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Upstream is where host Erik Torenberg goes deeper with the world's most interesting thinkers to map the constellation of ideas that matter across tech, culture, and politics. On this season of Upstream, you'll hear from Marc Andreessen, David Sacks, Balaji Srinivasan, Sam Harris, Joe Lonsdale, Katherine Boyle, and more. Upstream is part of the Turpentine podcast network. To learn more: turpentine.co
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Investor and writer of the popular newsletter The Diff, Byrne Hobart, and co-host Erik Torenberg discuss today’s major inflection points in technology, business, and markets – and help listeners build a diversified portfolio of trends and ideas for the future. Topics covered: Finance, Venture Capital, Tech, AI, Crypto, and Industry Cycles The Riff is a part of the Turpentine podcast network.
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See the world through the eyes of society's greatest rule-breakers. The "Live Players" podcast charts the key individuals shaping our future from first principles across multiple domains: business, politics, philanthropy, and broadcasting from the digital town square Join host Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg as they analyze the mindsets of today's most intriguing business leaders, investors, and innovators through the lens of their bold actions and contrarian worldviews. You'll come away with ...
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show series
 
In 2019 Erik Torenberg sat down with Balaji Srinivasan and Glen Weyl to talk about the future of a decentralized world. They cover decentralized governance, politics, voting, and more. This conversation was recorded orginally for Village Global's Venture Stories. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogx…
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Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg discuss the enduring influence of cities on human civilization, exploring their role as the longest-lived human institutions and their impact on social and political structures. They also examine the common criticisms of modern cities like San Francisco, their political landscape and the legacy of Democratic and Republ…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss populist cycles, why billionaires buy media companies, how to invest if you think AGI is coming soon, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogx…
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Today Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg answer more listener questions covering the surge of support for the hard right in European elections, the impact of immigration in Europe and the US, the future of Social Security, the stability of banks, and the best and worst taxes in the US. They also dive into the negative impact of China conquering Taiwan a…
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In 2020 Erik Torenberg sat down with Mike Solana, then VP at Founders Fund (now the Editor In Chief of Pirate Wires) to go deeper into his commitment to controversial ideas and freedom. He discusses the dynamics of America's culture wars, debating freedom vs. equality, the resurgence of Marxism, and the roots of anti-American sentiment. This conver…
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Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg talk about the decline of Boeing. They discuss Boeing's recent troubles, including fatal crashes and maintenance problems, and how these issues reflect broader concerns about U.S. industrial and military capabilities. The conversation also covers the impact of globalization on Boeing's manufacturing processes, competit…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss Elon Musk's and Yann Lecun's Tweets, what we can learn from Google's API decumentation leaks, how Apple is planning on improving Siri, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Tu…
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In this episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg are joined by Kyla Scanlon, creator, writer, analyst, and author of new book “In this Economy?" They discuss the vibecession, the housing crisis, leader fatigue, and the impact of the economy on political polarization and the age of austerity. The conversation also covers the impact of Trump's economic…
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Todays episode features a conversation between Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg discussing the recent angry posts on X from David Austin Walsh, a history postdoc at Yale, and what this controversy says about elite overproduction in the US. They also cover the the rise of right-wing muckrakers, discuss what the conservative movement needs now, and who …
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about xAI's fundraising round, Vivek Ramaswamy's investment in BuzzFeed, and the dynamics of using ads to monetize AI. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmp…
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In this episode of 'Live Players, Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg discuss the intricate dynamics of Mexican drug cartels and their impact on both Mexico's political and economic landscape. The discussion delves deep into how drug revenues sustain elites, non-state actors, and insurgencies worldwide — with notable examples from the Taliban to Chechen …
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Today Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg discuss the recent angry posts on X from David Austin Walsh, a history postdoc at Yale, and what this controversy says about the social and economic trends of the elite in the US. They also cover the the rise of right-wing muckrakers, discuss what the conservative movement needs now, and who they consider the sma…
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Today we're publishing a talk Samo Burja gave to The Stoa in 2020 all about how to find and advance uncrystallized fields of knowledge. In this discussion, Samo critiques current academia for its inefficiencies and proposes supporting new intellectual endeavors with proper economic and social incentives. The discussion covers the potential for new …
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In this episode of Upstream, we're publishing a session recorded live at The Hill & Valley Forum in May 2024 hosted by Jacob Helberg, and featuring Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, and Senator Todd Young (R-IN). Khosla and Young dive straight into the most pressing national security concerns regarding the threat of AI. In this techno-economic race,…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about meme stocks, the nature of reserve currencies, and why you should consider not owning a home in America. beehiiv: Head to https://beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y…
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In today’s episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg respond to pressing questions on US inflation, the possibility of the US becoming a petro-state, global trade dynamics in the context of geopolitical shifts, the potential impacts of de-dollarization, and the sustainability of defense strategies. They also cover the impact of recent wars, and discus…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about Amazon’s potential to buy a passenger airline, hidden economic gains, equities, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/t…
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This week on Upstream, Erik sits down with Bryan Caplan to discuss his new book about housing regulation. The conversation touches on political economy, fertility, crime, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "UPSTREAM" for 20% off your first three months. 🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: …
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In this week’s episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg explore various aspects of Joe Biden’s presidency to evaluate a case for reelecting Biden, focusing on economic policy shifts, spending concerns, inflation, and industrial policy. They also emphasize the historical and current political dynamics between the U.S. and China, exploring tariffs, tra…
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This week on Upstream, Erik sits down with Jonathan Haidt to discuss his book The Anxious generation. The conversation covers the effects of social media on teen mental health, culture, politics, education, and more. beehiiv: Head to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "UPSTREAM" for 20% off your first three months. -- This show is produced by Turpent…
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This week on Econ 102, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg discuss the pros and cons of Biden's tax plan based on Noah's recent essay. They also answered listener questions on the German economy's success, Japan's government debt management, and strategies for staying well-informed on economic issues. Recommended Podcast: Company Breakdowns Each episode …
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne talk about how to apply Costco's business model in other industries, the risky business of Martingale strategies, usage as a potential barrier to AI model development, and more. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo. --- This sh…
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In this episode of Live Players, Rudyard Lynch (@whatifalthist on YouTube) interviews Samo Burja and covers a range of topics including why Samo left academia, the current state of education, the impact of bureaucratization and managerial ideology on society, and the state of democracy and legislation in modern Western societies. This conversation …
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss AI & education, Stripe's shift towards unbundling, and the possibility of 24 hour markets. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo. --- This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, cov…
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This week on Upstream, we're releasing an episode from Erik's podcast with Noah Smith, Econ 102. Noah breaks down the economies of the USA, China, Japan, Russia, India, Korea, and more. Access global engineering without the headache and at a fraction of the cost: head to https://choosesquad.com and mention “Turpentine” to skip the waitlist. For mor…
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In today's episode of Econ 102, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg tackle more listener questions: the Fed's impact on inflation and the economy, theories behind interest rates' unexpected effects, and 'greedflation'. The discussion also extends to shifts in Japan's economic policies amid currency valuation concerns, housing price disparities between th…
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This episode features Erik and Samo's 2nd-ever interview for the Venture Stories podcast, an in-depth discussion of geopolitics, statecraft, and the study of society. It was recorded in 2019. They cover: how might cryptocurrencies increase centralized state power? What do our economic analyses miss when they do not look inside the inner workings of…
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This week on Upstream, Nathan Labenz of The Cognitive Revolution podcast and Brian Chau, a machine learning engineer who recently founded the Alliance for the Future, talk about Brian's efforts in Washington, D.C. to influence AI policy based on informed AI optimism. After their conversation, Nathan and Erik chat about the AI landscape. Access glob…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss income sharing agreements, the privacy/security/usability efficient frontier, and how Meta ended up with all their GPUs. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo. --- This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcas…
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In today's episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg answer listeners' questions in rapid fire format, over topics such as the global reserve currency, fair taxation, wealth redistribution, education reform, healthcare, US manufacturing, how to revitalize cities, and more. Thanks to all our listeners who continue to write in with big meaty questions! …
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This week on Upstream, we’re releasing an episode from Turpentine’s show Live Players with Samo Burja. Erik and Samo discuss China’s universities and the future of China’s elites. Access global engineering without the headache and at a fraction of the cost: head to https://choosesquad.com and mention “Turpentine” to skip the waitlist. -- This show …
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss the acquisition landscape, how to write great business memos, and why it's hard to monetize a successful ChatGPT wrapper. Get Harmonic: Head to https://bit.ly/harmonicturpentine and make sure to mention Turpentine during your demo. --- This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podca…
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This week Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg discuss India as a live player. They cover: India's demographics and the barriers it faces towards industrialization and wealth. --- This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and…
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In this week’s episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg tackle more listeners' questions focused on conflicts and war. They cover various defense strategies, emphasizing the urgency of revitalizing the U.S. defense industrial base to prepare for potential conflicts. They discuss the differences between authoritarian and democratic powers, highlightin…
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This is a special re-airing of an episode Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg taped for Venture Stories (Village Global's podcast) in 2019 . Their conversation covers the following: the distinction between invention vs. adoption of technology. What a truly egalitarian society might like, and whether such a society can exist. How individuals’ personal the…
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This episode was initially recorded before a live audience in 2018. Erik talks with Naval Ravikant and Balaji Srinivasan about the history of money and centralization and why crypto has the potential to fulfill the promise of the internet. Access global engineering without the headache and at a fraction of the cost: head to https://choosesquad.com …
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss pivots in hard tech, cybersecurity and privacy, and the considerations in how often to enforce the law. For listeners watching the video, please note that Erik’s video recording dropped out towards the end of the episode. We hope you enjoy the conversation nonetheless. --- This show is prod…
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In this week’s episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg dive into various econ topics and tackle listener questions! They cover: government spending and the national debt, discussion on taxation, wealth taxes and economic outcome of the next U.S. election, as well as differences in respect and status in the United States and Japan, and lessons learne…
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Today we're dropping a special episode of History 102 with Rudyard Lynch (@Whatifalthist on YouTube). Rudyard Lynch and Erik Torenberg delve into the critical moments and competing narratives of the fall of the Roman Empire. They compare the classical Greeks and Romans, identify key Roman figures and outsiders who impacted the course of history, an…
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This week on Upstream, Erik is joined by Nathan Labenz and Noah Smith for a deep dive on how AI will impact job markets, the social contract, and the role of the government. Access global engineering without the headache and at a fraction of the cost: head to https://choosesquad.com and mention “Turpentine” to skip the waitlist. -- RECOMMENDED PODC…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne delve into corporate espionage, algorithmic collusion, and the lifecycle of companies amidst technological changes. --- This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of industry insiders and e…
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This episode is a continuation of analyzing the economies around the world, with Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg focusing on the Middle East, Africa, South America, and North America. They discuss the economic challenges and solutions in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, as well as Latin America’s drug problem and Canada’s economic stagnation. This show is pro…
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In this episode Erik Torenberg and Samo Burja discuss the current state and future state of America, China, Russia, Ukraine, energy, the US dollar, AI, Peter Zeihan, Balaji Srinivasan, and more. This episode was recorded in 2023 for the Upstream podcast - before the two started Live Players. Head to https://brave.com/brave-ads/ and mention “MoZ” wh…
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This week on Upstream, Erik is joined by David Friedman for a deep dive on anarcho-capitalism, utilitarianism, and more. To get Brave: Head to https://brave.com/brave-ads/ and mention “MoZ” when signing up for a 25% discount on your first campaign. -- Recommended Podcast: Company Breakdowns Each episode of Company Breakdowns dives into S-1s and ser…
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On this week's episode of The Riff, Erik and Byrne discuss Austin real estate, why Duolingo has remained strong post-pandemic, and how to identify spurious correlations during data analysis. --- This show is produced by Turpentine: a network of podcasts, newsletters, and more, covering technology, business, and culture — all from the perspective of…
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In our second installment of Analyzing the Economies Around the World, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg cover Europe and Turkey. They discuss the UK's productivity issues, France's nuclear energy investments, Germany's weaknesses, Poland's economic success, Turkey's economic policies, and immigration challenges across the EU and Europe. This show is p…
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In this special roundtable episode, Erik Torenberg is joined by Brad Hargreaves (the founder of Common, co-founder of General Assembly, and writer of Thesis Driven) and Noah Smith (podcast host, economist and writer of Noahpinion). They discuss the future of real estate and housing in America, the impact of regulations, and the potential of new cit…
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In this conversation, Samo Burja and Erik Torenberg discuss Alibaba after Jack Ma's exit and analyze the Chinese Economy. With 1.3 billion users and $135 billion in revenue, Alibaba is like China's version of PayPal, Amazon, and Walmart combined. Head to https://brave.com/brave-ads/ and mention “MoZ” when signing up for a 25% discount on your first…
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In this episode, Byrne Hobart and Erik Torenberg discuss how technological changes influence markets and business adaptability. They explore the dynamics and challenges of e-commerce roll-ups, the unique economic incentives of large platforms like Facebook and Google, the complexities of content moderation on social media platforms, and social secu…
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In this episode, Noah Smith and Erik Torenberg talk about the world's biggest economies including US, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Australia, and more, looking at things like inflation, debt, industrial policy, and population challenges. They talk about what each country does well and where they might struggle, and offer ideas about what co…
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