87 episodes

Every week, Erik Torenberg, Dan Romero, Antonio Garcia Martinez and frequent special guests discuss what's happening in technology, business, politics, and beyond.
Moment of Zen is part of the Turpentine podcast network. Learn more: turpentine.co

"Moment of Zen‪"‬ Turpentine

    • Technology

Every week, Erik Torenberg, Dan Romero, Antonio Garcia Martinez and frequent special guests discuss what's happening in technology, business, politics, and beyond.
Moment of Zen is part of the Turpentine podcast network. Learn more: turpentine.co

    2024 Election Strategy, Education Depolarization, and UBI with Noah Smith

    2024 Election Strategy, Education Depolarization, and UBI with Noah Smith

    This week, Noah Smith joins Erik Torenberg to discuss America's future. They cover the 2024 presidential race, the Chevron ruling from the Supreme Court, and the polarization of the education system. Noah and Erik also discuss where wokeness goes from here, and the potential outcomes of integrating more conservatives into the civil service through initiatives like Project 2025. Noah also debunks the deep state myth and discusses the real issues surrounding Biden's age, questioning the influence of "political handlers" and the reality of a "deep state."
    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    --
    RECOMMENDED PODCAST:
    Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) talks to experts who understand the complicated but not unknowable systems we rely on. You might be surprised at how quickly Patrick and his guests can put you in the top 1% of understanding for stock trading, tech hiring, and more.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Mos4VE3figVXleHDqfXOH
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812

    --
    SPONSORS: BEEHIIV | BABBEL | SQUAD

    🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at babbel.com/zen

    🐝 Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. A special offer is at https://beehiiv.com: use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    💥 Head to Squad to 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.

    --
    FOLLOW ON X:
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @Noahpinion (Noah)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia
    --

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Preview
    (01:09) 4th of July Celebrations and Mailbag Questions
    (01:51) Debate Reflections: Trump vs. Biden
    (02:35) Biden's Age and Democratic Dilemma
    (03:09) Kamala Harris: The Successor Debate
    (04:12) Michelle Obama: A Potential Candidate?
    (07:06) The Deep State: Myth or Reality?
    (11:30) Bernie Sanders and the DNC
    (13:58) Chevron Ruling and Its Implications
    (19:10) Sponsor: beehiiv | Babbel
    (22:44) Project 2025 and Civil Service Polarization
    (30:34) Reflecting on the Floyd Protests
    (31:57) The Impact of Trump's Presidency
    (35:05) Sponsors: Squad 
    (36:29) Debating the Administrative State
    (38:31) Challenges in the Education System
    (46:56) Redistribution and Class in America
    (53:37) The Future of UBI and Cash Benefits
    (57:51) Wrap

    • 59 min
    After the Debate: Trump/Biden and Media Reaction

    After the Debate: Trump/Biden and Media Reaction

    In this episode of Moment of Zen, Erik, Antonio, as well as two friends of the podcast who prefer to stay anonymous, discuss the disastrous Biden/Trump debate and what could happen after. They explore the state of U.S. politics by scrutinizing Joe Biden's controversial debate performance and its implications on his presidency, as well as reactions from the media and its impact on U.S. foreign relations.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    RECOMMENDED PODCAST:
    Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) talks to experts who understand the complicated but not unknowable systems we rely on. You might be surprised at how quickly Patrick and his guests can put you in the top 1% of understanding for stock trading, tech hiring, and more.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Mos4VE3figVXleHDqfXOH
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812
    --

    SPONSORS: COMMANDBAR | NETSUITE | BEEHIIV | BABBEL | SQUAD
    🦾 Level up your ineffective website chatbot with CommandBar. CommandBar builds a new type of web assistant which delivers highly personalized responses, real time co-browsing, and can perform actions on behalf of the users. Learn how Hashicorp, Gusto, Freshworks and more use CommandBar at https://commandbar.com/moz

    🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at babbel.com/zen

    🐝 Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. A special offer is at https://beehiiv.com: use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months.

    📈 NetSuite has 25 years of providing financial software for all your business needs. More than 36,000 businesses have already upgraded to NetSuite by Oracle, gaining visibility and control over their financials, inventory, HR, eCommerce, and more. If you’re looking for an ERP platform head to NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/zen - NetSuite has extended a one-of-a-kind flexible financing program for a few more weeks.

    💥 Head to Squad to 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.

    --
    FOLLOW ON X:
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @agm.eth (Antonio)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia
    --

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Political Gaffes and the Current State of Politics
    (01:23) Sponsor: CommandBar
    (02:18) Biden's Performance and Cognitive Decline
    (03:21) The Role of Media and Public Perception
    (07:15) Biden's Decision-Making and Political Dynamics
    (12:53) Potential Political Replacements and Speculations
    (14:55) Sponsors: Babbel | beehiiv
    (19:51) International Perspectives and Influence
    (22:30) Trump vs. Biden: Public Perception and Debate Tactics
    (27:43) Sponsors: NetSuite | Squad
    (36:54) Debating Biden's Public Image
    (37:48) Tech's Right-Wing Shift and Trump Endorsement
    (38:51) Silicon Valley's Political Divide
    (39:53) Crypto's Trump Support
    (40:49) Changing Political Opinions in Tech
    (45:30) Trump's Unpredictable Nature
    (46:32) Biden's Aging and Potential Successors
    (51:38) January 6th and Its Aftermath
    (1:07:01) Trump's Second Term Concerns
    (1:20:59) Wrap

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Trump/Biden Predictions with Richard Hanania

    Trump/Biden Predictions with Richard Hanania

    In this episode of Moment of Zen, Erik interviews Richard Hanania about the evolving political landscape in the U.S., focusing on the changing dynamics within both the Republican and Democratic parties. They discuss the influence of big tech, the rise of Trumpism, political polarization, and the intellectual underpinnings of current political ideologies.

    We’re publishing this conversation across Moment of Zen and Upstream since the themes are highly relevant to both shows.

    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    --

    RECOMMENDED PODCAST:
    Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) talks to experts who understand the complicated but not unknowable systems we rely on. You might be surprised at how quickly Patrick and his guests can put you in the top 1% of understanding for stock trading, tech hiring, and more.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Mos4VE3figVXleHDqfXOH
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812

    --

    SPONSORS: COMMANDBAR | NETSUITE | BEEHIIV | BABBEL | SQUAD
    🦾 Level up your ineffective website chatbot with CommandBar. CommandBar builds a new type of web assistant which delivers highly personalized responses, real time co-browsing, and can perform actions on behalf of the users. Learn how Hashicorp, Gusto, Freshworks and more use CommandBar at https://commandbar.com/moz

    📈 NetSuite has 25 years of providing financial software for all your business needs. More than 36,000 businesses have already upgraded to NetSuite by Oracle, gaining visibility and control over their financials, inventory, HR, eCommerce, and more. If you’re looking for an ERP platform head to NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/zen - NetSuite has extended a one-of-a-kind flexible financing program for a few more weeks.

    🐝 Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. A special offer is at https://beehiiv.com: use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months

    🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at babbel.com/zen

    💥 Head to Squad to 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.

    --

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @RichardHanania (Richard)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia

    --

    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:11) Silicon Valley's Shift: Anti-Wokeness and Economic Concerns
    (03:23) Political Evolution and Disillusionment with the Right
    (04:18) Conservatism, Technology, and Cultural Grievances
    (08:56) Human Capital and the Right's IQ Problem
    (13:53) Sponsor: CommandBar | Netsuite
    (16:22) Religion, Fertility, and Societal Coordination
    (19:10) The Return Philosophy and Women's Happiness
    (21:17) Trump's Political Genius and Threat to Democracy
    (26:01) Sponsor: beehiiv | Babbel | Squad
    (29:59) Biden vs. Trump: Election Predictions and Policy Impacts
    (38:34) Debunking Antisemitism Claims in Protests
    (39:28) Political Strategy and Victimhood
    (40:55) Historical Context of Antisemitism
    (42:11) Comparing Minority Experiences
    (42:56) Demonization and Conspiracy Theories
    (45:14) Evaluating Political Motivations
    (47:12) The Role of Intellectuals and Media
    (52:03) Immigration and National Identity
    (59:47) Future of American Politics
    (1:02:40) On Open Borders
    (1:04:51) IQ vs Common Sense
    (1:07:42) The Future of the Left and Right
    (1:13:56) Wrap

    • 1 hr 14 min
    What's Happening in France with Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    What's Happening in France with Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    Today on Moment of Zen, Journalist Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry sits with Erik Torenberg to explain the volatile state of French politics following recent European Parliament elections where Macron’s party performed poorly and the National Rally did very well. The conversation offers insights into the broader implications of these political shifts, touches on the societal divisions fueling these changes, immigration, and the potential economic impact on France.
    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    RECOMMENDED PODCAST:
    Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) talks to experts who understand the complicated but not unknowable systems we rely on. You might be surprised at how quickly Patrick and his guests can put you in the top 1% of understanding for stock trading, tech hiring, and more.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Mos4VE3figVXleHDqfXOH
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812
    --
    SPONSORS: COMMANDBAR | BABBEL | BEEHIIV | NETSUITE | SQUAD
    🦾 Level up your ineffective website chatbot with CommandBar. CommandBar builds a new type of web assistant which delivers highly personalized responses, real time co-browsing, and can perform actions on behalf of the users. Learn how Hashicorp, Gusto, Freshworks and more use CommandBar at https://commandbar.com/moz

    🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at babbel.com/zen

    🐝 Head to beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. A special offer is at https://beehiiv.com: use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months

    📈 NetSuite has 25 years of providing financial software for all your business needs. More than 36,000 businesses have already upgraded to NetSuite by Oracle, gaining visibility and control over their financials, inventory, HR, eCommerce, and more. If you’re looking for an ERP platform head to NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/zen - NetSuite has extended a one-of-a-kind flexible financing program for a few more weeks.

    💥 Head to Squad to 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.
    --
    FOLLOW ON X:

    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @pegobry_en (Pascal)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia

    --
    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Introduction
    (00:35) Sponsor: CommandBar
    (04:20) Macron's Strategy & Cohabitation
    (08:11) The Political Landscape
    (14:28) Comparison with U.S. Politics
    (14:48) Sponsor: Babbel | beehiiv
    (16:22) Macron's Unpopularity & Economic Challenges
    (21:02) Energy Policy and the Rise of Populism
    (24:01) Sponsor: Netsuite | Squad
    (27:94) The Economic Consequences of Populism
    (31:11) France vs. Brexit
    (35:46) The Future of France
    (45:00) Brexit Comparison & EU Reform
    (52:57) The Role of Young People in the Future
    (54:34) Wrap

    • 55 min
    Balaji Srinivasan on the Fiat Crisis, China, Russia, and Conspiracy Practices

    Balaji Srinivasan on the Fiat Crisis, China, Russia, and Conspiracy Practices

    In this episode that originally aired on Upstream, Erik sits down with Balaji Srinivasan to discuss the Fiat Crisis, geopolitics, conspiracies, and the signs of decline for a hyperpower. It was recorded in June of 2023. Balaji is an angel investor, tech founder, philosopher, and author of The Network State. He was formerly the CTO of Coinbase.
    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    RECOMMENDED PODCAST:
    Patrick McKenzie (@patio11) talks to experts who understand the complicated but not unknowable systems we rely on. You might be surprised at how quickly Patrick and his guests can put you in the top 1% of understanding for stock trading, tech hiring, and more.
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3Mos4VE3figVXleHDqfXOH
    Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812https://podcasts.apple.com/id1753399812
    -
    SPONSORS: NETSUITE | BEEHIIV | SQUAD

    NETSUITE
    📈 NetSuite has 25 years of providing financial software for all your business needs. More than 36,000 businesses have already upgraded to NetSuite by Oracle, gaining visibility and control over their financials, inventory, HR, eCommerce, and more. If you’re looking for an ERP platform head to NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/zen - NetSuite has extended a one-of-a-kind flexible financing program for a few more weeks.

    BEEHIIV
    🐝 Head to Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth, to power your own. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. Go to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months

    BABBEL
    🌐 Ready to achieve your 2024 goals? Start learning a new language with Babbel in just three weeks. Enjoy app lessons, live classes, and podcasts designed for real-world conversations. Get up to 60% off at Babbel.com/zen

    SQUAD
    💥 Head to Squad to 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.

    -
    FOLLOW ON X:

    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @balajis (Balaji)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia


    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Episode Preview
    (00:51) Intro
    (01:23) Understanding the flat crisis
    (08:34) Balaji’s equivalent premises
    (14:54) Sponsor: NetSuite and Beehiiv
    (17:55) Aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan wars
    (20:35) Multipolar world
    (25:17) Blue America is at war with the world
    (28:35) Sponsor: Babbel | Squad
    (31:02) Cancellation is a weak form of warfare
    (33:05) Interplay of realism and idealism in the U.S
    (37:00) Red vs Blue vs Grey America
    (44:11) Concept of American partition
    (46:00) Rise of India's national Identity
    (47:00) Evolution of China and Russia
    (53:00) Microsoft, Facebook, and Google
    (54:00) Japan-USSR rivalry and its impact
    (01:01:10) Conspiracy theories and historical narratives
    (01:09:00) Balaji’s predictions for 2024 & the Fed
    (01:18:31) Wrap

    • 1 hr 22 min
    David Sacks on his Intellectual and Political Journey

    David Sacks on his Intellectual and Political Journey

    David Sacks is known as a CEO/investor in multiple unicorns, and most recently a media mogul with All-In. In this episode, he sits down with Erik Torenberg to trace his intellectual and political history from his days fighting student activism at Stanford to now. We cover the political and cultural changes in the last 30 years of silicon valley, how the real distinction today is between the college-educated and the not, and how even though 2⁄3 of the country didn’t go to college, their views are not represented in our institutions today. This episode was recorded in December 2022 but is just as relevant today. 
    🔥 Apply to join over 400 founders and Execs in the Turpentine Network: https://hmplogxqz0y.typeform.com/to/JCkphVqj

    SPONSORS: NETSUITE | BEEHIIV | SQUAD

    NETSUITE
    📈 NetSuite has 25 years of providing financial software for all your business needs. More than 36,000 businesses have already upgraded to NetSuite by Oracle, gaining visibility and control over their financials, inventory, HR, eCommerce, and more. If you’re looking for an ERP platform head to NetSuite: http://netsuite.com/zen - NetSuite has extended a one-of-a-kind flexible financing program for a few more weeks.

    BEEHIIV
    🐝 Power your newsletter with Beehiiv, the newsletter platform built for growth. Connect with premium brands, scale your audience, and deliver a beautiful UX that stands out in an inbox. Head to https://Beehiiv.com and use code "MOZ" for 20% off your first three months

    SQUAD
    💥 Head to Squad to 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.

    FOLLOW ON X:
    @davidsacks
    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia

    LINKS:
    Craft Ventures: https://craftventures.com/
    All-In Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/@allin
    Glue.ai: https://glue.ai/
    SaaS Grid : https://www.saasgrid.com/



    FOLLOW ON X:

    @eriktorenberg (Erik)
    @DavidSacks (David)
    @moz_podcast (Moment of Zen)
    @TurpentineMedia


    TIMESTAMPS:
    (00:00) Intro
    (02:11) How did tech become less free speech-oriented?
    (03:35) Why is PayPal so woke?
    (06:02) Woke Capitalism game
    (08:52) Corporations and governments collaborating to censor
    (16:22) Tracing political history in Silicon Valley 
    (20:54) College educated vs. not is the biggest difference in US
    Our elite is not democratic
    (22:54) Sponsor: NetSuite | Beehiiv
    (29:15) Foreign Policy and Realism
    (32:28) U.S. Russiaphobia
    (36:30) Sponsor: Squad
    (38:05) Big Tech Monopolies and Regulation
    (41:42) The Future of Silicon Valley and Monopolies
    (42:32) Regulating Acquisitions and Startup Ecosystems
    (45:39) Censorship and Section 230
    (47:17) The Role of Free Speech in Social Progress
    (53:52) Institutional Reform and Accountability
    (54:56) Elon Musk's Influence on Tech and Media
    (1:06:33) The Future of Political and Economic Accountability
    (1:19:30) Wrap

    • 1 hr 19 min

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