Naval (@naval) Ravikant threw it down today. He started with this one…
1/ The Internet lowers the returns to distributing facts, while social media increases the returns to distributing signaling goods.
— Naval Ravikant (@naval) September 26, 2017
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
- The Internet lowers the returns to distributing facts, while social media increases the returns to distributing signaling goods.
- The facts are still there and people can still reach them. But the institutions selling access to facts have lost their business models.
- Newspapers have been exposed as mostly reprinting Reuters and AP. They can’t make a living selling access to facts anymore.
- While the business model for distributing facts and truth dies out, the model for distributing opinions and signaling goods is booming.
- Signaling goods signal status and affiliation to the other monkeys. They have value when produced or consumed conspicuously.
- Signaling goods can be physical – handbags, watches, and fancy cars. They can be virtual – political, religious, and tribal affiliations.
- The further, the faster, and the more easily something can be shared, the better it is for signaling. Social media fuels signaling.
- Social media makes it easier to signal wealth via conspicuous consumption. Consuming food, travel, clothing on Instagram and Facebook.
- Every group has a set of shared myths that signal to believers and against outsiders.
- Religious myths, secret histories, conspiracy theories, unfalsifiable beliefs, scapegoats…
- Social media has degenerated into a deafening cacophony of groups signaling and repeating their shared myths.
- Editorial outrage is a signaling good. That’s why former news outlets have switched from facts to opinions and outrage.
- Campus social action is a signaling good. That’s why universities are more focused on agreeing what to think than teaching how to think.
- Economic logic will drive an information business towards signaling goods. They’re easy to manufacture & share, and pay social rewards.
- 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.
- From private truths to public lies. From knowledge to outrage. From positive sum to zero sum.
- Lies need to be repeated to sustain. The truth just is.
- Want to escape? Avoid Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat. Avoid venues and media built around group signaling and conspicuous consumption.
- Stop sorting people, including yourself, into groups.
- Truth is a lonely, and unprofitable, business.
And here it is in its entirety…