87Joined Jun 2021


Does anyone know if pandemic prevention PAC that SBF had been funding (Protecting our Future?) is going to live on? Seems like it should.

Have you seen the 2020 documentary The Phenomenon? Compelling film on this topic. Clearly there are a lot of sightings concentrated around nuclear facilities and bodies of water, which is disturbing under any number of explanations.

About a year ago there was discussion on Twitter about how EA was highly concentrated in crypto and tech stocks. Someone asked if it could/should be hedged. The reply was that there was not appetite for hedging. I remember thinking to myself that I’m sure the ultimate beneficiaries of the EA causes would have appetite, but clearly it was not their decision, it was SBFs. I guess someone could ask if, from a moral perspective, he should have looked at the decision about whether or not to hedge from the perspective of the ultimate beneficiaries.

Both low interest rates and high valuations for more speculative financial assets are a reflection of more demand for financial assets than supply. They are both functions of the overall level of savings in the economy, which is the source of demand for financial assets. Demographics, globalization, and inequality drove a 40 year boom in the aggregate level of savings that peaked during the pandemic. This era is now over, largely because of changes in demographics and globalization, but also because of a need for more physical investment in the real economy (energy, housing, etc). This physical investment will need to come from the more limited pool of aggregate savings, leaving less for financial assets. I have written several longer papers on this if you would like to discuss further.

What is the vote with the “x” right next to the karma vote?

Bloomberg is estimating the recent events have caused SBF’s net worth to decline 94% from $15.6B to $1B. I think they are suggesting Alameda and FTX have zero value. I hope that is not accurate. In combination with the 75% decline in Meta it would mean a lot less funding for EA causes until new mega donors are recruited.

Bruce Friedrich, executive director of The Good Food Institute. Before GFI even existed he impressed me with his savvy and commitment in effective advocacy for farm animals while he was at PETA. I don't know anyone else who has been so good at long term planning to reduce suffering and then executing on that plan. Except maybe Dustin Moskowitz or Bill Gates, but I am more impressed with Friedrich since he did not start out from a place of wealth. 

It's interesting that the time of "life getting better" is basically the same time as "humans increasingly using fossil fuels." I have heard the argument (which I am not yet educated enough to have an opinion on) that all of the economic growth and improvements in standards of living over the last few hundred years have been enabled by cheap, abundant, dense, and easily transportable energy, aka fossil fuels. 

Therefore, one reason we could be on the cusp of a crazier time is that the world is basically telling fossil fuel companies to limit new exploration and drilling while we don't really yet have a replacement ready. To be clear, I am an environmentalist and think we do need to limit and reduce fossil fuel use and ultimately get to net zero emissions by 2050 as a planet. But the magnitude of this task may be under-appreciated, and the likelihood that the energy transition produces chaotic and negative side effects may similarly be under-appreciated.

Thanks for your post. You offer valuable thoughts, and I only have one small additional one. Having now been through a stage of my career where I have done hiring, I know the process is way more arbitrary (and less sophisticated) than I previously realized. When I was younger I used to take job rejections way more personally than I should have based on what I know now. There are all sorts of sub-optimal reasons hiring decisions are made, and applicants should not take rejection as a strong signal about their skills, talents, or future potential (IMO). Still, I do think it's important that hiring managers be as respectful as possible and give feedback when they are able. 

If I could give advice to my 22-year-old self it would be, "if you want to work for a certain organization or in a certain field badly enough, just keep persisting through every rejection. The act of persistence alone will increase your probability of working in that area. Also, put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager. What do you think they want to hear from an ideal prospective applicant? Don't lie or mislead, but if you really think you will be a good fit for a position, freely tell your interviewers how devoted you will be to the work. They want to hear passion."

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