He has compared university administrators to subprime-mortgage brokers, and called debt-saddled graduates the last indentured workers in the developed world.
At least Thiel’s fantasies are aimed at improving the world. “It seems like we’ve not been thinking about the right issues for a long time,” he said. “I actually think it is a big step just to ask the question ‘What does one need to do to make the U.S. a better place?’
What’s interesting about Thiel is his drive to make the world better (basically solely through technology) combined with his harsh Libertarian views. An unusual connection occurred to me while listening to NPR’s Fresh Air this morning: Jill Tartar, former director of SETI, kept describing civilizations (ours and alien ones) as technologies. E.g., “an old technology” might describe an ancient civilization who managed to get to us from across space. Describing our civilization by our technology alone…is certainly one way to describe us, but it assumes a equivalence of our fundamental nature, or our societal moral nature, while compared to another species.