Icosian Reflections

…a tendency to systematize and a keen sense

that we live in a broken world.

Onward, again

This January, I left my job as a trader at Jane Street (most recently in Hong Kong) to take a role leading a project at the FTX Foundation. I have positive things to say about Jane Street as an excellent place for many of my friends to work, and my open offer of thoughts and advice to anyone hoping to work there remains, well, open.

Looking forward, I'm thrilled to be working with the Foundation because I want to help build a better future. I've been interested in thoughtful, rigorous, altruistic attempts to improve the world since 2013, and pledged in 2016 to donate at least a tenth of my income to the most effective organizations I can find. I am beyond excited to find an opportunity where I estimate I'll do even more good than I could by earning and donating a quant trader's salary (which I still think was really, really good for the world, on any objective scale).

It's still early days here, and we don't yet know all that the things the Foundation's work will cover. To start, colleagues of mine just launched the Future Fund, a grantmaking initiative with the goal of improving the lives of future generations in highly levered ways. The launch blog post, Areas of Interest, and Project Ideas pages give a taste of where the Future Fund has set their sights, and I'm extremely excited about the possible ways their work can go from here.

For my own work, I'm not working on grantmaking or the Future Fund directly. Rather, I'm currently heads-down on an in-house skunkworks moonshot to make the world safer against catastrophic pandemics. (More on that later. Hopefully.)

In some ways, it's very very different from my work as a trader, and in others it's not so far -- I wake up, try to understand the world as best I can (which isn't much), try to make the best choices I can under massive uncertainty, and try to make tomorrow go better. I'm trying to pour new knowledge into my brain just as fast as I can digest it; I'd forgotten how much fun this was.

Logistically, I'm now based out of Nassau, The Bahamas. It's much, much, much easier for me to travel to the States than when I was in Hong Kong! Let me know if you'd like to hang out.