“When I left after seven months and three days, one of the lawyers down the hall from me said, ‘You know, I had no idea it was possible to escape from Alcatraz.’ Of course that was not literally true, since all you had to do was go out the front door and not come back. We cannot resist Mimetic contagion, and that will never change. When two people are different and far away from each other, the tension will stay calm. All the while, he’s spent years marching along the institutional track, obeying orders and doing exactly what others told him to do, without questioning why he should listen to them in the first place. By brainwashing us into thinking that prosperity is inevitable, privilege can have a numbing effect. Thiel’s Christianity-inspired worldview lines up with Michael Porter’s philosophy of business strategy. There’s a lack of differentiation. Among my friends in the upper echelons of society — the ones with the means to pursue transcendent dreams — I wonder if they’re too comfortable. We all form our identity by looking towards others. The freshwater lakes would have evaporated too quickly. Within five years, Ford produced tens of thousands of airplanes per year. Max Levchin had attended a lecture by Peter Thiel at Stanford University in 1998, and the next morning pitched him his idea for a startup. Thiel closed his Dave Rubin interview with practical career advice, inspired by the Ten Commandments. Other secrets are hidden in plain sight. Pair that with the blank slate theory that anybody can do whatever they want, and you have a recipe for runaway Girardian conflict. Copy the people who don’t copy people. Here, he counters the secular and Eastern philosophy. Without a positive vision for their future, these young Americans are stuck playing vicious, zero-sum status games. From bored students, to ambitious graduate school students, to empire-building business professionals, the objects we fight about change, but human nature doesn’t. Instead of looking in the light, Thiel and his employees look in the dark, where nobody else is looking. Competition distracts us from things that are more important, meaningful, or valuable. Instead of looking in the light, Thiel and his employees look in the dark, where nobody else is looking. Relative to the Christian tradition, this philosophy assumes the futility of long-term progress. Instead, my smartest friends were pushed towards a handful of fields: law, management consulting, and investment banking. Rivals who pursue the “one best way” to compete will converge on a collision course, where everybody listens to the same advice and pursues the same strategies, leading to zero-sum outcomes where total industry profits fall towards nothing. As I’ve written before, the speed of technology and the hyperconnectivity of society have placed us in a “never-ending now.” Like hamsters running on a wheel, we live in an endless cycle of ephemeral content consumption — a merry-go-round that spins faster and faster but never goes anywhere. On the inside, everybody wanted to get out.”. We’ll see why the last book in The Bible,The Book of Revelation, is a core pillar of Thiel’s philosophy. Here’s how Thiel would respond to my imitative instincts: Be careful who you copy. Follow The Bible, which says there is no salvation in anyone other than Jesus. The airline industry suffers from near-perfect competition. When I speak with friends who do business there, they complain about the rigid hierarchies and the inability to take risks. Rather than focusing their attention on the end goal of developing a legal expertise, transforming the Constitution, or rescuing the powerless from tyrannical injustice, they elbowed their peers so they could score higher than their classmates on standardized tests. NASA’s star spangled splendor transformed consciousness. We copy other people spontaneously, automatically, and unconsciously. As the American people watched their comrades explore the distant skies and travel to the moon, they thought they’d witnessed the opening of a new frontier.