Naval (@naval) Ravikant threw it down today. He started with this one…

and that was 1 of 20 – here’s a consolidate set of his statements. I am still digesting. I suspect I will be for a while. They play deeply in this world of blockchain, digital identity, and decentralization that I have immersed myself in.

Naval Ravikant’s 20

  1. The Internet lowers the returns to distributing facts, while social media increases the returns to distributing signaling goods.
  2. The facts are still there and people can still reach them. But the institutions selling access to facts have lost their business models.
  3. Newspapers have been exposed as mostly reprinting Reuters and AP. They can’t make a living selling access to facts anymore.
  4. While the business model for distributing facts and truth dies out, the model for distributing opinions and signaling goods is booming.
  5. Signaling goods signal status and affiliation to the other monkeys. They have value when produced or consumed conspicuously.
  6. Signaling goods can be physical – handbags, watches, and fancy cars. They can be virtual – political, religious, and tribal affiliations.
  7. The further, the faster, and the more easily something can be shared, the better it is for signaling. Social media fuels signaling.
  8. Social media makes it easier to signal wealth via conspicuous consumption. Consuming food, travel, clothing on Instagram and Facebook.
  9. Every group has a set of shared myths that signal to believers and against outsiders.
  10. Religious myths, secret histories, conspiracy theories, unfalsifiable beliefs, scapegoats…
  11. Social media has degenerated into a deafening cacophony of groups signaling and repeating their shared myths.
  12. Editorial outrage is a signaling good. That’s why former news outlets have switched from facts to opinions and outrage.
  13. Campus social action is a signaling good. That’s why universities are more focused on agreeing what to think than teaching how to think.
  14. Economic logic will drive an information business towards signaling goods. They’re easy to manufacture & share, and pay social rewards.
  15. We are moving from a world where it pays to spread facts to one where it pays to spread opinions. From real goods to signaling goods.
  16. From private truths to public lies. From knowledge to outrage. From positive sum to zero sum.
  17. Lies need to be repeated to sustain. The truth just is.
  18. Want to escape? Avoid Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. Avoid venues and media built around group signaling and conspicuous consumption.
  19. Stop sorting people, including yourself, into groups.
  20. Truth is a lonely, and unprofitable, business.

And here it is in its entirety…