Tuesday 20 February 2024

On the self-evident stupidity of Sam Bankman-Fried: cultural implications.

Torn from the comment section.

[Eisel Mazard:] The only mystery is how this guy convinced anyone that he was of above average intelligence: SBF has never said a single word in an interview that sounded wise, witty or even sharp.

[samuhlm2:] hes going to have haters for obvious reasons, but if you don't think it takes above average intelligence to go to MIT, work at Jane St, start a business doing crypto arbitrage at a time most people weren't aware of crypto  and navigating banking which still is a pain to figure out, then launch an exchange that was worth billions and was a household name... no one of average intelligence could do that. What is your business? He got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and tried to explain his way out of it because consequences werent a thing to him and that was his mistake. Had he just kept his mouth closed from the jump this would have been much different. Once it got to the point it did that hes going on these  shows trying to do damage control of course he didnt look intelligent there was nothing of substance to discuss. But you're a fool if you dont think it takes brains to get to where he got.

[Eisel Mazard:] I taught myself two languages (one ancient, one modern) while chopping firewood and doing humanitarian work in Northern Laos: you're wrong about SBF, and you're never going to know how wrong you are.  No, cryptocurrency isn't hard to understand: ancient Chinese philosophy is (especially if English is your first language) and understanding the political implications for modern China, etc.  I've met brilliant people in many different walks of life: no, SBF did not show greater than average intelligence in anything he ever said about the banking system, investment or cryptocurrency himself (and I have heard him speak for many hours).

[BlackNapoleon:] @eiselmazard i dont know who this guy is but he has to be above to fool billionaires, hedge fund investors and more etc, your sitting here at 600 subscribers and probably 42 years old. Even I as a teenager can see it.

[Eisel Mazard:] It was very, very obvious that Sam did not understand high school economics when he was questioned about how his own business worked.  I do not mean that as some kind of hyperbolic exaggeration: i mean that as a genuine, reasonable assessment.  He genuinely did not understand general principles of (macro and micro) economics, as well as failing to understand the specific concepts underpinning his own business (and this was evident in (i) interviews, (ii) courtroom cross examination but also (iii) casual conversations he'd had "on the record").

Re: "your [sic] sitting here at 600 subscribers and probably 42 years old."  The self-identified teenager in this conversation is demonstrating the real problem here: deep commitment to "the just world fallacy".  He demonstrates the unshakable assumption that someone who has money and fame is wise, whereas someone who has neither money nor fame must be a fool: this attitude is at least _less prevalent_ in some cultures rather than others.  Why you'd expect me to become rich and famous when studying poverty in Laos and Cambodia, I cannot say, but (in fact) I've managed to get over seven million views on youtube talking about my life: does that number "credit" or discredit" me?  If anything, you should be more skeptical because of my (relative) popularity: seven million mouseclicks are really not a reason to take what I have to say more seriously.