Having trouble listening? Download the audio here.
This is a transcript of me on Oddest Lots. Check the audio feed above for a media-rich experience!
JOE: Hello and welcome to Oddest Lots, the imaginary b-side to Odd Lots. I’m Joe Wei-AI-senthal.
TRACY: And I’m Tracy AI-alloway.
JOE: You know not-real Tracy, I’ve been thinking about bold bets recently.
JOE: Uh, to segue into the start of the episode.
TRACY: But you don’t even like gambling.
JOE: Sure but thematically, it’s been a core part of the discourse. In the last few years, so much of the economy felt like a glorified casino. Particularly the crypto markets, as we’ve discussed at length on previous real and imaginary episodes.
TRACY: And things are finally coming back down to Earth.
JOE: Yeah, the dirigible has landed, so to speak. But that doesn’t stop the bold betting! And that’s as good of a segue as any for our guest today, and the author of this transcript, Josh Cincinnati!
JOSH: Hello Joe and Tracy! Great to hallucinate you having me.
TRACY: The pleasure isn’t ours Josh.
JOE: So tell us about this bold, 90 day bet you’ve made Josh.
JOSH: Absolutely, but first: what is your reimbursement policy for podcast guests?
TRACY: We don’t have one.
JOSH: Oh. Okay it’s just that I paid ChatGPT to generate many of your interview questions, then I had to fork over $8 for Twitter Blue just to post the audio. Then there was the voice model cost. So, you know, I’m out $30.
JOE: Yeah we don’t cover podcast guest expenses, not normally, and definitely not for imaginary episodes.
JOSH: Okay…and is that a Bloomberg policy thing or just y’all’s personal preference…?
TRACY: It’s both. So tell us about this bold bet.
JOSH: Right, right, sure, sure, we can catch up about the reimbursement policy offline, no problem—
JOE: We won’t, no.
JOSH: Sure sure, we’ll loop back on it. Anyway, the bet. So you know, like you guys, I have experienced numerous once-in-a-life-time financial crises in my life.
TRACY: Sure, Black Monday, the Savings and Loan crisis, the LTCM collapse, the dot com bust in ‘01, the Global Financial Crisis in ‘08, whatever this one will be called–
JOE: I’m thinking “The Great Inflate-gate: When a Goodyear goes bad.”
JOSH: So yeah, it all got me to thinking: either everyone is wrong calling these crises “once in a lifetime,” or — and clearly this is the more likely interpretation — I’m experiencing so many generational financial crises because the average human lifetime keeps getting longer, and it’s only accelerating.
JOSH: Yeah, and I believe this so strongly that I’m willing to bet my life on us achieving human immortality in the next 90 days.
JOE: Wow, so that is a bold claim worth investigating on Oddest Lots. I can’t believe I haven’t heard you defending this anywhere else yet.
JOSH: You’re the first ones to accept my self-invitation.
TRACY: …disregarding how pathetic it is that you needed to invent an entire podcast to defend this…what makes you so sure? Can you give us an overview of the life extension technologies that led you to make this bold claim? What specific breakthroughs have happened recently in the field of life extension that makes you believe we’ll achieve human immortality within 90 days?
JOSH: Oh I don’t know I don’t follow biotech.
JOE: I’m sorry?
JOSH: Not my field. Not my expertise.
TRACY: So what is your expertise?
JOSH: Ten years of using and making jokes about cryptocurrencies.
JOE: And how does that make you qualified to make strong claims about human immortality?
JOSH: Whoa there Joe, easy on the gate-keeping. The future is interdisciplinary, and I have lived at the intersection of humor and cryptocurrency long enough to cut through the noise. Does that mean I’m a contrarian who is more often laughed at instead of with? Of course it does. Will that stop me from making financially irresponsible or disingenuous bets for clout? It never has before.
TRACY: Alright let’s just say that you’re confident and leave it at that. Besides you, are there any particular researchers or institutions that support this view?
JOSH: Yes, I have the support of several thousand anime avatars on Twitter, some with cat ears, others with laser eyes, many with profile pictures unsuitable for a normal workplace. They’re all behind me, or betting against me while publicly egging me on — but either way they form what I call a “confidence chamber” of reinforcing perspective, and every day with their help my belief grows stronger.
JOE: Sounds healthy.
JOSH: …well, it’s healthier than inventing a fake podcast to interview myself. At least according to my therapist.
TRACY: You should probably see them more frequently.
JOSH: If I don’t lose my life in 90 days I’ll think about it.
JOE: Speaking of: let’s talk about the structure of this bet. You lose, you lose your life. You win, you get what?
JOSH: Bragging rights, and some tidy gains on a number of leveraged biotech ETFs that I rushed to buy before making these claims public.
JOE: …you don’t think that asymmetrically disfavors you?
JOSH: Look I’m not here to “price options correctly,” or “be rational” — I’m here to move the needle forward and the get the conversation going. If I lose my life to do it, so be it.
TRACY: So you’d be willing to lose your life to promote eternal life. Wouldn’t it be better to simply not make the bet and work toward immortality?
JOSH: Oh god no, I don’t want to live in a world with immortality. I just want to profit from being right about it.
JOE: Well then why didn’t you bet with something less valuable than your life?
JOSH: Would that really get the message across though? “Guy bets $1mm on immortality in 90 days” isn’t quite as powerful, is it? Besides, in 90 days $1mm will be worth what, a couple of Big Macs?
JOE: Good point. Or it isn’t and I’m just trying to wrap things up.
TRACY: Let’s leave it there.
JOE: Good idea. Thanks for coming on to Oddest Lots Josh, and good luck on the bet.
JOSH: Hmm thanks but I don’t know, this interview is making me wonder if maybe I should try to save face and back out of the wager–
JOE: NOT THE TIME JOSH. I SAID thanks for coming on to Oddest Lots, maybe see you in 90 days, maybe not. Either way don’t use my disembodied, AI-generated voice for a joke again.
TRACY: That goes for me too.