Why I'm joining a DC think tank
I'm curious whether anyone can point me to recordings of the pull report call-in edition episodes. Not in the apple ecosystem and too impatient to wait for the Android app release.
Loved this article. Best and brightest from industry seem to have shirked thought leadership and political governance for too long with notable and regrettable consequences. Wishing you luck at the new role!
Congrats, you are now officially a "thought leader", right?
I remember reading a political philosopher in the early oughts (unfortunately exactly who it was escapes me) who said that techies liked to think themselves as apolitical and that solving a problem through technology wasn't a political solution, but a pragmatic one. The philosopher countered that the choices made in how the problems were solved using technology were ultimately political ones.
That line of thinking stuck with me, because I'd definitely come into the argument with "but tech is completely neutral" but come out of it with an altered viewpoint about how defining the problem and the solution to that problem probably weren't as neutral as I'd led myself to believe.
It will be interesting to see you write on how the "we're neutral utopians trying to better the world and avoid all the crass politics" collides against that view just being another form of politics ;-). (Also reminds me a bit of Egger's novel "The Circle" - did you ever do a riff on that?)
Good luck on this move - i hope you're able to move the needle here! That said, i have to quibble with a point you're making:
> even such promising and radical stuff like web3/crypto, isn’t about building technology that’s better than current alternatives, but rather technologies that haven’t been regulated by government or dominated by monopolistic incumbents yet. It’s not about building a better mousetrap, but about building a less-regulated or less-constrained one.
This may be true of most cryptocurrency projects, but it is emphatically not true of bitcoin. I've found that a lot of smart people simply refuse to believe this - they can't imagine that any software system could exist that isn't controlled by _someone_. I'm guessing you're one of those smart people as well. Am I right?
Even if you ignore the can't-be-controlled portion of bitcoin (which is the only reason for it, imo), you can now send money, for free, anywhere in the world, in fractions of a second, using the lightning network. That truly is some new technological innovation.
Bitcoiners do have a positive vision of the future; it's the vision articulated clearly in 'The sovereign individual' and dimly in 'the revolt of the public'. Nation states are corrupt, dying institutions whose purpose has largely passed due to the advance of technology. I get that this is a scary proposition. Perhaps you can think of us like like those who abandoned the catholic church after luther's thesis, instead of saying we should reform the holy mother church. Yes, we are speaking heresy, according to the church. But the church is unspeakably corrupt, and we dont think this can be helped.
Since you're joining the Lincoln project, hopefully you can encourage them to stop doing bullshit like this. I'm guessing they know your take on woke bullshit; hopefully they'll realize that they were feeding that nonsense to oppose youngkin like this:
Congrats! I met Zach Graves and Lars Schönander at an event in SF about a month ago and enjoyed chatting with them. This reads worse than I intend, but what does joining a think tank like this actually mean? I wondered the same when Matt Yglesias joined Niskaken. Will you be producing work for them, or is it more of an affiliation where your interests align and they get a bit of influence on what you write.
Is it related to / part of the Lincoln Project??