This is an unusual episode where my old buddy Bill Scannell actually interviews me. Mostly this is a way for people who don’t know me very well to get a sense of who I am and how I think and where I come from. A lot of it’s really about my philosophy and what informs that. Bill does a lot to try and tie that back to how I grew up in Alaska, which may or may not be as relevant as it seems. We don’t really talk too much about projects I’ve worked on, this is just a conversation between friends about, you know, the background, behind a lot of a lot of what I’ve worked on and the things that matter to me, so I hope you really like it.
Bill Scannell is actually one of the most interesting people I know. I met him probably almost 20 years ago at at Cypherpunks meetings. Bill was a spook in the Cold War. He was stationed in Army Intelligence in Eastern Europe doing surveillance and then after that, ended up becoming a war zone journalist and has lived through like seven civil wars with bullets flying over his head. He has got a lot of interesting stories. Most of the interesting stories I know about a living human are about Bill. We don’t get into that too much here. These days Bill is a global strategist. A hacker with a Rolodex.
Want to launch a data haven? Spin-up an international press center in 3 weeks? Get a hacker out of jail? Get the Russian mob off your back? Stop a government surveillance program? How about negotiate with a foreign power over a seasteading misunderstanding? Bill’s your man. There’s a reason why he is on so many people’s speed dial.
It turns out he’s actually really good at interviewing people and I think you’re gonna like the way this came out. So hopefully you enjoy it.