All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg

Industry veterans, degenerate gamblers & besties Chamath Palihapitiya, Jason Calacanis, David Sacks & David Friedberg cover all things economic, tech, political, social & poker.

E36: New FTC Chair, breaking up big tech, government silent spying, Jon Stewart, wildfires & more

E36: New FTC Chair, breaking up big tech, government silent spying, Jon Stewart, wildfires & more

Fri, 18 Jun 2021 03:17

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Show Notes:

00:00 Besties intro

03:37 Lina Khan appointed to the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission

07:02 Will Lina break up big tech? Which one will be first?

18:02 Potential repercussions to consumers

27:48 Sacks’ antitrust experience at PayPal vs. Ebay, Visa & MasterCard

29:50 Google’s multi-trillion dollar data trove

35:40 The U.S. government's capability to silently take data while “gagging” Big Tech

53:32 COVID’s psychic shadow, Friedberg’s office landlord is still requiring masks

1:00:17 Jon Stewart’s lab leak bit on Stephen Colbert’s show

1:10:04 California’s wildfire risk increasing with climate change

1:20:57 Besties summer plans

Referenced in the show:

Chamath's 2019 Annual Letter re: Big Tech breakup

Big Tech Gag Order (mentioned by Sacks)

Obama Administration Record Seizure (mentioned by Sacks)

California Forest fire maps (mentioned by Friedberg)

Jon Stewart On Vaccine Science And The Wuhan Lab Theory

#allin #tech #news

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What's going on? Sax LP meeting. Is it an LP meeting or are you going, are you going to lunch? Peter Teal little layer God, what's going on? It's 9:00 AM you must be there, must be a call going on here. It's a ditch sacks every week, but Tamatha is in Italy. Another button. Guts undone. This is definitely. Let your winners ride. Man Davidson. We open sources to the fans and they've just gone crazy. Queen. Hey everybody, hey everybody, welcome to another episode of the All in podcast episode 36 back with us today on the program. The Queen of Quinoa Science spectacular. Friedberg is with us again with leading off last episode Freeberg with a great freeberg science monologue. The the crowd went crazy for it. How does it feel coming off that epic performance in episode 35? Tell us, what were you thinking going into the game and. Yeah. Well, I was thinking I would talk about the Alzheimer's drug approval at Biogen and then I felt like I did it when we were done. Great. God, it's just, it's like literally interviewing Kawhi Leonard after like a 50 point game. OK? And with us, Rain Man, David Sacks with layers for players, he's been styled and groomed and he's in some random hotel room. How are you doing, Rain Man? Good, good. I'm not. I'm not in a hotel room. I'm. Ohh, your home just happens to look like a five star resort. Got it. Forgot that and and give us an idea. Coming into today's game with the layers, you obviously are here to dominate and and get your monologues up. Gotta be hard for you to look at the stat line and see yourself traveling in monologues behind the dictator. Of course referring to all in statistics. Yeah, where some maniac is breaking down how many minutes we each talk for episode. Jason, I'm really happy with my performance. For me it's about. Quality, not quantity. I like to stick in. Stick and jab. OK, got it, got it. What are we talking about right now? What, what, what? What is the cost to state? Or leave you a monologue? What is the. What the hell are you talking about right now? My Twitter account. Done. You know how the the all in stands have a ton of skills? Like there is an audience for this podcast that has more skills than you know. It's like the the 5% of the most skilled people in the world. Listen to this podcast. O. In addition to doing the merge, in addition to doing who's the guy Henry who does all those incredible videos with animations? In addition to those Belcastro belcaster, Henry Belcastro crushing, those things are great. Those are amazing and incredible. Of course you have young Spielberg, who led the charge, dropping credible, credible tracks. And now we have this new crew that is analyzing somebody put, you know, put in the show notes, a link to it. But they do some type of AI analysis of the audio files and they tell us who had the most monologues, and then the running time and then historic running. Time. So they're actually looking at it, trying to figure out, you know, who, who is speaking the most. And they thought Freeburg was going to run away with the episode, but it kind of disappeared in the second-half of the game. And Chamath obviously came around the corner and took his 27%. But they have a pie chart of how much we each talked. I have a I always have a very strong first and third quarter. Yes, absolutely. Yeah. And then he gets frustrated when he passes the ball and somebody misses a shot. It's kind of like LeBron in the early days. So kicking off today, Lena Kahn has been confirmed to the FTC with bipartisan support. Interesting. And this is obviously going to be a challenge for big tech. On Tuesday, the Senate voted 69 to 28 to confirm Lena Khan, who is a very well established critic of Big Tech. And this is obviously really unique because she's 32 years old and she's leaving the FTC, which is unbelievable. I did a little research on her and watched some videos. She's basically written two amazing papers, and the 1st paper came out in 2017. Amazon's antitrust paper, the second one came out in June and was about the separation of platforms and commerce, and when you hear her speak she is incredibly credible and knowledgeable. It is as if one of the four of us were discussing this. She could come into this podcast and speak credibly about Amazon's businesses as opposed to the charades we saw at different hearings where the senators and and Congress people just absolutely had no idea what they're talking about. Some of the items I picked up from a talk show. Live in Aspen is that she. She formed a lot of these opinions by talking to venture capitalists who were concerned about Amazon's dominance and other companies and the competitive space. And she is looking at consumer welfare, one of the lenses of antitrust, which will I'm sure David Sacks will have some thoughts on as our resident attorney here, and the framing of those in terms of harm of the consumer, she believes there's other harm that happens and she thinks. One remedy is to kill Amazon basics because the marketplace shouldn't own the goods as well. She's concerned about cloud computing consolidation because that creates a fragility, and that is another type of consumer harm. While she freely admits that prices have gone down, services are free and this is a consumer benefit, so she wants to rethink the entire concept, and she is savvy. She brought up Facebook buying a anovo the reportedly spyware VPN to give them a little advantage as to what was being used. Your phones and maybe give them a little product road map information. She also brought up Amazon studying the sales of other products to inform Amazon Basics, a claim that Amazon says they don't do, but everybody knows they do do because all that information is publicly available. She talked about Amazon's VC arm using data to invest in buying companies. Why wouldn't they? That makes total sense. That's great signal for them. She seems to want Amazon Web Services spun out, which I think would just double the value of it, or maybe at 50% of the value of it. Then she gave very pragmatic examples, like maybe separating Google Maps from Android and when you turn on your Android phone you you would have to install maps. Or maybe you would pick from the different maps that are out there different programs, and that there would be integration in them and people could swap out. You know, MapQuest or Apple maps in their Google searches. So a lot of actually very interesting, pragmatic approaches. And she doesn't think these need to be decade long lawsuits. She thinks this is gonna be a negotiation and that people will kind of work together on it. But this is all with the backdrop of partisan politics and, you know, one group of people looking at this through the lens of wealth and inequality and another group looking at it through censorship. Sacks, since you are our counsel here, what are your thoughts on this appointment? Yeah, I mean the interesting thing is that, you know, Lena Kahn is the the Bernie approved candidate. She is liked by the Progressive Left, but at the same time she got 21 Republicans to support her. And so this nomination, you know, sailed through confirmation. I think what she's saying, what she's saying, I think there is, there's a very good, good argument to it that and I've said similar things in the past, which is, you know what she's basically saying. Seen in the case of Amazon is look, you've got this company, Amazon, that controls essential infrastructure, a WS, the whole distribution supply chain going all the way from the port to warehouses to to logistics and distribution that is going to be owned by a scaled Monopoly player. You have a massive economies of scale. It's pretty clear they're going to dominate that. And what they're doing is systematically going category by category and using the monopoly, monopoly profits they make. By owning the sort of core infrastructure and subsidizing their entry into each of these new categories that Amazon basics and others. And she calls that, you know, predatory pricing. And she's afraid that Amazon is going to end up dominating every category, every category that you could build on top of this core infrastructure. I think it's actually a pretty valid concern. I think you see something analogous happening with Apple and Google in the app stores. We had a congressional hearing pretty recently in which you had Spotify on other apps. Complaining about what Apple was doing to them, saying they are making our service non viable with the 30% rate that they're charging. You remember Bill Gurley had a great post about this saying just because you can charge a 30% rate doesn't mean you should. Right now we're seeing this blowback from this massive 30% rake and you had Spotify saying, look, Apple is doing this to basically make us infeasible relative to Apple Music. So I think there is a legit point here, which is that if you own the monopoly platform. That sort of essential infrastructure, you cannot use it to basically take over every application on top that can be built on top of that platform. That I think is a very appropriate. Use of of antitrust law and I think so I think that's the good here. Now I think that there there are some some concerns or or some potential downsides and you know and and the downside that I see is that we used to think we used to judge antitrust law in terms of consumer welfare. And so, so there was a limiting principle to the actions of government which is you would just look at prices and the effect on prices here you know the, the the sort of movement that Lena Khan represents. So-called hipster antitrust movement, they're concerned about power and they want to restructure markets to avoid sort of concentrations of power. I don't see the limiting principle there. And so I think what the the the would market share be a limiting principle? Well, it would be a limiting principle in terms of who you could take action on, but it wouldn't be a limiting principle in terms of how you would restructure the market. And I think what we're in for over the next few years is potentially a hyper politicization of big tech. Markets. I think these 21 Republicans might soon feel like the dog who caught the bumper, in the sense that, yes, they're finally gonna have the regulation of big tech they've been calling for, but they might not like all of the results because we. Because what could happen is a very intrusive meddling by government in the markets of technology. And it could go well beyond sort of this, this, this gatekeeper principle that we've been talking about that I think would be a valid reason to regulate. Chamath, I think she has to be careful in focusing on Amazon. So if you break down antitrust law, there are really three big buckets where the attack vectors are. And I'm not going to claim to be an expert, but I think they're relatively easy to understand. So you have the first principle body, which is called the Sherman Act. That's the thing that everybody's looked at and that's, you know, sort of where most current. Antitrust enforcement action has failed on tech companies because it largely looks at the predatory nature of pricing power that certain companies have. And you have to remember, this thing was written in the 1800s. And so, you know, what did people do when they control things? They just, they drove prices up. Tech does the exact opposite, right? They constantly drive prices down. And what's counterintuitive is it turns out that in the olden days, driving prices up drove out competition. Today, driving. Prices down, drives out competition, yes, right. So, you know, you make Gmail infinite storage. Nobody else can compete with Gmail Switch. You switch, you make, you know, photos completely subsidized. You make certain music products effectively free. And you subsidize that, you know, you create enormous amounts of content, blah, blah, blah. So you have the Sherman act. Then somewhere along the way we realized, OK, we need to add something. We created this thing called the Clayton Act that was around M&A, right? We added to that. A lot of folks that are listening probably have heard of Hart, Scott, Rodino, HSR. We've all gone through it, right, on M&A events. We have to file these HSR clearances when you make big investments, for example, you know, I just made a a climate change thing. We have to file HSR. And then there's this fdca, which is the Federal Trade Commission Act. That is where she can get, you know, if to use a poker term, you know, a little frisky. Why? Because the FTC A has these two specific things which says you can have an unfair method of competition or an unfair or deceptive act or practice. Now it falls on her and her team to basically build the strongest case around those two dimensions. And my only advice to her? I wrote this in two 2019 in my investor letter as well, just thinking about the breakdown of big tech. If you're going to go after these guys, that's the body of law that probably is the most defensible. But you probably have to start, you know, whether you like it or not with Facebook or Google. And the reason is there are more examples how you can use that language under the ftca to give those folks a hard time. I think it's much harder. The example would be chamath that we are giving away this product, losing money on it to keep you in our store and Moat you into our. Advertising network, etc. That's an example. Yeah, that's yeah. Or or, you know, we then we then and then because then once you have control, then you can show that. Then the first part, the Sherman Act part, kicks in. Why? So you've seen 15 or 20 years of Google, Facebook, less Apple, by the way. Losing their edge to decrease price. And for the first time in the last quarter, both of these two companies and they were the only two of big tech that announced an increase in pricing, right. They saw a diminishing of CPM inventory. And so they had to figure out ways to grow inventory as users started to stagnate. And what they really said is we're ramping up CPMS and CPMS, I think we're up 2830% in 1/4. And there's a lot of competition right now for ads if you put these two ideas together, which is step one as you surreptitiously basically take all the costs out of the system and then Step 2 raise price overtime. There's probably something there. Uh, freedberg. When we look at her age and her obvious deep, deep knowledge, do you see that as an overall plus? I mean, obviously if you know, David framed her as the Bernie approved candidate, but then conceded that 20 Republicans are are are backing her, what do you what do you think about the massive credibility she has freeberg in terms of she's actually understands this deeply? Clearly. I mean, I'm sure she's not dumb. If that, if that's what you're asking, I I'm not sure. Well, I mean it's a 32 year old. I mean have we seen an appointment like that before? I mean, I don't think so. Yeah, that's that's good for her. Yeah. So I just feel like there is a bit of a cycle underway. Where we have this kind of anti wealth, anti wealth accumulation sentiment as an undercurrent right now. You know obviously Bernie and Elizabeth Warren and others are are key vocal. Proponents of change that's needed to keep this kind of wealth disparity from continuing to grow, and one of the solutions is to reduce the monopolistic capacity of certain business models, specifically in technology. The the downside that I don't think is realized and and that inevitably comes with this action under this new kind of business model of the the the technology age or the digital age is the damage to consumers. And so, you know as as Chamath and David pointed out like historically antitrust has been about protecting the consumer and the irony is the more monopoly or the more monopolistic or the more market share. Amazon gains the cheaper things get for consumers and and it's unfair to small businesses and to business owners and to competitors. But consumers do fundamentally benefit, and so the the logical argument she made in her paper that was widely distributed a few years ago. But was around this notion that in this new world it's not about consumer harm and we need to look past the impact to consumers and look more at kind of the, you know, the the fact that this company maybe prevents innovation and prevents competition, but ultimately if the consumer is harmed. And the resolution of that concern, we're not gonna wake up to it for a while. And then consumers one day are gonna wake up and they're gonna be like, wait a second, why am I paying 5 bucks for Gmail? And, you know, why am I paying an extra $10.00 for shipping to get my Amazon products brought to me every day? And, you know, all the things that I think we've taken for granted in the digital age with the advent of these, you know, call it monopolistic kind of business models where they accumulate market share and they can squeeze pricing and keep people out. And the bigger they get, the cheaper they get. And therefore it's harder to compete. Consumers have benefited tremendously. I I think all of us would be hard pressed to say, I would love to pay 10 bucks a month for Gmail. I'd love to pay for Facebook. And at the end of the day, these models and I'd love to pay more for shipping with Amazon. And so, you know, it becomes a value question, right? What do you value more? Do you value the opportunity for competition and innovation in the business world or do you value as a consumer better pricing? And I don't think that we're really having that debate. And I think that that debate will inevitably kind of arise over the next couple of years if in Freeburg how much? This kind of played out and I think to be clear freeberg what you're saying is this is driven by the extraordinary wealth of Jeff Bezos, Zuckerberg, etcetera. It's easy to pinpoint that problem and then not involve the repercussions to consumers if you try and change how business operates in a free market system. And these businesses are successful because they have customers that like competition ring and they're and they drive in a competitive way pricing down and they prevent people from coming in and competing not. By entering into contract and antitrust enforcement, all this sort of stuff, they're doing it because they're scaling and offering lower prices. I mean this like Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen have separately argued for this in in really intelligent ways, probably in a far more articulated way than I can. But and they did this early on, which is, you know, we want to find businesses that can become monopolies because if you can reduce your pricing and improve your pricing power with scale, it's going to be harder and harder for someone to compete. And therefore the capital theory is rush a bunch of capital into these businesses, help them. Feel very quickly. I mean, this is obviously the basis of Uber and others and they get really big really fast. Create the mode, create the mode, drop the pricing and then no one can compete with your pricing. Consumers benefit and you've created the big business and you've locked everyone. OK. And so let me go around the horn here and frame this for everybody. Let's assume that big tech does get breaking up this broken up. This is an exercise. We assume it gets broken up and YouTube and Android are spun out. Instagram, WhatsApp or spun out, a WS spun out and you know, app stores are allowed. On Apples platform iOS for the first time I want to know if this is good, bad or neutral for the following two people so these breakups occur. Is it good, bad or neutral for consumers? And then two, is it good, bad or neutral for startups sacks? He would lean towards saying yes. I mean a lot depends on better neutral for each party, startups and for consumers. I I think it could ultimately be good for for both, but it really depends on how it's done. And I think there is a big risk here that this just degenerates into sort of hyper politicization. You get intensive amounts of lobbying by big tech in Washington that what happens is, you know, you have a good cop, bad cop, where Lena Cotton just becomes the bad cop. She's there to kind of keep big tech in line, threatens to break them up and then the good cop is, you know, Biden. And the administration, and then they they become the protection and the extortion racket they raise on. You know, ungodly amounts of money. And really, it'll be a bonanza for for all elected officials, because now big techs have to increase its donations. Even more. Super cynical. Wow. That's the that's the cynical take. So we could end up with something much worse than what we have now. But but I think the legit, I think the words you're going to hear a lot OK are common carrier. Because what she seems to be saying is, look, if you're a tech monopoly that controls core infrastructure, we need to regulate you like a common carrier. You cannot summarily deny service. To your competitors who are downstream applications built on top of your platform, conservatives can get behind that because that is the argument they've been making about Facebook. Cutting off free speech is you are a speech utility. You should be regulated as a common carrier. You cannot cut off people summarily. You cannot discriminate against people who should be allowed to have free speech on your platform. And so I think there is, I think the left and the right here can cut a deal where they regulate these guys, these big tech companies as common carriers. I think that is what we're headed towards. So a bakery can deny service, as we talked about previous issue to a gay couple who wants a cake because it's a tiny little company and there's other choices. But when we're talking about Facebook and Twitter, there are not other choices. And once you're removed like Trump has been from the public square, there is no recourse. You are essentially zeroed out chamath is it good for startups, bad for startups, neutral? Same thing for consumers if you know one chunk of every company got cleared off. It's. Unanimously good for startups in any scenario in which they get involved. And I think in most cases in which the government gets involved, it's it's good for consumers as well. And why in both cases. So for startups, it's just because I think right now we have a massive human capital sucking sound. A big tech creates in the ecosystem. Which is that there is an entire generation of people. That are basically, unfortunately frittering away their most productive years. Getting paid what seems to them like a lot of money, but is what is effectively just, you know? Payola. To not go to a competitor or go to a startup at at by Big Tech. So to explain that clearly, for example, like if you're a machine learning person, right? Those machine learning people. You can get paid. 750 to $1,000,000 a year to stay at Google and instead they won't go to a startup because they take sort of the bird in the hand, right? You multiply that by 100 or 150,000. Very talented, you know, technical people, and that's actually what you're seeing every day. Now. Those numbers are actually much higher if you know if you're if you're a specific AI person, you can get paid $510,000,000 a year. My point is, they could have started a startup and they could have and and frankly, they just million they they. Look, let's be honest, they go to Google, Facebook and whatever, and I don't think anybody sees the real value of what they're doing in those places except getting paid. Now they're making a rational economic decision for themselves, and so nobody should blame them for that. But if startups had more access to those people? Or if, you know, those engineers finally said, you know what? Enough is enough. I'm actually gonna go and try something new that's net additive to the ecosystem. It's net additive to startups, right? That's for them and then for consumers. I think the reason why it's positive is that it'll start to show you. In which cases you have been giving away something that you didn't realize was either valuable or you didn't realize you were giving away. In return for all of these products, subsidies that you were getting, and I think that's the next big thing that's happening. You can see it in the the enormous amount of investment Apple, for example, is making in both advertising, the push to privacy, as well as implementing the push to privacy. You know, this last WWDC, you know, they really threw the gauntlet down. You know, they, they they were really trying to blow up the advertising business models of Google and Facebook and as consumers become more aware of that. They're probably willing to pay more. So a simple example is, you know, there are a lot of people now who will pay higher prices for food if they know it to be organic, right? There are people who will pay higher prices for electricity or for an electric car because of its impact or the lack thereof in the climate. So it's not to say that people always want cheaper, faster, better, right? I mean sometimes people will buy an iPhone because it's obviously protecting their privacy and they know it's not an ad based model and in fact Apple is now making that part of their process, so. Freeburg, I asked the other gentleman if they thought some large unit being chopped off of every company. YouTube, WS, Instagram, you pick. It would be a net positive for startups or negative or neutral. And the same thing for consumers. What do you think? Which gentleman did you ask? You mean I I was specifically referring to the ones who are wearing layers. Hello, Sir. Yes, I'm using the term lightly. So if you guys go back a few years ago, you'll remember there were these. I think there were congressional hearings, and Jeremy Stoppelman from Yelp was pretty vocal about how Google was redirecting search engine traffic to their own kind of reviews, and they were pulling Yelp content off the site. But then they said to Yelp, if you don't want us to pull your content, you can turn the web crawler toggle off and we won't crawl your site, but your site is publicly available. We can crawl it and we show snippets on our home page, but then their argument was while you're using our content to drive your own reviews. And they made this whole kind of case that Google's kind of monopoly in search was harming their ability to do business. You know, the the counter argument was, well, if you guys have a great service, consumers will go to your app directly or your website directly to get reviews. They won't go to Google. And so it created a little bit of this kind of noise for a while. I think there was some follow up and this is all very much related because ultimately if he was able to get Google to stop providing a review service, his business would do better. Because, right, Google would effectively redirect search traffic to his site as opposed to their own internal site. So it is inevitably the case that in House apps or in House services that compete with third party services when you're a platform business are, you know, if they're removed, it's certainly going to benefit the competitive landscape, which is typically startups. You know, imagine if Apple didn't have Apple Maps pre-installed on the iPhone. Everyone would download and use Google Maps, right? I mean, there are MapQuest, whatever. MapQuest or whatever, and so you know, or or whatever startup came along like ways and said, hey, we've got a better map. But because they have this ability to kind of put that Apple maps in front of you as a consumer and it's a default on your phone, you're more likely to just click on it and start using it and you're done. It certainly opens up this window. But I think the question is what's ultimately best for the consumer? If you believe that consumers will choose what's best for themselves, you're starting to kind of manipulate with the market a bit. And in fact, I don't know, I think you've got a different point of view on this, but. Yeah, yeah. Well, I'm a, I'm a free markets type of guy, but my experience at PayPal really changed my thinking on this because PayPal you know was a startup that launched effectively as an involuntary app on top of the eBay market. At that time eBay had a monopoly on the auction market and that was the key sort of beachhead market for online payments. So we launched on top of eBay. They were constantly trying to dislodge us and remove us from their platform and really. The only thing keeping them from just switching us off was a was an antitrust threat. We actually spun up. You could call it a lobbying operation where we would send information to the FTC and the DOJ and say, Listen, you've got this auction monopoly here that's taking anticompetitive actions. Against us this little startup and you know it and so we were able to rattle the Sabre and and sort of brush them back from the plate from taking a you know a a much more dramatic action against us. And frankly we did something kind of similar with Visa MasterCard because PayPal was essentially an application on top of Visa MasterCard as well. We offered merchants the ability to accept Visa MasterCard but also PayPal payments which were gradually eating into and supplanting the the credit card payments and so. You know, Visa MasterCard had a very dim view of PayPal and they were constantly, you know, they were constantly making noise about switching us off. And I I do think that without the threat of antitrust hanging over these big monopolies or duopolies, it would have been very hard for us as a startup to get the access to these networks that we needed. And so it really kind of changed my thinking about it because, you know, if you let these giant monopolies run. Why run run amok? They will absolutely stifle innovation and 100% they will become gatekeepers. And so you have to have the threat of antitrust action hanging over their heads or you will stifle innovation. Absolutely. I mean, if you just look at the interesting Google flights over time, I'm looking at a chart right now. We'll put it into the notes. Google Flights, you know, I know some of us don't fly commercial anymore, but you know, for somebody who's looking for flights on a regular basis watching Google. Intercept flight information. Put up Google flights and it's an awesome product. And just Expedia and have. So, Jason, that was that. That was a company called ITA Software based out of Boston, and ITA was acquired by Google. ITA was the search engine behind flight search for most companies. It was like 70 pH D they were all statistics guys, and they basically built this logistical model that identified, you know, flights and pricing and all this sort of stuff too. Wow. So and so they should never have been. Well, they created a white label search capability that they then provided and they were making plenty of money providing this as a white label search capability to Expedia and kayak and all the online travel agencies. And Google wanted to be in that business because travel search was obviously such a big vertical. And rather than just buy a travel search site, they bought the engine that powers travel search for most of the other side gangster. And then they also revealed the results in their own search result Home page, which effectively. Cut off the OTA's and the OTAs are big spenders on Google ads. So, so basically Google this is how a nefarious it is. If I'm hearing what you're saying. Freeberg correctly, they watched all this money being made by those OTA as they watched where they got their data from, then they bought their data source and then they decided, you know what? We won't take your cost per click money, we'll just take your entire business. I don't know. So. So let me just let me just say it another way. What's best for consumers? So does a consumer, because what happens a lot in benevolent dictatorships? Yes, that you don't want to make money. You know, online advertising, there are a lot of these ad arbitrage businesses is one way to think about it where, you know, a service provider will pay for ads on Google to get traffic, the ads will come to their site and then they will either make money on ads or, you know, kind of sell that consumer service another way. Right. And so that's effectively what the OTA's were is they were, they became intermediaries on online search engine, intermediaries that were arbitraging Google's ad costs versus what they could get paid for the consumer. And so Google. Right, look at this and they're like, wait a second. We're only capturing half the pie, and consumers don't want to have to click through three websites to buy a a flight or buy a hotel. And by the way, if they did, they would keep doing it. So why don't we just give them the end result right up front? And then consumers will be happier. The less time they have to spend clicking through sites and looking at other ****** ads, the happier they'll be. And the product just works incredibly well. Consumer make consumers lives less arduous? Yeah, while building a power base that then could make their lives miserable. What? What, what? What I think Lena Khan is saying, though, is you can't just look at the short term. Interests of consumers. You gotta look at their long term interests. What's in the long term interests consumers to have competition. In the short term, these giant monopolies can engage in predatory pricing to lower the cost for consumers. And so just looking at the price on a short term basis isn't enough. And they can trick people to giving them something else that they don't know to be valuable. So in the case of these, you know, a lot of these companies, what are they doing? They're tricking them to get enormous amounts of user information, personal information. User generated content and they get nothing for it. And then on the back of that, if you're able to build a trillion, look at look at the value that YouTube has generated. Economic value and then try to figure out how much of that value is really shared with the creator community inside of YouTube. I'm guessing it's less than 50 basis points well 5055% of revenue, yeah, but you're saying downstream with all that data Google is making a massive amount of money. I just want if you if you impute the value of all of the PII that Google basically I personally identifiable information, all the cookies that they drop all that information and you equate it to an economic. Enterprise value, not necessarily yearly revenue, like a discounted cash flow over 20 years, you would be in the trillions and trillions of dollars. And then if you discounted the same 20 years of revenue share that they give to their content producers, it will be in the hundreds of billions of dollars at best. And so you're talking about an enormous trade off where Google basically has built. You know a multi trillion dollar asset and has leaked away less than 10 or 15% of the value. But that's an example where they're giving people something that they think is valuable but in return they're able to build something much, much more valuable right under the nose. Just wanna address like Zach's point which is the regulators are now going to start to think about the long term interest of consumer over the short term interest of the consumer as effectively giving the regulatory throttle to. Elected officials, and this means that you're now giving another throttle, right, another controlled joystick to to folks that may not necessarily come from business, that may not necessarily have the the appropriate background, and that may have their own kind of political incentives and motivations to make decisions about what is right and what is wrong for consumers over the long term. And ultimately those are going to be value judgments, right? There's no determinism here. There's no right or wrong. They're going to be decisions based on the kind of opinion. Nuance of of some elected people. And so it is a very dangerous and kind of slippery slope to end up in this world where the judgment of some regulator about what's best for consumers long term versus the cold hard facts, oh, prices went up. Prices didn't you know? But really saying, well, this could affect you in the future in this way starts to become kind of a really, you know scary and slippery slope if we kind of embrace this this, this new regulatory order. All right. Moving on. Big news this week Apple had a gag order. It has been revealed. This is unbelievable. It's pretty crazy and we we only have partial information here, but the Justice Department subpoenaed Apple in February of 2018 about an account that belonged to Donald Mcgahn, who obviously was the Trump's White House counsel at the time and obviously was part of the campaign. He is very famously known for being interviewed by Mueller and at that this is the time period by the way, we're talking about here in February of 2018 when Mueller was investigating. Manafort, who of course was super corrupt and went to jail and then was something like pardoned because they he was also involved in the campaign in 2016. It's possible that this related to Mueller. It's unknown at this time. Many other folks were also caught up in this dragnet. Rod Rosenstein was his second, and it's unclear if the FBI agents were investigating whether Mcgahn was the leaker or not. Trump had previously ordered McGann the previous June to have the Justice Department remove Mueller. Mcgahn refused and threatened to resign. And Mcgahn later revealed that he had, in fact, leaked his resignation threat to the Washington Post, according to the Times, disclosure that agents had collected data of a sitting White House counsel, which they kept secret for years, is extraordinary. Go ahead, Sachs. Well, I I just think you just get all the facts out here. I think you're missing some of the key facts. So the, the Justice Department under Trump starts this investigation into leaks of classified information. They're on a mole hunt, effectively. And they start making the they subpoena the DOJ subpoenas records from Apple and it goes very broad and they end up supplying the records not just of Mcgahn, who's the White House counsel, which is very bizarre and curious. They be investigating their own White House counsel, but they also, well, it wasn't even ships. And they they yes, but they're all, they also subpoena records of Adam Schiff and Swalwell and members of the House Intelligence Committee. And so you have now an accusation. Which is being breathlessly reported on CNN and MSNBC that here you had the Trump administration investigating its political enemies and using the subpoena power of the DOJ with Apple's compliance to now spy on their political enemies. That that that those are some big jumps. Those are some big jumps. Fed up. Yeah. And and that is those are some big jumps because according to Preet Bahara and some other folks who are in the industry who who have done these actual subpoenas they could have been subpoenaing. You know, one of Manafort's, you know, corrupt, you know, partners in crime and then those people. He could have been talking to many people in the Trump administration and then subsequently family members and others. So he might have not been the target. He could have been caught up in the metadata of other people. Yeah. So this might not be Trump saying get me his. Yeah, iPhone records. It could be there's some dirty person. They know they're dirty, and that person had reached out to other people, and they might have even done one more hop from Achimota thoughts, I mean. OK, that's one version, and then you know the other. The other version, which is important, is. You subpoena your own lawyer by going to Apple, getting basically God knows what data associated with this man's account, and then you know, institutes a gag order on that company so that they can neither tell the person until now when the gag order expired, nor tell anybody else, nor have any recourse to the extent that they think that this is illegitimate. That to me, smells really fishy. And so, you know, like there are other mechanisms that that we know of, like physical requests and other things that these big companies have to deal with all the time. This, at least the way that it's written and how it's been reported is something outside of the pale. And so I think you have to deal with it. With this question of like, what the hell was going on over there, it does seem like they were going. Yeah, I mean, you know, kindly maybe mole hunting, more nefariously witch hunting. But they were trying to pin it on people, and they may have used this blanket sort of deniable plausibility of the, Russia, you know, imbroglio. But really what these guys were doing was they were investigating anybody that they thought was a threat. And that is a really scary thing to have in a democracy. And then the fact that these big tech companies basically just turned it over and didn't have any recourse. To protect the user or to inform the public. Forget Trump for a second. I think we don't necessarily want that to be the president that holds going forward. Yeah, and the the interesting thing here is that Sachs, Jeff Sessions, Rosenstein and Barr all say they're unaware of this. So what would be the charitable reason they were unaware of it? Or what would be the nefarious reason? Or or is that important at all? Because that's really strange that they would go after the White House Counsel and Adam Schiff and those top three people would have no idea. Are they lying? I mean, what's next is the, you know, are we gonna basically go to a point where, like, you know, every single every? No, I mean like every single post that one makes on Facebook is basically surveilled. If you make an anonymous post on Twitter, will you be tracked down? I remember, like as much as everybody thinks there's anonymity on the Internet, there really isn't. And you should just completely assume that you are trackable, are being tracked, have been tracked. Everything is in the wide open. It's just a matter of whether it's disclosed to you or not, or whether it's brought back to you or not. So yeah. So look, I mean, I I agree with jamath that this stinks and it's a, it's an invasion of people, civil liberties. But I would not make it too partisan because the Obama administration was engaging in similar activity back in 2013, and I don't think people realize this. The There's an old saying in Washington that the real scandal is what's legal. And the fact of the matter is that what the Trump administration did was certainly suspicious and it might have been politically motivated. We don't know, but it was legal. The DOJ convened a federal grand jury, got these, got these subpoenas, presented them to Apple and got this information. And in in a similar way, back in 2013, the Obama administration did something similar. It's quite extraordinary. They subpoenaed the records of the AP. They for they for two months they got the records of reporters and five branches of the AP and all their mobile records, and they were on a mole hunt to try and find leakers of classified information. So the Trump administration basically did exactly what the Obama administration did. The only new wrinkle is that they only went after reporters. They actually subpoenaed records of members. You're missing one huge you're missing. You're missing one huge difference. Trump was under investigation for espionage and treason at the time, so it is slightly different. Obama, I, I, I I don't think it's that different in the sense that Trump used powers that were pioneered by the Obama administration. They just took them. They just took them, well, 11 little. And in addition to that, sacks. In addition to that, when Obama did it, all the top brass at the Department of Justice were aware of this. And in this case, you have three people who were running the Department of Justice administration all claiming they don't know. No, in 2013, there's a New York Times article on this I'm gonna post on the in the show notes. But it said that when when, first of all, the AP was not informed about the subpoenas until a number of months later. So it was a secret seizure of records. Same thing here with the gag order. And so you have people being investigated that are even know they're being investigated, investigated. They even get a lawyer spun up to oppose the invasion of their rights. OK, I agree with you, but the attorney general knew about that. Maybe the attorney general did, but the White House claims that it didn't know. So in any event, I mean, look, yeah, what we I my view on this is that we shouldn't try to make this too partisan. What we have here is an opportunity to hopefully get some bipartisan legislation to fix the issue. And I think the fix should be this, that when you investigate somebody, when you subpoena records from a big tech company, you have to notify them. You should not be able to do that secretly because the fact of the matter is that Apple and these other big tech companies don't have an incentive to oppose the subpoena. They're not your lawyer. And actually, Brad Smith, the president of Microsoft, had a great op-ed in the Washington Post that we should post, that we should put in the show notes where he said these secret gag orders must stop. He said that in the old way of the government subpoenaing records is that that you would have essentially offline records. You'd have a file cabinet and the government would come with a search warrant that present the search warrant to you, and then you could get a lawyer to oppose it. Well, they don't do that anymore because your records aren't in a file cabinet somewhere. They're in the cloud. And so now they don't even go to the person who's being investigated, right? They just go to a big tech company, sees the records and then put a gag order on top of it so you don't even know you're being investigated. That's a part of it. That's still, by the way, it's even more. Interesting, that sacks because. To combine this with the previous story, what incentive does Apple have to say to an administration that could break them up? We're not gonna cooperate it course it. 0 incentive. They are not your agent in this. And here's the thing. Those are your records. They're in the cloud, but they're your records. And every other privacy context, we say those records belong to you, not to big tech. So why they're not governments? This is why people moving everything to your phone. But we try this point. Why should the government be able to do an end? Down around you, that target of the investigation, go to big tech, get your records from because they are not your records. Well, first of all, they're not your records. These companies tricked all of us by giving it to us for free so that we gave them all of our content. They are fair. Not just that, they are not just the custodian, they are the trustee of our content. And it's a huge distinction in what they're allowed to do. And Jason brings up an incredible point, which is, which is that of course they're now incentivized to have a back door. And live under a gag order because they're their defense in a backroom is you guys. You know when when in the light somebody says we should break you up in the dark, they can say, guys, come on, we got a back door. You just come in, gag order us, give us, we'll give you what you want. You want a honeypot, right? You don't want this thing all over the Internet. And Can you imagine how credible, David, that is to your point? Because that is a body of concentrating power that I think is very scary. In fairness to Apple Friedberg, they have locked down the phone and they've moved all of this information from the cloud or they're starting this process and saying we're gonna keep some amount of this data encrypted on your phone. And of course with the San Bernardino shooting, they refused in a terrorist shooting, a known terror shooting to not give a back door. Easy, standard. It's like, you know what? OK, there was a San Bernardino shooter and they were like, Nope, sorry, that's a bridge too far. But, you know, Don Mcgahn and basically like, you know, political espionage. They're like, here you go. I don't know. I don't know how. How do you make these decisions? Decisions. Let me ask you guys a question. Go ahead, friberg. Would you be could you see yourself thriving in a world where all of your information was completely publicly available? But also, all of everyone else's information was completely publicly available, yes. Ohh, everybody has all their nudes on the web is what you're saying every everybody, everyone. There's a, there's a, there's a book by Stephen Baxter called the light of other days. It's one of my favorite sci-fi books. I sent it out to all of my investors this last we do like a book thing every year and I reread it recently. But the whole point of the book is that there's like a wormhole technology that they discover and they can figure out how to like look and you can boot up your computer and look in anywhere and see anything and hear anything you want. And so all of a sudden society. Have to transform under this kind of new regime of hyper transparency where all information about everything is completely available. But I think the the fear and the concern that we innately have with respect to loss of privacy is that there's a centralized or controlled power that has that information. But what if there was a world that that you evolved to where all of that information is generally available quite broadly? And I'm I'm not advocating for this, by the way. I'm just pointing out that like the sensitivity we have is about our information being concentrated. In the hands of either a government or a business. And I think you have to kind of accept the fact that more information is being generated about each of us every day than was being generated by us a few weeks ago or months ago or years ago. Basically everybody, everybody's the trauma and everybody's the Truman show is what you're saying. Well, in a geometrically growing way, information which we're calling PII or whatever is being generated about us. And I think the genies out of the bottle, meaning like the the the cost of sensors, the access to digital. The digital age and what it brings to us from a benefit perspective is creating information about us in a footprint, about us that I don't think we ever kind of contemplated. But as that happens, the question is, where does that information go? Can you put that genie back in the bottle? And I think there's a, there's a big philosophical point, which is like, if you try and put the genie back in the bottle, you're really just trying to fight information wants to be free, information wants to grow. What's the name of the book you were talking about there? The light of other days by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C Clarke helped write it, but the the book is most interesting. That the philosophical implications of a world where all information is completely, freely available. Any? Anyone? Yeah, completely transparent. And so, like, do we see ourselves? Because I think there's two paths. One is you fight this and you fight and you fight it every which way. Which is I want my Pi locked up. I don't want anyone having access to it. Yadda, yadda yadda. You'll either see a diminishment of services, or you have someone, as you do us, or you'll see a selfie on Twitter where you take a shirt off. Or you'll see this concentration of power where we all kind of freak out, where the government or or some business has all of our information. The other path is a path that society starts to recognize that this information is out there. There is, you know, whatever. It's it's not just about PII here. This is about due process. This is about our Fifth Amendment right to due process. You have the government secretly investigating people. They could never do this if they had to present you with a search warrant. They are doing an end run around that process by going to big tech. Just to put some numbers on this, big tech is getting something like 400 subpoenas a week for people's Records they only oppose. 4% of them. Why? They have no incentive to perform any of those. You should be able to see you know how many of those are secret or not. We don't know how many of them have a gag order. They are required to tell the target what happened, but not if there's a gag order attached to it. We don't know how many have a gag order. You should have the right to send your own lawyer to oppose the request, not to. You want big tech for it if you want to see an amazing movie The lives of others, which is about the state Security Service in East Berlin, Germany, also known as the Stasi, and the impact of literally in your apartment building there are three people spying. On the other 10 people, and they're the postmen and, you know, the housewife and the teacher and they're all tapped and secretly recording to each other. It leads to chaos and bad feelings and obviously when East Berlin, when the wall came down, all of this came out and it was really dark and crazy. Yeah, I mean, look, let me connect this to the censorship issue actually, because in my view, they're both very similar civil liberties issues, which is in the case of the sensitive issue, you have the government doing an end run around the 1st amendment by demanding that big tech companies engage in censorship that the government itself could not do. You have something very similar taking place here with these records? The government is demanding secrecy about its seizure of records. They're imposing that on big tech. They're making big tech do its dirty work for them. They could never do that. Directly if they had to go to the target of the investigation and ask for their and and and subpoena the records that way. So what you have here is a case where we not only need to be protected against the power of big tech, we need to be protected against the power of government usurping the powers of big tech to engage in you know behavior they couldn't otherwise engage in. And let's be honest, big tech and the government are overlapping and in cahoots or they're inside. Yeah, they're they're in. I'm really crazy dance. The money is flowing freely from lobbyists and to very, very complicated relationship. It's a very complicated, it's a very complicated relationship. Alright. Seven day average for COVID deaths is now at 332. Finding cases of people who have had COVID is now becoming like, almost shocking. I don't know if you guys saw, but the point guard, Chris Paul, who was having an incredibly winning season in the NBA, he basically caught COVID. They said he was vaccinated so it could be a mild case, but he's been pulled out indefinitely and he's about to play in the Western Conference final. So it's pretty crazy and freeberg. Obviously California's opened up after 15 months and we were the first to shut down, the last open up, and we were hit the least, I think of any state or amongst the least of any, certainly the least of any large state, and you're being asked to still wear a mask at your office. I'm also being asked to take off my shoes when I get on an airplane. Yeah, 20 years later and I don't think Al Qaeda exists anymore. Uh, yeah. Maybe some parts of it. Yeah. Explain what's happening to you in the presidio, which is a lovely State Park here in California under the Golden Gate Bridge office in the presidio. In California, San Francisco County and the federal government have all removed mask mandates. But our, our landlord has determined in their judgment that everyone should still wear a mask. Dakota work. And so to go into my rented office and work, I have to wear a mask. And I think it's it's an issue. For a lot of people who like those people at. I I've been probably a couple of restaurants this week and, you know, you go to some restaurants and everyone's just chilling. The employees are not wearing masks. There's other restaurants where they're being told they have to keep wearing masks by their manager or their boss. And so this brings up this big question, which is like we've now got the kind of psychic shadow of COVID that that's going to, it's going to, it's going to cast a very long shadow. You predicted it, you predicted it. And and so people that that are in power want to continue to kind of impress upon. You know, whatever you know, employees or tenants or what have you, they might have in whatever they deemed their judgment to be. Which is obviously in in many cases an underinformed, uninformed, non scientific and and non mandated judgment about effectively what people should have to wear. So if the threat or the risk has been removed and all of the health officials and all of the government agencies are saying the threat has been removed, you no longer need to kind of wear masks. But your boss or your manager or your landlord tells you you have to wear a mask. To conduct your business or to to go to work, you know, it's gonna bring up this whole series of challenges and questions I foresee for the next couple of months at least and maybe for several years about what's fair and what's right and and there will always be the safety argument to be made and the other side. So it's very hard to argue against that. And Oh well, the inconvenience is just a mask. It's not a big deal. But for, you know, a number of people to to now kind of be told, you know, what to do and what to wear. It'll take a year to sort all these things out because they'll all get prosecuted or not prosecuted but litigated. And they're gonna go to court. They will get banned for sure. There will there will be lawsuits on this and and what's gonna happen is that you're gonna basically have again Jason back to that example of the the bakery in Colorado private institutions will be allowed some level of independence in establishing you know certain employee guidelines and so on. Exactly. And you you'll have to conform to those and the IT it is what it is. I mean I I I just very strange and Austin in terms of these. COVID dead Enders who just will not let it go. I'm in Austin, where nobody is wearing a mask. And then there were like, I went into Lululemon and. They like two people charged me with masks in hand and they were like, you have to wear a mask. And I was like, do I? And they're like, yes, it's our policy. I was like, fine, I'll put it on. I don't care, you know, no big deal. This thing, this thing has really fried a bunch of people's brains. I mean, crazy. I mean, it's it's basically like you've taken an entire group of folks and kidnapped them. And kidnapped them, essentially, because you're it's Stockholm syndrome. It's incredible. No, everyone's it's really, really incredible. Everyone's been held hostage, you know, in a prison for the last year. And so you've kind of accepted that this is the new reality. I gotta wear a mask. I gotta wear gloves. And, you know, it's the similar sort of shift in reality that I think was needed going into this where people didn't believe what it was and now it's hard for them to believe what it's become. We we we fly. That's just human nature. Yeah. Yeah. We we flagged on this pot a few months ago. The threat of 0 wism. Yeah. Which is that we wouldn't let you know all the special rules and restrictions lift until there were zero cases of COVID. And we all know that's never going to happen. COVID will always be around in the background. And just to add a layer to what's happening here in California is, yeah, on June 15th, we lifted the restrictions. But Governor Newsom has not given up his emergency powers, and he's, he says he will keep them until covid's been extinguished. So he's now embraced heroism on behalf of. This sort of authoritarianism. Yeah. And, you know, so we've got this like Golden State Caesar and now I, I. What's interesting is I don't think this is just because he's a tyrant, although he's certainly been heavy-handed. I think it's because that the. I think it's more about corruption than ideology because federal funds, emergency funds from the federal government, keep flowing to the state as long as we have a state of emergency. And so the longer he keeps this thing going, the more money. He gets from the federal government that he can then use in this recall year to pay people off. And so we've already seen he's been buying every vote he can, right? He gave 600 bucks to everyone making under 35,000. He's forgiving all the traffic fines and parking tickets. He's doing this, this lottery ticket thing for getting the vaccine. And so he just wants to keep the the the gravy train from Washington to California even though we have a surplus, never wasted. It's what government Governor Timothy would have done. It's unbelievable. I mean, it reminds me of 911 where people were just like, hey, we can keep this gravy train. No, I mean, like, 9911 is the perfect kind of psychic, you know, scenario of, you know, replaying itself with COVID. There are behavioral changes that have lasted forever. There are regulatory changes. This, you know, Department of Homeland Security. I mean, you go through the amount of money that gets spent by the TSA every year and the qualified risk and the qualified benefit, completely unquantified, right, like the amount of money that flows into these programs because you can make the. The subjective statement there is a threat, there is risk, therefore spend infinite amounts of money, right? Like it's because because you never kind of put pen to paper and say what is the risk, what is the probability, what is the severity of loss? And therefore let's make a value judgment about how much we should spend to protect against that downside. And we're now doing the same thing with COVID. We're not having a conversation about how many cases, how many, what's the risk? Should we really still be spending billions, billions of dollars of state funding to continue to protect a a state where 70% of people are vaccinated? And we and we have a massive surplus, and we're still giving people money who may or may not need it. And we're doing it indiscriminately, Speaking of discussions and hard topics and being able to have them. YouTube, which kicked off a ton of people on the platform for talking about things that were not approved by The Who, has taken Professor Brett Weinstein's podcast down because he had a very reasonable discussion about ivermectin and its efficacy or lack of efficacy. This is a doctor, a PhD. Talking to an MD and the video was removed, Apple did not remove. It's really scary this episode. These people should not be the gatekeepers of the truth. They have no idea what the truth is. Let's talk about the the John Stewart appearance on Steve. Well, that's what I was about to detail this with, which is, yeah, he killed, he killed on Stephen Colbert. But the things he was saying about the lab leak would not have been allowed on YouTube if if it was three months ago that you would have been removed for it. Even as a comedian, the performance was amazing. He basically says. You know, the Wuhan COVID lab is where the Wuhan, you know none of the disease is named after the lab. So where, you know, where do you think it came from was like a a panel in, you know, mated with a bat. I mean this isn't. And he goes on this whole diatribe. It's incredibly funny. Yes. But then at the end of it, well, I I had two takeaways. I don't know if you guys felt this at first. I was like. Hi, Jon. Stewart's a little unhinged here. Like, I mean, there was a part of it that was funny. And then there was a part of it which is like, wow, Jon Stewart's been trapped indoors a little too long. Months. Yeah. Yeah. So I I thought that as well, to be honest. But then the second thing which I saw on Twitter was all these people reminding anybody who saw the tweet that this exact content would have not been allowed on big tech platforms were it said three or six months ago. And I was like, wow, this is this is really nuts. Meaning it takes. A left-leaning, smart, funny comedian to say something that if the if the right, if the right would have said it would have just been instantly banished. And that's like, that's kind of crazy. Yeah. His quote was, I think we owe a great debt of gratitude to science. Science has in many ways helped ease the suffering of this pandemic, which was more than likely caused by science. Yeah, well, that it was a funny line where he said something like if there was an outbreak of chocolaty goodness in Hershey, PA, Pennsylvania. It wouldn't be because, you know, whatever the pangolin kissed the bat, it's because there's a ******* Chocolate Factory there. Like, I don't know, maybe it's Steve Shovel made it with a cocoa bean. The ******* Chocolate Factory. Maybe that's it. He was so funny. He's so, he's so funny. So I agree with most takeaways. I mean, this was great example of of censorship runamuck at these big tech companies. But the other thing I saw that was really interesting was Stephen Colbert lose control of his audience and, you know, Stuart killed on that show, but you could see Stephen Colbert was, I think, visibly nervous, very uncomfortable. Yeah, very, very uncomfortable, very not know what was coming. And he was trying to and and and and when when Jon Stewart kept pushing this, he was like, well. He's just trying to qualify. Well. So what you're saying is now that Fauci has said this might be a possibility, you're saying it might be a possibility. And Jon Stewart was having none of it. He ran right over. That said, no, the name is the same. It's obvious. Come on. And, yeah, like, Colbert kept challenging him. I don't know if you saw this part where he said, hey, listen, is it possible that they have a lab in Wuhan to study the coronavirus disease because, woman, there are a lot of novel coronavirus diseases because there's a big bat population. And then Stewart is like, no, I'm not standing for that. He goes, I totally understand. It's the local specialty, and it's the only place to find bats. You won't find bats anywhere else. Oh, wait, Austin, TX has thousands of them out of a cave every night at dusk, and he wouldn't let it go. So it's just great watching. It was it was a reminder of, frankly, of how funny both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were about 15 years ago. And I frankly, I don't think Stephen Colbert is funny anymore because. No, because he's kind of keep his job, his career now, but he's also too woke and. And yeah, yes, he's become very polemical and and what Stewart reminded us. Is that comedy is funny when it's making fun of the people who are pretentious and basically who aren't telling the truth. And Stephen Colbert has become so polemical that he's lost sight of the comedy, and Jon Stewart brought it back. And I hope you know what. By the way, by the way, Colbert Colbert had this element of satire, which even Stewart could. Stewart was in your face funny, whereas Colbert was like subtle and dry. And you have to think about it. There was layered and for sure he's totally lost it. Totally, totally lost. Well if you know and then and then and then and then I thought Stuart came out swinging heart. I do think though sex. You have to agree. Did it seem to you though like Stuart had not like he just needed more human to human interaction like he was a caged tiger man. He was, he was he was a caged tiger. They let him out. He was like channel going to. Absolutely. It was when I went on a world tour but it was the funniest thing Jon Stewart's done in many years and and the reason is because he connected with the fact that here is his obvious thing. That we're not allowed to say and that's what comics should be doing. Yes, put it light on it. I mean, if comedy is tragedy plus time, I think that this is a great moment for us to reflect on. Like I think we're going to go back to normal pretty quick. If you remember after 911, there was this idea that comedy was over forever. You were not going to be able to make fun of things and that this was the end of satire. People were, this is, you know, a bridge too far, etcetera. And I think we're back. We're back and that's it. You know, we can joke about the coronavirus, we can talk about it. We don't need to censor people for having an opinion. We're all adults here. You know the idea that. You know, we have to take down people's tweets because they have some crazy theory or put a label on them. Like we went a little crazy during the pandemic and tried to stifle discussions. For what reason? Exactly? Like when we look back on this, it's going to look really strange that we demanded that we put labels on people questioning or having a debate, including doctors. Doctors were not allowed to debate. To the public on YouTube or Twitter about what was the drug that Trump kept promoting hydroxychloroquine chloroquine. Like remember that whole chloroquine? I think this I've, or Mexican or whatever it is, is just triggering people because it feels like that last drug, which is a drug that may or may not work to slow down the progression of COVID. But anyway, this is all over. If you haven't gotten your *** **** vaccine, please get it. Stop denying science. Stop denying science and climate change. Climate change is not real. And remember. Oh my God, the YouTube just cancelled our account. Chamath, what are you doing? You can't do science. We talk about science as if science is a definitive answer to a question. It's a process. A process by which you come to answers, you test them and look hydroxychloroquine may have been completely wrong, but let the debate happen. The answers came out anyway. I'll tell you a fundamental premise of science is to challenge assumptions. And so when you challenge. An existing hypothesis or kind of an existing thing that we hold to be true. You are engaging in science and the rigorous debate around what works and what doesn't work was notably absent over the past year because everything became about the political truth. You're either true or you're false based on your political orientation and we reduced everything down to kind of this one-dimensional politics, this one-dimensional framework which we have a tendency to politics. Let me just point this out to you guys. I was gonna mention this a few weeks ago, but like, think about every conversation you have. How common it is now to immediately think about what the person on the other side that you're talking to just said and then trying to put them on a blue or red spectrum. It's, it's, it's how we've all kind of been reprogrammed over the past decade or so where it used to be about the topic itself and the objective truth finding or the OR the specifics of what we're talking about and now it's become about you immediately try and resolve them to being conservative or or not, red or blue, Trump or not. Purple and so every conversation you kind of try and Orient around that simple ridiculous one-dimensional framework and it's a complete loss of the discovery of objective truth in all matters in life and all matters and that affect all of us. And it's it's really quite stark and and sad. This is why we need a new, we need a new political party. The reason party. I think it's less about that. I think it's more about everyone just reorienting themselves. When you have a conversation, just notice yourself doing it and then recognize that maybe that's not the way to make a decision. About the conversation or about having an opinion or point of view, but have an opinion or a point of view about the topic itself, not about the orientation of the topic on a on a single dimensional spectrum. And then layer identity politics into that. So not only your politics but your gender, your race, your sexual preference, the color of your skin. And now how is anybody supposed to have a reasonable argument when I have to process like, oh, trembath from, you know, Sri Lanka, but he went through Canada and he worked for. I mean, it's it's so reductive that no one gets. It's so it's so reductive that no one gets to have an identity anymore, right? Because we we are all complex and all issues are complex and they are all nuanced. And when you reduce. Everything down to kind of this one-dimensional framework. You lose any ability to have depth, to have nuance, to have said another way. The issues are complex enough. We don't have to put identity politics or political, you know, leanings on top of it. Alright, so we had the worst fire season in California ever last year, obviously, Estermont said. Global global warming is a conspiracy by the Chinese as per your guy. Trump Sacks and what they're there is climate change. In Switzerland there is a center called the Center for Climate Change. There is a reason that there's climate change in Switzerland. It's coming from that lab. Ah, the center didn't look at the side. Look at the side. It says climate change. It says they're getting paid to propagate this conspiracy theory. Yeah. Alright. So it's it's gonna be the worst that reason we, well, we are at risk more than ever, right. So we're entering June. So as of June 1st, the California snowpack is down to 0% of normal. That's never happened. 24, So it's the lowest it's ever been there. There is absolutely like no snowpack in the entire Sierra in the entire state. 40% of the state is in a state of extreme drought right now. We've had 16,000 acres burned as of a few weeks ago, up from 3600 during the same time period, the same day of the year last year. And so the the the Tinder is there now. Remember last year was the highest. California has ever seen we we burned 4,000,000 acres last year. California has about 33 million acres of farmland or forest land representing about 1/3 of our total land size in the state. You know 60% of that land is federal, 40% is private. And so the the the big kind of variable drivers this year are going to be you know a wind and and heat and we're already seeing a few heat waves but it's the wind that kind of kicks these things off. But the Tinder is there, right. So like the state is dry. The, the, the, the, the snowpack is gone. We're on severe water restrictions in a lot of counties throughout the state. It's worth, I think, talking about the carbon effect. You know, last year, based on the forest that burnt in California, we released about 1 1/2 times as much carbon into the atmosphere from our forest fires as we did from cars burning fossil fuels in the state. And so, wow. So here's some statistics for you guys, which I think are just worth highlighting. There's about 2 billion metric tons of carbon stored in California Forest Land, which is about 60 tons per acre. So there's. About 9,000,000 new tons of carbon sequestered per fruit in California by our forest land per year. When there's a fire, we release about 10 tons per acre, so about 1/6 of of the carbon in that in that forest land. The rest of the carbon doesn't burn up. So remember, when there's a forest fire, typically the outside of the tree burns, the whole thing doesn't burn to ash. And so a forest fire can actually, if you look at the longitudinal kind of effect of it, burning forests. Can actually preserve the carbon sequestration activity versus, you know, just removing forests or removing trees. And so there is to some extent, you know, an effort that has been shut down several times, which is to do these kind of controlled burns through the state. But it's met with such resistance given that it's so controversial. No one wants to have smoke in their in their neighborhood. It shouldn't, it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be controversial. The problem is you can't present simple data and have people have a logical conversation about it. And the cost per acre to clear land and farm to forest land in California is. It ranges depending on the complexity of the land, but somewhere between 50 and $1000, so call it a couple $100 per acre. So you can very quickly kind of do the math on a carbon credit basis chamat. So it's about 40 bucks per ton for for carbon credit today. So you're actually, you know, you can kind of preserve about $400.00 per 10 per ton by not putting carbon into the atmosphere and if you can actually manage farmland forestland clearance and forest land preservation from fire at a cost of $400.00 or less and there was an active carbon credit. Market you should be able to cover the cost of managing that forest land back. But look, here's the incredibly high risk this year. It doesn't mean that we're necessarily gonna have a fire, because weather is the key driver. The weather is highly variable. Wind, we need wind. We need wind, and we need a heat wave with wind. And then there will be fires. But the and then what do they do when they when the wind kicks up? Right now, the electric company turns off power in California because they don't want to be blamed when a power line goes down and starts a fire. And so we have these regular moments. This is where we just lose. Hour, yeah. This is not just a California problem. I know everyone wants to beat up on California, but like the whole western US go look at Google Maps. You'll see how much green stuff there is on Google Maps. It's green up and down the western half of the US freedberg. It was Trump, right, that raking up the forests, to put it in layman's terms or simple terms, is an actual thing that helps. 60% of forest land in California is federal land, and it was the federal government's responsibility to manage that, that cost down, to manage that risk. Down what is the incentive? What is the motivation? You know, what are the key drivers? Those are obviously it does work to clear it though. It's it theoretically, when you reduce the amount of Tinder, you will reduce the risk of a burn, right. And so the cost, but the cost of doing so as we mentioned it probably a couple $100 per acre. And so who's going to, let's say you want to do that on 5,000,000 acres? You know, it would just create a bunch of jobs. Oh wait, we're paying people to stay home. Yeah, like it would create a ton of jobs. I mean, I hate to be like that guy, but like could we? $5 an hour jobs for people I've I've heard scuttlebutt that Newsom is so worried about fire season that they're gonna try and accelerate the recall election. So it happens before there is, you know, the the conventional system. The conventional wisdom would do that too. He's so smart. No, tramont did it. It would be strategic if, well, the conventional wisdom President is. The conventional wisdom was that you'd wanna wait as long as possible to do the recall. Because the longer you wait, the longer you get the rebound of the economy from COVID. Right? Sure. But now they're talking about accelerating it to beat fire season. Because it's looking really bad and free bird slice that plan that we needed much more aggressive forest management. It's not just climate change, it's also forest management. We don't do it in California anymore. And so I think we're we are in for a really hellish fire season that's going to have a terrible, we're going to have a terrible fire season. There's going to be brownouts probably throughout a lot of the Western states. What played out in Texas that affected folks a few months ago, I think will some version of that will happen in many places in the US. This is, and it's all roughly avoidable and the critical principal act is here is the progressive left they need to marry. Their disdain for climate change. And their disdain for the things that need to happen to prevent it. Because right now these two things for them are just like, it's cataclysmically not possible for us to agree on, for example, as Freedberg says, a controlled burn program as a mechanism of sort of like fighting climate change or, you know, investing more in the. The green ification of the economy so that we can actually eliminate the use of a lot of these non sustainable energy sources. All these things basically just come down to a group of individuals deciding that they can both have an opinion on something as important as climate change, but they are also willing to then go and act. Right now. They won't. Until they do, it's just going to spill over everywhere. It's going to be a very bad fire season and the only reason I know that it is, is that every year before it has been, every single year has gotten warmer. It's not. Don't need to be. Easier, better, yes. By the way let me just correct a statistic I said cause the statistic I gave was a few weeks ago, but as of today we were actually at the average, the historical average in terms of number of acres that are burned in California as we have seen historically. I will also say that you know close to 1/6 of California's forest land burnt last year. So there is a tremendous amount of Tinder that has been removed from the risk equation and we typically burn about a million acres a year. I think we burned. Like 4,000,000 last year over 4,000,000 last year. So you know as you look at the the the cumulative kind of reduction of burnable acres, we're we're actually the the good thing that's going on is we're actually at a lower risk scenario going into this year in terms of total amount of Tinder. The risk of the Tinder catching is higher because it's drier NASA but but when you add this all up there there's certainly a high probability of a bad fire season but there could there could be a scenario here where we end up with 000 scenario that's gonna happen NASA. Publishes temperature studies. They do measured measurements of how. Much warming there is in the earth. Last year we set yet another record. It was the 7th year in a row where it was warmer than all the previous successive years. It's just going in the same place, I mean. And so if we're all of a sudden supposed to bet that a trend that has effectively been reliable for the last decade is going to turn. I'm not sure that that's a bet you'd wanna make or that the winds is not gonna blow. That would be just stupid. There's no reason to make that bet. I mean, this is like betting on A1 outer we we we need, we need we need the left to take control of this issue and solve it. Get ready for Martian skies over California. Literally. I'm thinking about an escape plan from California, and I'm putting a generator in this month. I bought 6 new air filters. You know, like beautiful cars. That's not that's not good enough. Well, I have my house is totally sealed and I have the air purifiers in I have a built in air purifier of the House, and I have six portable ones in each every bedroom and common area. Are you coming back in August? In the at the end of August? But by the way, let me let me tell you where it really the rubber meets the road. Just again I'm speaking to the progressive left. They care apparently so much about minorities. I just want to make sure you guys understand that, you know air quality disproportionately effects. Minorities. Why? Because we are not not me anymore. But you know, minorities are the ones that typically live near industrial output, near transportation, throughways and thoroughfares. It is it is statistically proven that blacks, Brown, other minority people are the worst people to suffer from respiratory diseases and airborne illnesses. And these are things that are that are happening today. So again, I want to go back to the same group of individuals who apparently believe in climate change but don't believe in nuclear. They don't believe in controlled burns, they believe in inequality, but they don't wanna do what's necessary to regulate emission. What are we doing, guys? Just at some point do the job, do the job, do your ******* job. What you're saying is correct your mouth. But I think it's a sad statement about the progressive left that the only way to reach them through an argument is to argue for that. There's a disparate impact on a minority. The reality affects all Americans. Yes, exactly. Exactly. It's. It's bad. Red pill me. Give me those red pills. Come on, cod sack. You're holding out on me. But but you chop them up, but your mouth understands that audience. He is making the argument they're gonna respond to. But the argument that, yeah, they and everyone should be responding to is humanity. Quality is bad for everybody. The planet, all humans. Exactly. What are you guys gonna do for fire season? Do you? Actually, I'm thinking about renting a house. Like, I I rented a house in Chicago and Lake MI last year and I went there and it was a great escape for a month to get away from fire season. But I I don't. I don't. I'm very scared to be in California. Bring all of this. To be completely honest with you, I just want to be there. Yeah, I'm out. Come back and I'm gonna try to figure out some back in late August and hopefully everything is calmed down by that. Although it won't, because it gets very, very hot at the end of August. September, September. September was the heart of it. It's typically the heart of it. Part of it. Jakal, do you think you're gonna go to Miami or Austin or something? You know, I I I went back to Austin for a wedding and I met the governor and you went sweating and you met Greg Abbott. You gotta beef that up. You went to sweating about the governor. Yes. And going to Austin in 2021 is like when I would come to San Francisco and go to the battery in 2003 and Zach 2013 and Zach would say, why don't you live here? There's so much going on in San Francisco. Come to San Francisco and I did and I I got the last five years of the peak. But Austin very appealing to me. And then I've been looking at beach houses in. In Miami and. I'm. I'm 50% of the way there, folks. Oh my God. I mean, the fact that you can now buy a beach house. I mean, it's God Bless America. God Bless America, 71 three-year average. I had a 71 three-year average in high school and 11:50 on my SAT's. And I'm gonna buy a beach house. Shake out. And I forgot that I convinced you to move to San Francisco yet another way in which I have contributed to the monster your career to absolutely ABS. OK, I'm gonna use. All in every day call in. Syndicates, underway, everything. You wouldn't even be VC if it wasn't for me. You'd still be a you digger. That's right. We do a conference producing you're you're you and naval really pushed me towards it. And then special thank you to you and chamath Bill Lee for anchoring and Dave Goldberg. You know what I mean? I I tweeted the other day. At the end of the day, you know, our lives are a collection when we look back on them of memories with our friends and, you know, include family and friends. And this podcast not to get all gushy and and whatever is been a delight over the you know really hard pandemic that's now ending and it's I just I'm really happy that we get to spend this time every week together every week I get you know a little bit of excitement like I used to get when we go your host poker sacks or or chamah. You know those days when we have a poker game Sky dating would tell me and you know I I get a little tingly feeling like Oh my God, I'm going to see my friends tonight and play poker and laugh. And, you know, we got that amazing note from the woman who said she was really having a hard time during the pandemic and that the podcast all in podcast really helped her. And, you know, shout out to Sam, thanks for that note. Yeah, Sam, that really made our week. So shout out to Sam. Long way of saying I love you sex. Well, I love you sex. You jakal you are the Stephen Colbert to my Jon Stewart. I think it's the opposite. I think it's the I have to call I have to come on your show and red pill you and make sure that you're you're saying the truth and not getting too wrapped up in your Trump derangement syndrome or whatever. At the end of the day, you know, we we are, I think all of us working through complex issues to Freeburg. I really loved your contribution today. About how complex these issues are and layering more complexity onto them of our identities, our wealth, you know, our histories, immigrants not whatever politics. These issues are so hard and in some ways also so easy with technology and and world class execution that the world needs to have more reasonable conversations. And I think that what we've demonstrated here is that four friends can have reasonable discussions and laugh about life and enjoy life and and that should be for everybody. Yeah, that's what Sam said in her note to us, which was very heartwarming. So thank you. Yeah, that was great. Yeah. I mean, love you guys. Love you, sax back. Love you. Sex. Bad guys. Bad guys. It's a brutal must download new directions to escape forest fires. Love Love Love program, active LO VE, querying dictionary, a feeling of affection for another entity or human. Like I like playing video games till 2:00 AM and my dog. Can I say it to a very similar to coding or problem solving using my computer do and my HP 17B. Subroutine overheating. Must play chess with Peter Teal and stop saying I love you too Jacob. Thank you for putting it. Stop saying it. I never said it. My shirt was so expensive but yet so I put on my another shirt. I had to pump it out from the pot. I'm lucky because I've gained 15 pounds. I need to make up for it. With a $1200 I would do I look with four collars for you say no, it's more to but also two chins SO22 controllers make up for my double chin. Than 1/2 shirts are better than one twice as good. Sax is adding shirts to massage you all next time podcast. Bye bye love you guys. We'll let your winners ride. Rain Man David Sachs. We open sources to the fans and they've just gone crazy with it. Thank you. Why? Why? Why? Besties are gone. Your driveway. Ohh man. We should all just get a room and just have one big huge order because they're always useless. It's like this, like sexual tension, but they just need to release somehow. Beep. Beep. See what? Where did you get munchies? I'm going.