|Admission To Sugar Baby U.|
|Guest||Kimberly De La Cruz|
|Release Date||29 July 2020|
One of the pillars of the American Dream has been that of seeing your children go to college. And, for the many families that can't afford the cost of soaring university tuitions, a new controversial institution has arisen to address the problem. That institution is Sugar Baby University, a tuition assistance campaign that attempts to allow attractive young women, and a smaller number of handsome young men, find generous older men to date in the quest to complete a new version of the American Dream by graduating debt free in an era which has made it all but impossible to discharge student debt even in personal bankruptcy since 2005.
This year, Sugar Baby University is 'graduating' it's fifth class with thousands of alumni in its network that stretches from coast to coast and includes institutions of higher education from local community colleges to research universities and ivy league colleges. If you know many young graduates, the chances have been increasing that one of them has quietly matriculated in response to the crisis of crushing debt payments. Yet despite widespread awareness of the program on campuses by students and financial aid advisors via word of mouth, the world of Universities and mainstream media news outlets have tacitly given their approval to the campaign by remaining strangely silent as tuitions have continued to climb an unbelievable average of 8-9% per year.
In this episode we do not pass judgement on Sugar Baby University, it's parent company 'Seeking Arrangement' or it's spokesperson Kimberly De La Cruz, who is our guest. Rather, we celebrate their openness to discuss the situation, and question, instead, the universities, politicians, media, and the lending industry, who have quietly created the desperate need for this program which they do not openly discuss and prefer not to address at all.
We also note that Kimberly is approximately 15 years from the date she took on her own student loans which leaves her still approximately $50,000.00 in debt. We have asked her to start a GoFundMe campaign so that we could make a contribution of $1000 dollars to let her know that we appreciate her honesty in being willing to talk openly about the terrible crisis on which her very business and livelihood now depends. I ask my listeners, who can easily afford it, to simply donate $10 dollars as a simple show of appreciation and solidarity with a woman who I have no doubt would, if it were possible with the wave of a wand, put her own company out of business by making attending college the beginning of a new American Dream, rather than the start of a familiar financial nightmare. If $10.00 is too much, pledge the minimum you can just to send a message of solidarity. The show now gets hundreds of thousands of listens per episode. A small number of contributions will go a long way.
Lastly: She's not the one asking for this. I am. And thank you.
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Eric Weinstein 0:06 Hi, it's Eric with this episode's audio essay. The subject today is "Optics". I want to try to use this essay to formulate a simple law for social media, but to do so, I would like to put it within a context of other such laws to which it is akin. In the first place, we have a theory within economics stated using only five words, and known as Say's Law after Jean-Baptiste Say, which states simply this: supply creates its own demand. That is to say, if you have a truckload of some object for which there is demand, say, chairs, for example, its sale will result in increased demand for other goods from the profits obtained. And thus, Say's Law links the concepts of aggregate supply and demand, which may have previously been thought by some to be independent. A similar law in the theory of communications was that of Marshall McLuhan, whose famous five word adage, "the medium is the message", can be interpreted as saying that the vehicle of communications is actually likely to be the principal constituent of the payload it delivers.
While these laws are well known, they are not often connected, despite having a similar flavor. In both cases, they link two concepts which are traditionally considered as connected complements. In this spirit, what I would like to experiment with here is the introduction of a five word law for social media. It may be stated either as "the optics or the substance" or "optics create their own substance", depending upon whether one wishes to follow McLuhan or Say, respectively.
Now what do I mean by this? Well, consider the effect of a smartphone on human cognition. To be clear, we must acknowledge that such a remarkable device gives us the ability to dive deeply into any subject we care to investigate, but, if we are honest, we must admit that it is even more likely in practice to distract us constantly and dilute our attention than to be the tool that we hope we will utilize for noble means. Thus, we very seldom do dive deeply into any of the subjects which come across our feeds, searches, and screens. And even if we do pursue a news story or update into the weeds, it is very unlikely that large numbers of other users will do so alongside us.
Thus, the most important aspect of a story may well not be its underlying substance or truth, but it's optics instead. That is, our intuitive sense of an update may well be expected to be the extent of our engagement with that story. Specific five word specializations of this as-yet unnamed law might be: "The headline is the article" or "The publisher is the politics". Knowing that an unedited video was leaked to appear on James O'Keefe's Project Veritas is presumably sufficient to make sure that it is not taken seriously by any center-left institution. The optics of the United States' cleverly named Black Lives Matter movement are stated clearly in the title. To oppose this organization for its platforms, the self declared Marxist agenda pushed by its founders, or its bizarre foray into the politics of the Middle East, where there are very few black American lives, is not possible under this law of social media without becoming a racist in the eyes of the internet. Why? Because the optics are in the title, and thus, the implied substance of the organization is designed to make it impossible to oppose without catastrophic costs to those reacting to the nuanced found in the details.
But what, then, is the new role of what we would have previously considered the substance, before the advent of the smartphone and the social internet? Well, this remains a curious question. Let us, for the remainder of this episode, take a radical stance and call this "legacy reality". You see, in legacy reality, all sorts of things are happening that contradict our new five word law. For example, in legacy reality, a white man named Tony Timpa was killed in Dallas under almost identical circumstances to those in which George Floyd in Minneapolis later lost his life. Timpa was held down on camera for a comparable amount of time: 11+ minutes for Timpa to the 8+ minutes in which Floyd suffered, but he was white, while Floyd was black. Yet there's bizarrely no concept of Timpa's death being significant, except in one regard: it shows that we have, as yet, no ability to say which of these deaths is provably racially motivated in the absence of further evidence, and thus, to raise the issue is to question the optics of fluids death.
In short, Floyd's death was, optically, a lynching. Therefore, in the era of social media, it was, in substance, a lynching as well by our new law, and the introduction of Timpa's death is to use legacy reality to question modern substance. Now, the reason I say "modern substance" here is that the implied racism of Floyd's death as an example of a clear optical lynching was sufficient to propel millions into the streets. And, truth be told, the issue of structural racism and the differential application of policing, trial, sentencing, and incarceration along racial lines has a long and nauseating history from the era of slavery into the present. Thus, the nonsense that powerful Americans have traditionally used to avoid looking directly at the shame of differential treatment within our criminal justice system, particularly for nonviolent drug-related crimes, was matched by the new substance of an optical lynching. Organizers were effectively saying to us, "So what if we don't know for a certainty that it is a lynching in legacy reality? It was at a minimum a much needed optical lynching to galvanize the real change we need, and for which we have waited far too long."
With that said, the very real changes that are likely to come about as a result of an optical lynching may or may not be for the good, but a sudden injection of unwanted legacy reality is extremely likely to result in buzzkill and the mood spoilage of any movement that is being coordinated not through groupthink, but group-feel.
So why have optics been so successful in overtaking legacy reality of late? I believe that for a variety of reasons, we've changed what would be called the recursion depth were we in computer science here, rather than the politics of civil society. Well, I trust that most of my readers are well aware as adults that an irrational number such as pi cannot be computed from a simple fraction. Some of us can still remember the first time we were told that this is not true, and that twenty-two sevenths solves the problem. In fact, twenty-two sevenths seems equal to pi, but only to two decimal places of accuracy, before the two decimal expressions part ways once and for all.
Far fewer of us know that the so called "perfect fifth" in western music is in fact not perfect at all. It is ever-so-slightly flat, and below the pure Pythagorean fifth, producing a ratio of the frequencies of "so" to "do" of approximately 1.4983, rather than 3 to 2, or 1.5.
Now both these examples show us that we can be easily fooled into thinking we understand a situation by not carrying out an investigation beyond a certain limit. In fact, we cannot afford to give infinite attention and resources to investigating every problem. And so, we must cut off our investigations at some point. Sometime between 1971, when Herb Simon started thinking about attention economics in 2001, when the attention economy concept finally gained enough momentum from Devonport, Beck, and others, to propel it into greater mainstream awareness, a huge opportunity was missed. That opportunity was the study of the corresponding market for inattention. For example, in the news media business, many people think that there is always a search for the most eyeballs, yet they're also arose a concept called "The Friday News Dump", which sought to find the spot in the week where people would give the least attention for the dissemination of bad news. Likewise, print media writers learn to hide their true underlying stories by "burying the lead", when the main story had to be told, but was not favorable to the papers way of thinking. This would sometimes be handled what is internally called the "To Be Sure" paragraph, where the author too often effectively confesses the mitigating truth that they had hoped to avoid, at least until the penultimate paragraph many layers deep.
Well, what happens when you can actually calculate where your audience will stop reading, listening, feeling or thinking? Studies have suggested that just over half of all people spend 15 seconds or less reading an article while digitally grazing.
Likewise, nearly three out of five link sharers have not so much as clicked on the headline that they are passing on. These dispiriting findings for professional writers would be akin within computer programming to finding out that somebody had reset the Python byte compilers recursion limit, which is usually initially set by default to something near 1000 out of the box, to a single digit number.
This, however, creates a fantastic opportunity for those whose ethics are sufficiently flexible. A particular form of our five word law, when applied to news media would be "the headline generates the story", or "the headline is the story". Once this has been discovered, we see that, increasingly, the purpose of the article in our era is not to inform, but to minimally support the desired headline for wide dissemination. Other forms of this principle are that, at least in the eyes of the weak and the dim, "the slogan is the platform", "accusation generates its own conviction", "the indignation is the reputation", "swarms generate their own consensus", "the messengers the message", and "the aspiration is the implementation". This also explains the underlying wisdom of the moronic phrase, "not a good look, bro". It is often a warning that you were saying something in legacy reality without regard for the optical limits of the situation.
Here, the most important word may well be "bro", as a corruption or shortening of "brother", letting you know that you are now in an informal world where barely the first three letters will be read before the word becomes too cumbersome to complete. In an attempt to sum up, then, I will leave you with this:
There is not only a market for your attention, but one for your inattention as well. Your smartphone may well put all the world's information at your fingertips as is so often remarked upon, but unlike the fabled Library of Alexandria, it puts all the world's disinformation, misinformation, noise, and distraction as well. And what our CEOs and technologists have learned is that your emotions are responsive to optics and not substance when there are cat and GoPro videos to be watched.
Increasingly, there will be a war on anyone found to be attempting to traffick in higher recursion limits. I recently remarked on Twitter on the situation in Portland, where the nightly battle over the federal courthouse is generating two separate false narratives. In one narrative increasingly found on the right the City of Portland, Oregon is sloppily described as burning and constantly at war, which is not, as the ritualized battle is now confined to a single massive federal building as I write this into particular hours of the night. In the other narrative, peaceful protesters protected by moms and veterans are being attacked by federal fascists without provocation. Unfortunately for those pushing the latter narrative, any honest review of the videos circulating from citizen journalists will quickly dispel the illusion that a non-political mainstream media is dispassionately reporting all the news that is fit to print. What actually seems to be going on, which I have worked out with my brother, who has first hand knowledge of the situation on the ground in Portland, is that each side is trying to get attacked above a certain level before responding. That sounds crazy, of course, but the value going into the election is to generate video that optically moves the needle. As crazy as that sounds, the fatality count is so far thankfully absurdly low in the Pacific Northwest, given the violence because both the rioters, as opposed to the protesters, and federal agents, seem to be competing to be attacked.
After all, it bizarrely appears that there's nothing more powerful in this media era than being a victim. Everything is reversed. And, in a presidential election year, with the country in turmoil, the rule of the land is victim takes all. So what did I say on Twitter that is worth discussing? That the behavior and absence of a cognitively declining Joe Biden from the national scene, and the extreme nature of the radicalized left seems to be creating a collection of people that I never thought that I would see, the never-Trump Trump voter. It seems that almost everyday people write to me and tell me that they voted for Hillary and or Bernie, despise Trump, see him as evil, dangerous, and mentally impaired, but now, paradoxically, view him as the last remaining alternative to the party of Mayor Wheeler of Portland, and Mayor Jenny of Seattle, currently experimenting with the abolish-law-enforcement movement, which is now both seen and denied everywhere by the Democratic Party and its allied media. I have conversed publicly with such never-Trump Trump voters on my Instagram Live q&a walks which I've been doing under Covid. I've even generated a video with Joe Rogan that has been seen by 6.5 million people on YouTube alone, where Joe said that he would vote for anyone over Biden despite having no love of Trump.
Yet I found myself besieged by thousands of accounts that I had never heard of for daring to insist that this phenomenon, that can be easily seen and validated, is in fact, seeable. "Name one person who was left of center and would vote for Trump over Biden!", came the challenge from the swarm. This bewildered me at the time. Then I saw thousands of almost identical tweets with the same weird meme. "Cool story, bro. Did you hear this hanging out in a hipster coffee shop? That totally happened, right?" I must admit, I was relieved. This was coordinated, as it turned out, by someone with 13 million followers on Twitter, who ran what was termed a "pod" that coordinated swarming behavior. The fact that all of these tweets could be instantly invalidated was not the point. No one cared about their credibility. The point was that the optics are the substance and a swarm is sufficient to generate the optics needed. At some point I saw that the swarm included not just internet trolls, but verified accounts, including one of a Stanford professor.
"A Stanford professor?", I just shook my head. The recursion limit was now set at one on a bright warm day in July and the clocks were all striking 13. But it was alright. Everything was alright. The struggle was finished.
After a few brief words from our sponsors, I'll be back to introduce the guest for today's episode.
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Today's guest is not simply the highly intelligent, engaging and well spoken 31-year-old college dropout Kimberly Dela Cruz, who is about to talk to you as the spokesperson for sugar baby University. I'm instead asking you to suspend disbelief slightly and imagine that I'm also interviewing the extremely promising and precocious 16 year old college entrance she once was 15 years ago. I want you to think about a highly intelligent, 16 year old girl who accelerated her life in response to the death of her sister, and who was immediately saddled with student debt that she was encouraged to take on, so that she could realize her college dream.
Now I know that sounds a bit weird, given that she was a minor, yet because I also graduated high school at 16, and my daughter did so as well. I can tell you that there's no shortage of us who, as minors, are put in this adult position as we find each other and swap stories. It may be slightly uncommon, but not so rare that the system isn't waiting to take full advantage of us before our 18th birthday. And while some do it by skipping grades, others do it out of desperation, such as escaping a dire home situation. In my case, I remember being encouraged in 1982, as a 16 year old freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, to visit what I remember as being Logan Hall to load up on student loans for tuition help and even extra "spending money", to fully enjoy campus life.
My recollection was that 16 was the minimum age to be eligible for some student loans, while some others require that I'd be 17 or 18. I remember being infuriated that I was being counseled as a minor to take on the loans without being fully informed as to what I was actually engaging in as a binding legal contract. I stormed out of the office, never to return again.
More than two decades later, in 2005, those types of loans that I was fortunate to be able to avoid, would be made exceedingly difficult to discharge even in bankruptcy due to lobbying from the lending industry, which caused even supposedly moderate senators, Clinton, McCain and Biden, not to oppose the measure. This is a story about our most sacred institutions of secular American Life. We know our school songs like we know our hymnal, we incorporate our school colors into our sense of ourselves. We engage in ritualized behavior that binds generations of alumni. We even ritualistically contest with other tribes on the field of play. And so, too often we do not ask the hard question to those institutions whom we trust most.
A short time ago, the field of medicine was transformed by even illage in his 1975 book Medical Nemesis by the introduction of a previously obscure concept, Iatrogenic Harm. That is, the harm caused by healers went from being largely taboo to being increasingly widely discussed. That concept proved revolutionary because, as it turned out, an enormous amount of harm was being inflicted due to medical sloppiness. The wide scope for harm appeared to result from the very nature of the trusting relationship between patient and healer.
After Iatrogenic Harm, we moved to the naming and discovery of citation cartels in 1999, which showed that academicians were forming unethical shadow groups to boost the apparent worth of each other's minor research by frivolously citing each other's studies, in an environment of dwindling resources, in an effort to trick funders into backing questionable investigations.
What might be termed Sacragenic Harm exploded in 2002, with the discovery of pedophile priest networks within the Catholic Church, which accelerated via reporting by the Boston Globe.
The emerging awareness of what my termed Scienogenics, beginning around 2010, became an issue due to the so called reproducibility crisis where enormous numbers of claim results in the already peer reviewed literature could not be replicated by other scientists.
Having dispensed with medicine, research, science and religion, it is now time to approach the remaining pillars of the harm inflicted by previously trusted institutions.
Having learned our lessons from medicine, research, religion and science, it is now time to approach to remaining institutional pillars of civil society.
Consider the harm inflicted by previously trusted sectors that have so far largely escaped our focus unaltered. "Journogenic" and "Edugenic" harm, or the harm done by journalists and educators from their asymmetric positions of trust. Let us save Journogenic Harm for a future episode. In the case of Edugenic Harm, the issue of student loans will be our first stop here at The Portal. Pick almost any leading research university in the United States. Without knowing which one, I will be able to tell you a great many things that I should not be able to say without knowing its name.
In the first place, your chosen university would have had an approximately 50% chance in 1980 of being headed by someone in their 30s or 40s. In the year 2020, it is now almost certainly headed by a baby boomer president aged 55 to 74, with negligible exception. Its permanent faculty has a median age which has increased considerably. Its graduates are now struggling to find careers. Its tenured professors have dwindled as a percentage of the teaching faculty, while a higher percentage of classes are taught by temporary journeyman workers called adjuncts, postdocs and graduate students. stunningly, the ranks of its administrators have mysteriously exploded far beyond the growth in the student body. Its scientific research work is increasingly performed by workers misleadingly called students and trainees and, relative to 1980, a much larger percentage come from a tiny number of Asian countries and are paid with visas which are meaningless to their American and permanent resident counterparts, who now flee the depressed salaries in the sector. It is also right now engaged in a process of lowering its standards of rigor, as well as its academic expectations, as it becomes increasingly dominated by a radical left perspective, alien, even to most members of the former academic radical left.
In short, is a far less vital and valuable institution than it ever was in the past, largely living off its former glory. But the most important thing to understand is that has been doubling its tuition approximately every 9 to 10 years, soaring well above the rates of regular and even medical inflation. What I'm asking from you, the listener, in this interview is not to trust me beyond simply looking into this crumbling of the greatest of American institutions. When you are finished, please consider sharing a link to this episode with someone working at a research university born before or during the baby boom, and ask them the following question: "After listening to this episode, do you want to know whether your daughter or your doctor or your nurse or their friends, lovers, colleagues and coworkers, ever matriculated at Sugar Baby University, out of desperation due to the extraordinary and usurious practice of transfusing the young to pay for the Lifestyles of the ageing permanent staff at this university?"
After all, not all of those second homes and fine German sedans were paid for by savings from those fabled paper routes in the 1970s that many of us in my generation are now tired of hearing about. And let me just say this to my younger listeners, if I were you millennials, I would realize that the key to your future is to realize that organized labor was lost as a voting bloc. Organized identity grievance was not the right replacement for that critical sector of the electorate. I say this out of love and compassion, organized debt was the right replacement for organized labor. Let me give you a tip from billionaire Jay Paul Getty, so you know where my heart lies. He said, and I quote, If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank 100 million dollars, that's the bank's problem. Your parents and grandparents are still here for the most part, but you need to Confederate, because as much as you owe, none of you individually owe your lenders enough to get this to work. It collectively, if you invent debt unions on a mass scale, you will for the first time in your lives, be a major force to be reckoned with.
You millennials make up the core of my audience, so it is natural that I've gotten to know many of you and your predicament starting a fulfilling life at an age when many of you secretly want to buy homes and start your families. So I do know at a personal level, why I care about your future. But to be honest, I don't fully understand why I care about you collectively more than your parents and grandparents, as you aren't really my generation's direct responsibility. That said, I do care and I envy your numbers. Here's what I ask of you in return for this show. My children are not millennials, they are Generation Z, born in 2002 and 2005, and as much as I love you guys, I am far more responsible to them as they enter the same system. The two generations in front of my generation X cohort are now just into transfusing their third straight generation to support their unsustainable desire to live out their days in the style to which they've accustomed themselves, and it is now threatening the Republic. My suggestion to you is to stop wasting your time and your sheer size, and instead, send the message that you expect to them, and not you, to clean up the various ticking financial time bombs that they have left, and that will dwarf the 2008 and .com crises combined. Don't simply pay off your debt. together you will a fortune, perhaps a trillion dollars.
Use the internet to find a way to collectively renegotiate this colossal burden with which you have been saddled. Then please take care of my children's generation the way I am trying to take care of yours. You millennials, with your vast numbers, owe yourselves and them a real future. It's not too late; get smarter. It's largely too late for my cohort, but if you act smartly, I believe we will have your back. I've been very impressed with many of you individually, so I have my fingers crossed and my sleeves rolled up to help. Good luck.
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Hello, you found the portal. I'm your host, Eric Weinstein, and I am here today, sitting down with Kimberly Dela Cruz from Sugar Baby University and Seeking Arrangement. Kimberly, welcome to The Portal.
Kimberly De La Cruz 27:08 Thanks for having me.
Eric Weinstein 27:09 So we've been talking about this for a little while. And I'm thrilled that you're finally out here from Las Vegas. But before we get started, I want to give you something of the context for why we're talking about this. I've been something of a critic of our university system. And one of the things that's hard to do with the university system is to talk about something where people have incredible emotional attachments. They view their university as something that they integrate into their lives. They're proud that they're the first person let's say in their family to attend college. And in fact, they know the songs they continue to wear the school colors. So it's really tightly woven into our sense of identity. And because of that, it's very difficult to talk about some of the real issues that are cropping up with universities and I know that you're very interested in these issues you're experiencing some of them as a graduate yourself, or as somebody who's gone to school, and you guys have developed an extremely unique business around some of the issues that have cropped up around tuition. So the first thing I'd like to do is just to get a little bit of a background for you so that our audience can get to know you a little bit better and understand how your context informs what you do as a spokesperson for sugar baby University and all of seeking arrangement in general. Am I right that you started college actually at 16?
Kimberly De La Cruz 28:31 Yes, I did. I started college while I was in high school,
Eric Weinstein 28:34 And how is it that you came to start college if you don't mind, just giving us a little bit of the background?
Kimberly De La Cruz 28:39 Sure. I had a little bit of a complicated family situation which made it difficult for me to attend regularly, like you're supposed to, which put me behind and so the only way that I saw that I would be able to graduate with my class was to take advantage of a program where I could go to college while I was also in high school and earn those credits that were worth more, and finish faster.
Eric Weinstein 29:03 Terrific. So you took an accelerated, you took a little bit of adversity in your family and you turned it into an accelerated entrance into the exciting world of higher ed. But that also meant that you were starting college at 16. And so you are not even yet an adult and committing yourself to something of a payment schedule. Were your parents are able to make college workout easily for you so that you didn't have to think about tuition?
Kimberly De La Cruz 29:30 No, they were not I think the most help my mom was able to give me in getting into college was knowing how to fill out a FAFSA. And it stopped there.
Eric Weinstein 29:39 What is that?
Kimberly De La Cruz 29:40 Your financial aid application to get into school. So at 16 as you can imagine, I think I was making $5 an hour 10 hours a week, so
Unknown Speaker 29:48 probably
Eric Weinstein 29:48 probably not also highly sophisticated about calling up your lawyers to get them to read all the documents. So do you feel that you had fairly complete information as a 16 year old about what going to college and signing up for tuition entailed?
Kimberly De La Cruz 30:04 I don't. And I really feel like there's another side of that too. You take out these huge loans and it pays for your tuition, and it's supposed to pay for your books. But then you get this leftover amount of money that you don't necessarily have to take, but you don't really know what it's for. It's for living expenses, I guess, with at least a program that I was on. And so I was getting this extra money as well committing to this loan knowing I was gonna have to pay it back later. But at 16, 17 years old, you have no idea what that means. It's just a couple of extra hundred dollars, which is a lot of money to you. So probably spent it on shoes or clothes or gas and
Eric Weinstein 30:39 very understandable in the life of a 16 year old girl. I have a daughter slightly older than that. And she finished college finished high school at 16. So sort of a similar thing. I went to college at 16. So I do think that this, it's not that common, but it's not that rare either. I bumped into people all the time who started that age.
Can you tell me a little bit then about when you paid off your student loans?
Kimberly De La Cruz 31:06 I have not. So I
Eric Weinstein 31:08 Well wait a second, I don't want to ask you your age. But if you wanted to volunteer it for the portal audience, I would be happy to take it.
Kimberly De La Cruz 31:13 Yeah. So I'm 31. So I've had these loans for 15 years, and I've been in and out of higher education. In that time, I think I stopped going to school. It's been five years now. But I have still almost $50,000 in student loan debt.
Eric Weinstein 31:28 50,000 seems like a fair chunk to me. Maybe I'm getting that wrong. Do you have an idea that you'll be able to pay that off in the next year or two?
Kimberly De La Cruz 31:35 A fair chunk? No. I mean, I think it's the average cost of tuition is about $10,000 a year. So that makes sense. But would I be able to pay that off in the next year? I mean, no, I mean, we're talking for a lot of people my age, that's the salary, you know, how would we ever think of having that kind of extra money?
Eric Weinstein 31:52 Do you have any other friends who haven't paid off their debt?
Kimberly De La Cruz 31:56 I know very, a lot of friends who haven't paid off their debt, ones who I actually kind of have to share with them how to navigate repayment options, whether that's Income Based Repayment or deferment, if you really just simply cannot pay. I had one friend who was paying upwards of like $350 a month on these student loans making $40,000 a year. Now you got to think that's, you know, almost a third of a paycheck for this person. That's a lot of money.
Eric Weinstein 32:23 very hefty chunk.
Kimberly De La Cruz 32:25 Yeah.
Eric Weinstein 32:25 Now, are you telling me that your friends are in your age cohort and the in general 15 years after the fact for you or something comparable for them, most of your friends are still carrying around really sizable student debt?
Kimberly De La Cruz 32:38 Yeah. And I think either they've chosen to ignore it over time. You know, you kind of are trying to get started in life looking for a job or, you know, you didn't really land what you wanted to go to school for and you have to work in, you know, the restaurant industry or something like that. And you aren't able to so you think it's gonna go away and, and it doesn't and then the interest builds and builds and you get to a point in your life where you can stop and look at it again, and it hasn't been paid off at all. And I think 10 years, 15 years went by really fast for a lot of us.
Eric Weinstein 33:07 Yeah. Well, now, we're having this interview in 2020. So because, uh, you have to know that I am a math PhD. So let me calculate. That started in 2005.
Kimberly De La Cruz 33:19 I would have been, yeah, 2005, 2006 school year.
Eric Weinstein 33:22 Now, the interesting thing about 2005 is that that's an important date in the history of student debt in the United States, because in 1976, we went from being able to easily discharge student debt, it is my understanding, in bankruptcy, to making it somewhat more difficult. And then in 2005, there was a bill which made it almost impossible to discharge student debt even in bankruptcy, unless you could prove extraordinary hardship. So the interesting thing about that bill is who voted for it and who chose to not vote against it. So I don't know if you know anything about the voting right?
Kimberly De La Cruz 34:05 I don't please tell me.
Eric Weinstein 34:06 Well, for example, john mccain Republican, voted to make this impossible, or at least very difficult to discharge without extraordinary hardship even in bankruptcy. Hillary Clinton chose not to vote, if I recall correctly, so she abstained. But the current candidate for the Democratic Party presumptively Joe Biden, did not follow most of the members of his party and in fact voted to support making it so difficult to for students to get rid of their debt.
Kimberly De La Cruz 34:41 Interesting.
Eric Weinstein 34:42 Now,
Kimberly De La Cruz 34:42 I think a lot of people need to know that.
Eric Weinstein 34:44 Well, I think that they're going to because I have a feeling that a lot of people are really going to enjoy our conversation probably as much as I have. Now, you're in an interesting position because you're saddled with student debt, but student debt is in part part of your business and the existence of the sort of, now, you don't have to say it. But I can say predatory situation where the universities which are trusted with our children's futures and building the country, have in fact been doing something that nobody really has been very comfortable talking about. They've loaded up the staffing of the universities, not with professors, but with, instead, administrators, and that the cost of tuition has had a very interesting trajectory. Now, you mentioned about $10,000 for tuition now, but I think the average I believe that that's in state, yes, it is for public. Yes. And undergrad. So yes, I think out of state is north of $20,000, for public.
Kimberly De La Cruz 35:43 Yes.
Eric Weinstein 35:43 And if I'm not mistaken, private, is something north of $35,000 per year. It's insane to me. And let me see I'm sure anyone with two neurons to rub together
Kimberly De La Cruz 35:58 and it limits your options if I want to go to school.
somewhere else. And you know, as a little kid, I did dream of that I wanted to go to NYU, I wanted to go to Berkeley, I had dreams of just being anywhere other than where I was from
Eric Weinstein 36:02 Did well on tests?
Kimberly De La Cruz 36:12 Yeah, I did. I was always always ahead and in the challenge courses, if you will, and so I just had big dreams and when I turned 16, and then eventually 18, where it was time for me to think about, you know, doing something aside from my a continuing my education. I just realized there was no way there was no way I'd have to go to Washington School and Washington State Washington State School. Yeah. And I just had no interest in it. You know, it wasn't what I wanted to do. So it's incredibly limiting in what you can do as a young person. Were you able to finish your degree? Well, I finished my AA, and then I associate my associates degree. Yes. And then I transferred to UNLV and then eventually to oversee Nevada, Las Vegas. Yes, sorry, University of Las Vegas, and then eventually to Walter Cronkite at ASU to study journalism
Eric Weinstein 37:04 Arizona State University. See how I'm doing?
Kimberly De La Cruz 37:06 you're a better AP style journalist and I am first rapper. You know that I should have no. Um Yeah, so I am nine credits away actually from my bachelor's in journalism, but I had some unique experiences which were more meaningful to me in terms of career, which is where I kind of had this like, I'm on the fence of this is college what we really want everyone to be doing can we think about skills and trades and stuff instead? But I know that I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for my experiences in colleges, which eventually led me to get internships and so you have $50,000 worth of debt at age 31. Yeah, that you initiated around the time you were 16 not even an adult. And you have an associate's degree rather than a BA. Right and I we can get into the complications about how I cannot finish now because I according to the government, I've extended as much as I can in terms of student loans for a Bachelor's
Unknown Speaker 38:00 degree. So I will not be able to take out anything else if I want to finish my nine credits and the school that I go to is out of state. So it'd be out of pocket like 13 $14,000 for me to get the remaining credits that I need. So I think I would love to use your situation individually. I call attention to this. Because then your career takes a very interesting turn, you end up as a reporter, and you have an interesting beat. And what was that?
Kimberly De La Cruz 38:29 So it's not a real beat. It's a figurative beat. It's the brothel beat. And it's probably awful. But
Eric Weinstein 38:34 I've never heard of the brothel beat.
Kimberly De La Cruz 38:35 Well, if you've ever worked for a Nevada newspaper, we might be the only place that has one. So I worked for the biggest daily in Nevada, as a breaking news reporter in turn for quite some time and then just started to find sources and the ability to cover these sort of niche industries that other people couldn't get access to. I think it was because I was a woman and I was really
Just curious and understanding and empathetic and non judgmental about it. So I got to spend a lot of time in Nevada's brothels and strip clubs and just telling the stories of these sex workers. And learning about the industry is fascinating.
Eric Weinstein 39:16 Both you and I have the idea that commercial sex work is something that we have to accept it has always existed. And we're not always happy about it. But we're also trying to also limit the extent to which we're judgmental because people have various means some people really enjoy it. Other people are pressed into horrific situations, you know, close close to slavery in our traffic. So it's a giant spectrum of different behaviors. Is that a fair statement?
Kimberly De La Cruz 39:43 That's absolutely fair. I mean, look at Jeffrey Epstein and what's going on right now. I mean, for me to say I'm pro sex working pro this industry, I think you have to be really careful to say it but I'm not pro any sort of human trafficking any when you're talking about
Eric Weinstein 39:55 minors, you're not talking about commercial sex work, even off of Off legal,
Kimberly De La Cruz 40:02 right? I think in having these conversations with the everyday person, though, who maybe isn't as well versed as you are you and I, in the subject, they don't understand the difference.
Eric Weinstein 40:09 So can we call them CS W's just so you're not constantly saying the word sex? We absolutely can.
Kimberly De La Cruz 40:15 I don't know this was for children.
Eric Weinstein 40:18 In that seat, we've also had Ashley Matthews, who is the actress behind the character of Riley read the pornographic actress. So we're not shying away from it. The only thing is, is that when you start talking about sexuality, one of the things is is that people start to get hot, and then they're not thinking properly. And this is a show that's really about the thinking around it. Yes. And so this is a strategy that we're trying to use so that we can talk about an extremely important sector of our economy, which normally ends up in in giggles and I have nothing against giggles but I don't want it to I don't want it to take down yeah, we're not here for the important. Well, we can have a little bit against it. So let's get Anyone with the story so you start to gain some familiarity with the world of commercial sex work in the state most famous for permitting it in a legalized context?
Kimberly De La Cruz 41:10 Yes. And it was it was really fascinating. Um, it led me to meet a friend of mine who works in the porn industry who actually did the PR for all these brothels and things and so I got
Eric Weinstein 41:24 to somebody whose name we'd know if we frequent pornographic sites.
Kimberly De La Cruz 41:28 He's not in porn. He just does PR for although Okay, so yeah,
Unknown Speaker 41:31 it's it's the business business and
Kimberly De La Cruz 41:34 I don't think you would know his name but he um he he's big in the industry in that way and he's really respected and so I got to, to kind of see that side of the business as well and you know, attend a lot of AV expos and not video news adult video network, I believe, does it news. Sorry.
Eric Weinstein 41:52 I'd like to actually knowledgeable I tried to study up a little bit before you came so I think it is adult video news network
Kimberly De La Cruz 41:59 something Yeah. But they do a big big show in Vegas every year and it's really the the Oscars of porn,
the Oscars of porn. Yes, they do the the awards, they do an expo and so I'm just in every opportunity that I could just to learn about this. I was just fascinated by it. Maybe it's because I'm from a small town. I'm from a place where like, female sexuality isn't something people talk about often and so I just came to a place where it's just in your face all the time and I really wanted
Eric Weinstein 42:31 to open them yeah. So Alright, so that gives you a familiarity you start to know some of the lingo you become acquainted with how people in a prostitution adjacent business. I mean, it isn't prostitution, but it is prostitution. Adjacent is that affair? It's sex for money, but the sex is cinematic.
Kimberly De La Cruz 42:57 You mean sugar baby?
Eric Weinstein 42:58 No, no, no, no. I mean mean the adult?
Unknown Speaker 43:01 Yes, no, right. Right, right. It's a vote, I would say it's, uh,
Eric Weinstein 43:05 I wouldn't, I wouldn't. I wouldn't I wouldn't call stripping prostitution. There's lots of things I write, but you're getting closer on the spectrum. And maybe I should back us up. Am I right that both of us see that. There's a spectrum of human behavior involving exchange and sexuality and that at one level one extreme end, there's courtship and flowers, chocolates dinner in a movie. At the other extreme end, there's street walking, prostitution, and commercial sex work is very often sort of adjacent to things that make us even more uncomfortable, but that the real slider in some sense is how many degrees of indirection are there between the resources and the sexuality? You see this by the way in the animal kingdom, where for example, dung beetles will offer a nuptial gift of nutritious dung Well just Yeah, I just don't giggle I'm sorry. It's a it's a it's a, having a brother who's an evolutionary theorist, this stuff is just normal. Okay? So these sorts of gifts. I mean, actually in penguins, you see something akin to prostitution, where in order to build their nests, sometimes the male and a couple of pair won't be able to find enough of the proper stones. Other penguins will have a supply of stones, but no mate, and they will offer stones in exchange for a small amount of sexuality, the amount of sexuality that is given by the female who is supposed to be coupled to the male who can't find enough stones. In fact, they get that much sexuality from the female who's procuring the stones for the nest, and so the the other penguin is in the uncomfortable position of not knowing whether he will be raising his own young, right? Well, no, but I'm just trying to say that this is not something that humans have invented, right, and these layers of exchange if you want to call it Penguin, institution is fascinating. And evolutionary theorists are fascinated by it. But this is, in a weird way encoded in strategies for reproduction and survival.
Kimberly De La Cruz 45:10 I would totally agree with that. I think it is a spectrum. I think too often we think it's black and white, and that relationships have to either be this way, or this way with the one goal in mind. And it's so much more complicated than that. And there's so many different ways it could look in terms of the exchange what the exchange is for.
So absolutely, we agree.
Eric Weinstein 45:31 Okay. Now, this stage two, in my mind is sort of set in a really interesting way, which is that you are a young woman who started age 16 you're burdened with student debt, you haven't got your degree, you found an occupation that you would really enjoy. You're acting as a journalist. You've got an exotic beat, which I guarantee you must sell papers like crazy, always number one story. Oh, he's the number one. Okay, so you're the number what was your old outfit?
Unknown Speaker 45:59 The Las Vegas gets reviewed journal
Eric Weinstein 46:00 Las Vegas review journal. And then something really interesting happens a new opportunity several years ago occurs. And can you tell us more about that?
Kimberly De La Cruz 46:10 Yeah. So then I went to the dark side, we call it in journalism and went into PR, public relations communications and that you left
Eric Weinstein 46:17 the Bravo beat to go to the dark.
Kimberly De La Cruz 46:19 Right, right. But it's actually this is a really interesting site. And so I was approached by a company I wasn't all that familiar with. I'd worked with a lot of agencies in town, but hadn't heard of this one and started to learn more about it. And it was seeking arrangement and a couple of other dating sites that were niche dating sites. And the minute I heard it, I just was like, This is perfect for me. I have to do
Eric Weinstein 46:42 I don't I don't know that much about it. Tell me about seeking arrangement.
Kimberly De La Cruz 46:44 Sure. So seeking arrangement is actually the world's largest sugar dating site. So we have 22 million members worldwide, and we facilitate relationships.
Eric Weinstein 46:54 I don't know much about sugar. I keep seeing references to sugaring sugar life. style sugar baby sugar daddies explain sugar as a dating concept, what kind of niche are we in?
Kimberly De La Cruz 47:07 Sure. So the simplified version of what how we would define like a sugar relationship is it's an upgraded relationship that's built on a foundation of honesty about expectations. And that is vague on purpose. Because those expectations are meant to be set by the partners within one size fits all. There's no one size fits all, but at the core of it, that's what it is. It's just a foundation of honesty about expectations. What do you want out of this? Can I give you that? Am I going to get what I want out of this? And if the shoe fits, then
Eric Weinstein 47:43 well hold up. I'm not sure that I actually totally buy this. Do you mind if I push back so slightly? Yes, please do. So if I understand correctly. If you're in a relationship in which two people say, Hey, I'm looking to get married, and have children and I really can't afford to waste time if that's not your interest. Are we building towards that? That would be a relationship if they, if they both agreed to it. That would be extremely honest and open about expectations. Would we call that sugar?
Kimberly De La Cruz 48:12 I think you could call that a type of sugar. And again, it's vague on purpose. So could a lot of things fit into this? Yes. Because Has that happened in sugar dating? Absolutely. But I think at its core, it's that it's this thing that two people get to define and from the from the get go, but
Eric Weinstein 48:29 I don't think that's exactly right. If you don't mind, oh, sort of push back. And I think that in that situation, you wouldn't call it the same thing as saying I expect an allowance I expect to be you know, given clothes, I expect travel.
Kimberly De La Cruz 48:48 Sure. But let me push back a little bit on that. Sure. Because if you come to our site and you start making those demands, part of your expectations out of the relationship, you're not going to get very far. So if you come on the And you tell him,
Eric Weinstein 49:00 I wouldn't expect it to be put on the site, I would expect that to be part of the negotiation after two people had met that my understanding of dating in the modern era, and perhaps I'm wrong, is that two people might begin slightly vague, and then sharpen up the expectations within your context or within a traditional courtship context leading to marriage.
Kimberly De La Cruz 49:22 Yeah, I think you could definitely, once you've established a connection and a relationship, you could have those conversations about financial expectations
Eric Weinstein 49:30 object to titrate, the amount of honesty that you're using right at the beginning, because both people what what's the point of having a very detailed discussion if it's not going anywhere,
Kimberly De La Cruz 49:40 exactly. You don't want to get to that point and not have been on the same page this whole time and have wasted your time. So you get to be upfront about Yes, the financial aspect of it, but more so with our site, just the non traditional aspect or
Eric Weinstein 49:55 I don't want to even say financial in the sense it sounds like we're gonna cash out in Hash itself. It sounds to me like in part, there's a larger resource component of the discussion and a sugaring. Right? Because if when I asked you the question, do these sugaring relationships are sugar related? What's the right arrangement? arrangements? Do they tend to lead to marriage? You had a very interesting answer.
Kimberly De La Cruz 50:22 They do not do not. So I think the majority of our members on our site are not looking to get married. So I think we were talking about just how is it dating if they don't have no plans to get married? Well, because I think society as a whole is moving toward this place where marriage isn't the one goal of a relationship. People don't want to get divorced at 30. People don't want to have the same partner for their whole life. They're realizing it makes no sense. That being said, there's a lot of financial benefits that come with having a partner sugar otherwise, because building a life with someone else is much easier. So you may want to To do that, but you don't want to make that be your one goal. And I think we're going to see that changes as you know, our generation, like gets older, we're going to see people don't want to just be married. It's not that
Eric Weinstein 51:11 you're sort of peak millennial. In other words, if I look back at the birth, you're hitting almost exactly the high point of the number of births in the echo. Boom. So your parents were probably boomers. Yes. Okay. Born what years?
Kimberly De La Cruz 51:27 Well, my dad isn't. My dad might be on the cusp, my dad was born in 1949 49
Eric Weinstein 51:30 would put him as a an old Boomer.
Kimberly De La Cruz 51:35 Yeah, and my mom was 62,
Eric Weinstein 51:37 born in 62. And she would be late Boomer because usually 46 and 65. So they're both boomers, but at opposite ends of the boomer spectrum, sort of. Very interesting. So now here we are, we're talking about men and women. In your parents had an age spread. Let's ask the question about age spreads within the Sort of universe of sugar tea?
Kimberly De La Cruz 52:02 Sure. So there is oftentimes an age disparity. And I think that has a lot to do with the fact that the people that come to our site are more established and have taken their time to get that way
Eric Weinstein 52:13 called sugar sugar
Kimberly De La Cruz 52:14 daddies. Yeah, you know, they're a little bit further on in life and have their, their their stuff together, if you will. And then the sugar babies are, the average age is 24, but as young as 18. And so oftentimes, there is some some age disparity, but as you mentioned, with my parents, there was a 13 year difference in their ages. And in my relationships, usually there's at least a 10 1213 year difference. And so it's not something new. It's, it's, again, it's not one of those things that we're inventing, we're just sort of creating a platform for people who are looking for that, to find each other.
Eric Weinstein 52:48 And I believe that that number is actually elongating as it becomes more difficult for more men in the heteronormative realm to establish themselves because the economy has been extremely difficult. At least as far as people who are trying to get that, you know, old pattern to work where you train, in a university, you get some starter jobs, you work your way up the corporate ladder or to partnership or to become tenured or whatever it is. That is almost non existent for most of us because that stopped working 50 years ago.
Kimberly De La Cruz 53:20 Yeah, I would agree with that. If I look around at my friend group, I would say most, if not all, are nowhere near that in their
Eric Weinstein 53:28 professional career. They're bright, they're interesting.
Kimberly De La Cruz 53:30 They've all gone to college. I hang out with a lot of intellectuals, All my friends are business owners, or they, you know, they're professors or artists or something, but they are journalists. And they are someone No, I yes, I identify as single, if you will, but like, but yeah, I'm in an on and off relationship. And he is a great example of that. You know, he's a couple years older than me, younger than my usual type, but he he finally just got his big break at me. On. And so he finally gets to do what he wants to do. But he studied finance. And he's brilliant. He's brilliant. And he, he loves education and he wants to go back to school, but he feels like he's so far behind everyone else, because I have to remind him behind Who?
Eric Weinstein 54:13 Yeah, everyone your age is no, this is the part of the problem is that we all feel like failures because we can't get this old career pattern to work. And we're all raised on these stories of boomers, which said, You know, I had a paper route, and I sold hot dogs for a summer and then I put myself through school and now I have three homes and we're all confused. Like, wow, and you did this with, I don't know three Martini lunches, or how did that work? How? Explain it to
Unknown Speaker 54:37 someone tell them Can someone someone explain
Eric Weinstein 54:40 this and most of us don't want to admit that we failed in that traditional fashion. Now, you know, somebody who I have an undergraduate degree from an Ivy League school, I have a PhD from another. I was in the same university is your founder as a postdoc at MIT and It definitely didn't work for me, even with, you know, checking the boxes. So I think that there's zero. I want to just put myself out there and say, I don't think there should be any shame in this. We should all admit that more or less the traditional track doesn't work.
Kimberly De La Cruz 55:14 Right. And I think it goes outside of just your professional career and being able to be where you want to be or you thought you would have been by now. We can't buy houses, right? You can, like we can't like I can't I don't know what how I'm going to own property. Like I don't know. Like, how my parents could go on vacations or things like that. Just like what you used to see in the 90s serious I'm like, how does
Eric Weinstein 55:35 that work? How does it work?
Kimberly De La Cruz 55:36 You guys had a nine to five just like I do. I'm so confused as to why I'm working so hard. you're
Eric Weinstein 55:41 lazy and they're obviously really brilliant.
Kimberly De La Cruz 55:43 It's because I don't have the boots to pull up. I'm wearing the stilettos maybe that's, that's what they always tell us to do. Like I you know, and I think it's it's just outdated. It doesn't work and I
Eric Weinstein 55:53 think it's worse than that. But well, let's get let's let's take our time to get there because I think it's an interesting story.
Unknown Speaker 55:59 Sure. Okay.
Eric Weinstein 56:00 So now you're at seeking arrangement. And you're doing PR spokesperson, yeah, trying to spread the message, that there's a new kind of dating, which is probably an old kind of dating, which is not traditional dating, courtship. Looking, seeking for marriage and family. By the way, I want to point out that there's an entire movement called anti Natal ism, which says you shouldn't expect to have children that this is outdated itself with a terrible world. Why would you want to bring anyone into it? People don't have the finances to create a secure world for their children. That is going to have a huge impact if the women that are your age and are unmarried, which is an enormous number, an enormous number. don't end up having children in the next 10 years. People tell me it's none of my effing business. In fact, to worry about this but the dependency ratios of society, the number of young healthy working people supporting the older cohort is a necessary is necessary for society. To be self perpetuating. So we have a huge interest in making sure you guys land correctly. And one of my concerns is that I'm not in a position to act as your parents. But I see I feel like I'm much more concerned about my millennial friends than either their parents or their grandparents. And I can't figure out exactly why it is that these older cohorts so the silent generation is 1946 and before or 1945. And before and then you had the 46 to 64 seem wildly unconcerned about the welfare of their kids.
Kimberly De La Cruz 57:35 Yeah, I think I just from what I hear, it's a lot of I think that they think that we're lazy, and that we don't that I was, that's what I think.
Eric Weinstein 57:44 I think what they've done is that they've given themselves a story so that they don't have to give up their weekend getaways, cruises, second homes and of course not everybody in the boomer and silent generation has all those things. But if you look at where the wealth is concentrated, It's concentrated north of Gen X. And I'm the if I'd been born slightly earlier, I would be the youngest of the boomers and instead, I'm the oldest of the Xers and 65. Yeah. I think that that's an excuse. I think that they know that they're not looking at lazy people, and that this is the thing that they used to ward off the vampires who would say, Hey, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, what the EFF? This is not work. Yes, you did
Unknown Speaker 58:26 this to us? Well, they did. He created this
Eric Weinstein 58:28 well, but I want to talk about that change the way I want to talk about it. In fact, the reason I've asked you here is that in a weird way, you're probably the best person and potentially in the world, to talk about this in terms of how far we've gotten because seeking arrangement has a subdivision or a sub program. That is, if I understand correctly, the most successful part of seeking arrangement and that's why we're here today. Tell us about that.
Kimberly De La Cruz 58:57 Sure. So we have the answer to this. This problem that's been created with student loan debt and tuition rates and everything we've just discussed, and that is sugar baby University,
Eric Weinstein 59:08 Sugar Baby University. I've never been to that campus. Tell me about sugar baby. And
Kimberly De La Cruz 59:12 I love I love when people say that it's not a real campus. It is actually a campaign that we came up with. In 2015, we started realizing the demographic of our sugar baby members was largely student population. And so we decided we wanted to learn where are these students coming from? What is going on in these places to make people? I mean, of course, the easy answer is because they all just want to date better and find, you know, more suitable partners. But I think really, it's the benefit of getting your tuition paid for and us and
Eric Weinstein 59:45 we should assistance Yes. Now, if I understand correctly, and I'm gonna give you a piece of information, I don't know that I've shared with you, because my opposition to the current state of our university system is well known and because I'm coming with a Harvard PhD in a traditional Subject people write in to me. And they say to me things like you have no idea how bad it is. I work in the financial aid department of a university and we are incentivized to load up our students with fantastic amounts of debt. Right. And the idea is, is that I hate what I do for a living because I'm here getting kids hooked on debt, that will be almost impossible for them to repay, given their majors. Let me see what they're majoring in. We see that they're young, we see how we incentivize them. The universities are telling them, hey, to pay these tuitions. College has always been a great investment. You just need to load up on this debt here sign this piece of paper. They've got the least sophisticated members, people who are either barely adult at age 18 or not even 18. And coming at this from an earlier point of view, with no knowledge that the United States government in 2005 in 1976 created changes in the law. To make sure that these people are hooked up, and I'm going to say, say this a little bit in an inflammatory way, but should anyone come after me, I will be more than prepared to defend myself. We are transfusing the future to pay for the old. And we are we're establishing a pipeline of funding, whereby the universities and the people who work there are the recipients of all of this benefit that is coming up is dead, because every university that I can find, has ballooned, not with respect to professors who are the reason that the students are there, but with administrators. So effectively, you have all sorts of people who are paid to do administrative jobs that are being paid for by these tuition payments. Now, do you have any idea how fast tuition is increasing?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:01:49 Yeah, you mentioned it was 8%. A year right? On average?
Eric Weinstein 1:01:53 Yeah. And with 8% a year, it takes about nine years to double so that every nine years Effectively what you're seeing is a doubling of the tuition. Not only is it higher than the rate of inflation, what's insane and what I love about it is, this situation is why sugar baby University is a thriving business. So what I see and what I really appreciate about your company, is that you guys are socially conscious, you wear two hats. One, you look at the problem and say, What the hell are we doing to our students? And the other hand, you say, look, at least you'll have an option. Some of you have an ability not to become debt slaves. And if this is right for you, then you need to look at this with fresh eyes. And so I'm going to be non judgmental about your company because you're sharing my concern about what it is that's making you guys all this money.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:02:45 Absolutely. I think we empathize with our sugar babies, students a lot and we see this we see their pain and the financial burdens that they're facing and a lot of us within the company, including me, as we talked about, experienced it ourselves, and so This is an alternative. It's a very real alternative. It's a very successful alternative to being saddled with student debt. So, you know, the women who come to our site and are successfully able to find an arrangement with somebody who, you know, wants to support them financially with their tuition, or as you know, we discussed the lifestyle stuff. So whether it's your rent or you know, your car payment so that you're able to make those tuition payments yourself without having to get loans or grants or whatever it is.
Eric Weinstein 1:03:30 So if I don't have that paper, that magical paper route that pays for college,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:03:33 you can get a sugar daddy,
Eric Weinstein 1:03:34 I can get a sugar bowl, but no, I see. I'm heteronormative Okay, and I'm and I'm, and I'm male. So assume that I'm back where I was. And I started college at 16. So I'm 16 Can I come on your site?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:03:47 even come on our site, but you won't have any success? Okay, we don't have a lot of sugar down.
Unknown Speaker 1:03:51 Well, you don't have a lot of sugar mamas. And so you don't know that you'd have a lot of success. They're not sure your mama's
Eric Weinstein 1:03:57 know about equal opportunity.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:03:59 Well, I mean, Okay, they come to the site. But one thing about women of a certain age and have a certain you know, caliber in their life, they have a lot more success sugaring in the wild, as we call it. So if you are a woman and you go to a bar, you're probably going to be able to much more easily meet somebody in person. There isn't a need for us to fill like there is with the men.
Eric Weinstein 1:04:21 I love your honesty about this. I really appreciate it.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:04:23 No, I mean, and I feel like that's really the truth. You know, women have a much easier time and a lot of the men on our side are very shy. They don't know how to approach a woman they just don't know how to meet people in real life and
Eric Weinstein 1:04:34 the men on your site you're talking about daddy's
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:04:36 sorry, Yes, I do. I do mean the sugar daddies. We typically men and female I mean sugar daddy and sugar baby when I refer to the females
Eric Weinstein 1:04:44 that you default to them, right? We do have any young men who are on your site.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:04:49 We do. We do have some male sugar babies.
Eric Weinstein 1:04:52 But the population is small as well. So the dominant coupling is a sugar baby female with a sugar Daddy mail. And what are the typical? I think you said the age on the sugar baby front. median age was something like 2424. What is it on the sugar daddy front? Did you already say that? 4242? Okay,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:05:16 so about 20 years, 1820 years,
Eric Weinstein 1:05:18 1820 years? And what are for example, the top occupations Do you have data on on the people who are on your site? Have you surveyed?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:05:27 Yeah, so the top occupations for our sugar daddies include entrepreneur. There are businessmen, engineering, there's scientists, scientists, and then there was self employed which is
Eric Weinstein 1:05:39 finance.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:05:41 Finance, I don't think was on there. can check really quick, but I don't think it was top five. We check. Yeah, sure. Let's get it right.
Eric Weinstein 1:05:49 The thing is, I want people to have a very accurate, right. Yeah. So it's a little bit
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:05:54 Johnny PR spokesperson. So entrepreneurship is number one final thing
Eric Weinstein 1:05:59 We're going to get you a spike in your business because your of your willingness to do this and that people go in totally informed. I really believe in choice. And if people understand what they're doing my interest in the only judgment that I'm really strongly forming is in the universities and the politicians and the credit industry, which I think have created a situation in which you guys are, of course going to crop up. But anybody who creates an effectively an evolutionary niche is going to see it filled. And what I like about you guys, is that for what you're doing, you seem to be as aboveboard as I could hope.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:06:36 Yeah, I think
that's what's so important. And that's why I wanted to come here today is I'm tired of having the fluff conversations about the surface level stuff. I wanted to have this opportunity to come here and be totally open and honest about what this thing is. So we can just lift the veil and if anybody has any questions like, you know, ask me the tough questions. I can't explain it because there's nothing to hide.
Eric Weinstein 1:06:56 Well, this is great and I'm this isn't a gotcha. But what I want it to be as I want it to be substantive. So if you see the certain places in which you think I'm veering into fluff, or I'm not seeing an opportunity, feel free to redirect. And I think that this is, you know, the best advertisement for you guys is that you're the ones who are actually willing to talk about this.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:07:13 Absolutely. So let me tell you, the top sugardaddy occupations. Number one is entrepreneurship. Number two is finance. You nailed it. Number three is engineering. Four is self employed, and five is management. So actually, I have a list here this this actually goes we compare these to our top sugar baby majors.
Eric Weinstein 1:07:35 Oh, that would be a fascinating thing. So yeah. Is it? Is it just fluffy stuff like interpretive indigenous dance or what is it?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:07:46 Well, yes and no, because the majors don't exactly align with the career field, right? So but we can, we can open that up to so if you're going to school for nursing, how would that make you relevant to somebody who's a doctor and healthcare something would they be more interested in you? Because you're studying something in sort of the nursing field
Eric Weinstein 1:08:02 super demanding field, I mean, I can't tell you how much I appreciate how much nurses do as a percentage of what a physician can do very often we find that I get better medical care from a nurse. So I think of this as an extremely demanding occupation,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:08:17 and you're not wrong. So it's about 17% of our users in college actually reported saying that they're going to school for nursing. That was the top Major fantast number one, two is business. Three, psychology, four is biology and five is art.
Eric Weinstein 1:08:32 The second four is biology. Right? Wow.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:08:36 So that's definitely um, could be healthcare too.
Eric Weinstein 1:08:40 But does that mean you know as somebody who who cares a great deal about the sciences, I can tell you that a biology degrees that's not fluff at all?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:08:49 No, that's really hard. Yeah. I mean, I think that's what we see here too, is a lot of these women are super articulate and super intelligent and driven and They are every bit as capable and like interested in bettering themselves as the next person there's no you know, I think the stereotype is just this person who just wants a Louis Vuitton bag and she works at the cafe down the street like and that's
Eric Weinstein 1:09:13 there's nothing wrong with wanting a bag right but
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:09:15 we have a lot of college students and I think that it just goes to kind of shake up this idea that that's what it is and and again to go back to the whole point of this conversation is why do we have so many college students and sugar baby university?
Eric Weinstein 1:09:29 There you go. So that's really fascinating to me. I don't know if you know of the story of a woman who's a nom de guerre was billed as your
Unknown Speaker 1:09:38 I want to it sounds familiar, but
Eric Weinstein 1:09:41 I believe she's a PhD in biology so this is a research level mind who I think she got unmasked and her name is something like Brooke Magnanti or something like this, which I'm super curious to talk to her because in the sciences, we have terrible careers. tracks and we keep talking about why can't we get anyone into STEM. And in fact, the STEM careers are completely chewed up. And so you're doing the world's hardest and most important work and you can't get paid. And what she realized was that turning tricks as a very high class escort was a preferable situation than languishing in poverty. As a serf doing the biology of work that needed to be done. You shaking your head,
Unknown Speaker 1:10:31 I just feel like that so sad. Like I just feel like that's awful. But it It also,
Eric Weinstein 1:10:35 well, here's the thing again, I'm celebrating her right. And I'm livid beyond belief, with the science administrators who will not there's nothing I can do to get their attention, nothing I can do to get the attention that they are cannibalizing our future, our sciences, they are taking the world's most important occupations and making them such that precious prostitution, adjacent behavior and prostitution are expected because of the burdens on normal human beings. This is a crushing burden. And I love the fact that you're shaking your head even though at some level, you guys aren't that far away. It's adjacent to commercial sex work.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:11:16 Yes, it's adjacent to commercial sex work. It isn't sex work. That's I'm
Eric Weinstein 1:11:21 very clear, but,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:11:22 but I do feel like I understand the, the comparison. Absolutely. And so, this is the answer to that, you know, and, and instead of being a CSW, you can come be a sugar baby and be in a relationship where you actually like somebody and are getting more benefits and it's not just transactional. And
Eric Weinstein 1:11:43 if you're not dating for marriage, another question I would have to ask you is, is exclusivity in general assured in these relationships
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:11:52 depends on the couple but I'd say more than often Probably not,
Eric Weinstein 1:11:55 you know, side
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:11:56 on both sides. You know, a lot of our sugar baby members have multiple sugar daddies And a lot of our sugar daddy members have multiple sugar babies, you know, for example, a lot of the businessmen who have to travel might have a person that they connect with when they're in San Francisco and when they're home in Las Vegas they have their Las Vegas sugar baby and in London so forth and so and then for the sugar babies that's not uncommon to and for the same reason they might be hugged in Las Vegas but I've a sugar daddy that comes to Las Vegas to work from from London and Las Vegas.
Eric Weinstein 1:12:27 daddies if they have the means fly these people all over.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:12:30 Yeah, yeah, they do. But more often than not, it's like they just coming to that person, but they go on trips together and things like that. That's not uncommon, but you know, exclusivity, monogamy. These are things that I think as a society, we are just gonna have no choice but to get away from I think some people are going to want it and that's fine. But this idea that it's just so taboo to think about wanting to have multiple partners. I just think it's human nature and you can speak to this more than I can for Not to be the case to have one partner your whole life. And
Eric Weinstein 1:13:03 I think it has a lot to do with babies, when you take babies out of the equation when you make sex, effectively a recreational activity as opposed to a procreative activity or a bonding activity meant to bond a pair of people. I think that that's exactly right. And I think that the economics of this are unpleasant to discuss. But I think that it's important. I think that you're right, that in general, the pressures on the modern American family are such that you cannot, you can't expect that things will be as before. And so I think that, you know, this is downstream. I mean, let me let me also be blunt that I believe that a lot of women around your age, are in a very difficult position, which is if they say, you know, I want a family and I want kids and it doesn't happen. They feel like it's going to be a humiliation, because they're not allowed to take the economy and all these other choices that have been made by other people into account.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:13:57 I will say I think that is a challenge a lot of women face so we haven't Talk about this before, but I do have children. And so I had kids at a young age when I was still in college and did the family thing and decided against it. But a lot of women my age, I know, I don't know any other women that have kids. Just to be frank, I don't have a single female friend that does. And so it is it's a societal change. It's difficult. And as you see, it's it's a it's a challenging conversation to have.
Eric Weinstein 1:14:20 Yeah. All right, let's get back on track. Okay. So you've got these interesting majors, and you've got these interesting occupations. And you've got this business that has never probably existed in exactly this form before. And the next thing I want to kind of understand is, you said something, which was interesting that somebody is coming through San Francisco, I think of San Francisco at the moment is being a tech hub. Is it the case that everybody's open about this thing? I mean, everybody's on the site. Are they talking about it?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:14:58 I think it's twofold or they talk about about it with each other and like the things that they want in the relationship. Absolutely. are they telling their friends and their family? depends on the person, you know, we're trying really hard to make this thing normal and to make people it'll get there, right? Thank you for this because it helps, you know, to make this thing, something that people can understand as something that already existed and has existed for all of time. It has.
Eric Weinstein 1:15:23 Absolutely I mean, exchange is a normal expected part of courtship.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:15:28 Right? I so you know, this is a PR talking point that I always have to say, but it's like
Eric Weinstein 1:15:32 everything that I can say that you don't have to say, in in favor. I'm happy to do it, because it'll always come across as special pleading when it comes from the PR person. But
Unknown Speaker 1:15:42 when you say it, no, it's not really but
Eric Weinstein 1:15:44 I'm willing to stand up for what you're saying. Because dinner in the movie is part of exchange, that's normal. You also have a thing that's very important in courtship, which is if you do things the usual biological way, the old fashioned way, a woman is And incredibly vulnerable position financially when her body is taken over incubating another and as a result, one of the reasons that courtship you know, that old song from Greece, tell me more. Tell me more. Did you get very far as on the male side? Did he have a car? Why is that important?
Unknown Speaker 1:16:20 Great, that's a great Well, it's
Eric Weinstein 1:16:22 because they you need proof that somebody can take care of you financially and is committed when you're at your most vulnerable. So you want to make sure somebody brings roses chocolates, remembers dates, has means is he successful? He's very, you know, very good at his job. A lot of that has to do with, well, what do birds do when they need to feed their young, somebody's got to go off and get the food. And I think that it's, you know, historically we've celebrated the introduction of women into the workplace. It's very important that women have choices, whether they want to work, they want to raise kids or whatever they want to do. And it's important that some men if they want I know several couples where the male is better off staying home and the woman is the ferocious breadwinner. And those can be fantastic. But the issue is, in general, raising children as a serious job, we don't recognize it as work. It's necessary for society's continuation. And somebody has to be able to show that they can provide resources. And I think that there's nothing wrong with recognizing that exchange proofs of exchange proof of intent. That's what courtship is under the hood. You can talk about it in terms of He's so sweet. He brought me chocolates, or, you know, while he gave me a necklace, but those are indications of if you get pregnant, I will be here and I will take care of you. So I think I think we have to celebrate the fact that maternity and prostitution, as much as we hate to talk about, you know, Madonna whore archetypes. There's a connection between the two. And that spectrum is not something that's comfortable for anybody to talk about. But we have to Be more realistic.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:18:01 Yeah, I don't think I've ever discussed it in terms of that way. But when you when you bring it to light like that, it does make a lot of sense. And I think just as a woman, like we're just trying so hard to catch up. So as much as we want equality and you know, we want to identify as a feminist, I still think chivalry is very important. But there's a good chance to talk about why it's important. This is part of part of my anger at
Eric Weinstein 1:18:26 not very high end, feminism understands this low end, feminism is like, why should somebody pull out a chair this, that and the other thing? They're deep evolutionary reasons, based around children, like, you know, marriage isn't about love. Love is about children and marriage is about children. And even if you extend that, in the gay realm, let's say the whole point is you have to have an institution capable of rearing the young and in part, the institution of marriage is about making sure that there's some protection for people who engage in this extremely dangerous activity we call child rearing.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:19:02 I think it's fascinating when you get when you take it down to that just like human nature level, I think it totally, it makes even more sense.
Eric Weinstein 1:19:08 This is the reason that I'm not judgmental is is that because I understand where we are, and look, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna lie about this more my intention is to break the back of the system. And in part, you're here to help me break the back of the system. That doesn't have to be your your quest, but I wanted to be upfront about what my intentions,
Unknown Speaker 1:19:29 check. Okay.
Eric Weinstein 1:19:31 So now we get to the exciting part about the fact that I may not know who's on these websites if I don't know about it. So if I'm in a dorm, and I'm a 19 year old guy, and I'm down the hall from some gal, she might be on your site.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:19:46 She just might um, I can give you our top five schools
Eric Weinstein 1:19:49 so give me your top five schools.
Unknown Speaker 1:19:51 Yeah, so our top five schools it is
Eric Weinstein 1:19:53 yes them. Sure. No, no. Would I guess them from first principles. Okay.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:19:59 So no, I don't So I wouldn't even guess I'm shocked every year. Okay. So, Arizona State University, my technical alma mater, Arizona State University is number one. Indiana University is number two Bloomington. I don't know where it is, but you may be in Bloomington. Okay. And then NYU is number three, what? And then University of Georgia is number four. NYU is number three. NYU is number three.
Eric Weinstein 1:20:25 NYU is slightly north of $50,000 a year tuition if I'm not mistaken,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:20:29 five times the amount of Indiana of the University of Indiana. I just looked at that and it was five times more to go to NYU then the cost of Indiana which I'm sure you're gonna get into these two different factors here of why those schools are on the list. Fascinating.
Unknown Speaker 1:20:46 Yeah. Okay,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:20:47 so you want me to expand? Yeah, sure. So, um, what I can gather from the top few schools Arizona State I can get to here in a minute. I think there's an easy answer for that. But Indiana I feel like it's a very Very poor place. Now. So a lot of this is speculation, but we do ask ourselves within the company, why are these schools here? What is going on economically in this place where the schools are located or in the surrounding areas? What is the tuition like at this school? Is it astronomical? Is it so so much that people are coming here because they can't afford it? And so that's what you see in the contrast of NYU in Indiana. Indiana is a very, very, very poor state. A lot of poverty there. The tuition is $10,000 a
Eric Weinstein 1:21:27 year famous departments and things like music, for example.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:21:31 Sure, so great schools were short, but tuition is much less expensive than NYU, which is Indiana was up just over 10,000 a year. NYU was 53 and change a year. Wow. So five times the amount so whereas NYU we look at New York, okay. Well, it's not the same economic, you know, troubles that they have in Indiana
Eric Weinstein 1:21:53 well, but relative to there's a concept called Dutch disease where for example, if you're in a Royal town. haircuts will be super expensive, even though the same service provided in some other place would be a fraction of the cost. And so the costs are higher the expectation of your earning potential is higher in Manhattan. But it's just a fantastic find that NYU is one of your top bases of clientele. Now, let me ask you a question. The, you know, the Exalted Ivy League. I assume they're nowhere on your list.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:22:31 Yeah, no. So I pulled a couple of different schools and so they're they're far down the list a little bit, but Columbia is number 105. For us, Cornell is number 196. And then
Eric Weinstein 1:22:46 I went to the University of Pennsylvania Do we have anybody?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:22:50 So Pennsylvania was number 246. So a little bit further down and number three in that list of the ivy League's it was the furthest down but there was still over 100 sugar babies. They're
Eric Weinstein 1:22:59 over 100 to trigger babies at the University of Pennsylvania, yeah, go red and blue.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:23:04 Right? Maybe next year, they can be a little higher. You guys got to sign up
Eric Weinstein 1:23:08 dare to dream.
Unknown Speaker 1:23:10 Okay, um,
Eric Weinstein 1:23:13 I love giving a shout out to my own. So now, am I right that Harvard doesn't show up on your list.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:23:19 So the list that I brought with me today goes up to 400. And it did not make that list exists on the list, I, you know, would have to find it. So I'm sure there are at least one sugar baby there. But it did not make our top 400.
Eric Weinstein 1:23:31 And I assume that that might have to do with the level of the endowment of the university that if the university is capable of giving people really generous financial assistance directly, and you know, need blind admissions and all that kind of jazz, that, in general, people aren't necessarily going to run to sugar baby University if they don't have to, because I think that there might be an angle where we have to have a great deal of compassion for who is fortunate enough. Ironically, and who is not fortunate usually by no virtue, not by virtue of their industry because they're just starting their life. They haven't even gotten to the workforce yet.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:24:08 Yeah, absolutely. I think you know, for those schools where you're getting scholarships or free tuition or whatever it may be, there probably isn't as many students because of this desperation. That being said, I do
Eric Weinstein 1:24:19 it's not all all young ladies chasing handbags. Just trying to make sure that they've got sparkle and and new duds,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:24:30 right? Um, that being said, I do think if you're coming to the site out of just pure desperation, you probably won't be successful.
Eric Weinstein 1:24:39 Because you'll be seen as too like motivated. Nobody
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:24:42 just wants to pay somebody tuition. But I think if you come to the site because you heard of it because of sugar baby University, and you know it to be an alternative for some of your friends, you have
Eric Weinstein 1:24:51 the right attitude that you think you can actually manage the complexities of the situation and that that's your best option.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:24:57 You and you learn the community you learn to live And you learn what it actually is. You can have success in it. And so
Eric Weinstein 1:25:05 women on the site, get to be friends with each other does it have a strong social component,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:25:09 we have a huge social component. So we have a pretty, pretty large community that all just engages with each other, whether it's like through our blogs or social media. We've done everything from juice, sugar, baby summit's. We've done sugar baby coaching sessions, where they flow me all over the world and the team and we've gotten to, you know, sort of coach sugar babies on how to exactly everything that we're talking about today, what to do, what not to do, what this is what this isn't.
So that they can go out and be successful, right? So yeah, they all talk to each other. Well, not all of them, but a lot of them talk to
Eric Weinstein 1:25:41 each other. What I saw when I was preparing for this was that there were videos, for example, about how to avoid being taken by somebody who has gotten access to the site. It doesn't have honest intentions because you guys are very focused on honesty. You have concept called salt daddies who seemed to be generous and interested in an upfront exchange, but in fact, don't come across with their end of the bargain. Then I saw some things that kind of made me a little bit uncomfortable, like, you know, dressing for daddy instructional videos. Well, what do you have that reaction time?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:26:21 Those are before my time? Okay. You know, I think that was a time in our marketing department where it was so focused on how do we make these men happy. And I just feel like we've done everything we can in the couple of years that I've been there to, to just get away from that. Yeah, you want to make your partner happy, but it goes both ways. And what we don't talk enough about what the sugar baby has to offer. And for us to do a video that's so just deprecating
Eric Weinstein 1:26:49 give you the opportunity to sort of talk about how you guys have evolved. So in terms of an exchange, you know, one of the things that we're very uncomfortable talking about in widely separated It ages. Typically there is an expectation that exposure is part of the transfer that somebody who's had more life experience can expose you, you know, somebody, maybe somebody who's never been out of the country. And then there's a person who's successful with, you know, 40 years life experience and says, How would you feel about going to Europe for a week? The person says, My God, I've always dreamed of it. Yeah. But
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:27:25 I think you're talking a lot more about the kinds of actual financial exchanges that happen. You know, it's not so much just counting cash. It's it's a lot of other elements to it, whether it's life experience, yes, that trip to Paris cost money, but it was less about the money and more about the fact that you got to
Eric Weinstein 1:27:40 go or maybe the idea is that you start to learn about things like you know, maybe a computer programmer says here, the languages are hot right now,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:27:48 networking, for sure. I mean, we know how competitive as it is out there for millennials and for the job market as a whole but getting to be in a room with people who Who can help you, you know, get into another room with other people who can help you and, and just networking and rubbing elbows with the right people is so important. I would not be here today, if it wasn't for me, meeting people and having contacts and friends and things like that. And so it's so important. And I think that's one element to this too, that you get out of it that doesn't have any specific monetary value, but
Eric Weinstein 1:28:23 it has a lot of, I mean, part of it has to do with the fact that the farther you are away from a direct medium of exchange, that you're not actually handing somebody a wad of $100 bills and saying, Here's your allowances for this month. The layer of indirection actually matters it may be equivalent to cash. It's that spectrum again. Yeah, I do think it matters and it does matter in part because, you know, cash as the as the benefit of being maximally fungible. And so economists are always confused. Why would people for example, give a gift certificate, you take a certain amount of cash and then You create something that is less fungible, so you lose value, and then you choose to give that. But in fact, it might have to do with the fact that I really want you to use this for books. I really want you to use this for because I, I care about you. And if I you know, it's like why you don't give somebody who's destitute cash, sometimes that's the best thing for them. And sometimes you want to make sure it doesn't end up immediately as drugs, you want to make sure it ends up as food,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:29:25 can you bring a sandwich instead? Something like that. I would agree with that, I think. And just on
Eric Weinstein 1:29:31 a homerun both of those things can be ethical. So just
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:29:34 yeah, I think just on a human level, doesn't that feel better, especially if it's somebody you're in a relationship with and trying to in trying to build something with where there might be intimacy involved are
Eric Weinstein 1:29:46 fascinated the more of these don't end in marriage.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:29:50 I think they're temporary, you know, a lot of times
they may last for years at a time, but that's really just not that The end goal, you know, life goes another way and they meet somebody they're more serious about, you know, or the sugar baby graduates college and doesn't want to be a sugar baby anymore and she wants to go and settle down and get married but it's not Oh,
Eric Weinstein 1:30:12 that's that I wanted to get to that. I wonder in part, whether the idea is if this is how you meet the beginning makes the conversion to traditional relationship more difficult. Probably. You have a certain sort of history like you can imagine trying to tell your kids so Mom and Dad, how did you meet? It's probably not what
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:30:33 is well, where should like they that would be a hard conversation.
Eric Weinstein 1:30:36 Well, okay. But you know, it's also the case that the pornographic actresses I'm thinking about a couple that I think shot pornographic pornography together, where the woman and the couple became a fantastically successful actress in Bollywood. She was Canadian and They became a couple and she talks all the time about her children. She doesn't hide what her past was. And so I think that one of the things that's changing with with your generation is that people are going to have to be much more understanding of how sexuality plays out over a lifetime because it's just it's not gonna stay in its lane.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:31:25 It's not it's ever evolving. And I think we're a generation that's really going to take that to the next level. We have just absolutely said no, thank you to how it looks like our parents are getting through life and divorced and still struggling and haven't had any time to save for retirement and, and are miserable and haven't been anywhere. Like, it's sad. And I think we've just said, No, thank you. Absolutely not. There's There's got to be a different way and I don't know what that is yet. But I'm willing to try.
Eric Weinstein 1:31:52 But do me a favor. Take a look at this. This actress Sonny Leoni i think is her name.
Unknown Speaker 1:31:58 I know you I'm pretty sure I know who that
Eric Weinstein 1:32:02 is. Yeah. So I'm just, I think that her, she spent some of her time in Los Angeles and my wife is from Bombay. And so I really wanted to get her on the show. Not to grill her about the initial part of her life in pornography, but to talk about the success of transitioning because I think it could be, it could be an amazing story,
Unknown Speaker 1:32:24 I think.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:32:26 Yeah, I absolutely am familiar with her. And that's because of
Eric Weinstein 1:32:30 lovely talented woman.
Unknown Speaker 1:32:31 Yeah, she's beautiful.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:32:32 Yeah, I think about that. Even in my own career. I don't have a shovel, you know, if I want to go do this, some other some other place some other day, like, how much is what I'm talking about and trying to be an advocate for going to translate into anything else? What would that next step be for me? I don't know. It's,
Eric Weinstein 1:32:47 I think that once you're not, I mean, just to share, like my own version of this, which is very different. I always thought I had a huge problem with authority. And I think what I actually had was a very difficult problem dealing With the generations that were before me, I am now in a in a job in which I work for somebody, one or two years younger than I am was a fabulously successful investor and former tech technologist. And it's so much easier like you think it'd be harder to work for somebody who's actually younger than you are. But because we have the same basic developmental experience in life, we saw this wasn't working. I don't have to, there's no question about, well, you know, you're lazy or you're this or that. It's like, everybody knows it doesn't work anymore. So one of the things that I think is, is that as you guys come up, and you have to deal with fewer boomers and silent generation, people hiring you, Gen X is going to be more sympathetic. And when you have millennial bosses, you're going to find that everybody has the issues of Oh, you remember that time that my account was hacked and my nude selfie? You know, God Oh, yeah, it'll be my Much more than normal
Unknown Speaker 1:34:00 wait for that day. It's coming.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:34:02 I can't wait for that day. And it's funny because I feel like we're really responsible for kancil culture culture. Our generation has really about that. But it's it's funny because we're gonna be minus all of like the terrible, terrible, terrible racial things that people do something like a nude or
Eric Weinstein 1:34:20 anything is that you guys are you have a very interesting dynamic if you own it, then the thing leaves you alone? Yeah, you gotta you gotta. But you you guys seem to insist that people own whatever it is that the people have on you. And what I would say is that we are right now, in a very interesting situation. I talked about this a lot in the program where the last five candidates for the presidency were all born in the 1940s. To have five septuagenarians vying for the presidency with everyone else eliminated is part of the same madness that I'm using this program to fight Which is, this is not normal. We used to have mandatory retirement. And when the universities started to restructure themselves, and that's why they have got these I've called these things embedded growth obligation. The reason that that tuition is 8% increasing per year, is that the commitments of the university to keep that old model running, which was built between 1945 and 1970. nobody's seen an economy like the 1945 to 1970 post war economy and 50 years. And as a result of that, you have to parasitize and so your generation is being parasitized. We were parasitized. And we always thought that when the boomers saw their own children, it means again, I'm going to get emotional, I am going to fight it for you. But when we saw that the boomers were going to parasitize their own children. I mean, I don't think what you guys are doing providing is prostitution, but they are pushing their own daughter's into prostitution adjacent situations. And what I love about what you're doing is you're saying how can we do this as decently as we possibly can? Because if you guys folded tomorrow, that same thing would crop up in that niche. There's no way to avoid it. You've got women whose principle asset is their desirability, and they are up against a predatory system of these goddamn senators and representatives and university presidents and professors and administrators who are gorging themselves on the inexperience the legal inexperience the financial inexperience the inability to defend themselves from the predations of the market, locking them in, effectively to debt slavery. Right? And
Unknown Speaker 1:36:47 it's effing enough.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:36:49 Yeah, and I think the question I would ask is, are you okay with that like to these people, how does that make they feel the
Eric Weinstein 1:36:56 conversation, they will not have the conversation you sit them Down, let's say Oh, it says overblown. And one of the reasons that you're here is, is that you're courageous. I asked you, I told you exactly what my designs are, I told you there would be no gotcha you, to your credit said, I'm not afraid. Ask us the tough questions. I'm in this role for a reason. And by the way, to defend what you're doing, not through slipperiness and clever speech, but to do so honestly. And with decency. This is a huge recommendation for you and your future career path, which is that you're ready for anything. So thank you for that.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:37:31 Well, thank you. I get to have these conversations a lot with friends and family because you know, of what I do and, and it's a conversation I've just grown more and more comfortable having and I like being asked questions. I like being made to think about it more and outside of just from a marketing perspective, or the way that we've done things in the past. I think about it as like a real opportunity to make societal changes. I really whether it's from just the sugaring aspect. Like women's rights and this empowerment empowerment idea that we're trying to put forth or if it's something is broken is the school system education system here in the US? I think there's so many different conversations to be had and I just I have no interest in having them at surface level. I
Eric Weinstein 1:38:16 really appreciate that. So since you brought up Jeffrey Epstein, I don't know whether you you've said that your boyfriend is a fan of the show which I'm he is deliriously happy to hear that. You probably know that we did a Jeffrey Epstein episode which made me terrified and I have not been very comfortable since because I don't know what Jeffrey Epstein represented. My concern, of course, is that he was foreign or domestic intelligence related and that no one will ask the question, but one of the things that we learned and I you know, you should know that I met him and it was really a scary experience. You didn't know what was happening. One of the things that we learned when he went to jail in Florida was that he was sending his people to hang around the high schools to offer Something like $300 for a massage. And the idea is that those payments, were very often going to girls from across across the tracks. And I say girls, not because girls is the hot way to say women. I mean, because they were girls, they were in high school. And so the idea is that there's a creepy guy who will pay you $300 for a massage, and then he sort of asks how far you're willing to go. You know, that model is something that I'm worried about, which is, is this situation particularly predatory? on women from less well off families?
Unknown Speaker 1:39:38 You mean sugar baby University, we know.
Eric Weinstein 1:39:40 Yes. But no, sorry, Sugar Baby University, you know, like just a college system situation. The college system is creating your opportunity, and you guys are doing the ethical thing in my opinion, and I'm going to put my name on that, which is that you're wearing two hats. You're saying here's what you the politicians and union Diversity is created and the finance companies and all that. And here's what we created. And then you're going to get just so you know, you, you and I both know you're going to get blamed. If we find out that the women who are doing this more often are women coming from less well off background, I'm sure there's a huge class angle on this and that this is part of, you know, my family has a pretty strong progressive commitment. One of the things that really bothers me is is that this is implicitly and structurally cruel. To the people who have this idea of no one in my family have ever gone to college. I'm the first and the idea is that it's no longer that wonderful experience where you finally made it you find out on the other side, what this thing has become, it's like, effectively, you know, it used to be a house and now that all that's left of it is the front. You know, like the new york times it has a typeface on top of the paper doesn't behave in any way like the paper used to the universities have the same gleaming gauge But the fact of the matter is that they've now become something wholly distinct from what they used to be.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:41:06 Yeah, I would, I would totally agree with that. We talked a little bit about like the idea that, you know, used to be you, you, your parents would say, for you to go to college your whole life, and you'd have this sort of savings just like trust account or something, you turn 1718 you're picking out schools, you're mailing off applications, and you're getting responses. And so many of my friends and millennials never got that experience of just being able to plan and just know that you could do whatever you wanted. And so tuition expenses became a burden on you at 16 1718 years old. And, and I would say that
Unknown Speaker 1:41:43 it's probably
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:41:45 particularly challenging for those who come from, you know, less successful families who don't have the money, and therefore, a site like ours might be more appealing to them. But again, It goes back to this idea that if you're coming just out of desperation and you're sad, no, no,
Eric Weinstein 1:42:06 there's a question about the idea. There are many people who are desperate, who managed to keep a positive mindset. But the desperation is born of the situation. In other words, I, it is unethical for me to say that the desperation created by others is the responsibility of those who bear and I understand that it may not be a turn on, it's not hot. Yeah. And so the in terms of putting on a brave face and smiling on the site means like, I didn't want to get emotional talking about this, but I'm, I'm beyond livid and this thing has to be broken. And the I don't know why my generation cannot interest the parents of your generation. To take this seriously. Why can't we fire the administrators? Why can't we figure out how to Do low cost classes right now You and I are in the middle of a COVID epidemic. We know that a lot of these schools have gone online
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:43:07 with illustrations or gone
Eric Weinstein 1:43:10 out a reduction in the sticker price you can negotiate perhaps to go a little bit lower. But how is it that they're claiming that there should be no reduction in quality or price? It's preposterous they don't have let's let's be very clear about this. The universities that refuse to adjust their prices and tuition and the burden on their own students, when they are not making use of the physical plant because people aren't in the dorms, they're not taking classes, and they're doing things by zoom calls, let's say are you telling me that there's zero degradation then why do we have a physical plant to begin with? Why if it the product is just as good, and there's no reduction in price? Do you expect anyone to take you serious? And let me go farther? Sugar Baby University may not be a real University. But the level of honesty that sugar baby University is willing to traffic in relative to the top schools in our country. It's night and day, you guys are honest. If I go to the schools that I've been affiliated with, and I asked about this, I guarantee you, they would have the most lubricious person. Explain. Well, Eric, I think you're blowing things out of proportion. I don't really believe this, that and the other thing. Yeah, you guys in that race are unambiguously the good guys.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:44:31 We're just trying to make it easier.
Eric Weinstein 1:44:34 You know, but you're also trying to be honest, and you're also willing, I mean, tell me a little bit about your founder. Does he get along with the system that's making him rich?
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:44:44 No, no, Brandon Wade is our CEO and Founder and he's brilliant. He is an MIT grad. And he started the site because he couldn't get a date. And he was just this really kind of nerd. smart guy, and he watched men around him use their looks and their charm and their muscles to get women. And he understood that what he had to offer was his money in his brain. And there had to be some sort of market for that, and some sort of appeal to some sort of woman who would be interested in him for that. And so he created seeking arrangement so that he could ease more easily find, you know, people who were compatible people who would be interested in him for those reasons. And, and that was how he could flex. You know, I don't have the muscles or the charm, but like,
Eric Weinstein 1:45:33 I thought about that. Oh, absolutely. And he's also open about the fact that my understanding is he wasn't from the US originally. He's from Singapore. He's from Singapore. Yeah. And how does he feel about our the transformation of our system of higher education,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:45:48 he finds it really troubling. he disagrees completely and he'll be the first one to say like, why, why is the education system this way? Why are the loans this way? Why, why are people struggling so much? He's got kind of a mind of his own when it comes to all all different kinds of political issues. But that is definitely one where he just can't wrap his head around.
Eric Weinstein 1:46:08 I really hope that this becomes an issue for everyone who voted for this 2005 Act, which supposedly was fighting bankruptcy abuse, but in fact enslaved your generation into a situation in which and I just, you know, personally breaks my heart that you were put in the situation. Can I talk about the adversity that you faced, or would you like to leave that? Sure. Would you like to say
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:46:36 so, my sister had brain cancer when I was in high school, she was diagnosed when I was 13. She was 15. And she passed away when she was 18. And I was 1615. A few years later, three years later, and so because the care and her chemo, radiation and everything was in the city in Seattle, I often had to travel with my mom and we would At a Ronald McDonald House and I couldn't go to school. So I had to figure out what I was going to do. I mean, I tried to work remotely or work remotely go to school remotely back in the day, that meant teachers handing you a stack of papers and you figuring it out and we didn't have the internet like we do. Now, we didn't have
Unknown Speaker 1:47:20 any sort of like zoom calls. So
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:47:24 that was a challenge to definitely overcome and, and try to catch back up to my peers with the several years that I lost, but you know, but I did, and with the help of my mom and that FAFSA form, filling that out and figuring out how to go to college and making those double credits and same amount of time, but
Eric Weinstein 1:47:44 to $50,000 in debt, okay,
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:47:47 and that's the only debt I have. I also want to say that too, I
Eric Weinstein 1:47:50 know But look, I appreciate your honesty, and I appreciate you coming here you came from from Vegas took a huge risk if you will come up with a Go Fund. I'll put in the first thousand dollars, and I'll put a link in the video and encourage people, they don't have to put in 1000 bucks. But just to chip in a little bit, whatever it is to get you out of debt. No, just we'll find out maybe, maybe, maybe nothing but I have I, I always tell people, I've got the world's greatest audience and they will do whatever they can to help make sure that you have career prospects that you don't pay for being open that in some sense, the problem created by somebody else doesn't end up on the doorstep of sugar baby University and seeking arrangement. As long as you and your founder are open and honest and you don't like what is creating your own financial opportunity. I personally think what you're doing is more commendable than some of the greatest institutions and I encourage them to join sugar baby University, and finally being honest about the predation that's going on between the two generations that cannot play straight with the three generations now below them because to be honest, my Genet my children's generation Gen Z is right now entering the the universities in the millennials are transiting out. So this is no longer a millennial problem this this prediction of the earlier generations is now three generations deep. Yeah, I want no part of it. I would rather be much less financially secure than to have these three generations gens Gen X, millennials and Gen Z, preyed upon by this vampiric tendency to tell everybody else that they can't get the paper route to work. It's preposterous. These careers don't exist. We're going to torch the country. We're seeing the desperation in the streets. And enough is fucking enough.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:49:44 Yes, stop. Thank you.
Eric Weinstein 1:49:46 Kimberly, thank you so much, and would love to follow your story. I will put a link Yeah. And I'm going to insist that you have a GoFundMe so that you don't have to, it's you and I did not talk about that ahead of time. Now. I want To make absolutely sure that this is being imposed upon you, it's not something that you're asking for. And I want to also let you know that I'd be happy to write your recommendation that when you choose at any point to look for other work so that you can make a seamless transition. Thank you so much for coming out from Las Vegas.
Kimberly De La Cruz 1:50:17 Thank you so much.
Eric Weinstein 1:50:18 Okay, you've been through the portal with Kimberly Dela Cruz. I hope you've enjoyed today's episode was an unusual one. Please subscribe to us, either on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever you happen to listen to podcasts, and then head on over to YouTube. If we could ask you for that as well. Click the subscribe button and also the bell icon otherwise you won't be notified when our next video episode drops. And thank you for being with the portal.