What I read this week VI...American post-tax income inequality has hardly risen at all since the 1960s

What I read this week VI...American post-tax income inequality has hardly risen at all since the 1960s
From Grand Theft Auto VI trailer. American culture continues to be untouchable.

I recently torpedoed a dinner party arguing the fact that rising income inequality in the US is just not a real thing. This will break so many people’s brains. The system is working. You are being misguided by people who have a fundamental misunderstanding of the facts. I also continue to believe that judging people based on their DNA is not a recipe for equality, but just the opposite. Content of character (thank you MLK) and merit of the individual should be our north star. Race blind policies that seek to help all lower income people will disproportionally help people of color and will be more popular and therefore more likely to get passed thereby being a more effective strategy. "American society is so focused on race that it is blind to class"- but ya’ll ain’t ready for that conversation. Have a great weekend, trust the process, work hard, let's all grab coffee on Mars soon.

"America is so great. What other country could produce this game and the insane subcultures it depicts" on the new GTA VI trailer, which is awesome.

Noah Smith on Venezuela claim on Guyana territory: "Pax Americana and the global norm of territorial integrity were nice while they lasted. Welcome to the jungle." The alternative to a US lead global order is colonialism turned up to 11.

“I am running one of the coolest companies in the world and I’m telling young people: you are breathing the vapors of a dangerous, fake, and self destructive religion when you are sitting at your elite school pretending because you watched Tik Tok twice and got an A+ on some crazy paper because your professor couldn’t get a job anywhere else that you actually understand the world. Your not welcome at my company.” - Alex Karp, CEO of Palantir

"The corporate elite of this country thinks: when it's time to make money, you stand up. And when it's time to stand up, you play golf." - Alex Karp

"We are launching an initiative for students who because of antisemitism fear for their safety on campus and need to seek refuge outside traditional establishments of higher education. They are welcome to join Palantir, and we are setting aside 180 positions for them immediately." -Palantir

"The internet is one of the most important innovations, and engines of progress, in human history — yet it is failing the people who rely on it most: consumers, creators, developers, and small businesses. Control (over decisions, data, and much more) is consolidated among a handful of big platforms, which unilaterally make decisions on behalf of their users; or change the rules suddenly on developers and other builders; and extract prohibitive fees from creators… and so on. Blockchains have not only emerged as a credible solution, they also represent an important new computing movement that opens up new opportunities and use-cases well beyond web3. But despite the potential of this industry, critical regulatory guidance has been lacking." -a16z crypto

"Recurring reminder that the Governor of Hawaii tried to pass an ambitious executive order to rebuild all their homes ASAP and the Sierra Club and the ACLU sued to kill it"

"Coinbase Wallet is introducing new ways to make sending money easier, cheaper, and faster. Users can now send money on any platform that they can share a link." Cool new feature, hasn't rolled out to me yet. I continue to be long BTC, ETH, and Coinbase.

Epic video of Starship's second test launch. Gives me chills.

“The lesson of Icarus isn’t ‘don’t fly too close to the sun’, it’s to build better f*cking wings.” -For All Mankind

"The natural trend of whichever country has the reserve currency is to inflate the money supply and increase deficit spending until it loses that advantage...Contrary to what some may assume, I don’t think Bitcoin is a threat to the dollar and the U.S., I think it will be a natural check and balance that will complement the dollar, and be the best defender of long term American interests (and western civilization more broadly)." - Brian Armstrong

The number of startup defense companies is absolutely exploding.

From Chamath's What I Read this Week:
"The FDA approved two milestone cell-based gene therapy treatments for sickle cell disease, a rare life-threatening blood disorder caused by genetic defects. One of these therapies, Casgevy, is the first FDA-approved treatment to use CRISPR/Cas9, which is a type of genome editing technology.

In 2021, the Biden Administration urged Congress to agree to spend $7.5Bn to build thousands of EV chargers to accelerate the transition away from internal combustion engines. While Federal officials have authorized >$2Bn of the funds to be sent to states, the program has yet to install a single charger."

Introducing Gemini: Google’s most capable AI model yet

"Apps of all kinds rely on push notifications to alert smartphone users to incoming messages, breaking news, and other updates. These are the audible "dings" or visual indicators users get when they receive an email or their sports team wins a game. What users often do not realize is that almost all such notifications travel over Google and Apple's servers. That gives the two companies unique insight into the traffic flowing from those apps to their users, and in turn puts them "in a unique position to facilitate government surveillance of how users are using particular apps," Wyden said. He asked the Department of Justice to "repeal or modify any policies" that hindered public discussions of push notification spying. In a statement, Apple said that Wyden's letter gave them the opening they needed to share more details with the public about how governments monitored push notifications." -Reuters

Court rules in favor of Quad9 against Sony: "Sony Entertainment (Germany) started a legal proceeding against Quad9 more than two years ago to force Quad9 to stop resolving certain domain names which they claimed were involved in copyright infringement behavior. We believe this lawsuit was an attempt to set a precedent, such that commercial rights holders could demand that sites on the internet be made unreachable by forcing recursive resolvers to block content."

Meta gives more users private conversations than any other company on the planet. They don't get enough credit for this. "Today, we’re announcing that we’ve begun to upgrade people’s personal conversations on Messenger to use E2EE by default. Our aim is to ensure that everyone’s personal messages on Messenger can only be accessed by the sender and the intended recipients, and that everyone can be sure the messages they receive are from an authentic sender."

The Biggest Delivery Business in the U.S. Is No Longer UPS or FedEx- Amazon is eclipsing both carriers, and the gap is growing

Foreign direct investment is exiting China, new data show

The Eyepopping Factory Construction Boom in the US- The supply-chain catastrophe in 2020-2021, the edgy US-China relationship, and the scary dependence on China triggered a big corporate rethink.

"Lithium “Shortage” Bubble Implodes (Again), Price Collapsed 77% in a Year, as Demand and Production Both Surged." Capitalism wins again.

Introducing Wikifunctions: first Wikimedia project to launch in a decade creates new forms of knowledge: “Functions are pathways to knowledge. Wikifunctions aims to make these pathways more accessible than ever before. Imagine a programming system where a single line of code can be run from anywhere by anyone — even by programs written in different programming languages. That is the promise and potential of Wikifunctions,” said Dr. Denny Vrandečić, Head of Special Projects at the Wikimedia Foundation. “Wikifunctions will be built in the same community-led fashion as Wikipedia, with volunteer editors donating their time and energy to the cause of building a freely editable library of valuable functions. We are excited for this project to continue to grow with their contributions.”

"You can't tell kids to follow their dreams when their dreams suck." - Palmer Luckey, number one dream in 1970s for kids was an astronaut. Today it's to become an influencer. We've way over indexed on encouraging kids to do whatever they want. As adults, we should push them towards greatness.

The fear mongering around GMO food has likely killed millions of people.

"ETH value comes from devs building cool and useful stuff on top of it. It has a huge lead making it very valuable." -Hayden

"Our education system is very unequal, yes. But Black American kids do better than Romanian, Greek, and Bulgarian kids.And Hispanic American kids do better than Slovakian, Icelandic, and Serbian kids. We need to improve a lot, but we're not terrible." - Noah Smith

Harvard, MIT, and Penn presidents failing to condone genocide. Our elite institutions continue to reveal themselves as complete jokes.

"Hang on you're telling me the DEI folks who obsessed over race are now showing in front of congress how racist they are? I'm shocked I tell you, shocked!" - Delian

"I want to make you aware: the anti-harassment training at my university includes a scenario where an overheard discussion of whether “DEI has gone too far” is the first sign of prejudice and on-the-job discrimination. DEI has become a weird regime that tells people to rat their neighbors out for criticizing the regime. Dismantle this thing and start over." - Noah Smith

"Russia's invasion would have displaced millions anyway. Europe will be better off not dependent on Russian energy. The U.S. donated surplus arms, and now knows it needs to rebuild its defense-industrial base." - Noah Smith

"To diagnose content safety issues during Gemini’s training phases and ensure its output follows our policies, we’re using benchmarks such as Real Toxicity Prompts, a set of 100,000 prompts with varying degrees of toxicity pulled from the web, developed by experts at the Allen Institute for AI. Further details on this work are coming soon." - Google, on their new Gemini AI. Pumped we have a new entrant but I continue to be skeptical of any and all talk of safety. Safe to who? Who decides this? Irrelevant to argue given open source models cannot be stopped. The future marches on.

SpaceX is tracking to launch over 80% of all Earth payload to orbit this year.

"Interesting moment in american culture at which point the majority of americans agree DEI is an abhorrent, deeply racist concept, and yet it has never been more influential among leadership of our most powerful institutions." - Mike Solana

"These 7 books would probably have seemed too difficult (if not dangerous) for many left-leaning readers to finish two years ago. But times change and minds reopen." - DHH

"Under-rated fact: the two best AIs on the planet (Bing/GPT-4 and Bard) will be publicly available and either free or low-cost to billions of people. Not exclusive to Fortune 500 companies or labs or governments. Technology is liberatory and equalizing."

"For a long time I said that antisemitism, particularly on the American left, was not as bad as people claimed. I'd like to just state that I was totally wrong. I still don't understand it, really. Or know what to do about it. But it is so fucked." - Sam Altman

DARPA researchers make quantum computing breakthrough creating first-ever quantum circuit with logical quantum bits (qubits), a key discovery that could accelerate fault-tolerant quantum computing & revolutionize designs for quantum computer processors.

"Yesterday, ~100 Oakland teachers taught students that Israel should be eliminated, Jews weren’t in Israel before 1948 & intifada against Jewish 'bullies' in Israel is a good thing." - Scott Weiner, CA state senator.

"At Harvard, "fatphobia" constitutes violence. But "globalize the intifada" requires context." - Bari Weiss

"We ideally want autonomous cars killing ~30k/year in the US to start (25% reduction). people are too dumb to understand this & will explode in hysterics at every death, instead rolling them out when ~perfectly safe, condemning many tens of thousands to death in the meantime." - Zack Kanter

"If you expect to become an authoritarian, you have to wield absolute control over a key institution of government such as the military (Franco, Peron, Pinochet) or a mass movement with a paramilitary wing (Lenin, Mussolini, Mao). Neither condition applies to Trump. Every federal institution is set ferociously against him." - Martin Gurri

"Tomorrow, I'm flying to Los Angeles for oral argument in what may be the most important Fourth Amendment case pending in the United States today. The basic facts: The FBI broke open and searched hundreds of safe deposit boxes without any reason to think the boxholders did anything wrong."

Speed is a quality all it's own:

America continues to be a land of opportunity:


US Crude Oil Production set a new record in September of 13.2M bpd:


Why DEI is such a disaster and makes racism even worse: