Right as my quaint little weekly newsletter was going to press the biggest leadership change in tech since Jobs hit the streets. Sam Altman has been ousted from the company he built. Ousted by a non profit board of nobodies who, by all accounts, were so worried about "safety" and "moving too fast" and "effective altruism" that they fired one of the greatest forces in tech in the last 20 years. Greg Brockman, cofounder of OpenAI, a legend, quit in solidarity. The story is developing, we will learn more as it comes. But this is emblematic of a larger issue. An issue that our institutions, our media companies, our elites, our owns boards of directors at companies- hate technology and wish to slow down human progress as much as possible in the name of "protecting you." These are the same people who believe they should control the flow of information on the net, that they are the fact checkers, that individual liberty and thought should be extinguished until we are a soup of sameness and death. It is the builders that are under attack in this country. It is the people that contribute that absolute least to solving the problems they claim to care about that are propped up and given the biggest microphone. We are at war. This is war. The looter mindset is attempting to destroy the most amazing new tech company in the world. I've said it 100 times and I will say it until I die, technology, science, building are the only things that matter and will ever matter. And that upsets the powers that be. Because technology is the greatest equalizer, the great upsetter of the status quo, and the vampires among us want nothing more than nothing to change. Unless that change means using less energy, building less housing, moving slower, giving more land back to the turtles- destroying humanity bit by bit until we are extinct and back in the caves. You will not win. The march of progress will continue. Starship test flight 2 goes off tomorrow. We will colonize mars. We will create AGI that gives us a world of abundance making your ivory towers moot. Building will win. But we must fight. We must listen to the little voice deep within that utters when something feels a little off. We must give that voice power. Long live technology. Long live humanity. May there be trillions and trillions and trillions of us flying through the universe inhabiting just as many planets. I will see you all among the stars.
OpenAI announces leadership transition- Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI. - OpenAI
There are about to be a lot more major departures of top folks at OpenAI tonight and I assume Altman will make a statement tonight. But, as I understand it, it was a “misalignment” of the profit versus nonprofit adherents at the company. The developer day was an issue. -Kara Swisher
The world’s 3rd best SEO spammer, a former Tesla sr product manager, Joseph Gordon-Levitts wife and a DC policy flak walk into a bar and say “you know what, I bet we could totally run OpenAI” - JD Ross
The majority of the board is independent, and the independent directors do not hold equity in OpenAI. This is crazy. Imagine being fired from your own company by people who have ZERO skin in the game! -Palmer Luckey
"University presidents—who leapt to issue morally lucid condemnations of George Floyd’s killing or Putin’s war on Ukraine—offered silence or mealy-mouthed pablum about how the situation is tragic and “complex” and how we need to think of “both sides” as if there is some kind of equivalence between innocent civilians and jihadists...In lockstep, the social justice crowd—the crowd who has tried to convince us that words are violence—insisted that actual violence was actually a necessity. That the rape was resistance. That it was liberation." - Bari Weiss
This is one of those months where a century of progress is happening - Christian Keil
How much will the standard Thanksgiving dinner cost this year?
1986 nominal price: $28.74
1986 nominal hourly wage (blue-collar): $8.96
1986 time price: 3.2 hrs of work
2023 nominal price: $61.17
2023 nominal hourly wage (blue-collar): $29.19
2023 time price: 2.01 hrs of work
-Marian L Tupy
Something has gone badly, badly wrong with Western civilization when kids are taught that the Age of Exploration – an accelerant for creating the modern world – was a bad thing - James Pethokoukis
we owe it to future generations to teach them our great achievements, and that they too have the potential to accomplish their own — kids already have dreams, we only need to provide the encouragement and example to bring them to life - entelechiada
Osama Bin Laden's letter to America why he committed 9/11, USA support of Israel is a major reason. - Guardian
I am calling for a total and complete shutdown of AI Doomerism until we can figure out what is going on - Marc Andreessen
Some people have been suggesting that this work shows how AI is dangerous – AI can design molecules that are toxic. It’s like saying AI can design an airplane that can’t fly and everyone dies. It’s easy to design things that don’t work. We don't need AI for that - Vijay Pande
America will enter the 22nd century with a shrinking population unless immigration increases, according to new U.S. Census Bureau Projections - Scott Lincicome
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Robert Heinlein @theashelina
"Nature smiles at the union of freedom and equality in our utopias. For freedom and equality are sworn and everlasting enemies, and when one prevails the other dies. Leave men free, and their natural inequalities will multiply almost geometrically, as in England and America in the nineteenth century under laissez-faire. To check the growth of inequality, liberty must be sacrificed, as in Russia after 1917. Even when repressed, inequality grows; only the man who is below the average in economic ability desires equality; those who are conscious of superior ability desire freedom; and in the end superior ability has its way. Utopias of equality are biologically doomed, and the best that the amiable philosopher can hope for is an approximate equality of legal justice and educational opportunity."- Lessons of History Will and Ariel Durant
Leftists have only one guiding moral principle, and it is anti-Americanism. - Noah Smith
Majorities in most countries have a positive view of the US -Pew Research
Apple will allow iPhone users in the EU to sideload apps starting in the first half of 2024 to comply with new regulations! - DHH
State of Free Speech in USA: Rallies every day, Public debate, No arrests for speech, No censorship on X, Politicians confronted, Institutions under fire, A few Ivy League morons learned that law firms full of Jews are free to exclude Hamas sympathizers. Not bad!🇺🇸 -Max Meyer
All over LA, founders are setting up clean rooms and robots to manufacture everything from rocket engine components to portable nuclear fission reactors and I compiled a list of 50 hard tech companies you should know about in and around LA -Nick Kim
In order for the West to win this civilizational battle, it must: Proudly and unequivocally defend Western values; - Gad Saad
There isn't a shred of evidence that AI poses a paradigmatic shift in safety that requires new regulation -Martin Casado
The reason we’re still in love with the idea that “great men” shape history is because it’s true and we love it - BasedNorthmathr
Labor productivity up 4.7% last quarter. Real wages at record highs. Unemployment near record lows. Now headline inflation coming in at 0% this month. The US economy is absolutely CRUSHING it. -Erik Brynjolfsson
"But the TikTok Democrat has much more sympathy for China. After all, the CCP is non-white, non-Western, and calls themselves communists…so can they really be that bad? Or so the logic goes." - Balaji
Safetyism is the biggest enemy my generation has to battle. The dangers are immense: from depressed teens to stagnant innovation landscape. Courage & risk-taking are the most underrated values of our times. Safetyism is strangling progress. Chat I had with a brilliant scientist today (postdoc): “I feel like I’m no longer doing science. My job has become shuffling around ethics and compliance documents. It’s strangling our science. I am depressed. It’s like they’re trying to stop us from doing science” - Ruxandra Teslo
“Technology is an escape hatch for a nihilistic world.” - Katherine Boyle
"For a society to be static, something else must be happening as well. One thing my story did not take into account is that static societies have customs and laws – taboos – that prevent their memes from changing. They enforce the enactment of the existing memes, forbid the enactment of variants, and suppress criticism of the status quo. The primary method is always – and can only be – to disable the source of new ideas, namely human creativity. So static societies always have traditions of bringing up children in ways that disable their creativity and critical faculties. That ensures that most of the new ideas that would have been capable of changing the society are never thought of in the first place." - David Deutsch
"Plasma is a class of blockchain scaling solutions that allow all data and computation, except for deposits, withdrawals and Merkle roots, to be kept off-chain. This opens the door to very large scalability gains that are not bottlenecked by on-chain data availability." - Vitalik Buterin
"Early retirement is a mirage when you’re physically and mentally capable of doing more. Once you’ve tasted the sweetness of a dedicated purpose, it’s near impossible to be content just sitting on the sidelines." - DHH
The American Heart Association sabotages its own predictive algorithm by no longer including race of the patient in order to to affirm the trendy dogma that race does not exist biologically. Science used to be about making more accurate predictions, but now it’s about affirming dogmas even at the cost of more dead bodies. - Steve Sailer
Cost of delaying great tech is millions of lives per month. And the proof by example for that is literally just artificial fertilizers. "But what if it creates inequity" would've delayed that for years today - Randolph Carter
Annual working hours per worker continues to drop. Capitalism keeps winning. - Chris Freiman
One possible future: internet search is nearly useless, people use AI to read instagenerated content taylored to their needs according to the demands of the fact checkers and appointed good opinion havers, and reading human generated content is discouraged due to alignment risk. - Joscha Bach
Sorry CNN but this is infuriating *again*. This man was beaten to death, he didn’t “hit his head”. Stop making it sound like it was an accident. It was a violent homicide of a peaceful elderly protester. - David Marcus
There will be no UK law on AI “in the short term” because the government is concerned that regulation could curb industry growth. - FT
The U.S. Senate has adopted S.3000, the Armenian Protection Act of 2023, by unanimous consent. It would suspend all military aid to Azerbaijan. - Max Meyer
Americans love Jews more than any other religious group. -Pew
Thank the IRS for the new 10-minute college aid application process! “The new FAFSA pulls from information the government already has through the IRS to automatically input family income details.” - Ashley Schapitl
The percentage of TikTok users who regularly get news on the app has increased from 22% to 43% since 2020, per new survey data from Pew - Louise Matsakis
It’s extremely weird that some of the most sensitive people in America are willing to overlook calls to ban homosexuality, establish a state religion, or conform to the patriarchy if those calls come from someone who is foreign. - Charles C. W. Cooke
The pockets of disinflation we are seeing are helping...n the US, we may be managing through a period of deflation in the months to come - Walmart CEO
After #MeToo, male economists became wary to work with female economists, resulting in reduced female— but not male—researcher productivity. - Crémieux
People aren’t agreeing with the bin Laden letter because TikTok destroyed their brains, they’re agreeing because most major institutions in America have been screaming at them about how America and Western Civilization are the source of all evil in the world since like 2004 - Rachel Jessica Wolf
almost every chart in crypto is volatile and people overreact in both directions...too bull during the bull and too bear during the bear...but there is one chart in crypto that goes up-only - the steady drumbeat of tech advancement - Hayden Adams
The pro-Hamas Washington Post would not even cover the violence at the Democratic National Committee offices last night. The paper was willing to front page the anti-Israel protests in the last month, buried the Israel rally in the metro section yesterday, and took down an anti-Hamas cartoon and apologized for it. - Erick Erickson
Coinbase is moving onchain FAST...let anyone pay in 100s of currencies, settle to USDC, all onchain on BASE (and other EVM networks). The fastest, most accessible way for merchants around the world to accept payments. - Jesse Pollak
Make no mistake, policymakers view the AI battle as an opportunity to relitigate tech regulation more broadly. I truly believe those who support them are ultimately anti-tech, and are working against it. It is absolutely imperative we don't let this happen. - Martin Casado
Banning TikTok does nothing. Ban Harvard, now you’re serious. Harvard is the upstream source. It’s the motherlode of bad ideas, that then work their way out to social media in sound bites. All wokeness stems from Harvard. -Balaji
People Coinbase is hiring: builders and techno-optimists; those who recognize technology, capitalism, and free markets are some of the best tools we've found to improve the human condition. - Brian Armstrong
Osama Bin Laden Given Honorary Posthumous Doctorate From Columbia - Babylon Bee
Airfares are at their lowest level in a decade (outside the covid slump when no-one was flying anyway). - Justin Wolfers
What I said this week...
Hate on Elon is the "leper’s bell of an approaching looter." I will continue to unabashedly be in support of this imperfect man who has done far more for humanity than anyone on the planet.
US media establishment sharing Hamas propaganda is hardly nonexistent. There was a ceasefire, Hamas broke it. Yes, the acceptable level of terrorism should be zero. IDF must limit civilian deaths as much as possible, but not at the expense of dismantling Hamas, who uses innocents as meat shields.
The Guardian should not have removed the letter. This community note is the only reason I was able to find it. Even if it's being used by ignorant people, it's an important historical document. It's been erased from Google and Reddit, absolutely Orwellian. Long live X.
I'm calling for a total and complete shutdown of TIME 100 lists until we can figure out what the hell is going on. Their climate list of change makers includes Billie Eilish and Coldplay. Mainstream media continues to prove itself to be an absolute and utter joke.
The amount of chaos and disjointedness and disagreement and angst is the ultimate buy sign of the USA. That's why we make the best art, companies, culture- that's why we are the envy of the world and the jewel of humanity.