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I wanted to add a (possible, additional) factor in that I didn’t see included, although I don’t know how you would test it. Guess: because of the size and interconnectedness/maturity of SF’s homeless network, it might be easier to be less isolated/more connected while homeless in SF than in other places. It seems clear that in some parts of SF (I’m thinking of particular streets in SOMA and the Tenderloin, and at Civic Center) the people who live on the streets are connecting with each other and also often enjoying each other’s company. They look like friends. And this may be part of what makes the homeless population more visible in SF than in other places—they’re hanging out together, often talking loudly, and they’re often in the same place all the time, every day. There is a social scene it is possible to be part of, and this might feel better than living alone somewhere much nicer.

(There are still many people who seem both isolated and homeless, too.)

Hi Cathleen. As someone inadvertently but meaningfully once tangled up in this story who you probably don’t know, I have a deep admiration, gratitude and respect for this post and your decision to write it and post it publicly. I read all of it, and might yet read it again. It helped to make sense of the story and the parts relevant to me in a way that is, in real time, updating and improving my understanding of how different people with different personalities can participate in the same situation and come out of it with different struggles and different earned wisdom. Yours is a perspective I’ve been missing, so thank you for having the courage and grace to share it.

Upvoted because Anna articulated a lot of what I wanted to say but didn’t have the energy or clarity to say with such nuance.

Thank you for keeping that promise; I imagine it wasn’t easy to write.

I wouldn’t, but I also wouldn’t consider that to be the case for many of the speculative startups I’ve worked at, in hindsight.

I consider ‘wasting millions of dollars’ to be a shitty thing to do, but also unfortunately common. I think focusing on whether the money was wasted is distracting (and perhaps dismissive) away from the stories being told.

This may be a crux; Walter may just value personal suffering versus use of economic resources differently to me.

I feel like if you read Zoe’s medium post, read the parts where she described enduring cPTSD symptoms like panic attacks, flashbacks and paranoia consistently for two years after leaving Leverage, and then rounded that off to ‘she felt useless and bailed’ then, idk dude, we live in two different worlds.

I would also be very interested in a timeline for this.

I really don’t know about the experience of a lot of the other ex-Leveragers, but the time it took her to post it, the number and kind of allies she felt she needed before posting it, and the hedging qualifications within the post itself detailing her fears of retribution, plus just how many peoples’ initial responses to the post were to applaud her courage, might give you a sense that Zoe’s post was unusually, extremely difficult to make public, and that others might not have that same willingness yet (she even mentions it at the bottom, and presumably she knows more about how other ex-Leveragers feel than we do).

I’m someone with a family history of psychosis and I spend quite a lot of time researching it—treatments, crisis response, cultural responses to it. There are roughly the same number of incidences of psychosis in my immediate to extended family than are described in this post in the extended rationalist community. Major predictive factors include stress, family history and use of marijuana (and, to a lesser extent, other psychedelics). I don’t have studies to back this up but I have an instinct based on my own experience that openness-to-experience and risk-of-psychosis are correlated in family risk factors. So given the drugs, stress and genetic openness, I’d expect generic Bay Area smart people to have a fairly high risk of psychosis compared to, say, people in more conservative areas already.

You might not be able to say this, but I’m wondering whether it’s one of the NDAs Zoe references Geoff pressuring people to sign at the end of Leverage 1.0 in 2019,

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