Comment by Mr.neitzsmith (nolan-harte) on Who is Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) really, and how could he have done what he did? - three theories and a lot of evidence · 2023-11-11T14:09:26.209Z · LW · GW

This is a tremendous over-complication of SBF’s motives

SBF believed in effective altruism, but had the mindset of a degenerate gambler when it came to came to taking risk. He think of his actions as defrauding anyone because in his mind he was going to take customer money, use it to make high risk crypto trades (which he was convinced he’d win), venture capital investments, and pay off loans thus growing FTX and make several times the customer money he spent. He didn’t worry about the risk of a panic run on customer deposits. Basically he thought he’d just steal the money gamble it win his bets give back the money before anyone noticed and pocket the difference

So yes he did believe in effective altruism but he A) thought his goals were so lofty the ends justify the means B) horrible approach to risk C) arrogance

I also just wanna say the whole idea of DAE is absurd, you’re literally describing sociopathy but giving it a nice sounding name. I’m not even arguing that SBF is a sociopath. I think he’s definitely narcissistic but I wouldn’t go as far as to say he’s a sociopath, although who knows I’m not his shrink maybe he is. Anyways stop giving age old things fancy nice sounding names

Edit: I also want to point out that if your goal is to make a ton of money and use it to do good in the world I think opening an off shore casino and marketing it to unsophisticated retail investors is pretty questionable. Like we all know crypto is a highly speculative high risk asset class, and it’s speculative to the point where investing in it can resemble gambling more so than investing especially for retail investors

Sam marketed it as a place where you didn’t have to know anything to invest well. In the add steph curry literally says “I don’t know anything about crypto and with FTX I don’t need to”

I’m not saying that running a casino is inherently unethical, but if you’re such a “do gooder” whose goal in life is to make the world better it seems like a overall negative contribution to society you know what I mean? Like for him FTX was just a means to an end, and I’m sure in his mind he calculated at “I’ll do more good with the money I make than the bad of encouraging retail investors to gamble so it’s okay” and that line of thinking is just so flawed. It’s very very rare that the ends do justify the means, that mindset has been used to justify so many atrocities

It just seems like a very odd Career choice for an espoused do gooder