All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - E63: Insurrection indictments, human rights in the US and abroad, groundbreaking MS study & more

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Look at free bird. He’s like, this is so awkward. I can’t wait.

He’s got literally brought popcorn.

Did I was watching the show.

You brought popcorn.

He’s like, I want to see round three.

I have nothing to say today.

I’m just going to sit here and watch.

I brought popcorn.

I got my chili roasted pistachio nuts.

I’m going to sit back and enjoy the J.

Cal Sacks.

Rain man, David Sacks.

And it said, we open source it to the fans and they’ve just gone crazy with it.

Love you guys.


Queen of King Kong.

Are we really going to do this as the top story?

I mean, this is the third time we’ve tried to do this story.

Do we give the background sacks or no?

We wouldn’t have had to do it over and over again if you didn’t act so hysterical.

There we go.

First one you killed.

No, you killed it.

No, the first one you killed.

Yeah, because it wasn’t even on the docket and it wasn’t

it wasn’t even newsworthy.

OK, and the second one I killed.

Because you came across like a stark raving lunatic.

I spiked it the second time because I was so infuriated

by your cavalier attitude towards it.

What are you worried about my attitude for?

Why don’t you just focus on making your own good points?

Here’s the thing.

I was so correct.

I was so correct.

The two of you.

Let him go, Timoth.

Let him go.

You guys got popcorn.

Let’s hear this idiot try to blame his own hysteria on me.

You said that January six was overblown.

And of course, you know, I said it was a disgrace.

I said it was an embarrassment.

It was an embarrassment to the country.

I said it was wrong.

But you want to inflate it.

You’re you’re engaging in classic Washington threat inflation.

Nope. And and there’s two problems with that.

One is you’re going to take your eye off the ball of the real issues

facing the country, like inflation, the economy

and economic anxiety, like covid, like crime, like schools.

I mean, these are the issues that Americans care about.

Not, you know, a riot that happened over a year ago.

And if you and the Democrats keep talking about this and focus on it on MSNBC

to the exclusion of the issues that really matter, I’ll see you in November

because you’re going to get slaughtered in this midterm election.

It’s going to be a landslide.

But the other problem with it is with this threat inflation is that it justifies

the expansion of surveillance powers

and prosecutorial powers by the Justice Department, by the, you know,

by the by the Justice Department, other branches of our government

who want to basically go after, you know, the so-called domestic terrorism.

That will lead to an infringement on civil liberties, just like the expansion

of those agencies did after 9-11.

And so I think we should all be concerned about it.

Now, look, are these Oath Keepers a bunch of idiots?

Yeah, there were 11 Oath Keepers at that rally.

They broke into the wait a minute, wait a minute, you’re saying prosecuted.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

You’re saying an old fat guy with an eyepatch

and a hat that says Oath Keeper lifetime member is not credible to you.

Exactly. I mean, look, this is these guys are they’re they’re not unlike the Antifa

right, you know, people in Portland who are trying to burn down buildings

or or chase of Houdin’s parents who are domestic terrorists.

I mean, yeah, this is a small number of knuckleheads who broke into the Capitol.

They should be prosecuted.

They’re they’re guilty of saying this leader is saying intemperate things.

But was this going to be a coup to take over the Capitol?

I don’t I don’t think so.

OK, let’s focus on that to the exclusion of the real issues facing the country.

Like I said, this landslide in November, this red wave is going to be even bigger.

Just to your point about my focus every week here on the number one

tech podcast in the world and on the number six tech podcast in the world

this week in startups, I focus on all of those issues.

But let’s read because we can chew gum and walk at the same time.

Let’s read what happened on Thursday.

The FBI arrested 11 members of the Oath Keepers on sedition charges

and the House Committee subpoenaed Facebook, Google, Reddit and Twitter

after insufficient responses to the January six riots or insurrection,

whichever term you prefer.

The leader of the Oath Keepers, which is an organization

that claims over 30,000 members primarily in the military and police.

OK, well, hold on a second.

If this was their big moment to stage a coup and take over the government,

why were only 11 of the 30,000 there?

The 11 were indicted, David.

There were how many were there?

Well, we don’t know yet.

But last week, you said last week you said there was no coordinated attack.

And now we have proof.

No, that’s not what I said.

Look, you can’t veto the segment from last week

and then try to claim that I said certain things.

Let me just fit it.

Can I get through the story or keep interrupting?

My God. OK, from the you’re complaining about interruption.

OK, that’s another interruption.

May I finish it with that before interruption?

Or would you like to just keep monologuing?

What are you reading?

Why don’t you just give us the link so that the audience can just go

and get the actual story.

That’s what I’m trying to do, but you keep interrupting.

So here we go.

While certain Oath Keeper members and affiliates inside Washington, D.C.

breached the Capitol grounds and buildings,

others remain stationed just outside the city in QRF teams.

These are quick response teams that had weapons

and they transported firearms into Washington, D.C.

And these in support operations were aimed at using force to stop the law

full transfer of presidential power, according to our Department of Justice,

which is majority Republican, obviously law enforcement skews.

No, it’s Republican. Yes, it is.

I mean, a portion of the Oath Keepers communication occurred on signal.

You think the FBI is pro-Republican?

Are you going to keep interrupting me?

Oh my God. Can I just read two sentences, Dave?

Get a taste of your own medicine, pal.

Okay, fine.

Signal is an encrypted chat app that’s not supposed to have any backdoors,

but obviously there are some plant.

Here are some of Rhodes’s comments.

We aren’t getting through this without a civil war.

Too late for that.

Prepare your mind, body and spirit.

It will be a bloody and desperate fight.

We’re going to have to fight.

This cannot be avoided.

If we want to make the January 6th stuff relevant.

First of all, let me just say I see that primarily as a media story.

What happened happened.

Obviously, it was a disgrace and embarrassment of Black Eye for the country.

I’m not supporting or defending anyone.

I tend to think these Oath Keepers, it was not like a super organized,

concerted effort to take over the government.

It’s somewhere.

It’s basically a bunch of loudmouths who engaged in a riot.

Maybe there was more planning and preparation.


The court case will bear it out.

And if they can prove that it was what you said it was, great.

Let them go to jail.

I have no desire to defend them.

But I also think that in the grand scheme of things,

this whole thing’s been blown completely out of proportion.

I mean, if you watch MSNBC, it’s all January 6th all the time.

And if Democrats are going to focus on this issue for the next 10 months,

and you know who Roger Stone was photographed on a sidewalk with,

which was the big story the other day, this red wave in November

is going to be an even bigger wave.

I’m just telling you right now, because it’s not

what the average voter in the country cares about.

I think you’re right about that.

I think you’re right about that.

I’ll agree with that.

I think MSNBC is focused on this, and Fox is focused on fake voter fraud.

And we’ve been pretty clear here that none of us

agree with either of the extremes of media coverage.

I do think this is an issue worth resolving quickly.

Wait, what fake voter fraud are you talking about?

The guy who’s obsessed right now with voter fraud is Biden.

He just gave a speech, a very intemperate speech,

saying that if you don’t support his new Voting Rights Act,

that you’re on the side of Bull Connor and Jefferson Davis.

There was some political calculus there.

He had to do that because he was also trying to basically bolster

the ability to get this filibuster thing passed in the Senate.

So he basically had to play a relatively weak hand.

And again, what happened, again, legislatively,

is that his own party said, no, enough.

In this case, it was Kyrsten Sinema who basically said, no, none of this.

Right, well, Sinema and Manchin won’t support amending the filibuster.

So this thing was DOA.

We said it was DOA.

When the Build Back Better bill collapsed,

we said they were going to try and pivot to voting rights to change the subject,

even though it was DOA.

But there is something that Biden could do or could have done

that I think would be a bipartisan reform, which is to reform the Electoral Count Act.

I mean, what happened in November, if you’re concerned about Trump and,

you know, the potential to subvert the election and the way he tried to influence

Pence to stop the counting of the electors, if you’re concerned about all of that,

there is a fix for that, which is the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

It’s completely antiquated.

Obviously, it’s been around for over 100 years.

There is bipartisan support for fixing that.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has come out for months saying…

Explain what that is to the audience.

Well, it’s just a law that governs how these electors in the Electoral College

get counted up and certified so that, you know, the election gets certified.

So David Brooks had that piece that Chamath shared in the New York Times, which is

the problem we have right now is not in the actual voting.

It’s in the, if you’re worried about what happened in this past November,

it’s in the certification of the voting.

And, you know, what Brooks was writing about is there’s a lot of social science saying that,

you know, a lot of these rules that Democrats and Republicans are really focused on

around the convenience of the election don’t really influence the number of people who vote.

People who want to vote, vote.

People who don’t, don’t.

You know, we’re getting hung up on the wrong thing, which is, you know, these voter ID laws.

What really matters is the certification of the Electoral College.

And you could find, Biden could find, I think there’s a number of Republicans

who would support a clarification of that law and updating of it so

that what potentially could have happened in, you know, in January,

if Pence had gone along with this plan to basically reject the accounting of the electors,

I mean, everyone understood that was just ceremonial, right?

What do you think of that plan?

What did you think of Trump’s plan?

I think that Trump had a right to air his grievances in court.

But once the court threw out his claims and rejected them,

and once the Supreme Court denied certiorari, it was over.

It was over.

The Supreme Court has the final word in our democracy about legal matters.

And so, no, Pence never had the authority or the ability

under the Electoral Count Act to reject the counting of the electors.

That whole process is ceremonial.

But the mere fact that this isn’t even an issue suggests that we should fix it.

We should go back and fix the Electoral Count Act of 1887.

So, look, Biden could have gotten 60 votes for that.

You know, I think that was very doable.

He can get votes for that.

He can also get votes to stop the insider trading of members of Congress.

He could get that done too.

So why isn’t he focused on things where he can actually get a bipartisan majority?

His one big legislative success as president has been the infrastructure

bill where he got a bunch of Republican support.

Which is a pretty big win, yeah.

Those are the types of issues he should be focused on.

And instead, he’s giving these, you know, speeches, saying that anyone who disagrees

with the progressive agenda on voting rights is basically George Wallace or Bull Connor.

Did you guys hear his speech the other day on CNBC about COVID?

I mean, he was so incoherent.

It was kind of scary.

It feels like he’s in cognitive, the cognitive decline is, you know, I voted for the guy.

I didn’t need to get Trump out of office.

I thought that was an existential risk.

But man, he is cognitively declining quickly.

I mean, I think the craziest thing about COVID was this Rachel Walensky interview.

I mean, like, why does it take two years into a pandemic to tell us

what we kind of anecdotally knew?

But if we had known up front, or sooner, we would explain this.

Rachel Walensky does an interview.

She’s the head of the CDC.

And she said, well, it turns out that 75% of all the deaths

because of COVID were people that suffered from at least four comorbidities, at least four,

not three, not two, not one.


It wasn’t all it was, I think it was a subset defined by it might have been like

vaccinated deaths or something like that.

It was it was one study.

But yes, that was basically the conclusion.


It’s significant comorbidities among people who died.

And so if we if we had known that, don’t you think I mean, Friedberg, you tell me,

but wouldn’t we have just changed our response to just mask and just kind of like start living

our normal lives and people with four comorbidities or people at a certain age or

immunocompromised should have stayed home.

And we would be in a very different situation.

So, you know, I mean, I understand, Jason, that Biden didn’t the last few speeches have

been a little tight.

You know, I mean, I think, look, the Quinnipiac call poll, then Nick, you can post I mean,

look, his ratings are just plummeting, plummeting.

I mean, it’s down to Trump levels, right?

Every week.

And so he is definitely searching for a handful of wins.

I don’t think he’s strategically found the right ones.

He could have done something on certifying the electoral college, he could certainly

do something right now on insider trading laws for members of Congress.

But instead, we’re focusing on all these random things.

But anyway, so he can get the insider trading thing past Pelosi.

But but but but yeah, I think it is something that would get a huge bipartisan majority.

Look, she’s gonna lose anyway.

So he might as well just throw under the bus.

You’re right.

This is about his political salvation over hers.

By the way, you guys saw this.

I mentioned this in the group chat.

Someone floated the trial balloon of dumping Kamala Harris and replacing her with Liz Cheney.

This is how bad things have gotten for the Democrats.

I mean, we were trying to they floated a trial balloon of of Biden Cheney in 24

crossover ticket.

I we talked about this on the for a couple years in private and poker.

I thought I think a crossover ticket is what the country needs to kind of get back to center.

And I know it’s a crazy concept, and it’s a 1% chance.

But I, I kind of like the crossover.

But things have gotten so bad for the Democrats now that I sort of said sacks floated this

or pre floated it.

We had a little debate on the Twitter.

But I don’t know if you remember two or three episodes ago,

SAC said, Hey, listen, there’s gonna be a new appreciation for Clinton.

And not 10 days later, the Wall Street Journal and a bunch of people are floating Hillary coming

back to run Bill Clinton, I didn’t mention Hillary.

I know that.

But I think either you are in your star chamber and doing a pre float on all in.

So then the backups in the can then, you know,

pump Hillary as that, or it just people are listening to you and you’re that influential.

What I’m what I’m proposing is a Biden engage in Clintonian,

by which I mean Bill Clinton Tony and triangulation,

which is he does not have the votes in Congress to enact a progressive agenda,

he should be looking for bipartisan wins.

He did with the infrastructure bill.

He could do with this insider trading thing.

He could do it on the Electoral Count Act.

These are things that would be, you know, progress.

Yeah, China policy and importantly, momentum, momentum going into 2020 24.

And maybe good for Americans.

Like, I mean, his China policy, the fact that he came out with a statement on the Uyghurs,

I thought was very strong.

You know, it’s one of the stronger things he did, but it’s not coming up in the polls.

And I think that whole Republicans interesting.

Nobody cares.

Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs.

Okay, you bring it up because you really care.

And I think what do you mean?

Nobody cares.

The rest of us don’t care.

I’m just very hard.

You’re saying you personally don’t care.

I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth.

Okay, of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line.

Okay, of all the things that I care about, it is below my line.


Well, we I think people if you if you explain to them what’s happening to the Uyghurs in China,

they care, but it’s not top of mind for them.

That’s not caring right now.

Go to the grocery store, and the shelves are empty.

Sure, that I care about.

Yeah, I care about the fact that our economy could turn on a dime.

If China invades Taiwan, I care about that.

I care about climate change.

You know, I care about a bunch of I care about America’s crippling and, you know, decrepit

healthcare infrastructure.

But if you’re asking me, do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country,

not until we can take care of ourselves?

Will I prioritize them over us?

And I think a lot of people believe that.

And I’m sorry if that’s a hard truth to hear.

But every time I say that I care about the Uyghurs, I’m really just lying if I don’t

really care.

And so I’d rather not lie to you and tell you the truth.

It’s not a priority for me.

And my response to that is, I think it’s a sad state of affairs when human rights as

a concept globally, you know, falls beneath, you know, tactical and strategic issues that

we have to have, we need to have another luxury belief.

That’s another luxury belief.

I don’t believe believing in the human declaration of human rights that Eleanor Roosevelt, I

don’t think it’s a luxury belief to believe that all humans should have a basic set of

human rights.

I think it’s a luxury belief.

The reason I think it’s a luxury belief is we don’t do enough domestically to actually

express that view in real tangible ways.

So until we actually clean up our own house, the idea that we step outside of our borders

with, you know, with with us sort of like morally virtue signaling about somebody else’s

human rights track record is deplorable.

Look at the number of black and brown men that are far from deplorable.

Look at the number of black and brown men that are incarcerated for for absolutely ridiculous


I don’t know if you saw this past week, but there was a person that was released from

jail because he couldn’t even be protected in jail because in some of these cells, they

run these fight clubs inside of Rikers Island that are basically tacitly endorsed by the

corrections officers that don’t do anything.

And the difference so hold on Jason.

So if you want to talk about the human rights of people, I think we have a responsibility

to take care of our own backyard first, first, and then we can go and basically morally tell

other people how they should be running their own countries.

The difference is Chamath saying what you just said in China or Saudi Arabia would put

you in jail and get you 100 lashes and you would be tortured for a decade.

We here in the United States are far from perfect.

We still have the death penalty, which is against the United Declaration of Human Rights,

which we signed, which Eleanor Roosevelt created in the UN.

And we propagated as Americans around the world, we started that Chamath.

And we can have these discussions about being better in this country.

And the what about ism that you’re proposing is so disproportional to the equivalent of

the Holocaust going on.

We’re talking about a million Uyghurs in concentration camps right now to talk about what we have

here that we need to fix and compare it to that, or to Saudi Arabia, whipping bloggers

and throwing gay people off roofs for being gay.

The these two things are not morally comparable.

They are very far and we need to have open discussions and talk about human rights all

the time.

Because if we do not talk about it all the time, then your position, which is I don’t

have time for that I want to solve my problems, then gives the green light to dictators everywhere

that nobody’s watching.

Vigilance and that and that’s what I find.

And I think we hold on a second.

Your position.

That’s not what I said.

And that’s not true.

You said you can’t get up for it.


So tell me how are you?

Are you saying that the situation with the Uyghurs is the same as the Holocaust?

People who are Jewish are making that comparison.

You never know.

I’m asking you, I think there are upwards of a million people in a concentration camp

right now.

This is getting to numbers that are actually comparable.

It is actually a valid comparison.

You’re saying there are a million people in a concentration camp.

That is the numbers that human rights organizations are saying between 300,000 and a million people

are incarcerated right now being tortured, raped, and in doing forced sterilization,

reeducation, and when they’re released are being tracked in ghettos.

And so Jewish people are bringing this up.

Hold on.

Are you saying as a comparison?

You’re saying the entire world has basically decided that that doesn’t matter.

You just said you can’t get up for it.

I’m talking about you specifically.

Who is getting up?

Well, who is getting up for it?

I am very up on it.

I talk about it all the time every week.

What about the US government?

What are they doing about it?

The Biden just said we are going to do a ban, and we are going to sanction companies that

do business in that region.

So Apple and Tesla?

I think there will be increased pressure on all companies that are engaging in China over

human rights.

It’s goods that are sourced from those areas, right?



It’s not doing business.

It’s it’s if your supply chain comes from that area.

So kind of like we won’t we won’t buy Nazi goods, but we’re we’ll sell our iPhones into

Nazi Germany.

Well, if you want to have a discussion about this, you know, it’s how do we disengage from


We’ve had this discussion here.

How what amount of time will it take to disengage from countries that have brutal

dictatorships that are committing human rights atrocities?

My look, look, I think I’m spending a lot of time and money actually trying to fortify

America’s supply chain.

You guys know about some of the things that I’m doing.

I’m not doing that from a moral perspective.

I’m doing that from a practical capitalist perspective.

I think the jobs are better served for Americans.

And I think that we should have the ability to build our own businesses, just like China

has the right to do for themselves, without the risk of these things being undercut by

policies that we don’t understand, which is effectively what you do when you outsource

your supply chain to countries where you’re not 100% aligned with them.

Yeah, and they’re dictatorships.

So again, I’m not I’m not even sure that that China is a dictatorship the way that you want

to call it that.

Again, I think country that’s in the name.

Look, you have to understand, Jason, there are a set of checks and balances here on China

that, you know, at the end of the day, I don’t think that I have the moral absolutism to

judge China.

And I would say that when NATO is silent, the United Nations is silent, all of Western

Europe is silent, and America’s effectively silent, that this issue may be smaller than

small data points being extrapolated in a way to create a narrative that may be not

be true.

And if it is true, Jason, there is a responsibility for those body politics to do something because

that is the early warning signal that the rest of the world uses to say, Okay, hold

on, let me reprioritize my list of things.

So I guess what I’m saying is, I am not going to be an armchair journalist on this topic,

nor am I going to be the armchair human rights advocate for the world, because I just don’t

know, I can focus on the things that I know about, build the things that I know about.

And if something really does get red light status, then other parties will do something.

And again, I just want to be clear, NATO is silent, United Nations is silent, America

is silent, a press release doesn’t change the actual technical posture on these topics.

Okay, if that if your position is that human rights matters to you, if government large

government organizations or politicians give you the green light to care about it, that’s


I care about it intrinsically every day.


I’m fine with you doing that.

I thought there was a segue there talking about the Ray Dalio thing that Freiburg cares


I mean, this is, I mean, this debate that you’re having between kind of realism and

idealism and foreign policy is sort of what Dalio tackles, right, Freiburg?

Look, I mean, it sounds to me like there’s, let’s just say a red herring.

There always needs to be, as Chamath points out, a narrative on framing our enemy when,

you know, you’re running out of land.

I mean, you guys saw this, was it a journal article or New York Times article that came

out today that US intelligence revealed that Putin had actually put some actors into the

eastern Ukraine to set up for a reason to have a response and therefore an excuse to

invade the Ukraine.

So he was trying to create a bit of a fireworks show to give him an excuse.

We always need a narrative that we can sell to our citizens.

And so, you know, there’s not going to be a lot of, you know, patting on the back of

China right now.

As we’ve talked about, there is this, you know, overarching multi-hundred year economic

cycle, you know, call it geopolitical cycle that the United States and China are about

to clash on.

And in order for them to clash effectively, we need to get the narrative right, which

is to paint them as the bad guy and to make things evil.

And look, I mean, you may take your ethical framework and say that they are bad.

And you may be able to take other parts of your ethical framework and looking objectively,

call some countries that you consider good, bad as well, depending on what story you want

to tell yourself and what story you want to be told.

And I think that’s what’s going on and will continue to go on for a long period of time.

And this Uyghur thing, as Chamath pointed out, how do you measure on an absolute basis

human rights?

I don’t think that there’s a way to do so.

Whether it’s one person getting tortured publicly in a street, or 100,000 people being

suppressed economically and not being able to get jobs, it’s hard to say what is appropriate,

what is not, what is evil, what is not.

At the end of the day, we create narratives and that narrative allows the bigger picture

to kind of play itself out.

And I think that’s what’s going on largely.

And I don’t think we’re going to hear a lot of good news about China for the next decade

from any politician in the United States or anyone that wants to defend our political

and economic interests globally, which are certainly being challenged by China right now.

I don’t know.

That’s my diatribe about the Dalai Lama.

Look, the Dalai Lama obviously does a great job of kind of simplifying and eloquently

stating what’s going on.

But I think this is one of many, many manifestations of it.

You need only read what the UN Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch,

the Guardian, the New York Times, you know, this is not up for question.

Why do you think you’re so wound up about this?

And you’re not wound up about what’s going on in Somalia?

Oh, no, you’re not wound up about what’s going on in Saudi Arabia,

or you’re not wound up about what’s going on in eastern Ukraine?

Hold on a second.

There are human rights violations all over the world.

I commented on them.

And I have commented on them for decades since I worked at Amnesty International,

Amnesty International, which is where I started my career.

I’ve been passionate about this since the age of 18 or 19.

When I worked at Amnesty International, you said that you cannot grade these things,


You just said, like, it’s hard to compare these things.

And this is a problem.

Like, you can actually do that.

There are human rights violations, like freedom of speech, which, you know, is a great aspiration.

But we would say torture, murder, systematic rape, and sterilization are more intense and

horrific than just freedom of speech.

So if you look at Hong Kong, when they shut down Apple News, that’s one level of human

rights, right?

People have lost their ability.

Again, you’re telling hundreds of these are not stories.

These are facts.

Apple News was shut down.

You’re telling a fact about a particular a particular set of experiences that are particularly

harming a set of people.

Let me give you another fact.

In the United States, where we have a population of let’s be generous and say 400 million people,

2.3 million or 40 million 340 million Americans, 2.3 million of whom are incarcerated.


In China, with a population of 1.4 billion, 1.7 million Chinese are incarcerated.

Absolutely something we have to do.

Where is human rights being violated on an absolute basis?

It’s a very difficult conversation to use facts and figures.

Because at the end of the day, there’s a lot of data that can be pointed the other way.

And so it all comes down to narrative.

And that narrative always has an objective, which is what are you trying to get people

to believe?

And what are you trying to get them to get behind and get to do?


And what are you trying to justify?


And the tree where they don’t have a drug problem over there, because they killed all

the drug dealers, Mal put him up against the wall and shot him.

So, you know, they just said they’re fentanyl here.

That’s fair enough.

But I’m just saying like, look, and it’s a very good point, which is you can actually

take the data and you can slice it and tell different stories around it.

But at the end of the day, it’s very hard to say there’s good and there’s evil that

we have to go and attack.

And that is what is I never said attack.

I never said attack.

I didn’t say invade China over this.

And I didn’t say invade Saudi Arabia.

I think we should talk about the temperature.

Raise the temperature.

No, I did not say that either.

If you want to know what I think should happen, political pressure on that, right?

I think when people are involved in torture, murder, rape, and sterilizing people, that

there should be economic and disengagement that occurs as a first step.

And that that is why when people in our circles in venture capital, take money from somebody

who murdered a journalist, Mohammed bin Salim, MBS from Saudi Arabia, we should disengage

from a country like that.

I believe that that is what we should do.

And I believe like us, I believe people like us who are capital allocators and creators

and who are influencers should be talking about human rights all the time.

And we should be familiar with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we should

read what’s in it.

And we should aspire to hit those notes in our country and everywhere else.

And this me too ism, I’m sorry, this, you know, equivalency problem that you guys keep

bringing up.

That is a trap.

That is an intellectual trap.

Because there is no equivalency from putting a detaining a million people, putting hundreds

of 1000s of them and torturing them to what’s happening in the United States where we wrote

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and where we can have conversations about


If you try to have the conversation we are having here with you, we would all be tortured

in Saudi Arabia, we would all be tortured and detained inside of China.

I just think that there’s a very dangerous thing that you’re doing, which is you are

ranking, and which is essentially assigning some sort of let’s just call it economic value

to those things that you just just described torture, rape for sterilization.

But I think then you’re ignoring how do you actually economically rank systemic racism

in the United States?

What happens in our inner school system, inner city school system?

What happens to black and brown men?

What happens to the families of those people?

What happens to how the lobbies basically break down the healthcare system?

All I’m saying is, Jason, if you take your argument to the extreme, you start to get

into all these areas of gray, where it’s impossible to assign economic realities to those things

so that you can actually rank and rate.

That’s why I do economic.

Yeah, because what we’re talking about, you’re numerically ranking these things.

No, no, no, I never use a numeric.

I’m just saying one is proportionally different.


I’m not putting economic I never use the term proportion.

There’s really bad things happen 10 times.

And these kind of bad things happen 1010 1000 times, which one’s worse?

I think if you asked anybody who is in a Uyghur prison being sterilized,

I’m asking you if they would rather be Yes, I mean, you could do this test.

Jason, I’m asking you a question.

If 10 people 10 Uyghurs were raped or forced sterilized?


Versus 10 million black men falsely incarcerated, which one is worse?


This is not the way to do the calculus.

You can do it on an individual basis, you can look at an individual inside of a prison being

tortured and an individual living in the United States, every single person who is inside of that

torture chamber, being raped, being sterilized would say I would absolutely love to come to


That’s why everybody wants to come to this country and live in a free democracy where

they can speak freely.

They can practice whatever religion they want and not be tortured.

And what you’re doing by adding up all the tiny pain and suffering that we have here in America,

and then, you know, trying to conflate that with these horrific acts, you have to look at

exactly how horrific these are on an individual basis, just like we did with George Floyd,

we see George Floyd happen.

That is something that is absolutely worth being outraged about at a higher level,


You have to stop for a second and say, Oh, my God, this has to be resolved.

We can do these two things at the same time.

We can refine our education system, George Floyd,

the Uyghurs being sterilized.

I think George Floyd proves my point, because there’s been innumerable number of black men

that have been murdered with nary a thing that’s ever happened in the United States.

But it happened in an exact moment, where the sum of all of these other things that

happened before, had just compounded to a point where the whole thing spilled over.

And enough people decided to basically say the sum total of this damage.


Now is the equivalent of a very meaningful human rights violation.

You can work on both these things at the same time is my point.

And this and this, you’re basically giving a pass by by kind of conflating these two


In my mind, you can work on both these issues, you could want to stop abhorrent torture,

and murder and rape, while wanting to make our justice system better while wanting to

make our education system better.

You don’t have to pick one trim off.

I think you do, actually.

No, you do not.

We could absolutely create nothing I can do about the Uyghurs in China.

Absolutely, there is you could not capital allocate to regions or to companies that are


I don’t I don’t have any shing shanties.

Okay, perfect.

And if you do see one, you could do that.

And you could also speak up because they can’t get out of China.

What are you talking about?

Do you take money from Saudi Arabia?

No, I made a more and did you make a moral decision about that?


Okay, if you did get offered a billion dollars, would you take it from them?

And by the way, to be honest, there’s a bunch of my companies that have been supported by

folks who have taken money from them.

And I know, that’s a problem.

When I look what?

Well, what’s the bigger problem?

Is it that the solution that these guys are, that they’re designing for mental health or

diabetes or, you know, housing or whatever it is this startup does when they take money

from SoftBank or whoever, all of a sudden, they should be cancelled and not be able to

do that.

I didn’t say cancel, just take the money from somebody different.

Nobody said cancelled.


I don’t know, KOTU, pick another firm, Goldman.

I don’t know who doesn’t take Saudi money.

So should the should the United States create a program where whenever you get a way you

ever get a term sheet from SoftBank or anybody with money from

didn’t say that.

If you should just be able to go and redeem it for some somebody else’s money.

I never said that either.

I think each individual, a capital allocator like yourself and a CEO should make what they

believe is a morally right decision.

Well, they voted and they don’t care about this issue.

They’re voting with their dollars every day.

That people should care about human rights, and they should care about who they make money


I know I’m a lone voice.

I know I’m a lone voice.

But I believe you should care about.

No, no, no, I’m not saying Jason, I’m just saying something very subtle.

I’m not saying that what you believe is wrong.

In fact, I think it’s beautiful and wholeheartedly right.

What I’m saying is when everybody else tries to nod their head and agree with you in the

moment, they’re just moral leave virtue signaling in a luxury of belief that they themselves

don’t exhibit, they don’t make any changes towards and it’s largely because they don’t

believe that this is an issue and I’m just putting it on the table as it just is true

based on everybody’s behavior, maybe other than you.

I agree with you.

But everybody else is voting.

I would like to change everybody’s behavior.

And I think you can offer your opinion.

And maybe you will change some people’s minds.

I’m sure there are some people listening here.

And I know there are some founders who would not take money from SoftBank and would not

take money from Saudi Arabia.

And I know there are some capital allocators will not take money from dictatorships.

I think that you’re you’re also forgetting that there’s there has been as it seems again,

from very, very far away looking in a lot of things that they have been able to do that

is really constructive.

You know, they’ve actually created some pretty decent ties to Israel.

They’ve actually started to create a path to normalize normalized relations in the Middle


You know, they’ve organized against what could be the real threat there, which is,

you know, a nuclear empowered Iran.

So just to put things in perspective, Jason, it’s kind of like you have to look at the

totality of the situation again, in the United States today, if you just looked at that one

simple thing, you can cherry pick all kinds of reasons why many other companies shouldn’t

expect shouldn’t accept American capital.

Because, you know, we don’t really exactly have our shit together, right?

Proportion of these issues is the

I think I think what what Samantha is saying is the world, the world is complicated.

I mean, we had so under the previous president, they said there could never be like a peace

in the Middle East or a deal between Israel and Arab powers.

And there was the Doha agreement where you had three Arab states signing peace treaties

with Israel, and Saudi Arabia allowing flights between Saudi Arabia and Israel for the first


And that’s all because of MBS.

And there was an article in The Wall Street Journal talking about how King Salman actually

was holding MBS back on this because, you know, he’s part of the previous generation

who was backing the Palestinians.

And MBS just wants to move forward and actually get a deal done with Israel.

And if the Palestinians won’t make it, then he’s willing to move forward without them.

And this is not me saying this, this is The Wall Street Journal.


We need to dig up that piece.

So all I’m saying, look, what happened with that journalist was absolutely wrong.

But clearly, like, foreign relations is very complicated, especially in the Middle East.

And it’s not clear that like net net Saudi Arabia probably just did the one wrong thing,

which is that every country engages in extra judicial killings, they just got caught.


Because I don’t think it’s fair to say also torture.

They also killed a journalist.

I think that Americans have done that.

Okay, we’ve done that as well as journalists.


I don’t think you actually have any idea the extent of what we have done

during the course of these wars in all of these countries.

I don’t think you know.

Well, I don’t think I know.

So by saying, and I think you’re basically saying nobody knows if we

chopped up a journalist who criticized Do you know who was in Algrave?

Abu Ghraib?

Do you really know?

Do you know of all the other the worst one of the worst things we ever did?

And one of the things we need to aspire to do better.

My brain is that we’ve gone blood around the Middle East for 20 years now in Afghanistan.

We supported warlords in Afghanistan who were allies with

who were raping young boys.

I mean, this was like a giant series of articles in the New York Times.

Oliver North Iran Contra.

I mean, we’ve been doing this since the 80s.

But even more recently in Libya, we basically got rid of Gaddafi and

plunged that whole country into civil war, and it’s never recovered from it.

So look, I actually Jason, I’m somewhere in between.

I actually agree with your idealism.

My mind’s still blown that you actually work for AMC International.

But I just think that the world is more complicated than that.

And sometimes we have to make choices.

And the thing that concerns me is that that idealism that you’re citing has become a

prelude and a pretext for war in the over the last 20 years.

And we can to be clear, I’m not advocating we go around the globe,

getting into these conflicts, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, you know,

what good has that done us?

You know, I’m anti war, you know, I’m anti war.

You know, I’m not advocating for invading places.

I’m advocating that we speak up.

When we see Saudi Arabia, take a blogger, Rafi Badawi.

Everybody did.

I mean, that was universally condemned.

But but the question is, at the end of the day,

for writing blog posts,

what’s the alternative in Saudi Arabia?

Who’s our alternative there?

We don’t get to pick and choose who the leaders of these countries are.

It doesn’t mean that doesn’t I’m talking specifically about entrepreneurs,

capital allocators, that doesn’t mean we need to engage in business and building their chip stack.

If you want the sternly worded press release, you just got it from Biden to hopefully it’s

it peaks, it satisfies it quenches your thirst, because the only other solution

us talking about actually, if you want to know what I want, I want to see the three of you speak

up for human rights.

That’s what I would like to say.

I think that human rights in the United States is way more important to me than human rights

anywhere else in the globe.


And I think that we have an abysmal track record of taking care of colored men and women in this


I don’t disagree.

And so I have zero patience and tolerance for white men blathering on about shit that happens

outside your own backyard.

Fix your own inside backyard.

Because you guys human rights here as well on because you guys are the ones that get to

diminish me for being white.

No, I understand.

But I’m saying that you are uniquely in a position of power in a way that the rest of us are not.

And so when you guys clean up the inside, then we can go and fix the outside.

Yeah, I believe we can do both.

I believe we can do the same thing.

At the same time, we can speak about human rights here.

We can speak about it in Saudi Arabia, we can speak about in China.

And we can talk about the same thing.

We can talk about all the human right issues from freedom of speech to murder.

I do I do constantly.

You care so much about journalists.

Why haven’t you spoken up in favor of Sonia songs the way that Glenn Greenwald has of

Julian Assange, Assange and Snowden read Glenn Greenwald’s reporting on these topics that we

need to get to the bottom of both of those in either case, we don’t know.

You’ve acted with complete certainty on Twitter saying that these guys are traitors,

and should be locked up in US prisons.

Oh, no, no, I think we don’t know.

I don’t think we know who they’re working for.

Why haven’t you spent the time to learn?

No, well, I mean, it is a black box.

In that case, we don’t know.

In both of those cases, what the backstory is, I do think I do have a

you know about what’s going on with the Uyghurs because you read a New York Times article.

So why don’t you read the New York Times article about Snowden?

We have had people who have we have we have people who have defected

and been on 60 minutes who were in those prisons,

you believe what you want to believe?

No, you literally can believe somebody who escaped from the prison.

You can believe them.


With when it comes to Julian Assange, I don’t know what to believe exactly because

he released all those data dumps.

And he didn’t do it properly like a journalist where he vetted the information with Snowden.

I’m more inclined to think that he was a good actor.

And I think it’s a very nuanced position.

So if you want to try to paint me as like not knowing everything about every human rights

violation in the world, every nuanced position of a leaker.

That’s correct.

I don’t know everything about everybody.

But I’m going to take that position.

I don’t know anything about any of these things, which is why I choose to focus on the things

that I can control.

And I want to believe that I want to improve my own backyard,

which I think is absolutely great.

And I think you can add an end there, which is you should be talking about human rights

and Hong Kong should be talking about it.

Okay, not my problem is the problem.

Not my problem.

I believe that’s part of the problem right now.

You said it, you said it perfectly, Chamath.

People don’t care about human rights anymore.

There’s a large group of people I agree with you who do not care about human rights the

way I think they care about the local version of human rights.



And I think you need to care about all of them and talk about all of them at the same time

international adventurism around human rights.

I don’t support in the least.

And I do feel that a lot of this stuff is like the tip of the spear of people who then

get morally absolute and say, we have to fix this.

And the only solution is to invade these countries.

And instead, I would just rather them if they really care about it, let them stand up and

do what they need to do.

I think we need to fix our own backyard.

I mean, look, not to kind of bolster Chamath’s point, but there is a blind eye turned to

that which we don’t want to believe or that narrative which we don’t want to sell.

And then we point towards the narrative that we do.

And we see this all the time, where the focal point of where should we be addressing human

rights issues is where we have economic and geopolitical interest.

No one seems to be solving the problem in Somalia.

No one’s getting on stage talking about the issues that people are facing in countries

outside of where we have deep rooted trade partnerships, and serious economic interest.

And so, you know, like, we can tell ourselves all day long that we need to be kind of the

absolutists, and absolutely take care of the world because we’re the beacon for human


But the challenge is we end up being forced to choose where we want to spend our time

and our resources, and our resources go to where those resources flow back to us.

And that’s often where we have a geopolitical and economic interest.

Now, Jason, I’ll say one more thing, like, it’s because it’s important, J Cal, because

you called us all out.

I am an absolute human rightist, in the sense that I believe every human on Earth should

have a right to do whatever they want within their own sphere of influence, provided their

sphere of influence does not intersect with the sphere of influence of others.

End of story.

And I don’t see that happening anywhere on Earth.

And this ends up being a trade off, you always end up trading off your sphere of influence

for that of the greater good or someone else, because power allocates and power aggregates

to specific places, often to government, sometimes to organize societal decisions that

we say we’re going to trade off our individual rights and freedoms for that of the greater


And it is that judgment, and it is that gray area, where all of these issues that we individually

choose to address and spend our time on arise.

And so I have, you know, just to point out, like, a very absolute point of view on this.

But to me, the challenge is, how do you make a discernment?

How do you make a determination that imprisonment of brown and black people in the United

States versus the treatment of people by militia in Somalia versus the treatment of

the Uyghurs in China versus, you know, and you go on and on and on.

It’s a very difficult moral judgment.

Or you could just say they’re all wrong.

They are all wrong.

They are all wrong.

But I don’t care about the other two.

And we’re going to talk about

See, but you work on all of them, you work on none of them.

And I would rather see innovation, enable more people to have access to more free speech,

to have more resources to have more of an ability to climb and have the freedom to do

the things they want to do with their life.

I think that innovation and technology can bring all of these old school ways of thinking

and behaving out of the medieval ages and the dark ages.

And so that’s where I choose to spend my time.

You know, how can we unleash people’s freedom?

We got to make things more available.

We got to make things more accessible.

I just want to make two points.

And then maybe we can move on on this topic.

Point number one is when you’re an immigrant, part of what you’re doing is you’re actually

voting against the place that you leave to embrace the place that you come to.

And Jason, you know, of all the four of us on this pod, you’re the only natural born American,


You started here, you’ve lived your entire life here.

And that’s an incredible blessing that you were given.

And the three of us weren’t.

And, you know, in my case, I had to go through an even more circuitous path.

I didn’t even come to the United States.

First, I had to go through Canada.

But implicitly, you know, when I look at the places that I left, and specifically, you know,

when I look about when I look at Sri Lanka, who, you know, has a very checkered human rights

record, in fact, terrible in some ways, and the way that they ended the war against the

Tamils, atrocious.

I have to make a decision, right?

I have to make a decision about is this something that I’m going to wade into or not.

And what I realized through my own life’s journey is these are not my battles.

And in many ways, I abdicated my responsibility to vote on that issue when I left.

And instead, I stay here and I focus on the things that I can control here.

And I think that I do have a responsibility to fix the issues of the country that adopted me.

And so that’s where some of my framework comes from.

Separately, I do want to give all three of us a shout out because I do think that there is

an enormous human rights issue that I do think we did bring up.

And in the last few weeks has become a real groundswell.

And it started on the, you know, year and recap pod where we talked about what’s happened to

our kids.

And I just want to call out that in the last few weeks, the amount of press attention that

this issue has gotten, which I do think is a human rights level issue, which is a cognitive

impairment of our children has really come front and center.

And I think that it’s really, really incredible all the way to like, even nature now,

publishing these, you know, and maybe the timing is just coincidental.

But these big longitudinal studies that really show that, you know, we have

driven a level of retardation in our children, we have held them back from a level of learning

and development that we now have thrown our arms up in the air, we don’t know what the

real long term impact is.

That I think is a human rights level issue.

And domestically in the United States, I think we’re in a position to fix it if we decide to

take care of it.

So, you know, again, I don’t mean to offend you when I say that in my prioritization list,

it’s below the line.

But there are different human rights issues that I care about.

And I think to just to be clear, I know, you know, when you said I called everybody out

here, I’m trying to have a productive discussion.

Freeberg, I’m not trying to put him in a spot.

I don’t get offended.

I’m not.

I’m trying to have a discourse.

But I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to call out besties here.

I’m trying to have a productive dialogue.

You take my friend Prince all the weed.

He’s like one of the largest investors in the world.

You know, I wouldn’t.

Yeah, he’s a he’s a Saudi.

And so if they’re just a citizen of Saudi Arabia, you wouldn’t if the money comes from

a dictatorship from an authoritarian country, I would 100% he was locked up.

He was locked up at the Ritz.

And he was forced to give a bunch of his money.

And so it was mostly live out of the country.

Anyway, I mean, like, again, if his money, if you’re asking me, let’s put it inside of

a specific person.

I’ll just tell you my my citizen or a former citizen of that country.

He was born there.


Yeah, I agree.

Let me just tell you, I, clearly, I would never take money from an authoritarian regime.

Would you take money from a Chinese billionaire?

No, I would not take it from a Chinese.

No, I would not take it from a Chinese if I if I learned on authoritarian regime, they

they Chinese are not an authoritarian.

We’re talking about a Chinese billionaire.

If the Chinese billionaire was outspoken about human, I would tell you, it’s a great thought


And I’m just riffing here.

It’s a great thought experiment.

If a Chinese billionaire had left China and was

Would you take Chamath’s money?

Because Chamath has violated your human rights at the poker table many times.

That’s true.

That’s true.

He has.

He has turned number 27 going all in when I have two pair.

And I’m like, I guess he’s got a set.

And he just absolutely tortures me.


So but no, I would not.

I would if the person was a reformer.

Yes, I would consider it.

I would consider it.

Jason, but Jason, I guess what you’re saying is like you and this is your decision to

make my decision.

Yes, it’s important for you that you understand what people’s personal belief systems are.

When you take money from them.

No human rights is important to me.

But there’s something like their personal belief system.

Like, you know, you would care less if they were an illicit drug user, right for somebody


So for example, I’ll give you an example.

So I did take money from a Chinese billionaire when I when I first started social capital.

I’m not going to say who it is.

Nope, no need.

But there was a morality clause.

And there were certain things that were incredibly important to this person.

And they were very easy for me to reflect because they were nothing that I cared about.

But you know, they explicitly didn’t want certain kinds of investments in

whether it’s gambling, cannabis, sex, porn,

for me, yeah, the list was gambling, alcohol, can anyone my point is,

you’re fine signing up to those moral judgments from an investor.

Am I but not necessarily, you know, silence on I’m asking you the question,

you will be fine signing up for those moral obligate for moral delineation of

what you can and can’t do, even if it’s not against what you believe.

But you have a different issue when it comes to silence on these other topics.

Yeah, I would.

Here’s, here’s how I’ll answer the question.

I, if I’m taking other people’s money to invest it, and they don’t want to invest in the adult,

I don’t have a problem with cannabis.

As an example, I don’t have a problem with wagering and gambling.

But if I’m building a fund to invest in businesses,

those are that that’s not an important issue for me.

And I don’t know, that’s a great venture investment.

And I can also invest outside of it, my own money.

So it’s a more nuanced issue there.

Like I have invested in wagering apps.

And I’m thinking about creating a syndicate specifically for gambling and wagering.

And yes, there are LPs who I currently have in my previous fund,

the active fund that do not I do not invest in wagering because of that.

So yes, and it’s because they just want clarity in some cases on

not getting sued for investing in a in a in a wagering companies,

where we don’t have a federal mandate yet.

So, you know, I think comparing it’s these are great thought experiments.

And I was fine signing out everything for me,

I was fine signing up for no alcohol because my father was an alcoholic.

And so it was it was it was aligned.

And there was a certain investor who

at one point tried to be an LP very well known person who was convicted of

domestic abuse.

And I didn’t take that money because I was I had been the victim of

domestic abuse as my as my mom.


And so that was a moral issue for me.

The point I’m trying to make to Jason is that it’s very nuanced.

Everybody can be on a bunch of different sides of this thing.

And I tend to think the most consistent,

reliable thing is that these are very local beliefs.

That when they touch you, you have a point of view on them.

And I think that, you know, it’s much more practical.

And maybe this is just being too practical.

To see a world where people want to fix their own backyard first.

And the and I think a lot of why you may be disappointed that a lot of people don’t have

a stronger view on things like China as people are a little exhausted with having moral views

about things that are so far away, when things in their own backyard are so broken.

Yeah, and I can understand that exhaustion.

And to be clear, I just feel like human rights is such an obvious and easy one to get behind.

For all humans.

And that’s what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was about was we were hoping that

all countries in the United Nations or Eleanor Roosevelt was that we could all just agree that

torture was immoral.

And when the United States, waterboarding,

whether the death penalty is immoral, so and you know what, that’s something that,

you know, is our great failing.

We’re riddled with hypocrisy.

The Declaration of Human Rights here is is an ideal.

It’s a goal.

It’s something to strive towards.

And each country has places where they succeed and fail.

And you can actually measure it.

And we do measure it.

Actually, we do measure which countries have the worst record on human rights violations,

and which ones have the best.

I think these quantifiable scores are crazy.

No, no, they’re not.

You can literally talk, look at how many women are raped in prison in one country versus

I understand.

But my point is, when you put a score to that or count it, you’re not counting a bunch of

other things that are really bad as well.

The scoring system could be refined.

Sure, I will give you that.

And I think this is the debate we had today, which was an unexpected debate.

And I didn’t think we would go this deeper, I think is such an important debate for us

to have as humans and as a civilization, because we are getting in the weeds on so many other

issues, whether it’s inflation, or, you know, innovation or politics, that human rights,

I feel is something we should all be able to agree on that all people should be able

to definition.

Jekyll, everyone says yes, the definition and the prioritization is where all the noise


Yeah, that’s, that’s everything.

And how do we deal with fire?

There’s no one on earth that’s gonna say I don’t believe in human rights.

Well, no, no, we all agree with the ideals.

Everyone agrees with the ideals.

The question is how you implement them.

Implementation, prioritization.


Like, for example, in the West, we do.

I think it’s I think it’s a legitimate position for you to say that you’re not going to take

money from dictators.

But to then say that any family office from any individual who was born in that country,

you’re not going to take their money either.

I would have to think about I didn’t say that.

Unless they they’re willing to risk their lives by denouncing their own government.

I don’t know that they do it.

I don’t know they have to do it publicly.

I mean, if I talked to this hypothetical Chinese or Saudi person, and they said, I don’t agree

with this, I’m working against I’m a reformer, I guess I would have to consider it because

no, no, no, but we would want to make money for the reformer.

But Jason, what if they said, I don’t have a point of view, that I would go with people

who would you morally disqualify them?

You disqualify them on moral grounds.

That’s not the way to make allies J cow, which is important.

You’re not so look, hold on, I need to answer it.

If you’re both going to ask me this question and accuse me of you know, this, I would have

to make a nuanced decision on an individual basis.

I would not make a blanket decision.

That’s my position on this hypothetical situation, where somebody is a Saudi citizen has a family

office, I would have to make a very nuanced decision like you did Chamath, where you didn’t

take the domestic abusers.

And you did take the person that was an American, but I took the Chinese.

Okay, yeah, but it’s the same thing.

It’s a human rights violation.

It’s a horrible thing that occurred.

And you had to make a nuanced decision.

And, you know, that’s what I’m hoping to promote here is that we have a dialogue about human

rights again, because when I was growing up in the 80s, this was something that the world

was getting consensus on.

And the West had consensus on and I think the West is very weak now.

And the fact that the NBA, that, you know, Apple, whatever companies, I don’t want to

call out individuals, because it’s not productive, especially if it gets re aggregated.

And, you know, I happen to know some of them.

It’s, it’s something that the West has to contend with of what is our strategy here

with human rights violators?

Do we engage them?

Do we admonish them?

Or somewhere in between?

Do we disengage, engage or, you know, make our feelings heard and try to shape their

behavior to bend towards human rights.

And it’s a very complicated, nuanced discussion.

I’m glad we had it here today.

The time period you’re talking about where we supposedly had consensus on this during

the 1980s during the Cold War.

I was talking about in America.


We talked about it a lot in America is my point.

Yeah, well, I think, actually, I think Ronald Reagan did a really good job with this.

He denounced the evil empire, but said that we should be a shining city on a hill.

And we did actually avoided a bunch of unnecessary foreign wars.


So, look, I think the best way for us to lead on this issue is just to be an example.

We’re not doing a very good job of that.

I mean, 100% of your ideals are great, but the world doesn’t neatly line up with those

ideals and presents us with choices that don’t fit those ideals.

I mean, during the Cold War, we had a choice to support either communist regimes, or in

a lot of cases, authoritarian regimes.

And we chose the lesser of two evils.

I think today, we have choices between do we want to support Islamic fundamentalist

regimes, or we want to support authoritarian regimes are resisting it.

I mean, those are the types of tough choices the world actually presents to us.

And I think that’s what makes it hard to sort of my enemy is my friend.

It’s a complicated chessboard.

And you’re better at chess than me, Zack.

So I will give you that.

But I think it’s great that we had this discussion.

I really do appreciate that you guys were willing to talk about this for so long.

It’s an important discussion.

Because if we don’t stand for human rights and basic human rights, what do we stand for?

You know, and I agree that domestic is

I stand for I stand for me.

We know that.

We know that.

Tell us about the sweater.

Tell us about the sweater.

No candle.

I know this is just a symbol.

If you’re concerned about the rise of authoritarianism, which actually, this was my one of

my big trends in the prediction episodes.

I am concerned democracy is the most negative trend.

But then I think you should be concerned about this, like rising tide we have here

of censorship and the surveillance.

I care about it.


I’m in agreement.

And our federal law enforcement agencies demanding more and more power lockdowns and


I’m in agreement.

Blowing this whole like January 6 thing out of proportion.

You should be concerned about their attempts to exploit and use that to demand more powers

to surveil and prosecute American citizens.

I do not believe in surveillance.

What I and I think you should understand that the hysteria created around

that event is going to be used.

It’s going to be exploited.


Politicians are exploiting this on all sides of the aisle.

I agree with you.

The right and the left.

The right is diminishing it.

The left is exacerbating it.

The truth in the middle is I think we are in agreement sacks.

The overwhelming majority of people who went to the Capitol that day were dipshits who

just wanted to protest and they cared about Trump and they went there for the party of

it all.

And then there was a small cohort who intended harm and who are deranged and who could

potentially be dangerous in the way Chamath framed it.

Lone wolves or small packs of wolves like the Oklahoma City bombers who murdered a large

number of people.

And so we have to be very careful in prosecuting one group one way and one the other way.

And that’s exactly what the Department of Justice has done.

In that case, 700 people got pled deals or very minor sentences.

And then these folks are going to have the book thrown at them and rightfully so because

they could have murdered Pence or they could have murdered Pelosi just like that woman

got murdered.

I’m sorry, the woman tragically got stopped and shot and died.

Like that could have been a much different day.

If dozens of people had died, and those cops had not shown restraint, we could be sitting

here having a much different discussion about the Oath Keepers.

If the Oath Keepers had done what the Oklahoma City bombers succeeded in doing, this would

be a much different discussion.

Right, they didn’t, which is why it is a different discussion.

Well, thank God for our police and, and for how brave they were in not unloading their

pistols when any reasonable person who was being beaten by that crowd and crushed would

have taken their gun out and started firing.

They didn’t.

Thank God those police did not fire.

I think the one thing we can agree on is we don’t want something like that to happen again.

And there’s 200 simple things that would prevent it.

One is reform of the Electoral Count Act, like we talked about, that’s what Biden should

be going for not making these speeches about Bull Connor and George Wallace, he could actually

get that done.

And the other thing is, if the Capitol Police had just been a little bit more prepared and

had barricades and screens of better security, that also couldn’t, it couldn’t happen again.

That’s all we have to do to solve that problem.

Oh no, the third thing we have to do is arrest these Oath Keepers and put them in jail for

what they did.

That’s happened.

Well, they’ve been indicted.

You tell me if they’re going to go to jail.

They’ll convict them of something.

Yeah, well, and rightfully so it seems.

Well, hopefully they get their day in court.

Maybe we can transition.

I want to talk about the other side of the coin on inflation, because I think that we

have hammered the point for a long time now that, you know, the government was really

sort of like off piste by printing incompetent trillions and trillions of dollars and injecting

it into the economy.

And what it’s really created has been this massive bout of inflation, which then could

cause an ultimate recession because the Fed has to react.

All of those things, I think, are well documented.

I just wanted to put on the record the little element of the counterfactual, which I think

is really important.

And this is an article in The Wall Street Journal.

And Nick, you can post this if you can, please.

But I’m just going to read this.

I’m just going to look down.

The first two rounds of stimulus payments lifted 11.7 million people in America out

of poverty, according to the Census Bureau.

Americans build up $2.7 trillion in extra savings, and some expect that combined with

rising wages to provide them with lasting stability, despite the return to more normal

spending patterns and rising inflation.

I just want to make sure that all of us have heard that because that’s an incredible thing

to be able to say that 11.7 million Americans in poverty are no longer in poverty because

of the stimulus, which I think when you look at the right way of framing what some of these

progressives want to do, I think a lot of the good intentions comes from things like


And I just think it’s important to acknowledge that that did happen.

And that’s something that we should really be proud of.

And especially if those folks can actually stay in the lower middle and then move up

to the middle class.

That’s an incredible outcome.

And, you know, we we all supported that, I think, genuinely.

And I think that that’s good.

We knew it was scary.

We needed to put something into the economy to keep it from crashing.

And it’s very hard to know what what the right amount was right from off like, how do you

know what the right amount of stimulus is, in a pandemic that happens every 100 years.

And thank God, it feels like Omicron is, you know, leading us out of this.


Yeah, there’s some great examples, by the way, in this article, if you guys if people

want to take the time to read it of some examples of people that have really done

an incredible job in, in like, completely changing their financial picture, which I

mean, a lot of a lot of people went into freelance, a lot of these young people

realize I don’t know if you saw this headline, a million less people started college this

year and enrolled.

And I think what’s happening is so many people who were going into college realized, I don’t

know if I should go into debt, I figured out a way to make money at home, and more financially

literate, I’m going to make a better decision about college and not go 100k into debt.

Well, to be very specific, very resilient, and being better making better judgments about

their own lives, because they’ve been forced to be specific.

I think you mean boys.

Because the other thing that’s happening is in colleges now, it’s becoming very tilted

female versus male, especially in some colleges, in some colleges, it’s, you know, two thirds

female, one male 65.

So we were actually creating this weird longitudinal pattern here, where an entire gender is going

to be very miseducated, relative to another one.

And in fact, it’ll be the exact opposite of what it was like in probably the 50s or 60s,

where you had these large swaths of men that are educated women who typically stayed home,

or were undereducated relative to their ability.

Here now, it’s the exact opposite, whereas like, you know, women are getting undergrads

and graduate degrees, and boys are learning how to play video games and smoke pot incels,

a very strange time.

I mean, that’s what happens when you David’s what is that like?

It being an incel.

Tell us you were a pioneer and being an incel.

We made it through the show.

So it was so civil.

Let’s get the Friedberg ratio up.

Let’s talk about an exciting scientific paper and the implications of it to science.

Tell us about this new study from Harvard that revealed Epstein Barr virus could be

associated with Ms.

I’ll do a zoom out then a zoom in.

Yes, bear with me for a moment.

So you know, there are over 80 what are called autoimmune diseases.

These are diseases where your body or immune system attacks your own tissue and causes

real problems.

One in 20 people worldwide suffer from some sort of autoimmune condition.

So disease lupus, which affects, you know, your whole system, rheumatoid arthritis, where

your joints get inflamed, Sjogren syndrome, where your eyes and your mouth get messed

up and multiple sclerosis, which we’ll talk about here in a second.

But these are all diseases that have a similar ideology, which is that your immune system

attacks some tissue in your body, it dysfunctions and it attacks it.

And there’s always been this big question about kind of what causes autoimmune conditions

and what causes immune system dysregulation like this.

And there’s all sorts of different theories and studies and papers, many of which have

been, you know, well documented genetic risk factors, environmental factors, age.

And in particular, as you get older, the thymus, which is supposed to create these helper cells

that go out and keep cells in your immune system from attacking your own body, your

thymus kind of starts to fade away, or sorry, your thalamus starts to fade away and start

to stop working.

And so, you know, one theory that’s been talked about a lot is molecular mimicry, which means

that there’s some protein from a virus or that enters your body, or cancer, and that

protein looks a lot like some other protein in your body.

And so, your immune system starts attacking that protein.

And as a result, your immune system gets turned on to that protein.

And it actually attacks a similar looking protein somewhere else in your body.

And that’s a, you know, a very kind of broad statement about, you know, some potential

cause of autoimmune conditions.

And you can find protein mimicry theories coming from the gut, where, you know, microbes

in the gut are triggering this, and then also viruses.

So, in particular, you know, cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus, which we’re going

to talk about here today.

So, multiple sclerosis is this disease, one of the autoimmune diseases, where your immune

system attacks and destroys myelin, which is, you know, found on your nerve cells and

in your brain.

And it can actually cause, you know, when this happens, and your immune system starts

to attack your brain, you end up with these lesions and really debilitating effects over


One in 300 people in the US have been diagnosed with MS.

It is a brutal disease.

It lasts your whole life.

And the treatment today, the primary treatment is this drug that destroys B cells in your

body, and your B cells make antibodies.

And so, by destroying the B cells, it gets rid of the cells that are making the antibodies

that are attacking your own brain.

And this is a really effective treatment.

It’s been able to reduce the effects of MS significantly, but we still don’t know what

causes it and what triggers MS.

And there’s always been this theory, going back to the mimicry question, that one of

these viruses that everyone seems to get as they, you know, age is causing it.

And so, Epstein-Barr virus has always been thought to be one of those viruses.

It’s one of the herpes viruses.

Everyone knows it as mono.

So, you know, you get mono and you get swollen neck, a lot of people do.

Most people that get this virus don’t end up having any symptoms that are even though

they have it.

And here’s a crazy statistic.

95% of people have Epstein-Barr virus.

And it’s known that Epstein-Barr virus does actually cause some kinds of cancers and lymphoma

and so on.

So, here’s the paper that was published yesterday.

And again, if you know that Epstein-Barr virus, you know, is doing some other stuff in your

body that’s negative, shouldn’t this be a reason to look at it for MS?

But how do you get the data to do it given that 95% of people already have Epstein-Barr


So, here’s what happened.

These guys at Harvard went to the military, the US military, and the US military basically

had 10 million members of the military take 62 million blood samples over a period of

time from 1993 to 2013.

And when they take these blood samples, they, you know, they run their typical checkup on

these people, on the military members, but they save some of the blood sample in a freezer.

And so, they’ve got 62 million blood samples sitting in freezers, the US military does.

And so, these researchers were able to access those blood samples.

And they then found 5% of the people that don’t have Epstein-Barr virus, because remember,

95% of people have it.

So, they found the 5% that don’t.

And they went through and they found that during this period of time that they have

all this blood data for, they were able to identify 800 people that started out Epstein-Barr

virus negative, and then got MS.

100% of the people that got MS were infected with Epstein-Barr virus during this period

of time.

And for the group of people that didn’t get MS, only about half of them got Epstein-Barr

virus infection during this period of time.

And then they looked at this for about 20 other viruses, and basically showed absolutely

no correlation or difference in risk between all the other viruses if you got MS or didn’t

get MS.

And so, it basically creates a 95% probability that you’re 32 times more likely to get MS

from Epstein-Barr virus than from anything else.

It is from a racially diverse pool, an age diverse pool, ethnically diverse pool.

So, a lot of other confounding factors like race or ethnicity or genetics, a lot of other

factors like all the other viruses that might be causing MS have been excluded.

And it shows that maybe Epstein-Barr virus is the primary cause of MS that triggers certain

people’s immune systems to go nuts and attack the brain.

And it’s interesting because Epstein-Barr virus has a bunch of proteins in it that look

like other human proteins.

So, it makes sense why this might happen.

MS costs 40 grand a year, there’s $30 billion a year spent in the US on MS care.

So, if we can go in and get Epstein-Barr virus eliminated from the human body, it would be

an incredibly incredible cost saving and a therapeutic benefit to people with MS.

You should talk about the reason why we don’t have a herpes vaccine, though.

So, HSV1, 2, 3, now 4, none of these things have reasonable vaccines.

And it’s for a very specific reason, which is that the herpes virus itself is incredibly,

incredibly difficult to isolate and find until it activates.

And it hides itself and it nests itself inside these nerve cells.

So, you may want to just talk about how complicated it is to produce it.

I mean, the DNA disappears into these nerve cells.

And so, it’s hard to get, you know, immune system to go and clear them out permanently.

The Epstein-Barr virus hides out in B cells in your body.

And so, it’s floating around in your body forever.

And as your B cells replicate, the virus replicates with them.

And then when your immune system starts to get weak,

the virus pops out and starts attacking and inflaming your body again.

So, number one, Epstein-Barr virus has never been a great target, a therapeutic target,

because there’s not much money to be made.

Because it’s like, who the hell cares about mono?

Once you get mono, you get over it, you’re fine.

But if Epstein-Barr virus is in fact causing this problem with

MS, there’s a reason to go after it, a lot of money to go after it.

And there are several new technologies and therapeutic strategies that are possible,

one of which is, you know, Chamath sent out over a group text,

a company that’s doing T cell therapies, we can actually program a T cell.

And the T cell goes into the body and finds these B cells with Epstein-Barr virus and wipes them out.

There’s a steroid, a diuretic steroid that’s been shown that’s used to treat high blood pressure

that’s been shown to stop Epstein-Barr virus from leaving cells.

There’s an antiviral drug made by Takeda called

Meribavir, which has been shown to have high efficacy in eliminating Epstein-Barr virus.

So there are now therapeutic strategies that are being actively explored

that could unlock the potential of minimizing or eliminating Epstein-Barr virus

for a broader population than we ever thought should be taking these therapies.

Because the implications may be that if you can stop Epstein-Barr virus from replicating or

eliminate it from your body, you can stop all these follow on diseases that occur over time

in your life that are super debilitating and costly.

Yeah, lupus is another one tied to herpes simplex four.

I think the real problem is going to be that two thirds of the adult population

under the age of 55 have herpes simplex four.

So, you know, you’re literally talking about inoculating the entire world.

And when we start to think about that grand of a scale,

there’s a cost issue, there’s a manufacturability issue, and then there’s an ROI issue that

that unfortunately, will be adjudicated.

And that to me is what really, you know, stands out.

And that and that and that is that just the healthcare economics of it,

obviously, the science of it is still really complicated.

Are we doing an mRNA vaccine for Epstein-Barr? And how would that play into this?

Absolutely. So there’s a lot of techniques. This is, you know, T cell therapeutics, mRNA,

a chemotherapy type drug, a steroid drug, an antiviral drug.

So, every modality for therapeutics has some candidate or candidates for Epstein-Barr virus.

And so, you know, there may be a bunch of ways that you start to identify risk factors and that

you give someone one particular therapy that might be really affordable, like this antiviral

may be super affordable, you know, if we could make it for 5 cents a pill, you could, you know,

get it out to a lot of people prophylactically that are at high risk.

You know, if there’s a group that actually is active with MS, a good treatment may be to try

and give them the T cell therapy and see if that helps. And so, that’s the clinical trials that

will start now. Because if you can give people a T cell therapy and eliminate EBV and stop

all future need for MS treatment, that’ll save 40 grand a year, it’ll start to make sense to

run clinical studies to see if that stuff’s possible and is worth doing. So, it opens up

a whole new kind of area of interest. By the way, this isn’t novel. People have been talking about

this for a long time. But this paper has such incredible data and such strong signal

that it’s really going to it’s really going to catalyze investment.

We didn’t have the big data based on this study, we would not have gotten here for

once on the show, I will say thank God for the US government. And all of the

the the data that they’ve, you know, all of these blood samples that they can’t

I want to get your read on the the human transplant thing that we saw this week,

where genetically modified pig heart was an implant into 57 Jason, you want a 57 year old

man, you want to read that out? Oh, yeah, David Bennett, a 57 year old man requested special

emergency authorization for the experimental surgery from the FDA, FDA, he was dying and

unable to receive a human heart transplant. The surgery was performed on January 7,

in Baltimore. And this happened as the US is facing a major organ shortage.

I mean, we have we have hundreds of 1000s. I mean, people on organ donor registries,

or needing a transplant, you know, my father was on a kidney transplant registry for eight years

until he passed away. These things are just brutalizing for the individuals and the family

around it. And so like, you know, all of a sudden, if you can see a path where you can

genetically modify other sources of organs and implant them without organ rejection into the

human body. That’s like, that is that’s mine. But it’s mind blowing. So it’s really important.

It’s not just about the availability of these things. But it’s about turning off one of the

biggest, the big risk factor of organ transplant is rejection, meaning you’re putting all this

foreign matter into your body. It’s foreign proteins. And so when your immune system sees

all those foreign proteins, your body goes haywire and tries to kill it. It’s like this,

there’s all it’s like, imagine getting a billion viruses at once. And so there’s all these new

proteins. And so one of the interesting things you can do, you know, if you can grow these,

these organs, and alter the genetics of the cells that are being used to grow the organs,

is you can get those cells to match your own, or to basically downregulate all of the proteins

that might be triggering immune rejection in your body. So theoretically, you could

grow J. Cal’s heart with tissue and cells that match your DNA potentially match your

protein structure perfectly. And if Saks had a heart, you could do it with him too.

Right, there you go. Good transition. But no, I mean, and by the way, there may also be a path

here where we grow these organs with your DNA without even using the animal body,

the entirety of the rest of the animal to do so. So there’s a lot of really interesting

breakthroughs that are possible, but it’s really great to see a highlighted, you know, non,

you know, kind of transplanted organ from another body into the human body,

because it just, again, it opens up what people have been talking about for decades,

which is the possibility of this. Now that we have gene editing and potentially have the ability to

grow biological matter in bioreactors, it’s going to be it’s going to be tremendous.

J. Cal, what do you think about the democratic person in the SEC saying that they wanted to

basically make the accredited investor laws even stricter?

That’s incredibly infuriating.

That was your big prediction.

Yeah, I mean, we really have to get these laws. I mean, I think this is like a Theranos,

or we work over reaction, which is like, Oh my god, there are some bad private companies.

If you take the number of bad private companies, and then look at what is happening in the country

with people wagering on sports and wagering on crypto, slash investing, depending on

we you know how you look at it, we need to have one rule for the road, which is people take a test,

they get accredited, and then they can do what they want with their money, the equivalent of

what I’m suggesting, people can only invest a fraction of the money they have on their last

two years tax returns, let’s pick a number 5% of their two year average on their tax returns 10%,

whatever you want to pick, and they have to take a test with the would be the equivalent

of people having to take a three hour course and a you know, I don’t know 50 question test

to go to Vegas and play blackjack. And they could only put on the blackjack table 10% of their total

average yearly income for their household in the past year. You think about how crazy that would be

to tell an American, you got to take a blackjack course and pass a blackjack test and understand

the odds of poker or whatever to play that game. And you can only put if you made $50,000 on hours

last few years, you can only bet 5000 in Vegas at any one time, that’s the max chips you can buy in

a year. Those are the two things I’m advocating for in private company investing. And that’s

really if we want to have people move from, you know, poor to middle class from middle class to

affluent in this country, there has to be equity participation. And equity participation has to

start early. Look at what happened with all these young people betting on crypto, betting on stocks

or stonks. And, you know, doing puts and calls and all kinds of crazy things. You know, in public

markets, we would really rather see those people, or at least in addition, be able to invest on

LinkedIn if they were a recruiter in year two, or they were an Uber driver, be able to buy Uber

shares, or if they were an Airbnb host, be able to buy Airbnb shares as a private company will

change the entire complexion of upward mobility in the United States. And we really have to keep

educating people not limiting their upside. That’s my personal belief.

Person who asked you the question stopped paying attention like five minutes ago.

Oh, because we’re talking about science and hearts.

No, I asked you a simple question like 15 minutes ago. And like, you just

know, that was a 90 second monologue. Henry Bellcaster, by the way, I got inside information

on sacks. You know, how sacks started like, doing a little bit of artistic direction. You know,

he’s got that Scorsese and I’m having done the award winning film. Thank you for smoking. And he

he got Henry Bellcaster on his team. You know, the Tick Tock guys, Tick Tock guys,

I’ve been making some suggestions. Lightly suggesting sacks has been directing,

not directing talk superfan saying, Hey, you might want to make a Tick Tock out of this monologue.

Here’s what happened. There’s a quote of a segment that somebody liked, they retweeted,

they got a whole bunch of likes. And so I sent the Tick Tock guy said, this might make a good

talker. Yeah, nobody else doing that. But okay. Okay, we’ll go for it. I’m not editing, but I’m

lightly suggesting people do think that you have Tucker Carlson’s writers writing for you,

because you say it and people don’t know that you’re clear. I that is a joke.

You do not have Tucker Carlson’s current writers writing for you. There may be some

I do admit, I have a special writing team for roasts. You do. I mean, for roasts,

but do you do you keep them on retainer? Like, if you have a roast, like you can just ask them to

punch up some stuff for you. Or Yeah, I’ve only done it twice. I did it for you for your

roast Jake Allen. I did it for Phil Helm. This really destroyed Phil. Oh my god. Yeah. This is

hysterical. Oh my god. This was the cheapest roast ever. They rented like a junior suite

that they got for free at some it wasn’t rented. Yeah, they got it for free. They got it for free.

They had like 30 people in a room and they’re like, Oh, you got to come out for Phil’s roast.

It was like 30 people in a junior suite had like a B level hotel. And it was so bad. And

Saxon I came in and we had absolutely a no allegiance to the audience. I lost so much

money that everybody you guys were out of control. It was brutal. Here’s the Helmuth

roast. I got I got the material right now. Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh, my god. To be sure these

aren’t our jokes. This is what a Comedy Central writer wrote. So we have well, we do not endorse

these. No, what? Well, okay. So if you want to understand how I work, so they basically put

together some material and then I shape it. There’s like some back and forth. It’s a workshop. You

work. Yeah, we workshop it. Yeah, go ahead. It begins. We’re here tonight to roast the poker

player known as the greatest. Unfortunately, Phil Ivey wasn’t available. So we sell for Phil Helmuth.

Hello. In the poker world, Phil is known as a poker brat. The rest of the world just calls him

asshole. Phil has mastered the GTO strategy of playing poker for most players. GTO stands for

game theory optimal, but in Phil’s case, it stands for grading toxic and obnoxious.

Despite all this, Phil fancies himself a quote unquote, poker ambassador,

not to throw a damper on things, but calling Phil an ambassador for poker is like calling

Bill Cosby an ambassador for quaaludes. Oh, no, you cut that one. Oh, that’s not.

Let’s face it. Phil is nuts. He’s the only poker player sponsored by lithium.

Phil demands silence at the poker table so you can hear the voices in his head.

When Phil was inducted into the poker hall of fame, they retired his straight jacket.

Now Phil is doing what all people in crisis do, write self-help books.

It’s called positivity, which is ironic because the only thing Phil has ever

tested positive for is narcissistic personality disorder.

This inspirational tome is a whopping 84 pages. Oprah has taken inspirational shits bigger than

this. How bad is Phil’s book? On Amazon, it says people who enjoyed this book also

enjoy pounding their dick with a meat tenderizer.

Oh, my God.

You’re a bunch of guys for good. All right, everybody, hope you enjoyed Sax’s

excerpt from the Phil Hellmuth Narcissist Roast. And we’ll catch you next week.

I’m going all in.

That’s going to be good. We need to get merch.