I'm not going to lie, what is this really?

Recently, these have been mid. A lot of investments and talks about your fund rather than built things, and now something that is obviously not even optimistic at all (China GDP projected to decrease like what??? this is what prompted me to leave this comment...)

I feel like there is a disconnect between the original purpose of this newsletter and what has been posted recently.

I say this as a fan, not as a hater. I used to love these and save them to my Notion for later referencing...

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I appreciate the feedback! What do you think the older ones did well that you'd like to see more of?

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Thanks for being receptive to feedback, Packy.

First, I have to agree with Paul's sentiment here. I don't think you and Dan write SO much like that, but in moments that it comes off like that, it's easy to lose trust...

However, that's not what I came here to say.

I invite you to take a look at the Weekly Dose of Optimism #30 and simply compare the subheadings. Let's do one here:

#30: How a pioneering diabetes drug offers hope for preventing autoimmune disorders

#59: Frontier facilitates third round of carbon removal purchases

Which one makes you feel MORE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE?

If you say #59's issue, there's something wrong with your information diet. It reads like an annual report, not a serialized newsletter about optimistic developments. Speaking of which, there's a lot of podcast sharing too, which I do not come here for. I come to read and broaden my horizons doing so, not watch videos or listen to podcasts. Even if they're yours. Make it a quick mention like before, not an entire section. Links like those are better shared in another format rather than these weekly doses anyways.

What really made older issues so much better though is that they were less about money moving and more about projects building. I don't want to speak for everyone, but I have a hard time believing that people really care about investments as much as you do. You have stakes, we don't. We just come to read about cool stuff happening that makes us more optimistic about our future as a species. I specifically took notes on what you used to do, and incorporated it into my own newsletter with my own style. I only share breakthroughs, hopeful data, enlightening findings, etc. Like you two once did. REALLY ask yourself, Is this ANY of those things: Anduril Fury Launch - "Ensuring that economic conflicts don’t overheat into wars is partially about deterrence..." Are those words or findings optimistic AT ALL?

Like I said in my initial comment, I'd really try my best to ask myself "Is this really optimistic?" when writing every. single. word. Otherwise, I just don't get any value from it.

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Sep 10, 2023Liked by Packy McCormick

Certainly no more self-promotion. Consider every mention of your own companies an ad. This post was littered with ads but they were elegantly weaved into the essay.

The other thing I’ve seen a rise in is your expression of your nationalism. Loving your country and trying to create a competitive advantage for yourself is fine and all, but you’ve come across as almost religious about it. This nationalist talk is heavily associated with white Christian nationalism and authoritarian fascism in the US. It’s hard to trust anyone who speaks like that anymore.

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I really appreciate both of your feedback. Thanks for giving it.

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I agree with the other writers here. Lots of self-promotion, less focus on truly optimistic things like breakthroughs in medicine, material science, etc.

I like the space exploration bit, but there's very little actual optimism just 'hey here's a cool thing, shoutout to my friends at Pirate Wires.' I'd like to see a little more analysis on WHY it's actually important and interesting that India and Japan are going to the moon.

Also... maybe a bit more nuance on tech companies creating autonomous killer drones that will launch a whole new wave of bloody warfare, and let humans kill other humans without facing the consequences in any way? Like, when I open an optimism newsletter I don't expect to see someone telling me how optimistic it is that we are finding cutting edge ways to bring death from above.

I can see a case for being optimistic about Anduril and the U.S. continuing to have dominance, but I would like a bit more nuance and to have the optimism more directly spelled out. At least admit that there are reasons not to be optimistic about this sort of military development, and address them.

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This is one of my favorite newsletters and I read a lot. I’m a techno-optimist and serial entrepreneur who’s been in AI and emerging technology a long time.

If you think autonomous military-grade weapons are good news, Packy and Dan, you’re fucking losing it. That entire section sounds like you’re psychotic. There is no good and complete argument for building factories of machines designed to efficiently and automatically kill human beings. I’m sure those innovations will make you and some of the most wicked human beings on this planet, those who profit off fear and war, even more wealthy.

I feel like money and power is changing you. Out of all of the innovative things happening across our world this week, technology capable of wiping out entire cities of people within minutes is in the top five things to celebrate? That’s sick.

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Thank you! I thought I was crazy reading about the autonomous drones being taken as an unalloyed good!

Like sure you can make a case, and maybe even a good one, for these drones being a good thing. But he didn't even try! He just threw it out there like we should all accept on face value that sleek autonomous killing machines are a good thing!

Definitely losing touch.

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Re: flared natural gas for compute resources

This sounds like a great idea - and the economics can work - but there are major quibbles.

1) The compute resource cost is actually only on par with the infrastructure cost. In particular, you need cooling for most compute. This means air conditioning and often, water or even helium, to cool those big shiny CPU/GPUs. Generators are extremely frickin' expensive and cooling is a very expensive ongoing cost, especially if you don't have a nice heat sink like a pool of water to dump it into.

2) And then there's the social value of the compute - bitcoin mining is profitable but it is extremely hard to justify any of it as being social additive. AI to put people out of jobs? Could be an issue too.

Carbon offsets: sorry, but this entire field is almost as full of grifts as crypto. Forests? Turns out they really just sequester carbon until the next forest fire. AI LLM search up "phantom credits"...

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