alexflint

58Joined Jan 2015

Comments
15

However, I think it is starting to look increasingly likely that, even if FTX's handling of its customer's money was not technically legally fraudulent, it seems likely to have been fraudulent in spirit.

Evan do we really have enough information to conclude this? The only real pieces of information I am aware of is that (1) binance declined to acquire, (2) Alameda owned a lot of FTT, (3) SBF's tweets from yesterday.

I don't think that merely lending out deposits is 'fraudulent in spirit'. That's standard operating procedure in ordinary banking. For example, in Vanguard terms of service:

> The Program Banks will use Your Sweep Deposits in the Omnibus Accounts to support their investment lending and other activities. [...] Program Banks will receive substantial deposits from the Bank Sweep at a price that may be less than alternative funding sources. Sweep Deposits in the Omnibus Accounts held at a Program Bank provide a stable source of funds for such bank.

FTX has been accused of much worse than merely lending out depositor's funds, but I'm not aware of any real information about these further claims.

I trust you guys to decide that this is the right time to resign, but I do hope as a community that we are able to hold value of our friendships together with the importance of holding people who made mistakes to account, without either one negating the other. We don't yet know what kind of ethical errors Sam made, but the larger those mistakes are, the more important it is that we offer friendship of a kind that is compatible with holding people to account.

Making risky trades with depositors’ funds without telling them is grossly immoral.

Is it? Lending out depositor's funds is standard operating procedure in regular banking. Is it really "grossly immoral" to do the same thing in crypto without telling depositors?

FTX has been accused of much more than just lending out depositor's funds, but if there was fraud, I don't think it was in the mere fact of lending out depositor's funds.

I think it might prove quite difficult to scale effective use of psychedelics out to a large population, due to bottlenecks on facilitation. I'd guess that becoming an effective facilitator requires quite a bit of in-person training with an established facilitator and contact with a mature psychedelic culture, in much the same way that becoming an effective meditation teacher seems to require quite a bit (years and years) of in-person contact with an already-established meditation teacher and culture.

I expect that this cannot easily be worked around via more or better written instruction. I'd expect that simply reading The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide (or a future improved version thereof) and then facilitating trips with no other exposure to teachers or culture would produce mediocre or ineffective results for trippers, in much the same way that teaching meditation under the same circumstances would, or teaching entrepreneurship having mostly just read business books would.

I particularly expect that non-facilitated trips will be ineffective on average if scaled out to a large population.

Perhaps a person can become a mature facilitator by extensive solo tripping experience, in combination with consuming written material. But this would also be a bottleneck on scaling out psychedelics.

Perhaps we can just scale psychedelics out slowly and maybe that would still be extremely worthwhile. But I expect this to proceed on timescales not much faster than the rate at which meditation is currently being "scaled out" in the western world.

Thanks for the note. I'll file an issue. FWIW I originally wrote this in google docs, then the best way I could find to get it here was to export as an HTML file, then copy and past from there to here.

Thank you!

In terms of finding opportunities, I don't have a complete framework but I do have some rough heuristics: (1) look for opportunities that the large donors can't find, are too small for them to act on, or for some other reason fail to execute on (2) follow the example of angel investors in the tech community by identifying a funding thesis and then reaching out through personal networks to find people to fund at the very early stage of starting projects/organizations.

In terms of the historical work, I'm considering organizing a much deeper investigation into the history of these organizations. If you or anyone else is interested in working full time / part time on this, do let me know!

What advice would you give to a potential OpenPhil hire re how to think about the value of joining OpenPhil full time vs starting an organization that OpenPhil would be likely to fund vs joining an organization that has already received funding from OpenPhil?

So we get astronomical stakes by multiplying a large amount of time by a large amount of space to get a large light cone of potential future value. Interventions that work along only one of those dimensions -- say, I bury a single computer that generates one utilon per year deep underground, which continues to run for the life of the universe, or I somehow grant a one-off one utilon to every human alive in the year 1 billion -- are dominated by those interventions that affect the product of space and time (e.g. the interventions you listed here). But if there were just one more dimension to multiply, then interventions that addressed the product of all three might dominate all considerations that we currently think about.

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