Balaji Srinivasan: How to Fix Government, Twitter, Science, and the FDA | Lex Fridman Podcast #331

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Donald Trump was probably the biggest person ever to be removed from social media do you understand why that was done can you still man the case for it and against it everybody who's watching this around the world basically saw let's say U.S establishment or democrat aligned folks just decapitate you know the head of state from digitally right like just boom gone okay and they're like well if they can do that in public to the US president who's ostensibly the most powerful man in the world what is the Mexican president stand against that nothing

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regardless of whether it was Justified on this guy that means they will do it to anybody now the seal is broken just like the bailouts as exceptional as they were in the first everybody was shocked about them then they became a policy instrument and now this bailouts happening every single bill is printing another whatever billion dollars or something like that the following is a conversation with Biology sir navasana an angel investor Tech founder philosopher and author of the network State how to start a new country he was formerly the CTO of coinbase and general partner at Andresen Horowitz

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this conversation is over seven hours for some folks that's too long for some too short for some just right there are chapter timestamps their Clips so you can jump around or like I prefer to do with podcasts and audiobooks I enjoy you can sit down relax with a loved human animal or consumable substance or all three if you like and enjoy the ride from start to finish biology is a fascinating mind who thinks deeply about this world and how we might be able to engineer it in order to maximize the possibility that Humanity flourishes on this fun little planet of ours also you may notice that in this conversation my eye is red that's from

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jiu jitsu and also if I may say so from a life well lived this is Alex Friedman podcast to support it please check out our sponsors in the description and now dear friends here's biology srinivasan at the core of your belief system is something you call the a prime number maze I'm curious I'm curious we've got it we gotta start there sure if we can start anywhere it's with mathematics let's go all right great a rat can be trained to turn at every even number or every third number in a maze to to get some cheese but evidently it can't be trained to turn at prime numbers two three five seven and then 11 and so

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on and so forth that's just too abstract and frankly if most humans were dropped into a prime number maze they probably wouldn't be able to figure it out either you know they'd have to start counting and so and actually pretty difficult to figure out what the Turning you know rule was yet the rule is actually very simple and so the thing I think about a lot is just how many patterns in life are we just like these rats and we're trapped in a prime number Maze and if we had just a little bit more you know cogitation if we had you know a little bit more cognitive ability a little bit more whether it's uh you know brain

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machine interface or just better physics we could just figure out the next step in that prime numbers we could just see it we could see the grid right and that's what I think about like that that's a big thing that drives me is figuring out how we can actually conceive understand that prime number maze that we're living in so understand which patterns are just complex enough that they are beyond the limit of human cognition yes and uh what do you make that are the limits the human cognition a feature or a bug I think mostly a bug I admire vermonagen I admire uh you know Feynman I admired these great mathematicians and

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physicists who were just able to see things that others couldn't and just by writing it down you know that's that's the leap forward you know people talk about it's not the idea it's execution but that's for trivial ideas for great ideas for Maxwell's equations or Newton's laws or you know Quantum electrodynamics or some of ramonigen's identities that really does bring us forward especially when you can check them you don't know how they work right you have the phenomenological but you don't have the theory underneath it and then that stimulates the advancement of theory to figure out why is this thing actually working that's actually you

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know statmac you know arose in part from the kind of phenomenological studies that were basically being done where people are just getting steam engines and so on work and then they kind of abstracted out thermodynamics and so on from that right so the the practice led the theory rather than vice versa to some extent that's happening neural networks now as you're aware right and I think that's um so just something that's true and that works you know if we don't know yet that's amazing and it pulls us forward so I I do think that the limits are are more of a bug than a feature is there something that humans will never be able

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to figure out about our universe about the theory about the practice of our universe yeah people will typically quote credel's in completeness with for such a question and uh yeah there are things that are probably unknowable or provably unprovable um but I think you can often get an approximate solution you know the the Hilbert you know you know Hilbert's problems like we will know we must know uh at least we should know that we can know push to get at least an approximate solution push to know that we can't no at least we push back that Darkness enough so that we have lit up that corner of the intellectual Universe okay

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let's actually take a bit of a tangent and explore a bit in a way that I did not expect we would but let's talk about the nature of reality briefly I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Don Hoffman no I don't I know Roger Penrose has like his Road to Reality series for like basic physics going up to everything we know but go ahead tell me it's even Wilder yeah in modern physics we start the question of what is fundamental and what is emergent in this beautiful Universe of ours and there's a bunch of folks who think that space-time as we know it the four-dimensional space is emergent it's not fundamental to the physics of the universe and the same May

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argue I think Sean Carroll is one of them is that time itself the way we experience it is also emergent it's not fundamental to the way our universe works anyway those are uh the technical term I apologize for swearing those are the Mind [ __ ] of modern physics but if we stroll along that road further we get somebody like Donald Hoffman who makes the evolutionary case that the reality we perceive with our eyes is not only an abstraction of objective reality but it's actually completely detached like we're in a video game essentially that's consistent between each consistent for All Humans but it doesn't it's not at all connected to physical reality

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because it's an illustration version of the simulation hypothesis is that his in a very distant way but as the simulation says that there's a sort of computational nature to reality and then there's a kind of a programmer that creates this reality and so on no he's he says that we humans have a brain that is able to perceive the environment and uh evolution is produced from primitive life to complex life on Earth produce the kind of brain that doesn't at all need to sense the reality uh directly so like this table according to Donald Hoffman is not there well so like not not just as an abstraction like we don't sense the

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molecules that make up the table but all of this is fake interesting so you know I I tend to be more of a hard science person right and so um you know so just on that people talk about qualia you know like is your perception of green the different different from my perception of green and you know my counter argument on that is well we know something about you know spectrum of light and we can build artificial eyes and if we can build artificial eyes which we can you know they're like they're not amazing but you can actually you can do that you can build artificial ears and so on obviously we can build

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recording devices and you know for cameras and things like that well operationally the whole concept of your perception of green you see green is purple I see green is green or what I call Green it doesn't seem to add up because it does seem like we can do engineering around it right so the Hoffman thing I get why people more broadly will talk about a simulation hypo is because you know it's like fine when many others have talked about how uh math is surprisingly useful to describe the world you know like very simple equations give rise these complex phenomenal Wolfram is also on this um from it from a different angle with a

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cellular automata stuff but um so suspicious how well it works yeah but on their hand it's like uh you know it is yet we're still also in a prime number maze you know there's things we just don't understand and um you know so also the within the constraints of the non-prime numbers we find math to be extremely effective surprisingly effective yeah exactly so maybe maybe the math we have gets us through the equivalent of the even turns and the odd turns but there's math we don't yet have that is more complex or more complex rules for other parts this is probably all our age and all just

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threats in a cage I know it gets like very abstract but you know there are unsolved problems in in physics you know like the condensed matter space there's a lot of interesting stuff happening my recollection I may be you know out of date on this like things like Sony luminescence we don't know exactly how they work and sometimes those things that are like at the edges of physics you know in the late 1800s I think Rutherford somebody I think as Rutherford said you know basically all physics is being discovered Etc and that was obviously before quantum mechanics you know that that sort of educates people are looking at the bomber and the

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passion series and seeing you know this weird thing you know with the hydrogen Spectrum it was quantized and you know that led to uh like the sort of phenomenological set of observations that led to quantum mechanics and and everything and you know sometimes I think the UAP stuff might be like that right people immediately go to aliens for UAP like the unidentified aerial phenomena right and people have been uh there's surprising amount of stuff out there on this the UK is Declassified a bunch of material you know Harry Reid was the sender has talked about this it's not obviously it's not obviously political thing it which is good it's

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something that is is there something happening there right and people have thought for a long time that the UAP thing was a like American um kind of counter propaganda to cover up their new spy planes that were spying over the Soviet Union to make anybody who talked about them seem you know crazy and and hysterical or whatever but if the UAP thing is real it could be atmospheric phenomena like you know like the Aurora Borealis or the northern lights but some things we don't understand it could be something like the uh the bomber and passion series uh

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you know which were the observations of like emission Spectra before quantum mechanics so that's like another option as opposed to doesn't exist or Little Green Men it could be physics we don't understand yet that's one possible do you think there's alien civilizations out there so there's a lot of folks who have kind of written and talked about this is you know the Drake equation which is like you know the multiplying all the probabilities together there's perhaps more sophisticated takes like the uh the Dark Forest you know which says that if the universe is like a dark Forest where the dumb ones that aren't hiding our

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presence um there's one calculation I saw and I haven't reproduced myself but basically says that the uh the assumption that other civilizations have seen hours is wrong because when you have like a spherical radius for like the you know electronic magnetic radiation that's leaving our planet as that sphere gets larger and larger it gets like smaller and smaller amounts of energy so you know you get farther out you're not getting enough um you know uh you know photons or or would have you to actually uh detect it um I you know I don't know I actually haven't looked into the math behind it

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but I remember remember seeing that argument so actually it is possible that it's so diffuse when you go past a certain you know number of light years out that people you know that alien civilization wouldn't be able to detect it right that's the that's another argument that's more basically about signals from them from us yeah to be able to signals colliding enough to uh find the signal from the noise right exactly intelligent signal yeah Hanson noise Hanson has a article called grabby aliens um have you seen his thing yes right and so there's been on this podcast oh great he's brilliant I'd like him he he pushes

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you know boundaries in interesting ways in every ways in all of the ways in all the ways that's right I I like morale he's he's you know he he's NASA team Andy gravity aliens so he has he has this interesting idea that uh the civilizations uh quickly learn how to travel close to the speed of light right so we're not going to see them until they're here yeah that's possible I mean one of the things is so here's for example a mystery that we haven't yet Done Right which or we haven't really figured out yet which is um a biogenesis in the lab

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right we've done lots of things where you've got you can show macromolecules binding to each other you can show you know evidence for the so-called RNA world abiogenesis is to go from you know like non-life to life right in the lab you can show microevolution obviously with bacteria you can do artificial selection on them lots of other aspects of um you know fundamental you know biochemistry origins of Life stuff have been established there's a lot of plausibility arguments about the Primitive environment and nitrogens and carbons snapping together to get you know the you know the RNA world is the

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the initial hypothesis but to my knowledge at least we haven't actually seen abiogenesis demonstrated now one argument is you need just like this massive world with uh you know so many different reps before that actually happens and um one possibility is if we could do atomic level you know simulations of molecules bouncing each other it's possible that in some simulation we could find a path a represent path to abiogenesis and then just you know replicate that in the lab right um I I don't know okay uh but that seems to me to be like a mystery that we still don't fully understand like an example

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of the prime number maze right one of the most fascinating Mysteries one of the most important yeah yeah and and again there may be some biochemists who's like oh about you you didn't know about X Y and Z that happened in the day by agencies field I I freely confess I'm not like at you know oh current on it the last thing I remember looking at it is still Quran to mean like up to the moment oh nice that's a nice word that's a current yeah I'm probably mispronouncing it but yeah um we'll edit it in post so sure correctly with AI yeah yeah it will copy your voice and it will pronounce it perfectly correctly yeah in post one thing that I do think

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was interesting is uh Craig Venter a while back tried to make a minimum viable sell um where he just tried to delete all of the genes that were that were not considered essential and so it's like a new life form and this was like almost 20 years ago and so on and that thing was it was was viable in the lab right and so it's possible that you could you kind of reverse engineer so you're coming at the problem from different directions like RNA molecules can do quite a lot you've got some you know reasonable assumptions as to how that could come together uh you've got like sort of stripped down minimum viable

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life forms and so there's it's not there isn't stuff here you can see microevolution you can see at the sequence level you know if you do molecular phylogenics you can actually track back the bases there's actually so it's not like there's no evidence here there's a lot of tools to work with but this in my view is a fascinating area and actually also relevant to AI because another form of abiogenesis would be if we were able to give rise to a different branch of life form the Silicon based as opposed to carbon based you know to stretch a point um you give rise to something that actually does meet the definition of

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life for some definition of Life what do you think that definition is for an artificial life form because you mentioned Consciousness yeah when will it give us pause that we created something foreign that feels by some definition or by some spiritual poetic romantic philosophical mathematical definition that it is alive right and we wouldn't want to kill it so a couple of remarks on that one is um Francis Crick of of Watson and Crick uh before he died I think his last paper was published on something called the claustrum okay and the thing is that you

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know sometimes in biology or in any you know domain people are sort of discouraged from going after the big the big questions right but he proposed the claustrum is actually the organ that is the seat of Consciousness it's like this sheath that like covers the brain and uh for mice if you and again and maybe recollecting this wrong so but you can look at it my recollection is um in mice if you disrupt this the mouse is like very disoriented right it's like it's the kind of thing which you know Watson Creek we're all about structure implies function right they found the structure of DNA this amazing thing and you know they were marked in this very

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under understated way at the end of the paper that well obviously the this uh gives a basis for how the genetic material might be replicated and error corrected because you know Helix unwinds and you got Pace right so he was a big structure function person and that applies not just at the protein level not just at the level of DNA but potentially also at the level of organs like the colostrum is kind of this system integrated level right it's like the the last layer in the neural network or something you know um and uh and so that's that's the kind of thing that I think is worth studying um

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so Consciousness is another kind of big abiogenesis a big question the prime number is consciousness is a big question um and uh you know then definition of life right uh there's folks gosh there's I think so this one is something I'd have to Google around but there was a guy I think at Santa Fe Institute or something who had some definition of life and like some thermodynamic definition um but you're right that it's going to be a multi-feature definition we might have a Turing test like definition frankly which is just if enough humans agree it's alive it's alive right and

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that might frankly be the operational definition because you know viruses are like this boundary case you know are they are they alive or not most people don't think they're alive but they're they're they're on they're kind of they're more alive than a rock in a sense well I think uh in a world that we'll talk about today quite a bit which is the digital world I think the most fascinating philosophically and technically definition of Life Is Life in the digital world so chat Bots essentially creatures whether they're replicas of humans or totally

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independent Creations perhaps in an automatic way I think there's going to be chat Bots that we would ethically be troubled by if we wanted to kill them they would have the capacity to suffer they would be very unhappy with you trying to turn them off and then there will be large groups of activists that will protest and they'll go to the Supreme Court of whatever the Supreme Court looks like in in 10 20 30 40 years and they will demand that these chat Bots would have the same rights as us humans do you think that's possible I saw that Google engineer who's basically saying this had already happened and I I

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I was surprised by it uh because it just I when I looked at the chat logs of it it didn't seem particularly interesting on their hand I can definitely see I mean gp3 for people who you know haven't paid attention shows that serious step-ups are possible and obviously you know you've talked about AI on your podcast a ton um is it possible that gpt9 or something is is kind of like that or GPT 15 or gpt4 maybe but yeah for people just listening there's a deep skepticism in your face yeah you know the reason being because um you know what's possible it's

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possible that you have like a partition of society on literally this basis you know um that's one model where there's some people just like there's vegetarians and non-vegetarians right there may be um machines have life and machines are machines you know like or something like that right uh you know you could you could definitely imagine some kind of partition like that in the future where your fundamental political social system that's a foundational assumption and you know is AI does it you know deserve the same rights as like a human or for example a

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corporation is an intermediate uh do you see the thing which is how human is are different corporations have you seen that infographic it's actually funny so it's a spectrum there's a spectrum so for example Disney is considered about as human as like a dog but like Exxon I may be remembering this wrong but they had like a level with like human at one end and like rock at the other does it have to do with corporate structure what what I think it's about people's empathy for that Corporation their brand identity but it's interesting to see that first of all people sort of do think of Corporations as being more or like The Branding is really what they're

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responding well that's what I mean they're also responding you know I have a brand of human that I'm trying to sell and it seems to be effective for the most part sure although it has become like a running joke that I might be a robot right which means there's the brand is cracking because it's seeping through but I mean in that sense I just I think I don't see a reason why chat Bots can't manufacture the brand of Being Human of being sentient I mean that is the Turing test but it's like the multiplayer touring test now that actually a fair number of chat Bots have passed a Turing test I'd say there's at

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least two steps up right one is um a multiplayer touring test where you have chatbots talking to each other and then you ask can you determine the difference between in chat Bots talking to each other and clicking buttons and stuff in apps and and humans doing that I think we're very far off I shouldn't say very far off at least I don't know how far we are in terms of time but we're still far off in terms of a group of n chat Bots looking like their digital output is like the group of Inhumans like a go from the Turing test to the multiplayer turn test that's one definition another definition is you know to be able to kind of swap in

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and you're not just convincing one human that this is a human for a small you know session you're convincing all humans that this is a human for end sessions remote work actually makes this possible right that's another definition of a multiplayer touring test where basically you have a chat bot that's fully automated that is earning money for you as an intelligent agent on a computer that's able to go and get remote work jobs and so on I would consider that next level right if you could have something that was like that that was competent enough to I mean because everything on a computer can be automated right literally you could be

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totally hands-free just like autonomous driving you could have autonomous earning as a challenge problem if you're a Microsoft or apple and you had legitimate access to the operating system just like apple says can you send me details of this event a decentralized thing could in theory log you know the actions of ten thousand or a hundred thousand or a million people and with cryptocurrency you can even monitor a wallet that was on that computer and you could see you know what long run series of actions were increasing or decreasing this digital balance you see what I'm saying right so you start to get at least conceptually

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it'd be invasive and you know there'd be a privacy issue and so on conceptually you could imagine an agent that could learn what actions humans were doing that resulted in the increase of their local cryptocurrency balance okay there may be better ways to formulate it but data considered a challenge problem is to go from the Turing test to a genuine intelligent agent that can actually go and make money for you if you can do that that's a big deal people obviously have trading Bots and stuff but that would be you know the next level is typing out emails it's creating documents it's actually mimic human behavior in its entirety yeah that's

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right and it can it'll schedule zooms it'll send emails it'll essentially because if you think about it a human is hitting the keys and clicking the mouse but just like a self-driving car the wheel rotates by itself right those keys are effectively just it's like uh like the odd automator app in in apple right um everything's just moving on the screen you're seeing it there and it's just an AI it's kind of hilarious that the I'm not a robot click thing actually works because I I actually don't know how that's how it works but I think it has to do with the movement of the mouse the timing and they know that it's very difficult for currently for a bot to

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mimic human behavior in the way they would click that little checkbox yeah exactly I think it's something I mean uh again my recollection on that is it's like a pile of Highly obfuscated JavaScript with all kind it looks like a very simple box but it's doing a lot of stuff and it's collecting all kinds of instrumentation and yeah exactly like a like a robot is just a little too deterministic or if it's got noise it's like gaussian noise and the way humans do it is just not something that you need to be able to do without collecting thousands and thousands and thousands of human traces doing it but it is a predator prey on that well in the

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computer or billions interested I don't know the computer just sees the JavaScript it needs to be able to look outside the simulation for the computer the world is like right it doesn't the computer doesn't know about the physical world so you have to look outside of its world and introspect back on this simple box right is which is kind of you know I think that's exactly what mushrooms do or like psychedelics is you get to go outside and look back in and that's what a computer needs to do I you know I do wonder whether they actually give people Insight or whether they give people the illusion of insight uh is there a difference yeah because uh

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well actual Insight you know actual Insight is again Maxwell's equations you're able to shift the world with that there's a lot of practical devices that work the illusion of insight is I'm Jesus Christ and nothing happens right so I don't know I think this is quite different uh I don't know I I think you can fake it till you make it on that one which is um Insight in some sense is revealing a truth that was there all along yeah so I mean I guess like I'm talking about technical Insight where you you have this is the thing you know we were talking about actually before the

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podcast like technical truths versus political truths right some truths they're they're on a spectrum and there's some truths that are actually entirely political in the sense that if you can change the software in enough people's heads you change the the value of the truth for example the location of a border is effectively consensus between large enough groups of people uh who is the CEO that's you know consensus among a certain group of people what is the value of a currency or any stock right that market price is just the psychology of a bunch of people like literally if you can change enough people's minds you can change the value

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of the Border or the position the hierarchy or the value of the currency those are purely political truths then all the way on the other end our technical truths that exist independent of whatever any one human or All Humans think like uh the gravitational constant right or the diameter of a virus those those are just those exist independent of the human mind change enough human Minds doesn't matter those remain constant and um and you have things that are interestingly in the Middle where cryptocurrency has tried to pull more and more things from the domain of political truths into technical truths

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where they say okay the one social convention we have is um that if you hold this amount of Bitcoin or that if you hold this private key you hold this Bitcoin and then we make that very hard to change because you have to change a lot of technical truths so you you can push things to this interesting intermediate Zone did the question is how how much of our world can we push into that right and that takes us in a non-linear fascinating Journey to the question I wanted to ask you in the beginning which is uh this political world that you mentioned in the world of political truth

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as we know it in the 20th century in the early 21st century what do you think works well and what is broken about government the fundamental thing is that we can't easily and peacefully start new opt-in governments and startup governments yeah and what do I mean by that is basically um you can start a new company you can start a new community you can start a new currency even these days you don't have to beat the former CEO in a duel to start a new company um you don't have to become head of the World Bank to start a new currency okay

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because of this yes if you can if if you're if you want to you can join I don't know uh Microsoft or name some company that's a GameStop and you can try to reform it okay or you can start your own and the fact that both options exist mean that you know you've you can actually just start from scratch and that's just I mean the same reason we have a clean piece of paper right I've mentioned this actually in in the network State book I'll just quote this bit but we want to be able to start a new state peacefully for the same reason we want to Bear plot of Earth a blank sheet of paper an empty text buffer a fresh start or a clean

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slate because we want to build something new with that historical constraint right for the same reason you hit plus and do docs.new you know like create a new DOC for the same reason right because you know in backspace you don't have just like 128 bytes of space 120 kilobytes and just have to backspace the old document for creating the new one so that's a fundamental thing that's wrong with today's garments and it's a meta point right because it's not any one specific reform it's a meta reform of being able to start new countries okay so that's one problem but there you know you could push back and say that's

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that's a feature because you know a lot of people argue that tradition is power through generation if you try a thing long enough which is the way I see marriage there's value to this struggle and the journey you take through the struggle and you grow and you develop ideas together you grow until actually philosophically together and that's the idea of a Nations that spans Generations that you have a tradition that becomes more that that strives towards the truth and is able to arrive there or no not arrive but take steps towards there through the generations so you may not want to keep starting new governments you may want to

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uh stick to the old one and improve it one step at a time so just because you're having a fight inside a marriage doesn't mean you should get a divorce and go on Tinder and start dating around that's the uh that's the pushback so it's not obvious that there's a strong feature to have sure to launch new governments there's several different kind of lines of attack or or debate or whatever on this right first is uh yes there's obviously value to tradition and uh you know people say this is Lindy and that's Lindy it's being proven for a long time and so on but of course there's a tension between tradition and Innovation you know like going to the

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Moon wasn't Lindy just it was awesome and you know like artificial intelligence is something that's very new new is good right and this is a tension within Humanity actually itself because you know it's way older than all of these nations I mean humans are tens of thousands of years old answers to humans are millions of years old right and you go back far enough and the time that we know today of the sessile farmer and Soldier is if you go back far enough you want to be truly traditional well we're actually descend from hunter-gatherers who are mobile and wandered the world and there weren't borders and so on they kind of

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went where they want right and you know people have you know had done historical reconstructions of like skeletons and and stuff like that and uh many folks who report that the transition to Agriculture and being sessile um resulted in you know diminution of height you know people had like tooth decay and stuff like that the skeletons people had traded off upside for stability right that's what the state was that was with these sessile kinds of things were now of course um they they had more likelihood of living uh consistently you could support larger population sizes but it had lower

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quality of life right and so the hunter-gatherer error you know maybe that's actually our Collective recollection of a Garden of Eden where people you know just like a a spider kind of knows innately how to build webs or a beaver knows how to build dams you know some people theorize that uh the entire Garden of Eden is like um a sort of built-in neural network recollection of this you know pre-sessile era we're able to roam around just pick off fruits and so on low population density so point is that I think what we're seeing is a V3 you go from the hunter-gatherer to the farmer and Soldier the sessile nations are here

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and they've got borders and so on to kind of the V3 which is the digital Nomad the new hunter-gatherer we're going back to the future because you know it's even older than Nations is no Nations right even more traditional than tradition is you know being International right and so we're actually tapping into that other huge thread in humanity which is the desire to explore Pioneer wander innovate you know kind of thing that's important to make America great again is to dissolve it completely into Oblivion no that's a joke I know it's a joke well humor I'm learning this new thing yes a new thing for the role the chatbot

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emulation isn't fully working there yeah yeah glitch that's we're in the in the beta and let me say one other thing about this which is you know there are I mean everybody in the world to for okay let's say I don't know what percentage let's say 99.99 uh or it's rounds to that number of political discourse in the US focuses on trying to fix the system if those folks I mean 0.01 of the energy is going towards building a new system that seems like a pretty good portfolio strategy right or 100 are supposed to go and edit this code base from 200 something years ago I mean the most American thing in

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the world is going and you know leaving your country in in search of a better life America was founded 200 years ago by the founding fathers it's not just a nation of immigrants it's a nation of immigrants right immigration you know from other countries to the US and actually also immigration within the US there's this amazing YouTube video called um it's like 50 states U.S population I think 1792 it says 2050s they've got a simulation so you just stop it at 2019 or 2020. but it shows that like Virginia was like number one early on and then it lost ground in like New York gained and then like Ohio was a big deal in the

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early 1800s and it was like father of presidents in general all these presidents and later Illinois and Indiana and then California really came up in the 20th century like during the Great Depression and now we're entering the modern era where like Florida and Texas have risen in New York and California have dropped and so Interstate competition it's actually just like inter-currency competition you know you've got trading pairs right you you know sell BTC by eth you sell you know a Solana or Zeke you know sell Monero by Z cash right each of those trading pairs gives you signal for today on this currency is down or up relative

36:07-36:67

to this other currency in the same way each of those migration pairs someone goes from New York to Ohio Ohio to California gives you information on the desirability of different states you can literally form a pairs Matrix like this over time very much like link Matrix that's shaped American a huge way and so you know you ask a if this niche of immigrants that was founded by men younger than us by the way the founding fathers were often in their 20s right who um you know endorse the concept of a proposition Nation who've given rise to a country of Founders and and Pioneers uh who've literally gone to the Moon

36:67-37:21

right um those folks would think that this is the end of History that that's it we're done like we we've done everything else I mean there's people in technology who believe and I agree with them that we can go to Mars they might be able to end death but we can't innovate on something that was 230 years old you know so there is a balance certainly to strike uh the the American experiment is fascinating nevertheless so one argument you can make is actually that were in the very early days of this V2 if so what you describe as V2 you

37:21-37:85

could make the case that we're not ready for V3 that we're just actually uh trying to figure out the V2 thing you're trying to like skip when are we ever ready now again we'll go back to marriage I think and having kids kind of thing I think everyone who has kids is never really ready to be kids this whole point you dive in okay but the I mean you you mentioned that you can't watch is there other criticisms of government that you can provide as we know it today before we kind of outline the ideas of of V3 let's stick to V2 I'll give a few right and so a lot of this stuff will go into the version so

37:85-38:42

I've got you know this book the network State um which which covers some of these topics does Network State have a subtitle um it is uh the network State how to start a new country how to start a new country and but um I just have it at the networkstate.com I should say it's an excellent book that you should get I read it on Kindle but there's also a website and uh Balaji said that is constantly working on improving it changing it but but by the time the whole project is over it'll be a different book than it was yeah in the beginning I think it's always shedding

38:42-39:01

its old skin well I I wanted to get something out there and get feedback and whatnot just like an app right you know you again you have these two polls of an app is highly Dynamic and you're you're a cost him to having updates all the time and a book is supposed to be static and there's a value in something static something unchanged and so on but in this case I'm glad I kind of shipped a version 1.0 and uh you know the the next version um you know I'm gonna split into like uh tentatively motivation theory and practice like motivation like what is the sort of political philosophy and so on that motivates me at least do this

39:01-39:62

which you can take or leave right and then Theory as to why Network state is now possible and I can Define it in a second and then the practice is zillions of practical details and everything from roads diplomatic recognition and so on um funding founding all that stuff a lot of stuff actually I left out of V1 simply because I wanted to kind of get the desirability of it on the table and then talk about the the feasibility I should actually Linger on that briefly in in terms of things we can revolutionize like um one of the biggest Innovations I think that Tesla does with the way they think about the car with the deploy the car is not the

39:62-40:38

automation or the electric to me it's the uh over the air updates right be able to send instantaneously uh updates to the software that completely changes the behavior the ux everything about the car and so I do think it would be interesting because books a representation of human knowledge a um a snapshot of human knowledge and it would be interesting that we if we can somehow figure out a system that allows you to do sort of like a GitHub for books like if I buy a book on Amazon without having to pay again can I get updates like V Point V 1.1 V 1.2 and there's like release notes right

40:38-41:05

that that would be that would be incredible it's not not enough to do like a second edition or a third edition but like minor updates that's not just on your website but actually go into the the model that we use to buy books right so I spent my money maybe I I'll do a subscription service for five bucks a month where I get regular updates to the books and then there's an incentive for authors to actually update their books such that it makes sense for the subscription and that that means your book isn't just a snapshot but it's a lifelong project right you still care enough about the book so I think there's a lot that can mean on there because

41:05-41:58

actually in going through this process in many ways the most traditional thing I did was a self-published eBook on Kindle right uh why because basically like you know if you actually ink a deal with a book publisher first they you know they'll give you some advance I didn't need the advance or anything but second is all these constraints um oh you know you want to translate into this or you want to do this other format or you want to update it you have to go and now talk to this other party right you know and uh also the the narrowing window of what they'll actually publish it gets narrower narrower you can see all these you know

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meltdowns over young adult levels and stuff on Twitter but it's it's more than that so you know actually having an Amazon page it's just like a marker that a book exists okay and uh now I've got an entry point where if someone says okay I like this tweet but how do I kind of get the um that that might be a concept from like the middle of chapter three right how do I get the thing from front to back I can just point them at the network state.com that is import this right this one entry point okay and um you mentioned like subscription and and money and so and so forth and I think people are paying for Content online now

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with newsletters and so on but I've chosen to and it will always have the thing free um and I want it on all right you can get the Kindle version on Amazon simply because you have to kind of set a price for that but the network state.com what I want to do is have that optimized for every Android phone so people in India or Latin America or Nigeria can just tap and open it gonna do translations and stuff like that uh Greg foder of allspace VR you know founder of us is very you know he sold that in uh he coded the website and um you know worked with him on it and there's another designer who

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Elijah and uh it's basically just a three-person group and we thought we had something pretty nice but one thing I was really uh pleasantly surprised by is how many people got in touch with us afterwards and asked us if we could open source the software to create this this website right because it's actually you can try it on mobile I think it's actually um in some ways a better experience in Kindle and uh so that was interesting because um I do think of the website as like a V1 version of uh this concept of a book app right for example imagine if you have

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the Bible and the Ten Commandments aren't just text but there's like a checklist and there's a gateway to a Christian Community there and um you know the practice is embedded into the thing you know like if you know brilliant.org amazing site I love this site brilliant is basically mobile friendly tutorials and you can kind of just swipe through you know you're in line at Starbucks or you know getting on a plane or something you just swipe through and just get really nice micro lessons on things and it's just interactive enough that your brain is working and you're problem solving and sometimes you'll need a little pen and

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paper but that format um of sort of very mobile friendly just continuous learning I I'd like to do a lot more with that and so that's kind of where we're going to go the the book at so the there's a lot of fun stuff about the way you did at least V1 of the book which is you have like a one sentence summary one paragraph summary tldr and like one image summary which is um I think honestly it's not even about a short attention span it's a really good exercise about summarization condensation and yeah like helping you

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think through what is the key Insight like we mentioned the the prime number maze that reveals something Central to The Human Condition which is struggling against the limitation of our of our minds and in that same way you summarize the network state in the book so let's actually jump right there and let me ask you what is the network State what is the network state so I'll give it a sentence and also give it an image right so the informal sentence a network state is a highly aligned online community with a capacity for Collective action that crowdfunds territory around the world and eventually gains diplomatic recognition from pre-existing

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States okay so just taking those pieces highly aligned online community that is not Facebook that is not Twitter people don't think of themselves as facebookers or twitterians right that's just a collection of hundreds of millions of people who just fight each other all day right It's a Fight Club a company is highly aligned where you know you'll put a task into the company slack and on your if you're doing all hands about 100 of the people in the company stock will do it they're highly aligned that way but online communities don't tend to be highly aligned online communities tend to be like a Game of Thrones fan club or something like that or you know

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a Twitter account you might get point one percent of people engaging with something it's not 100 if you combine the degree of alignment of a company with the scale of a community that's like what a highly aligned you know online community is right start to get a thousand or ten thousand people who can collectively do something as simple as just all liking something on Twitter for example why would they do that they're a they're Guild of electoral Engineers they're a guild of graphic designers and you've got a thousand people in this Guild and every day somebody is asking a favor from The Guild and the other 999 people

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are helping them out for example I've just launched a new project or I'd like to get a new job can somebody help me and so on and so you kind of give to get your you know you're helping other people in the community and you're kind of building up Karma this way and then sometimes you spend it down like stack Overflow has this Karma economy it's not meant to be an internal economy that is um like making tons and tons of money off of is sort of a keep score right that's a highly aligned online community part then capacity for Collective action I just kind of described that which is at a minimum you you don't have a highly aligned online community unless you have

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a thousand people and you paste in a tweet and a thousand of them RT it or or like it okay if you can't even get that you don't have something if you do have that you have the basis for at least Collective digital action on something okay and you can think of this as a group of activists you can think of it as for example let's say I mentioned a guild but let's say they're a group that wants to raise awareness of the fact that life extension is possible right every day there's a new um tweet on I don't know whether it's a metformin research or Sinclair's work or David Sinclair right Andrew hubman has good stuff here you know or um there's a

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longevity VC there's a bunch of folks work in this area every day there's something there and literally the purpose of this online community is raise version of longevity and of the thousand people 970 go and like that that's pretty good right that's solid you've got something there you've got it you've got a laser right you've got something which you can focus on something because most of the web 2 internet is in Tropic you go to Hacker News you go to Reddit you go to Twitter and you're immediately struck by the fact that it's like 30 random things random it's just a box of chocolates it's meant to be you know where some of

47:88-48:52

them look delicious some look delicious novelty we can over consume novelty right so you know we were talking about earlier the balance between tradition and Innovation right here is a different version of that which is um entropy going in a ton of different directions due to novelty versus uh like Focus you know it's like it's like Heat versus work you know heat is entropic and work forced along a distance you're going in in a direction right and so if those 30 links on you know the next version of Hacker News or red or something like so brilliant it's just that's leveling you up the the 30 things you click you've just gained a skill as

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a function of that right so these kinds of online communities I don't know what they look like they probably don't look like the current social media they just like for example I know it's a meta-analogy but in the 2000s people thought Facebook for work would look like Facebook and you know David sax you know found and sold a company Yammer that was partially on the basis it was fine it was a billion dollar company but Facebook for work tended was actually slack right it looked different it was more chat focused it was less image focused and whatnot what does the platform for a highly aligned online community look like I

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think Discord is the transitional state but it's not the end State Discord is sort of Chatty the work isn't done in Discord itself right the cryptocurrency for tracking or the crypto karma for sure tracking people's contributions is not really done in Discord itself this group is not built for that and I don't know what that ux looks like maybe it looks like tasks uh you know like uh maybe looks something different okay so let me Linger on this thing we're actually uh that some people might not be even familiar with Discord or slack or so on even these platforms have like communities associated with

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them yes meaning the the big like The Meta community of people who are aware of the feature set and that you can do a thing that this is a thing and then you could do a thing with it Discord like when I first realized that I think it was born out of the gaming world yes is like holy [ __ ] this is like a thing there's a lot of people that use this right there's also a culture that's very difficult to escape that's associated with Discord that spans all the different communities within Discord Reddit is the same even though there's different subreddits there's still because of the migration phenomena may be there's still a culture

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to Reddit and so on yes so I I'd like to sort of try to dig in and understand what's the difference between the online communities that are formed and the platforms on which those communities are formed sure really important yes it is it is so for example an office a good design for an office is frequently you have um you know the uh the commons which is like the lunchroom or the Gathering area then everybody else has a cave on the border they can kind of retreat to cave in the gums I love by the way I was laughing internally about the Heat versus work I think that's gonna stick with me that's such an interesting way

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to see Twitter yeah like is this heat or is this is this thread like because there's a lot of stuff going on right is it just heat are we doing some like is it is there a directed thing that's gonna be productive at the end of the day that's right love is um loversy anyway it's a cave in the Commons is a really nice uh so that has to do with the layout of an office that's effective that's right and uh so you can think of many kinds of social networks um as being on the cave and Commons Continuum for example Twitter is just all Commons the caves are just like

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individual DMS or DM threads or whatever but it's really basically just one gigantic Global public Fight Club for the most part right then you have for love Club well some would love but mostly fight or actually I love aggressively that's all yeah I mean the way I think I mean Twitter is like a cross between uh you know a a library and a civil war you know it's something where you can learn and but but you can also fight if you choose to fight right um yeah well I mean it's um uh because of its the commons structure of it it's a mechanism of virality of anything yeah so you just describe the

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kind of things that become viral yeah meaning no no offense to liberians it's like a library and Liberia Liberia was racked by Civil War for for many years right uh libraries is one of my favorite sets uh for porn just kidding jokes I'm learning is that's probably crossing the line uh for the engineers working on this humor module maybe take that down yes um gosh uh we're just talking about oh yeah so continue going continue to Commons yeah so tutors are commons and Facebook is like it's got all these Warrens and stuff Facebook is very difficult to reason about uh like privacy on that and the reason is I

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think it's easy to understand when something is completely public like Twitter or completely private like signal and those are the only two modes I think in which one can really operate when something is quasi-private like Facebook you have to just kind of assume it's public because if if it's interesting enough it'll go outside your friend Network and it'll get screenshotted or whatever and posted and so you know Facebook is sort of sort of forced into default public despite its privacy settings uh you know for anybody who says something interesting you know if it's like uh you can figure out all their dials and stuff like that but just

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hard to understand unless it's totally private or totally public right you have to basically treat it if it's totally public if it's not totally private okay at least under a real name I'll come back to pseudonym so you've got Twitter that's that's total Commons Facebook which is like a Warrens you know it's like you know it's like rabbit worms or like a ant colony where you don't know where information is traveling then you've got Reddit which has serve your Global Reddit and then all the subreddits that's a different model of cave and Commons I think one of the reasons it works is that you have individual moderators

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where something is totally off topic and acceptable uh totally off topic and unacceptable in this subreddit and totally on topic and acceptable another that's like kind of a you know a precursor of the digital societies I think that we're going to see that actually become physical societies like lots and lots of subreddit like things you know become physical societies then you start going further into like Discord where it's it's more full feature than um you know as you go Twitter Facebook Reddit now you jump into Discord and Discord is a bunch of individual communities that are connected and you

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can easily sort of jump between them right and then you have slack and you know yes you can use um slack to go between different company slacks but slack historically at least I'm not sure what their current policy is historically they discourage public slacks so there it's mostly like you have your main slack for your company and then you sometimes may jump into like uh let's say you've got a design consultant or or somebody like that you'll jump into their slack but Discord is you've got way more discords usually that you jump into than slacks right well and let me ask you then on that point because there is a culture one of

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the things I discovered on Reddit and Discord of anonymity or pseudonyms or usernames that don't represent the actual name I'll select as an example of one because I think I did a I used to have a slack for like deep learning course that I was teaching and I was like very large like 20 000 people whatever but so you could grow quite large but there's a culture of like I'm going to represent my actual identity my actual name and then the same stuff in Discord I think I was the only [ __ ] using my actual name on there it's like everybody was using uh pseudonyms so what's what's the role of that in the online community

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well so I actually gave a talk on this a few years ago called uh the pseudonymous economy okay and um it's come back faster than I expected uh but I did think it was going to come about fairly fast and essentially the concept is obviously we've had so first antonym pseudonym real name right can you describe the difference between difference Anonymous is like 4chan uh where there's no tracking of a name you're you know there's your reputation associated with an identity right pseudonymous is like much of Reddit where there's a persistent username and it has Karma over time but it's not linked to a the

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global identifier that is your state name all right so your quote real name even the term real name by the way is a misnomer because it's like your Social Security name like social security number it's your official government name it's your it's your state name it is the tracking device it's a it's an air tag that's put on you right why do I say that right another word for a name is a handle and so just visualize like a giant file cabinet there's a handle with Lex Freeman on it that anybody the billions of people around the world can go up to and they can pull this file on you out images of you things you said like billions of people can stalk

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billions of other people now that's a very new thing and I actually think this will be a transitional era in like human history we're actually going to go back into a much more encrypted world another way to see real names is the label on a thing that can be canceled yes that's right in fact there's a book called seeing like a state which actually talks about the origins of surnames and whatnot like if you have a guy who is that guy with brown hair that's like an analog identifier it could be in 10 different people in a village but if you have a first name last name okay that guy can now be conscripted you can go down with

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a list a list of digital identifiers pull that guy out pull him you know into the military for conscription right so that was like one of the purposes of names was to make masses of humans legible to a state right hence seeing like a state you can see them now right see digital identifier is that one thing that people don't usually think about is pseudonymity is itself a form of decentralization so you know people know Satoshi Nakamoto was pseudonymous they also know he's into decentralization but one way of thinking about it is let's say his real name okay or his state name is a node okay attached to that is uh every database you know his uh his Gmail

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his you know Facebook if he had one every government record on him right all of these databases have that state name as the foreign key right um and so it can go and look things up in all of those uh databases right and so it's a think of it as being the center of a giant network of all of these things when you go and create a pseudonym you're butting off a totally new node that's far away from all the rest and now he's choosing to attach bitcoinetalk and bitcoin.org and the gpg signatures of the code if you choose to do that all those things digital signatures are

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all attached to this new decentralized name because he's instantiating it not the government right one way of thinking about it is the root administrator of the quote real name system is the state because you cannot simply edit your name there right you can't just go you can't log into usa.gov and backspace your name and change it moreover um your birth certificate all these stuff that's fixed and immutable right whereas we take for granted that on every site you go to you can backspace you can be like call me Ishmael you know walk into a site you use whatever name you want you just have to use the same Name Across multiple sites you can do

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that and if not you don't have to one thing that we're seeing now actually is at the level of kids you know the younger generation um Eric Schmidt several years ago mentioned that you know people would like change their names when they became adults so that they could do that this is kind of already happening people are using a market that's been years ago search resistant identities okay why they have their finsta which is their quote fake name Instagram M and rinsta which is their real name Instagram this is cool okay and what's interesting is on their rinsta they're their fake self because they're in their Sunday Best and

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you know smiling and this is the one that's meant to be search indexed right on the finsta with their fake name this is just shared with their closest friends they're their real self and they're you know hanging out at parties or whatever you know and so this way they've got something which is the public Persona and the private Persona right the public Persona that's search indexed and the private Persona that is private for friends right and so organically people are you know like Gene Jacobs she talks about like cities and how you know they're organic and when I like some of the mid 20th century guys the architecture they had removed

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shade from uh you know like like awnings and stuff like that got removed so this is like the restoration of like awnings and shade and structure so that you're not always exposed to the All-Seeing web crawler that I have sore on which is like Google botched indexing everything these are search resistant identities and that like I just sort of passes over you like you know in The Terminator like the Terminator I just kind of passes over you right so Searchers and identity is non-poled up it's not indexed right and now you can be your real self and so we've had this kind of thing for a while while with communication the new thing is that cryptocurrency has allowed us to

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do it for transaction hence the pseudonymous economy right and um should go from Anonymous pseudonymous real name these each have their different purposes but the New Concept is that pseudonym you can have multiple of them by the way your ens name you could have it under your real name or state name like Lex friedman.dth but it could also be uh punk6529.eath okay and now you can earn you can sign documents you can boot up stuff you can have a persistent identity here okay which has a level of indirection to your real name why is that very helpful because now it's harder to both discriminate against you

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and cancel you concerns of various factions are actually obviated or at least partially addressed by going pseudonymous as default right it is the opposite of bringing your whole self to work it's bringing only your necessary self to work right only show those credentials that you need right now of course you know anybody who's in cryptocurrency understands social Nakamoto and so on is for this but actually many progressives are for this as well why you don't ban the boxes it's like you're not supposed to ask about like felony convictions when somebody is you know being hired because they've paid they've served their time

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right or um you're not supposed to ask about immigration status or marital status in an interview um and uh you know people have this concept blind auditions where you know uh if a woman is auditioning for for a like a violin seat they put it behind a curtain so they can't downgrade you know her for playing her performance is judged on the merits of its audible quality not in terms of who who this this person is so this way they don't discriminate versus male or female for um for who's uh you know getting a violent position so you combine those Concepts

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like ban the Box not asking these various questions blind auditions and and then also the concept of implicit bias like if you if you you know believe this research people are unconsciously biased towards other folks right okay so you take all that you take Satoshi and you put it together and you say okay let's use pseudonyms that actually takes unconscious bias even off the table right because um now you have genuine Global equality of opportunity moreover you have all these people billions of people around the world that might speak with accents but they type without them and now if they're pseudonymous you aren't

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discriminating against them right moreover with AI very soon the AI version of Zoom you'll be able to be whoever you want to be and speak in whatever voice you want to speak in right and um you'll be and they'll happen in real time uh so I mean this is really interesting but I for finsta and rinsta there's some sense in which the fake Instagram you're saying is where you could be a real self well my question is under uh under pseudonym or when you're completely Anonymous is there some sense where you're not actually being your real self that as a social entity it is human beings are fundamentally

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social creatures and for us to be social creatures there is some sense in which we have to have a consistent identity that can be canceled that can be criticized uh or applauded in society and that identity persists through time so is there some sense in which we would not be our full beautiful human selves unless we have a lifelong consistent real name attached to us in a digital world so this is a complicated topic but let me make a few remarks versus real names quote unquote state names were not built for the internet they were actually state names right it's actually a great way of thinking about social security name

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right um so your state name your official name was not built for the internet why they give both too much information and too little okay so too much information because uh someone with your name can find out all kinds of stuff about you like for example uh someone doesn't want to be stalked right the real name is out there the stalker knows it they can find address information all this other kind of stuff right um and with all these hacks that are happening just every day we see another hack massive hack Etc uh that real name can be indexed into Data That was

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supposed to be private right like for example you know the office of personnel management like the government the US government many governments actually are like a combination of the uh surveillance State and the Keystone Cops right why they they slurp up all the information then they can't secure it so it leaks out the back door okay they've they basically have you know 100 million records of all just very 300 million records all this very sense of data they just get owned hacked over and over again right and so really there should be something which totally inverts the entire concept of kyc and what have you um and of course comply with the

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regulations as they are currently written but also you should argue privacy over kyc the government should not be able to collect what it can't secure it's slurping up all this information it's completely unable to secure it it's hacked over and over again you know China probably has the entire OPM file and it's not just that like Texas is hacked um and some of these hacks are not even detected yet right and these are just ones that have been admitted and so you know what happens is criminals can just run this stuff and find you know okay so that guy who's got that net worth online and emerges

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various databases they've got a bunch of addresses to go and hit okay so in that sense real names were not state names were not built for the internet they just give up too much information and R actually existing internet environment they give up too much information on the other hand they also give too little why if instead you give out uh Lex friedman.eath okay or a similar crypto domain name or Urban name or something like that now that's actually more like a DNS okay first if you've got a let's like streaming.eth what can you do that um some you can do today some you'll soon be able to do uh you can pay live stream you can message livestream.ed you

67:09-67:70

can um look it up like a social profile you can send files to it you can upload and download basically it combines aspects of an email address um a a a website a username Etc et cetera where you you know eventually I think you'll go from email to phone number to ens address or something like that as the primary online identifier because this is actually a programmable name right whereas a state name is not you know think about it like a state name will have apostrophes perhaps in it or is that your middle name or this and that that was a format that was developed for the paper world right

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whereas the ens name is developed for the online world now the reasons say ens are something like it you know somebody at a in a village they'll their name might be Smith because they were a blacksmith or Potter because they were Potter right and same way I think your surname right now for many people it's not Ethan that reflects the ethereum community your surname online will carry information about you like dot Saul says something different about you dot BTC says yet something different I think we're going to have a massive fractionation of this over time we're still in the very earliest days of our

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internet civilization right 100 200 years from now those surnames may be as informative as say Chen or Friedman or stream of Austin in terms of what information they carry because the protocol is the civilization fundamentally that you're associated with right right so that there's some improvements to the real name that you could do in the digital world but do you think there's value of having a name that's persists throughout your whole life that is shared between all the different digital I think you should have the community I think you should be able to opt into that right at which at which level in

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terms of the society that you're joining wait a minute so can I murder a bunch of people in society one and then go to society too and be like I'm murder free my no my name is I don't mean it like that no yeah so but just by that that's the application I'm interested in okay well so what what resistance I would like you to talk about me sure a person who's clearly bad for society sure from doing that sure sure murder is going to be against the rules in almost every society and I mean basically I mean people will argue yeah yeah most likely right and um animals well I'm thinking of like the Aztecs or the Mayas

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or you know something like that there's various you know Soviet Union there's weird there's weird edge cases yeah there's societies unfortunately that have actually that's why that's why I asked Tristan but let's say murder is um something that society1 probably has effectively a social smart contract or a social contract that says that's illegal therefore you're in jail therefore you're deprived of the right to exit but upon entry into that Society in theory you would have said Okay I accept this quote social contract right obviously if I kill somebody I can't leave okay so you've you've accepted upon crossing the border into there

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right now um as I mentioned you know uh like what is murder like people will I mean there's an obvious answer but as I said there's been human sacrifice in some cities communism they kill lots of people Nazism they kill lots of people unfortunately there's quite a lot of societies you know I wanted to say it's an edge case but maybe many of the 26th Century societies around the world have institutionalized some kind of murder whether it's a Red Terror you know in the Soviet Union or obviously the Holocaust or you know the cultural revolution or year zero and so on and so forth right so my point there

70:63-71:21

is that who's committing all those murders it was the state it was the organization that one is implicitly trusting them to track you right and how do they commit this murders well how did Lenin you know uh you know the hanging order I'm talking about the hanging order for the cool locks yes okay the famous hanging order which actually showed they were actually bloodthirsty the key thing was he said here's a list of all the quote rich men the cool locks go and kill them the real names the state names were facilitated the murder didn't prevent the murderers there right so my point is just in the ethical waiting of it it's a

71:21-71:93

two-sided thing right you're right that the tracking can you know prevent disorganized murders but the tracking facilitates unfortunately organized murders lists of undesirables were the primary tool of all of these oppressive states in the 20th century you see my point I I see your point and it's a very strong point in part it's a cynical point which is that the rule of a centralized state is more negative than positive I think it is a it is like it's like nuclear energy okay it's it's or it's like fire

71:93-72:55

it is something which um you're gonna keep having it reform because there's there's good reasons where you have centralization decentralization recentralization but power corrupts absolute power corrupts absolutely and you just have to be very suspicious of this kind of centralized power the more trust you give it often the less trusted it deserves it's like a weird feedback loop right the more trust the more it can do the more it can do the more bad things it will do so okay there is a lot of downside to the state being able to track you right and history teaches us lessons one at a

72:55-73:19

large scale especially in the 20th century at the largest of scale a state can do commit a large amount of murder and suffering and by the way history isn't over if you think about what the Chinese are building on this right that surveillance state it's not just tracking your name it's tracking everything on you you know like WeChat is essentially like it it is all the convenience and none of the freedom so that's the downside but don't you the question is about is I think probably fundamentally about the human nature of an individual of how much murder that would be if we can just

73:19-73:82

disappear every time we murder well I mean at the individual level so the issue is basically like once once one realizes that the moral trade-off has two polls to it right and moreover that basically centralized organized murder has I mean if we add up all the disorganized murder of the 20th century it's probably significantly less than the organized murder that was that these states facilitated right and probably by you know RJ Rommel has this thing called democide right the thing is it's so Grim right because you know it's saying like one one death is a tragedy a million is a statistic right these are just like just incalculable tragedies that we

73:82-74:49

can't even you know uh understand but um you know nevertheless engaging with it like you know I don't know it's a ratio 10x is it 100x I wouldn't be surprised if it's 100 yeah but have you seen the viciousness the negativity the division within online communities that have an anonymity so that's the thing is basically you there's also a Scylla and a charybdas I'm not you know when you when you see what centralization can do and you correct in the direction of decentralization you can over correct with decentralization and you get Anarchy and this is basically then you want to recentralize right and this is the you know uh I think it's a Romance

74:49-75:03

of three kingdoms uh the Empire long United must divide the Empire long divided must unite that's always the way of it right so it's going to happen is we will state certain verbal principles right and then the question is where in state space you are are you too centralized well then okay you want to decentralize and are you too decentralized and we want to centralize it may track more right and people opt into more tracking because they will get something from that tracking which is a great reduced societal stability so so it's kind of like saying are we going north or south and the answer is like what's our destination where's our

75:03-75:70

current position in the in the civilizational state space well my main question I guess is um does creating a network State Escape from the some of the flaws of human nature the reason you had got Nazi Germany is a large-scale resentment with different explanations for that resentment that's ultimately lives in the heart of each individual that made up the entirety of Nazi Germany and it had a charismatic leader that was able to channel that resentment into action into actual policies into actual political and Military movements can't you not have the same kind of thing in digital communities as well have you

75:70-76:34

heard the term argumentum ad hitlerum or like Godwin's law or something like you know it's something where if the reference point is Hitler it's just it's this thing where a lot of things break down but I do think I mean look is there any uh did Bitcoin manage to get where it was without a single shot being fired to my knowledge yes right it's a Google manage to get to where it is without shots being fired absolutely um and while a lot of shots were being fired elsewhere in the world sure and but who's firing those shots right yeah but that's because Bitcoin and Google are a tiny minority of communities

76:34-76:95

that's it's like the the icing on the cake of human civilization sure and basically any technology I mean like you can use uh you can use a hammer to go and hit somebody with it right I'm not I'm not saying every technology is equally destructive or what have you but you can conceive of it's kind of like rule 34 but for technology right you okay very you can you can probably figure out the ability to reference brilliant things throughout is quite admirable yes but anyway sorry rule 34 for technology rule three four but for abusive technology you can always come up with a black mirror version of something and in fact there is this kind

76:95-77:64

of funny tweet which is like a Sci-Fi author my book don't invent the torment Nexus was meant to be a cautionary Tale on what you know would happen if Society invented the trauma neckness and then it's like uh Tech guys at long last we have created the torment Nexus I don't know right and uh so the thing is that simply describing something some abuse unfortunately um after the initial shock wears off people will unconsciously think of it as sort of an attractor in the space right it's like I'll give you some examples like uh you know Minority Report had the gesture thing right and the connect was based on that so it's a dystopian movie

77:64-78:15

but had this cool kind of thing and people you know kind of keyed off it right or you know people have said that movies like um you know full metal jacket that was meant to be in my my understanding is meant to be like an anti-war movie but lots of you know soldiers just love it you know despite the fact that the drill sergeant is actually depicted as a bad guy right for the sort of portrayal of that you know kind of kind of environment right so I'm just saying it's like giving the vision of like the digital Hitler or whatever is not actually a vision I want to paint I do think is it is it everything is it's possible obviously you know isis

78:15-78:86

uses the internet right like is it yeah I'm not I'm not bringing up Hitler in a shallow argument we're bringing up Hitler in a long empathetic relaxed discussion which is which is where Hitler can live in a healthy way so that there is a there's deep left lessons in Hitler and Nazi Germany yes okay so in many ways uh you know and this is a very superficial way of talking about it but this is um exit is the anti-genocide technology right because exit is the route of the politically powerless exit is not people always say oh exit is for the rich or that's actually not true most immigrant most immigrants equals most immigrants

78:86-79:51

are not rich they're politically powerless you can describe exit what is exit so uh there's this you know book which I reference a lot I like it um called uh exit voice and loyalty by Albert hirshman okay and he essentially says um and you know I I gave this talk uh in 2013 that that goes through this uh at uh YC Straub school but just to describe these voices reform exits alternatives for example in the context of an open source project voices uh submitting a bug and exit is forking in a company um voices uh you're saying you know hey uh here's a

79:51-80:10

um here's a ticket okay that I'd like to get solved and exit is taking your business elsewhere okay um you know at level corporate governance voices you know board directors vote and exit is selling your shares right in a country voices a vote and exit is migration okay and um I do think that the two forces we talk about a lot democracy and capitalism are useful forces um but there's a third which is uh migration right so you can vote with your ballot you vote with your wallet you can vote your feet wallet has some aspects of exit built into it um but voting your feet actually has

80:10-80:59

some aspects of voice built into it because when you leave it's like an amplifier on your vote you might say 10 things but you actually leave then people take what you said seriously you're not just like complaining or whatever you you actually left San Francisco because it was so bad on this and this issue and you've actually voted with your feet it is um manifest preference as opposed to state of preference so Voice versus exit is this interesting dichotomy do you try to reform the system or do you exit it and build a new one or seek an alternative and then loyalty modulates this where if you are a patriot as part

80:59-81:17

of the initial part of your conversation right like you know uh are you are you a Trader you know you're giving up on our great thing or whatever right and you know people push those buttons to get people to stick that's like you know I should say the bad version let's say a common version Sometimes good sometimes bad um then uh but then there's the good version which is oh you know maybe the price is down right now but you believe in the cause so even if they're uh you know on paper you you would rationally exit you believe in in this thing and you're gonna stick with it okay so loyalty can be again good and bad but it

81:17-81:78

kind of modulates the trade-off between voice and exit Okay so given that framework we can think of a lot of problems in terms of am I going to use voice or exit or some combination drive because they're not mutually so that it's kind of like you know left and right subjects needs to build together I think that one of the biggest things the internet does is it increases microeconomic leverage and therefore increases exit in every respect of life for example um you know on every phone you can pick between Lyft and Uber right when you're at the store uh you see a price on the shelf and you can comparison shop right

81:78-82:41

if it's Tinder you can swipe right if it's Twitter you can click over to the next account the back button is exit the The microeconomic Leverage leverage in the sense of Alternatives right this is like the one of the fundamental things that the internet does it puts this tool on your desktop and now you can go and talk to an illustrator or you can kind of build it yourself right by by typing in some you know characters into Dolly and that makes the positive forces of capitalism more efficient uh increase in microeconomic leverage and it's individual empowerment right and so our sort of Industrial Age systems were not set up for that level of individual

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empowerment just to give you like one example to think about we take for granted every single website you go and log into you can configure your Twitter profile and you can make it dark mode or light mode and your name all this stuff is editable right how do you configure your USA experience is there a usa.gov that you edit can you even edit your name there doc mode uh for USA but I mean just your profile is there is there like a national profile I mean there's like driver's license point is that it's assumed that it's not like individually customizable quite in that way right of course you can move around your house and stuff like that but it's

82:99-83:70

not like your experience of the US is like configurable you know uh let me think about that let me let me think about sort of the analogy of it so the microeconomic leverage you can switch apps can you switch your experience in in small ways efficiently multiple times a day in inside the United States um well the physical world you do yeah under the constraints of the physical world you do like micro migrations so this is coming back to the hunter-gatherer farmer Soldier digital Nomad kind of thing right the the digital Nomad combines aspects of the V1 and the V2 for a V3 right because

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digital Nomad has the mobility and freedom of the hunter-gatherer but some of the consistency of the the civilization of the farmer and Soldier right but coming back to this like one other thing about it is in the 1950s if a guy in assembly line might literally push the same button for 30 years okay whereas today you're pushing a different key every second right that is that's like one version of like microeconomic Leverage another another version is you know in the 1980s I mean didn't have Google Maps right so you couldn't just like discover things off the path people would just essentially do you know home to work and

84:31-84:89

work to home and home to work and a trip had to be planned right they were contained within a region of space or you do home to school school to home home to school you know it wasn't like you went and explored the map most people didn't right they were highly canalized okay meaning you know that it was just back and forth back and forth very routine just like the push the button push the button trapped within this very small piece and also trapped within this large country because it was hard to travel between countries and so on again you know of course there were vacations of course there was some degree of news and so on your Mobility

84:89-85:46

wasn't completely crushed but it was actually quite low okay relatively speaking just the you you were you were trapped in a way you weren't even really thinking about it okay and now that map is opened up now you can see the whole map you can go all over the place um you know I don't have the data to show it but I would I'd be shocked if people the average person didn't go to more places wasn't you know doing more you know going to more restaurants and things like that today than they were in the 80s simply because the map is open okay and the the map is made more open through the digital world the digital world exactly so we're reopening the map

85:46-86:01

like the hunter-gatherer okay because you can now think about every site for very low cost that you can visit right the digital world you can I mean how many websites have you visited I don't know hundreds of thousands probably at this point over your life right how many places on the services you're actually unusual you might be like a world traveler would have you right but still even your even your physical Mobility is less than your digital Mobility right you can just essentially I mean the entire Consular like Nations and borders and whatnot didn't exist in the hunter-gatherer hour right because you couldn't

86:01-86:59

um you couldn't build permanent fortifications and whatnot even even Nations as we currently think of them with like demarcated borders um you did cartography you needed Maps right that stuff didn't exist for a long time you just had sort of a fuzzy area of we kind of controlled this territory and these guys are on the other side of the river okay I think uh just I don't want to digress too much but yeah we're digress away I think entirety of life on Earth is is a kind of a digression which creates Beauty and complexity as part of the digression I I think your vision of the network state is really powerful and beautiful I just

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would want to linger on this let's talk about it real name issues let me just give you some data a personal anecdotal experience data there's a reason I only do this podcast in person there is something lost in the digital space oh sure and I find now I personally believe to play Devil's Advocate Against The Devil's Advocate that I'm playing I personally believe that this is a temporary thing we will figure out technological solutions to this but I do find that currently people are much more willing to be on scale cruel to each other online yes and they are in person uh the only the way to do that just

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visit Ukraine went to the front the way you can have people be cruel to each other in the physical space is through the Machinery of propaganda that dehumanizes the other side right all that kind of stuff that's really like hard work to do online I find just naturally the individual scale people uh somehow start to easily engage in the drug of mockery derision and cruelty yes when they can hide behind anonymity I don't know what that says about human nature I ultimately believe most of us want to be good and have the capacity to do a lot of good but sometimes it's fun to be shitty to [ __ ] on people to be cruel I

87:96-88:63

don't know what weird is it's weird because I think you know one of my sayings is just like the internet increases in microeconomic leverage the internet increases variance for anything that exists before you have you know the zero and 100 versions of it I'll give some examples and I'll come to this for example you go from the 30-minute sitcom to the 30 second clip or the 30 episode Netflix binge right you go from guy working 95 to uh the guy who's the you know 40 years old and and has failed to launch hasn't you know the doesn't have a job or anything and the 20 year old Tech billionaire okay you go from all kinds of things that were sort of

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gaussian in or kind of constrainable location to kind of extreme outcomes on both sides okay and uh applying that here you are talking about the bad outcome which I agree does happen with the internet in some sense makes people have very low empathy between others but it also is the other extent where people find their mental soul mates across the world someone who's living in Thailand or in you know like Latin America who thinks all the same stuff just like them wow you never met this person before right you get to know them online you mean in person it's like you know the brains have been communicating for two years three years you've been friends

89:28-89:83

and you see in person it's just great right so it's actually it's not just the total lack of empathy it is frankly far more empathy than you would be able to build usually with an in-person conversation in the 80s or the 90s with someone on the other side of the world because you might not even be able to get a visa to go to their country or not even know they existed how would you be able to be able to find each other and so on and so forth right so it is kind of both it is tearing Society apart and it's putting it back together both at the same time my main concern is this what I see is that young people are for some reason

89:83-90:52

more willing to engage in the drug of Cruelty online under the veil of anonymity that's what you're seeing publicly but you're not seeing the private chats like there's this it's kind of it's a it's a I I work for the intelligence agency I'm collecting all of your data uh yeah yes but you can Intuit stuff and I don't think I'm being very selective I mean I I if you if you just look at the Young Folks I mean I am very concerned about the uh the intellectual psychological growth of young men and women so I'm I'm not disagreeing with

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you on this I am saying however there is a positive there that once we see it we can try to amplify that yeah with technology yes yes I'm just saying the very very basic technology I give stuff I I caught up over the weekend kind of thing I think if I throw an anonymity on top of that it will lead to many bad outcomes for young people anonymity yes pseudonymity maybe not because Reddit is actually fairly polite right um the entirety of Reddit just chuckled as you said that well well within it within a subreddit it's actually fairly polite like they say you're not usually seeing it depends on which subreddit of

91:15-91:74

course there's a consistency there's a right that uh the I think definition of politeness is interesting here because it's polite within the culture of that subreddit yes the abide by let me put it a different way they abide by the social norms of that subreddit right and that's the definition of politeness yeah or civility is that right so there is an interesting difference between pseudonymous and Anonymous you're saying it's possible that pseudonymity you can actually avoid some of the negative aspects absolutely we're re-dumbarizing the world in some ways okay with China being the big

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exceptional outlier you know the Dunbar number 150 people if you know that's that's like roughly the scale of your Society right um or that's the number of people that a human can kind of keep in in their brain that's you know whether a Pocketful or not I think I think it's probably roughly true and uh we're re-dumbarizing the world because a we're making small groups much more productive and B we're making large groups much more fractious right so you have an individual like Notch you can program Minecraft by himself or Satoshi

92:29-92:76

you could do V1 a Bitcoin by himself or you know Instagram which is just like 10 people or Whatsapp which is like 50 people when they sold um but the other hand you have huge quote countries of hundreds of millions of people that are just finding that the first and second principle or the the you know they're just splitting on principal components you know whether Scott Alexander thinks of them as scissor statements you know the statements that one group thinks is obviously true one group thinks is obviously false you can think of them as political polarization you think of it in terms of Game Theory there's lots of

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different reasons you can get for why this happens but those large groups now are getting split and so you have both the unsustainability of these large sort of artificial groups and the productivity of these small organic ones and so that is kind of it's like sort of obvious that's the direction of civilizational rebirth we just need to kind of lean into that this is the statements there's so many beautiful just like um you know we mentioned chocolates right advertising themselves your entirety speech is an intellectual like box of chocolates but okay so I don't think we finished

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defining the network State let's like Linger on the the definition you gave the one sentence statement which I think essentially encapsulated the online nature of it I forget what else uh can we just try to bring more uh richness to this definition of how you think about the network State absolutely so that informal sentences a network state is a highly aligned online community with a capacity for Collective action that crowdfunds territory around the world and eventually gains diplomatic recognition from pre-existing States so we talked about was the alignment of online communities and the capacity for Collective action well one

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Collective action it could be a thousand people liking a tweet right if you can get a thousand of a thousand people doing it but a much higher level much higher bar is a thousand people crowdfunding territory and actually living together just like people currently physical space in physical space and not all in one place that's critical just like Bitcoin is a decentralized currency the network sees a recipe for a decentralized state-like entity okay where it starts with um you know for example two people just get you know they become roommates they meet in this community they become roommates okay they get their place

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together or 10 people get a group house or eventually 100 people just buy a small apartment building together and guess what they start getting Equity not just paying rent okay these are all people who share their values and now they can crowdfund territory together now of course they don't just jump straight from a thousand people liking something to a thousand people crowdfunding something what I described in the middle is you do a lot of meetups you get to know these other people before you decide to live you know collectively with them but once you live with them you start to get a network effect for example if those 100 people

95:01-95:63

want to learn Spanish or Turkish or Vietnamese they could all have a building where they're doing Vietnamese immersion right and that's something which they get a benefit from being physically around the other people that the pure digital wouldn't give them to quite the same extent right um and so crowdfund territory around the world crucially not just one place they're all connected by the internet just like Hawaii is 2 000 miles away from the Continental us but both sides think of them as American but the people on Hawaiian people in the continent yes what's the role of having to have territory if most of the exchange so

95:63-96:19

presumably as technology gets better and better the communication the intimacy the exchange of ideas all happens in the digital world what's the importance of being able to crowd fund territory well because we're still physical creatures you you can't reproduce yet digitally right there's still lots of things it's all about sex well that's got to be part of it you're going to want to you know reproduce are we talking about a cult well like what is that it's not a call you know why can't you just like take a trip why is it not a cult it's not called because a cult is very internally focused and it's it's it tries to close its members off from the outside world

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this is much more how America itself was populated where there were lots of towns like Penn is named after William Penn or the founder of Texas like Sam Houston right lots of towns like the Oneida commune in in you know Northern New York they've recruited and they became a town and they became actually the Oneida um glassware company kind of you know makes makes glassware out of there all of these communities are opt-in voluntary communities we're not simply like Cults that were closed off from the world they were meant to set an example to the world of what virtuous living looked like and they were trying to recruit from the

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rest World they were exporting Goods to the rest of the world right so it is um it's yes reproduction it's you know marriage and kids and so on but it's also just hanging out and it is just the physical world is very high bandwidth there's lots of stuff you know it's fun to just go and have a dinner in person just to hang out and build things moreover there's also lots of innovation that can only take place in the physical world um you know look I'm you know one of my sayings in the book is cloud first land last but not land never okay in many ways what one of the problems the book solves is Teal's

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problem of you know we have innovation in bits but not in atoms right we can build a billion dollar Company online but we need a billion permits to build a shed in San Francisco right how do you reconcile that well what is stopping the Innovation atoms it is a Thicket of regulations what are those regulations ultimately a social construction if you lean into the you know whole deconstructionist you know School of thinking you can deconstruct and then reconstruct the state itself given sufficient social consensus online okay if the population Nevada had 100 consensus you could just dissolve every law in Nevada in theory and then build

97:83-98:42

new ones okay so the online consensus of getting people to agree on something is Upstream of what happens offline so once you have consensus in bits the human consensus also you know cryptographic consensus cryptocurrency consensus then you can reshape the world of atoms the reason we can't reshape the world of atoms right now is because you don't have that consensus of Minds okay for example in SF anything you do there's going to be 50 of people who are against you like so that's just a recipe for gridlock whereas if you have a bare piece of land that everybody agrees on you can get you know 70 000 units get

98:42-99:08

set up in burning man in just a few days okay that's the power of what when you actually have human consensus and one way I talk about this also in the book a little bit and this isn't going to go much more into detail into V2 I think that this says 100 democracy as opposed to 51 democracy 51 democracy which is the current form of government is 49 dictatorship because the entire premise of democracy is about the consent of the government right that's actual legitimating underpinning principle and uh in so far as 49 did not consent to the current you know president or prime minister or whatever um let's say presidential system first

99:08-99:65

pass the post okay um insofar as 49 did not consent or in a in a prime minister system it could be like 60 or more didn't consent to the current leader those folks are having something imposed on them that they did literally did not vote for moreover campaign promises are non-binding so whatever they voted for they can effectively be defrauded you know the actual voter fraud is when a politician promises X but does not do it it's as if you bought a can of orange juice and it actually drinking its milk or it's nothing right so all of that is routinized all of that is accepted we have this thing which is just the

99:65-100:28

minimum possible amount of democracy of 51 okay and what happens is then that 50 interested to Ram something down the 49 throat and then the next election it's now 51.49 the other way and then they Ram it back and that's how you get the Seesaw that is just splitting countries apart right the alternative to that is you build a consensus online you go and get some God forsaken patchy territory actually the worst the territory the better why because it's like burning man nobody cares right the nicer the piece of land the more the people are going to argue about it but starlink has repriced the world basically all kinds of pieces of territory that were previously you

100:28-100:83

know they're far away from natural ports they're far away from natural resources all kinds of pieces of territory around the world now have satellite internet and so what you can do is again the map is being reopened right we were talking about earlier the map is being reopened you can gather your community online they're now capable of collective action you can point here this place has great Starling coverage you go there like the Verizon guy you know can you hear me now good right you see that the coverage is good there you drive out there you test it out maybe you do it with mobile homes first right this by the way is its own thing

100:83-101:41

there's DMB and there's there's nimbi and there's EMB but I actually also like himbi okay what are those so NIMBY is not in my backyard don't build in cities yimby is let's build high density buildings really tall buildings and so on cities there's a third version which uh is Hindi uh it's my little coinage which is horizontal sprawl is good why horizontal small because to build a skyscraper to build a tall building in a city you have this enormous permitting process all of this stuff which has to get done it's expensive it's time consuming the way that cities were built if you go back to the V1 what does the startup City look

101:41-101:94

like it looks like something like burning man it looks like the cities of the Wild West they were not multi-story buildings right they were basically things that were just like one story and someone could have it there in the dust and then you build roads and stuff between them they can move them around it was a much more Dynamic geography and so when you have that as a vision of what a startup City looks like right now you've got something there's there's a company I found it called kift which is like van life there's a lot of stuff in construction that that makes us feasible there's so-called man camps uh for for fracking um where people can just do

101:94-102:44

like like companies like a Greco their power uh you can bring water all the stuff on site so it's easy to actually snap this stuff to grid relatively speaking if you've got horizontal space you pick the space you crowd from the territory now you've got a city okay and the last bit is uh eventually again's diplomatic recognition from pre-existing States and this is the part that people you know different people will be with me up to this point and then they'll say okay that's the part I disagree with or how are you going to ever do that right they'll say yeah you can build an online community I believe you can get them to do Collective action and of course

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people have crowdfunded land and moved in together doing at a larger scale all that I believe how are you possibly ever going to gain diplomatic recognition from pre-existing States you dumb delusional Tech bro right that's a common thing okay that's about the tone of it as well right and so first I would say uh sovereigns are already out for business they're inking deals okay uh Nevada aimed to deal with Tesla to build the geiger Factory El Salvador has Bitcoin as its National currency Wyoming has done the Dow law where ethereum is now recognized where you can have on-chain incorporations that are recognized by Wyoming law

103:01-103:69

um Virginia and New York negotiate with Amazon for hq2 tuvalu signed a deal with GoDaddy for the dot TV domain Columbia signed a deal for the dot Co domain and on and on on sovereigns are open for business sovereigns are doing deals with companies and and with currencies sovereigns at the level of cities like Miami or New York where the Mayors are accepting their their salary in Bitcoin um States like you know Wyoming or Nevada has its new private cities legislation or entire countries like El Salvador So when you say Sovereign by the way you mean the old school physical nation states governments Fiat States Fiat States okay but but the Fiat isn't

103:69-104:34

the thing that makes a state well maybe no it's a state's geographical location it is is something where uh they're both right so basically it's a play on word so just like fiat currency and cryptocurrency we will have Fiat oh country right and crypto country right and in fact you can think of the Fiat and crypto version of almost anything one thing I'll come to later is a big thing the big thing I think comes after digital currency is digital passports okay so and that's a big part of this this whole networks I think we should come back to but so that last bit the reason I just mentioned all those deals between

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sovereigns whether at the city U.S state or U.N listed country level okay and on the other hand so that's on one side of the market and the other side are the um companies and the currencies why could we not have online communities right so so let me uh making those sales so uh diplomatic recognition but are aren't you still attached to the responsibilities uh that come from being a member of a sovereign old-school nation-state so can you possibly Escape that so yes and let me give you a concrete example Israel okay why um you know people talk about you know a

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lot of people are like oh abology just he took this from snow crash or some sci-fi book they'll reference remember actually if there's many different references of the book this is not the only reference but a very important reference that I think is much more important to me than snow crash which is which is good a good book whatever but it's fictional is George by Theater herzl which translates as the Jewish State and that led to the foundation of Israel and that's very real it's worth reading because it's amazing theater herzl was like a tech founder okay in the book he was writing about the death of distance in 1897 why because

105:62-106:24

steamships could take you across you know countries okay and he like it's just you know amazingly smart and practical guy we just handled all these various objections and he said look you know the Jewish people you know our choices are either a assimilate and get up the culture or B some people are thinking communism is a good idea I distribute that we should do c build our own country right and that was considered totally crazy what we did was he a wrote a book b started to fund C organized a semi-annual conference the you know World Zionist Congress and the fund and the Congress are still going today crucially there were a bunch of

106:24-106:83

intermediate stages between the book and the idea and then the actual state of Israel in 1947 for example um that you know the folks who were committed zionists got together and started crowdfunding territory in what is now Palestine and in fact though Palestine was only one choice in the book they also had Argentina as a choice this is my concept Cloud first land last and lands a parameter you can choose right other places that were considered at various points like Madagascar birobitzen and the former Soviet Union right so the land was a parameter Palestine went out because of its you know historical religious importance now

106:83-107:37

by the way one thing I'm sure are some like some fraction of yours will be like oh my God like all the bad stuff to have I'm obviously not denying that there's enormous amounts of controversy and so on that attends Israel I consider myself generally produce really I'd also consider myself Pro Palestinian I fund lots of Palestinians and so so I've I'm leaving that part out that huge conflict or you know for for now okay and you might say that's airbrushing it I don't mean it to do that I'm saying here is the positive things they did can we take the positive and not have the negative and I'll come back to how we we might swap those parts out but let me just

107:37-107:94

talk about this a little bit more so one of the things that happened was committed zionists went in crowdfunded territory in what is now Israel and they knit it together right why because when you're physically present on territory yes in theory like the the British Empire wasn't controlled Over The Sovereign okay in practice who were the boots on the ground the facts on the ground right there's the people who are actually tilling the land and building the buildings and so and so forth it like who had the claim there it's like the people who are present okay now um this this territory this network of territories eventually

107:94-108:54

um became the basis for or part of the basis for what became Israel now I'm fully aware that the exact configuration of what territory belongs Israel what territory belongs Palestinians this is an enormous topic of dispute okay but I just point this out to say the process going from book to crowdfang territory to a sovereign state where people were now citizens of Israel as opposed to the British Empire is not some fictional thing but did happen and within the lifetimes of some of the older you know they're in their 80s now but in the lifetimes of some older people okay so so it's not impossible in fact it has happened right

108:54-109:32

okay but for that step then perhaps hopefully is a better example because in this particular like you said land last if I were to set up it was if I was an alien and arrived at Earth and say choice of land maybe if you were interested in uh create choosing a land that represents a network state where ideas that unites a people uh based on ideas maybe pick a land that doesn't lead to uh generational conflict and War so I'll get to that destruction and suffering and all that also that's right so so now that I've set what are you know the positive things about Israel and I think there's a lot to admire initial as

109:32-109:91

I said I think there's also a lot to matter in the Palestinians and so on I'm not taking any position on that there's other Inspirations for the network State the second major inspiration is India which managed to achieve independence non-violently right that's very important right so can you can you fuse these things right State started with a book that achieved Independence non-violently okay and that managed to build this polyglot you know Multicultural democracy right that does you know like you know India has its flaws but it does manage to have you know human rights of lots of people respected and what have you right

109:91-110:50

and um has managed to you know there were times like emergency in the 1970s in their Gandhi declared emergency there were times when seeing touch and go but overall with fits and starts this flawed thing has kind of made its way through and you know the third inspiration is Singapore with Lee Kuan Yew who built a city-state from nothing you know I shouldn't say it for nothing okay there was something there but let's say I built one of the richest countries in the world without like huge amounts of Natural Resources in the middle of a Zone where there was lots of Communist Revolution going on um and so he was the CEO founder

110:50-111:04

essentially of this amazing startup country right and um you know finally of course America which has too many influences to name things we talked about the nation of immigrants obviously the Constitution and so on and you think okay can we go you think of uh you know these Inspirations what's interesting about these four countries by the way Israel India Singapore and the US they have something in common you know what that is who's that they're all Forks of the UK codebase we think obviously you know the UK was sort of the ancestor of America but Israel was a former British colony right

111:04-111:72

the India was a British colony and so Singapore right and for people who don't know what fork and code base means it's uh language from versioning systems particularly git represented online on a website called GitHub and a fork means you copy the code and all the changes you make to the code now live in their own little world so America took the ideas that defined the United Kingdom and then forked it by evolving those ideas in a way that didn't affect the original the original country that's right and what's interesting about this is and of course I'm saying that in a somewhat playful way right but I think it's a useful

111:72-112:40

analogy interesting analogy right so you have the Americans who forked you know the UK code base and then you have you know the Indians Israelis and the singaporeans who also made their own modifications and in some ways each Society has pieces that you can take from them and learn from them and try to combine them right so you have a state that is started by a book that um non-violently assembles that crowdfunds territory around the world that is led by a CEO founder um and that is also governed by something that's like a constitution but just like you went from you know I talk about the V1 V2 and V3 a lot right like

112:40-112:99

V1 is gold and V2 is Fiat and V3 is Bitcoin right or V1 is hunter gatherer and b2's farmer Soldier V3 is digital Nomad or Sovereign Collective okay which is not just an individual but a group um here V1 is UK common law they don't have a constitution it's all precedent going for many years right V2 is the US Constitution and V3 is the Smart contract the social smart contract which is a you know Fusion obviously of Rousseau's concept of the social contract and the smart contract the social smart contract is like written in code okay so it's like even more rigorous in the Constitution and in many ways you can think of going from the

112:99-113:63

United Kingdom of uh England Wales you know Scotland Northern Ireland the United States of America the network states of the internet okay where you go from the rights of Englishmen with the Magna Carta to Europeans African-Americans all the immigrants to the the you know the Americans or the um you know North America then you've got all the people of the world and uh so you you basically are more democratic and you're more capitalist because you're talking about internet capitalism not just Niche and state law capitalism in a sense it's the V3 right another way it's a V3 only about two percent of the world

113:63-114:20

um is uh over 35 native born American can qualify to be president of the United States but 100 of the world you could become the president of a network state there might be a you know Palestinian Washington or a you know Brazilian Hamilton right and now rather than say okay maybe you're maybe you have a small percentage chance of immigrating to the US and a small percent chance of your descendant you know becoming like you know a president now we can just say you can start online and you know what maybe this person is so exceptional they have Americans coming to their you know Network state

114:20-114:84

right you don't think that kind of thing is possible with like the rich get richer in a digital space too the people with more followers uh have friends that have followers and they like I don't think it's a rich get richer I think what happens is um so this is an important concept it is it's multi-axis right that is to say for example um just the introduction of the Bitcoin axis right uh and those you because it didn't exist pre-2009 now it exists um those people who are rich in BTC terms are only partially correlated with those who are rich in USD terms there's all these folks essentially BTC is

114:84-115:52

Bitcoin and USD is US dollar yes so that's a new axis and eth is yet another axis right you ethereum eth is ethereum right so you are essentially getting new social systems which are actually net inequality decreasing because before you only had USD Millionaires and now you have a new track and then another track and another track right you have different hierarchies different ladders right and so on net you have more ladders to climb and so it's not the rich getting richer in fact old money in some ways is a last to cryptocurrency um old money and old States I think those people who are the most focused on

115:52-116:14

you might call it reform I would call it control okay the most focused on control the old world who have the least incentive to switch they will the rich will get poorer because it will be the poor or those who are politically powerless politically poor who go and seek out these new States yeah I I didn't mean in the actual money but yes okay there's other ladders I meant in in terms of influence political and social influence in uh these new network States you you I think said that basically anybody can become president of a network State just like anybody can come see you have a startup company of course whether people follow

116:14-116:71

you it's another matter but anybody can go and found one go ahead sorry oh from the perspective that anyone can found one anyone could found I see we don't think it's implausible that uh you know somebody from Brazil or Nigeria I mean most quote billionaires in the world are not American and in fact actually here's another important point it's far easier to become a tech billionaire than become or a billionaire period than become president of the United States there's less than 50 U.S presidents ever all time okay it is a much more realistic ambition to become a billionaire than become president there's like thousands of billionaires

116:71-117:34

for what in fact 75 of them are outside the US and many of those have been you know some of them are like energy and oil which is often based on political connections but a very large chunk of the rest are Tech okay and uh that's something where you're mining but you're mining online by hitting Keys as opposed to with the pickaxe you know in Granite right so the point is that we think it's totally understandable today for there to be a you know huge founder who comes out of Vietnam or you know South America like that like you can name Founders from all over the world right exceptional people can rise from all the world to run giant companies why can

117:34-117:92

they not rise to run giant new countries and the answer has been developed a mechanism yet right um and just as another example I talked about this in the book the talibutarin is far more qualified than Jerome Powell right or anybody at the Federal Reserve he actually built a car and managed a monetary policy in a currency from scratch okay as a 20-something right obviously that's a more accomplished person than somebody who just inherited an economy this is a lot of people can push back at that and say that the the people that initially build a thing aren't necessarily the best ones

117:92-118:51

to manage a thing once it scales and actually has impact sometimes sometimes but Zuck has done a good job of both I think vitalik has done a good job of both right that's not an inherent truth well so actually you built the thing you will be the best person to run it I will agree with you on that and actually I talk about this in the book uh or I've got an essay on this called founding versus inheriting okay and the premise is actually that the classic example you know the saying shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations it means the guy who starts out poor and builds a fortune his son maintains it and his dissipate grandson dissipates it right

118:51-119:09

why is short sleeves a symbol of poverty well back in the past it was kind of like you know you're just working with your you're not you're not white collar you're back to working with your hands you're just oh yeah yeah we're working class or something like that right so essentially that the the grandson squanders it right and you know in sense by the way um just to talk about that for a second if you have two children and four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren and 16 and so on and an older family is you know they were much bigger right six you know children is not uncommon whatever Fortune you

119:09-119:74

have is now split six ways and then six ways and six ways again so with the exception of primogeneature where the oldest son inherits all the way down the majority of your descent is just a few Generations out have probably inherited none of that fortune unless it has compound to such an extent that it's like up 6X over 20 years right so it's actually hard to maintain a quote rule in class in the sense that this person who's like four generations down has you know uh like 1 16 of the DNA you know one over two to the fourth right of their their cyan who built a fortune so it's not even like the same is it the same family even right is the fortune

119:74-120:19

actually in the family so most people don't think a few Generations out they just kind of think oh Marx is right there's always been a rich and a poor it's actually much more Dynamic than that because you literally like what is even the family when it's diluted out you know 1 16th right um if you're 1 16 the Rockefeller are you a rock filler whether you're 15 16 something else would you have the Rockefeller Fortune probably not right now are there's again primogenitor where the guy who inherits the name all the way through um that would be one way to pass it down

120:19-120:77

but even that person doesn't necessarily have the qualities of the guy who you know the cultural qualities of other qualities guys like four generations past they tend to squander it right so this actually brings us to you know coming back up to governance the system the the guys who built the United States you know like Washington and Hamilton these are giants right these are founders and the the folks today are like not the the grandson but like the 40th generation heir of a factory that somebody else built like think about a factory and you have you know this grandchild or great grandchild that inherits a factory most the time it's

120:77-121:34

just cranking out widgets and the Greek grandson is cashing checks they have been selected as legitimate Heir because it's the you know the founder passes down to his son Pastor Jones's grandson just great grandson so legitimacy is there they've got title they can show I own this Factory okay they can cash the checks there's professional managers there everything seems fine until one day that factory has to go from making you know widgets to making masks for covet or something else it has to change directions to do something it hasn't done before none of that capability for invention and reinvention is present anymore these

121:34-121:88

people have inherited something that they could not build from scratch because they could not build from scratch they can't even maintain it this is an important point the ability to build from scratch is so important because if some part breaks and you don't know why it was there can you even maintain it no you can't okay unless all the replacement parts in the know-how to fit them together is there you can't repair this so in 2009 Mother Jones had a story that said that the U.S military had forgotten how to make some kinds of nuclear weapons because there's a part where all the guys who knew how to make it had like aged out or left okay and

121:88-122:50

this was some like Arrow gel or something like that it was it was rumored okay thing is um you're seeing you know increasingly for example you've got uh wildfires in California you've got you know water that's not potable in Jackson you've got power outages in Texas um you're seeing a lot of the infrastructure of the US is just less functional I think probably part of that is due to civil engineering not being that sexy field people aging out and just domain knowledge being lost and The Heirs who win you know the role of mayor or

122:50-123:01

whatever of this town don't have the ability to build it from scratch or just selected for legitimacy not competence okay so once you think about this concept of founding versus inheriting and I've got the whole essay which talks about this um of course the alternative to somebody who's legitimate but not competent what people will say is oh we need like uh you know an authoritarian to be in control of everything and then their their hope is that that person is competent but they don't have legitimacy because if they're just installed it's just like a authoritarian ruler 50 of the population is really mad at them

123:01-123:55

they don't have title just grab the title you know maybe they can exert enough Force but that's the problem with kind of the authoritarian you know dictator or takeover right so the alternative the third version is the founder who combines both legitimacy and competence because they start from scratch and they attract people to their vision and they build it from scratch and so you need is the ability to constantly do refoundings rebirths so if you imagine a world that is primarily Network States can you help me imagine what that looks like now there's several ways to imagine

123:55-124:16

things which is how many of them are there and how often do they the new ones pop up there could be thousands given seven billion people eight billion people on Earth yeah yeah so there's Network state in the like the precise definition I have in the book which is a diplomatically recognized entity and there's never seen sort of the loose definition where you know one thing that's interesting is this term has become a lowercase term really fast okay yeah like in the sense of Google became lowercase Google for like Googling or like uber became lowercase Uber like if you go to the networkseed.com front session reviews or you go to

124:16-124:65

search.twitter.com and put put in network State you'll see it's just become like a word or a phrase okay so that means it's sort of whatever I intend it to mean people will use it to mean what they want it to me right okay right the internet you've become well first like you're a meme and this book is a meme am I a meme okay maybe I mean but the the book is a book that I think is a good meme that's actually why I wanted to make it free I wanted people to take it out there make it their own and one of the things I say at the beginning and I'll come back to this thing is it's a toolbox not a Manifesto even if you dislike 70 of it eighty

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percent of it 90 of it if there's something that's useful to you you can take that and use it just like a like a library you know a software Library you might just use one function there great I'm glad I've delivered you some value right that's my purpose in this right you're not iron Rand no I'm not Iran basically the whole point of this actually is it's it's polytheistic poly statistic poly domestic it's genuinely is it polyamorous it's not polyamorous okay um though somebody might have love advice in the book I didn't I didn't see it so did you talk about love and I do not talk about love uh rather maybe not

125:19-125:77

to you not that I don't believe in love love is great all right I will accept you offer to write a guest chapter in your in your V2 book about love all right great um uh because there is some aspect that's very interesting which at which parts of human civilization require physical contact physical uh because it seems like more more can be done in a digital space yeah but as I said we work for example but you're not going to build a self-driving car city in digital space you're not going to be able to do all cars at all well you're well sure sure but let's say you're not going to be able to get to Mars in a purely

125:77-126:32

digital thing you need to build you know you have a little rocket launch pad you're not going to be able to do all the Innovative biomedicine whether it's you know all the um you know have you seen bioelectricity or there's there's stuff on regenerative medicine stems all this stuff you you just can't do that digitally right we're still physical beings you know so you need physical space but how do we get that right so that this is this is meant to wind its way through various roadblocks in the so-called you know actually my term from many years ago the idea is it's been to wind its way through that year maze to find how to

126:32-126:90

use bits to re-lock unlock innovation in atoms the idea is within the bigger prime number maze or go back to visualizing the number of states and how often are they born so let me first let me first anchor this because people just to give some numbers right how many U.N listed countries are there like 196 193 okay and there's some that are on the border like Taiwan or Israel right uh where they're not I mean Israel is a country but it's not recognized by every country or what have you right is Texas a country no but um right okay so within that list of about 200 countries okay I've got a graph in the book that shows that most

126:90-127:47

countries are actually small countries um about there's 12 countries that have less than 100 000 people by the UN definition of a country there's another 20 something that have between 100 000 and 1 million a generator 50 or 60 something that have between a million and 10 million so most countries in the UN are less than 10 million people there's only 14 countries that are over 100 million people okay so most countries are small countries is kind of surprising to us because most people live in big countries okay and uh so now you're like okay well I've built social networks that are bigger than that I've

127:47-127:97

you have a following this bigger than a hundred thousand people you're following that's bigger than you know a small country like cure body or what have you right and uh okay so that that first change is feasibility you think of a country as this huge huge huge thing if it's actually smaller than many many countries are smaller than social networks that you've built okay number one uh number two is the number of U.N listed countries um even though it's been flat-ish for the last 30 years with like you know a few things like South Sudan and East Timor that that have come online there's a graph that I posted which shows that

127:97-128:53

it's increased by about from about 40 or 50 something at the end of uh World War II um when the end was set up to 197 today there's been like kind of a steady increase in particular with all the decolonization all the countries that got their independence first from the British Empire and then from the Soviet Empire right that imperial breakup led to new countries okay and so the question is is that flat forever well the number of new currencies similarly increased for a while roughly one per country or thereabouts and then it was flat for a while and then suddenly it's gone completely

128:53-129:11

vertical that's an interesting graph right where it's like linear ish then it's flat and then it just goes like this now you can Define you can you can argue where the boundary is for quite a new currency okay um but I think Bitcoin certainly counts I think ethereum certainly counts in terms of just its scale and adoption worldwide so at least you have two if you take the broad Church view you have a thousand or something like that right somewhere in between you might say how many currencies are above the market cap of an existing previously recognized fiat currency like which got onto the

129:11-129:66

leaderboard right there's a website just like coinmarketcap.com that's like a site for like cryptocurrency tracking is very popular okay there's a fun site called fiatmarketcap.com which shows where Bitcoin is relative to the Fiat currencies of the world and it's like last night checklist number 27 somewhere in between um the Chilean Peso and the Turkish lira or something okay and had previously been close to crack in the top ten okay and I think it will will again at some point so we know that you can have a currency out of nowhere that ranks with the Fiat currencies of the world could you have a country out of nowhere that

129:66-130:18

ranks with the countries of the world so this is this is maybe the fastest way you probably should have said this at the very beginning if you go to the network state in one image okay that kind of summarizes what a number state looks like in a visual just one single Visual and the visual is of a dashboard and the dashboard shows something that looks like a social network except you're visualizing it on the map of the world and it's got Network nodes all over the place 100 people here a thousand people there they're all connected together the total population of the people in this social network is about 1 million uh

130:18-130:77

people so 1.7 million people in this example and some of the buildings are some of the people are just Singletons they're just folks in their apartment who can conceptualize themselves as citizens of this network State and they've got the flag on their wall right and the digital passport on their on their uh um phone along with the digital currency others are groups of hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of people that have all taken over a neighborhood just like chinatowns exist right just like you know um uh intentional communities existed uh they just basically you know go in

130:77-131:30

crowdfund lane together right and these are all networked together you know just like the islands of Indonesia are separated by ocean these are islands of this network state that are separated by internet okay so it conceptualize themselves as something and at the very top of the dashboard there's something very important which is the population annual income and real estate footprint of this network shape so population we already discussed you can build an online social network we know you can build something which has a population that's bigger than these hundred thousand or million person countries one of the new things contributions in

131:30-131:82

network state has say that you cannot just succeed in population you can exceed in real estate footprint because one way to think about it is um I don't exactly know the numbers on foreign ownership in Estonia but let's say to first order the million something estonians own and could afford Estonia okay a million people could buy a territory that is the size of Estonia right that's probably true to for sure there might be some overseas ownership but it's probably true okay you probably find a country for which that's true what that means is a million people digitally could buy

131:82-132:40

distributed territory that is probably greater than or equal to the size of Estonia especially if they're buying like desert territory or stuff like that which means now you have a digital country that is ranking not just in people not just in real estate footprint you know so so it's also in real estate with the with the countries of the world so you start ranking and you're bigger than these unlisted countries in your population and your real estate and the third is income okay you can prove on chain that you have a income for the for the digital population that is above a certain amount right this is what I call

132:40-132:96

the census of the network State and it's actually such a crucial component that I have it in you know the essay uh the Network's in a thousand words the post office and census were actually important enough to be written into the US Constitution okay um partly because it was like for apportionment of Representatives partly because there's a feedback mechanism and so that census was done every 10 years and it's provided a crucial snapshot of the US for the last several hundred years okay now here this this census of a digital State could be done every 10 seconds okay conducting it is actually not the hard part you know the hard part

132:96-133:51

is proving it because how will the world believe that you actually have a hundred thousand people spread across countries couldn't there all be Bots could be ba AIS proof of human proof of income and also proof of real estate start to actually rise dramatically in importance because you're saying we're going to rank this digital State on the leaderboard of the the Fiat States okay and so it means that people will start to at first they'll just laugh at it once you start claiming you have 10 000 citizens people are going to start poking and be

133:51-134:03

like Is that real prove that it's real okay so I have a whole talk on this actually I'm giving it this uh channeling conference but essentially how do you prove this right the short answer is crypto oracles plus auditing the summer longer answer is you put these assertions on chain these proof of human um these proof of real estate Etc assertions on chain okay and there's people who are writing to the to the blockchain and they are digitally signing their assertions now of course simply just putting something on chain

134:03-134:52

doesn't make it true it just says you can prove not that the what is written on chain is true but that the metadata is true you can show who wrote it the other digital signature what they wrote their hash and when they wrote their timestamp so you can establish those things in metadata of who what and when was written Who's the who in that picture so for example how do you know it's a one human great question so let's say you've bought a bunch of your pieces of territory from Blackstone okay as a function of that blackstone.eth signs

134:52-135:07

and on-chain receipt that says this Lex friedman.e bought this piece of property from us and it has you know like it's a thousand square meters and and this is put on chain they sign it okay that's a that's their digital receipt just like you might get an email receipt when you buy a piece of property or something okay it's just put not online but on chain and it's signed by Blackstone or whatever real estate vendor you you buy it from it could be a company it could obviously be an individual right and so you have a bunch of these assertions you let's say

135:07-135:62

there's 47 different real estate vendors I know vendors in atypical term there but just bear with me right 47 different real estate um sellers that you've bought all of your territory from each of them put digital signatures that are asserting that a certain amount of real estate was bought and at square meters its location or whatever unless they want to prove the sum of all that is now your real estate footprint okay and now the question is was that real well because they signed what they put on chain you can do things like you can audit let's say Blackstone is signed 500 000 properties and they've sold them

135:62-136:20

and put them on chain and I'm not talking about 2022 or 2023 but 2030 right it'll be a few years out but people are doing this type of stuff they're putting this up on you so you get that on chain receipt they've got 500 000 of these what you can do is uh just sampling okay you pick a subset n of them let's say 500 properties around the world you go there you actually go and independently look at what the square footprint is and then from that you can see what was the actual your measurement versus their reported and then you can via Cisco inference extrapolate that if they were randomly selected to the rest

136:20-136:83

of the properties and get a reliability score for blackstone's reporting of its real estate square footage who does the so that's the auditing stuff that's the auditing step so the the crypto Oracle is the auditable on chain uh what did you say assertions that's right yeah about like who bought stuff with who I still have to get to the proof of human but auditing there's a bunch of people randomly checking that you're not full of [ __ ] that's right so who is in charge of the auditing though so it could be a big four like a PWC and uh basically the the accountants that do corporate balance sheet and cash flow and and keeps them in check

136:83-137:35

corruption I'm just imagining a world full of network States yeah it's a good question so you know at a certain point you get to who watches the Watchers right yeah and oh well the government is meant to keep the accountants accountable and you know Arthur Anderson actually did have a whole flame out in you know the um around the time the Enron thing um so it is possible that there's corrupt accountants or bad accountants or what have you but of course the government itself is corrupt in many ways and prints all this money and seizes all these assets and surveils everybody and so on and so forth so uh

137:35-137:98

you know the answer to your question is going to be um probably exit in the sense that if those accountants they are themselves going to digitally sign a report and put it on chain okay so they're going to say we believe that x y and Z's um you know reports are on chain were this reliable and here's our study if they falsify that well if somebody finds that eventually then that person is down weight and then you have to go to another accountant right is there ways to mess with this I mean I just let me breathe in and out as I mentioned some of the heaviest [ __ ] I've ever read

137:98-138:67

uh so because I visited Ukraine I've read read famine by an Applebaum bloodlands yep and it's just a lot of coverage of the senses I mean there's a lot of coverage of a lot of things but in Ukraine in the 1930s uh Stalin messed a lot with the senses to hide the fact that sort of a lot of people died from starvation they did that with the cooperation of Arthur g salzburger's New York Times company Like Walter Durante falsified all those reports there's several parties involved is there can there be several parties involved in this case that manipulate the truth as as it is represented by the crypto

138:67-139:23

Oracle And as it is checked by the auditing mechanism it is possible but the more parties are involved in falsifying something the more defections there are so that's why you basically have you know um another level of auditing you know it's fundamentally the answer right and really I think what it comes back to is if you're showing your work right this is the difference between crypto economics and Fiat economics you know the the Bitcoin blockchain anybody can download it and run verification on it okay this is different than government inflation stats which people don't believe right because the process is

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just you know it is true that CPI methodology is published and so on but it is not something which people feel reflects their actual basket of goods right and so the independent verifiability is really the core of what true audibility is and so then to your question it's hard for some group to be able to collude because the blockchain is public and everything they've written to it is public and so if there's an error it's easier in some ways to tell the truth than to lie because the truth is just naturally consistent across the world whereas lies can be found out even you know ciscal Tesla you know benford's law

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uh yes right it's something where the digits in like a real um if you take the last digit or the first last year the first digit I think I think it's the first first digit right so you take the first digit in um an actual financial statement you look at the distribution of like how many ones and how many twos how many threes the percentages um it has actually a you you'd guess it might be oh each one will be equally random it'd be ten percent it's not like that actually uh there's a certain distribution that it has and fake data um doesn't look like that uh but real data does that's weird it's interesting

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right bedford's law also called the first digit law states that the leading digits in a collection of data sets are probably going to be small for example most numbers in a set about 30 will have a leading digit of one yeah so that's a great example of what we're talking about earlier the observational leading to the theory oh there's a benfer's law of controversy I'm looking that up but for his long controversy bedford's law of controversy is an adage from the 1980 novel Timescape stating passion is inversely proportional to the amount of real information available the adage was quoted in an international

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drug policy article in peer-reviewed Social such can I just say how much I love Wikipedia I have the founder Wikipedia coming on this very podcast very soon and uh I think the world is a better place because Wikipedia exists one of the things you wanted to come on and talk about is the ways that he believes that Wikipedia is going wrong so in technical truth it's great remember things I remember I think earlier on like technical truths versus political truths and Technical truths it's great on political truths it's like a defamation engine um just as one example okay this is something that you know I was gonna

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write up but there was a scam called hpz token that managed to edit Wikipedia nobody detected it it said that I was like the founder of hbz token that you were the founder yeah I had nothing to do with this and people were scammed out of it because Google just pushes Wikipedia links to you know High to high on Google and people like well it's in this Wikipedia therefore it's real right Wikipedia as the bio of living persons thing they should just allow people to delete their profile because they have zero quality control and it's literally facilitating fraud right where people will maliciously edit and then do things with them and nobody cares or is looking

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at it Beyond you know the fraudsters and this is happening if that was happening that was like undetected I wasn't paying attention to this this was like there for for like I don't know weeks or months totally undetected that literally facilitated fraud right and fundamentally the issue is that Wikipedia doesn't have any concept of who's editing or property rights or anything like that right it is also something which is it used to be something in the early 2000s mid-2000s people said oh you know it's Wikipedia how trustworthy can be Britannic is reviewed and that's being forgotten and now it's become over trusted right

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remember the things like the more trust something gets the less trustworthy it often becomes it kind of abuses the power right so um what I'm interested in you know Google actually had a Model A while back called knol knol uh null was something where when there were different versions of of a Wikipedia style page you had Google Docs like permissions on them for example you might have 10 different versions of the israeli-palestinian conflict okay and each one had an editor and folks that they could Grant edit rights and so on but this way you would actually be able to see different

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versions of a page and they might have different versions of popularity but this way you wouldn't have edit words you'd have Forks right and they would all kind of you know coexist and then people could review them and now you can see different versions of something versus the thing that just kind of rewards dog and persistence or being an editor or something like that the other thing is a lot of the folks who have editorial privileges at Wikipedia are there from the early 2000s and most of India wasn't online then most of Africa wasn't online then right so there's this inherited power that exists which uh again was fresh and

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Innovative 10 or 20 years ago but um it's now kind of outdated yeah I want to see some data though I want to see some data because we can always um I mean this is the the here here's we we often highlight small anecdotal okay I'll give you uh cases hold on a second uh we often highlight issues in society in the world in anything by taking a specific example taking anecdotal data and saying there's a problem here I want to know on net how much positive is being added to the world because of it my experience that I try to be empathetic and open-minded my exploration of Wikipedia has been such that it is a breath of fresh air

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in terms of the the breadth and depth of knowledge that is there now you can say there's bias built in there's Wars that are incentivized not to produce truth but to produce a consensus around a particular narrative but that is how the entirety of human civilization operates and we have to see where is it better and where is it worse in terms of platforms I think Wikipedia was an improvement over what came before but has a lot of flaws you're right that absolutely um sometimes people can over fixate on the anecdotal but sometimes the anecdotal illustrates a general pattern okay for example one thing that happens

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frequently in Wikipedia is um there are editors who will plant a story and then they will then go and use that story as like a neutral third party to win an edit War so here's a phenomenon that happens in Wikipedia you have an editor who has whose privilege above just random users okay who will plant a story and then cite that story as if it was a neutral third party so there's a site called wikipediaocracy okay and it discusses the case of a person named peppermint who had a name that they didn't want included their so-called dead name on their Wikipedia profile and there's a Wikipedia editor named

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tenebrae who people allege was a Newsday reporter or or writer that put a piece into Newsday that dead name that dead name peppermint and then was able to cite it on the Wikipedia article as if it was like a neutral third party when it actually wasn't when when people alleged it was the same guy okay now that is not an uncommon thing that actually that's what I wanted on okay I know how many articles I'm not uh who's auditing I'm dancing with you not against you sure okay I'm saying how many articles have that kind of of War where douchebags are manipulating each other so that's the question what's the audit has Wikipedia actually been

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audited right who are the editors like who's actually writing this stuff it is actually something where uh again on technical topics I think it's pretty good on non-technical topics there's something called uh the Wikipedia reliable sources policy it's a fascinating page okay so it actually takes a lot of the stuff that we have been you know the world has been talking about in terms of what's a reliable source of information and you know so and so forth It's called the Wikipedia reliable sources perennial sources okay and if you go to this page okay which I'm just going to send to you now all right you will literally see every media

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Outlet in the world and they're colored gray green yellow or red okay um and so red is like untrustworthy green is trust where the yellow is like neutral okay now this actually makes Wikipedia's epistemology explicit they are marking a source as trustworthy or untrustworthy for example you are not allowed to cite social media on Wikipedia which is actually an enormous part of what people are posting you will you instead you have to cite a mainstream media outlet that puts the Tweets in the mainstream article and only then can it be cited in

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Wikipedia by the way to push back this is a chance um that those are rules written on the sheet of paper I have seen Wikipedia in general play in the gray area that these rules create oh well if you are an editor then you can get but you can use the rules and you can because there's there's a lot of contradictions within the rules you can use them to in in the ways you said to achieve the ends you want it really boils down to the incentives the motivations of the editors and one of the magical things about Wikipedia the positive versus the negative is that it seems like a very small number of

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people same with stack Overflow can do uh an incredible amount of good editing and um aggregation of good knowledge now as you said that works seems to work much better for technical things over which there's not a significant division the yeah so uh some of that has to do less with the rules and more with the which is the human beings involved well but here's the thing is um so first let me take this I should finish off this point of reliable source perennial sources right so if you go to this you'll see that Al Jazeera is marked green but let's say uh the Cato Institute is marked

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um yellow right the nation is marked holy [ __ ] oh snap okay okay sure yes right the nation is Mark green but National Review is Mark yellow okay you could probably go and do so what's good about this is it makes it epistemology explicit right you could actually take this table and you could also look at all the past edit Wars and so on over it and take a look at what things are starting to get marked as red or yellow and what things try and get marked as green and I'm pretty sure you're going to find some kind of partisan polarization that comes out of them right number one uh number two is once something gets marked as being

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yellow or red yeah then all links and all references to it are pulled out for example coindesk okay was marked as being like uh gosh I think it's marked as red coindesk which is actually like I get a lot of useful information from coinda that's right but it's marked as red why because there's some Wikipedia editors who hate cryptocurrency it's a cryptocurrency on Wikipedia has been a huge topic where they've just edited out all the positive stuff and these are senior editors of Wikipedia who can control what sources are considered reliable so now knocked out quindesk they've knocked out social

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media they only allow mainstream media coverage and not even all mainstream media only those they've marked as green yeah this is the manipulation of I want to know how many articles are affected by it and hundreds of Nets hundreds of thousands you could just say that randomly affected there's different levels of effect in terms of it actual having a significant impact on the quality of the article let me give you an example let me cover example right um the fact that people cannot cite direct quotes on social media but can only cite the rehash of those quotes in a mainstream media outlet and not just

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any mainstream media outlet but those that are colored green on the Wikipedia reliable perennial sources policy is a structural shift on every single article to make Wikipedia aligned with U.S mainstream media corporations right I am as often Playing devil's advocate to counter a point so that the disagreement reveals some profound wisdom that's what I'm doing here but also in that task here I'm trying to understand exactly how much harm is created by the bias within the team of editors that we're discussing and how much of Wikipedia is technical knowledge

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for example the Russian invasion of Ukraine mm-hmm the Wikipedia article I've seen there now that changes very aggressively a lot and I hear from every side on this but it did not seem biased to me here's like as compared to uh mainstream media in the United States so now I'm going to sound extremely woke yeah okay um if you go and look at this all right times of India is yellow but Mother Jones Jacobin okay they are green right so a niche mostly white Western like partisan left Outlet is Mark green but a billion people you know like the times of India is marked yellow right that's a

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structural bias towards Western media Outlets and Western editors when much of the rest of the world hadn't gotten online or I would just love to see in terms of the actual article what ideas are being censored sheltered shifted okay I would love I just think it's an open I'm not uh sort of uh edit logs are there that logs are public yeah it would be fascinating yeah is there a way to explore the ways that narratives are shifted because of short so a very simple one is if you were to pull all the logs of Wikipedia you could see how many times are social media links disallowed okay like first of all think about like

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this how many I mean just the fact that social media is not allowed to like be cited on Wikipedia or inconsistently you think that's a problem it's a huge problem you can't cite let's say Jeff bezos's own tweet you have to cite some random media questions here's the thing uh and sorry sorry if I'm interrupting please uh hopefully I'm adding to it I think I think they're trying to create friction as to uh the source is used because if you can use social media then you can use basically Bots to create a bunch of sources right and then that you can almost automate the editor War right like here's the thing is basically

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Wikipedia initially you know like said oh we'll only cite mainstream media uh as a way of boosting its credibility in the early 2000s okay when it's credibility was low now it's sort of become merged with the US establishment and it only cites these things whose trust I mean have you seen the graphs on trust in mainstream media like it's plummeted it's down to like 10 or something like that right so the most trusted sources for Wikipedia are untrusted by the population yeah true that that feels like it's a fixable technological problem I think I'm underinformed and my gut says

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we're both together under informed to do a rigorous three to four hour discussion about Wikipedia hold on a second I I I I think I have a gut uh sort of developed feeling about which articles not to trust in Wikipedia I think I need to make that explicit also I have a kind of an understanding that you don't go to this don't go to Wikipedia for this particular topic like don't go to Wikipedia for an article on Donald Trump or Joe Biden there's going to be if I did I would go to maybe sections that don't have room for insertion of bias or like the section on controversy or accusations of racism or so on or sexual assault are usually not

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trust Wikipedia on those sections like math that'll be great right Wikipedia is great for that on many topics that do not have a single consensus truth it's structurally shifted towards um basically white Western liberals will quits right fundamentally that's the demographic of the Wikipedia what kind of Articles do you think are affected by this let's let's like think about like everything that's not math and Technology I think that's the strong statement so we can like I said uh war in Ukraine I I I sure um I think that's the strongest statement I there's so much

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effect I guess I'm saying affected to a large degree even his uh major battles in history battle Stalingrad or sure like uh that's not math so you think all of that is affected to a point where it's not a process Source absolutely if you look at the edit words for example in Stalin versus Hitler Hitler's the tone on Hitler starts out legitimately and justifiably as basically genocidal maniacal dictator with Stalin there's a fair number of Stalin apologists that edit out mention of genocide from the first few paragraphs I am playing Devil's Advocate in part

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but I also amped too underinformed to do the level of Defense I would like to provide for the wisdom that is there for the knowledge that is there I don't want to use the word truth but sure for some level of knowledge that is there in uh Wikipedia I think I really worry about I know you don't mean this but a cynical interpretation of what you're saying which is don't trust anything right now Wikipedia I think you're being very consistent and eloquent in the way you're describing the issues Wikipedia and I don't have enough um foreign actual specific examples to give where

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there is some like still battle for for truth that's happening that's that's outside of the bias of society I just I I think if we naturally distrust every source of information there is a general distrust of institutions and a distrustless source of knowledge that leads to an apathy in the cynicism about the world in general if you believe if you believe a lot of conspiracy theories you basically tune out from this Collective Journey that we're on towards the truth and that that's that like if it's not it's not even just Wikipedia I just think

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Wikipedia was at least for time and maybe I tuned out uh maybe because I am too focused on computer science and um engineering and Mathematics but to me Wikipedia for a long time was a source of calm Escape from the from the political battles of ideology and as you're quite eloquently describing it is not it has become part of the battleground of political ideology I just would love to know where the boundaries of that are you know Glenn Greenwald has observed this um lots of other folks you know for example I'm definitely not the only

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person who's observed that Wikipedia a lot of let me just State because I'm sensing this and because of your eloquence and clear Brilliance here that a lot of people are going to immediately agree with you okay and this is what I am also troubled by not this is not you sure but I often see that people will detect cynicism especially when it is phrased as eloquent it's yours and will look at a natural dumbass like me and think that Lexi's just being naive look at him trusting Wikipedia let me argue here let me argue okay can you please do that because you could do that better than me no no no Alexa I enjoy talking to you

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and I'm doing Devil's Advocate a little bit because I I do really want to be I am afraid about the forces uh that like of basically editors talk of authority of talking down to people and censoring information yeah so let me first argue your side and let me say something okay which is what you are reacting to is oh even those things I thought of as constants are becoming variables where is the Terra Firma if we cannot trust anything then everybody's just it's Anarchy and it's chaos like there's literally no consensus reality and anybody can say anything and so on and

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so forth right and I think that there's two possible deviations from you know let's say that the mainstream you know obviously people talk about like Q Anon for example is like this kind of thing where people just make things up you know they just go totally quit supply chain independent from mainstream media and if mainstream media is a distorted gossamer of quasi-truth these guys go to Just total fiction as opposed to like right the alternative to Q Anon is not blue and on mainstream media but satoshienon okay which is an upward deviation okay not a downward deviation to say there is no such thing as truth but rather the

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upward deviation is decentralized cryptographic truth not centralized corporate or government truth okay so how does the decentralization of Wikipedia look like great question it's this concept of The Ledger of record first whether you're Israeli or Palestinian Japanese or Chinese Democrat or Republican those people agree on the state of the Bitcoin blockchain hundreds of billions of dollars is managed without weapons okay um across tribes with wildly varying ideologies right and what that means is that is a mechanism for getting literally

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consensus it's called consensus cryptographic consensus proof of work and when people can get consensus on this what they're getting consents on are basically bytes that determine who holds what Bitcoin this is exactly the kind of thing people would fight Wars over you know for hundreds of billions of dollars alone millions of dollars people will will kill each other over that in the past right so hundreds of billions of dollars people can get consensus truth on this in this highly adversarial environment right so the first generalization of that is it says you can go from bytes that reflect what Bitcoin somebody has

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to bytes that reflect what stocks bonds other kinds of assets people have that's the entire defy ethereum that whole Space okay basically the premise is if you go from consensus on one byte by induction you can go to consensus on invites depending on the cost of getting that consensus right and almost anything digital can be represented you know or everything digital can be represented as bytes right so now you can get consensus on certain kinds of digital information Bitcoin but then also any kind of financial instrument and then the next generalization is What I Call The Ledger of record many kinds of facts

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can be put partially or completely on chain it's not just proof of work and proof of stake there's things like proof of location proof of human proof of this proof of that the auditable oracles I talked about extend it further lots and lots of people are working on this right proof of solvency seeing that some actor has um enough of a bank balance to accommodate what they say they accommodate you can imagine many kinds of digital assertions can be turned into proof of X and proof of Y you start putting those on chain you now have a library of partially or completely provable facts

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okay this is how you get consensus as opposed to having a white Western Wikipedia editor or mostly white Western U.S media Corporation or the US government simply say what is true in a centralized fashion so do you think truth is such an easy thing as you get to higher and higher questions of politics is the problem that the consensus mechanism is being hacked or is the problem that truth is a difficult thing to figure out was the 2020 election rigged or not is the earth flat or not that's a scientific one that's why this is my technical versus

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political truth Spectrum yeah but even the Earth like well that that one is yeah never mind that's a bad example because that is very uh you can rigorously show that the Earth is not flat but um what there's some social phenomena political phenomena philosophical one that that will have a lot of debates historical stuff about uh uh about the different forces operating within Nazi Germany and uh stalinist Soviet Union and I think there's probably a lot of yeah like the historians debate about a lot of stuff like uh Blitz the book that talks about the

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influence of drugs in the Third Reich right were they on math or something yeah they are there's a lot of debates about how how truth what is the significance of meth on the actual behavior and decisions of Hitler and so on so there's still a lot of debates I is it so easy to fix with um decentralization I guess is the question so I actually have like basically chapter two of the network State book is on essentially this topic and so it's like 70 Pages or something like that so let me try to summarize what I think about on this the first is that there was an onion article that came out I I can't find it now anymore but it was

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about historians in the year 3000 writing about the late 90s and early 2000s and they're like yeah clearly Queen Brittany was a very powerful Monarch we can see um how many girls around the world worshiped her like I got and so it was very funny because it was a plausible Distortion of you know the current Society by you know a human civilization picking through the rubble a thousand years later yeah having no context on anything right and it's a very thought-provoking article because it says well to what extent is that us picking over Pompeii or the pyramids or even like you know the 1600s or the

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1700s like a few hundred years ago were basically sifting through artifacts and um you know Osama Berger actually has this concept like uh which is is obvious but it's also useful to have a name for it's like I think he calls it like dark history which is and again it might be getting this wrong but it's like only a small percentage of what the Greeks wrote down you know has come to us to the present day right so perhaps it's not just the winners who write history it's like the surviving records we have this extremely partial fragmentary record of history and sometimes there's some discovery that rewrites the whole thing don't like

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Gobekli tepies everything I know about that is from Rogan because he's a huge fan of that that kind of stuff yeah that like rewrites it and then there's a lot of debates there there's a lot of debates basically it's like the discovery of this site in Northern turkey that totally shifts our estimate of like when civilization started maybe pushing it back many thousands of years further in the past right you know the past it's like an inverse problem in physics right we're trying to reconstruct this from limited information right it's like x-ray crystallography it's an inverse problem right

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um it's it's Plato's Cave you know we're trying to reconstruct what the world looks like outside from these Shadows these these fragments that have been um given to us right or that we've found and um so in that sense as you find more information your estimate of the past changes right oh wow okay that pushes back civilization farther we thought that one Discovery just changes it so you want to try to given all the gaps in the data we have you want to try to remove bias from the process of trying to fill the gaps well so here's the thing um I think we're very close to the moment of it and that's why it'll sound

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crazy when I see it now but our descendants I I really do think of what the blockchain is and cryptographically verifiable history as being the next step after written history it's like on par with that because anybody who has the record the math is not going to change right math is constant across human time and space right so you know the value of pi is constant that's one of the few constants across all these different human civilizations okay um so somebody in the future assuming of course the digital record is actually intact to that point because you know

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the uh in theory digital stuff will persist in practice you have lost data and floppy drives and stuff like that in a sense in some ways digital is more persistent in some ways physical is more persistent okay but assuming we can figure out the the archival problem somehow then this future record at least it's internally consistent right you can run a bunch of the equivalents of checksums right the Bitcoin verification process just sum it all up and see that okay it's F of G of H of X and boom that that at least is internally consistent okay again it doesn't say that all the people who reported it were uh you know they

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could have put something on chain that's false but at least you know the metadata is likely to be very difficult to falsify and this is a new tool it's a really a new tool in terms of a robust um history that is expensive and technically challenging to edit and alter and that is the alternative to the stalin-esque rewriting of History by centralized power yeah I'm gonna have to do a lot actually reading and thinking about I'm actually as as you're talking I'm also thinking about the fact that I think 99 of my access to Wikipedia is is on technical topics um because I basically use it very

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similarly to stack Overflow and even there it doesn't have unit tests for example one thing that's a good way to put it right so one thing I remember again I might be wrong on this but I recall that the Kelly Criterion it's a it's actually quite a useful thing to know it's like how to optimally size your bets okay and you can have um given your kind of probability that some investment pays off or assume probability you can have bets that are too large bets are too small sometimes the Kelly Criterion it goes negative and actually it says you should actually take leverage you're so sure this is a good outcome that you should actually

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spend more than your current bankroll because you're going to get a good result right so it's a very sophisticated thing and as I recall many sites on the internet have the wrong equation and I believe that was reprinted on Wikipedia the wrong equation was put on Wikipedia as the Kelly Criterion for a while it's funny okay and so without unit tests see math is actually the kind of thing that you could unit test right you could literally have the assert on the right hand side today right the modern version we've got Jupiter we've got replit we've got all these things the modern version of Wikipedia

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um there's sites like golden.com for example like a you know the um there's there's a bunch of things I'm funding lots of stuff across the board you know on on this um and you know I'm not capitalizing these companies or capitalized independently but I'm trying to see if you know not just talk about a better version it's hard to build something better so actually go and build it and what you want is assertions that are actually reproduced you you don't just have the equation there you have a written down code you can hit enter you can download the page you can rerun it it's reproducible so the problem with

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that kind of reproducibility is that it adds friction it's harder to put together articles that do that kind of stuff unless you do an incredible job with ux and so on I the the thing thing that I think is interesting about Wikipedia on the technical side is that without the unit tests without the assertions it still often does an incredible job because the reason it's the the people that write those articles and I've seen this also in stack Overflow is are the people that care about this most and there's a pride to getting it right okay so let me agree and disagree with that right so

171:96-172:53

absolutely there's there's some good there there's uh I mean again do I think Wiki is a huge step up from what preceded it in some ways on the technical topics yes however you talk about the editing environment right like the markup for Wikipedia it's very you know mid-2000s right it is not it's a Craigslist yeah exactly if for a minimum for example it's not wysiwyg right so uh like medium or something like that you you know or ghost um you can just go in and type and it looks exactly like it looks on the page here you have to go to a uh a markup language where there can be editor

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conflicts and you hit enter and someone is over in your edit or something like that and you don't know how it looks on the page you might have to do a few you know previews or what have you it's number one so editing you talk about bearish ending that's that's the thing um number two is given that it might be read a thousand times for every one time it's written it is important to actually have the mathematical things unit tested if they can be given that we've got modern technology and that's something that's hard to like retrofit into this because it's so kind of ossified right right there's the the interface on every side

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for the editor even just for the editors to check that say the editor wants to get it right we make it we want to make it really uh or not it should be easy but easier to check their work that's like debugging like a nice IDE for the that's right and the thing about this is um as I said because the truth is a global constant but like incorrectness you know right go ahead every happy family I love I love to think that like truths will have a nice debugger well so here's right so the thing is that what you can do is uh let's say you did have like a unit tested page for everything that's on Wikipedia first of all it

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makes a page more more useful because you can download it you can run it you can import it and so on second is it leads into one of the things that we can talk about I've sort of like a road map for building alternatives to not just existing companies but to many existing U.S institutions from media and tech companies to courts and government and you know Academia and non-profits the Wikipedia discussion actually relates to um how you improve on Academia right and so Academia right now one of the big problems this is kind of related to the oh boy okay the current institutions we don't have trust in them because the answer is is that the answer to trust no

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one right and I think the alternative is decentralized cryptographic trust or verification how does that apply to Academia first observation is we are seeing science being abused in the name of quote quote unquote science okay capital S science is Maxwell's equations that's that's the good one that's a good one right quote-unquote science is a paper that came out last week and the key thing is that capitalist science real science is about independent replication not prestigious citation

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that's the definition like all the journal stuff the professors all that stuff is just a superstructure that was set on top to make experiments more reproducible and that superstructure is now like dominating the underlying thing because people are just fixating on the prestige and the citation and not the replication right so how does that apply here once you start thinking about how many replications does this thing have Maxwell's equation I mean there's trillions of replications every time us speaking into this microphone right now you know we're testing um you know our theory of the

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electromagnetic field right uh or Electro and magnetic fields every single time you pick up a cell phone or use a computer you're you're putting our our knowledge to the test right whereas some paper that came out last week in science or nature may have zero independent replications yet it is being cited publicly as prestigious scientists from Stanford and you know Harvard and MIT all came up with X right and so the prestige is a substitute for the uh the actual replication so there's a concept called good heart's law okay I'm just going to quote it when a measure becomes a Target it seems to be a good measure Okay so

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for example uh backlinks on the web were a good signal for Google to use when people didn't know they were being used as a signal yeah you were talking you talked about uh quantity versus quality and pagerank was a pretty good approximation for quality yes such a fascinating thing by the way but yeah it's a fascinating thing we can talk about that but basically once people know that you're using this as a measure they will start to game it and uh so then you have this cycle where you know sometimes you have a fixed Point like Satoshi with proof of work was miraculously able to come up with a game where the gaming of it was

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difficult without just buying more compute right so it's actually it's a rare kind of game where knowledge of the game's rules didn't allow people to game the game yeah but a brilliant way to put it yeah which is one of the reasons that's brilliant is that it's you can describe the game and you can't mess with it exactly it's very hard to come up with something that's stable in this way it's actually on The Meta Point uh gosh there's a game where the rule of the game is to change the rules okay um it is uh you mean human civilization or what well yeah gosh it just called something nomik

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okay and oh um I see nomeg is a game where the rule of the game is to change the rules of the game yeah at first it seems insane then you realize that's Congress yeah right yeah literally What It Is So Meta because there are laws for elections that elect the editors of those laws who then change the laws that get them elected with gerrymandering and other stuff right that's a bad version we have to think about everything that the other way of thinking about it is this is what every software engineer is doing you are constantly changing the rules by editing software and pushing code updates and

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and so on right so you know many games devolve into the metagame of who writes the rules of the game right become essentially games of nomic proof of work is so amazing because it didn't devolve in such a way right it became very hard to rewrite the rules once they got set up very financially and technically expensive that's not to say it will always be like that but it's very hard to change if we could take a small tangent we'll return to Academia I'd love to ask you about how to fix the media as well after we fix Academia yeah these are all actually related related yeah Wikipedia media and Academia are all related to the question

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of independent replication versus prestigious citation sure so that the problem is Authority and Prestige as you see it from Academia and the media and Wikipedia with the editors we have to have uh a mechanism where sort of um the data and the reproducibility is what dominates the discourse that's right and so when we think about this is a citizen in um I think a tweeted this or something but Western Civilization actually has a break last vacation emergency button it's called decentralization right Martin Luther hit it when the Catholic church was too

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ossified and centralized decentralized with a Protestant Reformation okay he said you know at the time people were able to uh pay for indulgences like that is to say they could sin they could say okay I sinned five times yesterday here's you know the equivalent of 50 bucks okay I'm done with my sin I can go and send some more okay this is really by their way out of sin okay now people debate as to how frequent those intelligence were these are one of the things he invade against in the 95 Theses so decentralization boom break away from this ossified church start something new right and in theory the quote religious wars of the 1600s that

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ensued were about things like where you know the wafer was a body of Christ or what have you but in part they were also about power and whether the centralized entity would write all the rules or the decentralized one would and so what happened was obviously Catholicism still exists but protism also exists okay and uh similarly here you've got this ossified Central institution where you know forget about I mean there's complicated studies or difficult to summarize but when you have the science saying masks don't work and then they do okay which everybody saw and this is not like you know everybody knew that there

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was not like some massive study that came out that changed our perspective on mask wearing it was something that was just insistently asserted as this is what the science says and then without any acknowledgment the science said something different you know the next day right I remember because I was in the middle of this this debate um and I think you could justify masks early in the pandemic as a useful precaution and then later you know post-vaccination perhaps not necessarily I think that's like the rational way of thinking about it but the point was that such levels of uncertainty were not acknowledged instead people you know

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were basically lying in the name of Science and public policy uh was you know it was wasn't uh Public Health it was political Health okay so something like that you're spending down all the credibility of an institution for basically nothing okay and so in such a circumstance what do you do break glass decentralized what does that look like Okay so let me just describe what I call crypto science uh by analogy to you know crypto just like the Fiat science crypto science right Fiat economics okay so um in any experiment any paper when it comes out right it's you can sort of divide it into the

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analog to digital and the purely digital okay so the analog digital is you're running some instruments you're getting some data okay and then once you've got the data you're generating figures and tables and text and a PDF from that data right leave aside the data collection set for now I'll come back to that right just a purely digital part what does the ideal quote academic paper look like in 2022-2023 first uh there's this concept called truly called reproducible research okay reproducible research is the idea that the PDF should be regenerated from the data and code okay so you should be able

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to hit enter and regenerate it why is this really important as a concept John Claire Boo and Dave Donahoe at Stanford 20 years ago pioneered this in stats because the text alone often doesn't describe every parameter that goes into a figure or something right you kind of sometimes just need to look at the code and then it's easy and without that it's hard okay so reproducible research means you regenerate the PDF from the code and and the data you hit enter okay now one issue is that many papers out there science nature Etc are not reproducible research moreover the data isn't even public uh moreover sometimes the paper

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isn't even public the Open Access movement has been fighting this for the last 27 years there's various levels of this like green and gold Open Access okay so the first step is the code the data and the PDF go on chain step number one okay the second thing is once you've got so you can anybody who is and that could be the ethereum chain it could be its own dedicated chain whatever okay it could be something where there's a just the URLs or on the ethereum chain and stored on filecoin many different implementations but let's call that on chain broadly okay not just online on chain when it's on chain it's public and anybody can get it

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so that's first second is once you've got something where you can regenerate the code um or the PDF from the code and the data on chain guess what you can have uh citations between two papers turn into import statements yeah that's funny that's cool right so now you're not just getting composable Finance like D5 where you have like one interest rate calculator calling another you have composable science and now you can say this paper on this especially in ml right you'll often cite a previous paper in its Benchmark or its method right you're gonna You're Gonna Wanna scatter plot sometimes your paper

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your algorithm versus theirs on the same data set that is facilitated if their entire paper is reproducible research that is generated you can just literally import that Python and you know then you can you can generate your figure off of it right moreover think about how that aids reproducibility because you don't have to reproduce in in the literal sense every single snippet of code that they did you can literally use their code import it okay people start compounding on each other it's better science okay now I talked about this but actually there's a few folks who have been actually building this um

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so there's use scholar.org which actually has a demo of this like just a V1 like kind of prototype where it shows two stats papers on chain um and uh one of them is citing the other with an import statement there's also a thing like called I think dsi.com which is trying to do this all right decentralized science so this itself changes how we think about papers and actually by the way um the inspiration for pagerank was actually citations it was like the impact factor out of Academia that's where Larry Page and sergeyman got the concept out of right so now you've got a web of citations that are import

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statements on chain in theory you could track back a paper all the way back to its antecedents okay so if it's citing something you can now look it up and look it up and look it up and a surprising number of papers actually um you know their antecedents don't terminate or the the original Source says something different or it just kind of got garbled like a telephone game and uh you know there's this famous thing on like uh the spinach um like uh it does actually have iron in it or something like that I I forget the details on this story but it was something where you track back the

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citations and people are contradicting each other okay but it's just something that just gets copy pasted and it's a fact that's not actually a fact because it's not audited properly this allows you to cheaply audit in theory all the way back to Maxwell or Newton or something like that okay now what I'm describing is a big problem but it's a finite problem it's essentially taking all the important papers and putting them on chain it's about the scale of let's say Wikipedia okay so it's like I don't know a few hundred thousand a few million papers I don't know the exact number but it'll be out of that level okay so now you've got number one

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these things that are they're on chain okay number two they're you've turned citations into import statements number three anybody can now at a minimum download that code and while they may not have the instruments and I'll come back to that point but let me know the instruments they can do internal checks the benford's law stuff we were just talking about you can internally check the consistency of these tables and graphs and often you'll find fraud or things that don't add up that way because all the code and the data is is there right and now you've made it so that anybody in Brazil

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in India and Nigeria they may not have an academic you know like uh Library access is on but they can get into this all right now how do you fund all this well good thing is crypto actually allows tools for that as well Andrew huberman and others have started doing things like with nfts um to fund their lab I can talk about the funding aspect there's things like researchhub.com which are trying to issue tokens for labs but a lab isn't that expensive to fund maybe it's a few hundred thousand a few million a year depending on where you are crypto does generate money and so you can probably

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imagine various tools whether it's tokens or nfts or something like that to fund finally um what this does is it is not Q Anon right it is not saying don't trust anybody neither is it just trust the centralized academic establishment instead of saying trust because you can verify because we can download things and run them The crucial thing that I'm assuming here is the billions of supercomputers around the world that we have all the MacBooks and iPhones that can crank through lots and lots of computation so everything digital we can verify it locally okay now there's one

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last step which is I mentioned the instruments right whether it's your sequencing machine or your accelerometer or something like that is generating the data that you are reporting in your paper when you put it on channel okay basically you think that's the analog digital interface we can crypto find that too why for example an Illumina sequencing machine has an experiment manifest and when uh that's written to there's a website called ncbi National Center for biotechnology information you can see the experiment metadata on various sequencing runs it'll tell you what instrument and what time it was

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Ron and who ran it and so and so forth okay what that does is allows you to correct for things like batch effects sometimes you will sequence on this day and the next day and maybe the humidity or something like that makes it look like there's a ciscally significant difference between your two results but it was just actually batch effects okay what's my point point is if you have a crypto instrument you can have you know various hashes and stuff of the data as a chain of custody for the data itself that are streamed and written on chain that the manufacturer can program into this for

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anything that's really anything you might say well boy that's Overkill right I'm saying actually not you know why if you're doing a study whose results are going to be used to influence a policy that's going to control the lives of millions of people every single step has to be totally audible you need the glass box model you need to be able to go back to the raw data you need to be able to interrogate that and again this is anybody who's a good scientist will Embrace this right yeah so first of all those a brilliant exposition of a future of science that I would love to see um the the pushback I'll provide which is not really a pushback is like

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what you describe is so much better than what we currently have that I think a lot of people would say any of the sub steps you suggest are already going to be a huge Improvement so even just sharing the code yes or sharing the data you said like off it's I think it would surprise people how often it's hard to get data uh is it like the actual data or specifics or a large number of the parameters not the you'll share like one or two parameters that were involved with running the experiment you won't mention the machines involved except maybe at a higher level but the versions and so on the dates when the experiments will run so don't mention any of this

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kind of stuff right so there's there's several ways to fix this and one of them I think implied in what you're describing is a culture that says it's not okay exactly to like so first of all there should be even if it's not perfectly Unchained to where you can automatically import all the way to Newton is it just just even the the act of sharing the code sharing the data Maybe in a way that's not uh perfectly integrated into a larger structure is already a very big positive step saying like if you don't do this then

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this doesn't count and because in general I think my worry uh I you know as somebody who's a programmer who's OCD I love the the picture you paint that you can just import everything into all automatically checks everything my my problem is is that makes incremental science easier and revolutionary science harder oh I actually very much just screwed that I would love to hear you I'll give you guys let me just kind of collaborate sure um why sometimes you have to think in this gray area of fuzziness and you're thinking in totally novel ideas and when you have to concretize in data like some

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of the greatest papers I've ever written are they don't have data they're in the space of ideas almost like you're kind of sketching stuff and there could be errors but like Einstein himself with a famous five papers I mean they're they're really strong but they're they're fuzzy they're they're a little bit fuzzy and so I I think uh you know even like the Gan paper you're often thinking of like new data sets new ideas and I think maybe as a step after the paper is written you could probably concretize it integrate it into the rest of science sure like you shouldn't feel that pressure I guess early on I well I mean

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there's there's different each each of the steps that I'm talking about right there's like the day of being public and everything just that just having the paper being public that's like V1 right then you have the thing being regenerated from code and data like the PDF being presented from code data then you have the citations as import statements then you have the full citation graph as an important statement so you just follow it all the way back right and uh and now you have that gives you audibility then you have the off chain you know the the analog digital crypto custody right like where you're hashing things and

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streaming things so you have the chain of custody each of those is kind of like a level up and adds to complexity but it also adds the audibility and the verifiability of the reproducibility but you know one thing I'd say I wanted to respond to that you said was uh that you think this would be good for incremental but not Innovative actually it's quite the opposite I think Academia is institutional and it's not Innovative for example NIH has this graph which is like I think it's age of recipients of r01 Grants okay and what it shows is basically it's like a hump that moves over time roughly plus one year forward for the average age as the

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year moves on okay I'll see if I can find the gif what this why is this let me see if I can find actually look at this movie just for a second it's a ridiculously Powerful movie and it's 30 seconds extension WhatsApp the name of the video is age distribution of NIH principal investigators in Medical School faculty and it starts out on the x axis age with the distribution and percent of pis and from 19 early 1980s moving one year at a time and the mean of the distribution is moving slowly approximately as Bellagio said about one year per year uh per year now this is 10 years ago one year in age

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per year of time and notice how first of all the average age is moving way upward before you you know become an HPI second is it's a court of guys people who are just aborting grants to each other yeah that's clearly what's happening you know that's that's the underlying Dynamic they're not awarding grants to folks who are much younger okay because those folks haven't proven themselves yet right so it is this this is what happens when you get prestigious citation rather than independent replication the age just keeps creeping up and this was 10 years ago and it's gotten even worse it's become even more democratic even more High bound right and so the thing

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is the the structures that van of our Bush and others set up the entire post-war science establishment one thing I'll often find is people will say biology the government hath granted us the internet and uh you know self-driving cars and space flight and so on how can you possibly be against the US government kneel and repent for its Bounty you know and really what they are the reason they they kind of they don't say it quite in that way but that's really the underpinning kind of thing because they've replaced god with gov they really think of the US government as God you know the conservative will

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think of the US government as like the all-powerful military abroad and the progressive will think of it as the benign all-powerful you know like nurturing parent at home okay but in this context they're like how come you as you know some tech bro could possibly think you could ever do basic science without the funding of the US government has it not developed all basic science right and the answer to this is actually say well what if we go further back the 1950 did science happen before 1950 well I think it did Bernoulli and you know Maxwell and Newton were they funded by and SF you know no they weren't right what were Aviation railroads automobiles

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gigantic you know industries that arose and they both were stimulated by and stimulated development of pure science did they were they funded by NSF no they were not right therefore NSF is not a necessary condition for the presence of science neither is even the United States obviously a lot of these discoveries Newton was before you know like uh the I believe is for the American oh let me find the exact it's actually Less Old than people think okay so Newton died 1727 right so I knew that um you know it was like in the 1700s so noon was before the American Revolution right obviously that meant huge

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Innovations could happen before the US government before NIH before NSF right which means they are not a necessary condition number one that itself is crucial because a lot of people say the government is necessary for the for basic science it is not necessary for basic science it is one possible Catalyst and I would argue that mid-century it was okay because mid-century was the time when you the middle of the centralized Century uh 1933 1945 1969 you have Hoover Dam you have the Manhattan Project you have Apollo that generation was acclimatized to a centralized U.S government that could accomplish great

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things probably because technology favored centralization going into 1950 and then started favoring decentralization going out of it I've talked about this in the book Sovereign and digital has talked about this but very roughly you know you go up into 1950 and you have mass media and mass production um and just centralization of all kinds giant nation states slugging it out on the world stage and you go out in 1950 and you get cable news and personal computers and Internet and mobile phones and cryptocurrency and you have the decentralization and so this entire centralized scientific

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establishment was set up at the peak of the centralized century and it might have been the right thing to do at that time but is now showing its age and it's no longer actually geared up for what we have where are the huge Innovations coming out well Satoshi Nakamoto was not to our to our knowledge a professor right that's this revolutionary thing that came outside of it um early in the pandemic there's something called project Dash evidence.github.io which accumulated all of the evidence for the coronavirus possibly having been a lab leak when that was a very controversial thing to discuss right Alina Chan to her credit

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you know Matt Ridley and Alina Chan have written this book you know on um whether the coronavirus was a lab leak or not I think it's plausible that it was um I I can't say I'm 100 sure but I think it's at least it's certainly it is a hypothesis worthy of discussion okay um though of course it's got political overtones point being that the pseudonymous online publication at project evidence github.io happened when it was taboo to do so so we're back to the age of pseudonymous publication where only the arguments can be argued with the person can't be attacked okay

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this is actually something that used to happen in the past like you know um someone there's a famous story where Newton sold a problem someone said I know the lion by his claw or something like that right people used to do pseudonymous publication in the past so that they would be judged on part by their scientific ideas and not the person themselves right and so um so I do disagree that this is the incremental stuff this is actually the Innovative stuff the incremental stuff is going to be the institutional gerontocracy the that's Academia where it's like you know do you know who I am I'm a Harvard Professor yeah I don't I I

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think I agree with everything you said but I I um I'm not I'm not going to get stuck on technicalities because I think I was referring to your vision of data sets and importing code sure and so that forces just knowing how code works it forces a structure and structure usually favors incremental progress like if you Fork code you're not going to uh descent descentivizes Revolution you want to go from scratch okay so I I understand your point there okay um and I also agree that some papers like Francis Crick on the cloud stream or there's are theoretical they're more

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about like where to dig than the data itself and so on and so forth right so I agree with that still I don't um the counter argument is rather than a thousand people reading this paper to try to rebuild the whole thing and uh do it with errors when they can just import they can more easily build upon what others have done right oh yeah yeah so the the paper should be forkable but yeah yeah so here's what you know like uh you know python has this concept of batteries included for the standard library right because it lets you just import import and just get to work right that means you can fly

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whereas if you couldn't do all those things and you had to rewrite string handling you would only be able to do incremental things libraries actually allow for greater Innovation that's my account I I think you create I I think that paints the picture I hope that's a picture that fits with science it certainly does it fits with code very well I just wonder how much of science can be that which is you import how much of it is possible to do that certainly for the things I work on you can which is the machine learning world the uh all the computer science world but whether you can do that for all right you can fix biology it seems to yes I think so

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chemistry I think so and then you start getting into weird stuff like psychology which some people don't even think is a science no um just love for my psychology friends I I think as you get farther and farther away from things that are like hard technical Fields it starts getting tougher and tougher and tougher to have like importable code Okay so let me give the strong form version right so there's a guy who I think is uh you know great machine learning guy uh creator of actually Keras um who just he disagrees with me on Francois yeah he's been on his podcast

202:31-202:79

twice yeah okay great so he just disagree with him on a lot of stuff yes me too I think we have mutual respect you know uh follow each other on Twitter whatever I think yes I think he does respect and like you here is something which I totally agree with him on and he actually got like trolled or attacked for this but I completely agree within 10 20 years nearly every branch of science will be for all intents and purposes a branch of computer science computational physics computational chemistry computational biology computational medicine even computational archeology realistic simulations Big Data analysis and ml

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everywhere that to me is incredibly obvious why first of all all we're doing every day is PDFs and data analysis on a computer right and so every single one of those areas can be reduced to the analog digital step and then It's All Digital then you're flying you're in the cloud right you put a date do you say how long or 10 20 years I think arguably it's already there right and here's the thing you you were saying well you know you might drop off when you hit psychology or history actually um I think it's the softer sciences that are going to harden up why um one of the things I talk about a lot

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in the book is for example with history the concept of crypto history makes history computable one way of thinking about it is remember my Britney Spears example right where Queen Brittany right yeah okay so at first it's kind of a funny thing to say a computer scientist's term for history is the log files until we realize that what would a future historian how would they write about the history of the 2010s well a huge part of that history occurred on the servers of Twitter and Facebook yeah so now you go from like a log file which is just the individual record of like one server's action two decade a decade worth of data on

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literally billions of people all of their online lives like arguably that's why I say that's like actually what the written history was of the 2010s was this giant digital history as you go to the 2020s and 2030s more of that is going to move from merely online to on chain and then cryptographically verifiable so that soft subject of History becomes something that you can calculate things like Google Trends and engrams and stuff like that yes beautifully put then I would venture to say that Donald Trump was erased from history uh when he was removed from Twitter yeah and many social platforms and all his tweets were

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gone I think someone who has an archive of it but yeah I understand your point yeah well as the flood of data about each individual increases censorship it becomes much more difficult to actually have an archive of stuff but yes for important people like a president United States yes uh let me in that uh topic ask you about uh Trump you were considered for a position as FDA commissioner in the Trump Administration and I think one of in terms of the network state in terms of the digital world one of the seminal acts in the history of that was the Banning of trump from Twitter can you make the case for

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it and against it sure so first let me let me talk about the FDA thing sure so I was considered for a senior role at FDA but I do believe that and this is a whole topic we can talk about the FDA um I do believe that just as it was easier to create Bitcoin than to form the FED right reforming the FED basically still hasn't happened right so just as it was easier to create Bitcoin than to reform the FED it will literally be easier to start a new country than to reform the FDA it may take 10 or 20 years I mean think about Bitcoin it's only about 13 years old right it may take 10 or 20 years to start a new network state with a different

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biomedical policy but that is how we get out from this perhaps the single worst thing in the world which is harmonization regulatory harmonization can describe regulatory harmonization regulatory harmonization is the mechanism by which U.S regulators impose their regulations on the entire world so basically you have a monopoly by U.S Regulators uh this is not just the FDA it is SEC and FAA and so on and so forth and for the same reason that a small company will use Facebook login that will Outsource their login to Facebook a small country will Outsource their

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regulation to the USA okay with all the attendant issues because I mean you know the names of some politicians can you name a single regulator at the FDA no no right yeah they will brag on their website that they regulate I forget the exact numbers I think it's like 25 cents out of every dollar something along those lines okay it's like double digits okay that's a pretty big deal and the thing about this is you know people will talk about quote our democracy and so on but many of the positions in quote our democracy are actually not subject to democratic accountability uh you have tenured

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professors and you have tax-exempt colleges you have the salzburgers that New York Times who have dual class stock you have um you know a bunch of positions that are out of the reach of the electorate and that includes Regulators who have career tenure after just a few years of not necessarily even continuous service they're not accountable to the electorate they're not named by the Press and they also uh aren't accountable to the market because you've got essentially uniform Global regulations now the thing about this is it's not just a government thing it's a

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regulatory capture thing big Pharma companies like this as well why because they can just get their approval in the US and then they can export to the rest of the world right I understand where that comes from as a corporate executive it's such a pain to get you know access in one place so there's a team up though between the giant company and the giant government to box out all the small startups and all the small countries and lots of small Innovation right there are cracks in this now right the FDA did not acquit itself well during the pandemic for example it denied I mean there's so many issues but one of the things that even actually New York Times reported

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the reason that people thought there were no covid cases in the U.S early in the pandemic was because the FDA was denying people the ability to run covet tests and the emergency use authorization was you know emergency should mean like right now right but it was not it was just taking forever and so some Labs did Civil Disobedience and they just disobeyed the FDA and just went and tested academic Labs with threat of federal penalties because that's what they are they're like they're like the police okay and uh and so we're sort of retroactively granted immunity because nyt went and ran a positive story on them so nyt's

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Authority is usually greater than that of FDA if they come into a conflict nyt run stories then FDA kind of gets spanked right um and it's not you know probably neither party would normally think of themselves that way but if you look at it when nyt goes and runs stories on a company it names all the executives and they get all hit when it runs stories on a regulator it just treats the regulator usually as if it was just some abstract entity it's Zuckerberg's Facebook but you can't name you know the people who the career bureaucrats at FDA interesting right it's very interesting it's a very important Point like that

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person who's like named in their face is is known like you just as an example you know Zuckerberg's face and name most people don't know Arthur G Salzburg they couldn't recognize him right he's a guy who's inherited the New York Times company for his father's father's father that is unaccountable power it's not that they get great coverage that they get no coverage they don't even think about them right and uh so it's invisibility right there's some aspect why fauci was very interesting because in my recent memory there's not been many faces of scientific policy of science policy yeah he became the face of that and you know

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as as uh there's some of it is meme which is uh you know basically saying that he is science or to some people who represent science but in in the quote-unquote Sciences yeah the positive aspect of that is that there is accountability when there's a face like that right but you can also see the factory example shows you why a lot of these folks do not want to be public because they enter a political you know and media Minefield I'm actually sympathetic to that aspect of it what I'm not sympathetic to is the concept that in 2022 that the unelected unfireable anonymous American regulator should be able to impose regulatory

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policy for the entire world we are not the world of 1945. you know it is not something where these other countries are even consciously consenting to that world just as Give an example you know there's a concept called challenge trials okay the the moderna vaccine was available very very early in the pandemic you can just synthesize it from the sequence and challenge trials would have meant that people who are healthy volunteers okay they could have been soldiers for example of varying agents who are there to take a risk their lives for their country potentially okay it could have been just healthy volunteers not necessarily

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soldiers just Patriots or whatever kind in any country not just the us but those healthy volunteers could have gone and in the early stages of the pandemic we didn't know exactly how lethalu was going to be because you know Lee Wen Liang and you know 30 year old 30-somethings in China were dying from this it seemed like it could be far worse how lethal the the the virus would be yeah it may be by the way that those who are the most susceptible to the virus died faster earlier it's as if you could imagine a model where those who were exposed and had the lowest susceptibility also had the highest severity and died in greater numbers

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early on if you look at the graph like deaths from covet were exponential going into about April 2020 and then leveled off to about 7 500 10 000 a day and then kind of fell right but it could have gone to 75 000 at the beginning so we didn't know how serious it was so this would have been a real risk that these people would have been taking but here's what they would have gotten for that basically in a challenge trial somebody would have been given the vaccine and then exposed to the virus and then put under observation and then that would have given you all the data because ultimately the synthesis of the thing I mean yes you do need to scale up

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synthesis and Manufacturing and what have you but the information of whether it worked or not and was safe and effective and like that could have been gathered expeditiously with volunteers for challenge you think there'd be a large number of volunteers absolutely what's the concern there was is there an ethical concern of taking on volunteers well so let me put it like this had we done that we could have had vaccines early enough to save the lives of like a million Americans especially seniors and so on okay soldiers and more generally First Responders and others um you know I do believe there's folks

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who would have stepped up um you know to to take that risk the heroes Walk Among Us yeah that's right like if military service is something which is a ritualized thing um people are paid for it but they're not paid that much they're really paid an honor you know and in in Duty and and pictures that is actually the kind of thing where um I do believe some some fraction those folks would have raised their hand for this important you know task I don't know how many of them but I do think that we the volunteers would have been there there's probably some empirical test of that which is a there's a

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challenge trials website there's a Harvard profit put out this proposal early in the pandemic and he could tell you how many volunteers he got um but but something like that could have just shortened the the time from pandemic to functional vaccine right to today's even if you'd actually really acted on it the fact that that didn't happen and that the Chinese solution of lockdown that actually you know at the beginning people thought the state could you know potentially stop the virus stop people in place it turned out to be more contagious than that basically no NPI no non-pharmaceutical intervention really turned out to work that much right

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and actually at the very beginning the pandemic I said something like look it's actually February 3rd about a month before people you know I was just watching what was going on in China I saw that they were uh doing digital quarantine like using WeChat codes to like block people off and so on I didn't know it was going to happen but I said look if the coronavirus goes pandemic and it seems it may the extreme Edge case becomes The New Normal it's every debate we've had on surveillance de-platforming and centralization accelerated pandemic means emergency powers for the state even more than terrorism or crime and sometimes a

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solution creates the next problem my rough forecast for the future the coronavirus results in quarantines nationalism centralization and this may actually work to stop the spread but once under control States will not see their powers so we decentralize and I didn't know whether it was going to stop the spread but I knew that they were going to try to do it right and you know look it's it's hard to call every single thing right and you know I'm sure you know someone will find some errors but in general I think that was that was actually pretty good for like early February of 2020 right so it's my point though the point is rather than copying

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Chinese lockdown what we should have had were different regimes around the world to some extent Sweden defected you know from this right they had like no lockdowns or what have you but really the the the access that people were talking about was lockdown versus no lockdown um the real action should have been challenge trials versus no challenge trials we could have had that in days okay and that those are two examples on both vaccines and testing there's so many more that I can point to so those are kind of decentralized Innovations and that's what fdh stand for ipta can stand for it or something like FDA right

215:72-216:34

ah so let's talk about that right something like FDA so this is very important in general the way I try to think about things is V1 V2 V3 as we've talked about a few times so FDA V well right so what was before FDA right so there was both good and bad before FDA because people don't necessarily have the right model of the past okay so you know if you ask people what was there before the FDA they'll say um and by the FDA itself emits the right their pronouns are just FDA FDA okay um so but basically why is that important it's just something where why is that either humorous or

216:34-217:00

interesting to you they have a sort of in-group lingo where when you're when you are kind of talking about them the way that they talk about themselves it is something that kind of Peaks interest it's kind of like uh you know in in La people say the 101 or the you know right whereas in Northern California they'll say 101 uh or people from Nevada will say Nevada right it just instantly marks you as like Insider or Outsider okay in terms of how the language works right and that's go ahead that means just makes me sad because that lingo is part of the mechanism which creates The Silo the bubble of a particular thoughts and that ultimately

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deviates from the truth because you're not open to new ideas I think it's actually like uh you know in glorious bastards there's a scene in the bar do you want to talk about it no but it's good uh you can't uh just just to censor you this is like a Wikipedia podcast like Wikipedia you can't cite um Quentin Tarantino films no okay okay okay sorry so basically like English start going like one two three four five and I believe it's like the Germans start with like the thumb something that you'd never know right I'm even misremming it but I think that's right okay so uh so that's it has got the lingo all right right so FDA

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scheduling so coming back up basically just talk about FD and then come back to your question on on the platform so V what was V zero FDA C1 what's what does the future look like V1 V1 was quote patent medicines okay that's what some people say but V1 was also Banting in best okay Banting and Best they won the Nobel Prize in the early 1920s right why um they came up with that GR4 um insulin supplementation to treat diabetes and they came with a concept they experimented on dogs they did self-experimentation they had healthy volunteers they experimented with the formulation as well right because just like you'd have like a web app and a

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mobile app maybe a command line app you could have you know drug that's administered orally or via injection or cream or you know there's different formulations right dosage all that stuff they could just like iterate on okay with willing doctor willing patient these uh you know these uh these folks who were affected uh just spraying out of bed the insulin supplementation was working for them and within a couple of years they had won the Nobel Prize and Eli Lilly had scale production for the entire North American continent okay so that was a time when Pharma moved at the speed of software when it was willing buyer willing seller

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okay because the past is demonized as something that our glorious regulatory agency is protecting us from okay but there's so many ways in which what's really protecting you from is being healthy okay as you know I mean there's there's a zillion examples of this I won't be able to recapitulate all of them just in this podcast but if you look at a post that I've got it's called regulation disruption and the future um Technologies of 2013 Coursera PDF okay um this lecture uh which I'll kind of link it here so you can put in the show notes if you want um this goes through

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like a dozen different examples of crazy things the FDA did from the kind of stuff that was dramatized in Dallas Buyers Club where they were preventing people from getting AIDS drugs to you know their uh you know various uh attacks on um you know raw milk where they were basically saying here's here's a quote from FDA uh you know um filing in 2010 uh there's no generalized right to bodily in physical health there's no right to consume or feed children any particular food there's no fundamental right to freedom of contract they basically feel like they own you

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you're not allowed to make your own decisions about your food there's no generalized right to bodily and physical health direct quote from their like written kind of thing okay the the general frame is usually that FDA says it's protecting you from the big bad company but really what it's doing is checking it's preventing you from opting out okay now with that said and this is where I'm talking about V3 as critical as I am of FDA or the FED for that matter I also actually recognize that um like the Ron Paul type thing of End the Fed is actually not practical and the FED will just be laughed at what

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Bitcoin did was a much much much more difficult task of building something better than the fed that's really difficult to do because the fed and the FDA they're like the Hub of the current system people rely on them for lots of different things okay and um you're going to need a better version of them and how would you actually build something like that so with the fed and with you know SEC and and the entire you know the banks and whatnot crypto has a pretty good set of answers for these things and over time all the countries that are not or all the groups that are not the U.S establishment or the CCP will find more

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and more to their liking in the crypto economy so that part I think is going okay we can talk about that what does that look like for biomedicine well first what does exit the FDA look like right so there actually are a bunch of exits from the FDA already um which is uh things like right to try laws okay CLIA labs and laboratory developed tests compounding pharmacies off little prescription by doctors and countries that aren't fully harmonized with FDA for example you you know Kobe Kobe Bryant before he passed away went and did uh stem cell treatments in in Germany okay stem cells have been pushed out you know I think in part by the Bush

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Administration by other things so um those are different kinds of exits right to try basically means you know at the state level you can just try the drug okay um CLIA labs and ldts that means that's a path where you don't have to go through FDA to get a new device approved you can just run run it in a lab okay compounding pharmacies these were under attack I'm not sure actually where the current you know statute is on this but this is the idea that a pharmacist has some discretion and how they you know prepare mixtures of of drugs um off little prescription by MDS so MDS

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have enough like weight in the system that they can kind of push back on FDA an awful little prescription is the concept that a drug that's approved for purpose a can be prescribed for purpose B or C or D without going through another you know whole new drug approval process um and then countries that aren't harmonized right so those are like five different kinds of exits from the FDA on different directions um so first those exits exist so for those people who are like oh my God we're all going to die or he's going to poison us with you non-fda approved things or whatever right like uh those

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eggs exists you've probably actually use tests or treatments from those you don't even realize that you have right so it's it hasn't killed you number one number two is actually testing for safety um you know there's safety efficacy and like comparative safety is uh it's actually relatively easy to test for there's very few drugs that are like um there's tgn1412 that's a famous example something there's actually really dangerous to people right with an early test so those do exist just acknowledge they do exist but in general testing for safety is actually not that hard to do okay and if something is safe then you should be able to try it

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usually okay now what is that decentralized FDA look like well basically you take individual pieces of it and you can often turn them into vehicles and um this is like 50 different startups let me describe some of them first have you got any drugs or something like that recently I mean like prescribed drugs prescription drugs and it was like no that you clarify the answer is no yeah uh prescribed drugs uh no okay so not not along me antibiotics a long time ago maybe but I don't know so you you know how you have like a sort of like a wadded Up chemistry textbook the package insert that goes into these right yes

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okay it's plotted Up chemistry text me I love it that's what it is right that's what a terrible user interface we don't usually think of it that way why is your interface so terrible that's a web of Regulation that makes it so terrible and uh you know there's actually guys who try to innovate just on user interface call like help I need help that was like the name of the company a while back and it was it was trying to explain the stuff in plain language okay just on user interface you can innovate and why is that important well um you know there's a company called uh pillpack which innovated on quote the user interface for drugs by giving

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people a thing which had like a daily blister pack so it's like here is here's your prescription and you're supposed to take all these pills on the first and second and basically whether you had taken them on a given day was manifest by whether you had opened it for that specific day okay this is way better than other kinds of so-called compliance methodologies like they're guys who tried to do like an iot pill where when you swallow it it like gives you measurements this was just a simple Innovation on user interface that boosted compliance in the sense of compliance with a drug regimen dramatically right

225:25-225:75

um and I think they got acquired or would have you for a lot of money and hopefully utilized effectively utilize effective right oh sometimes sometimes these companies that do incredible Innovation it really makes you sad when they get acquired that that leads to their death not their scaling sure I mean they did a lot of other good things but this is one thing that they they did well right so pillpack just shows what you can get with improving on user interface why can't I mean we get reviews for everything right one thing that you know like people are sort of in my view someone quoted context are like obology

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thinks you should replace the FDA with the help for drugs actually there's something called phase four okay of the FDA which is so-called post-market surveillance do you know that that's actually something where in theory you can go and fill out a form on the FDA website which basically says I've had you know a bad experience with a drug uh like theirs but for drugs yeah so it's like it's called medwatch right um and so you can do like voluntary reporting and uh you can get like uh you know like a PDF and and just like upload it right is this a government uh like is this.gov yes form 3500 B well I love it it's HTML it's gonna be like from the

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90s there it's gonna have an interface yeah designed by somebody who's the Cobalt slash Fortran programmer right here we go here we go so basically the 3500b I hope to be proven wrong on that by the way but so 3500b consumer voluntary reporting when do I use this form you were heard or had a bad side effect use a drug which lets unsafe use syrup the point is FDA already has a terrible Yelp for drugs yeah it has a terrible version of it yeah what would the good version look like the fact that you've never I mean this fact you have to fill out a PDF to go and submit a report how do you submit a report at Yelp or Uber or Airbnb or Amazon you tap

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and their star ratings right so just modernizing FDA 3500b and modernizing phase four okay is a huge thing is it can you comment on that is there what incentive mechanism forces the the modernization of that kind of thing here's how it would work or one possible to create an actual Yelp yeah here's here's here's how that would work right you go to uh you know the pharmacy or you know wherever and you hold up your phone and you scan the barcode of the drug okay what does you see instantly you see global reports right by the way because your biology or physiology that's Global right information from Brazil or from Germany

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or uh Japan on their physiological reaction to your the same drug you're taking is useful to you it's not like a national boundaries thing so the whole nation-state model of only collecting information on by other Americans so really you want a global kind of thing just like you know Amazon book reviews that's like that's a global thing other things are aggregate at the global level Okay so what you want is to see every patient report and every Doctor around the world on this drug that might be really important to your rare or semi-rare condition just that alone would be a valuable site who builds that site it's

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uh it's it sounds like something created by capitalism sounds like you could do it would have to be a company yeah you can definitely do see these well we don't have a world where a company is allowed to be in charge of that kind of thing well I don't know if Health one went down it just seems like a lot of the so it depends right basically this is why you have to pick off individual elements right there's essentially a combination of first recognizing that um DFT is actually bad even be able to say that that let me put it like this it does a lot of bad things it is something which you need to be able to criticize

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you might be like well that's obvious right well in 2010 for example there's a book that came out if anybody wants to understand FDA it's called reputation and power yeah a lot of people don't want to criticize FDA yeah because they will retaliate against your biotech or Pharma company yeah and that retaliation can be initiated by a single human being absolutely the best analogy is you think about the TSA okay have you flown recently okay do you make any jokes about the TSA when you're in the TSA line uh usually you don't want to but they're a little more flexible you know what can I tell a story sure which is

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it's similar to this I was uh in Vegas at a club I don't go to clubs they got kicked out for the I think the first time in my life for making a joke with a balancer and um because I had a camera with me and you're not allowed to have a cam camera and and I said okay cool like I'll I'll take it out but I made a funny joke that I don't care to retell but he was just a little offended he was like you're you're out I don't care who you are I don't care who you're with uh and he proceeded to list me the the famous people he has kicked off but there is I mean all of those the reason I made the joke is I sensed that there

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was a an entitlement to this particular individual like uh where the authority has gotten to respect my authority yeah right I almost wanted to poke at that right and I think the poking The Authority I quickly learned the lesson well you I have now been rewarded with the pride I feel for having poked Authority but now I'm kicked out of the club that would have resulted in a fun night with friends and so on instead I'm standing alone crying in Vegas which is not a unique Vegas experience sure actually a fundamental Vegas experience but that I'm sure that basic human nature happens in the FDA as well that's exactly right so just like with the TSA

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you know just to extend the analogy when you're in line at the TSA right you don't want to miss your flight that could cost you hundreds of dollars and so you comply with apps ludicrous regulations like oh three ounce bottles well you know you can take an unlimited number of three ounce bottles and you can combine them into a six ounce bottle to the terrorist technology called mixing yep okay Advanced right and uh the thing about this is everybody in line actually some fairly High you know let's say call it influence or net worth or whatever people fly right millions and millions and millions of people are subject to these absolutely moronic

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regulations it's all but you know I think uh a security theater is is shire's term right A lot of people know this term so millions of people are subject to it it costs Untold billions of dollars in terms of delays and why not if you just walk up to right it um it irradiates people and there's another FDA thing by the way this is an FDA TSA team up okay in 2010 the TSA body scanners there were concerns expressed but when it's a government to government thing see a.com is treated with extreme scrutiny by FDA but it's another.gov well they're not trying to make a profit so they kind of sway them on through okay so these body scanners were

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basically like applied to millions and millions of people and this huge kind of opt-in experiment it's almost I think it's quite likely by the way that if there was even a slightly increased cancer risk that the net you know morbidian mortality from those would have outweighed the deaths from terrorism or whatever that were prevented right you can work out the numbers but under you can just get the math under reasonable assumptions it's probably true um if it had any increased Mobility mortality I've not seen the recent things but I've seen that a concern expressed you know 12 years ago

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point being that despite the cost despite how many people are exposed to it despite how obviously patently ludicrous it is you don't make any trouble nor do people organize protests or whatever about this because it's something where um people the security theater of the whole thing is is part of it oh well if we took them away there would be more terrorism or something like that people think right but it is fascinating to see that the populace puts up with it because it does one of my favorite things is to listen to Jordan Peterson who um I think offline but I think also on

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the podcast you know is somebody who resists Authority in every way and even he goes to TSA with a kind of suppressed like all the instructions everything down to when whenever you have like the yellow thing for your feet they they force you to adjust it even slightly if you're off just even I mean it's like uh it's a cough it's a Kafka novel we're living like TSA it makes me smile it brings joy to my heart because I imagine uh Franz Kafka and I just walking through there because it's it's it really is just deeply absurd but and then the the whole motivation of the mechanism becomes distorted by the

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individuals involved the initial one was to reduce the number of terrorist attacks I suppose right now it's guns and drugs basically it's like what they essentially what they've done is they've repealed the Fourth Amendment right search and seizure they can do it without probable cause everybody is being searched everybody's a potential terrorist so if they've got probable cause for everybody in theory and so what they do they'll post on their website the guns and drugs or whatever that They seized in these scanners well of course if you search everybody you're gonna you're gonna find some criminals or whatever but the cost of doing that

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is dramatic moreover the fact that people have should have been trained to have you know compliance it's like the Soviet Union right where um you know just grudgingly are I go along with this extremely stupid thing what's my point the point is this is a really stupid regulation that has existed in plain side of everybody for 20 years we're still taking the off our shoes okay because some shoe bomb or whatever number of years ago okay all of this stuff is there as opposed to there's resilient other things you could potentially do different paradigms for airport security but now apply that to

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FDA just like t a lot of what TSA does is security theater arguably all of it a lot of what FDA does is safety theater the difference is there's far fewer people who go through the aperture they're the biotech and Pharma CEOs okay so you don't have you don't have an understanding of what it is to deal with them number one number two is the penalty is not a few hundred dollars of missing your flight it is a few million dollars or tens or hundreds of millions of dollars for getting your company subject to the equivalent of a retaliatory wait time just like that bouncer threw you out just like the TSA officer if you make a joke or you know

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they can just sit you down and make you lose your flight right so too can the FDA just silently impede the approval of something and choke you out financially because you don't have enough Runway to get funded right so just impose more wait time guess what we want another six months you know data is going to take you another six months your company doesn't have the time you die right if you live you have to raise around at some diluted valuation and now the price gets jacked up on the other side that's the one thing that can give by the way in this whole process when when you push out timelines from

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days to get a vaccine approved with your vaccine evaluator rather via challenge trials to months or years the cost during that time when you when you it just increases non-linearly right because you can't iterate on the product it all the normal observations if it takes you 10 years to launch a product versus 10 days what's the difference in terms of your speed of variation your cost Etc right so this is part of what it's not the only thing there's other things there's AMA and CPT there's other things but um this is one of the things that jacks up prices in the US medical system okay so now you have something where these

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CEOs they're going through this aperture they are uh they can't tell anybody about it because if you read reputation and power okay I'm gonna just quote this because it's amazing amazing book right it's written by a guy you know Daniel Carpenter smart guy but he's an FDA sympathizer he fundamentally thinks it's like a good thing or what have you nevertheless I respect Carpenter's intellectual honesty because he quotes the CEOs in the book you know verbatim and you give some paragraphs and essentially from their descriptions it's like um think about like a Vietnam War thing where you've got a pow and they're like blinking through their eyes I'm

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being tortured okay that is the style when you read Carpenter's book you read the quotes from these um from these CEOs oh let me see if I can find it do you recommend the book it's a good book yeah or it's it's now a little bit outdated okay because it's like you know almost 10 years old still as a history of the FDA it is well worth reading and by the reason I say it like the FDA is so insanely important it's so much more important than many other things that people talk about but they don't talk about it right I just want to read his little blurb for it right this is 2010. the U.S Food and Drug Administration is

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the most powerful regulatory agency in the world how did the FDA become so influential and how does it wield its extraordinary power reputation power traces the history of FDA regulation Pharmaceuticals uh revealing how the agency's organizational reputation as being the primary source of its power is also one of its ultimate constraints Carpenter describes how the FDA cultivated a reputation for confidence and vigilance throughout the last century and how this organizational image has enabled agency to regulate while resisting efforts to curb its own authority first of all just that description alone you're like wait a

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second he is describing this as an active player it's not like a DMV kind of thing which is passed through it's it's talking about cultivating a reputation it's power resisting efforts to curb its own authority right the thing is now you're kind of Through the Looking Glass you're like wait a second this is kind of language I don't usually hear for regulate Regulatory Agencies the thing is the kind of person who becomes the CEO of a giant company what do they want to do they want to expand that company they want to make more profit

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similarly the kind of person who comes to run a regulatory agency or one of the subunits or that person wants to expand its Ambit okay whether is that always obvious decided to interrupt but for the CEO of the company I know that the philosophical ideal capitalism is you want to make the thing more profitable but we're also human beings do you think there's some fundamental aspect to which you want to do a lot of good in the world sure but the fiduciary duty will push people to get the ambitious you know the profit maximizing expansionist CEO is selected for

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right basically they believe crucially they're not just this important they're not just I mean some of them are Grand Theft Auto make as much money as possible but they believe in the mission okay they've come to believe in the mission and that is a person who's selected Chomsky actually had this good thing which is like I believe that you believe what you believe but if you didn't believe what you believe you wouldn't be sitting here right so they select for the kind of people that are able to make a lot of money and in that process uh those people are able to have construct a narrative that they're doing good even though what they

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were selected for is the fact that they can make a lot of money yeah and they may actually be doing good but the thing is with CEOs we have a zillion images in television and media movies of the evil Corporation and the greedy CEO we have some concept of what Co failure modes are like okay now when have you ever seen an evil regulator have you can you name a fictional portrayal of an evil regular can you name an evil see a lot a lot a lot a lot but that's so interesting I'm trying I'm searching for a deeper lesson here you're right you're right I mean there is co there is of portrayals especially in sort of

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authoritarian regimes or of the Soviet Union where there's bureaucracy you know Chernobyl you can kind of see within that there's a direct the story of the regulator but um yeah it's it's not as plentiful and it's also doesn't have often doesn't have a face to it it's just like bureaucracy is this amorphous thing that results any one individual you see they're just obeying somebody else there's not a face to it I'll be evil that's right the evil is the entire machine that's right that's what I call the school of fish strategy by the way it's something where you are an individual and you can be

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signaled out but there's more accountability for one person's bad tweets than all the wars in the Middle East right because it's a school of fish yeah right so if the establishment is wrong if the bureaucracy is wrong they're all wrong at the same time who could have known whereas if you deviate then you are a deviation who can be hammered down okay now the school of fish strategy is unfortunately very successful because uh you know truth is whatever if you just always ride with the school of fish and turn when they turn and so on unless there's a bigger school of fish that comes in you basically can never be proven wrong all

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right and this is actually you know of course someone who believes in truth and believes in you know Innovation and so on just physiologically can't ride with the school of fish you just have to say what is true or do what is true right still you've described correctly you know how it's faceless right so I will give two examples of fictional portrayals of evil regulators one is actually the original Ghostbusters okay I did not expect that one but yes yeah so the EPA is actually the villain in that where they flip a switch that lets out all the ghosts in the city and essentially the guys coming in with a

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head of steam as this evil regulator that just totally arrogant doesn't actually understand the private sector or or the consequences of their actions and they force the and crucially they bring a cop with them with a gun so it shows that a regulator is not simply you know some piece of paper but it is the police right and that cop with the gun forces the Ghostbusters to like release the game and the whole thing spreads the second example is Dallas Buyers Club which is more recent and that actually shows the FDA blocking a guy who with a life-threatening illness uh you know with AIDS from getting the drugs to treat his condition and from getting it

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to other people right those are just two portrayals but in general what you find is when you talk about FDA with people one thing I'll often hear from folks is like why would they do that right they have no mental model of this they kind of think of it as why would the why would this uh thing which they think of as sort of the DMV they don't think the DMV as like this active thing okay why would the FDA do that well if it is because it's filled with some ambitious people that want to keep increasing the power of the agency just like the CEO wants to increase the profit of the company right I use that

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word Ambit right why Ambit because these folks are we know the term greedy right these folks are power hungry they want to have the maximum scope and sometimes Regulatory Agencies collide with each other right even though FDA is under HHS sometimes it collides with HHS and they've got regulations at conflict um you know for example HHS says everybody's supposed to be able to have access to their own medical record FDA didn't want people to have access to their own personal genomes that conflicts okay um and both of those are kind of anti-corporate statutes that were put out but HHS this thing being targeted at

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the hospitals and FDA being targeted with the personal genomics companies but those conflicted right um it's a little bit like cftc and SEC have a door jam over who will regulate cryptocurrency right sometimes Regulators fight each other but they fight each other there they fight companies they are they're active players this reputation and power book The reason I mention it is um I'm gonna see if I can find this quote so let me see if I can find this quote reputation and power organizational image and pharmaceutical regulation at the FDA so genentech's executive G Kirk Robb

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right Rob would describe regulatory approval for his products as a fundamental challenge facing his company and he would depict Administration a particularly Vivid metaphor I've told the story hundreds of times to help people understand the FDA when I was in Brazil I worked on the Amazon River for many months selling terramycin for Pfizer I hadn't seen my family for eight or nine months they're flying into Sao Paulo and I was flying down from some little village on the Amazon to Manus and then to Sao Paulo I was young guy in his 20s I couldn't wait to see the kids one of them was a year old baby the other was three I missed my wife

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there's a quonset hut in front of just a little dirt strip with a single engine plane of fly me to menus I roll up and there's a Brazilian Soldier there the military Revolution happened literally the week before so this Soldier is standing there with his machine gun and he said to me you can't come in I speak in pretty good Portuguese by the time I said my God my plane my family I gotta come in he said again you can't come in I said I gotta come in and he took his machine gun took the safety off and pointed at me and said you can't come in and I said oh now I got it I can't go in there and that's the way I

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always describe the FDA the FDA is standing there with a machine gun against a pharmaceutical industry so you better be their friend rather than their enemy they are the boss if you're a pharmaceutical firm they own you body and soul okay that's the CEO of a successful company Genentech he says he's told the story hundreds of times and Regulatory approval is a fundamental challenge facing this company because if you are regulated by FDA they are your primary customer if they cut the cord on you you have no other customers and in fact until very recently with the Advent of social media no one would even

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tell your story it was assumed that you were some sort of you know corporate criminal that they were protecting the public from that you're going to put poison and milk you know like the melamine scandal in China I'm not saying those things don't exist by the way they do exist that's why people are like they can immediately sum into mind all examples of corporate criminals right that's why I mentioned those fictional stories those templates even if Star Wars doesn't exist how many times have you heard a Star Wars metaphor or whatever for something right Breaking Bad you know go ahead yeah but the pharmaceutical companies are stuck

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between rock and a hard place because the reputation if they go to Twitter they go to social media they have horrible reputation so it's like they don't yes but why is that because reputation and power FDA beat down the reputation of Pharma companies just like EPA helped beat down the reputation of oil companies and as it says over here right in practice dealing with the fact of FDA power meant a fundamental change in corporate structure and culture at Abbott and at Genentech Rob's most Central transformation was in creating a culture of acquiescence towards a government agency as was done at other drug companies in the late 20th century

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Rob essentially fired officials at Abbott who were insufficiently compliant with the FDA what that means is de facto nationalization of the industry via regulation just to hover on that that's a really big deal because if their primary customer is this government agency then it has nationalized it just indirectly right this is partially what's just happened with um Microsoft Apple Google Amazon the other Maga okay they have been yeah that's funny well done yeah I didn't even think about that as well done it was right so it's a so the

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you know like I have this trees like Mega Republicans and mega Democrats right okay oh damn it so many things you've said today will just get stuck in my head um they changed the way you think catchy something about a catchy phrasing of ideas is makes me even more powerful uh so yeah okay so that's happening in the text it's happening in Tech so Facebook is the outlier because Zuck still controls the company but just like I mean why had Tech had a good reputation for a while because there wasn't a regulatory agency whose justification was regulating these corporate criminals right once that is the case the

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regulatory agency basically comes back to Congress each year and if you look at its budget approvals it's saying we find this many guys we found this many violations right they have an incentive to exaggerate the threat in the same way that a prosecutor or you know policeman has a quota right like these are the police you know one way I describe it also is like um you know like a step down Transformers you have high voltage electricity it's generated at the power plant and it comes over the wires and then there's step down Transformers that turn it into a lower voltage that you can just deal with out of your

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appliances right similarly you have something where the high voltage of like the US military or the police and that is transmuted down into a little letter that comes in your mailbox saying pay your 50 parking ticket where it's a piece of paper so you don't see the gun attached to it but if you were to defy that it's like Grand Theft Auto where you get one star two star three stars four stars five stars and eventually you know you have some some serious stuff on your hands okay so once you understand that you know every law is backed by force like that Brazilian guy with the machine gun that uh Rob mentioned these guys are the regulatory

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police okay now see for a time what happened was you had the captured industry because all of the folks who were in Pharmaceuticals were as Carpenter said um the the culture of acquiescence towards the FDA FDA was their primary customer so just like in a sense it's rational you know Amazon talks about being customer obsessed right what Rob did was rational for that time right what g-cur Rob did was uh saying our customers the FDA that's our primary customer nobody else matters they are satisfied first every single trade-off that has to be made is FDA right and uh you know really

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that's why the two most important departments that many pharmaceutical companies argue all are Regulatory Affairs and IP not r d right because one is artificial scarcity of Regulation which jacks up the price and the other is artificial scarcity the patent which allows people to maintain the high price right so this entire thing is just like you know college education these things may at some point have been a good concept but the price has just risen and risen risen until it's at the limit price and Beyond okay so what has changed what's changed is in the 2010s late 2000s and 2010s and so on

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with the Advent of social media with the Advent of a bunch of millionaires um like who are independent uh with the Advent of um Uber and Airbnb right but the Advent of cryptocurrency with the diminution of trusted institutions it used to be really taboo to even talk about the fda's potentially bad in like you know 2010 2009 okay but now people have just seen face plant after face plant by the institutions and people are much more open to the concept that they may actually not have it all together and I think it's a you know you you probably see some tracking pull or something like that I wouldn't be surprised if it's

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like a 20 or 30 point drop after the CDC failed to control disease and the FDA failed and the entire biomedical regulatory establishment and scientific establishment was saying masks don't work before they do this was just a train crash of all the things that you're paying for that you supposedly think are good as I mentioned one response is to go Q Anon and people say oh don't trust anything but the better response is decentralizing FDA Okay so I will say one other thing which is I mentioned um you know this concept of improving the form 3500b where you like scan good yeah yeah right that just makes me laugh that I could just tell

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the form sucks by the fact that it has that code name yeah sorry yeah yeah yeah yeah exactly right ux is broken at every layer yeah so so they have a bad Yelp for drugs could we make it better why don't we could make a better one just modern ux the key Insight here by the way which is a non-obvious point and I've got a whole talk on this actually uh that I should probably release I actually did like almost eight nine years ago it's called regulation is information product quality is a digital signal okay what do I mean by that basically when I talk about exit you know exit the the fed that's the crypto economy right

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what does exit the FDA look like well one key Insight is that many of the big scale tech companies can be thought of as Cloud Regulators rather than land Regulators what do I mean by that well first what is regulation people do want a regulated Marketplace they want a quality ratings like on a one to five star scale and B bands of Bad actors like the zero star frauds and scammers and so on and these are distinct right somebody who's like a low quality but well-intentioned person is different than a smart and evil person those are two different kinds of failure modes you could have in the marketplace right why is it rational for people to want a

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regulated Marketplace especially for health because they want to pay essentially one entry cost and then they don't have to evaluate everything separately where they may not have the technical information to do that yes right you don't want to go to Starbucks and put a dipstick into every um coffee to see if it's poisoned or something like that you sort of want to enter a Zone where you know things are basically good and you pay that one diligence cost on the Zone itself right whether it's a digital or physical Zone and then the regulator's taking care of it and they've baked in the regulatory

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cost into you know some subscription fee of some kind right so the thing is the model we've talked about is the land regulator of a nation-state in a territorially bounded thing but the cloud regulator what's a cloud regulator that is Amazon star ratings that's um Yelp that is eBay that is Airbnb that is Uber and Lyft and and so on and so forth It's also actually Gmail and Google why because you're doing spam filtering and uh you are doing ranking of emails with priority inbox right uh with Google itself they ban malware links right so the Bad actors are out and they're

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ranking them right how about Apple the app store right they ban Bad actors and they do star ratings when you start actually applying this lens PayPal you know they've got a reputation every single web service that's at the scale of like tens of millions or hundreds of millions of people has had to build a cloud regulator and The crucial thing is it scales across borders so you can use the data from Mexico to help somebody in Moldova or vice versa right because it's fundamentally International right those ratings you have a network effect and um there's another aspect to it which is these are better Regulators than the

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land Regulators for example Uber is a better regulator than the taxi medallions why every write is GPS tracked there's ratings on both the driver and the passenger side both parties you know know that payment can be rendered in a standard currency right if you have below a certain star rating on either side you get de-platformed and so on to protect either a rider or driver and on and on right what does that do think about how much better that is in tax medallions rather than a six-month or annual inspection um you have reports from every single writer okay before Uber it was the you

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know the taxi drivers and taxi Regulators were in a little Monopoly locally okay because they were the persistent actors in the ecosystem taxi Riders had nothing in common didn't even know each other some you know New York some guy gets a taxi another guy they had no way to communicate with each other so the persistent actors in these were the regulators and the drivers and they had this cozy kind of thing and Medallion prices just kept going up and this was a sort of collaboration on artificial scarcity afterwards with Uber and Lyft and other entrants you get something interesting a different kind of regulator driver Fusion if you assume

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regulatory capture exists and lean into it Uber is the new regulator and Uber drivers are the drivers Lyft is the compete competing regulator and Lyft driver show the new drivers okay so you have a regulator driver Fusion versus another regulator driver Fusion you no longer have a monopoly you have multiple parties okay you have a competitive market this is the concept of like polycentric law right where you have multiple different legal regimes in the same jurisdiction overlapping that you can choose between with a tap of a button right all these Concepts from like libertarian Theory like you know

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polycentric law or taxi all these things are becoming more possible now that the internet has increased microeconomic Leverage and um because that exit is now possible now you may argue oh well Lyft and Uber they're not profitable anymore and there's two different criticisms of them one is oh they're not profitable or oh they're charging too much or and I think part of this is because of certain kinds of the the regulatory state is caught up to try to make them uncompetitive for example they don't allow people in some states to identify themselves as independent contractors even if they are

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part-time okay um there's various other kinds of rules and regulations you know in Austin for a while Uber was even banned what have you right net net though like uber grab gojack Lyft DD like ride sharing as a concept is now out there and whatever the next version is where it's self-driving like well it's like a very hard-fought battle and the regulatory State keeps trying to push things back into the garage this is a fundamentally better way of just doing regulation of taxis similarly Airbnb for hotels I mean it's basically the same thing okay and um now Airbnb could use competition I

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think that it would be good to have you know like competition for them and there are other kinds of sites opening up but the fundamental concept of the cloud regulator now let's apply it here once you realize regulation is information the way you would set up a competitor to FDA or SEC or FAA or something like that is you just do better reviews okay just start with that that's pure information you're under free speech that's like still you know the most defended thing literally just publishing reviews and not just reviews by any old person it turns out that FDA typically will use expert panels where there's extra panels it's like professors from

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Harvard or you know things like that um so what that is is this concept of a reputational bridge what you want to do is you want to have folks who are let's say biotech entrepreneurs or they're you know uh profs like Sinclair or what have you you do want to have the reviews of the crowd okay but you also want to have especially in medicine right there so you want to have the reviews of Experts of some kind so there's going to be defectors from the current establishment okay just like you know there are props who defected from computer science Academia to become Larry and Sergey and whatever you know or they weren't

258:94-259:43

Prosper they were grad students right um in the same way you'll have defectors uh who have the credentials from the old world but can build up the new just like there's folks from Wall Street who have come in cryptocurrency and helped legitimate it right just like there's folks who left um salzburger to come to substack okay um you know we have we have these folks who by defecting they help and then they're also supplemented by all this new talent coming in right that combination of things is how you build a new system it's not completely by itself nor is it trying to reform the old at some fusion okay so in this new system

259:43-260:05

who do you have you have like the most entrepreneurial and Innovative MDS you have the most entrepreneurial and Innovative professors and you have the founders of actual new products and stuff and they're giving open source reviews of these products and they're also building a community that will say look we want this new drug or we want this new treatment or we want this new device and we're willing to crowdfund 10 000 units so please give us the thing and we'll write a very fair review of it and we'll also all evaluate it as a community and so on so you turn these people from just passive patience into active

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participants in their health that's a community part and they've got the kind of biomedical technical leadership there now what is the kind of prototype of something like this something like Vita Dow is very interesting things like molecule Dow are very interesting it'll start with things like longevity right and why is that because the entire model of FDA this 20th century model is wait for somebody to have a disease and then try to cure them okay versus you know saying an ounce prevention is worth a pound of cure right why are we not actually tracking folks and getting a constant dashboard

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on yourself so you can see whether things are breaking and then you you deal with it just like you've got server uptime things you don't wait necessarily for the site to go down you start seeing Oh response rates are spiking we need to add more servers right you have some warning okay even 10 years ago there's this article called the measured man in the Atlantic where this guy physicist Larry smart Okay what he was doing is he was essentially doing a bunch of measurements on himself and he was finding that uh there were predictors of inflammation that were spiking and he went to the doctor showed the charts and the doctor was like I

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can't do anything with this then that turned out to be an early warning of like a serious condition and he had to I think go for like you know surgery or or something and he was starting to think well look the way that we're doing medicine right now is it's not quite um like pre-germ theory of disease but it is pre- continuous Diagnostics okay continuous Diagnostics just to talk about this for a second this is I I mentioned one angle on which you go after FDA which is like the the better phase four right I've mentioned the concept of better reviews in general okay

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I mentioned Vita Dao which is like a community that is going after longevity let's talk about continuous Diagnostics so basically We Know Better what is going on in Bangalore or Budapest in our own body that's actually kind of insane to think about the stuff that you know is all the other side of the world ten thousand miles away but you know a few millimeters away you don't really know what's going on right and that's starting to change with all the Quantified Self devices the hundreds of millions of Apple watches and fitbits and stuff right you're also starting to

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see continuous glucose meters which is very important they're starting to give you readouts people are seeing wow this is spiking my insulin or rather this is like my my blood sugar and uh it might be something you didn't predict it varies for different people for some people you know banana isn't a big deal for others it's actually quite bad for the blood sugar what happens when you extend that well about 10 years ago a guy Mike Snyder um professor at Stanford did something called the integrome where he just threw the kitchen sink of all the Diagnostics he could at himself over the period of I think a few weeks or a few months I've

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got the exact duration he's able to do things where you could see during that period he like got a cold or something and he could see in the expression day the gene expression data that he was getting sick before he felt sick he could also see that something about that like viral infection like uh made him develop diabetes-like symptoms if I'm remembering it accurately so you could see oh wait a second these are things that are um that I can see in my readouts that I would only have the vaguest interpretation of as like a human being right and moreover he could take uh you know I

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don't think he did this but if you took treatments if you took drugs right you could actually show what your steady state was if you tracked over time show what your disease state or six state was and then this drug pushes you back into non-disease State you can actually get a quantitative readout of what you know like steady state was right so that and and that stay safe you know your expression levels across all these genes uh your small molecules basically everything you can you could you can measure that's going to vary from person to person right what's healthy and natural for you may be a different Baseline than

264:00-264:57

for me for example people who are small example people who are South Asian um or have dark skin tend to have vitamin D deficiency why because we need a lot of sunlight so often inside you're tapping on your screen so what do we do take like actually significant vitamin D infusions okay that's like a small example of where baselines differ between people okay so continuous Diagnostics what could that mean that could mean you know things like the continuous glucose meter it's Quantified Self it's like continuous blood testing right so you have a so-called mobile phlebotomist this is something which uh phlebotomist takes

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blood right mobile phlebotomy would come to your office come to your remote office this is a great business for people I think you know you can revisit this in in 2022 if people tried this in the 2010s but I think it's worth revisiting mole phlebotomist comes every week or every month takes blood runs every test right maybe that's you know a few thousand dollars a year maybe eventually gets to a few hundred dollars a year um and that's expensive in some ways but boy that's better health insurance in other ways yeah I mean it's amazing so one there's a bunch of companies that do this and actually would love to learn

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more about them what what one of them it's a company called inside tracker that sponsors this podcast they do that but the reason I really appreciate them they're the first ones that introduced me to like how easy it is but it's also depressing how little information exactly as you beautifully put once again how little information we have about our own body in a continuous sense yes and actually also sadly even with inside tracker as I collect that data how not integrated that data is with everything else right if I wanted to opt in I would like I I get just like Roofing off the top of my head but I would like Google Maps to

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know what's going on inside my body maybe I can't Intuit at first why that application is useful but there could be an incredible like that's where the entrepreneurial Spirit builds is like what can I do with that data can I make the trip more less stressful for you and adjust the Google Maps thing kind of thing that's right yeah so I mean one of the things about this by the way is because there are so many movies made about darnos okay that's one of the reasons why people have sort of been scared off from doing Diagnostics uh to some extent okay why because visas are like oh this is another theranos and like the diligence and everything

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everyone's looking at it oh blood testing one drop of blood huh hurts the recruiting essentially um a lot of the media and stuff around that basically it's pathologized the thing that we want to have a lot more entrance in right now you know one way of thinking about it is FDA is killed way more people than theranos has all right way more just take drug lag alone okay whenever you have a drug that works and reduce morbidity and mortality after it was actually generally available but was delayed for months or years the integral under that curve is the excess morbidian mortality attributable

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to fda's drug lag you could go back and do that study across lots and lots of different drugs and you probably find quite a lot Alex tabarok and others have written on this right Daniel Henninger is written on this okay that's just like one example I mean I gave the pandemic example the fact that they held up the euas for the tests and didn't do challenge trials that's like you know they're not that's like a million American Dead that could be in order to magnitude less if we had gotten the vaccine out to vulnerable population sooner okay so you're talking about something that has a total Monopoly on global health and

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um you know you can't know what it is without that unless you have zones that are FDA free but that have some form of Regulation as I mentioned it's a V3 it's not going back to zero regulation everybody in a man for itself but it's a more reputable regulator just like um you know Uber is a better regulator than the taxi medallions right yeah I mean you're painting such an incredible picture you're making me wish you were FDA commissioner but I I there are a bunch of people who tweeted something like that after the you know with the pandemic um whatever go ahead yeah is that is that possible like if you were just

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given uh if you became FDA commission could you could you push for those kinds of changes or is that really something that has to come from the outside the short answer is no and the longer answer meaning they'll that'd be funny if you like the short answer is no the long answer is yes so so basically see a CEO of a company it's well it's very difficult they can hire and fire right so in theory they can do surgery on the organism and like you know Steve Jobs took over apple and was able to hire and fire raise money do this that he basically had root over Apple that he was a system administrator right he had he had full permissions

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okay as FDA commissioner you do not have full permissions over FDA let alone like the whole structure around it right if your FDA commissioner you are not the CEO of the agency okay lots of these folks there uh have career tenure they they can't be fired um they can't even really be disciplined there's something called the Douglas factors you ever heard the Douglas factors it's like the Miranda rights for federal employees okay you have the right treatment size so basically if you've heard that federal employees can't be fired the Douglas factors are how that's actually operationalized when you try to fire somebody

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it's this whole process where they get to appeal it and so on and so forth and they're sitting in the office while you're trying to fire them and they're complaining to everybody around them that this guy's trying to fire me he's such a bad guy blah blah right and everybody around even if you know they may think that guy is doing a bad job they're like wait a second he's trying to fire you he might try to fire me too and so anybody who tries to fire somebody at FDA just gets a face full of lead for their troubles what they instead will do is sometimes they'll just transfer somebody to the basement or something so they don't have to deal

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with them if they're truly bad okay but the thing about this is there is only one caveat Douglas Factor number eight the notoriety of the offense or its impact upon the reputation of the agency there's that word again reputation of reputation and power so the one way you can truly screw up within a regulatory bureaucracy is if you sort of endanger the like annual budget renewal think of it as like this mini death star that's coming to dock against the max Death Star for it's like annual refuel and it's talking about all the corporate criminals that it's prosecuted the quotas like the police quotas the ticketing you know and

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if they don't have a crisis they will like invent one just again just like TSA just like other agencies you're more familiar with you can kind of map it back look at the guns and drugs we've seized sir and save an incentive for uh you know creating these crises or manufacturing them or exaggerating them and if you endanger that refueling that annual budget renewal or you know what have you then the whole agency will basically be like okay you're you're bad and you can be disciplined or sometimes you know with rare except you know you can be booted but what that means is that FDA commissioner is actually a white elephant it's a ceremonial role

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really right you know you know the term white elephants like uh basically you know the Maharaja gives you an out a white elephant as a gift seems great next day it's eating all of your grass it's pooped on your lawn it has like just put a foot on your car and smashed it but you can't give it away it's a white elephant the Maharaja gave it to you right that's what being like FDA commissioner is it's the kind of thing where if and a lot of people are drawn in Like Moths To The Flame for these titles of the establishment I want to be head of this I want to be head of that right

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and really what it is it's like I don't know becoming head of Kazakhstan in the mid-1980s in the Soviet Union the Kazakhstan SSR right Soviet Socialist Republic before the thing was going to like crumble potentially right in many ways it's becoming you know folks who are just totally status obsessed getting these positions but um like a lot of the Merit all the folks with Merit are kind of leaving the government and going into you know attack or crypto or what have you right so even if these agencies were Hollow before and somebody's becoming Hollow were because they have less Talent there right so a you can't hire and fire very

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easily you can hire a little bit you can't really fire um B A lot of the talent has left the building but was there see we're entering the decentralizing era and D you know like be like Satoshi Satoshi founded Bitcoin because he knew you could not reform the FED there's everybody is trying to go and reform reform reform the reason they're trying to reform is we haven't figured out the mechanism to build something new and now perhaps we have that so I've named a few of them right I'll name one more related to deodorants Fitness is actually the back door to a lot of

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medicine okay why is that um you go to any you know conference it could be neurology it could be cardiology you'll find somebody who's giving a talk that says something along the lines of Fitness is the ultimate drug Maybe not today when people are saying oh fat phobic whatever but not too many years ago you'd see somebody um people saying Fitness is the ultimate drug if we could just prescribe Fitness in a pill that would improve your cardiovascular function your no large functional depression by the way in that case the the use of the word drug means medicine so medicine yeah yeah sure uh Fitness is the ultimate medicine yeah

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yeah the ultimate medicine right so if they could just prescribe the effects of it it's just like boom just massive effect right like you're fit enough you do resistance training it helps with you know preventive diabetes every kind of thing in the world you see a significant treatment effect yet your Fitness is your own responsibility you go to some gym 24 Hour Fitness what do they have they have on the wall exhortations like your body is your responsibility right am I right yeah yeah and you know uh good but no it's just it's hilarious yes yes it's funny but it's true right yeah it's funny because it's true and so your

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Fitness your diet that's your responsibility but when you go into a doctor's office suddenly it becomes lie back and think of England okay suddenly you become passive suddenly oh your doctor your doctor is Dr Google well your doctor must be a [ __ ] you're you're going and trying to take care of yourself you're Googling symptoms oh how stupid you are I have a medical degree and that doctor see the thing is if you come in and you you've self-diagnosed or you've done some of your own research if you're right there and if they've got an ego about it they're undermined and if you're wrong they're like you know haha

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you know arrogant but either way they have is if they've got this kind of mindset they have an incentive to resist the patient taking care of themselves isn't that the doctor's job right and they're kind of taught to behave like this many of them so what that means then is that intervention of that 15 or 30 minute appointment with the doctor whatever drug they prescribe better hit you like Thor's hammer to put you back on the straight and narrow because that's only with you for like a few seconds you know a few minutes or whatever the doctor's only with you for a few minutes the drug is only you know some drugs are very

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powerful so they actually do work like this okay but your Fitness is your own responsibility and that's a continuing forcing function every day and again we get back to decentralization right the decentralization responsibility from somebody thinking themselves merely as a patient to enact a participant in their own health who's doing their own monitoring of their own health right and logging all their stuff who's eating you know properly and looking at the effect of their diet on things like their you know continuous glucose monitor is a V1 but other things right um who is you know as fit as they can

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possibly be like these are kind of obvious things but why is this the back door to medicine because since FDA only regulates those things that are meant to diagnose and treat a disease all the stuff that is meant to improve an otherwise healthy person is potentially out of their purview supplements are one interesting aspect that they were carved out uh in the in the mid 90s and that's why the supplement industry is Big because FDA isn't it doesn't have as tired of rain on that but all of the Fitbit uh CGM continuous glucose meter type stuff you can crank out all kinds of things that

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help people get fitter that will also actually have just general health value but you're not quit marketing them to diagnose or treat you know a disease see what I'm saying you're marketing them for the purpose of Fitness this is a market why because psychologically people they don't like paying to get back to normal but they will absolutely pay tons of money to get better than normal they'll pay for Fitness they'll pay for makeup they'll pay for hair they'll pay for this and that right so that's actually the back door and you can do tons of things there where obviously being healthier

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is also protective you can actually show the studies on this so this way you build out all the tooling to get healthier and that actually helps on this axis fewer things are kind of U.S medical system while I'm Onyx you got me on this topic I love this okay so this is uh this is the most eloquent exploration of the U.S medical system and how to improve it how to fix it and what the future looks like yeah so love it so basically so part of it is decentralizing control back to the individual right now I've talked about FDA at length but let me talk about some other other broken parts of the U.S

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system right um there's like AMA there's CBT there's cpom there's this you know like all these regulations which see normally in capitalism you have a uh a buyer and a seller right duh in medicine you have third party regulation and fourth party pricing and um fifth party payment okay so third-part regulation FDA is regulating it fourth party pricing it is um you know the the CPT codes right fifth party payment it's the insurance companies all right and just to discuss these bits of the system first why are some people against capitalism

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in medicine I actually understand why they're against it because they are visualizing themselves on a gurney when they're being wheeled in and now somebody at their moment of vulnerability is charging this insane price for their care and many people in the US have had this horrible experience where they're bankrupted or scared of being bancrypted by medical bills therefore the concept of adding more capitalism venison scares them and they think it's horrible and you're some like awful greedy Tech bro kind of thing all right let me let me say I understand that concern let me you know kind of let me

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pull tease that apart a little bit right basically the most capitalistic areas of medicine are the most functional areas of medicine so that say the places where you can walk in and walk out okay whether that's Dentistry Dermatology plastic surgery even veterinary medicine which is not human okay where you can make a conscious decision say Okay I want this care or I don't want this I see a price list I can pay cash right if I don't like it I go to another dermatologist there's few Dermatological emergencies that's why dermatologists have a great quality of life okay by contrast when you're being wheeled in on a gurney you need it right now okay and

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you're unconscious or would have you or you're not in a capacity to deal with it right and so these are the two extremes it's like ambulatory medicine you can walk around and pick and like ambulance medicine okay and what what that means is the more ambulatory the medicine the more legitimate capitalism is in that situation people are okay with a dermatologist basically turning you down because you don't have enough money and you go to another dermatologist because you can comparison shop there it's not usually an emergency right whereas if you're coming in with an ambulance

279:58-280:15

then people don't want to be turned down and I understand why okay what this suggests by the way is that you should only have insurance for the edge cases Insurance should only cover the ambulance not the ambulatory and most people are losing money on insurance right because most people are paying more in in premiums than they are getting out it's just that this huge flight of dollars through the air that no one can make heads or tails out of oh the other aspect that's obviously broken you know is employer provided health insurance just started after World War II so you know auto insurance is in a much more competitive market you don't

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whip out your auto insurance card at the gas station to pay for your gas right you only whip it out when there's a crash right that's what quote health insurance should be and the Singapore model is actually a pretty good one for this where they have sort of a mandatory HSA you have to like put some money in that and um that pays for your Healthcare bills but then it's cash out of that it's like a separate pocket sort of four savings to pay for health savings account health savings account right the thing about this is once you realize well first ambulatory medicine is capitalistic medicine ambulance medicine is socialist medicine okay you

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want to shift people more towards ambulatory guess what that's in their as well now that brings us back to the monitoring right the continuous monitoring where whether eventually it's Mike Snyder's integrone the V1 is the Quantified itself and the Apple watch and the you know continuous glucose meters and a VN is the Mike Snyder inch chrome there's a site called Q dot bio which is doing this also right eventually this stuff will hopefully just be in a device that just measures tons and tons of variables on you right there's ways of measuring some of these metabolites and you know without breaking the skin

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um you know so so it's like it's not you don't have to keep breaking the skin over and over there's various various ways of doing that so now you've got something where you've got the monitoring you've got the dashboards you've got the alerts and just like this Larry smart guy that I mentioned the measured man you might be able to shift more and more things to ambulatory and one of the things about this also is the medical system is set up in a bad way where the primary care physician is the one who is like not the top of their class but the guys who are at the bottom of the pinball machine the surgeons and the Radiologists once your stuff is

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already broken okay they're the ones who are paid the most so a lot of the skill collects at the post-break stage right right where you actually want Doogie Hauser MD is that the the Upstream stage okay so you want this amazing amazing doctor there right how could we get that I mentioned the app that doesn't exist which is like a better version of the 3500b right here's another app that doesn't exist and this is one that FDA is actively quashed why can't you just take an image of a mole or something like that you know with the incredible cameras we have a huge amount of Medical Imaging should be able to be done at home and it goes to doctors whether it's

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in the U.S or the Philippines or India I mean tele-radiology exists right why can you not do that for Dermatology for everything else you should be able to literally just hold the thing up and with a combination of both Ai and MDS just diagnose that should exist right um answer is there's a combination of both American doctors and the FDA that team up to prevent this or slow this um and you know one argument is oh the AI is not better than a human 100 of the time because it's not deployed yet therefore it could make an error therefore it's bad even if it's better than 99 of doctors 90 of the time

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another argument is the software has to go through design control okay now basically once you understand how FDA Works basically imagine the most bureaucratic Frozen process for code deployment at any company ever and that is the most Nimble thing ever relative to fda's design review so just to review a talked about how FDA was blocking all this stuff B talked about why ambulatory medicine is capitalist medicine uh ambulance medicine and socialist medicine C talked about how with the diagnostic stuff we can shift it over to ambulatory D talked about how there's lots of things where you could have a combination of doctor and Ai and

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an app um that you kind of quickly self-diagnose some of this is happening now the the some of the telemedical telemedicine laws were relaxed during covet where now people you know a doctor from Wyoming can prescribe for somebody in Minnesota like some of that stuff is relaxed during covet okay there's other broken things of alcoholism I'll just name two more and then kind of move on okay I mentioned like AMA and CPT okay those are two regulatory bodies Amy American Medical Association CPT current procedural terminology okay basically uh you know Marx's labor theory of value where people are supposed to be paid on

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their effort right um of course the issue with this is that you'd be paying a physicist to try to dunk and you know they'd be trying but they wouldn't actually probably be able to do it they'd be trying real hard whereas you actually want to pay people invasive results right cheaply attained results are actually better than expensively attained non-results perhaps obvious okay nevertheless the way that the U.S medical system has payouts it's based on so-called rvu's relative value units and this is something where there's a government body that sets these prices uh and it is in theory only for Medicare but all the

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private insurers key off of that and um AMA uh basically publishes a list of these so-called um the CPT codes which is like the coding the biomedical coding of this and what each medical process is worth and whatnot so it's like I don't remember all the numbers but um it's like a five digit code and it's like okay I got a I got a test for Cystic Fibrosis or a test for this or a test for that God help you if you're um medical billing is erroneous why the insurance company will reject it um because it doesn't pay for that this is this giant process of trying to encode

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um you know every possible ailment and condition into these CPT codes and that you can literally get degrees in medical billing just for this okay this enormous inefficient industry yeah okay like literally medical billing is a whole field okay yeah now what do you want to do when you grow up I want to work in medical billing in medical billing okay where everybody's mad at you at all times yeah part of what happens is when you give a treatment when a doctor gives a treatment to a patient they can't like repo the treatment okay like a car you sell a car you can Theory repo the car so patient has a treatment now

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um what happens well the insurance company uh you know that that treatment is perhaps right look it's a lab test provided by a company right the company bills the patient the company is supposed to charge a high price why the insurance company wants it to try to collect from the patient the patient is scared oh my God they see this huge price they um they sometimes don't pay sometimes the insurance company doesn't pay either and uh when when a company is stiff by an insurance company uh when a diagnostic I mean shipment step by insurance company it has to jack up the price on everybody

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else right everything boils down to the fact that you don't have you know a buyer and a seller the doctor doesn't know the price of what is being sold uh the buyer doesn't know the price of what is being bought at the time it's being bought uh neither party can really even set a free price because there's this rvu system that hovers above the buyer feels they've already bought it because they've bought Insurance the insurance company doesn't want to pay for it everybody is trying to like push the price onto somebody else and you know not actually show the sticker price of anything and hide everything and so on and so forth oh the other thing about it

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is obviously lawsuits are over everything everybody's mad out about everything it's Health people are dying okay so everything is just optimized for Optics as opposed to results right similarly actually many drugs are optimized for minimizing side effects and Optics rather than maximizing effects which are totally different criteria right you might have for example a drug that only cures a thousand people but doesn't have any side effects versus one that cures a million people but that has 10 really serious side effects a year right and the second one would probably not happen because those side effects would be so

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so big okay how do you attack this I name a few examples but I actually think the reform is going to come in part from outside the system in particular India is coming online okay why is that important well you may have encountered an Indian doctor or two okay maybe an Indian programmer one or two all right and I do think telemedicine could explode right where you could have an Indian doctor um you know in India and there's a U.S doctor okay who's like a dispatcher you see what I'm saying they've got all these other Indian doctors behind them

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they've got a telemedical app and you are now doing something where uh these relatively inexpensive Indian doctors who are vetted by the American doctor or the doctor in the jurisdiction of the license become the back end doctors of the world to some extent that's already there with Tel radiology and other kinds of things right but now that you've got literally like a billion Indians who've just come online okay you have this huge pool of folks who have a different attitude towards medicine for example it's a lot more cash payment over there for example India is big on generic drugs for example during covet it had something called uh has something called

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a rogia sethu which is a national telemedicine app okay this wasn't able to ship that in some ways India's digital infrastructure again you'll have to read a post called uh the internet country by tigerfeathers.subsack.com and you'll see that actually India's national software infrastructure is surprisingly good it's not as good as China's in some ways but it's like better than the US's which is like healthcare.gov and like non-existent it's like kind of impressive how good some of India's software is the fact it exists is good so you have all these new doctors coming online India cranks out generics right

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telemedicine is now more legal in the US and you have a cash payment in India right and in a lot of other places you don't have the whole Insurance employer help thing and this Market is growing so you could have a sort of parallel Market that starts evolving right which is and people are already doing some medical tourism or anything that's another exit from the FDA you have a parallel Market that starts evolving that just starts from fundamentally different premises it's just cash cash for everything right there's downsides with cash for everything there's a huge upside with cash for everything cash for everything means you

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give customer service from the doctor it means the prices are actually visible it ideally pushes you again towards more ambulatory medicine rather than ambulance medicine it is monitoring constant monitoring with the Quantified Self and whatnot as opposed to just let your system fail and then wheel you in right um there's a reputational bridge because now we've had a couple of generations almost of Indian doctors in the US so people know that there's you know there's some very competent Union doctors they're a good chunk of AMA and so that they can serve Lobby for this and uh you have plenty of Indian

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Engineers now I'm not saying India alone is a Panacea but I do think that this is a large enough parallel Market to start doing interesting things now you could see uh sort of medical tourism medical migration to where it gives India an opportunity to basically uh let go of the constraints of the FDA yeah because and innovate aggressively and and I mean it's just such a huge opportunity to define the future of medicine and make a [ __ ] ton of money from a market that's desperate for it in the United States because of all the over the regulation that's right and I think basically it's something where the reason it needs that would fix the fdsr

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to interrupt yes we fixed FDA by exiting the FDA right and then the FDA would dry out and then it would hopefully it might reform it might dry out right and this is you know why people are for example they're traveling across borders you know they're getting orders from Canadian pharmacies you know a lot of this type of stuff we can start to build Alternatives right I mean India's generic industry is really important because it just doesn't enforce American IP there so generic drugs are cheaper right and it's quite confident it's been around for a while so there's enough proof points there where

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um again I'm not seeing a Panacea it's going to be something which will require like American and Indian collaboration I think there's gonna be a lot of other countries and so on that are involved but you can start to see another poll getting set up which is a confident enough civilization that is willing to take another regulatory path right and that is in some ways doing better on National software than the US's and it has enough of a bridge to the US that it can be that stimulation which you need which is kind of something that outside poke right I want to talk about India but let me just kind of wrap up on this big FDA

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biomedical kind of thing right with the book the network State the purpose of the network State you know you know I I want people to be able to build different kinds of network States I want people to build the vegan Village I want people to be able to build a you know if they want to do the bendig option like a like a Christian number if people want to do different kinds of things I'm open to many different things and I will fund lots of different things um for me the motivation is just like you needed to start a new currency Bitcoin it was easier to do that than reform the

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FED I think it's easier to start a new country than reform the FDA and so I want to do it to in particular get to longevity right meaning longevity enhancement right and what does that mean so in an interesting way and this will sound like a trite statement but I think it's actually a deep statement or let me hopefully try to convince you it is crypto is to finance or what longevity is to you know the current state of medicine why it inverts certain fundamental assumptions okay so at first crypto looks like traditional Finance it's got the charts and the bands and you're buying and selling so on but what

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Satoshi did is he took fundamental premises and flipped them for example in the traditional macroeconomic worldview hyperinflation is bad but deflation is also bad so a little inflation is good right in the traditional macroeconomic worldview um it's good that there are custodians banks that you know kind of intermediate the whole system right and the traditional you know worldview um every transaction needs to be reversible because somebody could make a mistake and and so on and so forth right in the traditional worldview you don't really have root access over your money

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Satoshi inverted all of those things okay obviously you know the big one is hyperinflation is bad but he also thought mild inflation was bad and deflation was good that's just a fundamental shift okay he gave you Rude access over your money you're Now assistant Ministry of your own money you can room Dash RF your entire fortune or send Millions with a keystroke you are now the system administrator of your own money that alone is why cryptocurrency is important if you want assist Administration access at times to computers you'll want it to currency right to be sovereign

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you know there's other assumptions where like the assumptions every transaction is private in the existing system by default or it's visible only to the state whereas at least the initial you know the Bitcoin blockchain everything is public right there are various kinds of things like this where he just inverted fundamental premises and um and then the whole cryptosystem is in the crypto economy is in many ways of teasing out of what that means just to give you one example the US dollar people have seen those graphs where it's like inflating and so it just like loses value over time and you've seen that

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okay whereas uh and and most the time it's just sort of denied that it's losing any value the um the most highbrow way of Defending it is the US dollar trades off temporary short-term price stability for long-term depreciation and Bitcoin makes the opposite trade-off in theory at least long-term appreciation at the expense of short-term price instability because like you know there's the whole plunge Protection Team and so on basically there's there's various ways in which price stability has tried to be maintained in a medium term at the

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expense of long-term depreciation you need like a reserve assets to keep you know stabilizing the dollar against various things so what does crypto medicine look like relative to Fiat medicine to make the same analogy right the existing medical system it assumes that um a quick death is is bad and early death is bad but also that living forever is either unrealistic or impossible or undesirable that you should die with dignity or something like that okay so a little death is good that's the existing medical system whereas the concept of life extension

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and you know David Sinclair and you know what they call you call it health span says rejects that fundamental premise and it says actually the way to defeat cancer is to defeat aging aging is actually a program biomedical biological process and we can we have results that are showing stopping or even reversing Aging in some ways and so now just like uh just like with the with the other thing you say a quick death is bad and so is actually death itself right so we actually want significant life extension this is similar it's very it's very similar to what uh you know the rejection of the the Fiat system right the Fiat system says a low inflation is

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good Fiat medicine says a little death is good Bitcoin says actually no inflation just get more valuable over time and crypto medicine says actually let's you know extend life this leads to all kinds of new things where you start actually thinking about all right how do I maintain my health with um you know Diagnostics how do I um you know take control of my own health the decentralization of medicine all the stuff that I've been describing sort of fits like longevity is traditional medicine as crypto is to traditional currency if we take those

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assumptions separately so we take cryptocurrency aside is that to you obvious that this letting go of this assumption about death is that is that an obvious thing is longevity Obviously good versus for example the The Devil's Advocate to that would be what we want is to keep death and maximize the quality of life up until the end well like so that uh you ride into the sunset or healthy somebody who is listening to whole pocket should say well balji just a few hours ago you were saying this gerontocracy runs the US and they're all old and they don't get it blah blah now you're talking about

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making people live forever so there's never any new blood to watch about haha what a contradiction right it's funny that you're so on point across all the topics we and uh all the topics we covered and the possible criticism I love it well just trying to anticipate you know something good well done so done sir the I think the argument on that is so long as you have a frontier it is okay for someone to live long okay so long as people can exit to a new thing number one number two is in order for us to go and you know colonize other planets and so on you know if you do want to get to Mars if you want to become you know Star

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Trek and you know what have you um probably going to need to have you know like you know just to survive a long flight so to speak you know multiple light year flight you're going to need to have life extension so to become a pioneering you know Interstellar kind of thing I know that like it's it's the kind of thing which sounds like okay yeah and when we're on the moon we're gonna need shovels you know it's it sounds like a piling a fantasy on top of a fantasy in that sense but it's also something where if you're talking about the vector of our civilization where are we going well

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I actually do think it's either an arc of primitivism or optimalism transhumanism either we are shutting down civilization as degrowth it's you know Unabomber Etc or it's the stars and escaping the prime number maze it's like to me it's obvious that we're going to if we're to survive expand out into space yes and it's obvious that once we do we'll look back at anyone which is currently most people that didn't think of this future didn't anticipate as future work towards his future as as luddites like as people who did totally didn't get it it would become obvious if right now it's

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impossible and then it will become obvious yes it seems like yes longevity in some form I mean there could be a lot of arguments of the different forms longevity could take but in some form of longevity is almost a prerequisite for the expansion out into the cosmos that's right expansion of longevity there's also like a way to bring it back to Earth to an extent which is how where societies used to be judged you may remember people used to talk about life expectancy as a as a big thing right life expectancy is actually a very very good metric why it's a ratio scale variable you know there's like four different class of variables statistics

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let's talk about ratio scale is like years or meters or kilograms okay then you have interval scale where plus and minus means something but there's no absolute zero then you have ordinal where there's only ranks and plus and minister of anything and then you have categorical like uh the Yankees and the the the Braves are categorical variables they're just different but you all you have is the comparator operator whether you have a quality you don't have a rank okay so ratio scale data is the best because you can compare it across space and time if you have a skeleton that is like you know two meters tall that's from 3000 years ago you can

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compare the height of people from many many years ago different cultures and times right whereas their currency is much harder to Value that's not like a ratio scale variable other things are harder to Value across space and time right so life expectancy is good because as a ratio scale variable is a very clear definition right like when someone born and died you know those are actually relatively clear um by the most other things aren't like that you know you uh that's why murder or you know death that you know it can be scored it's an ambiguous you know it's done when it's done whereas when

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did somebody get sick oh they were kind of sick or they were sick today they were sick at this hour the boundary conditions many other kinds of things are not like clear-cut like that right and I should just briefly comment that life expectancy does have this quirk a dark cork that it uh when you just crudely look at it is incorporates uh child mortality or mortality yes at age of one or age of five and um maybe it's better and clearer to look at mortality after after five or whatever and that's still those metrics still hold in interesting ways and measure the progress of human civilization in interesting ways yeah

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that's right you actually want longevity biomarkers a lot of people are working on this there's a book called the picture Dorian Gray right and the concept is sell your soul to you know ensure the picture rather than he will age and fade right and uh so the concept is that that thing on the wall just reflects his age and you can see it okay so there's a premise that's in bed in a lot of Western culture that to gain something you must lose if you if you're Icarus and you try to fly then you will you know you'll fly too high and you'll melt your wings but guess what we fly every day commercial air flight right so the opposite of like the

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Icarus or picture of durian gray kind of thing is the movie Limitless which I love because it's so nietzschean and so unusual relative to the dystopian you know Sci-Fi movies where there's a without giving I mean the movie's kind of old now but um there's a drug in it that's a neurotropic that boosts you know your cognitive abilities and it's got side effects but at the end he Engineers out the side effects amazing just like you know yeah their planes are crashing we land right okay so why'd I mention the picture during great well there's another aspect of it which is longevity biomarker the point is to kind

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of estimate how many years of life you have left by um you know that that Q dot bio or into Chrome or you take all these analyzes on on somebody right one of the best longevity biomarkers could be um just your face right you image the face and you can sort of tell oh somebody looks like they've aged oh someone looks younger et cetera Etc and um this is actually data that you've got on millions and millions of people where you could probably start having AI predict okay what is somebody's life expectancy given their current face and other kinds of things right because you have their name your birthday you have

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their you know did they passed away if they've already they've already passed away right and you have photos of them through their life right so just Imaging might give a reasonably good longevity biomarker but then you can supplement that with a lot of other variables and now you can start benchmarking every treatment by its change and how much time you have left if that treatment that intervention boosts your estimated life expectancy by five years you can see that in the data you can get feedback on whether your longevity is being boosted or not okay and so what this does is just

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fundamentally changes the assumptions of the system now with that said uh you know life extension may be the kind of thing I'm not sure if it'll work for Our Generation we may be too late it may work for the next Generation wouldn't that make you sad well I've got something to the last generation could be but I've got something for you which is uh I call it genomic reincarnation okay this one you probably haven't heard before I've tweeted about it okay so by the way good uh uh time to mention that your Twitter is one of the greatest twitters of all time so people should follow you well Lex

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Friedman has won the greatest podcasts of all time you guys should listen to The Lex Friedman podcast which you may be doing right which you may be doing right now yes yeah uh well thank you so uh what was the term again sorry genomic uh sir I call it genomic not Resurrection but genomic reincarnation okay so here's the concept you may be aware that you can synthesize strands of DNA okay um there's sequencing of DNA which is reading it and synthesizing DNA which is like creating strands of DNA uh what's interesting is you can actually also do that at the full uh chromosome level for bacterial

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chromosomes remember that thing I was saying earlier about the minimum life form you know that Craig Venter made so people have synthesized like entire bacterial chromosomes and they work like they can literally essentially print out a living organism all right now when you go uh from bacteria to eukaryotes which are the the kingdom of life that we're part of right yeast are part of this Kingdom and so on it becomes harder because the chromosomes are more complicated but folks are working on eukaryotic chromosome synthesis and if you spot me that sci-fi assumption that eventually we'll be able to take your genome

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sequence and just like we can synthesize a bacterial chromosome we can synthesize not just one eukaryotic chromosome but your entire complement of chromosomes in the lab right because you have you know 23 and you know 46 whatever you take the pairs what you can do is potentially print somebody out from disk reincarnate them insofar if your sequence determines you and you can argue with this epigenetics and our stuff okay but let's just say to first order your DNA sequence is Lex you can sequence that okay you can do full genome sequencing and log that to a file then here's the you know the karma part your crypto community

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where you've built up enough Karma among them if when you die your karma balance is high enough they will spend the money to reincarnate the next Lex who can then watch the everything that happened in your past life and you can tell them something I described there I mean if you spot me eukaryotic chromosome synthesis that's the only part that like you know I think I think will be possible Right folks are working on it I'm sure there's someone multiple messages you'd be such a clone it's like a clone right but it is

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um it is you in a different time you're in a different time but you don't unfortunately have the memories well you could probably watch the like the digest of your life and it would be pretty interesting right I mean yeah the the you know that's actually a process for psychology to study if you create a blank mind what would you need to show that mind to align it very well with the experiences with the fundamental experiences that Define the original version such that the resulting clone would have similar Behavior patterns worldviews perspectives feelings all those kinds of things

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potentially right including sadly enough traumas and all that or what have you right but basically just like in a very simple version of it you know by the time one is age 20 or 30 or something tell me your 20s you'll sort of learn your own personal operating system you're like oh alcohol really doesn't agree with me or something like that you just by trial and error you know things that are idiosyncratic to your own physiology you're like oh you know I I'm totally wrecked if I uh get seven hours of sleep versus nine hours or whatever it is right you people will have different kinds of you know things like this that

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manual can be given to your next self so you can know don't do this do this don't do this do this right to some extent personal genomics already gives you some of this where you're like oh I'm a caffeine nun you know or a slow metabolizer oh that explains X or Y you know or I have a weird version of alcohol dehydrogenous oh okay that explains you know my alcohol tolerance so you know this is part of the broader category of what I call practical Miracles right so it's longevity it's genomic reincarnation it is restoring sight and it is curing deafness with you know the uh you know artificial eyes and artificial ears it is

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um the super soldier serum did I show you that so like myostatin null a tweet about this basically X-Men or real so here is a study from any gym from several years ago okay uh what is this is like the mid-2000s this was in 2004 okay so it's now 17 years later it's probably this is almost certainly a teenager by now so this kid basically was just totally built yeah okay extraordinarily most like very muscular at a at a very young age yes so the child's birth rate was in the 75th percentile he appeared extraordinarily muscular with protruding muscles in his

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thighs motor and mental development has been normal now at four and a half years of agency continues to have increased muscle ball constraint and so essentially myostatic mutation associated with gross muscle hypertrophy in a child so this is like real life X-Men okay and um it has pictures of animals yes this is coming called variant bio that is looking at people who have exceptional health related traits and it is looking for essentially this kind of thing but maybe more disease or or whatever related right for example people who have natural immunity to covid understanding how that works

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perhaps we can give Elder people artificial immunity to covet right um if you scroll up you see my kind of tweet super soldier Serum is real where it's like wild-type mouse and a myostatin null and look at the chest on that thing you see the before and after wow okay this is what's possible you know this could be us but you regulating you know right you're not saying like this could be SP play this could be us but the FDA regulating right all this okay oh yeah on steroids but it's not that's the thing it's not still it's well that's the thing is people when people again you go back to the Icarus

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thing they think oh steroids well that's definitely going to give you cancer screw up your hormones etc etc and it could but you know what like have we actually put in that much effort into figuring out like the the right way of doing testosterone supplementation or the right way of doing this uh obviously we managed to put a lot of effort into marijuana increasing the potency of it or what have you could we put the effort into these kinds of drugs right or these kinds of compounds Maybe I think that would actually be a really good thing the thing about this is I feel this is just a massively underexplored area

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um rather than people drinking caffeine all the time that's like a very mild enhancing drug okay uh nicotine is also arguably kind of like that you know some people have it even without the cigarettes right why can't we research this stuff one way of thinking about it is you know Lancer Armstrong the the cyclist yes he violated all the rules um you know he shouldn't have won the Tour de France or anything like that but as chemists and I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek but also you know his chemists are candidates for like the Nobel Prize in chemistry because they brought a man back from

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like testicular cancer to like winning Tour de France's against a bunch of guys who probably you know a bunch of them are also Juiced or whatever right whatever it was done there take it out of the competition framework there's a lot of testicular cancer patients or cancer patients period who would want some of that and we should take that seriously we should take that Pursuit really really really seriously Yes except again just like the thermo stuff all this pathologized oh it's a balico scandal oh it says oh my God you know and yes of course within the context of that game

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they're cheating when the context of life you want to be cheating death yes right so um it's just a kind of a reframe on what is good right and it is just taking away these assumptions at mild inflation is good or mild death is good and going towards Transcendence so that gets me done with the giant FDA biomedical etc etc longevity yeah that's beautifully beautifully done you have you had two questions one was on Trump and d platforming and the other was on crypto in the state of crypto and the third is on India which one should we do all right since we talked about how to fix government we talked about how to fix

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Health Medicine FDA longevity let us briefly talk about how to fix social media perhaps sure since we kind of talked about it from different directions but it'd be nice to just look at social media and if it could perhaps first as an example maybe it's not a useful example but to me it was one that kind of shook me a little bit uh is the removal of trump and since then other major figures but Donald Trump was probably the biggest person ever to be removed from social media do you understand why that was done can you still man the case for it and against it and if there's something

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broken about that how do we fix it Steel Man the case four is kind of obvious in the sense of um you are seeing a would-be dictator who is trying to run a coup against democracy who has his um supporters go and storming the seat of government who could use his app to whip up his followers across the country to reject um you know the will of the people and uh so you're an executive and you know you'll take actions that while perhaps controversial are still within the law and you'll make sure that you do your part to defend democracy by making sure that at least this guy's megaphone is

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taken away and that his supporters cannot organize more rights right that's basically the case you know for the de-platforming okay um would you agree with that that's like really steel Manning it you asked the steel man so I'm giving the four case yeah well I think is I guess I would like to separate The would-be Dictator oh I guess if you're storming the capital you are a dictator I I see I see um so those are two are interlinked right you have to have somehow a personal Judgment of the person bad enough to be worth this you know significant step yeah it's not

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just their actions or words in a particular situation but broadly this person did everything that led up to this moment and so got it right yeah so that's that's a four case right now the against case there's actually several against cases right there's obviously the Trump supporters you know against case there is the um sort of the libertarian slash um left libertarian you know against Case and there is the uh rest of world against Case okay there's actually three because it's not just two factions there's multiple right so what is the Trump supporter against case there's an article called The Secret bipartisan

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campaign that saved the 2020 election right which came out um a few weeks after uh the inauguration like February 4 2021 and essentially uh the Trump supporter would read this as basically saying uh in the name of Defending democracy the corrupted democracy um you know whether it was actually vote counts or just changes of all the rules for mail-in ballots and stuff there were regular meetings between the Chamber of Commerce and you know AFL or and the unions in particular they admit that the BLM Riots of you know the mid-2020s were actually on a string and they could say stand down right so that's actually that's a quote from this article where

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it's like the word went out Stand Down protect the results announced that it would not be activating the entire National mobilization Network today remains ready to activate if necessary code hoser credits activists for their restraint so basically the activists rearranted the protected results protest towards a weekend of Celebration so point being that the fact that the Trump supporter would say the fact that they could tell them to stand down meant that the previous you know unrest was in part you know coordinated and so say okay so that makes it illegitimate in a different way right plus you know was one Riot on Jan 6 versus the attacks on

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the White House and stuff you know the storming the White House in mid 2020 and uh didn't actually stormed the White House but they're setting fires outside and it's quite quite a lot of stuff right so the second against Case is the let's say libertarian left libertarian who'd say um do we really want uh giant corporations regardless of what you think about Trump and you don't have to be a trump supporter do you really want giant corporations to be determining who can say what on the internet and if they can de-platform a sitting president and the quote most powerful man in the world

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he's not the most powerful man in the world in fact um the quote people are electing a figurehead and actually it's the heads of network that are more powerful in the heads of state right that the fact that the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter and Google and apple and Amazon all made those decisions at the same time to not just de-platform Trump from Twitter which literally billions of people around the world saw but also censor or stop on Facebook and to have Google and apple pull parlor out of the App Store and Amazon shut down the back end that would be corporate collusion By Any Other Name

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it's actually very similar to the so-called business plot against FDR FDR was a complicated figure who can in some ways best be thought of as the least bad communist dictator or socialist dictator of the 20th century why because he nationalized the economy repealed the 10th Amendment right tried to pack the courts he you know sicked the government on all of his enemies from Huey Long to Andrew Mellon obviously he interned the Japanese which shows that wasn't really totally a good guy right we don't usually think about the same guy who did this did that earlier in his life most people don't know this when he led a

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whole Navy thing to entrap gay Sailors and did you know about this one no yeah Google FDR entrapment of gay Sailors basically he got young men to try to find folks within the Navy who were gay and then um basically entrap them so that they could be prosecuted and what have you right FDR did a lot of stuff but fundamentally nationalized the economy in and set up the alphabet soup is what they called at the time and that's like all these agent agencies or whatever and in some sense he's you know like continues like it there's there'd been a rising trend of centralization Woodward Wilson obviously centralized Lincoln

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centralized right even actually you know 1789 was a degree of centralization over the more you know like loose thing that was 1776 1789 so he was on that trend line but he was definitely a huge kind of dog leg up so the thing is that because of all the lawsuits that were flying many you know Forks like uh Amy schles you know has written a book uh the Forgotten man and essentially her thesis and thesis of many others at that time like John T Flynn who's this journalist who you know was Pro FDR and then was against was it FDR made the Great Depression great okay then it wouldn't have been such a bad thing without him mucking up the

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entire economy and giving it a sickness it would have recovered quickly without that right this is a counterfactual which people just argue about it really angrily back and forth and you can't actually run the experiment unless you could Fork the economy right just like were the bailout's good or bad I think they're bad but how could I prove it I need to actually be able to Fork the economy crypto actually allows you in theory to do that like where folks could actually shift balances this is a whole separate thing where you actually start to make macroeconomics into more of an experimental science rather than simply arguing from Authority You could argue

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from experiment um some of the virtual economy stuff that Edward castroneva has done is relevant to this we can talk about that point is though with FDR there's a thing because he had Bridge such a war on Private Industry at that time and Justified it with this narrative bold persistent experimentation there was something called the quote business plot where all these captains of industry that he'd been beating up and again Teddy Roosevelt had also been doing this with you know the trust Buster um the journals at the time I'd Tarbell had gone in you know basically ran all these articles and Rockefeller knocked

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him down Woodrow Wilson in The Skin control but FDR the the CEOs were thinking oh bad this is so terrible there's a so-called business plot uh to try to take over the government and uh stop FDR from you know pushing the country and what they thought was a bad Direction Smedley Butler was a general that they recruited to try to help them with this but he turned on them and he went and kind of broke the whole thing open and told to Congress and so on and so this guy's you know uh the the whole plot was broken up all right now one way of thinking about today or the you know the whole aftermath of Jan six is it's a business plot but in reverse because the

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generals and the CEOs both were against Trump and actually the business plot happened and now all the CEOs just you know they pulled all this all the push all the buttons that they needed to and now the network was Prime over the state okay now why why is that an interesting way of looking at it because one thing I have in the book is you can kind of think of 1950 as like issues Peak centralization you go forward and backward in time things decentralize you know for example and and you start getting Mirror Image events that happen with the opposite outcome for example 1890 the frontier closes 1991 the

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internet Frontier opens internet becomes open for Commerce okay you go backwards in time you have the Spanish Flu forwards in time covet 19. right um backwards in time you have the uh captains of industry the robber barons fours in time you have the tech billionaires and there's so many examples of this like another one is um backwards in time the New York Times is allying with Soviet Russia to choke out Ukraine now today they have reinvented themselves as cheerleaders for Ukraine against you know nationalist Russia right and of course I think you could absolutely support Ukraine on other measures but it's pretty

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hypocritical for the guys who profited from the hull de more you know the ox ellisburg family literally profited from you know knowing to hold more to now make themselves cheerleaders for Ukrainian sex with this insane thing which we can talk about a tiny tangent on the yeah you put it brilliantly and a reminder for anyone who listens to me talk about Ukraine it is possible to have empathy for a nation and not be part of the machine that generates a mainstream narrative yes that's right like basically you know I I was actually one of the first three Estonian ee residents okay and I completely understand why Estonia and the baltics

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and all these countries including Ukraine that just recently within living memory got their independence from the Soviet Empire would not want to be forcibly reintegrated into a place that they just escaped from you know and so that is something which is sort of outside the American left right you know tired kind of thing where when you understand from that point of view right then there's like a fourth point of view which is like India's point of view or like much of the developing world or what I call you know parts of it are you know ascending parts or descending whatever but much of the rest of the world outside of that border

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region says look uh we're sympathetic to the ukrainians but we can't allow our people to starve so we're gonna maintain trade and guess what actually you know we've got a lot of wars in our neck of the woods and human rights crises that Europe just didn't even care about so it can't be that Europe's problems are the world's problems but the world's problems are not Europe's problems right so that's like a fourth point of view then a fifth point of view is China which is like guess what we're going to be the Iran of the Iraq War you know where like who won the Iraq War Iran arguably extended their influence into Iraq right so China's like guess what

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we're going to turn Russia into our gas station and build a pipeline they're building there's a power Siberia is like the name of the Eastern Russia your pipeline just like nordstream is you know Nordstrom one and North stream too I think they're building a new pipeline you know through Mongolia so Xi Jinping and Putin and the Mongolian head of state were all photographed kind of thumbs upping this pipeline we'll see if it goes through but it's ironic that you know Russia wanted to make Ukraine their you know Colony but the outcome of this war may be that Russia becomes China's Colony you know so that's at least like five different

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perspectives right there's like the U.S establishment perspective there's the you know Tucker Maga perspective there's the baltics and Ukrainian perspective there's like the Indian and like poor countries perspective and there's a chain Spectrum then of course there's the Russians right so um just respect to that by the way that's another example of History happening in Reverse this is the sign of Soviet partnership except this time China is a senior partner and Russia is a junior partner and this time they're both nationalists rather than communist and there's so many flips like this and you know there's I'm going to list a few

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more actually because there's so so so many of them do you have an explanation of why that happens yes let me list a few of them this is in the network State book it's in the chapter called fragmentation Frontier fourth turning Futures our past right so I give this example of like a fluid unmixing all right just watch this for a second right this is from Smart every day on mixing color machine Ultra lamina reversible flow smart every day 217. and so you can mix something and then like this thing that you don't think of as reversible you can unmix it which is insane right that it works okay the physics of that situation it just works right so uh for

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people just listening that there is whatever the mixture this is all this is ultra laminar reversible flow so this probably has to do something to do with the material we're used to mixing not being a reversible process exactly that's what that shows and then he he then reverses the mixing and table to do it perfectly that's right so that's like the Futures are past these it shows that Free Will is an illusion just kidding okay well basically there's there's you know some environments where you know the equations are like time symmetrical so you can right um and this is one model sort of it's an

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interesting visual model for what's happening in the world as we redecentralize after the centralized entry right so um basically you know I mentioned the internet Frontier over opens back in the Western frontier closed today we experienced covid-19 back then we experienced a Spanish Flu Tech billionaires and the other Captain street right today Founders like Elon and Dorsey are starting to win against establishment journalists back then Ida Tarbell demagogued and defeated Rockefeller I think net net Founders win this time versus the journals back then

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the journalist won over the founders okay um today we have cryptocurrencies back then we had private banking today this is an amazing one we have a populist movement movement of digital gold advocates back then because Bitcoin maximalists and so on where gold has become populist because it's against the printing money and so and so forth back then we had a populist movement against gold in the form of William Jennings Bryan in the cross of gold speech gold was considered a tool of big business now gold is the tool against big business and big government right uh digital gold yeah

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digital gold right say we have the inflation and cultural conflict of Weimar like America back then we had the inflation and cultural conflict of Weimar Germany America we have Ryan left fighting in the streets same unfortunately in Weimar Germany Peter church has written about you know today we have what turchan considers Antebellum like polarization like preborn polarization back then you know if you go further back time we had what we now know to be Antebellum pearlization right okay we have Airbnb back then we had flop houses today we have Uber back then we had Gypsy cabs um you know so today we see the

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transition from neutral to yellow journalism back then we saw the transition from yellow to neutral journalism right um and you know today figures like Mike Moritz you know wrote about China's energetic and America's laconic but back then Bertrand Russell actually wrote this whole long book actually you know the mathematician brother and Russell right wrote this whole long book which I didn't even realize he wrote about these kind of topics um about uh the problem of China and one of his observations was uh you know again this I'm not saying this is I'm just saying he made this observation he

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was saying that America was energetic and China laconic at the time because everybody was in opium dens and and so on and so forth okay more examples the one I just mentioned where the Chinese and Russians are again lining up against the West except this time the Chinese are the senior partner relationship rather than Junior partner today I think in the second Cold War there will also be a third world but this time I think that third world might come in first because it's not the non-aligned movement it's the Align movement around web 3 protocols that's fascinating yeah that's what India comes in by the way it's something

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we haven't mentioned Africa that there could be very interesting things in Africa as well Nigeria is actually Nigeria says First Tech unicorn um and I'm investing there I've uh and I think you know it's one of these things where China's risen India is like about 10 years behind uh you know China but I think this is uh the Indian decade in many ways we can come back to that point um but there's absolutely you know Sparks of light in Africa I mean it's a huge continent it almost like the more behind side to interrupt the more behind you are the more opportunity you have to leap for all sometimes that's right and pays

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a is a classic example where they did this in in East Africa but uh but I think there's more possibility there um so what is uh the fact this uh there's a kind of symmetry there's a history right what is that um how do how did that take us from uh um Trump the the the different perspective you took the libertarian perspective of uh it doesn't really matter yeah because the libertarian perspective or the left left libertarian perspective would say is it really a good idea to have total corporate power against the quote elected government even if you know you may disagree do you want to open the door to Total you know corporate

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oligarchy and it's like the opposite that's why I mentioned it's like the opposite of business plots and they pulled on that thread Okay so um the the macro explanation that I have for this future is our past thesis and there's more it also gives some predictions right if you go backwards in time the U.S federalizes into many individual states like before the Civil War people said the United States are and after they said the United States is before FDR the 10th Amendment reserved rights to the states afterwards it was just Federal Regulation of everything as we go forwards in time you're seeing States break away from the feds on gun

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laws drug laws right Sanctuary cities okay um many other kinds of things you know and now Florida for example has its own guard that's like not uh a National Guard but like a state guard other other cities uh other states are doing this and that's the force of decentralization is saying that parallels yes in Reverse in Reverse right so you're having before make America States again nice okay that's what's I think happening right but I'm not saying I well I think there's aspects of that that are good there's aspects that are bad but um just like that's kind of the the

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angle right but then that's I mean from your perspective that's probably not enough right that's that's not um it's part of the Future Let's just say whether I think you said something trouble you suggested all kinds of ways to build different countries I think that's probably one of them you said like start micro micro countries or something like this I forgot the terminology yeah micronations yeah I actually think of them as is better term as microstates because they're actually not Nations that's why they don't work but microstates are better right uh coming back to the difference between the

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nation the state the nation is like the nation state is a term that people use without expanding it but Nation comes from the same root word as like natality so it's like common descent common birth right common origin like the Japanese Nation that's a group of people that have you know come down from history right hence nationalism yeah whereas the state is like the administrative layer above them it's like labor and capital like labor and management okay the American state stood over the Japanese nation in 1946 after the war right oh so you weren't talking about traditionally you know that that doesn't matter

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like I thought you meant nation is a thing that carries across the generations that there's a tradition there's a culture and so on and state is just the management the uh the layer I mean that's also that's also another way of thinking about it right there's a reversal there as well okay yeah so so I mean one way of thinking about it is um you know one nation under God indivisible is no longer true it is America is at least two Nations the Democrat and Republican in the sense of their own cultures where I can show you graph after graph you've seen the polarization graphs I can show you Network diagrams where you know like

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there's this graph of polarization in Congress where there's red and blue they're separate things there's this article from 2017 showing um how uh you know shares on Facebook and Twitter are just separate sub graphs they're just separate graphs in The Social Network and they're pulling apart those are two Nations uh they're not under God because people in the US no longer believe in God and they're very much divisible because uh 96 of Democrats won't marry Republicans in a high percentage other way and in one gen what that means is in one generation ideology becomes biology these become ethnic groups it takes on

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the character of hudu and Tootsie or Protestant and Catholic SUNY and Shiite it's not about ideology if you think about old flips during covid right where people were on one side where cells are said it's Tribal it's just tribe on tribe and so it's not Universalist that identity of American makes less sense than the identity of Democrat and Republican right now or perhaps they didn't evangelial states where I think that's a good or bad thing I think that's unfortunately you know whatever it is the hour of History right on the opposite side of things India is actually was 562 princely States at the time of Indian unification

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um in 19 from 1947 to 19 1947 when they got independence from the British it was 562 princely States most people don't know their part and got your outside and you don't know the part it got unified into a republic only by like 1950. and India is like actually a modern create India is like Europe it's kind of like the European Union in the sense that we didn't have a unified India in the past it was something a lot of different countries like Northern South India or like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are as different as Finland and Spain okay but India has moved in the direction of much more unification like much more you know

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um centralization or what have you whereas the US is decentralizing you go okay a few more things there are Flips and I'll finish this off today we're seeing the rise of the pseudonymous founder and startup societies back all the way back in the 1770s we saw pseudonymous founders of startup countries namely the US right Federalist Papers um today we're seeing so far unsuccessful calls for wealth seizures in the U.S back then we saw FDR's executive order 6102 which was a successful seizure of gold I expect we may see something like that an attempted seizure of digital gold and I think

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that'll be one of the things that individual states like Florida or Texas may not enforce that and I think that's actually the kind of thing where you could see you know like a breakup potential in the future right one other thing that kind of Rhymes is in many ways like the modern U.S establishment the story that you hear is the victories in 1945 and 1865 legitimate the current establishment that is being the Nazis being the Confederates right so you beat the ethnic nationalists abroad and they beat the quote secessionist at home right and uh the ethnic nationalists were you know Aryan Nazis and the secessionists were you know slave slave

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owners and against freedom and so on and so forth okay I'm not disputing that I'm just saying that that's just like they're the way people think about it there's a possibility and I'm not saying it's 100 at all okay but if you're a Sci-Fi writer there's a possibility that the U.S loses to the ethnic nationalists abroad except this time they're Chinese Communists non-white Communists as opposed to Aryan Nazis which seemed like the total opposite okay and uh there's a possibility that there is a um Financial secession at home where it's you know Bitcoin maximalist states

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that are advocating for Freedom the opposite of slavery see what I'm saying oh boy that's dark you're uh you're looking for major things in history that don't yet have a cognate going forward right and that's a nice way to think about the future it is only one model and you know any mental model or something like that that's why I say as a Sci-Fi scenario it's like a scenario one could contemplate right where the new version has I mean the Chinese Communists do not think of themselves as Aryans right um but they are alternationalist and you know the Hitler comparisons people talk

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about Hitler endlessly you know like Saddam is a new Hitler everybody's a new Hitler et cetera if there is a comparison to quote Nazi Germany it is you know CCP China in a sense why they are non-english speaking manufacturing Powerhouse with a massive military build out under one leader that is a genuine peer competitor to the US on many dimensions and in fact you know exceeding on some dimensions of technology and science right that is like the problem is it's a boy who cried wolf people say this a zillion times right um and you know that is like uh you know

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I'm not saying this by the way crucially I am there's like I think China is uh very complicated and there's hundreds of millions of people probably half in China that disagrees with the current alternationalist kind of thing right and so I kind of hate it when innocent Chinese people abroad or whatever are just like attacked on this basis or what have you plus the other thing is that many times people say well look relative to you know where we were when uh Deng took over in 1978 we built up the entire country we're not starving to death anymore and the West wants to recolonize us and so understand where that's coming from this way you want to

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be able to argue different points of view with that said there's one huge difference right which is Nazi Germany was like 70 million people and the US was 150 million and the Soviet Union was 150 million and the UK was like 50 million so they were outnumbered like five to one China outnumbers the U.S four to one this is going to be a fun Century things are going to be under this model under this model things are going to be potentially crazy plus you know people are like oh I think this is uh you know again I have nothing personal you know there's a guy Peter

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Zion he writes these books right I probably agree about 20 or 30 but I disagree with a lot of the rest and a bunch of it is basically about how China is really weak and America is really strong and the rest of the world is screwed and um you know I think there's absolutely problems in China and uh you know like the current management is actually messing a lot of things up we could talk about that but I do think that you know the US is like fighting its Factory so one thing you know Zion will talk about is how oh America has this Blue

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Water Navy all the aircraft carriers and China has nothing it's got books Etc well China ships things all around the world right it probably has you know one of the most active fleets out there in terms of you know it's commercial shipping um and uh in terms of building ships here's a quote China's Merchant shipbuilding industry is the world's largest building more than 23 million gross tons of shipping in 2020. U.S yards built a mere 70 000 tons the same year though they typically average somewhere in the 200 thousands that is a 100 to 300X ratio just in shipbuilding

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pretty much everything else you can find in the physical world is like that okay we're not talking like 2x we're talking they can put together a subway station in nine hours with with prefab and the US takes three years okay when you have a thousand X difference in the physical world the reason the US was won against you know Nazi Germany in a serious fight is they had this giant manufacturing plant that was overseas and they just out produced right and they supplied the Soviets also with lendlies and the Soviets talked about how they would not have won the war without the Americans people are like oh the Russians you know

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fought the Germans the Russians armed by Americans fought the Germans like it's a Soviet Union they're not actually able to make high quality stuff there obviously are individual people in Soviet Russia who were Innovative right I'm not taking that away there's a there's a tradition of amazing I just want to be like um there's individual Russians who obviously I admire Mendeleev and uh you know clamor Grove and and so on there's amazing Russian scientists engineers so I'm not saying that I mean in general from from uh yourself that criticized communism is too easy to say nothing communism produces is good which

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of course is not true yes a lot of brilliant people in in a lot of even you know there's a lot of amazing things have been created yeah so they had some amazing mathematicians amazing scientists and so on right however great branding on the you know red and the yellows yeah yeah so branding is Stellar so Nazi Germany to excellent branding with the flag and so on you know so the tongues and ends there in terms of compliments yeah well actually they copied a lot of stuff from each other you know like there's this movie called the Soviet story it basically shows a lot of Nazi and Soviet propaganda things next to each other and you can see guys

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almost in like the same pose it's almost like uh you know how AI will do like style transfer you can almost see because the Socialist realism style of like the muscular brawny worker very similar to like the style of the Aryan Superman you know like pointing at the Vermin or whatever and then there's the crappy open source version that tries to copy which is Mussolini yeah that's just like that does the same exact thing but does it kind of shittier so right anyway so my main thing about this is basically like trying to fight your factory in the physical world is probably not going to work people are I think overconfident on this stuff right with that said I think

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we want to at all you know the future is not yet determined right at All Odds you know we want to avoid a hot war between like I mean a hop war between the US and China would would be do you think it's possible that we get a war we're doing these things like Pelosi going to Taiwan and trying to trying to cause something like look again this is one of these things which is complicated because obviously if you're there's more than one perspective on this right again you've got the U.S establishment the U.S conservative the Taiwanese perspective the Chinese perspective all the bystanders over there there's more than one perspective on this okay if you're

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you know China's one of China's many neighbors you look at China with apprehension like Vietnam for example has sort of fallen into uh or not fallen into is partnering with India because they're mutually apprehensive China China is not making like great friends with its neighbors it's kind of you know it's demonizing Japan it's it's so ultra-nationalist nowadays um and so if you're Taiwanese you're like uh yeah I do not want to be under the Chinese surveillance State I completely understand that some people are pro-reunification others aren't but there's more you know Trend you know um

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in some ways for for Independence okay fine but there's also an increasing temperature across the entire world as we sit here today there's speeches by Vladimir Putin about the serious possibility of a nuclear war and that escalates kind of the heat in the room of geopolitics it escalates the human room of course right and the thing is people have this belief that because something hasn't happened it won't happen or it can't happen but like there were a lot of measures people took during the Cold War to make sure our nuclear exchange didn't

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happen the whole mutually assured destruction thing and communicating that out and like the balance of Terror there were smart guys on both sides who thought through this and there were near near misses right there you know like there's that story about like the Soviet Colonel who didn't order a nuclear strike because he thought it was just like an error in the instruments right okay what's the point point is you know for example Pelosi going to Taiwan that didn't strengthen Taiwan they didn't like that if if you're gonna go and provoke China I thought scholar stage as a Twitter account had a good point which is you should if you're

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actually gonna do it then you strengthen Taiwan with like huge battalions of like arms material and you make them a porcupine and so on and so forth instead her kind of going and Landing there and mooning China and then flying back in the middle of a hot war with Russia that's absolutely you know in the middle of an economic crisis or it just it just okay you know can you can pick battles or whatever right it's like you don't have to fight Russia and China at the same time it's like kind of insane to do that okay plus even with Ukraine um some people were like oh this was like a a victory for the U.S military

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policy or something there's a guy who I'm not trying to beat him up or anything he's like this is in March threat on U.S security assistance to Ukraine it's working Ukraine might be one of the biggest successes of U.S security assistance and the reason is you know U.S didn't focus on some high-end shiny objects but on core military tasks that focus should remain and it's like how is this a success the West gave massive arms to Ukraine only after the invasion but not enough before to deter and now Ukraine is like this syria-like Battleground with you know a million refugees or whatever the number is right

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the country is blown to Smithereens thousands of people dead whatever thousand dollar gas in in Europe with like 10x energy radicalized Russians the threat of World War III or even nuclear war you know shooting somebody isn't that's not like the point of a military the point is you know there's a million ways to smash Humpty Dumpty into pieces and you know unleash the blood drench Tides right and have people all shooting each other and killing each other it's really hard to maintain stability that's what competence is deterrence and stability right there's not like a success in any way um this is like an absolute tragedy for

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everybody involved right yeah I mean deterrence of course is the the number one thing but the you know there's a lot to be said there um but I'm a huge not fan of declaring Victory as we've done many times when it's the wrong yeah I mean look I mean the other thing about this is the whole mission accomplished thing during this [ __ ] accomplishes what I meant yeah exactly mission accomplished was obviously you know the thing is Russia lives next door to Ukraine and so I mean just like Iraq lives next door to Iran and Afghanistan is next to Pakistan and China and so if the U.S eventually gets tired of it and leaves those guys

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are next door right and so you know who knows what's going to happen here okay um but one of the problems is like you know the whole Afghanistan thing or the Iraq thing is the lesson for people was the uncertainty they're like is the US going to fight don't know is will the US winifit fights don't know therefore roll the dice that uncertainty is itself like tempting to folks you know like like pewter right so point is coming all the way back up we were talking about how history Futures are passed and FDR like the business plot the FDR failed but like the tech companies were able to de-platform Trump right and the left libertarian would say do we want that

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much corporate power okay and so that's so we gave the forecast for Trump to platforming protecting democracy the Trump supporter case against which is on the secret history of the Shadow campaign the state of the 2020 election that article the left libertarian or libertarian case against and then to me what is uh you know like I am more sympathetic to the libertarian slash left libertarian against and then also maybe the fourth group which is the non-american case right which is to say every you know you know you know amlo he's the uh he was a you know head of state of Mexico I think at that time

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okay um amlo macron you know other folks everybody who's watching this around the world basically saw let's say U.S establishment or democrat aligned folks just decapitate you know the head of state from digitally right like just boom gone okay and they're like well if they can do that in public to the US president who's ostensibly the most powerful man in the world what is the Mexican president stand against that nothing right like these U.S media corporations use tech companies are so insanely powerful everybody's on Twitter or what have you other than China

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leaving them aside they've got their own root system if somebody tried to de-platform decision ping off of Sino weibo they'd probably just fall through a trap tour you know their whole family right but for the rest of the world it's on the that that is hosting their business their Politics on these U.S tech companies they're like regardless of whether it was Justified on this guy that means they will do it to anybody now the seal is broken just like the bailouts as exceptional as they were in the first everybody was shocked about them then they became a policy instrument and now there's bailouts happening every single bill is printing

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another whatever billion dollars or something like that right you can ask on your thoughts and advice on this topic um if if I or anyone were to have a conversation with Donald Trump first of all should one do so and uh if so how do you do it and it may not necessarily be trump it could be other people like Putin and Xi Jinping and so on let's say people that are censored right like people that Platforms in general see as dangerous Hitler you can go uh we keep bringing it up of course that's the Ultimate Edge case right um in the sense of is that saying like something must be done this is something they're for this must be

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done right I've heard that one before no but I love it so this is just can I just use that as an explanation with confidence for everything I do yeah sure there you go right something must be done this is something therefore must be done therefore this must be done so that is the like the two all kinds of regulations all kinds of things are kind of Justified in that basis right there's a version of that which is uh punchinati I decide who's a Nazi you're a Nazi therefore I I punch you and that's Justified yeah yeah and you know like people say oh uh how many people are calling Israelis you know like these

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these things right um and so the problem with argumentum ad hilarum is it just I mean people will say Obama's a Nazi everybody say everybody's a Nazi right but there is a social consensus about who let's let's set Nazis aside but who's dangerous for society okay but now let's talk about that all right so basically I think a more interesting example than Hitler in in this context is Herbert Matthews so Fidel Castro before he became the Communist dictator of Cuba was on the Run he was like Osama Bin Laden at the time he's like a terrorist that the Cuban regime had seemingly defeated and

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what Herbert Matthews did is he got an intro to him he went to the you know place where he was hiding out he gave an interview and he printed this hagiography in the New York Times with this like you know photo of Castro looking all you know Mighty and so on and he's like Castro is still alive and still fighting okay and uh there's this book on this called the man who created Fidel okay where basically nyt's article was crucial positive press that got Castro's point of view out to the world and helped lead to the Communist Revolution that actually impoverished Cuba led to like gay people being you know like uh discriminated against there

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led to people fleeing you know and drowning trying to escape right that's an example of where platforming somebody led to a very bad outcome in fact many of the Communist dictators in the 20th century had like their own personal journalist right for example there's a guy John Reed he's an American he's buried uh you know if I get this right I think he's buried at the Kremlin wall okay um why is an American buried there okay um because he wrote a book called 10 days that shook the world that whitewashed the entire Soviet Revolution and uh the you know the Russian

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Revolution in 1917 October Revolution and made these guys out to be the good guys when they were actually genocidal Psychopaths okay he got their point of view out of the world and it was a totally misleading point of view all right do you think what do you think he was thinking he's like he saw the psychopathy you know sometimes it's not obvious like well the French Revolution had already happened so people kind of knew that this sort of Psychopathic you know Killing In The Name of equality could produce bad results right and uh but but it's more than that right so it's John Reed it's Herbert Matthews it's um Edgar

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snow okay so these are all people who should be extremely famous right um so Edgar snow is Mao's journalist okay so he wrote um you know here's a there's actually a article in this how 1930s reporter from Missouri became China's ideal ideal journalist okay and he wrote various books including like red star over China okay and it's just a geography of of Mal right yeah and uh then of course you've got Durante he is like Stalin's biographer right just to recap John Reed brought Lennon's message to the world mail instead Durante helped Stalin starve out the ukrainians Maryland's Dead uh Edgar snow

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uh was Mao's biographer um and uh Herbert Matthews was like Castro's and this guy David David halberstam in Vietnam who was effectively Ho Chi minh's he basically went and uh took leaks from a communist spy I'll give you the exact name Farm I'm going to mispronounce this but it's perfect spy the incredible double life of Pham Swan on Time Magazine reporter and Vietnamese communist agent that guy was the source of many fabricated Stories the David halberstam printed in the New York Times that led to the undermining of the South Vietnamese regime and you know for example stories of Buddhists being

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killed and so on Ashley rinsberg in the great lady wink writes this whole thing up at length so you can go and read it for his account but basically all of these communist dictators had a journalist right alongside them as their biographer yeah okay but those are those are tools of the propaganda machine versus well so my point is these are five examples that are on the far left that should be balanced also against the times running profiles of Hitler on the far right we know that base you know the times actually also ran the whole thing which was you know Hitler's like Mountain Retreat or something like that

357:17-357:78

do you know about that story what year was this I'll tell you one second Hitler at home in the clouds oh boy please tell me it's like early 30s I think it's um oh yeah this is auto detolicious this is actually a guy that um Ashley rinsberg writes up in the great lady wink right 1937 37. there's another one where I think the date is wrong but it's 39 you know but essentially uh these titles are like where Hitler dreams and plans he lives simply you know right and uh there's another one hair Hitler at home in the clouds okay the thing about this is absolutely there are folks who are hit geographers of the far right but whether

357:78-358:47

you're talking Lennon and John Reed or uh Stalin and Walter Durante of the New York Times or Castro and Herbert Matthews again of the New York Times or Edgar snow and Mao or David halberstam and uh you know Ho Chi Minh again of the New York Times like you start to see a pattern here where the guys who are being platformed and given a voice are these guys who end up being like far left you know lunatics right and I think part of the issue here is you know the thing about how Communists don't understand self-interest nationalists don't understand other interests and so Nationals are more obvious isn't that good I thought it was good

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it's pretty good right pretty good so the Nationalist is very obvious in the sense of like they're for the Aryans they're not even for like the Slavs or whatever right like you know uh basically you know had Hitler constructed a different ideology um you know then like he might have gotten more support in Eastern Europe or whatever right but he also called the Slavs inferior not just you know basically everybody was inferior to darians okay except maybe the English or whatever but that was it right um oh and the Japanese are honorary organs or something so the Nationalist declares the

358:97-359:57

supremacy of their own race or culture or what have you and doesn't understand people's other interest but he also pumps up his own guys okay same with you know in some ways China today same with Japan back in the day whereas the Communist has a message that sounds more appealing it's a Universalist message ostensibly but it's it's actually faux universalism because it's actually particularism like during the Soviet Union communism this faux universalism was basically a mask for Russian nationalism you know where you know or at least at least Soviet nationalism where in particular Russians were pushed into many territories and

359:57-360:12

you know Russian speakers were you know like privileged in you know the Eastern Europe and and the baltics of course Russians themselves were oppressed at home as Sultan's rights they were both victim and victimizer of the regime their churches were crushed and so on as compensation they were agents of Empire it's a tragedy all around right I'm not you know I think Russians have been hard done in many ways they've had a very hard hard Century they've also done hard by others okay it's complicated those journalists you mentioned just to elaborate maybe the skill with me I wonder what you think sure but I think conversation like not to sort of glorify

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any particular medium but there's something one of the reasons I like long-form podcasts or into interviews long form unedited interviews there's been shows throughout the 20th century that do that kind of thing but they seem to be rare there is that's podcast made it much more popular in common is it's somehow makes it easier not to do this kind of [ __ ] journalism that the gotcha stuff yeah I I feel like asking interesting and deep questions allow I think you could sit down with Hitler in 1940 1941 1942 and the podcast actually serve a purpose in 41 and 42 mid World War II amid World War II a purpose of

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one which is very important get good information for the future so history can study it and to reveal to the world the way a man thinks that is beyond the propaganda so all this stuff is complicated but today so the specific issue of the folks you were talking about like Putin Z Trump right for those folks they are very clearly out group for both the U.S left and right which is it'll say the Western left and right which are your um uh your audience there's folks who are tankies and they're folks who are Maga who are sympathetic and so what are dankies tankies are those who are you know unless they may call themselves

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tankies let's say they're anti-imperialists left and mega right okay for different reasons are um against the US establishment and for Putin or G or something like that as you know um as an agent against us establishment right so leaving those aside the point is that most your audience is sort of on guard vaccinated in a sense right versus Z and Putin and Trump right like they have they know the counter arguments and so on and so forth okay in which case I wouldn't think interviewing them would be like that big a deal relatively because there's so much other coverage

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and so on out there it's it's I think it's probably okay however for something like um you know when what John Reed was doing and so on when he was a sole source of information about the Russian Revolution yes right that's different that's different right so so it's something about it kind of gets back to the the competitive environment and so on there's no dearth of folks who are writing critical coverage of these these three men right and so if I felt that that was insufficient then you might need more of it right right um just like you know for example nowadays with Stalin there are a lot of

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articles and books and PDFs and so on on it but a good time not as much at the time not as much right that's why I brought those those guys right because often it's kind of like have you have your stock shelves at a supermarket and so seem totally out of left field no but shoes but the same thing Sears I used to work with seriously the thing that is the most popular is the thing that's not on the Shelf because it's been sold out yeah right so in some ways like you know this is the this is similar to that you know famous photo that people have or image that people have on Twitter of the plane and um you know the parts that are shot versus not right the the uh

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survivorship bias right and one way of kind of thinking about it is the guys who you think of as bad guys or possible bad guys or controversial guys or whatever are those you've already got some vaccination to do that's why you think of them at all whereas the folks that I mentioned The Regulators invisible you don't right salzburger you know Zuckerberg you know his pros and cons you know who he is as a person you don't even know Salzburg exists most people right despite the fact that he's like certainly is powerful you know he owns the New York Times he inherits he also got dual class talk just like Zuck

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um but it's invisible right well that's why I think studying the knowns the people that are known can help you generalize uh to the way human nature is and then you start to question are the same kind of humans existing in places that uh wield power and you can assume they are they do exist there and then you can start to infer that's right and ask questions so this is kind of what I try to do is I'm like what is the dark matter what is the question that's not being asked or what happens right and so um you know that's not to say that you you need to be so anti-memetic that you only do that but I think you need to do

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that as well as understand what is good about the conventional wisdom and you know for example if you notice a lot of what I talk about is like the V1 V2 V3 or as critical as I am of let's say the FDA I recognize that people want a regulated Marketplace and how do we do better as critical as I can be of the FED I recognize that some kind of monetary policy is necessary and Satoshi came up with a better one right um as harsh as one can be a Critic of the current system it is really incumbent as difficult as it is upon one to come with a better version just like Academia as much as I think current science is corrupted what

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I propose is a way to actually improve on that and actually any any true scientists say yes I want my work to be reproducible yes I want citations to be important statements and so on and so forth and we don't have to get everybody to agree with that but just enough to build that better version and not regress yeah there's a there's an implied optimism within the V1 V2 V3 yes framework let me ask you at a high level about social media because you are one of its prominent users to communicate your wisdom I use Twitter I wouldn't I don't really think of it as quick communicating my wisdom per se or

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anything like that I use Twitter like I might use GitHub as a scratch pad for just kind of floating Concepts and you know I've got okay here's a frame on things let me kind of put it out there and see what people think get some feedback and so on don't you think it has a lasting impact that the your scratch book I think it's good but basically like um if I say that's what's my primary thing on Twitter it's that it's a it's a scratch pad for me to kind of put some Concepts out there you know iterate on them get feedback on them and so on and so forth do you think it's possible that the words you've tweeted on Twitter

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is the most impact you will have on the world on the world I don't uh so possible is it possible um well my tweets received me it's a good question I I think the network state will be I think important uh or I hope it well the book The Book of the concept good question the movement the movement right uh in the sense that Zionism shows that it is possible to have a book and then a conference and then a fund and eventually in the fullness of time with a lot of time and effort to actually get a state right and uh you know as I mentioned earlier a lot of countries are small countries but I didn't mention there's a guy who's the

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head of Kazakhstan and he made a remark he's like you know if we allow every nation that wants to have self-determination to have a state we'd have 600 countries rather than 190. yeah because you know the option one of there's many opposites of a nation-state but one of the Opposites is the stateless nation and she remember the network state is popular in places like Catalonia catalonian nationalists in Catalonia guys are a committed catalonian nationalists so Catalonia is region of Spain right um the the thing is that again V1 V2 V3 the nation state is V2 and it beat the city-state which is like

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V1 and the network State I think of as a potential V3 which combines aspects of V1 and V2 so Catalonia or The Basque region these are underneath the nation state of Spain but many catalonians think of themselves as part of a separate nation not all set many okay and so they want a state of Their Own who doesn't if you're a nation you know meaning that they've got a they've got a legitimate claim from history language culture all that stuff right the basks do as well the Kurds do as well okay lots of ethnic groups around the world do so in the game of musical chairs that was the formation of current national

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borders they lost out right so what do they do well one answer is they just submit to the Spanish state and they just speak Spanish and their culture is erased and their history is erased and so on the second is they do some sort of ireland-like Insurgency the troubles to try to get a thing of their own which is obviously bad for other kinds of reasons right you know violent Etc what this catalonian nationalist said he's like look well we can't give up on our existing path the network state is a really interesting third option I mean by the way I hadn't talked to this guy V partel okay and he's got this site

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called via web and uh Vila Villa web sorry it can be meaning the networks it can be especially appealing to us catalans are now embarking on the task of having a normal and current state in the old way and this is a project that we cannot give up but this doesn't mean that at the same time we are not also attentive to ideas like this and we do not try to learn and move forward right meaning you know the network state right because that's the Third Way which says okay maybe this particular region is not something where you're going to be able to get you know a state but just like there's more Irish people

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who live outside of Ireland right just like you know the Jewish people you know didn't actually get a state in Poland or have you they they had one in Palestine perhaps the catalonians could crowdfund territory in other places and have essentially a state of their own that's distributed okay now again what people are immediately going to say as well that's going to lead to conflict with locals necessarily and so and so forth but if you're parallel processing you don't have the all-in-one bucket aspect of I must win here and the guy on the other side is like I must win you have optionality you can you can have

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multiple different nodes around the world just like there's multiple chinatowns you could have multiple catalonian towns right and uh some places you might be able to just buy an island and that becomes you know the new Catalonia right um just like in I think there's a there's a region called New Caledonia um and that's in the Southwest Pacific so maybe maybe new Catalonia is somewhere else right so if you're flexible in that now of course a bunch of people will immediately say they'll have 50 different objections to this they'll say oh you don't get it the whole point is the land and you know so

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on they've been there for Generations sort of say I do get it um but this Catalan nationalist who's like literally ridden in catalonian for I don't know how many years right uh is basically saying this is worth thinking about and so it's a peaceful Third Way yeah but it's it's interesting I mean it it to it I mean it's it's a good question whether Elon Musk SpaceX and Tesla will be successful without Twitter yeah I I don't think as as successful I mean I mean obviously they existed before Twitter and a lot of the engineering problems are obviously non-twitter things right but Twitter itself is certainly probably helped us

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with Tesla sales the engineering no that's not that's not what I mean the best people in the world solve the engineering problems yes but he hires the people to solve them and he knows enough about engineering that's the point I'm making is on Twitter the legend of Elon Musk is created the vision is communicated and the best engineers in the world come to work for the vision it's an advertisement of a man of a company pursuing a vision I think Twitter is a great place to make viral ideas that are compelling to people whatever those ideas are and whether that's the network state or whether

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that's humans becoming a multiple planetary species here is a remark I had just before the pandemic related to this okay but Twitter helping along just beyond that for a second maybe centralization is actually also underexplored in the design space for example today's social networks are essentially governed by a single Co but that Co is a background figure they aren't leading the users to do anything what if they did one example could Elon musk's then 30 million followers somehow get us to Mars faster tools for directed collaborative work by really large groups on the internet are still in their infancy you can see a

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piece of what I was talking about the scratch Pad thing the network State being a group with which can do Collective actions this is kind of the thing right so Technologies for internet collaboration that can be very useful to the software for future network States operational transformation is held at Google Docs coordinates edits um conflict-free replicated data types is another it's an alternative easier to code in some ways an operational transformation microtask like mechanical Church scale Ai and earn.com before we sold it blockchains and crypto obviously the polymath project where a bunch of people parallel processed and were able

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to solve an open math problem by collaborating um Wikipedia with its flaws that we talked about social networks and group messaging all these are ways for collaborating they're not just simply attacking or doing something on the Internet this is something that Elan could use right what works and what doesn't about Twitter if there's something that's broken how would you fix it a million things I can say here so a few things first is fact checking I had this kind of fun I thought it was a funny tweet to anyone who wants to quote ban lying on social media please write down a function that takes in a

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statement and returns whether it is true if you can start with the remand hypothesis that would be amazing yeah okay yeah not put that's kind of funny right that's funny and uh so now that joke landed on like five people sure you want to explain the joke well no I there's a lot of problems decidability where the truth that's what proofs in math is the truth of the thing is actually exceptionally difficult to determine and that's just a really nice example the problems that persist across centuries that have not been solved by the most Brilliant Minds they're essentially true or false problems that's right and so

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when people are saying when they were saying they want to ban lying on social media fact check social media the assumption is that they know what is true and what do they mean by that they really mean the assertion of political power right with that said do I think it could be useful to have some kind of quote factor I can think yes but it has to be decentralized and open source you could imagine an interesting concept of coding trugle like a Google that return was true it's like a modified version right it's like gpt3 but the stable diffusion version where it's open okay and so now anybody Stables Fusion

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shows that it's possible to take an expensive AI model and put it out there right so you have you know you don't Knowledge Graph is like like basically you know uh you wouldn't actually uh whether you have it as rdf or like a like a triple store kind of thing or some other representation it's like an ontology of a is a b and you know B has a c and it's got probabilities on the edges sometimes and other kinds of metadata and this allows Google to show certain kinds of one box information where it's like um what is so what is Steve Jobs's uh you know what is what is Laureen Powell Jobs's uh age or birthday they can pull

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that up out of the out of the um the knowledge graph right and uh so you can imagine the true goal would have both deterministic and statistical components and crucially it would say whether something is true according to a given Knowledge Graph and so this way at least what you can do is you can say okay here's the things that are consensus reality like the value of the gravitational constant will be the same in the Maga Knowledge Graph and the US establishment Knowledge Graph and the CCP Knowledge Graph and the the I don't know the resilient Knowledge Graph and so on and so forth okay but there's other things that will be quite

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different and at least now you can isolate where the point of disagreement is and so you can have a form of decentralized fact checking that is like according to who well here is the authority and it is this knowledge graph right so that's like a kind of thing right yeah yeah so that is um so that's one concept of like what next social media looks like there's there's actually so much more another huge thing is decentralized social media okay social media today is like China under communism in a really key sense there's a great article called The Secret document that transformed China

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do you know what China was like before 1978 I know about the atrocities sure so but some flesh on the yeah bone so to speak okay so basically there's a good book um because I think a lot of documents became public recently and so there's a window when it opened up now it's probably closing back down again but but you know great biographies because of that were written like I'm currently reading Mao's Great Famine by Frank de Carter yeah which is uh who boy it's crazy okay yeah here's the thing is capitalism was punishable by Death in living memory in China just to

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explain what that meant okay I mean that's what communism was right it was literally the same China that has like the CC you know the entrepreneurs and Jack Ma and so on and so 40 something years ago capitalism was punishable by death but to put to give in a concrete example this is a famous story in China maybe apocryphal but it's what you know the folks have talked about there's a village in xiaogang and basically all the green that you were produced was supposed to go to the collective and even one straw belonged to the group at one meeting with Communist Party officials a farmer asked what about the teeth in my head do I own those answer

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no your teeth belong to the collective okay now the thing is uh that when you're taking a hundred percent of everything okay work hard don't work hard everyone gets the same so people don't want to work right so what happened these Farmers gathered in secret and they did something that was like would have gotten them executed they they were a contract amongst themselves and said we all agree that we will be able to keep some of our own grain we will give some of them to the regime so when it comes to collect grain they've got something we'll be able to keep some of it and if any of us are killed for doing

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this then the contract said that the others would take care of their children okay so to keep some of what you earned I mean just think about how it formed the many capitalism Society within the Communist secret cap of some Society so amongst five people yeah right so now that they could keep some of what they earned right it seems returned they had a bumper Harvest and you know what happened with that bumper Harvest that made the local officials really suspicious and mad they weren't happy that there was a bumper Harvest they're like what are you doing you're doing capitalism right and in you know a few years earlier they might have just been

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executed and in fact many were that's what it means when you see Millions dead Millions dead means guys were shot for keeping some grain for themselves okay it means like guys came and kicked in the door of your Collective farm and you know raped your wife and took you off to a prison camp and so forth that's what communism actually was okay it hasn't been depicted in movies there's a great post um by Ken Billingsley in in the year 2000 called uh I got this right Hollywood's missing movies okay this is um basically here I'll paste this links you put in the show notes all right this is worth reading it's still applicable

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today but now that we have stable diffusion now we have all these people online now that Russia and China are America's national bad guys um you know as they were before they are again perhaps we'll get some movies on what communism actually was during the twin century and how bad it was right and you know vaccinate people against that as well as against Nazism which they should be okay the point of this uh go ahead uh no because I'm I'm congratulating myself on the nice because you're sending me excellent links on WhatsApp and I just saw that there's an export chat feature yes great because we also have disappearing

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messages on so I was like all right this is great great I'll be able to get it this your your ability to reference sources is incredible so thank you for this anyways otherwise if I if I say something it sounds too surprising so that's why I want to make sure I have it on this top yeah so like yeah I mean people would be like shot for for holding some grain so what happened though was ding Xiaoping said okay um we're not going to kill you in fact we're going to actually set up the first special economic zone in Shenzhen he didn't try to flip the whole country

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from communist to capitalist in one go and said he's like we can reform in one place and in fact he fenced it off from the rest of China and it did trade with Hong Kong and he spent his political capital on this one exception it grew so fast that gave him more political Capital you know some people think actually that the you know sino-vietnamese War uh was deng's way of just distracting the generals while he was turning China around to get it back on the capitalist Road and what he did was um the opposite of a rebranding he did a reinterpretation like a rebranding is where the substance is the same but the

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logo is changed okay you know you're now you were Facebook you're now meta that's a rebranding right reinterpretation is where the logo and The Branding is the same they're still the CCP they're still the Chinese Communist party but they're capitalist now the engine under the hood it's deniable okay and this is a very common once you realize those are different things it's like swap the front end swap the back end yeah go ahead go ahead put it right it's really good yeah yeah enjoying your metaphors and way of talking about stuff yes I get yeah yeah swap you could yeah when branding and

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swap the front end my interpretation swap the back end that's right once you you know once you realize that you're like okay I can just like as an engineer you can kind of okay sometimes I want to do this on the front end sometimes in the back end sometimes this is explicit and sometimes user doesn't need to see it and it's on the back end lots of political stuff uh you know is arguably not just best done in the back end but always done on the back end one of the points I make in the book is left is a new right is a new left is um you know if you look through history the the Christian King the Republican conservative the CCP entrepreneur

382:20-382:94

um the um the WASP establishment these are all examples of a revolutionary left movement becoming the ruling class right okay like the Republican conservative just is that one example I go through extend description of this in the book but the Republicans were the The Radical Republicans the left of 1865 they won the Revolution and their moral Authority LED them to have economic Authority in the late 1800s you wouldn't want a Democrat Confederate Trader as the head of your you know Railroad Company would you right so all the Confederate Traders Etc were boxed out from the plum positions in the late 1800s uh and so what happened was the Republicans turned

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their moral Authority into economic Authority made tons of money the Democrats then started repositioning not as a party of the Southern racist but the the poor right and you know the cross of gold speech by William James Brown was part of that there's a gradual process that reaches but let's say a crucial Mark with the election of FDR whereas actually not the 1932 but 1936 election that uh black voters switched over to FDR okay that was actually the the like the major flip to like 70 you know to to to the Democrats now they've reposition it as a party the poor not the party of the South okay and Republicans

383:57-384:07

had lost um some economic Authority or rather they had moral authority to turn into economic Authority they started to lose some moral Authority the loss of moral 30 was complete by 1965. that was actually mop-up people dated you know the Civil Rights Movement as a big way where the Republicans lost mortality it's not really that was a mop-up because uh 1936 30 years earlier was when black voters switched to the Democrats okay 1765 was another 10 points moving over of black voters to Democrats Roslyn said completely lost moral Authority 100 years after the Civil War okay then the next 50 years

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that loss of moral Authority meant that they lost economic Authority because now you wouldn't want a republican bigot as a c of your tech company anymore would you right so by 2015 2020 now now you have it's like two sine waves that are staggered right moral Authority leads to economic Authority leads to loss of uh moral Authority leads to loss of economic Authority and so now you have the uh the Democrats you know have you know completed 155-year Arc from the defeated party in the Civil War to the dominant party in the US establishment all the woke capitalists are now at the very top and now the same repositioning is happening where if you're so woke why

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are you rich you get it right like you know if you're so smart why aren't you rich is the normal kind of thing right if you're still woke if you're so holy why is like for example the BLM founder why do they have this million dollar mansion right if you're so woke and it's all about being good and you're anti-capitalist how come you seem to be raking in the money Etc right this is an argument which I'm not sure how long it will go um it might take years to play out it might take decades to play out I think probably on the order of a decade you're going to see in my view the

385:25-385:77

repositioning if the Democrats are the world capitalists the Republicans will eventually become are becoming the Bitcoin maximalists why because you know if one guy picks left the other guy picks right it's literally like magnets kind of repelling they're sort of forced into the other corner here right in the Bitcoin Maximus will essentially where this guy says centralization they say decentralization where they defend the right of capital to do anything the maximalist will say actually you're all cantillionaires um you're all benefiting from printed money you don't have anything that's legitimate you don't actually own

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anything is all a handout from the government and so on and so forth right and um so that's the counter positioning that will basically attack the wokes about how much money they're making they're not contesting the ideology so when one guy signals economics you signal culture when uh their guy signals culture you signal economics that's actually that's the whole thing I can talk about should I talk about that for a second sure is is this uh integrated into the forces that you talk about you've talked about the three forces that Trifecta forces that affect our society which is the wokes let's say what

386:41-387:12

you've talked so fast it's uh and I think so slow no no no uh woke Capital communist capital and crypto capital uh can you explain each of those three we actually talked about each of the three in part but it'd be nice to bring them together in a beautiful triangle and then I'll also come back up and I'll talk about how the CCP story relates to social media and decentralized social media okay all right so nyt CCP BTC is what capital economy's capital crypto capital and communist capital is the simplest is you must submit the Communist party is powerful CCP is powerful and you are not if you're in China you just CCP is an embodiment of

387:12-387:73

communist Capital that you're talking about well yeah so basically and by the in China they call it CPC you know so basically they don't like it usually if you say CCP right so uh like Communist Party of China as opposed to Chinese kind of sort of there basically that is capitalism that is uh that it's a Chinese pool of capital that billion person pool okay that that's WeChat and it's um you know it's Alibaba and it's the entire kind of thing that is one just social network with currency the whole thing is vertically enjoyable when we say communist what do you mean here why is the word communist important why

387:73-388:31

don't you just say China so it's it's communist an important way well it's just a catchy label it's a catchy level but I think it's also important because it seems It's paradoxical right so I had a threat on this the future is communist Capital versus Capital versus crypto Capital each represents a left right Fusion that's Bizarre by the standards of the 1980s consensus it's PRC versus mmt versus BTC all right and why is it Bizarre by the standards of 1980s consensus well in the 1980s you wouldn't think the Communists would become capitalists but they did you wouldn't think that the wokes the progressives right

388:31-388:94

um would become so enamored with giant corporations and and their power right they've seen something to like in that right um and you also wouldn't think that the non-americans or the post-americans or the internationalists would be the champions of capital because you'd think it's the American Nation right so rather than the conservative American nationalists being the Defenders of capital you have the liberal Americans who are with capital you have the Communist Chinese here with capital and you have the international sword

388:94-389:51

with capital and it's the conservative American nationalists who are in some ways against that which is which is kind of funny right so uh so it's like this weird ideological flipping that um if you if you look if you take the long lens you have these polls that kind of repel each other okay so just on the CCP nyt BTC thing nyt by the way is Wolf Capital yeah what is nyt so its formula is a little interesting if CCP is just you must submit because they're powerful okay and then you bow your head because the Chinese Communist party is strong well capital is you must sympathize why do you bow your head Lex oh because you're

389:51-390:09

a white male therefore you're guilty you sympathize you must bow your head because you are powerful yet notice it ends in the same place in your your head looking to the ground right in China it's because they are powerful so therefore you must bend your head for the wogues it's the left-handed version where you are powerful and that's shameful so you should bow your head right right okay but it ends in your head bowed it's an ideology of submission it's not that subtle but it's like somewhat subtle and then finally crypto capital is head held high you

390:09-390:62

must be sovereign okay which and one of the things I point out in the in the book is each of these polls is um negative in some ways when taken to extreme but also negative in its opposite for example obviously just totally submitting to Total surveillance is bad but a society where nobody submits is San Francisco where people just Rob stores and walk out you know in the middle shoplifting you know all this all these goods and nothing happens right a society where you know you have the vocal level of sympathy where you get to the kind of

390:62-391:14

insanity of math is white supremacist and whatever you know nonsense is is happening today is terrible but a society that's totally stripped of sympathy is also not one that one would want to be part of right that's just like the you know whether it's 4chan's actual culture or it's fan culture or something like that or some some weird combination you that's also not good it's like Russia in the 90s like nobody trusts anybody that's also bad and you know being totally Sovereign that sounds good and there's a lot that is good about it and I'm sympathetic to this corner but being totally Sovereign

391:14-391:65

you go so capitalist so Sovereign that you're against the division of labor you don't trust anybody so you have to pump your own water and so on so you actually have a reduced standard of living over here okay and conversely survivalist or whatever survivalist type stuff right and you just kind of you you just go kind of too crazy into that corner and then like of course though the Other Extreme of you know having no sovereignty is the you will own nothing and be happy everything's in the cloud and can be deleted at any point right so each of these is kind of has Badness when it's there but also it's total extreme

391:65-392:21

opposite is bad and so you want to kind of carve out like an intelligent intermediate of these three poles and that's the you know decentralized center of the recentralized center I call now with that said I think there is a repositioning in particular of vote Capital that is happening and I think if the 2000s was the global war on terror and then the channel just changed to wokeness in the 2010s and I mean channel change have you seen Paul Graham's graph or actually David rosado's graph that Paul Graham posted no but this is a good chance to say that Paul Graham is awesome okay yeah and so here is this graph okay

392:21-392:95

David rosado's data analysis I think that put this together so but basically this is a graph of the word usage frequency New York Times 1970 to 2018 and he's got some controls there Paul Graham tweets hypothesis although some newspapers can survive the switch to online subscriptions none can do it and remain politically neutral quote newspaper or record you have to pick a side to get people to subscribe and there's uh a bunch of plots on the x-axis is years on the y-axis is the frequency of use and sexism has been going up misogyny has been going up sexist

392:95-393:66

patriarchy Mass planning toxic masculinity male privilege all these terms have been going up very intensely in the past in in the in the past decade yeah but really 2013 is the exact moment you see these things they're flat and they just go vertical mansplaining toxic masculinity what precisely happened in 2013. ah so I talk about this in the book but I think fundamentally what happened was Tech hurt media and their revenue dropped by uh about 50 billion dollars over the four years from oh 2012 yeah Tech helped Obama get reelected and media was positive on on Tech until December 2012 they wrote like the Nerds

393:66-394:29

Go Marching In in the Atlantic then after January 2013 once Obama was ensconced then the knives came out because basically these Tech guys were bankrupting them they were through um supporting them and so the journals got extremely nasty and uh just basically they couldn't build search engines or create social networks but they could write stories in shape and artists so clear editorial Direction went down that um you know essentially took all of this all these weapons that had been developed in Academia to win status competitions and Humanities departments yeah and and then they just deployed

394:29-394:82

them right and essentially somebody observed that wokeness is the combination of uh focality and deconstruction and civil rights where deconstruction takes away you know the legitimacy of the old order and then civil rights says okay the only thing that's good is is this right which is says the older is also bad in a different way but this is what's good and um that is the underpinning ideology the the all these words have embedded in them like in ideology right another way of thinking about it is this is not my reference but outside anyway the glossary of the Greek

394:82-395:47

um military Junta right the creation and or use of special terms are employed by the juntas propaganda tools um because essentially the word itself embeds a concept you can rustle conjugate something one way or the other right Russell conjugation is this concept that I sweat you perspire but She Glows you can always take something you know you are uncontrollably angry but uh he is righteously indignant okay um you have a thin skin they clap back right so once you kind of realize that these words have just been chosen in such a way as to delegitimize their Target and they all went vertical in 2013 and they were suddenly targeted

395:47-396:05

against the erstwhile alleys you know in Tech but also just across the the country you can see that this great awokening that's what uh Iglesias called it by playing Words the Great Awakening right this kind of spasm of quasi-religious extremism I wouldn't call it religious because it's not god-centered it's release date and network centered so I call it a Doctrine which is a superset of religion and political Doctrine this uh these words went vertical and the all the terrorism stuff you just noticed kind of fell off the cliff that was the obsession of everything in the 2000s and just channel change right it's

396:05-396:65

amazing how that happened yeah it's not like not like any of the pieces got picked up some of those Wars are still raging of course and there's uh victims to this wilkism movement and um but in a weird way even though some parts of it just like you know Siri like there's wars in the Middle East that still keep raging there's there's certainly active fronts of locism you know but in a sense the the next shift is already on you know why it's a pivot for mochism to statism in many ways nyt is sort of and more generally the U.S establishment is sort of kind of coming you may not believe this they're kind of coming back to the

396:65-397:21

center a little bit and the same with that Lenin After the revolution implemented the New Economic Policy which you may be aware of right which was just like X percent more capitalism you kind of boot on the neck take control but then ease up for a bit and the so-called net men during the 20s were able to eke out something there was like you know oh okay fine he's going to be easier on us then an intense fight again because basically by loosening up they were able to consolidate control they weren't putting as much pressure on right then it went extremely intense again right uh similar to like Mao's like 100 flowers saying let a hundred

397:21-397:77

flowers bloom and you know everybody came out and then he found out all the people who were against him and he executed a bunch of them right so what's happening now is nyt is and more generally just establishment is somewhat tacking back to the center where you know they're not talking BLM and abolish the police they're saying fund the Capitol Police right they've they've gone from The Narrative of 2020 which was meant to win a domestic contest where they said America is a systemically racist country tear down George Washington we're so evil to the red record 2022 which is we're the global champion of democracy and every

397:77-398:22

non-white country is supposed to trust us now obviously those are inconsistent right if if you're in India or you're in Nigeria and you just heard that the America is calling itself the same guys by the way saying it's so institutionally racist systemically racist and you're saying well we're the leader of the Free World and the number one obviously there's inconsistency between the domestic propaganda and the foreign propaganda right there's a contrast between abolish the police and put two billion for the capital police you can reconcile this and you can say

398:22-398:84

the use establishment is pro-federal and anti-local and state so abolished the local police who tend to be you know Republican or rightist but fund the FBI fund the capital police who tend to be you know just like in the um in the Soviet Union as a national things like the the KGB right that were there for the um uh for the state um but there are all these local nationalist ethnic insurgencies and like Estonia and other places right so you can reconcile them but nevertheless on its face those those are contradictory so what are you going to get I think I think you're going to get um this rotation where uh a fair number

398:84-399:48

of the folks on the sort of authoritarian right are kind of pulled back into the fold a bit okay these are the cops and the military and whatnot some of them because as this decade progresses you're going to see the signaling on American statism as opposed to wilkism okay which is 30 degrees back towards the center right conversely on the other side you're going to have the left Libertarians and right Libertarians who are signaling crypto and decentralization and so on okay and so the next one isn't red versus blue it's Orange versus green it's a dollar versus Bitcoin and so you have the authoritarians the top of the political

399:48-400:12

Compass versus the quote Libertarians right and here is the here's the visual of that so that's why like you know as I wrote the book and after I was like you know I'm already seeing this um this shift happening from war on terror to wilkism to American statism right and here just take a look at this visual interesting so uh the visual is an animation transforming the left versus right libertarian versus authoritarian to uh Bitcoin dollar versus versus crypto that's right and some folks switch sides

400:12-400:85

right because you have folks Like You Know Jack Dorsey and a lot of the tech Founders in basically the lower left corner right who were blue but are now going to become orange or are orange and you have folks in the upper right corner who are going to at the end of the day pick the dollar and the American flag over the internationalist ideals of cryptocurrency the realigning as you call it let me ask you uh I the briefly we do need to get a comment your Visionary view of things we're at a low point in the cryptocurrency space from a shallow analysis perspective or maybe in a deeper sense if you can enlighten me do

400:85-401:55

you think Bitcoin will rise again yes do you think you'll go uh to take on Fiat you know to go over a million dollars to go to these Heights I mean I think it's possible and the reason I think it's possible is I think a lot of things might go to a million dollars because inflation is inflation right it's an important point right it's a very important Point yes because you're seeing essentially yes but so the choke pointing on energy is pushing up prices across the board for a lot of things the supply you know China's not doing us any favors with the covid uh lockdowns um Putin's not doing the world any

401:55-402:08

favors with this with this giant War um there's a lot of bad things happening in the physical world right you know you have I mean when China Russia and the US are all and Europe is you know like there's folks who are just insane about degrowth and they're against um you know they're they're they're they're pushing for burning coal and wood right so a lot of prices are going up in a really foundational and fundamental way and um with that said also the dollar is in some ways strengthening against certain other things because a lot of other countries are dying harder right

402:08-402:67

um you know and you've got riots in Sri Lanka and riots in Panama and riots in you know all these places right so it's it's very complicated because you've got multiple different Trends going in the same way you're you're Bitcoin Maximus would just say infinity over 21 million and so therefore you print all the dollars there's only 200 million Bitcoins so Bitcoin goes to Infinity but it can be something where lots of other currencies die and the dollar is actually exported via stable coins okay um but I do think it still moves Fiat still moves somehow into the cryptocurrencies yeah yeah it's I think it's kind of like Microsoft where and

402:67-403:25

windows is still around right I'm actually still around still a you know multi 100 billion dollar company it doesn't mean it he doesn't mean it don't worry all my machines are windows are they still boot yeah okay okay I don't know a single Mech really okay that you are unusual on that yeah that's um so at least for hours it's not an ideology just convenience fine I mean they actually now post out there they do make some good stuff right like uh Microsoft teams is good right like there's a lot of different stuff and UCO has done a lot of innovative things like GitHub yeah then we built this in acquisition but still it's not giving credit for the

403:25-403:76

acquisition the pivoting of vision and motivations and uh focus and all that kind of stuff anyway yes Microsoft does an analogy metaphor for something well yeah so basically just like you know they didn't need a turnaround but they are they didn't endure to the present day they didn't die from Google app I mean for the massive attacks on them they didn't die they are less powerful but they make more money right yes and um I think that might be something that I mean our best case scenario is the use establishment or CCP has more power over fewer people okay I see and so you know but you can

403:76-404:41

exit if you if you're there you're kind of knuckling under or whatever but you can exit right and so I mentioned the uh those three polls CCP is obviously a billion people 1.4 aligned under the digital Yuan and so on right nyt is the entire you know it's it's the tech companies it's the US dollar it is this session and then crypto capital is everybody else but I actually think that over time that third world is web 3 this time and that's the third poll and that's India and it's Israel and it's lots of American conservatives and left Libertarians and Libertarians and it's also lots of Chinese liberals all the

404:41-405:03

folks who are trying to get out of China because you know the like the you know it's become so Nationalist and crazy and difficult for capitalism and so if you take basically non-establishment Americans on both left and right okay the the you know the bottom two quadrants in the political Compass I talked about you take the liberal Chinese you take the Israelis and the Indians why because they don't both of them are have a lot of tech Talent right they're the number one and number two demographics for Tech founders and they want to while they are generally sympathetic to the West right and

405:03-405:56

they're more ties to the West they also are more cautious about national interests rather than just starting fights you know where that's how they would think about it right they just you know India thinks is a poor country Israel thinks of itself as a small country and so therefore it needs to not just get in every fight just for the sake of it and so you need to maintain a cautious distance with China but not like dude what Pelosi is doing and try and start start like a big thing okay I think Israel is similar where it's maintaining diplomatic relations with China it's more friendly towards China than the US's Indian Israel I think are

405:56-406:27

two sovereign states that have a lot of globally mobile tech talent that obviously have ties to the West with the large diaspora that are hard to demonize you know in around the sense of willing to argue on the internet let's put it like in English right it's very important and um them plus enough Americans plus enough Chinese can set up another poll that is not for Cold War or military confrontation but for peace and trade and freedom and so on and so forth right that's the center as opposed to the you know left of the you know the the woke American U.S establishment or the right of the ultra

406:27-406:77

nationalist CCP right that's what I think about now what I would say here is the reason I think these are the kind of the three polls you can argue against this right you can say it's unipolar World America is totally dominant that's one argument you could say it's a bipolar world it's just the US versus China no no everybody else will have to be forced to align with one or the other jayashanker you know actually explicitly rejected this he's like look there's a billion people in India it's coming up on it will eventually be like the number three economy it's on the rise he's got the history and culture he thinks he's entitled to have India's

406:77-407:30

Intel to have its own side right in such a thing it's a funny way of putting it right yeah but it's also true and uh so you could say it's unipolar you can say it's bipolar you could say it's just multi-polar and everybody is kind of their you know India Israel these groups are out there but I actually think it's going to be tripolar the reasons tripolar is these three pools are the groups that have enough media and money and scale and whatnot to really kind of be self-consistent civilizations obviously China's like the vertically integrated like apple or whatever just like a stable ideology a stable ideology that's right right obviously the you

407:30-407:87

know the books have control of lots of Institutions they've got the US establishment and they've got the tech companies they've got the media companies and so on but crypto is basically everybody else and crucially crypto has inroads in China and America where it's hard to demonize it as completely foreign because there's many many many huge proponents of the Universalist values of crypto in America and China because it is true Global rule of law and free speech and you know so on it is genuinely Universalist in a way where America can no longer be you know the number one rule of the rules-based order is

407:87-408:36

America's always number one and China doesn't even pretend to maintain a rules base order right yes whereas for all those countries that don't want to either be dominated by the U.S media corporations that can or social media that can just censor Trump nor do they want to be dominated by China this is an attractive alternative a platform they can make their own right so that's where I think you know I wrote an article on this in foreign policy on um here here's two articles that talk about this a little bit it's called great protocol politics and then here's another one on these sort of domestic thing Bitcoin is

408:36-408:96

civilization for Barry Wise okay but I want to just come up the stack a little bit and just return to that original point which I diverged on which was why I gave the whole example of how uh we got into China because I talked about how China had gone from communist capitalists and letting people have just a share of what they owned right with social media we're still in kind of the Communist era of social media almost where whatever you earn on social media like Google takes its cut Twitter takes 100 you're nothing for all your tweets or anything like that not only do you have do you earn nothing

408:96-409:55

um you might get a little rev share on Tick Tock or YouTube you can do okay right but not only do you earn either nothing or a little bit you have no digital property rights even more fundamentally you are at the just the whim of a giant Corporation can hit a button and everything you work for over Years Gone okay that is even if that is quote the current state of events the State of Affairs rather that is not the right balance of power to be able to unperson somebody at the touch of a key and take away everything in their digital world when we're living more and more in the digital world we need to check on that power and the

409:55-410:12

check on that power is crypto and it's property rights and it's decentralization right then when I say digital search and decentralization I mean your money and your digital property is by default yours and there has to be a due process to for someone to take that away from you everything all work is online all your money is online your presence is online that can just be taken away from you with a with the Press of a key that just gives you know bad governments bad corporations so much power that that's wrong right that's why I'm a medium and long-term Bull on crypto simply because to check on this

410:12-410:69

thing and that if you think about in terms of just abstract decentralizations one thing but you think about in terms of property rights it's quite another and um now what that also means is once you have property rights and you have decentralized social media it'll be like the explosion of trade that happened after China went from communist capitalist literally billions of people around the world are no longer giving everything to the collective they own the teeth in their head now finally okay is it funny right so you're Lex friedman.eath you own it the keys are on your computer the bad part is of course

410:69-411:19

they can get hacked or something like that then you can deal with that with social recovery there's ways of securing keys but the good part is ta-da uh you actually have property rights in the Hernando de Soto sense you have something you own ownership digital ownership it's the cloud is great but crypto gives you some of the functionality of the cloud while also having some of the functionality offline world where you have the keys so it's a v it's a V3 right it's you know it's continuous theme right the V1 was offline I've got a key I own it I have de facto control V2 is a cloud someone else manages it

411:19-411:74

for me it's hosted I get collaboration and so on V3 is the chain where you combine aspects of those right you have the global state of the cloud but you have the local permission and controlling of the private key okay so that's why I'm a medium to long term Ultra Bull on crypto and I've actually there's a podcast I gave with a Simco where I talked through how crypto actually doesn't just go after Finance so it's gold and it's wire transfers and it's crowdfunding and it's all a finance with D5 but it's actually also search and it's social and it's messaging it's actually even operating systems um and uh and eventually cloud and

411:74-412:29

whatnot do you want me to talk about that briefly yeah yeah if you can proof you see social how broad you see the effect of crypto so first crypto is fundamentally a new way of building back-end systems right so if you think about how big a deal it was to go from att's corporate Unix to Linux it's permissionless right when you went from as much as I admire a lot of the stuff that you know Sam Altman and Greg Brockman have done at open AI I mean they're phenomenal in terms of research they've pushed the envelope forward I give them a ton of credit right still it was great to see stable diffusion out

412:29-412:86

there which was open source AI right and so from a developer from a power user standpoint whenever you have the unlocked version like an unlocked cell phone it's always going to be better right so the um what crypto gives you obviously it's every Financial thing in the world you can do stocks bonds et cetera it's not just like the internet wasn't just a Channel it wasn't like radio and TV and internet it was internet radio and internet TV and internet this and internet that everything was the internet all media became the internet crypto is not an asset class it's all asset classes it's crypto stocks and

412:86-413:37

crypto bonds Etc in a real sense like private property arguably didn't exist in the same way before crypto international law didn't exist before crypto how is how are you going to do a deal between Brazil and Bangladesh um if a Brazilian company wants to you know acquire a Bangladeshi company they usually have to set up a us adapter in between because otherwise what are the tax or the you know other obligations between the two you set up a us adapter or a Chinese adapter to go between them but now that Brazilian embodization can go peer-to-peer because they're using the blockchain right they can agree on a system of law that is completely you

413:37-413:99

know International and that's code so each party can diligence it without speaking Portuguese and Bengali right so that's why I am a long-term Bull on crypto I just described the the finance case let me go through the others right social so you have the private keys for your ens you have apps like forecaster you um basically have decentralized social media where there's different variants some you just log in with your crypto username others the entire social network and all the likes and posts are on chain like DSO but uh but there's several different versions right search Once uh you know once you realize

413:99-414:59

um block explorers are an important stealth threat to search they're very high traffic sites like blockchain.com and either scan that Google is just totally slept on they don't have a block Explorer you don't have to do anything in terms of trading or anything like that Google does not have a block Explorer why they don't think of it as search but it is search it's absolutely searched it's a very important kind of search engine and once you have crypto social you have you now show that you're not just indexing in a block Explorer like uh on-chain transactions but on chain Communications okay so now you suddenly see oh the

414:59-415:18

entire Social Web that Google couldn't index It could only index a worldwide web and not the Social Web now it's actually the on-chain signed web remember because every post is digitally signed it's a new set of signals it's way easier to index than either the worldwide web or the Social Web because it's open in public so this is a total disruptive thing to search in the medium term because the new kind of data sets Index right so that's how it's a threat to social to search it is a threat to messaging why because or it's disrupt eventually because the ens name as I mentioned is like a universal identifier you can send

415:18-415:73

encrypted messages between people that's a better primitive to base it on you know WhatsApp is just claiming that they're end to end encrypted but with an ens name or with a crypto name you can be provably auditably and encrypted because you're actually sending it back and forth right because the private key is local right that itself given how important that is right you know you could man in the middle signal or Whatsapp because there's a server there right if you have you know so n10 encrypted messaging will happen and with payments and all this other stuff okay so you get the crypto messaging apps you get uh operating systems why well the

415:73-416:24

frontier of operating systems I mean look you know Windows uh Linux and Mac OS have been around forever but if you actually think about you know what is a blockchain well there's operating systems there's web browsers a blockchain is the most complicated thing since an operating system or webinars because it's a kind of operating system why it's got you know something like ethereum has an evm it's got a programming language it's got an ecosystem where people monetize on it they build front-end apps and they build back-end apps they interoperate between each other this is a frontier of operating systems research people

416:24-416:86

haven't thought of it that way right it's also the frontier of a lot of things in databases um you will get a crypto LinkedIn where there's zero knowledge proofs of various credentials okay uh basically every single web 2 company I can probably come up with a web 3 variant of it right like ethereum is I mean and this is high praise for both parties but ethereum is like the crypto stripe prior to the Webster stripe and you will um you will see versions of every everything else that are like this but you know I kind of described uh search social messaging operating systems the phone right Salon is doing a

416:86-417:47

crypto phone why do you want that again digital property apple is was talking about running some script to find if people were having you know csam like CH you know child porn or whatever on their on their phones right and even nyt actually reported that uh like Google ran something like this and found false positive some guy had to take a photo of a kid for our you know medical diagnosis it got false you know falsely flagged I see Sam he lost access to his account total nightmare imagine just getting locked out of your Google account which you're so dependent on right as more and more of your Digital Life Goes online you know is it really that much

417:47-418:04

ethically different if it's the Chinese state that locks you out or an American corporation right basically it's operationally very similar you just have no recourse you're unpersoned right so the crypto phone becomes like insanely important because you have a local set of private keys this was the keys to your currency and your passport and your services and your life right so like become something you just hold on you with your person at all times like your normal phone you might have backups and stuff but you know the crypto phone is an insanely important thing okay and so that's search that's social that's messaging that's

418:04-418:63

um operating systems that's a phone that's a lot right there yeah that's beautiful can I have 120 seconds to just finish up a few more thoughts on social media please okay AI and AR okay just massive impact obviously of AI and social media you're going to have completely new social media companies gestures other things you know Tick Tock having you know some of the AI creation Tools in there is it's just like V1 of that um this whole thread with everything stable diffusion is unlocking but basically this is going to melt Hollywood Us Media corporations that took a hit in the 2010s we're now going

418:63-419:24

to be able to have everyone around the world able to tell their story and all the stuff about AI ethics and AI bias the ultimate bias is centralized AI only decentralized AI is truly representative you cannot be faux representative you cannot claim that some that Google is representing Nigerians and Indians and Brazilians and Japanese like those folks need to have access themselves right so that's a fundamental ethical argument against centralized AI it's unethical and it's like you know this faux thing where you might have like faux diversity in the uh in the interface but you haven't actually truly decentralized it this is

419:24-419:81

the world capitalism right you justify it with the bookness and you make the money by centralizing it but the actual way of doing it is letting it free for the world and letting people build their own versions if people want to build a Asian Lord of the Rings they can do that they want to build an Indian one they can do that if they you know whatever they want right so that is the argument for um Ai decentralization and for how that kind of links to this I love that AI decentralization fixes the bias problem and AI which a lot of people seem to yeah centralization talks about and focus on yeah centralization is

419:81-420:35

inherently unrepresentative fundamentally like you can like mathematically show it it's not representing the world the the decentralization allows anybody to pick it up and make it their own right and centralization is almost always a mask for like that private corporate interest where it's like one of the things about the vocabulism thing by the way is the Deep platforming of trump is was political other things are political but you know what D platforming started with in the late 2000s early 2010s all the open social stuff was when D platform was being used as a corporate weapon against meerkat

420:35-420:93

and Zynga and Teespring right these were companies that were competing with features of you know tweet deck et cetera they're competing with features of Twitter or Facebook and the API was cut off and that was when actually progressives were for net neutrality and an open internet and open social against the concentration of corporate power and so on remember that right and uh so what's going to happen is both those two things the political and the corporate are going to come together why in the Soviet Union denunciation was used as a tool to for example undercut romantic Rivals right there's a great article called the

420:93-421:51

practice of denunciation in in you know the Soviet Union right which talks about all these examples where the ideological argument was used to like kick somebody into the 300 like pit that existed at like the center of the Soviet Union anybody could be kicked into the pit at any moment and ta-da well Ivan's out you know and now you know hey Anna you know whatever right okay that same thing is going to be used by what capitalist is being used by vocabulous where the woke argument is used to justify pulling pushing their competitor out of the app store or downracking them in search well again you wouldn't want a a bigot to be in search who could compete with us or

421:51-422:08

whatever right and conversely um so so the wokeness is used to make money and um the money is used to advance the ideology it's like this kind of back and forth sometimes right now you think of those as independent things but then they fuse okay and so that's very clear with the AI bias arguments where it just so happens that it's so powerful Lex this technology is so powerful in the wrong hands it could be used so we will charge you 999 for every use of it how's that how altruistic is that is that amazingly altruistic it's really good right so so once you kind of

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um kind of see that as I said whenever they're positioning an economics you can go and culture when they're pushing on culture you can go in economics if they're so woke why are they Rich if they're so concerned about representation why is it centralized answer they're not actually concerned about it they're making money right okay so that is I think in a few words blows up a lot of the AI bias type stuff right okay um they're basically they're biasing AI all right so the amount of stuff that can be done with AI now like it also helps the pseudonymous economy as I was talking about with the AI Zoom so you

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have totally new sites uh totally new apps that are based on that um it uh I think it may um I mean it changes you're going to have new Google Docs you know all these kinds of things you might have um you know once you can do things with just a few Taps you might have sites that are focused more on producing rather than just consuming because you know you might with AI you can change the productivity of gestures you know you can have a few gestures like like a for example the image to image thing with the Seattle diffusion where you make a little cartoon third graders

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painting and it becomes a real painting a lot of user interfaces will be rethought now that you can actually do this incredible stuff with that it knows what you want it to do right so um and I saw this funny thing which was a riff on Peter thiel's line which is AI centralized and crypto is decentralized and and somebody was saying actually it turns out crypto centralized with the cbdc's and stable coin and so on but AI is getting decentralized with civil diffusion haha right which is funny and I think there's centralized and decentralized versions of each of these right and finally the third poll that actually you know teal

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uh you know he talks about Ai and crypto but the third poll is actually that's sort of underappreciated because people think it already exists is social that just keeping on going right and obviously the next step in Social is AR and VR and why is it so obvious because it's meta you know it's Facebook now I saw this very silly article it's like oh my God Facebook is so dumb for putting a 10 billion dollars into you know virtual reality right and I'm like okay the most predictable innovation in the world in my view is the AR glasses have you talked about this on the podcast before AR VR um of course a lot but the AR is not as obvious actually

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okay so AR glasses what what are AR glasses so you take Stamp Set spectacles Google Glass um Apple's AR kit Facebook's Oculus Quest 2 right or Meta Meta Quest 2 whatever okay you put those together and what do you get you get um something that has the form factor of glasses that you'd wear outside okay which um can with the tap record or give you Terminator Vision on something or with another tap go totally dark and become VR glasses okay so normal glasses AR glasses VR glasses recording it says multifunctional as your phone but it's hands-free and you might actually even

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wear it more than your phone in fact you might be blind without your AR glasses because uh you know one of the things I've shown in the book early on are like floating sigils did we talk did I show you that so this is a really important just visual concept that right there shows with AR kit you can see a Globe floating outside okay secret societies are are returning this is what nfts will become the the nft locally on your crypto phone if you hold it you can see the symbol and if you don't you can't by the way for people just listening we're looking at a nice nature scene where an artificially

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created Globus floating in the air yes but it's invisible if you're not holding up the AR kit phone yes right so so only you have a window into this artificial world that's right and then here's another thing which shows you another piece of it and this is using ens to unlock a door so this is an nft use for something different so the first one was using the nft effectively to see something and the second is using the nft to do something okay so based on your on-chain communication right um You can unlock a door that's that's a door to a room soon it could be a door to a building it could be the gates to a

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community it could be your digital login okay and so amazing what this means is basically a lot of these things which are like individual pieces get synthesized right and uh you eventually have a digital just like you have a digital currency or digital currencies unify Concepts like uh obviously gold stocks bonds derivatives every kind of financial instrument plus Chuck E cheese tokens Karma everything that's fungible and transferable the digital passport unifies your your Google style login your private Keys your API Keys your nfts your ens name your domain name all those kinds of things and your key card for your door and so on right so the AR

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glasses are what probably I don't know it'll be Facebook's version three year version four apple is also working on them Google's also working on them you might just get a bunch of those models at the same time it's like predicting the iPhone just like you know Dorsey knew that mobile was going to be big and that's why he had 140 characters for Twitter because there's like an SMS code limitation and Twitter was started before the iPhone AR glasses are an incredibly predictable invention that you can start thinking about the future of social is in part in person okay and it also means people might go outside more why because you can't see a monitor

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in the Sun but you can hit AR and maybe you have a you know full screen thing and you just like kind of you know move your fingers or something and you can tap you have to figure out the gesture you don't have Gorilla arms maybe you do have a keyboard outside or just even like a um you could even have a desk like this you know if you had um if you can touch type you could imagine something where you look down and you can see a keyboard with your AR glasses and it registers it and then you can type like this right and probably you could have some AI that could you know figure out what you meant rather

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than what you were doing right okay so that's Ai and social media that's AR and social media but really um one last thing I'll say which is a non-obvious non-techological part is I think we'll go from very broad networks which are hundreds of millions or billions of people like Twitter and Facebook which have many small communities in them to much smaller networks that have a million or 10 million people but are much deeper right in terms of their associate affiliation right and this is the long-term Trend in Tech because you're going from eyeballs in the 1980s sorry the eyeballs in 1990s to daily active

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users in the 2000s two holders in the 2010s so you go from just like oh I'm just a lucky loot to I'm logging in every day so I'm holding a significant percentage of my net worth and then this decade is when the online community becomes primary you're a netizen the digital passport is your main identity and so this is not see the problem with Facebook or Twitter is it's a bunch of different communities that don't share the same values fighting each other this brings us back to the network state where you have one Community with shared values shared currency um and it's full stack it's a it's a

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social network and it's a cryptocurrency and it's a co-living community and it's a messaging app and it's a this and it's a that and it's like Estonia you know with a million people you can actually build a lot of that full stack that is starts to get to what I call a network state I feel like there should be like a a standing Applause line here this is brilliant you're an incredible person this was an incredible conversation we covered uh how to fix our government looking at the future of governments uh moving into Network State we we covered how to fix medicine FDA longevity that was just like a stellar

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description and really I'll have to listen to that multiple times to really think and thank you for that especially in this time where the lessons learned from the pandemic aren't clear to at least me and there's a lot of thinking that needs to be done there and then just a discussion about how to fix social media and how to fix money this was brilliant so um you're an incredibly successful person yourself you taught uh co-taught of course at Stanford for hot for startups that's a whole nother discussion that we can have but let me just ask you uh there's a lot of people that look up to you so if there's somebody who's

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young in high school early college trying to figure out what the heck to do with their life what to do with their career what advice could you give them how they could have a career they can be proud of or how they can have a life they can be proud of at least what I would do and then it can take it or leave it or what have you but uh so yeah to maybe to your younger self advice to your younger self you know my friend novel is uh you know he this is a lot of what he puts out is the very practical you know brass tax next steps and I tend towards the you know macro of course we both do sort of you know both kind of thing right

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um but let's talk brass tack's next steps because I actually am practical uh or at least practical enough you know to get things done I think it's just like you said you're breaking up the new book into three yes is motivation theory and practice motivation theory and practice that's right and social practice so let's talk practice okay in visual scale right so first what skill do you learn as you know young kid right um so let me let me just give what the the ideal full stack thing is and then you have to say okay I'm good quantitatively I'm good verbally I'm good at this I'm good that right so the ideal is you are full stack engineer and

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full stack influencer or full stack engineer full stack Creator okay so that's both right brain and you know left brain all right so what does that mean with engineering that means you master computer science and statistics okay and of course it's also good to know physics and continuous math and so on that's actually quite valuable to know and you might need to use a lot of that continuous math with AI nowadays right because a lot of that is actually helpful right um great descent and whatnot but computer science and stats are to this Century what physics was to the last why because for example what percentage of

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your time do you spend looking at a screen of some kind large processors at the time a large percentage of the time right probably more than you know for many people it's more than 50 of their waking hours if you include laptop you include cell phone tablet you know your watch you know maybe monitor of some kind right all those together is probably it's a lot okay which means and then that's going to only increase with ar glasses okay which means most of the rest of your life will be spent in a sense in The Matrix okay in a constructed Digital World which is more interesting in some sense

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in the offline world it's because we look at it more it changes faster it's right and where the physics are set by programmers okay and uh what that means is you know physics itself is obviously very important for the natural world computer science and stats are for the artificial world right and uh why is that because every domain has algorithms and data structures whether it's you Aviation okay you go to American Airlines right they're gonna have you know uh planes and seats and tickets and so on such as data structures and you're gonna have algorithms and functions that connect them you're gonna have tables that those

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data is run to if it's Walmart you're going to have skus and you're going to have shelves you're going to have so you have data structures and you have algorithms connect them so every single area you have algorithms and data structures which is computer science and stats and so you're going to um collect the data and analyze it right and so that means if you have that base of Cs and stats where you're really strong and you understand you know the theory as well as the practice right and you need both okay because you need to understand you know obviously basic stuff like Big O notation and whatnot and uh you need to understand all your

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probability distributions okay um you know good exercise by the way is to go from the um Bernoulli trials right to everything else because you can go Bernoulli trials to the binomial distribution to the gaussian you can also from you know Bernoulli trials to the geometric distribution and so on you can drive everything from this right and computer science includes not just Big O but software engineering well computer science is Theory software engineering is practice right yeah you could argue probability and stats is theory and then data science is practice sure right and so you include all of

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that together as a package that's theory in practice right I mean look it's okay to use um libraries once you know what's going on under the hood right that's fine but you need to be able to kind of write out the whole thing yourself I mean it's uh that could be true could not be true I don't know are you sure about that because well you shouldn't you could you could you might be able to uh get quite far standing on the shoulders of giants you can but it depends like you couldn't build well okay somebody if you could however you were going to finish that sentence I could push back but you could probably

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push back right but here's what I was going to say I was going to say you couldn't really you couldn't build Google or Facebook or Amazon or Apple without somebody at the company who understood like computer architecture and you know layout of memory and you know theory of compilers but you might want to see the thing is if you just look at libraries you might be able to understand the capabilities and you can build up the intuition of like what a great specialized engineer could do that you can't like you know for example you know at least a while back facebook.com like was literally it's just a single C plus

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plus compiled binary or so it's not super close it was like hip-hop they had a PHP uh compiler where they had just one giant binary I think I may be getting this wrong but that's what I recall right yeah yeah I mean that's that's it should be simple it should be simple and then you have guys like uh John Carmack who comes in and does an incredibly optimized implementation that actually well yeah more than that right like he's I mean yes right go ahead I mean there's some cases with John Carmack by being an incredible engineer is able to bring to reality things that otherwise would have taken an extra five to ten years yeah or

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maybe even more than that like so you know this is the great man theory of History versus like sort of the um kind of the determinist like you know waves of History are pushing things along the way I reconcile those is the tech tree model of History you know like Civilization you're a play game civilization yeah so like Civilization you got the tech tree and you can go and be like okay I'm gonna get Spearman or I'm gonna do greeneries and pottery right and so you can think of it as something where here's everything that Humanity has right now and then Satoshi can push on this dimension of the tech tree so he's

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a great man because there was weren't other there wasn't a leadness leibniz to satoshi's Newton right like vitalik as you know amazing as he is was five years later or thereabouts right there wasn't contemporaneous um like you know another person that was doing what Satoshi was doing is truly swedenours right and that shows you know what one person can do like probably Steve Jobs with apple you know given how the company was dying before he got there and he built it into the most valuable or put on the directory becomes the most valuable company in the world it shows that there is quote great man right

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um maybe more than just being five or ten years ahead like truly shaping where history goes right yeah but on their hand of course that person Steve Jobs himself wrote that email that prison was searching saying that you know he doesn't grow his own food and he doesn't uh you know he didn't even think of the rights that he's got someone else thought of those and whatnot and so he kind of it is always a tension between the individual and Society on this right but coming back so Cs and stats that's what you want to learn um I think physics is also good to know because you go one level deeper and of

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course all these devices you're not gonna be able to build um you know uh lidar or things like that without understanding physics right you mentioned that as one side of the brain what about the other right so CSS is is that side okay and then you can go in any domain any company kick butt you know add value right okay so now the other side is Creator right becoming a Creator first online you know because like social media is about to become far far more lucrative and monetizable people are not updated they kind of think this is it's like over or something like that or it's old or whatever but

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um with with crypto once you have property rights in social media now it's not what Google just allows you to have but it's what you own right you actually have genuine property rights and that's just completely changes everything just like you know the introduction of property rights in China change everything it might take some lag for that to happen but you can lend against that borrow against that uh you you just you own the digital property right and you can do nfts you can do you know Investments you can do all this other stuff right so uh in many ways I think anybody who's listening who's like you know I want to build a billion

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dollar company I'm like build a building on a company yes also build um a million person media operation or a million person following or something online right because a U.S Media company is simply not economically or socially aligned with your business I mean the big thing that I think uh you know Tech and media actually is funny they there's this collision and sometimes there's an atom smashing event and there's like a repositioning right and media attack Tech really hard in the 2010s as well as many other things and now post 2020 I think it's now centralized Tech and media versus

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decentralized Tech and media and centralized Tech media is nyt and Google which have all become vocified the establishment companies but decentralized second media is like sub stack all lots of defectors from you know uh from the US establishment from the nyt have gone to substack but also all the founders and funders are much more vocal on Twitter whether it's Mark Anderson Jack Dorsey Jeff Bezos uh Zuckerberg Zuck is just cutting out the establishment and just going direct to you know posting himself or posting the Jiu Jitsu thing you know which he recently did or going and talking to Rogan right

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um and so you you now have this sort of Adam Smash and like kind of reconstitution why is that important well look once you realize U.S media companies are companies and you know the their employees salzburger's employees are just dogs on the leash right they're they're they're hitmen for old money is assassins for the establishment they're never going to investigate him okay there's this thing right now like some strike that or possible strike that's going at the New York Times the obviously the most obvious rich corporate zillionaire the epitome of white privilege is you know and and again another kind of person who thinks

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white is an insult right but the you know the guy who inherited the company from his father's father's father in the NFL right you know especially at the Rooney Rule where you're supposed to interview diverse candidates for the top job the you know the other competitors for the top job of the publisher New York Times were two cousins of salzburger so it's three says straight white males in 2017 who competed for this top job and everybody in media was like silent about this car Nation they had this car Nation article in in the times about this right so you have this meritless nepotist right this literally Rich sis white man who

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has makes millions of dollars a year and it makes like 50x the salary of other you know nyt journalists okay and uh you know lives in a mansion and so on while denouncing this is a born rich guy who'd announced all the built Rich guys at a company which is far wider than the tech companies he's been to dancing okay and again this is some there's a website called Tech journalism is less diverse than tech.com um which actually shows the numbers on this right here I can can look at this numbers right so why why did I say this well centralized U.S media has lost a ton of clout um engagement is down you've seen the

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crypto prices down like stock prices have crashed that's that's very obvious and quantifiable less visible is that media engagement has crashed right by the way uh yeah there's a plot that shows on the x-axis percent White and then the y-axis of the different companies and the tech companies are basically below 50 percent white and all the different media Tech journalism companies all way above you know 70 80 90 90 plus percent White and hypocrisy ladies and gentlemen I mean again I'm not the kind of person who thinks white as an insult but these guys are and they are the Locust whites

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on the planet right it's like ridiculous right I you know it's like anyone anyone who's homophobic anyone who's that it feels like it's a personal thing that they're struggling with maybe the journalists are actually the ones who are racist well actually you know it's funny you say that because there's this guy am Rosenthal okay and you know on his gravestone was quote we kept the he kept the paper straight right and actually um he essentially uh went and this is a managing into the New York Times for almost you know from uh 69 to 77 executive from 7786 and it was a history yeah

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history of basically keeping you know gay reporter shot so essentially the way I think about it is um Newark post reported that just just just to talk about this for a second because it's so insane all right New York Post reported and I've got some of this in the book okay but a Bros Rosenthal managing editor of the New York Times from 1969 to 1977 executive editor from 1977 to 1986 his gravestone reads he kept the paper straight and then here's Jeet here on this he kept the paper straight As It Happens Rosenthal was Notorious homophobic he made it a specific policy of the paper

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not to use the term gay he denied a Plumb job to a gay man for being gay he minimized AIDS crisis so like you know the thing about this is this is not like a one-off thing okay uh the New York Times literally won a Pulitzer for choking out the ukrainians for helping starve five million ukraines to death and now has reinvented themselves as like a cheerleader to stand with Ukraine right they were four you know abrozenthals homophobia before they were against it right they were like if you saw the link I just pasted in okay during BLM uh you know it's credibly reported that I haven't seen this refuted the family that owns the New

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York Times Were slaveholders Somehow that stayed out of 1619 and BLM coverage right so they were literally getting the profits From Slavery to help bootstrap you know the what what was the times or you know went into it they actually did this article on like the compound interest of slaveholders in Haiti and how much they owed people right if you apply that to how much money they made off of slaves I mean can anyone name one of salzburger's slaves like can we humanize that put a face on that show exactly you know who who lost such that he may win right and so you stack this up and it's like you know for the Iraq War before they were

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against it and it's like yeah sure Bush you know did a lot of bad stuff there but they also reported a lot of negative you know not negative coverage like false coverage right about wmds like you know the whole Jews military and so it's like this amazing thing where if some of the most evil people in history are the historians if the um you know they actually ran this ad campaign in the 2017 time uh period called uh the truth so giant orwellian Billboards right um which say uh you know the truth is essential here it looks like this this is this was one this was just a few years ago 2017. this is in New York

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a billboard by the New York Times reads the truth is hard to know the truth is hard to find the truth is hard to hear the truth is hard to believe the truth is hard to accept the truth is hard to deny the truth is more important now than ever okay this is like uh yeah this is 1984 type of stuff yeah now here's the thing do you know what other truth yeah big what truth period big white board so okay what other National newspaper proclaimed itself the truth in constantly every every day you know this one actually yeah yeah there you go that's right what is it what is the Soviet translation

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what's the Russian translation of Prada is that's truth yeah that's true sorry that didn't even connect in my head yes [Laughter] yeah truth unironically huh and again it just so happens that is this an onion article right so it's like you know proveda like at least you're a communist these guys have figured out how to get charged people 99 a year or whatever it is for the truth wow that's actually even amazing right so the corporate truth so you when you stack all that up right basically Legacy Media has delegitimized themselves right every day that those quote investigative journalists don't

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investigate salzburger shows that they are so courageous as to investigate your boss but not their own yes total mass drop right that's like just obvious right now once you realize this and you know every influencer who's coming up every Creator realizes okay well that means I have to think about these media corporations as competitors they are competitors they are competitors for advertisers and for influence they will try basically what the media corporations did partially successfully during the 2010s is they sort of had this reign of terror over many influencers where they'd give them positive coverage if they supported sort

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of the party line and negative coverage if they didn't okay but now um the soft power has just dropped off a cliff right and uh you know many kinds of tactics that you know establishment journalists do one way of thinking of them is like as a for-profit stazi why because they may stock you docs you surveil you like they can literally put you know like two dozen people following somebody around for a year and um that's not considered stalking right uh that's not considered spamming they are allowed to do this and make money doing this whereas if you so much just criticize

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them oh my God it's an attack on the Free Press blah blah right but you are the free press and I'm the Free Press like we're the Free Press again it goes back to the decentralized you know the free speech is not like some media Corporation thing it's everybody's right and what actually happened with social media what they're against is not that it is an attacker interaction is that it's the ultimate democracy because people have a voice now that didn't used to have a voice you're not saying freedom of the freedom of press belongs to those who own one you write that old one right or never never argue with a man who buys Inc by the barrel right

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yeah in a real way the entire things that were that were promised to people freedom of speech free markets yeah like a Beggars democracy it's like oh yeah you can have freedom of speech but not freedom of reach because you're just talking to yourself in your living room and um you know Buffalo New York right maybe you can gather some friends around you didn't have uh the licenses to get uh you know like a TV broadcast license radio license you know the resources to buy a newspaper you don't have practical reach or distribution okay what happened was all these people in the US and around the world suddenly got voices and

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they were suddenly saying things that the establishment didn't want them to say and so that's what this counter decentralization has meant both in the US and in China this Crackdown but it's as if like a stock went up like 100 x and then dropped like 30 percent all the Deep platforming stuff yes it's bad okay it's um it's it's a it's a rear root move but in the long Arc I think we're going to have more speech I think the counter decentralization May succeed in China but I don't think it's going to succeed outside it because you you're trying to retrofit speech and thought controls onto an ostensibly free Society right

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now that check got cash people actually have a voice it's not going to be taken away from them very easily right so how does this relate to my advice to young kids once you have that context right once you realize Hey look Apple didn't like do deals with Blackberry okay Amazon didn't collaborate or give free content to Barnes and Noble uh Netflix uh was not going and you know socializing with employees of Blockbuster these employees have established media corporations are your competitors okay they are out for clicks they are out for money um they will if if they literally choke out the ukrainians before making

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themselves into champions of the Ukrainian cause they'll basically do anything you know and so it when she realized that you're like okay I need to build my own voice okay if you're resilient you're you know Nigerian you're in the midwest or the Middle East right if you're uh you know Japanese you know whatever wherever you are you need to build your own voice because Outsourcing that voice to somebody else and having it put through the distorting filter which maximizes the clicks of the distorting kind of thing it's just not going to be in one its own interest you don't have to you know even agree with everything I'm saying or even all of it

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to just be like well look I'd rather speak for myself I'd rather go direct if I could speak unmediated in my own words right because the choice for word is actually very important right so that's the second big thing you need to and this is the thing that took me a long time to understand okay um because I always got the importance of math and science and in fact I would have been probably just a career academic or mathematician in another life you know maybe statisticians something like that electrical engineer Etc but the importance of creating your own content and telling your own stories uh if if

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you don't tell your own story the story will be told for you right um the sort of flip of winners right history is if you do not write history you will not be the winner you must write a history okay as kind of a funny way of you know putting it right yeah chicken or egg yeah contrapositive right and now what does that mean practically okay so in many ways the program that I'm laying out is to build Alternatives peaceful alternatives to all you know Legacy institutions right to obviously to the FED right with with Bitcoin to Wall Street with defy and with ethereum and so on to Academia with The Ledger of record and the on-chain reproducible

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research that we talked about to Media with decentralized social media decentralized AI you can melt Hollywood with this Okay Melt the riaa Melt the MPAA I mean there's there's some good people there but everybody should have their own movies you know there's people should be able to tell their own stories and not just wait for it to be cast through Hollywood and Hollywood's just making remakes anyway okay so you can tell Original Stories and you can do so online and you can do so by hitting a key and the production values will be there now that the AI content creation tools are out there I mentioned disrupting or replacing or building

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alternatives to the FED to Wall Street to Academia to Media I mentioned to Wikipedia right um there's things like golden there's things like uh there's a bunch of web3 ish Wikipedia competitors um that are combining with AI and crypto for property rights um there's you'll also need alternatives to all the major tech companies that's that was a list that I went through with um you know decentralized search and social and messaging and operating systems and even the crypto phone okay um and then finally you need alternatives to uh us political institutions and more generally and

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Chinese political institutions um and what are those that's that's where the network State comes in and the fundamental concept is if and as I mentioned uh only two percent of the world can become president of the United States about the number of Americans who are you know native born and over 35 and so on and so forth but 100's world can become president of their own network State what that means is um and this kind of related to those two points right if you're an individual and you're good at engineering and you're good at content creation okay like somebody like Jack Dorsey for example or

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or Mark Anderson actually a lot of the founders are actually quite good at both nowadays you look Bezos he's actually funny on Twitter when he allows himself to be he's you know you don't become a leader of that caliber without having you know some of both right if you've got some of both um now no matter where you are what your ethnicity is what your nationality is whether you can get a U.S visa you can become president of a network State and what this is It's A New Path to political power that does not require going through either the us or the Chinese establishment you don't have to wait

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till you're 75. you don't have to become gerontocrat or spout the party line and so on um the V1 of this is like folks like you know Francis Suarez or Navy Kelly of El Salvador but you know Suarez is a great example where um while not a full Sovereign or anything like that he has many ways and maybe is the skills of a tech CEO we just put up a um you know a call on Twitter and help Bill Miami recruit all these people from all over and it wasn't the two-party system of the end City system he just helped build the City by bringing people in okay and that's and when I say as far

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as a V1 I you know I love Francis Suarez I love what they're doing um the next iteration of that is to actually build the community itself rather than just kind of taking an existing Miami you're building something that is potentially the scale of Miami but as a digital community and how many people is that well like the Miami population is actually not that large it's like 400 something thousand people you could build a digital Community like that so if you have the engineering and you have the content creation and you build your own distribution you own your own thing you can become essentially a new kind of

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political leader where you just build a large enough online community that can crowdfund territory and you build your vision of the good and anybody could build the vision of the good talking about eight billion people I mean there's no more inspiring I mean sometimes when we look at how things are broken there could be a cynical paralysis right but ultimately this is a really empowering message yes I I think there is a new birth of global freedom and that in the fullness time people will look at the internet as being too the Americas with the Americas were to

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Europe a new world okay in the sense of this Cloud continent has just come down okay and people are you know if you spend 50 of your waking hours looking at a screen 20 you're spending all this time commuting up to the cloud in the morning and coming back down you're doing these day trips and it's got a different geography and all these people are near each other's ever far in the physical world and vice versa right and so this will because it's this new domain it gives rise to Virtual Worlds that eventually become physical and the same way that most people don't know this that well but you know the Americas

457:50-458:02

really shaped the old world many Concepts like the ultra capitalism and Ultra democracy of the new world the French Revolution was in part I mean that was a bad version okay but that was in part inspired by the American okay there are many many movements that came back to the old world that started here and the same way you know I don't call it the mainstream media anymore you know what I call it the downstream media because it's Downstream of the internet that's right right that's right and you know there's this guy a while back he had this meme called the one kilo Year American Empire that everything's American and so on and his I think

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fundamental category are is he considers the internet to be American but you know why that's not the case because and it'll be very obviously so I think in five or ten years why because the majority of English speakers online by about 2030 are going to be India okay they're all they just got 5G LTE super cheap internet recently the last few years it's like one of the biggest stories in the world that's not really being told that much okay they've been lurking and here's the thing and this took me a long time to kind of you know figure out like to identifier but to communicate actually realize this in 2013 but

458:62-459:26

um these folks don't type with an accent okay they speak with an accent but they don't type with an accent and all the way back in 2013 when I taught this Coursera course um I was like who are these folks I had hundreds of thousands of people from around the world sign up it's a very popular course even then okay and hundreds thousand people signed up I was like who are these folks and there were like polish guys and you know like you know like this lady from Brazil so and they knew Scumbag Steve and Good Guy Greg but they didn't know the Yankees or hot dogs or all the offline stuff of America they didn't know physical

459:26-459:81

America they knew the digital conversation the Reddit conversation and you know what became the Twitter conversation for example I just saw this um this YouTube video where there's a Indian founder and he just said just casually like oh I slid into his DMs like this right it was kind of a joke but he said in an Indian accent and everybody laughed everybody knew what he meant and you're like wait that is a piece of what people think of as American internet slang that's actually internet slang which will soon be said mostly by non-americans now what does that mean that means that just like the US was a was a branch of the UK and it

459:81-460:37

started with English and certainly there's lots of antecedents you can trace back to England but nowadays most Americans are not English in ancestry there's Germans and Italians Jewish people African-Americans you know everybody right and the same way the internet is much more representative of the world than the USA is it may have started American but he got forked by the rest of the world that's right and it is it gives a global equality of opportunity it's even more capitalist than America's it's even more Democrat than America is just as America was more capitalist and Democratic than the UK the meme has escaped the cage of its

460:37-460:97

Captor and by the way that doesn't mean I mean that so I want to be very clear about something when I say this kind of stuff people be like oh my God you hate America so much you know and that's not at all what I'm saying uh it's like first take Britain okay would you think of the US or Israel or India or Singapore as being anti-british not today they're post-british right in fact they're quite respectful to I mean look at the queen and so on people respect the UK and so everyone's coming there for to pay their respects that might not be the greatest example but yes go on well put it like this yeah broadly speaking they're not

460:97-461:50

like burning the British flag and Effigy or anything essentially the point is each of these societies is kind of moving along their own axis they're not defining every action in terms of where they're pro-british or anti-british right like once you have kind of a healthy distance people can respect all the accomplishments of the UK while also being happy that you're no longer you know run by them yes right and then you can have like a better you know kind of arms length relationship right and so that's what post-british means it is not anti-british not at all in fact you can respect it while also being happy that you've got your own sovereignty right

461:50-462:08

um and you know happy that Britain has is doing its own thing I'm glad I'm glad they're doing well right okay and um they're actually doing some special economic zone stuff now and in the same way if you think of it as not being pro-american or anti-American because that's the with us or against this formulation of George Bush you know like rather than just everything must be scored as pro-american or anti-American you can think of post-american that not everything has to be scored on that axis like you know uh there are certain things around the world which should be able to exist on their own and you should be able to move along your own

462:08-462:65

access like is um like perhaps obvious example like uh is longevity pro-american or anti-American you know no it's like it's on its own axis it's moving on its own axis and new States and new countries should be able to exist uh that do not have to Define themselves as anti-American to do so they're just post-american um friendly to but different from that's totally possible to do and we've got examples of that right so when I talk about this I'm talking about is really in many ways U.S and Western ideals you know but manifested in just a different form

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right and and also crucially integrative of global ideals you know these are in a sense are Global human rights they're global values uh which is freedom of speech private property protection from search and seizure um and actually so that's all the Bill of Rights type stuff and I saw something that I thought was really good recently that's a good um first cut that's something that I might want to include I credit him of course in V to the book a digital Bill of Rights okay and uh so this was a really good decent first cut at a digital Bill of Rights okay and he talks

463:20-463:80

about um the right to encrypt the right to compute the right to repair the right to portability right so encrypt is perhaps obvious you know e-commerce and everything uh compute like your device it's not like you can't just have somebody intercept it or you know shut down your your floating points um that might sound stupid but in the EU they're trying to regulate Ai and by doing that they have some regulation that says like logic is is it self-regulated did you see this no it's hilarious but click the the tweet that I sent you just before this one right so I was like

463:80-464:42

you know in in woke America they're abolishing accelerated math because math is quote white supremacist not to be outdone Europe seeks to regulate AI by regulating logic itself you can't reason without a license right article 3 for purpose of this regulation the following definitions apply AI system is software that's developed with one or more of the techniques and approaches listed in Annex one and you know what's in nx1 in Annex one logic and knowledge-based approaches so step away from the if statement all right okay and the thing is you know if you've dealt with these bureaucracies the stupidest possible

464:42-464:98

interpretation I mean think about if you think oh no that wouldn't make any sense he wouldn't do that the entire web is being uglified by the stupid cookie thing that does absolutely nothing right the actual way to protect privacy is with user local data I mean meaning like decentralized um systems right where the private keys are local no I'm just laughing at the layers of absurdity in this uh step away from the if statement I mean it's hilarious um it's very very clumsy um they want to be us struggling how to define yeah the digital Bill of Rights I suppose and doing it so extremely

464:98-465:64

clumsily it's funny you know the Europe like I heard this thing which is like Europe's like well look the US and China are way ahead of us in AI but we're going to be a leader in AI regulation yeah yeah and something we haven't mentioned much of in this whole conversation I think may be implied between the lines is the thing that was in the constitution of the pursuit and happiness and the thing that is in many stories that we humans conjure up which is love I think the thing that makes life worth living in many ways but for that you have to have freedom you have to have um stability you have to have a society

465:64-466:34

that's functioning so that humans can do what humans do which is make friends make family uh uh make love make uh make beautiful things together as human beings uh Balaji this is like an incredible conversation thank you for uh showing an amazing future um I think really empowering to to people because we can all be part of creating that future and thank you so much for talking to me today this was an incredible obviously the longest conversation I've ever done but also one of the most amazing enlightening thank you thank you brother for everything you do thank you for uh inspiring all of us

466:34-467:03

well Lex this is great and um uh we didn't get through all the questions we didn't just just for the record we didn't get I would venture to say we didn't get to 50 percent this is great this is great and I have I had to stop us from going too deep on any one thing even though it was tempting like those chocolates those damn delicious looking chocolates that was used as a metaphor about 13 hours ago uh or however long we started the conversation this is incredible it was really brilliant you're brilliant throughout uh on all those different topics So yeah thank you again for talking now this is great I really

467:03-467:61

appreciate being here sir thanks for listening to this conversation with Balaji sunivasan to support this podcast please check out our sponsors in the description and now let me leave you some words from Ray Bradbury people ask me to predict the future when all I want to do is to prevent it better yet build it predicting the future is much too easy anyway you look at the people around you the street you stand on the visible air you breathe and predict more of the same to hell with more I want better

Key Themes, Chapters & Summary

Key Themes

  • Social Media Censorship and Political Implications

  • Understanding Human Cognition: The Prime Number Maze

  • Limitations and Potentials of Human Cognition

  • Nature of Space-Time and Human Perception

  • Alien Civilizations and Theoretical Speculations

  • The Need for New, Opt-In Governments

  • Tradition vs. Innovation in Societal Evolution

  • The Role of Anonymity and Pseudonymity in Digital Spaces

  • The Concept of the Network State

  • Future of Governance and Online Communities


Chapters

  • Introduction: Balaji Srinivasan's Perspectives

  • Trump's Social Media Ban: Implications and Precedents

  • Human Cognition and the Prime Number Maze

  • Exploring Space-Time and Perception

  • Speculations on Alien Life and Advanced Civilizations

  • Critique of Current Governmental Systems

  • Balancing Tradition and Innovation in Society

  • Anonymity and Identity in Online Platforms

  • The Network State: A New Model for Governance

  • The Future of Digital Communities and Global Interaction

Summary

In this extensive conversation with Lex Fridman, Balaji Srinivasan, an angel investor, tech founder, philosopher, and author, delves into a multitude of topics ranging from the removal of Donald Trump from social media, the concept of a 'prime number maze' in understanding human cognition, to the intricacies of government, Twitter, science, and the FDA. Srinivasan explores the consequences of Trump's removal, discussing the precedent it sets and its implications on global politics. He then shifts to a philosophical discussion about understanding complex patterns in life, likening human cognition to being trapped in a 'prime number maze'. This leads to an examination of the limitations and potentials of human cognition, referencing notable figures like Vernor Vinge, Richard Feynman, and Indian mathematician Ramanujan.


The conversation then navigates through topics like the emergent nature of space-time, the work of Donald Hoffman on human perception, and the potential for AI and machine learning to revolutionize our understanding of the world. Srinivasan speculates on the existence of alien civilizations, referring to concepts like the Drake Equation and the Dark Forest theory.


Moving to government and society, Srinivasan emphasizes the need for new, opt-in governments and startup countries. He critiques the inflexibility of current governmental systems and the inability to peacefully start new governments, drawing parallels with the freedom in starting new companies or communities. This leads to a discussion on the importance of tradition versus innovation, and how the United States, as a nation of immigrants, has evolved over time, reflecting a shift from tradition to innovation.


In exploring online communities, Srinivasan discusses the role of anonymity and pseudonymity in digital spaces. He describes how platforms like Discord, Reddit, and Twitter cater to different levels of community alignment and identity revelation, highlighting the emerging trend of 'search-resistant identities' among younger generations. He explains how pseudonymity allows for a form of decentralization, offering a balance between privacy and public interaction.


Finally, Srinivasan outlines his concept of the 'Network State', a highly aligned online community capable of collective action, which can crowdfund territory and eventually gain diplomatic recognition. This novel idea blends the power of digital communities with real-world political and territorial ambitions, representing a futuristic vision of governance and societal organization.


Throughout the discussion, Srinivasan interweaves technical insights, political philosophy, and futuristic visions, demonstrating a deep understanding of technology's impact on society and governance. His thoughts on AI, the potential for new forms of government, and the evolving nature of online communities offer a thought-provoking glimpse into possible futures of human organization and interaction.