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AMA: Ben Reinhardt, Speculative Technologies

How would you allocate $1-10m personally towards maximising progress? Would a FRO or PARPA be the right choice over say angel investing in startups or funding smaller research projects?

4Benjamin Reinhardt1moAfter a lot [] of research [], I think that one of the most effective ways of allocating order one-$100M towards progress is to enable materials and manufacturing technology research that could shift paradigms but doesn't have a home in current institutions. Those conclusions come from a couple of observations: * A ton of progress is driven by the second order effects of technologies: haber bosch, intended to remove german dependence on south american guano contributed a huge amount to solving overpopulation, etc. * The technologies that most often have those second order effects are how we make things and the stuff we make those things from (ie. materials and manufacturing) * These technologies require systems research [], which in turn needs more coordination than academic incentives provide but is still too uncertain for startups. Unsurprisingly, that's the strategy we're pursuing at Speculative Technologies []. [href] That being said, I'm not a fan of some sort of global prioritization of funding. While in practice everybody must make it, I think that the best thing for one person to spend towards might not be the same as for another person. I do think on the margin additional money towards startups or small projects (<$100k) isn't as helpful as pooling money together with other people to enable a discretely larger or longer project. That could take the form of giving one person ~10 years of guaranteed funding, enabling a team of ~5 people over two or three years, or building a serious piece of infrastructure for a group of weirdos.
AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

Sounds awesome, agree! 

Which research areas would you be most excited to support to accelerate progress (energy comes to mind, open to many more for funding via and, and which "applied metascience" seems most useful beyond new institutions for funding r&d such as PARPA, FROs? 

1jasoncrawford4moNanotech and longevity seem underrated. A few years ago I would have said fusion but now there seems to be a lot of investment there.
Welcome to the Progress Forum!

Excited for this, great idea to bring the discussion together in one place. 

AMA: Jason Crawford, The Roots of Progress

How would you allocate $10 million to create the most positive long-term progress? 

2jasoncrawford4moPersonally, I would put it towards the mission of The Roots of Progress, which is to to establish a new philosophy of progress [] for the 21st century. As I wrote in an announcement [] a few months ago: I described this more in “What would a thriving progress movement look like? []” Other than that, I would be inclined to fund innovative new models for R&D, such as Ben Reinhardt's Private ARPA [] or Convergent Research's FROs [].