Takeaways From Naval Ravikant EHF New Frontiers Interviews

Recently, founder and investor Naval Ravikant spoke at the EHF New Frontiers conference in New Zealand. Attached are the interviews and my notes from them

Computers

  • Computers are the most powerful tool ever created
  • “Knowing how to be good with computers is the modern literacy. It’s the new reading, writing, and arithmetic”
  • Everyone being computer literate would raise wages across the board in other professions because of Baumol’s Cost Disease (you have to pay someone their opportunity cost of what else they could be doing, not necessarily what they are doing)
  • Tech literacy is defined as having a higher fear threshold to experiment in tech

Silicon Valley

  • Silicon Valley is not a place that creates entrepreneurs, wealth, and technology. It is a place that attracts them

Immigration Policy

  • “Intelligent immigration policy is the largest wealth creator in the world”

Destructive Nature of Technology

  • It’s the nature of technology that the destructive power arrives before the creative power
  • You get to have a nuclear weapon before a safe functioning nuclear plant
  • The relative capabilities of technology are unlimited, whereas the destructive ones are limited (since you are aware of the single possible outcome when you destroy something)

Hero Worship of the Entrepreneur

  • Cult/worship of entrepreneurship is a natural human mechanism but can be dangerous
  • You should use an entrepreneur as a source of inspiration, but not as a source of truth.

Blockchains

  • Three base blockchains
    • Bitcoin – optimized for security and decentralization
    • Ethereum – optimized for programmability
    • Privacy coins – optimized for privacy
  • Interesting Concepts/Thought Experiments
    • Zero-Knowledge Proofs will be important (system for providing proof of knowledge without disclosing confidential data)
    • A WiFi coin. Anyone can access WiFi by paying a small token cost. High speed WiFi will be available everywhere
    • Country could buy up cryptocurrency, then establish it as legal tender. This would create a Schelling Point
    • The upside of the winners is so large that waiting for consensus could not reap the same benefits

Investing

  • You want to be non-consensus right when investing to have disproportionately high outcomes
  • In order to distinguish the successful outcomes from the crazy one, you have to run the race

Problems and Solutions in the Modern World

  • Signaling virtue is a vice for numerous reasons
  • We have become desensitized to the horrors such as death, and over-sensitized by the news cycle
  • Ways to increase consciousness haven’t changed, but ways to access these methods have with technology
  • The internet allows you regardless of how weird or odd or specific you are to find your tribe

Competition

  • Competition is not a reality. It tries to suck you in. To see, try this: think of any human being in your life, if this person was not in your life who would be the substitute and provide the same insights, etc. The answer is nobody
  • Competing establishes a similarity to one another that doesn’t actually exist
  • Competition is real in status games such as politics and sports, but not when it comes to creating new things
  • All the great endeavors in life are creative

Distribution of Capital/Ending the Wealth Gap

  • Adult education is the way to end the wealth gap technology creates
  • What if every four years, you went back to school for a year? Then 45 year olds wouldn’t lose their jobs and become useless

Advice For Non-Profits

  • Become profitable so you don’t have to beg for funding money

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