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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Nov 18, 2022

Must not blog about FTX . . . must not blog about . . . ah, $#@% it


Tyler Cowen linked Milky Eggs’ excellent overview of the FTX crash. I’m unqualified to comment on any of the financial or regulatory aspects. But it turns out there’s a psychopharmacology angle, which I am qualified to talk about, so let’s go.

I wrote this pretty rushed because it’s an evolving news story. Sorry if it’s less polished than usual.1

1: Was SBF Using A Medication That Can Cause Overspending And Compulsive Gambling As A Side Effect?

Probably yes, and maybe it could have had some small effect, but probably not as much as the people discussing it on Twitter think.

Milky Eggs reports a claim by an employee that Sam was on “a patch for designer stimulants that mainlined them into his blood to give him a constant buzz at all times”. This could be a hyperbolic description of Emsam, a patch form of the antidepressant/antiparkinsonian agent selegiline. The detectives at the @AutismCapital Twitter account found a photo of SBF, zoomed in on a scrap of paper on his desk, and recognized it as an Emsam wrapper.