Transcript of Extra: On COVID-19 with John Robb

The following is a rough transcript which has not been revised by The Jim Rutt Show or by John Robb. Please check with us before using any quotations from this transcript. Thank you.

Jim: Howdy. This is Jim Rutt and this is the Jim Rutt Show.

Jim: Listeners have asked us to provide pointers to some of the resources we talk about on the show. We now have links to books and articles referenced in recent podcasts that are available on our website, we also offer full transcripts.

Jim: This is a special extra episode that will not be up to our usual impeccable audio standards. It’ll be quite a bit shorter and it will be on a single topic. Today’s guest is John Robb, an amazing thinker and writer who his main platform is called Global Guerrilla. John, what’s your URL?

John: Well, you can find me on Patreon as the Global Guerrillas Report or just look John Robb, Patreon, that’s my URL.

Jim: I’ve been a longtime supporter of John Robb’s work through Patreon. And it’s worthy work. And I’d encourage you to support him as well.

John: Thanks.

Jim: John’s got a very interesting background. He’s a graduate of the Air Force Academy, served seven years in the Air Force before entering the private sector. Has a Master’s from Yale, worked in IT research, done all kinds of interesting things, is an entrepreneur and was one of the guys that helped invent blogging. Since 2004, he’s been doing Global Guerrillas, which has been about the most interesting, deep and thoughtful analysis on current events, world situation, tactics, strategy and perspectives about the future. So when I started to put this idea together for a series of short extras about the coronavirus, I thought, who better to have on to kick it off than John Robb. So, John, give us your perspective. Where are we at now? What’s important? What are the distractions? What’s the signal? What’s the noise?

John: Okay, well, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. I’ll give you some of the good news first. We were able to recover somewhat from some of the planning errors that were slowing our response to the pandemic. I mean, the pandemics had been planned against for decades and stretching back in the ’70s. The problem is our pandemic planning assumed the world of 1980s or ’90s, a much slower world. Not one as complex and as fast moving as this one.

John: So, that caused three major problems. One was that there was a policy of only shutting off air traffic to specific countries. Only after deliberation that you’d shut off that air traffic, rather than everything at once. In a very connected world, shutting off air traffic to one country just doesn’t do it, or quarantining all the passengers coming in just from one country just doesn’t do it. That kind of blockage or damage is easily routed around in this kind of system. We’re still not fully shut down on air travel side, but we’re better than we were.

John: Second one was that we would have time to ramp up testing. And so the way the FDA handled the testing situation is that they were focusing on quality, and they gave the CDC a monopoly on testing production, which seemed reasonable for a slow moving pandemic, relatively so. And when the CDC screwed up, single point of failure at the end of February, the wheels came off the bus and the FDA responded by saying, okay, we’ll have a streamlined procedure for independent labs or public health labs to apply for starting testing and everyone pushed back, a streamlined procedure, what the hell are you talking about? This should be like all hands, assholes and elbows, let’s go.

John: They ended up saying, okay. Well, anyone who’s already authorized for complex testing get going. And so they zoomed up the testing and the testing has been a really strong response on the part of labs in the States. I mean, on March 1st, we produced I think, what, 266 tests and the ramp has been meteoric since then. We are up to, as of yesterday, 65,000 tests a day. That is much higher than other countries out there. Britain is trying to do 4,000 a day, I think they’re under that, trying to ramp. Germany does about 12,000, at least the latest numbers I saw, and they’re trying to ramp. South Korea was 10 to 16 for quite a long time. I think they pushed it up to 20 just recently. We’re not up to their level in terms of per million person, per million population, but we’re on the right trajectory. We’re just zooming it, we’re hitting out of the park.

John: The third thing was the medical manufacturing. We let almost everything manufactured in the medical field go off to China and other places. And then we’re caught flat footed in the assumption that we’d have months to ramp up our production. And that relatively small amounts of strategic supplies or strategic stockpiles would be enough to get us through, we’re all wrong. I mean, it is a come as you are situation. I mean, it happens so fast that what you have on hand is what gets you through.

John: Our thinking and our planning assumptions were all wrong. There wasn’t really anyone on the ball enough to actively update them as we were going. It’s just too late by that point. But there has been a pretty good response in terms of ramping up production on masks and other things. And then 3M has doubled the production, which is awesome. And then there’s lots of DIY alternatives that people are digging into. I mean, you could make a pretty good mask using cotton and vacuum cleaner bags and maybe a little bit of a floral wire, or twist ties, inserted in a way that allows you to pinch the mask around your nose.

John: So you can do a pretty good job there. And there are a lot of plans out there for doing that. So that’s the good side is that we’re responding well, still not as good as we could be on the flying side. But in terms of production, there seems to be that kind of mobilization story that we used to get from World War II where we switched over production in car plant to airplanes in three months, that kind of thing seems to be working, going from a basket case military in 1939, behind Portugal in terms of its capabilities and zooming it up to where it was by ’41. We’re in that kind of situation now.

Jim: Well, that’s good news. Let me ask you a couple of questions about the good news, though. We look back and say what could we have done better? One of the things that really hops out to me is there was a very significant failure to correctly flag, integrate and push up the chain, the intelligence that the intelligence community was gathering into December and early January timeframe, or things that are coming out now that it’s clear that analysts were forecasting that this had a fair chance to become a global pandemic. If we had spent $10 million in December and $50 million in January and ramping up testing, we’d be in a very different place than we are today. Any thoughts on how these intelligence signals didn’t get appropriately prioritized and escalated and turned into action?

John: I think by late January, there were a lot of intelligence briefings going out that said that this would become a pandemic. In fact, if you looked out on the net too, there were people talking about it. I wrote my January Global Guerrillas Report and entitled Pandemic. It was about this thing getting out of China, and because of the way that the virus acted, it would zoom everywhere. So there were signals out there.

John: But the assumption was that the planners, the bureaucracy, the people who did this and get paid for this would be able to pull it off, pull off the response, pull off the appropriate thing. It’s not like this stuff is all made up on the fly, though, like I said the planning assumptions that were built into the plans that we did have weren’t sufficient. They were all geared to a pandemic of the ’80s and ’90s. People assume that all this stuff is all maybe some byproduct of being in the Trump era, that all of this is made up on the go. But it’s not. I mean, this is stuff that has been thought through and we paid billions for planning and efforts in preparation just for this moment, then it all fell short.

Jim: Yeah, we also didn’t pull the trigger. I mean, I guess my point was the signals were coming out and light signals in December and stronger in January. And yet the powers that be did not really seem to understand the urgency until maybe the very last week in February, the first week in January. I mean, there are some deep failure in intelligence coupled to executive action in that kind of delay.

John: Oh, yeah, no, definitely. There was definitely a longer delay in terms of containment, because I mean, there’s four layers to confronting the pandemic is the mitigation, basically social distancing and school closures and stuff you do mostly on the decentralized side. And then there’s containment, which is travel restrictions, and that’s where the presidency really could have played a much better role. And then the isolation case tracking that was all done through bureaucracy. You need a lot of tests, though, and that needs industry’s participation to do that. And then the final thing is quarantines.

John: I’m more concerned now about the big negative is just a scattershot approach to containing it. I mean, we have a couple of big states taking extraordinary measures, too late, Cuomo trying to compensate for de Blasio’s delay in taking measures, but most of the states are doing almost nothing. This is the kind of a situation, it’s like, we’re headed towards, based on most estimates, 50% reduction in GDP and a 30% unemployment level within a month at this rate. With most of the major economies within the United States shut down and quarantined, the timer has been set. The longer this persists, the more likely that bad effect will be kind of locked in, we’ll be actually in a depression, even if we get hold of the virus.

John: All of this delay is just lengthening the time to return to normal economic operation. So it’s better trying to take all of the pain up front or as close to up front as you can, by taking measures early. And we’re not doing that. There’s a lot of not only just states saying no, it’s also even within states, some states have real problems enforcing quarantines, enforcing measures. People are out and goofing off and doing whatever they do.

John: I mean, I think the attitudes towards those people will shift over the next couple of weeks from that’s just stupid, or that’s inconsiderate, or that kind of thing towards wait a second, those folks are setting us up for a depression, because it’s going to lengthen this. And the more it lengthens the recovery effort, the more likely we’re going to lose income and not have a job coming out of this, and those people are actually stealing from me, let alone putting relatives at risk, or putting me at risk.

Jim: Yeah, we’ll come back to that talk a little bit about the cognitive psychology of these people. But before that, do you have any updates or any sense of what’s going on in say California who blew the whistle first, and shut the whole state down for six counties and then the whole state? Is there any data coming out of California yet to show that we’re bending the curves? I mean, if this is actually being done, it almost has to. But I have seen nothing on the data front yet.

John: I haven’t seen that yet in California. Somebody was just sending me data from New York and saying that three day rolling average in New York is starting to curve around in the right direction. The testing Blitz has helped them out a lot. They’ve been sucking up a lot of the country’s tests. They’ve taken it seriously, at least at the state level. But there’s a lot of non compliance at the New York City level, not sure that they’re actually capturing all of the transmission that’s occurring in that space.

John: But yeah, I think New York is probably showing the earliest signs of a turnaround. The Boston area was early in its ability to move from one of the four initial epicenters to kind of an also ran a number of cases and deaths. But the pressure from kind of the bleed out from New York is pretty intense just being next to that mega epicenter, it’s going to wear on Massachusetts, and upper New England. Everywhere else, it looks pretty much out of control. The one that worries me the most right now is New Jersey. Wow, it’s got a inverted testing system. It’s like 2,800 positives for 300 negatives, and it’s like, wow. I mean, talk about under testing. Virtually every person that they give the test to has it. That’s scary.

Jim: Yeah, at this stage, that’s crazy. It ought to be at least 90% negatives at this point.

John: Oh, yeah. A lot of states are in that 90% negative space, but wow, New Jersey, something seriously went wrong there.

Jim: Has Jersey gone into a full lockdown yet?

John: Not that I’ve seen. Just a couple of days ago, I saw some news saying that they were fighting to keep the casinos open. So I don’t think the news has gotten to them yet.

Jim: Jesus. Well, let’s talk about this. I mean, we’ve learned a lot and I’m for sure processing lots of things from this whole, once in a hundred year episode. But the one to my mind that’s most striking is what I would say how highlighted it has made the issue of cognitive differences amongst people. Even people of similar nominal intelligence, there are some people who immediately get it, they understand what an exponential is, that the current case loads two weeks ago didn’t mean jack shit because of the low testing rates, and started taking very strong actions.

Jim: And then there are other people who are still going out to restaurants or buying takeout sandwiches or what have you. And you’d say, by everything we know about them in terms of their career and their background, their aptitude, they should have come to similar conclusions, but they didn’t. Any sense of what this is all about?

John: Yeah, I think we’re really seeing how network dynamics works in a modern crisis. I mean, it’s really kind of giving us all a lesson in it. I’m still trying to get my head around it. I mean, I was just working on the whole idea of what happens when you have a whole population network or socioeconomic network like ours in siege mode, and it kind of locks itself in through these network connections into this, like, I can’t spend money, I can’t go out. Even when you lift the restrictions, how do you get that thing moving again?

John: And that you have to rethink everything you know about the way we did economic bailouts in the past. The old bailout system is all kind of interest group driven and it’s usually some kind of power law distribution where 1% get 40%, the top 20 get 80 to 90% of all the money and it has really little effect on moving the entire network. After the financial crisis, we saw that that caused like a 10 year kind of dig out to get out of that kind of under siege mentality, and this one’s going to be much worse.

John: So, I was thinking about ways to actually get that whole network to shift simultaneously and go positive. That the stimulus program would have to be universal or inclusive of everybody. So kind of a consensus that we all can come around, and that would go into a positive towards our cohesion. And then more cohesion means better coherence in terms of our decision making. And then it has to be significant relative to the problem, it has to be big enough that it catches people’s attention. It has to have some duration, like if you were getting like a emergency UBI, you’d get $1,000 a month for the next year or two years and you know that that thing would be there and you could plan against it and then take action in your life that would allow you to utilize that resource, which then allows people to dig out. And they have some positive and pro building economic activity going on in their life.

John: And there’s lots of other little ones I put into my … I started a pandemic 2020 working space where I just every day I put more stuff in, and that was one of the things I was working on this morning. But this group, it’s interesting, because we didn’t have the federal government come down and say, okay, everybody go into quarantine. I mean, it was a decentralized decision making process. I don’t even think … It’s hard to even think of the authority mechanism that they would use to do that.

John: Unlike all these other countries where everything came down from on high, what is driving the quarantine is that we have a network of people who have decided, based on going through the evidence and going through the information that we need to take drastic action. They’ve come to that consensus decision, and they’re pushing their states to take action. That decision and the amount of economic value this group generates, puts us on a path towards quarantine and putting the economy on hold until the thing is solved.

John: Now you have, what we’ve seen in the internet and the network is that this free information flow allows a lot of outliers to develop a network, a cluster set of people who are thinking differently, and they can self reinforce or they can reinforce each other, and they can often stake out an alternative position. And in this case, they’ve taken positions that are contrary to that larger network.

John: Now, here’s the problem is that this kind of outlier position, and at least when it comes to this pandemic, it only exacerbates the economic damage that would damage them, because it delays the time to when we get the quarantine lifted. It’s really hard to lift the quarantine when there’s many states that are still producing virus and are still kind of shedding virus, because of their lackadaisical efforts. This is the lowest common denominator kind of problem where we have to get everybody on board.

John: So we have to figure out ways in which those clusters are, we can beat them down or get them to join in. And coming up with methodologies of doing that is pretty important. Flattening the curve was good. I just started one this morning that’s going to buy time for the test. If this test ramp continues, we’d be up to a million some odd tests, somewhere million tests a day, a lot of 45 minute turnarounds, some trying to come up with instant tests, moving towards ubiquitous testing. That can help a lot, but it has to be done within the context of an effort that keeps the virus from progressing to a level where testing is ineffective. Because testing is tied to contact tracing, it’s tied to isolation. It’s tied to lots of other things that it works best when the number of people infected are at a moderate level.

John: So anyway, yeah, it’s just thinking through how this socioeconomic system works as a network. I looked around and was talking to Jordan about this, it’s like, there’s no institution that addresses that. So we have the Fed works on keeping the financial system liquid and knows how to do that, knows how to keep those banks, lending and working and keeps the market buoyed enough and keeps the whole thing greased in the right way so it doesn’t seize up.

John: And then you have the Congress who focuses on addressing the needs of given interest groups and they’re really good at that kind of giving them enough money that they don’t cleave off completely. And then you don’t have this middle thing that’s new where you can get this network lock in where people just go under siege or they en masse kind of make a decision that can’t be reversed through those other mechanisms, or it takes a long time to kind of unlock them from that. That kind of the network health of our socioeconomic, sociopolitical system, there’s no one really addressing that. I mean, we have a little … You can do with maybe a little bit on Facebook, in terms of mass messaging and simple kind of nudging and persuasion. But there’s a new model emerging here, just have to figure out all the levers on it.

Jim: And also we’re operating and this is something you’ve written a whole lot about. And as you know, I’ve been interested in it as well, which is the emergence of these highly decentralized sense making networks. Unfortunately, those are partially maladaptive to the kind of situation we currently have where coherence and at least anecdotally, I would say pretty large and anecdotally, for people I’ve interacted with the not taking it seriously, lagging on preparation, et cetera. It seems strongly correlated with membership or association with those particularly red Republican, Fox News oriented, outlier collective sense making networks that seemed to have not made sense, in fact they made antisense. And some of them still are.

John: Early Trump adopters are pretty much all on the pandemic front.

Jim: Yeah, a few of the good ones are like Bannon and Cernovich, and guys like that.

John: Yeah.

Jim: Frankly, it was Tucker Carlson who I think finally set that idiot Trump down and smacked him across the face for two hours and made him pay attention. But unfortunately, when you look at the topology of the red collective sense making networks, the main repeater is Trump. They circulate up through various layers, and they get up to Trump then he broadcasts and then they go back out and become modified and evolved. But that motherfucker never got it. He still hasn’t gotten it. And if he were a strong, decisive leader, he could cohere the red collective intelligence networks, back on board much more rapidly. So it seems to me a grotesque failure of top level leadership by the president.

John: Yeah, I think I read it a little bit differently. I mean, not that it’s, I think he’s making a lot of the wrong decisions. But also, I think it’s more like, okay, for instance, last night, he was talking about ending the crisis.

Jim: Yeah, what the fuck? What the fuck is wrong with that guy, right?

John: Yeah, but the way I read it is that he is actually using that as a negotiation or as part of his negotiation with the Democrats for his bailout package. Because if you won’t let me solve this crisis using my bailout package, then let’s just dissolve the crisis. It’s a crazy position. It’s right out of his negotiation kind of handbook, it’s The Art of the Deal. It’s take a crazy position and convince me to move off of it. And then when I do, you’re happy with what I give you. He’s done that a couple of times during this crisis, and this is one of them.

Jim: Horrible. He doesn’t seem to understand that this is war time. This is not some sleazy real estate deal in Atlantic City. We’re dealing with lives of millions of people here. And we can’t be playing these egocentric, horseshit fucking games. I’ve never liked Trump, I’ve always despised him as a human being. But this crisis has brought out him at his absolute worst. I mean, that unbelievably evil little snide remark about Romney. What is wrong with that man, right? Hopefully this will be a huge lesson to the American people. Character fucking matters. Do not vote for a person of known rotten character no matter how much you agree with them on the issues.

John: Yeah, well, his approval for handling the crisis is in the ’50s now. It’s exactly having the opposite effect. It’s an interesting thing. I mean, I think you mentioned Carlson, I still think that guy he has a better ear for the network. It’s interesting if you’re a politician at the national level now, you have to really be effective either on the left or the right. You have to have your ear open to the network and listen to those outlier positions. Often a lot of the truth of things that you should be doing are out there on the edges. Carlson tends to pick that kind of truth messaging up, and I think he’s really going to be a pretty strong candidate for the Republicans in four years.

Jim: How about this year?

John: Man, I think it’s too late to turn that, but in four years, I think he’s going to run and he’s going to [inaudible 00:25:48].

Jim: I don’t know, the actuarial attributes of coronavirus may open up that door.

John: Yeah. Yeah. It could. There’s still time for corona to actually make the decisive vote in the presidential campaign. Biden has been totally absent. He’s like, I mean, I’m watching him in Delaware. And Delaware is one of the states on the bad boy list in terms of response. So, I don’t know. I mean, Biden has nothing other than saying that he’s electable.

Jim: He’s the king of all platitudes. He’s not Trump, he’s not clinically insane, though he might be demented. What a fucking country we have that those are our two choices. Something fundamentally wrong with our whole system. Let’s go back briefly here, though, before we wrap up to this economic response. It’s something I’ve been writing about a lot on Twitter and on Facebook, and it strikes me that you’re exactly right. It can’t be a top down, it can’t be a Pareto 20% of people get 80% of the schwag, and most of it wasted.

Jim: This has got to be bottoms up. It’s got to be a mini UBI, universal basic income. I’ve also been saying, I’d love to get your reaction to this, that we can’t be screwing around with anything that requires any systems development, any complexity, because frankly, we’re emotionally and intellectually overloaded by the crisis. What I’ve been proposing is that you put it out to a three day bid to the biggest credit card companies and say, all right, people, here’s the drill, it’s all going to be done with plastic debit cards sent out monthly. Start by sending to everybody’s IRS filing address. For those that don’t have an IRS filing address, they can register at any bank and they’ll tap them into a real simple system.

Jim: For welfare and homeless, welfare departments could literally hand these cards out on the street, take a biometric picture and submit that to a database. And then here’s the part that I like of my own idea, my own ideas are always good. So what the fuck? And that’s that the cards have a 45 day time to live. If you haven’t spent your 45 days on your APR card, it disappears.

Jim: It goes back into the pool to be redistributed, so that we aren’t subject to the famous paradox of thrift where well, thrift in some ways is a good thing in a situation like this. If everybody saves, we all die or the economy dies. So the beauty of specific cards and a new card sent out monthly, yes it raises the cost a little bit. But the time to live on money on each card provides a huge force to get people to actually get that damn thing into the economy.

John: I mean, a lot of little private currencies had that same kind of thing. It was kind of like a negative interest rate.

Jim: Yeah, debt mirage, as we call it.

John: Yeah, debt mirage. Exactly. It kind of gets you to spend them.

Jim: This is more brutal, though. This is a cliff, 45 days before it goes back into the common pool and put it right on the card. This money expires on say the April 1st card expires on May 15th. Put it right on the card. I think that way we get rid of all needs for fancy new systems. We can deal with everybody from the homeless to the regular homeowner. We can run it as many months as we need to. It does have a little bit higher operations costs. But it seems to me at this point a little bit higher operations costs is way superior to taking systems development risks, fancy processing risks, that a lot of people aren’t going to be able to hop through quickly because they’re not supposed to leave the house, et cetera.

John: I think the big thing here too, is that if you really look at this like an emergency UBI over two years, in conjunction with this crisis and what it can do, I mean, the cost, the price tag is what, a little over $4 trillion. It’s a lot, but borrowing at 30% or borrowing 30 years at less than 1% is pretty attractive in terms of financing it. But I think unlike those, all of these bailout bills, and these multi … The one that Democrats are proposing here, two and a half trillion, so you’re almost there.

John: Unlike those, this would have a very strong ROI and then any kind of like real stimulus, the real kind of paddles to the chest of the economy or socio economy with the stopped heart, you could actually show if you measure it, with a lot of focus, that this thing is actually generating two, three, four, five times returns over a 30 year period. I mean, because if you can bounce us out of this crisis early, return us to where we were, maybe zoom us in a little rocket fuel on the economy getting us up to say a 10% rate next year, that is just gold. I mean, look at any kind of study right now on UBI is always that the effects last. You don’t bounce back from it when it’s gone. It last.

Jim: It builds infrastructure, builds capital actually. Because in our current world, we have actually an excess of capital in some sense and financial capital. Why is all this money sitting in banks not being lent out? But if we had demand push, that capital becomes mobilized, we actually create things.

John: It’s an investment. Look at 30 year bond at less than 1% shows that this vast pool of capital at the global level is looking, is screaming at the United States say just invest it. Because there’s got to be a way that this is going to yield a positive return inside the United, but what better way to invest it and even though it’s wasted, you invest in Americans and Americans let them invest that money in 320, actually probably 250 million adults all making decisions as to where to spend it will yield much better results than a lot of the government bureaucrats would if they were focusing in on bail money.

Jim: Yeah, the Democrats errors, they want to give it to the state level bureaucrats or Republican errors, they want to give it to big corporations most of whom it’s inappropriate for, and the real answer is to give it to the fucking people, right? That’s the answer. All the people listening to this show, call your congressman, call your senator. Tell them that 80% at least of this money needs to be in the form of universal basic income grants going out to the people monthly.

Jim: Let me talk briefly about the corporate side. Airlines, that’s ridiculous. We shouldn’t be giving any money to the airline companies. Airline companies have come and gone forever. The key thing about airlines are the airplanes, the pilots, the mechanic, the stewardess, the gates, et cetera. And those things get recombined into new economic entities. The shareholders and the bondholders take it up the poop chute. Oh, well, that’s life.

Jim: The actual elements that you need to run an airline are physical and tangible and survive any failure. The only companies we should be investing in are ones with very deep intellectual property creation stacks, like Boeing, like Intel, like the automobile companies, and I’m sure pharmaceutical, although, they’re not going to have a problem probably. But we should not be … Trucking is another example. Yeah, trucking is taking it up on the chin. Oh, well. Trucking companies also come and go at a very high rate. And trucks will be recombined and with drivers under new corporate umbrellas, that will be debt free because the old ones were wiped out and the trucks were bought for 20 cents on the dollar. It’d be ridiculous for the Feds to try to prop up trucking companies, but trucking companies have a huge lobby as do airlines.

Jim: And so again, let’s tell our elected officials really think smart about what industries we must have, that we lose the capability if we let them go away. And they’re basically only the deep IP stack companies. Like the Boeing’s and like the Intel’s, and let’s not take the asset recombination companies and prop them up because frankly, we get that refactoring for free and frankly, those industries will be better off once they’re refracted away and free from debt.

John: Correct. I agree. It gets more interesting when you look at universities.

Jim: Well, yeah.

John: Do you help them make the transition to doing more of what they do online, and a lot of that physical plant and a lot of that personnel kind of overhead becomes unneeded? Do you help them restructure?

Jim: I think we probably have to, but whether they should be the ones to restructure or not, I’m not so sure to tell you the truth. If they restructure, they’re going to do it in a ponderous self serving way. So I’m not going to reserve judgment on whether they should be provided a massive bailout to transition, or competitors ought to be allowed to rise up and take their market share.

John: Right, or making it easier to get high quality degrees online. Because everyone’s really just after the certificate, right?

Jim: Well, that’s unfortunate, in which case they shouldn’t waste their time. A guild type certifications is what my view the game B world will be about, where there’ll be guilds for every occupation, and it’ll be their job to certify people within their guild and pay scales will typically be within bands around guilds, or guild certification levels. You’re a Python level four, that means you’re between 70 and 100 and $105 an hour. And your guild stands behind your certification.

Jim: If they’re not doing a good job certifying the guild rate, people will stop paying it. So they’ll have a strong incentive to self administer competency tests. And also, for members of the guild, part of their income will go back to the guild in terms of which will provide training for them to ramp their skills up. I see that as a much better model than these unbelievably ponderous, higher education factories that we have today.

John: Yep, yep.

Jim: Anyway, there will be some very interesting changes on the other side of this. John, I appreciate your time here today for this first kickoff special coronavirus podcast. And continue to look forward to reading your very good work on Global Guerrillas on Patreon.

John: Great. Thanks, Jim. Yeah, I’m writing every day now, so it’s a lot of stuff. It’s constantly evolving. It’s a lot of fun. Take care, and thanks for having me on.

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