it can’t be about what my constituents are telling me what the lobbyists are telling.
So despite this, either incompetence graft, or if you’re more charitable,
you know, it’s a complex problem to solve.
Despite all of that, we have massive entrepreneurship in the country,
we have massive capital allocation at an extreme violent rate.
In fact, a lot of that money is coming from all this money being pumped into the system.
So in a way, do you think the only solution we have, Jamal is entrepreneurs in startups,
who are getting large amounts of money to solve these problems,
because it’s not going to happen by government, obviously,
we have a ton of great entrepreneurs.
And I think that we’re doing things we’re doing.
Okay, so this is this is, if you look at the internet, in the 20 years that we’ve been
grinding in the internet, we’ve had an incredible tailwind that helped us, which is all these
people, much like the folks in this room, but in different companies 10 or 20 years earlier than
you are now abstracting parts of the stack, so that the rest of us could use it, right.
And so, you know, I remember 2006, we were racking and stacking servers at Facebook in Santa Clara,
me, Adam D’Angelo, like, and I was like, What the fuck are we doing?
And I remember in 2008, what Adam D’Angelo, he was our CTO at the time left, he started a company
called Quora. D’Angelo was like, I’m building on AWS. And I thought he was a fucking idiot.
I thought who builds on AWS, you build your own data centers. Now, if you said that to somebody,
you would be the idiot. Right? So if it’s that, or if it’s the tooling and the tool chains that
we’ve been able to build on top of all of that abstraction and simplification has allowed an
order or frankly, probably even maybe two orders of magnitude of entrepreneurship to come.
That’s also now happening in biotech. So all of that is an incredible progress. The problem now is
we used to be a part of the economy that was an afterthought. We were over here.
Politicians didn’t need to understand they didn’t need to take the time. Their first reaction is
denial, because it basically pushes up against power. And that really freaks them out. But now
we’re at a point where we are so integral, they need to understand it better. Here’s a perfect
example. Last week, Illumina’s patents expired. So if you’re in the business of healthcare, and
if you’re in the business of like, you know, CRISPR gene therapy, any of the stuff that actually a lot
of you guys are involved in, you would love for the fact that, you know, next gen sequencing could
have 1000 flowers, boom, bloom, 90 different methods, the cost of a sequence goes down to a
penny. It’s not possible today, because you have to go through one methodology, you have one company
to work through, you have one set of reagents or a set of reagents that one company sells,
and it’s basically cordoned off. That can’t change because of technology, because they can then sue
you go to courts and they win. And so this is where you have to interface with the government
and they just need to get smarter. Because otherwise, there’s only so much innovation we
can do before their historical legacy things like patents and IP come and bite you in the ass.
Saks, what do you think? Is entrepreneurship alone in capital allocation by aggressive,
you know, thoughtful and bold capital allocators enough to solve the incompetence in Washington
or the graft?
Well, it’s gonna have to be. And I mean, here’s the good news, bad news. Okay, I had a tweet that
kind of went viral. So when Afghanistan happened, you know, we spent $2 trillion,
2500 American casualties, 40,000 wounded. And what have we gotten out of it? The Chinese are
about to take up residence in Bagram, in our splendid Air Force Base. And the Taliban are
one of the best equipped armies in the world. That’s basically what our $2 trillion got us.
And China is going to build a superhighway.
By the way, did you see the thing where like the Taliban were flying around in
our helicopter? It was a helicopter. No, it was fake. Apparently, there was fake news.
Oh, they do have more coverage. Apparently, apparently the helicopters that were left
behind are non functional. So let’s just clear that up. That’s not true. Yeah,
they more Blackhawks than any other army in the world, except for us.
I mean, haven’t you seen all the photos of them? They’re all in our uniforms. Incredible. Yeah.
Oh, yeah. They got our night vision goggles and the whole photos on the internet.
No, no, no, no. There was reporting itemizing the inventory,
the cache of weapons we left behind. It was gigantic.
All right, let’s get to the question now.
The good news, bad news.
That’s the bad news. That’s what $2 trillion of government spending got us.
The good news is I went back and I looked at how much money has been invested in the venture
capital space over that same 20 year period that we’re in Afghanistan. And it roughly tallied up
to about $2 trillion. I didn’t know that. Actually, I just added up the charts.
And most of it was in the last five years, because there’s actually been a huge acceleration in the
amount of money coming into VC over the last several years, the soft banks, the tigers,
and so that you’ve had these-
Late stage funds.
The mega late stage funds. So the truth is, for really way less than, I’d say a trillion dollars
of early stage, like true venture money, we’ve been able to create the entire technology ecosystem
as we see it today. I mean, not entire, I guess, go back 20 years, there’s five years in the late
90s. So the private enterprise system has accomplished so much with relatively so little
money. You compare the efficiency of it, you almost wonder how did we squander so much money
How is it possible?
It took active looting by many different forces to basically squander. I mean, think about like-
It literally had to burn money.
Every venture-backed company at every stage in the last 20 years, that’s how much money we spent
in Afghanistan. I mean, how much of that money went to line the pockets of private contractors
and warlords we were paying off? I mean, it was a giant kleptocracy, okay? But the good news is,
look what we got for the same amount of money here, and not just here, every private
venture-backed company. So I do think we are capable of accomplishing great things, but
with relatively small amounts of investment. And thank goodness for that, because that’s
the only thing that’s producing anything in our society. But I mean, it’s true, right?
But look at what Washington’s about to do. They want to stomp on all this innovation. I mean,
they want to jack up the cap gains rate to higher than ordinary income. I mean,
that is the return on investment for venture capital, for the kind of investment I’m talking
about. I mean, they want to make it punitive. Now, that’s not going to pass, thankfully,
because we got Joe Manchin, but that’s about it. By the way, I will contradict myself and agree
with Saks. I do think there will be 100x, 1000x, 10,000x breakthrough that will resolve a lot of
the challenges we face as a species on planet Earth over the century. So we’re optimistic.
I’m 100% optimistic. Actually, that’s the title. You gave it away, the title of my talk in the
morning, tomorrow morning. But yeah, I do. And by the way, my talk says absolutely nothing about
the government. And we’ve been railing against the government. Now everyone’s kind of feeling
sad. And we sound like a bunch of old guys sitting at the Starbucks talking. Yeah,
talking about the government now they suck. But at the end of the day, I do think that
the ingenuity of the human spirit and science will resolve the problems that we face today.
And we are not going to end up in the government to solve the problem.
All right, I want to talk about one other way we should kind of be
questions from the audience. So if you have a question, I’m going to jump out there.
Should we do that now? Because we’re just end with the CCP is now moving to break up alley pays
business. This is after Jack Ma went on a holiday to learn how to oil paint thoughts Chamath.
Well, I think this is sort of like one other step in what we’ve been talking about for a while,
which is that China is basically becoming a completely vertically integrated government,
where the public and private sector has no real clear delineation. And I think that that actually
has a lot of implications to us because they export an enormous amount of technology and
building blocks to us. And we have no recourse if those guys either change their mind. And this is
sort of what pulls us into this next very complicated phase of geopolitics. Because for
example, if they decide to cut us off, you know, in ours, it, they will invade Taiwan. I’ve said
this before, but I think that they will. And we will have no choice except to deploy troops into
Taiwan. Because in the absence of the silicon that we need from TSMC and a couple of other
manufacturers there, we have zero capability here. This is why you see Intel. I mean, for any like
any second, when you guys hear an Intel press release that says they’re investing 90 fucking
billion dollars, do you not think where does Intel come up with $90 billion? Right? This is a pull
through from US government, because it allows us to start to rebuild an enormous amount of
critical infrastructure that we’ve left to other people. So, you know, China is systematically
decomposing and basically destabilizing all the China internet companies, they’re going to control
and inbound all of the critical resources. And we’re going to have to have these really hard
conversations unless this is again, why I go back to I don’t believe what you said, entrepreneurs
are not enough of the solution, we need the government to step in with intelligence, not
with anything other than that. They don’t need laws necessarily, they just need to understand
the problem. And then you get out of the way in some cases, or step in and for example, like,
you know, allow the regulatory regulatory capture to be disrupted, but they won’t do it because
special interests. And by the way, special interest, what do they spend? You know, if you
try to donate to a fucking congressman $4,000 $2,500 like these people aren’t spending $80
million to defend an $80 billion business, they’re spending $80,000. And that’s why we can’t have
progress. That’s crazy to me.
Sacha, that’s on China’s recent actions to basically deprecate entrepreneurship.
It’s, it’s a continuation of the trends we’ve been talking about on the show, like Jamal was
saying, I mean, they’re bringing these entrepreneurs, these their moguls, their their oligarchs under
their thumb under the thumb of the CCP. And Xi Jinping, they’re consolidating control and power
and money. And it’s also about the data. That was another part of the
this new law is they want to get their hands on the data that
I control all the credit data of every single person that uses Alipay all throughout Southeast
Asia. That’s fucking crazy. And they also control everybody. Yeah, we got there the same time.
Yeah, it’s crazy. If you were running the Chinese government, wouldn’t you do the same?
I would do everything that they’re doing, which is why it’s crazy to us that we are
sitting here allowing it to be done to us. That’s what the crazy the crazy part is not
what there’s nothing about what they’re doing is not illogical, right? What we are doing
is illogical. Because we should have a reaction to these things. We should have a point of view.
It can’t be tacitly sticking our head in the sand.
All right, who’s got a question for one of the besties? Okay, let’s try and make it a
tight question. Talk up the book, Jan. Of course, these bills are incredibly wasteful. But you’re
you guys are engaged. So how come you’re not looking through them and saying this piece I
like this piece is messed up? Because it doesn’t sound like you’ve read them either.
To be honest with you, I haven’t read them. I rely on these summaries that I get from my team.
And to be honest with you, the legibility of these things are incredibly low.
And the problem is every bill that gets written now, it’s almost like it goes through a process
of you take a two page bullet point bill, which is really what senators or Congress,
Congress people understand and approve. And then outcomes the other end 2000 pages that are
undigestible. So you’re absolutely right. I don’t I rely on the summaries. I have zero
idea what’s really in there. Let’s take another question. Yeah, I’m Alex Filippenko. You did this
poll of whether the media are right winning, leaning or left leaning and the overwhelming
majority said left leaning. But do you think that that’s in part because for four years,
we had been fed so many lies and so much misinformation from the extreme right?
David, that question was directed to you.
I mean, look, I think there were plenty of polls. If you go back like 10 2030 years,
there’s a media organization, there’s a guy named Brent Bazell, who was doing studies of media bias.
And if you were to actually look at how people in the media voted, it was 90 plus percent Democrat.
I mean, it’s, it’s been, it’s been a thing for a long time. And now it came to a head,
I would say, during the Trump administration, because the, the press, I think in going after
Trump, gave up something important, which is, they gave up their objectivity. I mean,
they flatly would, I mean, it was, you know, whether you want to call it Trump’s Ranger
Syndrome or whatever. I mean, they now saw it as their duty not to report objectively both sides,
but they would just flatly declare things that Trump were saying were false. You know,
you still see this today. I’m not saying that all the things he said were true. Maybe he did say
false things. But normally, if you wanted to say that one person saying something false,
you would get a source on the other side, and then you would quote them. And then that’s how
you would basically construct the article. And you had the press basically almost really become
unhinged. And I think they they kind of ripped the umpire jersey off their backs, to in order
to chase after Trump. And I think, you know, ultimately, they got him. Trump was a one term
president. But I think that it’s really contributed to the polarized media environment we have now
any way to get that referee jersey back on the press? No, no.
sex? Well, how I mean, they, you know,
the problem is the journalism and media have changed so much.
The nature of press has changed. Yeah, right. It’s fragmenting and splintering,
much like everything else. There’s, you know, we talked about this at some of our companies,
I keep referring to our companies, because I know a lot of people are here today. But you know,
we talked about the fragmentation of food brands, for example, or the fragmentation of people’s kind
of individual media selection. The same is happening in the press, where, you know, you’re
now kind of going to pick and choose the five articles you want to read as opposed to buying
one of three newspapers and reading everything in that newspaper each day. And I think that’s
fueling this, which is not necessarily in my opinion, I’ve said this before, not necessarily
a constructed or design decision of the quote, unquote, press, but it’s more a phenomenon that
arises from the individuals that consume the media, and they make selections. And that selection bias
ends up driving the clicks and the votes and the counts and the prints of that particular form of
media. And guess what we end up choosing the stuff that triggers us more and makes us feel some
stronger emotion, and then it creates a feedback loop. And that’s where this is coming from.
And I think it’s enabled by the internet, not necessarily bad actors at platform companies,
but it’s, it’s inevitable in a decentralized world or a platform to world.
That’s where we’re gonna also part of the story is advertising went away as an option as Google
and Facebook took over those markets. So they went subscription and how do you get subscribers,
you pick a side, you can’t really go down the middle.
I want to feel something emotional when I click and buy and spend 99 cents or whatever,
like it’s not I just don’t want to like be bored to death. Everything is so stimulating in this
digital world. Like I want to be stimulated.
There was a really interesting poll that came out today that speaks to this, which is,
they they asked, you know, people on the left to the right, what do you think the
country’s biggest problem is? On the left, the number one answer was Trump supporters.
You know, so, you know, now on the right, it was a little bit more varied. It was the Taliban,
it was China, you know, it was
wrong. What should we be most concerned about objectively from each of you? What do you think?
As Americans, I don’t think the right answer for either side is like the other half of America.
I think that happens because you haven’t varied your information diet, you’re sitting there
watching one station on cable news, and you’re being fed, you’re being basically being fed
this stuff that the others demonizing the other side, right? And, you know, the other side is,
you know, is being otherized.
All right, let’s take two more questions. Nico.
Chamath, this goes back to a point that you made about entrepreneurs not being enough and
bringing the government. I think a lot of the topics covered are bringing a lot of government
support or involvement. So from y’all’s perspective, how do we bring in maybe new
incentives on the government side to bring in younger people, smarter people, people who are
going to make better change than what we may be seeing today? I mean, if you look at country
countries, like Singapore, their solution was to elevate the role of government to be so high.
From a societal value perspective, it was an incredibly respected role. It was well compensated,
and it was a thing that was a real jumping off point to other positions of true influence.
Here, we started with that idea. So like, you know, when you think about what’s what played
out in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, I think we had a lot of that. But then the problem was we had
a handful of things that completely perverted the cycle. The cherry on the cake, I think,
was Citizens United that basically just tore the bandaid off. And we are where we are where
it’s not clear today that the most intellectually curious people are in government,
nor does it even get its fair share. Okay, so what do you do about it?
I think that there’s an element of it, which is you have to play the game on the field,
which is folks like us, what I would encourage all of you to do is if you’re in a position
to actually accumulate political power, you have a responsibility to do so. And it is directly
correlated with money. And so as you find compound companies, and you get liquidity,
you have a responsibility to be engaged, because you will have a louder voice. I’m not saying that
it’s right. I’m not saying that it’s fair, but it’s the game on the field. The more you spend,
the more time you get with all these folks, and you should use that. Beyond that, we have to find
a way of orienting them. So once you get a seat at the table, I think it’s about showing them
that there’s these nuanced laws that are a lot less sexy than they want to talk about,
but that actually have real impact. Saks, what do you think of senators
getting paid like CEOs? Would that help solve the problem if people could look at and say,
well, I can get paid a half million dollars in that job or a million dollars in that job,
where we draw a different caliber of person? I wouldn’t be opposed to that. I wouldn’t be
opposed to people in government, the top people making more money. I don’t know that though,
that that really would be the thing that attracts a hire. I mean, I think most of those people go
into it for power. And the problem isn’t that they’re not smart. I mean, some of them, I guess,
aren’t very smart. Well, you also have the lack of,
since they can’t make money when they’re in, they have to figure out how to make it on the way out
before. So probably alleviate some of that. Giving them a pay increase is not something
I would be opposed to. I mean, it’s something that’s hard for them to do because it’s easy to
campaign against politicians who want to pay themselves more. But yeah, I’d rather pay them
more salary so they’re less beholden to the special interests when they get out of office.
But I don’t think that by itself is going to solve the problem.
Let’s take another question.
So my question is, how do we get both sides to agree, right? We want to get back to the truth.
And in science and economics, we have a way to measure the truth. In science,
you design scientific experiments, and you measure it against reality. So you both sides can agree
what’s reality. In economics, you either make money or don’t make money, right? You can measure
it against something. So what can we do to get back to both sides agreeing on what is true?
I mean, I think the challenge is it takes more than 15 seconds to walk someone through
the experimental design and the outcome and the action to be taken as a result. Same with any,
I mean, I don’t know what the viewership is of the economists, but I’m pretty sure it’s been
But this is why markets work better than politics. Right? This is why markets work
better than politics. Because Freeberg, in order for you to pursue what you want to pursue,
you don’t have to convince a majority of the country to support it. You just need to find
one person who’s willing to fund it. You know, you raise the money. So, and the same is true for
every startup. And that’s why progress is made by startups, and not a lot of progress is made
This is actually why, by the way, the whole-
That’s why I don’t think any of us spend time in politics,
even though we talk about it all the time.
No, but because it influences our decision making. I think politics has done more
to rekindle my interest in all things technology, and specifically Web 3.0 and DeFi
than anything else. Because these last four years have completely convinced me that we need to find
a very decentralized way of building the future.
It’s going to be ugly, though. I am convinced.
I am convinced that the next 80 years is exactly that. Like, you know, in the physical world,
there’s a bunch of stuff that’s going to happen. In the social world, it’s going to be related to
this DeFi decentralization movement that’s underway. And it’s underway because of what
we’re hearing about happening in China, what we’re talking about happening in the US.
And, you know, I mean, I don’t know. I won’t give the context. I was hanging out with some
people the other day. They were working on my house. And they were telling me every single
one of them were trading crypto.
Every single one of them were trading crypto. And the whole conversation…
The really expensive one?
No, the whole conversation…
Which house is the really expensive one?
The whole conversation was about crypto, and I don’t trust the US dollar,
and everything’s inflating away. And I think, politically, we’re not really awake to the fact
that this is a broad, meaningful social movement. It’s playing out with crypto bubbles and NFTs
and other nonsense. But those are short lived bubbles. Those are little feedback loops,
frothiness happening as the tide rises. And I do think that that is going to be kind of
the big pushing force socially.
Which, David, is why China said, no more crypto. What are your thoughts?
That’s the big battle. And by the way, everyone’s gonna end up saying that.
Let me come back to crypto. Just one point on movement. So there’s political movements,
and then there’s kind of economic movements like private initiative. I wrote a blog post
called Your Startup is a Movement, in which I compared being, I said, a good startup founders
and evangelists for their cause. It is almost like leading a political movement. You have to
go out there, kind of have a stump speech, and evangelize people to your cause, which is ideally
a larger mission than just whatever benefits your company. This is why Elon has been able to,
frankly, why he’s been able to sell so many cars without spending a dime on marketing is because
he creates a much larger movement than just what’s good for Tesla.
But the difference, I think, between sort of a private movement and a political movement
is this, is that when you’re successful as the leader of a company, everyone imitates you.
So now, because Elon’s successful, everyone else is trying to introduce their own electric cars.
Whereas in politics, whenever you start a political organization,
an equal and opposite organization will spring up to oppose you. And it’s just very hard
to get anything done. Maybe that’s the way it should be because we don’t want people imposing
their political will on us. But this is why I am a big fan of startups and smart young people
pursuing startups and not politics. What do you think about decentralized crypto
finance in America? Should we allow it? Should we tax it? Should we regulate it?
We should clearly allow it because this whole crypto stack, this whole decentralized finance
stack that’s being built could very well be the future of finance. And we certainly want to be
ahead of that curve. Maybe there’s some bubbles in here in that. But I think what’s really interesting,
there’s certainly a lot of really smart engineers, coders, entrepreneurs who are going to that area.
And so I think it’d be a mistake just to discount it. I think we want America to be
on the forefront of that technology wave, just like every other technology wave.
I’ll make a prediction. My prediction is in the next 20 years, the DeFi movement
will catalyze a movement against the open internet. And it is because state actors will
compete with private actors for this battle between centralized institutional state based
control systems, like I want to have a know your customer if you want to buy crypto in the US,
versus all of these offshore places where I can go and sign up, get a bunch of money and trade
forever and never pay the IRS a cent and live my life in the ether. And the open internet will start
to get threatened. We’ve seen this in the past where proxy servers and DNS servers got, you know,
requests from the DOJ and takedown notices. And if that starts to happen, where all the servers and
all the fiber lines that are running in and out of the US and elsewhere, start to get kind of
tackled, like China has a closed internet, you could start to see this become a really ugly
battle that starts to play out. And I think we’re not too far. I mean, I don’t know if you guys
agree, but I think the open internet is kind of going to be the great battleground to resolve
this. The original battle was over information, and now it’s over money.
Well, I think there’s a really interesting point there, which is, you know, I remember the late
90s, early 2000s, where the big technology investing wave was all about connecting people
and goods into seamless global networks. And that’s where all the investment went today. And
behind that was sort of this utopian idea that the internet was going to break down barriers
and tribalism and remove geographic borders and create a single connected world.
Well, what what exactly is the bet on crypto today, it’s a bet that fiat currencies are
going to collapse and deteriorate be undermined by money printing, the US dollar was stopping
the world’s reserve currency, most likely, that individuals need to be protected against the rise
of the authoritarian state. These are the big themes of crypto. And if you think of major
technology investing waves as essentially a prediction market on what smart people think
the future is going to look like, it’s pretty scary that we’re going from a utopian technology
investing wave to a very dystopian technology. It destroys capitalism. You know, if you think
about what capitalism is, it’s not just a return on investment, but it’s the tonnage of dollars.
Right. So anyone who’s a big investor here, I’ll pick out Jan because he’s done an incredible job.
You know, you’re putting more and more dollars in for more and more dollars out. That’s the
pressure, Brad, you know, these guys are under enormous pressure to get tonnage of dollars
through the system in a productive way. And so, you know, these guys are at the forefront.
But when you look at, you know, most of the projects on Solana,
they’re seated with a few million dollars. And these are 60 $80 billion market cap projects.
And so I don’t know how capitalism survives in that world, number one. Number two,
governance goes completely out the window, because you’re essentially replacing a set of
norms that we’ve all agreed to about what a company is. It’s an LLC, or it’s a C Corp that
is incorporated with laws, there is recourse for you, you can go to these places and sue them.
Now it’s a DAO. It’s a bunch of rules written in a blockchain. Here’s how it all works. Here’s
how I make my HR decisions. Here’s this, here’s that, here’s the other thing. And then you
basically decompose everything into a service where it’s recursive. You cannot build with me,
unless you make yourself buildable to others. Okay. So when you add all these three things
together, I think, to me, it’s the most incredibly positively disruptive force I have
seen. I think it will destroy wealth, I frankly couldn’t give a fuck. And I think it’s better
for the world. Let’s take a final question. Thanks, Jason. And maybe to connect some of the
dots. You know, I think the the power of the individual, perhaps reflected in crypto has
never been greater relative to the power of government. Right? Thomas Friedman talked about
super empowered individuals 20 years ago. Whether you’re a terrorist, or whether you’re a capitalist,
the power of the individual is never been greater. The four of you started a movement earlier this
year, around what was going on in California. Right? A lot of people got excited about the
recall about what might come next. I think where we fail as entrepreneurs, where we fail as
allocators, is we had no strategic plan for California. We have no strategic alternative
plan for America. The parties have platforms. Why don’t we put together a strategic plan for
this state, a strategic plan for the country that brings in these folks, the production board
is a strategic plan for winning World War Two. Right? And so to Tomas point that it’s incumbent
upon us to get involved. I think it’s incumbent upon us to step up what it means to be involved.
It’s not hire a lobbyist in DC. It’s not, you know, just show up and vote. But I actually think
that the voice that you have, carries a lot of responsibility. And I think that I would have
liked to have seen the all in step up and do something to catalyze a strategic plan for
California. Right? Not necessarily endorse a candidate, but let a candidate stand on top of
that strategic plan. If we really think about decentralized, right? I’ll be really honest with
you. I think that- Tomas, why didn’t you run for governor? You’re supposed to run for governor.
Yeah, Tomas, you fucked it up. We don’t have as four people our act together.
We are still learning because we are like anybody else in a startup. You stumbled into some success.
There’s about a million people that will listen, watch, consume this a week. And all the polling
or all of the data that you pull, it’s like New York, San Francisco, DC. We don’t internalize
that and use it for any strategic intent. There’s still if I could just to be honest with you,
there’s still infighting, bitching, complaining, you know, all kinds of fucking nonsense where if
you saw the inside of it, you’d be like, hey, dipshits, wake the fuck up, get a plan together
and act. We don’t have that Brad. And we disagree on a lot. That’s okay. But what we but we we can’t
get we can’t get away from ourselves. We are learning how to do that. And we’ve had a bunch
of instances where we’ve had to come together and say, hey, our friendship is the most important.
So let’s fucking sort this out. And we’ve always been able to sort it out.
We’re going to get pushed to what every other, you know, startup founder story gets pushed to,
which is now what we’re just going to sit here babble on for another fucking three,
four years through a pandemic. And, you know, maybe you get to 2 million views,
3 million views, maybe Spotify gives you a deal and you can make 10 20 million bucks a year.
Who the fuck cares? So you’re right, we have a responsibility to figure out
if we are for reasonable voices in the sea, and people are attracted to those voices,
what do we use it for? And we’ve talked about it, but we haven’t put pen to paper and finalized.
By the way, we spend about 90 minutes a week on this podcast. And then yeah,
we each go on to our own lives. And you know, it’s never been I also think we’ve also tried
to experiment a little bit. David and I collaborated on getting Chesa Boone recalled,
but in different ways, David Sachs, David Sachs, literally helped them start a recall Chesa Boone
campaign. Gary Tan listens to the pod started his own with Democrats. And then I tweeted anybody
want to donate for an investigative journalist to cover Chesa Boone’s office because we couldn’t
find anybody covering it. $60,000 showed up for that GoFundMe page. And we just gave it to a
journalist who started this week, and she’s reported in the first 10 days on three different,
like tragic cases in San Francisco that have not been followed up on by the DA’s office. So that
was just a little, you know, example of dipping our toes and obviously Chamath, you know, being
pushed to run for governor caught fire. Like, we thought that was a joke. It was literally somebody
who listens to the pod put the website up. He tweeted as joke. And then all of a sudden,
it’s on CNBC. But the best thing has been the feedback we’ve gotten from people like you, Brad,
and everybody in the audience, Bill Gurley, a lot of other people here. And we have thought about,
hey, what do we use this platform for in terms of making change like that? And I think that that’ll
be year two. It’s the right question and the right challenge, Brad. It is appreciate it.
I appreciate it. All right, David, we should let everybody get to pizza.
I want to say thanks to the besties to J. Cal, Chamath, Sachs.
Love you, Friedberg. Love you guys. Go ahead, Sachs. Say I love you to Friedberg.
Say it back. Yeah. And just thanks for listening to the show. Thanks to Friedberg. If you want to
make things truly uncomfortable, David loves to give a long embrace, a nice hug. Tell him
this motherfucker. He there’s another friend who shall not be named,
who is a side hugger. Nobody likes us. Who likes a side hugger? Anybody? You want to get the full
frontal hug when you have a frontal hug with Sachs, right? Give it to him. But I had to force
him today because he comes into you like, stand up. I’ll show you. He comes in like this. And
then he does this. The hip hug. Like he does. He does kind of a hip. That’s called Asperger’s.
Nice to see you. It’s called Asperger’s.
Has anyone noticed that J. Cal looks like he’s going to a night at the Roxbury.
Absolutely. He looks like Joker.
I mean, you look horrible.
Thank you. Thank you.
Absolutely fucking horrible.
Okay. Appreciate it.
Is that your MC outfit or what?
Here we go.
Let’s wrap it up.
All right. Well, this has been the All In Podcast and enjoy your time at the conference.