Machine Learning Will Capture the ‘Je Ne Sais Quoi’ of Human Existence

Human genius has always been something of a mystery. Experts often cannot articulate how they know someething to be true. When a world-class chef smells something—crinkles his nose and says it’s not right—there’s a good chance he doesn’t know what’s wrong with it. Malcolm Gladwell told us the story of an art expert who knew instantly that a certain piece was fake—but she was unable to give any reasons for…

April 19, 2019


Cyber Security—also called Information Security, or InfoSec—is arguably the most interesting profession on the planet. It requires some combination of the attacker mentality, a defensive mindset, and the ability to constantly adapt to change. This is why it commands some of the highest salaries in the world. “Cyber” vs. Information Security People who’ve been in Information Security for a long time tend to really dislike the word “cyber” being used…

April 15, 2019

The Difference Between Classical Liberalism and Libertarianism

I recently wrote a well-received piece about the political positions of the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW), and a ferocious discussion erupted in the comments regarding Dave Rubin‘s political philosophy. To a modern liberal, Libertarian basically means someone who cares only about themselves. Rubin calls himself a Classical Liberal, but it turns out that people on Twitter and Reddit aren’t sure exactly what that means. Rubin himself says he’s undergone a…

April 12, 2019

A Visual Breakdown of Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) Political Positions

It turns out the IDW is mostly a collection of disillusioned liberals looking for a place to have honest conversation. By Daniel Miessler in Politics Created: April 6, 2019 I realized recently that I had no idea where many people in the Intellectual Dark Web actually stood on key positions. I thought I knew—sort of—but it turns out that most of what I knew was coming from a shoddy skyscraper…

April 7, 2019

Defining the Values of the Intellectual Dark Web

The gravity around the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) continues to build, with the New York Times doing a piece on it recently, and many other publications coming out to attack its members as either saviors or villains. The term was coined by Eric Weinstein on Sam’s podcast. In no particular order, the top echelon of members include Sam Harris, Eric Weinstein, Joe Rogan, Ben Shapiro, and Jordan Peterson, but the…

April 1, 2019

Four Components of Free Speech Risk — Analysis of Sam Harris’ Podcast With Roger McNamee

I just finished listening to an extraordinary episode of Making Sense with Sam Harris, where Roger McNamee was the featured guest. He is a long-time tech analyst and investor, and actually used to be an advisor for Facebook before becoming an outspoken critic. Roger’s points were legion, and covered the now familiar ground regarding the collection of our data by Facebook, Google, and the hordes of data brokers who assemble…

March 28, 2019

The Insane Reaction to Renée DiResta on the Joe Rogan Podcast

I heard Renée DiResta on the Sam Harris podcast a while back, and was excited to learn that she just appeared on Joe Rogan as well. Her work is focused on misinformation campaigns, and she works at a place that tries to combat the problem. Anyway, I was listening to her and Joe talking, and I somehow started reading some YouTube comments, which I took a screenshot of above. What…

March 23, 2019

The Bifurcation of Elite Education

I think the bottom is starting to rot out of the education racket. Elite education today is essentially two different things: The prestige of having gotten into that school, and The education you receive there. These two things are separating from each other, and I think that separation is about to accelerate. Better education elsewhere (or at least as good) A number of studies have shown that the level of…

March 18, 2019

The Need for Post-Capitalism

When I saw Yuval Harari live with Sam Harris in San Francisco, I heard a lot of interesting things. But the most interesting thing I heard that night was from Harari, when he said something like: Forms of government have periods where they’re best suited, based on the evolution of the people at that moment. And as the people change, so must how we manage ourselves. An imperfect paraphrasing of…

March 15, 2019

My RSA 2019 Summary

RSA was good this year, but I didn’t really notice any major new trends. Nothing on the scale of—say—AI, or blockchain. But there were some disruptions that looked quite interesting. Primary themes The overall themes I saw this year were largely the same as last year, with a few notable changes. AI talk has become a lot more tempered and realistic. People are realizing it’s more like saying you have…

March 7, 2019