Peter Thiel (credit: Singularity Institute)
Some comments by entrepreneur Peter Thiel, interviewed by author Francis Fukuyama:
- I think there’s a close link between technological deceleration and increasing cynicism and pessimism about politics and economics.
- We should debate whether it should be decentralized or centralized, but what the United States has today is an extremely big government, a quasi-socialist government, but without a five-year plan, with no plan whatsoever.
- If there is going to be a government role in getting innovation started, people have to believe philosophically that it’s possible to plan. That’s not the world we’re living in. A letter from Einstein to the White House would get lost in the mail room today. Nobody would think that any single person would have that kind of expertise.
- It’s much harder to get a new drug through the FDA process. It takes a billion dollars. I don’t even know if you could get the polio vaccine approved today.
- I’m deeply skeptical about any sort of rationalization of death.
- When I taught at Stanford Law School last year, I asked students what they planned to do with their lives. Most were headed to big law firms but didn’t expect to become partners and didn’t know the next step after that. They didn’t have long-term plans about what they wanted to achieve in their lives. I think the educational system has become a major factor stopping people from thinking about the future.