When people are bad at spending money it accumulates with people who are good at collecting it. Most people are very bad at spending money beyond the relatively low limit of personal hedonism. By about $4m, most people are out of ideas.
Almost everybody confuses categories of spending for spending ideas. Categories of spending ideas are nearly worthless. All creativity in spending lies in the specificity.
Imo average spending ideas are commodity instances of categories. “Artist collective” is a category of idea. “Artist collective in Austin” is an actual idea.

Good spending ideas are specific and “pop” from parent category.

Great spending ideas are sui generis.
In general, if you have to spend money and you do so by giving it to someone more creative, or to someone whose marginal needs are still within "personal spending competence" scale, it's a bit of a copout.
Since people suck at spending more than about $4m, giving money to anyone who has less than $4m is a way to burn optionality for creativity.
Hypothesis: If you can make a clear spending plan for a billion dollars, one that's specific rather than categorical, and either pops from parent category or is sui generis, and is clearly socially situated, someone will immediately give you a couple of million to get started
By socially situated, I mean something that almost everybody will have a clear opinion on as good or bad and want to stop it or get behind it. This is why categories fail. Many people vaguely approve or disapprove of general categories like "fund green energy."
But to actually socially situate it is to turn that vague approval/disapproval into clear versions. Like for eg. propose paving the Sahara with solar panels. Everybody will have very clear opinions on that, and it won't necessarily match their categorical opinions.
The instinct to fund people who are smarter/more creative than you is a really dangerous one. Unless you're giving money to people who are clearly *less* creative/dumber than you in some key way (but more so in a different way), you're not really doing any work. It's dumb money.
"Spotting and investing in smart and creative people" is not a kind of smartness or creativity. Investing that way is not smart money.

Money is only smart money if it is smart in some way that is *not* purely social judgment.
This is kinda self-evident. How are you competent to judge people smarter or more creative than you in unqualified ways? That's basically like saying "invest in god" ... a kind of trusting prayer.
I've never had enough money to invest, but to the extent I've invested time/attention in people, it's nearly always in a way that exploits a vector where tbf I think I'm better than them 🤣

Of course they need to be better than me in some way too, but that's less critical

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More from @vgr

24 Dec
HGTV is so depressing
I suppose it is among the less painful ways to acquire some home ownership basic literacy but it is also normie hell
HGTV is Karen TV
Read 16 tweets
24 Dec
If this launch goes well, best Christmas present ever… the photos should be unprecedented, since it’s an infrared telescope. Huge gas cloud panoramas and stuff. It will be bigger as when T-Rex got feathers… I think out view of a mostly “empty” sky will change…
I remember being super excited and then super disappointed by early Hubble years when the mirror defect came to light (heh!). There were lot of angry op-eds about $5b white elephant, bad big government mismanagement, etc…. and then they fixed it. The greatest comeback ever.
I admit I was small-minded enough back then to briefly join in the cynical nasa-bashing. Taught me an important lesson of some sort.

But damn, the deep field image alone is worth the whole Hubble mission
Read 4 tweets
23 Dec
Best response so far imo. People really struggle to find big ideas that are not just funding others’ ideas or lives in disguise.
Another top 5 shortlist. Many are coming up with vague versions of rewilding, but the wilderness corridors detail really levels up this variant. Internet of national parks!
Another top 5 shortlist idea. I like the sheer nudging busybodyness of it. Likely to delightfully annoy everybody.
Read 9 tweets
23 Dec
You have a billion dollars. You are not allowed to spend it in any way that directly helps others like charity, gifts, scholarships/grants, or pure investments like in startups or stocks. You’ve also already exhausted all hedonistic desires of your own.

How do you use it?
I like both art and research but the dominance of those categories makes me super suspicious and a bit hostile to both.
Unless it’s a specific work of art or research you’ve conceptualized to the point that it’s more an execution contract/commision than an ab initio creative project, it’s not in the spirit of the prompt.
Read 6 tweets
23 Dec
The entire planet has been in the uncanny valley between rent and own since covid 😐
Ownership is way too much responsibility
Nfts are my level of ownership
Read 7 tweets
22 Dec
Watching Matrix Resurrection

So far I have no idea what’s going on
I think I’ve forgotten how the original trilogy ended 🤔
Don’t like the new agent smith bring Hugo weaving back
Read 7 tweets

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