How to improve Twitter | Lex Fridman, Kimbal Musk, Eric Weinstein, and Liv Boeree

Hello hello Is this thing working Long time listener first time caller I Don't think I've ever been this nervous In my life I'm terrified of talking to One person and then there's More than five here If you can invite people that would be Great but I'll just start talking I'm There's so many things uh like both low Level and high level that I'm really Excited about Twitter just the speed of Innovation is super exciting I as a podcast host And I'm actually sitting in the podcast Studio ironically enough right now Uh I I would love for Twitter to be to Become the best podcast listening app Because I think the best Uh conversations the best comments are Happening on Twitter one of the things I've always missed about podcasts is That you can't comment that YouTube is Pretty nice in that there's a comment Section but it's not as Lively as As the the Twitter conversation Reddit Is also nice but it's a different style It's more Community Based but I think Twitter is This Global uh Basically a global conversation uh and Then podcast to me is a kind of Like the difference between spaces to me Spaces is fun and chaotic and then Podcast is intimacy you're sitting

Across one person and you're just like Focused in on them and it's a lot less Terrifying uh but Lex uh can I can I Jump in there and comment a little Please save me Kimball yeah totally so So I I've been playing with Twitter Spaces for the past year maybe a little Longer and Um you know I've never really been Called to do a podcast Uh but what I found was was uh Twitter Spaces is First of all you get a feel for the live Audience it's really cool Um I think there's four or five thousand People on this right now and that's just Cool like that that that Um there's something about the feeling Of the of the crowd being there you get The you know instant reactions uh uh That people can do The the other thing that is recorded if You choose to you choose to record it And uh it's it what I've done I've done Everything from a free-for-all which is A bit chaotic and I don't recommend that But what what is really good is if you If you just keep it between you and your Your uh the person you're interviewing And then you have a third person that Can take questions from the audience uh It's pretty powerful because you get you Get so many questions and I love the Twitter users out there they're

Wonderful sometimes they'll kind of go On for a little bit or sometimes they Won't even ask a question that's where The chaos comes in but if you um if you If you can uh have a have a moderator That kind of collects the questions Because oh yeah I think this will be Good speak for the person you know let Them know the handle you actually take Away the chaos and it's very very Similar to a podcast Yeah I'm actually recording this with a Camera currently and via the podcast Audio just to see like see what that Looks like if I can convert this into a Video afterwards Um so it's both audio and video Integrated I'm just playing with Different ideas here and and Twitter has The video the live video component which Is currently separate from the Twitter Spaces and if those are integrated That's really interesting because you Can then start doing twitch or YouTube Live type of stuff but do it on Twitter Yeah I think this could be video for Sure yeah just Um we'd all we're all in different Places the cool thing about audio is you Know it's a it's a lot less prep you Know you're obviously in a good Studio But Um I'm sitting in my office not oh I'm Gonna be on video you might take a

Little bit more time audio is so quick And easy it there is something magical About it Is there a way to uh if anyone has Questions uh Adam it'd be awesome if We're oh there's like the comments thing Too Yeah absolutely Lex so on the bottom Right you'll already have 260 comments You can click on those answer people's Questions I'm going to start bringing People up slowly right one at a time Type of thing we got Kimball here glad Kimball that you shared your insights Let's keep that going too and Jonna You've joined as well so there's just Many many people that we can bring up And there's the requests are going off The hook at the moment so this is Fantastic Lex Um where would you like to start and Maybe Kimball how about you start is There a question is there a topic that You'd love to dive into with Lex or that You'd like to ask them Well you know Lex I uh you and I have Actually never met but we've we've Talked about uh being you know you Interviewing me on your podcast and I I Generally try to stay stay out of the Podcast World Limelight just because my Brother takes up enough of that and you Know I've always I find myself a little Bit better being in the background who's

Your brother Yeah exactly But I would love your thoughts on Twitter I'd love your thoughts on the Change that's happened Um uh if you don't mind I know you've Shared some of those already on your Tweets but tell us tell us how you feel About things right now well I really Love the continuous UI improvements now Of course people hate them because they People generally hate change not hate Them that's the wrong word they're sort Of surprised by them and resistant to Them and they get used to them and start To think like for example getting the Impressions or the views on a single Tweet and just playing around with those Ideas Is super exciting just to be able to do It quickly now I also wonder about The code base which so I don't have Insider knowledge so this is me just Saying Um Sort of generally I think Twitter's been Around a long time there's a large code Base that seems to need refactor Refactoring in order to do High-speed uh feature generation so That's super interesting to me to sort Of learn over time how that can be done Better and better

I believe the code base is in Scala Which is a amazing programming language But I think not one of the more popular Ones hey Eric I see Eric Weinstein in The audience Um Uh I mean there's There's a like a lot of stuff uh that I'm super excited one of the things that Just came out this last night was this Uh Impressions versus likes and what I Found fascinating is you know I've got 300 000 Twitter followers a great Community of followers I I really don't Get the the negative curls in my tweets I'm I'm either I'm doing something Different or or or whatever I don't know But but I what I found fascinating about The Impressions versus uh versus likes Is I responded to your to your thinking About uh your podcast or or maybe I Suggested you go on Twitter spaces and I Got more Impressions out of that reply Then I would get out of a normal tweet I Mean in the hundreds of thousands of of Impressions and it it really gave me a Different view into the power of Twitter I thought that was really interesting You know what I'd love to see is like The tweets that have the highest Impressions and the lowest number of Likes so the people who are too Embarrassed to admit that they looked at That tweet I want to see those ordered

Yeah Or the butts the Bots create likes and Uh and uh what we would have to make Sure that Twitter doesn't doesn't you Know include a bot as an impression well That's the interesting dynamic between Verified accounts versus unverf meaning Like the people that pay the Twitter Blue uh and don't the interesting Dynamic intention there I'm really Interested to see what that star is Looking like what do you think of the Eight dollars a month for verified Uh I think it's a like like a lot of Things I think is a super interesting Idea so my gut says it's a really good Idea uh it's a good way to deal with Bots it's a good uh way to sort of Filter out the high effort comments but There could be complicated ways in which It goes wrong like for example there Could be certain groups that are more Likely than others to get Twitter blue Thereby there'll be a bias that starts To creep in Um so I don't know but I'm super excited By trying stuff trying and failing Trying and failing and trying and Failing and through that coming up with Cool like to see I think Twitter's been In this um uh extraordinary difficult Walking on eggshells situation for so Many years whether you're being you're a Public company and you've got to worry

About worry about your performance of Recorder or you're in the public eye and You're just being shamed no matter what You do And my brother's just willing to deal With all that and so can make changes Every day twice a day Yeah and the other thing on because I'm A machine learning guy the the adding More and more signals to the neural net That does the the the Sorting of the Feed and sorting of the comments which I Think Eli has really uh pushing for is Really interesting like what kind of Signals can be integrated To provide incentives for sort of civil Discourse but also entertaining this Course and I'm trying to maximize for That I love the entertaining side of Twitter And it it's uh it doesn't happen all the Time you know oftentimes I'll get on Twitter and it's really like a news feed Or there's some You Know Drama blah blah Blah about politics which borders me to Tears but the um but when it gets Entertaining I'm I'm in love with Twitter I'm like man this just how do we Get more of that Hey Eric uh how you doing my brother Good to see you in the virtual digital Space what are your thoughts about Improving uh Twitter Alex uh first of all great to see you

Um I'm driving so if I have to cut out I Have to cut out the the way I see it uh Is that we have to separate the Engineering problem from the human Problem and just the way if you took Over an internal combustion engine Manufacturer you shouldn't set yourself The the goal of building a truly Efficient engine because you'll never do That uh you have to figure out at some Level where do we stop taking Responsibility for The Human Condition Uh and pretending it can be fixed as an Engineering solution I'm I think a lot Of these ideas are very entertaining and Interesting the problem of course is That this is an Adaptive landscape and We're talking about the fitness of Various strategies and some of those Strategies for example can be playing to The desire to learn more or they could Be playing to the desire to watch people Get destroyed in real time uh as a Result you have to imagine that lots of Bad things are fit And if lots of bad things are Fit Changing the rules of what constitutes Fit Behavior will You know you'll get new baddies figuring Out a new exploits so I think one of the Things that we've got to realize is that Twitter probably doesn't have a solution Uh in the same sense that we don't sit

Around trying to come up with a fraction For pi I don't think there really is an Engineering solution to giving everyone Real-time access to the planet and then Um You know any brain fart or any any photo You want to tweet out uh it can't be Stopped in real time it can get around The planet before anybody even knows It's happened I I just I'm cautiously Optimistic that we've got a lot of Really smart people in the room Um when it comes to talking about elon's Uh opportunity the new opportunities Um but I don't want to set ourselves up That we're trying to solve problems that Can't be solved I think that's the Really dangerous issue I don't know I Think technology can Inspire the good And Human Nature so I it I I think all Of us have a desire to To learn to grow to become better people To be kind to each other and they're if If the Twitter creates an incentive to Do that Uh to where you get celebrated for that I think on mass we're going to see the Effect of that that means that you just Shouldn't be optimizing blindly for Engagement because people do love drama It seems like if you blindly optimize For engagement it's going to take us Some dark paths I like Dan Carlin's Painful attainment episode

Where he basically Dan Collins Hardcore History best podcast of all time uh a Painful attainment where he talks about Throughout human history humans like to Gather and watch others suffer like Public executions and all that kind of Stuff and uh so that that's desire for Drama for dark dramas there in all of us But I think also the desire to do good Is in all of us and like Twitter seems Like a really nice place to explore what Signals provide the right incentive to Be good without the hard Hammer of Censorship so without just Banning People or Shadow Banning people but Instead providing sort of the carrot the Incentive to be the best version of Yourself I think it's possible I think It's possible and of course you want to Deal with Bots and all that kind of Stuff but in the holiday spirit Eric I also think there's a there's a there's A lack of appreciation for the mute Function on Twitter and Um what what uh if you if you if you Really want to clean up your feed and be One of those guys that maybe doesn't Want to doesn't want to uh enjoy that Particular direct piece of drama Muting is just awesome you know I'll Mute anyone for a while and then I'll Unmute them and it's it's just uh you Know there'll be some drama about I don't know Trump tax returns oh my God

If I ever if I have to hear any more Things about Trump it's just boring me To tears I just mute I'm like I'm out I'm not interested in the drama Um now there might be another area of Drama that I I say I do I am interested In like I I cared a lot about what's Going on in Ukraine and I'm not trusting What people are saying because it's just It's a lot of opinions it's hard to tell What's true but I but I am not muting That because I'm I'm genuinely curious Except because I believe we are we are In a tough spot of how do you get just Peace in a time when you have this bully Putin and how do you I mean that's a Fascinating problem that I care about so I don't mute that and so I I think that That that feature is just underused in Twitter and I think um uh uh my brother Has plans to incorporate it into just The algorithm as well if people start Muting that that that that should also Be less popular Uh I'm not in dispute by the way I don't Know that we've ever spoken with each Other so nice to meet you Kimball nice To be here So the way I see it is that there are Lots of things that I'm not interested In that are also interested in me And Um there's a lot of drama that's kicked Up

Which I don't think it's a question so Much of I don't know what how much Kimball you've been through the uh the Ringer where you get these very Organized campaigns that will often Sometimes just use a single phrase from Ten thousand accounts And its effect is extremely strong Particularly on peop people who are not Savvy to the way in which Um individual reputations are targeted So one of them yeah and you mean you Mean personal to you right like not not You're watching someone not not you're Watching someone happy I'm watching Lex Go through this right now in real time There is an organized campaign at some Level which lots of people are piling on To because I figured out I send them Love I send them love right back so they I bring it on first of all I'll bring it On and second of all I always respond With love okay there you go in my case I Did go through it twice during covet I Have a restaurant company and we had to Close our restaurants and I got publicly Shamed in ways that was just not fair I Just I we were not we didn't have any Choices uh and yet I also have empathy For the people that that were suffering Because I mean as my industry was a Disaster it can still struggling frankly But yeah been going through the ringer And being publicly shamed really

Freaking sucks I I will agree with that So what I'm trying to get at that is That when your brother for example had Sensitivities to how his real-time Location was compromised a lot of what We hear on social media is far too Simplistic to govern the technological Problems we've created for ourselves we Say things like oh I'm interested in a Diversity of opinions well are you Interested in a diversity of opinions That include different ideas about what Two plus three equals I certainly am not Um are am I interested in an enormous Form of anonymous accounts uh targeting The amygdalas of my relatives for Example so that if the next family Gathering everyone comes up to me and Says oh Eric it's pretty brutal that You're such a fraud and a fake and a Grifter into this and that and I'm Thinking well if you use the word Grifter I know where you've been because Nobody uses that in normal speech yeah Right Whatever we're going through it's not Just a question of oh I don't prefer to Have that in my feed it's a question of This is full-on war between different Factions Who and the most important Thing that I can point out is notice That everyone who refuses to sing from The hymnal that is used by everything From the New York Times to MSNBC to Yale

Has a reputation online as being some Kind of morally reprehensible person who Can barely think out to defraud others In other words there there really is a Targeting of everything that doesn't Subscribe to the institutional consensus And I think if we're not open about the Fact that Twitter is creating problems That may not have been anticipated Correctly even by the U.S Constitution I Think we're going to come to understand That we're in a new world and we can't Go back to the past to search for Answers and lastly just one thing Lex I Think it's fantastic that you maintain This incredible positivity and optimism I think it's one of the things that People love about you it's very Important that you or somebody who Brings that be in the room but it is Also important that people who can see The negative a mile away and the dangers That are created be in the same room and That those people be able to remain in The room long term in order to solve This problem it may not actually have a Solution thanks guys yeah Eric one thing I just want to make a point I I did go Through it twice during clover but Actually one of it was on on tick tock And the other one was on Twitter uh There were like 18 months apart but it Really is the same thing same same issue And um uh Tick Tock was worse uh I'm

Like I don't even use tick tock and I Was like oh that like you said people Coming up to me on the street saying I Can't believe you did that to be like oh What this is covered we we have to close But we're acquired by the government but But Um uh Tick Tock was uh was also very bad So it's an it's something to think it's Not just Twitter that's important to Appreciate And I tend to be optimal I tend to see That as not a problem of Twitter or Tick Tock but of human nature and I think Technology can uh help alleviate that This kind of pylon effect that people Generally engage in on when we're all Connected when there's millions of us Connected that kind of stuff is going to Happen and I also think that Not taking it to I know it's hard to to Say that but yeah I've been attacked Quite a bit but not taking it seriously Kind of laughing it off and also not Responding to it with negativity Responding with positivity I think Um not in some kind of naive way but Just it's a great way to resist these Natural movements I think just putting Good Vibes out there is going to and Incentivizing that for the for people Who use Twitter I think would do a lot Of good So I just if you believe that most

People are good and want to do good I Think technology can provide the right Incentives then you own that that takes The signals and sorts the feed and Source the comments can um Can sort of maximize uh the good in each Of us but yeah there's definitely There's definitely sort of political Factions there's there's all kinds of Battles going on but that's human nature That's a beautiful thing the fact that We can at scale this discuss the war in Ukraine uh discuss geopolitics the fact That maybe on Twitter spaces you'll get Uh one of these days we'll have Putin Zolensky Yeah uh speaking speaking in Russia and Twitter I mean that's really exciting I Mean I I don't and and but that's also a Huge huge huge huge responsibility uh For the algorithm for the the automated Uh aspects of Twitter anyway this is uh The Ukraine one is a great example where Where everyone well not everyone most People have a different opinion Um around around Ukraine but I think Everyone is a is taking it very Seriously and and at least what I can Tell on Twitter that the Twitter Community is taking it very seriously as They should you know this is the first Time we've had a land war in in uh in Western civilization in in about 60 Years and um uh we have a we have a uh

What do you call it the underdog and the Bully when it's easy for America to back Ukraine and yet we have we have to Remember Russia has got enough nukes to Destroy the world We should all be thinking about peace And and I I have been encouraged when I Tweet her in around Ukraine which I'm a Pro Ukraine guy but I also say hey guys Let's not forget the goal here is peace Not not the Ukraine is is helping us Should should all be helped we should All be working towards peace and I'll Get the I'll get people you know Arguing with me but it's civil and I I Think that it's it's that's great Speaking of peace and War live high Hi everyone hello Eric Last last words because uh the end is Near as Frank Sinatra said uh Liv would You have any suggestions how to improve Twitter Any thoughts Yeah so I've only just jumped in so I Don't want to repeat I'll see anything That's already been discussed but Yeah you're always original Liv say that Again You're always original Even more pressure now Um I mean the thing that's always in my Mind is like the sort of tyranny of

Metrics right when we're always Optimizing for what we're reducing the Trouble with social media is that it Reduces the entirety of Human Experience Down to these like singular metrics how Many likes do we get how many retweets Etc and so that naturally acts as a sort Of funnel into making us optimized for The most incendiary things we can think Of you know there's a wide range of Emotions that that can potentially Trigger people to sort of share our Content but it seems like out of all the Sort of common human emotions anger is The most effective one at doing that Which is why we're sort of it's not Surprising because it's a very active Emotion essentially it sort of motivates Us into into tribalistic ways and so It's no surprise that it's then sort of Amplifying all this polarization that We're seeing so Um in terms of how do we how do we Reduce the The The You know they instead of having less Anger that as the stick driving us to Share stuff we need more carrots that Are happy and exciting and inspiring to To make us share more positive content And I don't have an answer of how to you Know how we optimize for that but it's Something to do with the metrics and how

Do we change the metrics Um so that they Inspire us and reward us For sharing more positive content Um Did anyone have any ideas Well we talked a little bit about that That I am totally a total agreement Adding signals to the neuron that that That incentivize uh civil discourse Sort of high effort comments even if It's disagreement all that kind of stuff So uh just adding more and more signals That the neon that can sort to feed to Sort the comments sort the suggestions Properly and then doing the discovery of Content well search and Discovery YouTube was incredible at that and for Twitter to do search and Discovery Better it would be amazing I think also having the replies either You know if you if you make a comment or Make a tweet and you get a whole bunch Of replies Most of them are yeah I totally agree or I don't agree but but sorting and Finding the ones that actually have Content would be would be nice even if That content may not be you know make Make you happy it's just uh uh when you Get a lot of replies it's nice to to it Would be if there was a way I'm sure It's very straightforward to just get The more the more uh more in-depth Responses a little uh higher so you have

Something to respond to Actually one idea as well what about if We had a because part of the problem of Like the binary yes I like this or no I Dislike it and therefore I'm going to Dunk on it by quote tweeting it Um what if we had some kind of slider Instead where like ah you know what I I Somewhat agree with this uh you know so There's like a granularity you can give It like a score out of 10 of what you Agree with it you know how much you Agree with it and then the things that Um and then and that that would give Like more information that the algorithm Could then choose to boost the things That you know perhaps are more moderate Essentially that people are like you Know I'm yeah I seven out of ten agree With this that sounds like it's a more Nuanced moderate take and therefore you Could it could artificially amplify Those kind of those kind of um Tweets essentially I think it also would Get people uh as long as that is not a Public number I'm not sure if you'd want That in my case I could agree with Something that that I know would be Because of my last name would be would Be taken out of context but I actually Do agree with it and I say you know I Agree with a seven out of ten and and That is not a public number I would be I would probably do that a

Lot Yeah Well this was uh an incredible first Time experience for me I'm glad I'm still freaking out Eric is so Beautiful to see it Kimbo it's great to Meet you and Liv uh I hope to see you Soon uh it's good it's great we're doing Great I know you don't know me that well Um you are doing Faces just wanted to put that out there All right for your first time next 10 Out of 10. next time it'll be an 11 out Of 10 something to uh to Aspire to all Right uh goodbye friends I love you all See ya

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