for-profit = for-profit
non-profit = for-status
Rank order of motives

1) pursuing mathematical truth
2) pursuing science and technology
3) pursuing material things
4) pursuing power
5) pursuing status

Just for fun, let's compare nonprofits, Miami-style materialism, academia, media, Hollywood, tech, and DC on these motives.
Nonprofit: makes no real claim to truth. Values political power and status above money. Indeed, these are engines to turn money into power and status.

Miami: honest about making money.

Academia: at its best, pursues truth, but often power (policy influence) or status (prizes).
Media: claims to be truth, but has no concept of mathematical or scientific truth, so ends up chasing money, status, power.

Tech: honest about pursuit of revenue and technology.

DC: honest about pursuit of power.
As someone natively drawn to the academic style, and who still prizes math above all, I've grown to appreciate Miami-style lamboism.

It's actually positive sum. All can have lambos, much as all got phones. But all cannot get Nobels.
Basically, there *are* contributions to humanity above material things. Mathematics being the canonical example.

But unless one is very tightly focused on that, it's easy to shallowly (and unconsciously) pursue status, instead of shallowly (and honestly) pursuing lambos.
Oh, skipped Hollywood. They are also honest about status. It doesn't bother an actor if you tell them they want fame & fortune. Duh, they want to be stars.

It does bother a nonprofit if you say they are a for-status. Concealment of motive, even to themselves, is a big thing.
Fundamentally, the difference between for-profits and for-statuses is that for-profits are often for-results, because customers are paying for goods rather than donors paying for praise.

Not always — status does arguably drive open source — but often.
Neither is a panacea, of course.

Bank bailouts showed the for-profit failure mode — privatize profit, socialize loss. Crony capitalism.

And San Francisco shows the for-status failure mode — privatize praise, socialize harm. Nonprofits with non-solutions.
One last remark

Suppose we distinguish between bien pensant philanthropy & unique things like the Clay Math Prize.

There's now a growing movement where multiple factions consider bien pensant philanthropy more suspect than direct, honest investment.


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More from @balajis

8 Jan
"...the only amount of decentralization people want is the minimum amount required for something to exist..."

This is true for the same reason internet apps use the minimum necessary bandwidth to exist.

Blockspace, like bandwidth, is rapidly increasing but costly and finite.
Moxie's article is fine, thoughtful, constructive, worth reading.

But it doesn't discuss the concept of blockspace, which is the key technical constraint on web3, just as bandwidth was to web2 (and arguably web1).


In 2000, Netflix mailed DVDs. They knew streaming was the future. But they also knew bandwidth was limited.

In 2022, many web3 entities are partially centralized. They know decentralization is the future. But blockspace is limited.

Need Nielsen's Law for blockspace.
Read 14 tweets
6 Jan
It’s actually pretty important to have an agreed-upon quantitative framework for teasing out the relative contributions of luck vs skill vs hard work vs initial conditions.

Gets to core questions about what is inherited privilege vs actual accomplishment.
We recognize that athletes, mathematicians, models, and singers all have intrinsic talents.

Anyone can pick up a ball, pencil, mirror, or microphone and quickly see if they have comparable gifts.

This makes people accept nonuniform outcomes. No entitlement to a Super Bowl Ring.
For anything involving others, though — especially management or finance — many believe no skill is involved. It’s all lucky, lazy fat cats.

I don’t believe we can convince them they are wrong.

I believe we need to make them CEOs & investors too. Make it easy to try their luck.
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
People forget just how completely non-obvious the entire digital revolution was every step of the way.

1995: WWW will fail
2002: Google will fail
2007: iPhone will fail
2013: Facebook will fail
Virtually every sentence was wrong in this one. It's like the opposite of the Sovereign Individual.

"Yet Nicholas Negroponte, director of the MIT Media Lab, predicts that we'll soon buy books & newspapers straight over the Intenet. Uh, sure."…
For example, they were calling Facebook a fad all the way till 2013. Then they flipped to calling it a threat to democracy.

To calibrate, in 2010, it was supposedly a joke that Facebook (already with 500M+ users) was worth $33B. It just made ~$33B in revenue in one quarter.
Read 7 tweets
2 Jan
This article by Mearsheimer and @stephenWalt from 2016 holds up well.

I think they'll eventually win the argument as the US, by necessity, moves away from what they term liberal hegemony and towards offshore balancing.

I do have two thoughts, though… 🧵… ImageImage
First, there is actually a structural similarity between liberal hegemony and offshore balancing.

The entire NGO industrial complex doesn't want poor countries to become wealthy. In fact, it hates those who become truly independent via capitalism.

They want pets, not partners. Image
NGOs do have a self-interest, but it's undeclared. Their self interest is in being seen as saviors.

The alternative approach? Invest in the ascending world. Shared *risk* and reward. Capitalism is for equals, equal partners in the deal. @mwiyas @iaboyeji…
Read 10 tweets
2 Jan
The emerging strategy for Bitcoin is to prioritize policy advantage over technology advantage.

For example, Bitcoin is primus inter pares in El Salvador, the first digital currency with sovereign recognition.

The L1 tech layer will not change much, but the L0 policy layer can.
Like @twobitidiot, I've been working on BTC for ~10 years. Helped onboard billions in capital & millions of users.

I'm not a maximalist. But mononumists & polynumists are aligned on getting BTC legal recognition. Can debate next steps after we get there.
numism: the study of coins
mononumist: only one coin
polynumist: many coins

It's similar to the difference between Abrahamic and Dharmic worldviews. Monotheism vs polytheism.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jan
Barista, farmer, dockworker, lab tech.
Firefighter, captain, soldier, postman.
Cameraman, surgeon, truck driver, pilot.
Read 5 tweets

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