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No Mercy No Malice

The Algebra of Decisions

February 4, 2022

This has been a week of difficult decisions. I walked away, for now, from a long-time business partner and watched another be fired. It’s been draining, and made me think about decision-making. Specifically, how to make better ones.

When I was younger, I embraced (subconsciously, as I was sleepwalking through life) the notion that you can make any decision the right one through leadership and persuasion. I was more focused on proving my decisions were right … because I’m awesome … than on making the best ones. Granted, there’s a benefit to making decisions quickly, as speed can compensate, somewhat, for misdirection. But there’s being decisive, and then there’s being allergic to course correction. People often mistake this for being principled … it’s not. Your decisions are a guide and an action plan, not a suicide pact. Be open to evolving, changing your mind when presented with new data or compelling views and insights. A step back from the wrong path is a step in the right direction.

Ideally, it’s better to make the right decision in the first place. Your instincts are a decent guide to survival and propagation, but a complex world offers exponentially more challenges and rewards. I’ve learned I need a framework — a set of values that help define how I want to live my life and serve as a lens through which to filter my thinking. It’s the key to navigating by starlight and developing greater situational awareness. I just read the last sentence and feel like maybe I’m trying too hard. Anyway.

My fifth-grade teacher used to say, all the damn time, “You Matter!” No, not necessarily. Your actions matter. It’s easy for a person to be near-meaningless and, if you’re unlucky or choose to stay on the sidelines, to not touch anybody else’s life or happiness. Every action — and every inaction — is the product of a decision. A framework doesn’t guarantee that every decision will be right, but it will help you speed decisions, build trust with others as they know what to expect, make your actions count, and ease the pain of bad decisions as they are authentic.

The hardest part is developing your framework, as it requires identifying a set of values and/or ideologies you believe in. You have to trust these values more than you care about the outcome of any one decision, or you’ll override them whenever the going gets tough. Ultimately, tested by time and decisions made, these values become your filters — an algebra of decisions, if you will. Note: I’m not advocating for any particular set of values, only urging you to identify and frame yours. So, here’s my Algebra of Decisions: CSAM.


I’ve spent the majority of my waking hours trying to choreograph human capital and technology to create a differentiated product or service so I can charge more than the cost of the inputs. Growth and margin create stakeholder value via cash flow, enterprise value, and (I hope) meaningful work. The full-body-contact violence of competition creates prosperity that gives people and their families economic security, options, and the ability to help others. It also gives us a say in our society. I choose not to eat at Chick-fil-A, as I don’t care for ownership’s social commentary. Competitive markets, the key to capitalism, allow me to opt for In-N-Out instead. (#Awesome.)

It’s important to note that without robust oversight, the wealthy and powerful will overrun the system. When we ignore the externalities of capitalism — hoarding, failing to invest in the middle class, lacking compassion for those left behind — we end up with a G-7 nation that has the greatest inequality, polarization, and Covid mortality. But that’s another post.

Capitalism’s superpower is mutual prosperity brought about by self-interest. However, we all need allies. There’s a cartoon of a billionaire Monty Burns type who lights cigars with $100 bills and pours mercury into the river. It’s just that, a cartoon. I used to see most business relationships as win/lose. Successful capitalists create allies along the way. Capitalists ask how can we be great partners, they execute, and they ensure they’ll benefit from the value created.

Competition and conflict is best hammered out in the marketplace. Strife between people is deadweight. In 30-plus years in business I’ve never sued or been sued by anybody. If I feel I’ve been treated poorly I don’t work with them again. That’s my choice. Your anger at a person or party is a weight, and becomes an ailment — even debilitating — the longer you hold on to it.

This week, I flexed my capitalist muscle, and pulled the Prof G Pod from Spotify. I’ve spent much of the week working through an articulation of why, but Roxane Gay took the words out of my mouth in her superlative New York Times opinion piece … if my words were 10 times more eloquent and powerful.

In sum, I evaluate business decisions through the lens of how we can further differentiate the product and strengthen the relationship. That is my cocktail of prosperity.

Much of what we encounter in life is outside our control. What can we control? Our beliefs, judgment, and desires. As Ennis says in Brokeback Mountain: “If you can’t fix it, you gotta stand it.” Be aware of your emotions and passions and try to disarticulate them when making a key business decision.

I have found emotions are the enemy of investing. Whenever you’re inclined to sell a stock or business, the other side feels the same way, and it therefore may be a good time to hold or buy. The recent market selloff taps into a basic instinct of wanting to avoid any more pain (i.e., sell). Try to ignore your emotions and realize the market is likely picking up billions of similar sentiments at that moment and reflecting them with depressed, or inflated, valuations.

This one is difficult for me. I struggle with anger and hold grudges against people, places, and things. But cultivating an apathy toward antagonism is liberating.

This week, CNN fired its CEO, Jeff Zucker, after he disclosed that he’d been in a consensual relationship with a subordinate for some years. I had no knowledge or input into that decision, but Zucker and CNN are important business partners for me, and I like and respect both the man and the organization. I had a range of emotional responses to the news; a younger version of me would have aired them, probably taking three different positions on the issue and pissing off everyone relevant to me. But the reality is that I don’t know what happened in that boardroom, the decision had nothing to do with me. All I can control is my response. At a minimum, I can continue to like and respect the man and the organization. Note: Be loyal to people, not to organizations.

An easy one. Don’t make an important decision without getting input from others. Perspective matters … it’s difficult to read a label from inside the bottle. A mentor isn’t necessarily someone smarter than you, and they likely won’t know more about your situation, but their standing outside it is what’s valuable. Besides, the ask itself matters. Asking for someone’s advice is an expression of trust — that’s why it’s intimidating. Trust builds trust and deepens relationships. Seek counsel, and your mentor will be invested in your success.

Asking for advice doesn’t mean you have to take it. Often, what’s most valuable about advice isn’t a recommended course of action, but the questions a mentor asks you — pressure testing your reasoning. You might not follow their advice, but don’t ignore what they say. Another benefit? Your actions post-decision will be more refined, because you’ll have a preview of their impact on others.

The most useful construct in my life is … death. Specifically a 99.9% certainty (you should never be 100% certain of anything) that there will be a moment when I look into my boys’ eyes and know our relationship is ending. And that’s OK, as it motivates me and provides perspective. I can see my death. I was 25 yesterday, and I’ll be 84 tomorrow. I know the people, photos, music, and drugs I want to have around me at the end, and I can imagine, and even feel, my thoughts at that moment. It’s the closest thing I have to self-awareness.

As Frida Kahlo said: “I want my exit to be glorious, and I don’t want to come back.” Putting myself there, at near-death, helps me sort through life and weigh the decisions that will give me peace. I know at the end I’ll be more upset about the risks I didn’t take than I will about the fallout from ones I did. That it will give me joy that I kissed my boys every day, let my dogs on the couch, and dressed up as Elizabeth Holmes on CNN+. I’ll be angry that I was so angry so much, and disappointed that I let fear, or my need for people’s approval, get in the way of living out loud.

Wading into public controversies and stepping back from important business relationships are both fraught but necessary expressions of values. I will be subject to pushback, accusations of censorship, etc., but I’m focused on what I can control and how I can exercise my capitalist muscles. I reached out to several people to get their input. And I know that at the end, the only thing I’ll remember is I tried to do something.

Life is so rich,

P.S. We’re headed to Miami next weekend. (Finally.) Last chance to come turn up the heat with me. Purchase your tickets here. I look forward to connecting.

P.P.S. We’ve added a few more seats to the Product Strategy Sprint, with Adam Alter and Malcom Gladwell, due to demand. This isn’t a hard decision: Sign up now.

71 comments

  1. Loren Guzik says:

    Like many others, this is goodnight Scott. Leaving Spotify because Rogan doesn’t fit your freedom of speech protocol, yet CNN is partner? Disgusting.

  2. BeckoniumOz says:

    I really felt bad that you left Spotify which there was another way

  3. John Schussler says:

    Ms. Gay’s article is disingenuous at best. The core problem is when she says this:

    “Too many people believe that the right to free speech means the right to say whatever they want, wherever, whenever, on whatever platform they choose, without consequence.”

    Without consequence. What she and others like her are advocating, with their “principled stand” of removing Rogan from Spotify, is that some things, when said aloud, deserve “consequences.” Like, in this case, de-platforming. The removal of audience access. The inability to reach more than a trivial number of people. Not government censorship, of course, she’s smart enough to know that’s not an option. Removal from the marketplace will be enough.

    But that’s not how the marketplace of ideas works. Free thought depends on access to all ideas, horrible and fantastic, and the ability to discern between them. Preferably by the widest audience possible.
    But Ms. Gay doesn’t trust the masses to be able to discern:

    “It’s a convenient way of shirking accountability for misleading people about their life-or-death health decisions.”

    This idea that people listening to Rogan’s podcast are unable to listen critically to it and decide on a rational basis if what they’re hearing is valid or not is the new development in 21st century liberalism that has me most concerned. In this construction, most of the populace is inadequately educated and lacks the critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate information effectively. As a result, information has to be “curated,” culled of dangerous ideas (“misinformation”) before being presented to the masses, so that they don’t harm themselves by acting on ideas they can’t appropriately discard.

    But if that’s true, democracy is dead. Democracy assumes a populace capable of making rational decisions, of being able to consider ideas from all corners and deciding what is valid and what isn’t. If you decide that’s no longer true, and that “curation” is necessary, you raise the obvious question: who gets to be the curator? In this Rogan/Spotify example, it’s basically the mob. Lots of people getting together with their torches and pitchforks and saying “drive the witches out!”

    “Curation” is another way of expressing the idea that some part of the population is smarter than the other, and needs to be in charge of grooming what the dumb part sees. That’s all fine and good while you’re part of the “smart” group, but really sucks when power shifts and you’re viewed as the idiot.

    Put another way, if we embrace this idea of curation, you have to be prepared for a world where you aren’t the curator. Imagine this idea getting a bunch of traction, and then Trump getting into power in 2024. And then DeSantis in 2028. Whether the curators at that point are individuals or the mob, do you really think they’re going to be looking out for your best interests then?

  4. Jake says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. Loved this post and support whatever decisions that align with your values. Thanks for loan our you own framework and encouraging us to find our own. As a young man, you have provided me with a lot of wisdom and perspective about the things that matter in life, and for that I thank you. Live out loud Scott.

  5. george says:

    “Perspective Matters” uttered by Scott Galloway after claiming his pull from Spotify was a “flex” is truly the most ironic reasoning ever written in this blog…

  6. Brad says:

    Just putting this article out there: How to quit Spotify without losing your music” by the Washington Post. Just as Amazon Music is starting to offer 4 months of free listening. How convenient. And do we need to remind anyone that the WaPo is owned by Jeff Bezos?
    “Follow the money.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2022/02/02/spotify-controversy-switch-service/

  7. Steve says:

    *sigh* remember when Scott implored people to be “warriors not wokesters”? and then we watched sadly as he incrementally and repeatedly did the opposite. RIP to the old, incisive but intellectually and morally humble, Prof Galloway. farewell.

    • Eric says:

      +1000
      I really like a lot of what scott has to say. I really dislike his approach here jumping on the spotify boycott bandwagon.

      fortunately, I can continue listening to him even though I don’t like every single thing he does.

      I support free speech and despite not agreeing with every single thing anyone says, i support everyones right to say all the things.

      It would seem logical that, if someone holds and opposing or erroneous view, that true understanding would come from additional discourse and MORE speech, not silencing things you don’t agree with or that don’t necessarily conform to your set of currently held facts. So many of today’s current facts were once unspeakable truths.

      Leverging spotify and tech to silence the voices of people you don’t agree with will not end well. Gofundme canceling donations is disgusting politics and it’s gross that we aren’t more upset with them. Imagine going another level up with tech – imagine visa canceling payments on people based on their politics? Do we really only want to listen to state sponsored information? Why does it seem like everyone is clamoring for that? Only the CDC can spread misinformation now?

  8. Ian Wright says:

    Your growing tendency of appealing to identity tribalism instead of coming up with your own thoughts has decreased the content to noise ratio of your blog beyond the level of relevance. In the past I was often challenged by your thoughts, but it has been a good while since that happened. There are more than enough partisan hacks out there. I decline to intentionally subject myself the the words of another. Bye.

  9. Chris L says:

    Hey Scott,
    This week I’m gonna flex my freedom of choice and unsubscribe from your newsletter over your choice to stand with large corporations against freedom of speech (see Breaking Points for who’s really behind the Neil Young push – aka the company that owns his musical repertoire). Shame really, I’ve really been enjoying it so far. But in the e nd,there are values and principles that matter more to me than this newsletter.

  10. Karl Hungus says:

    I used to enjoy In-N-Out. Then ownership/management came out as anti-vaxers. Won’t be giving them by business ever again.

  11. Jeremy says:

    Very disappointed. Scott, you’re usually a pretty independent, critical thinker. But this doesn’t add up. You lay out your whole framework, and then basically say you made this decision b/c your mentors told you to!? Come on man, you can do better than this.

  12. Cax says:

    Scott reminds of why I left academia behind. Hoards and hoards of brainwashed professors, who think they’re a gift to the world. Their ideas are to be revered. They are the anointed that Thomas Sowell talks about. In fact there’s very little difference between Scott and the truckers who refuse to take shit from the elites. They also want to take their “pods off spotify” in protest.

  13. hugh jasol says:

    Jason Miller???, what’s the matter Steve Bannon or even better , Steven Miller weren’t available?, Good Luck

  14. Rob says:

    I respect this mans attempt at trying to build a brand. Do I respect any of the content? Maybe 5%. The rest makes me cringe. Thorax of a CNN Stern centipede. Out poops atheist algebra on “values”

  15. Bas says:

    Scott, always enjoy your perspective on things. Honestly disappointed in your actions re Spotify. Censorship of any kind is wrong. Dialogue and acceptance of people’s right to a difference of opinion not making them “bad people” is so hard to come by now. We forget we have 95% in common with almost all people, love of life, family, friends, etc and we end up focusing on the 5% of our differences. Us vs Them leads nowhere. Ive listened to Rogan for years. He is as unbiased as they come IMO. Far more so than CNN. But again that’s what we forget, our opinions are based on our biases. And like assholes, everyone’s got one. People can’t even speak honestly anymore for fear of retribution. Cancel culture has become the thing it was fighting against. Sad, sad times.

    • HPrice says:

      Echoing Bas, disappointing to see Scott write that he “likes and respects CNN” even as he joins deep thinkers like Neil Young in ghosting Spotify.

      Spotify worked out a deal with Rogan – he’ll either amp up policing his content or they’ll dump him. That sounds like capitalism at work – the capitalism that Scott lauds in this weeks note. CNN, however, is a cesspool of sexual predation and leftist groupspeak. It gets a pass?

      C’mon Scott.

  16. James says:

    Scott I have enjoyed your podcasts on Spotify immensely. I will continue reading your articles here. So if CNN has a commentator you disagree with I assume you will leave them too?

  17. Paul says:

    Dear Prof G,
    Please consider expanding on your definition of capitalism. It is clear you write for the converted — current and future entrepreneurs and the capitalist management class. For them and others who can follow your wealth building formula of acquiring skills the market values, capitalism is indeed the path to prosperity and possibly financial security. For others in today’s economy, what the market values changes more quickly than their ability to re-skill themselves. Particularly since Investors favor start-ups that disrupt existing processes, often replacing human labor via lower cost technology. How do relationships with the replaced, unemployed humans fit into your values of building relationships? I ask this with all respect. I am not (I don’t think) an anti-capitalist. I truly would like to know how someone as successful and thoughtful as you answers these questions.

  18. Marxist says:

    Feminism is a capitalist tool in America. Where else do you see middle class Karens getting more rights than the men who founded this country? What happens to capitalist America when the disenfranchised men start joining the KGB or becoming mercenaries for the Taliban or ISIS?

    • hugh jasol says:

      They have , it’s called the GOP, they worship at the alter of trumpanzee , on their hands and knees , mouths wide open

  19. bartb says:

    Reading your latest (algebra of virtual signaling) and at the same time watching Michael Avenatti (CNN’s great white hope of 2020 courtesy of Mr Zucker) being convicted (again!) does seem to indicate that Life is so rich!!! Keep swinging for the fences Scott! I really do enjoy reading your home runs. This just wasn’t one of them.

  20. Steve Turkiewicz says:

    “Yawn! Your rants are tiresome. Pivot MIA, nearly $8K, all in! You have become a virtue signaling profiteer! Your Spotify decision made my decision even easier. Good Bye.

  21. Brown says:

    Prof G – Thanks for adding the link to the Roxanne Gay opinion piece. Her underlying premise, which I am surprised you would subscribe to is : The majority of Americans are too stupid to discern good ideas from bad ones. She says she is for free speech. But, it is with the caveat that she doesn’t want the the stupid people to hear what she thinks are bad ideas because they might believe them.

  22. Jamsxon says:

    Hold a conference for the moneyed populous, mention CNN and a black Dem and watch the feathers fly from the conservative ministers of unbridled capitalism. Yawn. I fault you for inviting that repugnant fraud and lowlife Jason Miller. What were you thinking? That this would mollify the rightist crowd. Bet your kids would walk out of any room he was in. They’d be right behind your dogs.

  23. Ron Dion says:

    “Capitalism’s superpower is mutual prosperity brought about by self-interest.” Best ever elevator pitch for capitalism.

    As for your 5th grade teacher, I think she had it right. We all matter, whether the body of our decisions are horrible for society (See Donald Trump) or empowering and conducive to social equality. Cancelling the former doesn’t reduce his or her impact. Thinking otherwise is delusional.

  24. J. Peterson says:

    You *really* need to find a better acronym for your “Algebra of Decisions” formula.

  25. ozwhiz says:

    good on you Prof. Rogan is a putz exploiting ignorant boymen with his boring waffle. Pathetic response from spotify. I am listening to you on stitcher now!

  26. Pierre Rasputin says:

    Interesting that google has started putting your emails in the promotions tab. Could it be the relentless plugging of your seminars or classes or whatever you call your standup act now?
    4 years ago you said provocative things that made sense. Now you say politically correct things with a shoutout to …Stacy Abrams? Really? This is your model of a great thinker?
    As for Spotify, doesn’t it seem ironic that Neil Young is now the thought police? Do you, of all people ( or at least the person you used to be ) see it as ironic that you are happy to censor thought you don’t agree with?
    When Watkins Glen race track used to have Gran Prix races back in the 70’s, my friends and I would go for the weekend. There was one area that was wet and muddy. We called it “The Bog”. Various people would bring junker cars to drive around in the bog until thay got stuck, and then set them on fire. After a while there would be a huge bonfire, with several hundred young people standing around in a circle, screaming “The other side sucks!” and throwing beer bottles into the fire. These people grew up to become today’s Republicans and Democrats.
    Sad!-
    Donald Trump

    • Vlad "Hades" says:

      In order to have your thoughts censored you need to have a thought first. The verbal effluent produced by Rogan doesn’t qualify as a thought, it’s an excretion. Or, more precisely, an excrement. People who distance themselves from his output on Spotify are merely being hygienic. Nobody prevented any willing party from wallowing in his excrement.

    • K DYLAN says:

      I was there, good times!

  27. Jim Connelly says:

    Well Scott, you almost lost me on the opening quote. I’m trying to figure out if there is anyone named Stacey Abrams that I should listen and learn from. It couldn’t be that Stacey Abrams, maybe Xiao Xiden will nominate her for SCOTUS, that would be television worthy of getting CNNs ratings out of the dumpster.
    And you might be surprised at how close the ownership of In-N-Out is socially aligned with Chick-fil-A. I eat at both and have been enjoying In-N-Out longer than you’ve been alive.
    One of the true virtues of capitalism is that I opted in to Spotify the same week and for the same reason you opted out. I believe in free speech and choose to reward it, you obviously like censorship, boycotts and based upon your history with CNN, biased and fake news.
    I can’t pass judgment on your moral character. I choose to read your emails because I believe you to be smart and moral but respect for Zucker (who has tanked $Millions in shareholder value and public trust) and CNN – Cuomo, Toobin, Lemon, etc, etc. calls into question your judgment and the value of reading these emails.
    Sorry to be so blunt, have a great weekend.

    Jim

    • WBloom says:

      Spot on. Well said. Funny I thought The NYT opinion piece is full of misinformation.

  28. Kevin says:

    I’m 59, just for perspective. Your decision to leave Spotify accomplishes what exactly? From listening to you for approximately 14 months now, your decision to leave Spotify is quite surprising to me as you seem to be the type who hears out both sides of a situation or story. For you, Graham Nash, or anyone else who doesn’t like what Joe Rogan is saying I would suggest that old expression: if you don’t like it shut it off. Why pull a selfish move in regards to your Spotify listeners and leave the means of listening to you? I would be glad to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

  29. R. Hadi says:

    ¿Did you even watch the podcast you want censored? Because the thing I like about you is you do account for your mistakes in public, periodically, and this one is a big one that is going to grow.

    • ben frank says:

      100% ! Rogan has a wide range on, to have long talks, like CNN’s own Dr. Sanjay Gupta way back in um October’21? The temerity he has to engage in ALL the sides, even some wacky ones… is… wonderful. Not because he champions my views but because he, as far as I can tell, isn’t picking sides – Andrew Yang – yay, Tulsi Gabbard, Jordan Peterson… both sides, interesting discussions…

  30. MKV says:

    I understand voting with your feet when it comes to buying products from a company you can associate with (as problematic as ranking companies based on perceived values is for a variety of other reasons). Free speech is a different animal. Your intent here is to create momentum, put economic pressure on Spotify and submit Rogan into silence. It’s actually a pretty nasty way of stifling free speech and a method systematically and successfully deployed in the former German Democratic Republic. Nothing better than private citizens policing, boycotting, or avoiding other private citizens with the Staatssicherheit watching (yes, the Stasi would laugh at the legal argument that only governments can censor). As a German who’s lived in this great country for over two decades, I’m just simply amazed – and a bit frightened – when I see the naïveté with which you or Ms. Gay justify “curation” (both of you don’t even realize how good you have it). To that I can say: just wait and see what it’ll lead to. Even if I find him mostly boring, Rogan has actually quite a wide range politically and socially and it’s a voice we should be able to live with without feeling the need for platform departures. I’m fully vaxxed and boosted, as are my teenage kids. My wife’s a physician and we typically follow what the New England Journal of Medicine preaches. But we also know how shaky research, even peer reviewed, can be and that some way-off-script guys like Malone and McCullough can be a healthy reminder to double and triple check your stuff before you publish it. To me the better way is to stay on Spotify, put out some well-reasoned piece to counter Malone and McCullough (or Rogan), go on his show possibly, or simply do nothing and enjoy being on a platform that isn’t an echo chamber. Instead you are twisting yourself into this ESG ethical consumer pretzel here to protect what, the truth?, from misinformation. I hate to say it, but it’s straight out of the Stasi playbook.

  31. Flyby says:

    Pulling your own podcast/music because of Joe Rogan, seriously?
    What will it change? People believing Rogan will stop believing him or what? There will be less people believing in all the conspiracies? Flat Earth society will disappear?
    You’ve achieved nothing positive by this decision except flattering your self-esteem.

    Crazy people were, are and will be no matter how much you censor, cancel or curate them or show your superiority by pulling content.
    This society is sick and Joe Rogan is a consequence not a cause, banning him is like taking Advil to cure cancer.
    You feel less pain, problem still there.

    So long, loser!

  32. Barry Weinman says:

    So you and your friends want to censor the platform Spotify. Any books your friends and you want to burn?

  33. Denny says:

    “Be loyal to people, not organizations.” This statement needs refinement otherwise it is the Trump mantra!
    Please quote a line or two from Roxane Gay’s NYT’s OpEd piece.

    • Angelo says:

      exactly what I was thinking. Some of our democratic organizations/institutions deserve our loyalty as well.

  34. Ron H says:

    Earlier this morning, I sent one of my sons your Algebra of Wealth post and told him how much good advice and wisdom was in there. This post was like the anti-matter of that one.

  35. stan konwiser says:

    Starting with Stacy Abrams is probably a mistake. Most of what she says reveals she thinks the Gov election was stolen from her. Sounds like someone else who is vilified for a similar opinion about a different election. Both are entitled to their thoughts on the matter; only one is prevented from expressing those thought on social media.

    Your Algebra is interesting but you have used the term ‘atheism’ while discussing foundational principals as a strong influence in the algebra. Those guiding principals are sourced from the Judeo-Christian ethos that powered the Renaissance and the development of Western Culture that has resulted in the most successful era in human history. Yes, the excesses of capitalism must be controlled, but the overall benefit is demonstrated by history.

    An important part of that success is the lack of certainty of science. In a sense, there is no ‘completely settled’ science. Open debate, doubt and retesting is necessary for progress to happen. Using your influence to suppress that debate by boycotting Spotify is in fact anti-science. The issue under debate should not reverse that openness. Whether discussing the proper way to store tomatoes; the value of being vaccinated; the efficacy of mask wearing; or the likelyhood of controlling climate change, all debate is valid. Suppression is just that: censorship which is damaging to actual science.

    Your support for CNN (You said: the people, not the organization) is an expression of support for the culture of CNN. In my opinion, CNN has been a purveyor of the worst type of gaslighting and outright lying for the past 5+ years. From the Russian Collusion, to the Hunter Biden laptop suppression, to the cannonization of Fauci; CNN has burdened its audience with narrative-driven opinions that have been delivered as if it is news. You should distance yourself from organizations such as CNN. You significantly lower yourself by bookending your column with endorsements of Stacy Abrams and CNN.

  36. Rich Goldfarb says:

    Sensational piece Prof G, thank you. With respect to decision making, there’s been an inexorable march toward speed. It’s a given that decisions have time constraints, some shorter, some longer. I have always felt that that should govern when a final decision is made. Until that time, I believe being thoughtful can only help in making the right decision…at least at that time.

  37. Gene M says:

    Scotty, we get it, you need your dem street cred. Isn’t that why you put up KS? But starting off a screed w a quote from that noted scholar Stacy Abrams? I’m out.

  38. Vini Mauro says:

    I find it hard to believe that this post will get a response, but I have some free time today.
    I have been following you for a while, Scott. You seem clever, transparent, sensitive, and knowledgeable. Having said that (and probably because of that) I am a bit disappointed.
    1. If the decision to remove the podcast was made because Spotify didn’t do enough to block the promotion of misleading or incorrect information, how can you justify working with CNN? CNN never promoted false information? CNN never misled viewers? I believe that Joe did a poor job questioning some people he interviewed and that he needs to be held responsible. However, if Spotify and Joe are willing to improve, this retaliation seems disproportional.
    2. You end the newsletter with the sentence “I know that at the end, the only thing I’ll remember is I tried to do something”. Is this the best you can do? Why don’t you go through the interviews from Joe’s podcast, list all the information you think is incorrect, and invite specialists to your podcast to talk about them? Isn’t that way more impactful?
    3. By acting like all concerns people have about vaccines and mandates are not relevant, we ignore real issues and alienate ourselves. It is possible to support vaccination, abide by the rules, and still have questions about the several mistakes made by the authorities we are supposed to trust since the campaign started. If you agree, why don’t you use your voice and reach to be a beacon of reason?

    • Scott Wyler says:

      Precisely. Quoting Abrams and then embracing censorship is far too great of a one-two oligarchical punch for me. The slide into authoritarianism begins with former liberals embracing censorship, demonizing and Othering dissenters, abandoning civil discourse and using elastic terms like “disinformation” or “hate speech” to justify shredding the Bill of Rights. Smiley face fascism is still fascism. I am out.

  39. Jenn says:

    Wise words, Prof. BTW, sometimes I rewind your Dad jokes at the beginning of your podcast. Dad jokes are the best. And yours are hilarious! 😂#milkwonteither

  40. Jose Ramon Gutierrez says:

    Prof G. I have a lot of respect for you, I don’t always agree with you but most of the times. I’m a Stern MBA grad but a bit before you. I’ve read all you books, I give the Algebra of Happiness as a gift often, as I deeply enjoyed it, and I honestly think it can help so many people. You often say that capitalisms is great, and as such I too have decided to stop listening to you if you are not on Spotify. Don’t forget that we as music lovers as we are, owe Spotify a great deal, they are basically responsible for eliminating the Napsters of the world and gave us an awesome app to enjoy our music, not to mention little or not, it now pay royalties to record companies and musicians. I also dislike disinformation but I accepted Joe Rogan’s apology. My question to you is, why didn’t you? and what would it take for you to go back to Spotify? What is your ask?

  41. Marina Schneider says:

    One of your best posts. Reading twice.

  42. Jimbo says:

    I live in Atlanta (home of Chick-fil-A) and there are no In-N-Out burgers. Wish I had the chance to choose. Would be easy choice

  43. Lauri says:

    Really enjoy your inputs and perspectives. Love the CSAM algebra…only wish the acronym was a tiny bit more fun or alliterative, but that’s just the marketer in me. RESPECT on the walking the talk bit. Always fantastic feeder fodder. (See what I did there?)

  44. ben frank says:

    Sorry to harp on this – great post overall and great ‘Algebra’ series – Shame on you & your sense of high & mighty virtue signaling for joining this fray —
    “If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”—George Orwell, author, c. 1945

    You all are off your rockers with this Rogan thing – this authoritarian moment where these deplorable bitter clingers Must be forced to submit to The Ministry of Truth’s doctrine… It’s scary, it’ absurd, and it’s shameful. That body which can squelch the speech of those few so clearly on ‘wrong side’ today can do the same thing to you tomorrow. The answer to bad speech is better speech and if you cannot win an overwhelming victory in the open free market of ideas, there’s a reason. If it’s the few percent crazies, let them duke it out with their reasons. Don’t be so afraid of open dialog. Not a good look to just join the cancelers/take your ball and go home.

  45. Ignacio Fanlo says:

    I didn’t think I tear up on a SG post… but Life is SO rich 🙂

  46. Art A. says:

    This doctor has a thread describing in detail the ways that Joe Rogan’s interview with Dr. Malone was misleading. Bone chilling.
    https://t.co/uoKDROkHEg

    • Omar B says:

      Great analysis! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jim says:

      The proper way to counter disinformation is to provide your own , better information. You did that. But de-platforming and censorship is not a proper way to counter ideas you disagree with.

      • Jwil says:

        Literally every platform, company and person censors certain views. To say that censorship isn’t proper is the height of silliness as nobody actually believes that. Do you allow someone to spray paint messages you find harmful on your property? Certainly you wouldn’t censor this person, instead you would spray paint a counterpoint, right?
        The new PC police needs to put big boy pants on and realize that everyone has always censored messages that they find harmful.

      • Alex says:

        Removing what is clearly disinformation, especially potentially deadly disinformation, on a privately owned platform is not censorship.