Just listened to a podcast with Sam Harris (writer of The End of Faith) and Eric Weinstein (Mathematician and Managing Director of Thiel Capital).

Eric shared a framework for thinking about the current political spectrum and the political elites in a more 3d way. Instead of just Right vs Left.

I’ve attached a visualization of it. Here is my understanding of what goes in each quadrant from top left clockwise:

Q1 – These are the traditional “liberal elite” Ivy league (or on par) educated people making <$500k a year. Those following a typical career path.

Q2 – 1st Principles thinkers, contrarians, and people who are fiercely independent. These people would be the typical libertarians or business focused conservative.

Q3 – “Troglodytes, people who are opposed to elite and have the moral failings that elite would wish to tar them with.” Eric’s words. These are the people who are genuinely racists, xenophobic, homophobic etc…

Q4. – Rent Seekers – People who gain wealth through taking advantage of loopholes and not through the creation of value. The example Eric gives is how The Carlyle Group started by using a tax loophole related to reparations to Eskimos to cheat the US government of $1b in tax revenue. The full story is here http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/sociopol_carlyle14b.htm. It is fascinating.

Eric’s point is twofold:

1. He and others (Peter Thiel being a prime example with his endorsement of Trump) in Q2 often get confused with being in Q3. This happens because the scale is in absolutes. Left / Right. No complexity in the popular discussion.

2. The people in Q4 who leech the economy are often confused as being in Q1 and being virtuous. Again, since there is no way to add complexity to the Left vs Right discussion.

This framework is helpful. I see a few problems with it:

1. Where do traditionally leftist billionaires / super-wealth fit into this?

2. It by definition does nothing to categorize the non-elite members of society. I wonder what a companion framework for that would be.

What do you think could be a better representation of the current political spectrum? Also, given a better representation, what could we do to align the two party system better with our interests?

^Day 29/90 367 Words

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