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Member since: Sun Apr 23, 2017, 03:32 PM
Number of posts: 825

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Who's Afraid of Peter Thiel?


Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel is famous for destroying media outlets, not paying taxes, and being a conservative tech billionaire. A new biography, The Contrarian, suggests that he is after more than riches. TIME chatted with its author, journalist Max Chafkin.

Why should we care about Peter Thiel, apart from the fact that he is another rich tech billionaire and theyíre all weirdly fascinating?
I think that Peter Thiel is secretly the most important person in Silicon Valley. Heís this behind the scenes player, who is behind so many of the really important things that have happened over the last two decades. Obviously Facebook is one of the worldís largest companies; a lot of people think itís uniquely bad for the world. And a lot of people are super skeptical of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebookís CEO. And of course, Thiel is behind Facebook. He was the first outside money in the company. He is also the person who basically set up Mark Zuckerberg to be Mark Zuckerberg and turned him into this imperial CEO, who is now, arguably more powerful than a lot of world leaders.

A lot of people are really excited about cryptocurrency and you can connect it back to to PayPal, which is the company that Thiel co-founded in the late 1990s with an explicitly libertarian ethos. Thereís this aspect of crypto-world now, where people are really excited about the idea of taking power away from institutions and governments and thatís something that Thiel and his libertarian brethren that were starting that company were really interested in. Itís not something that happens accidentally.

Do you see Thiel as dangerous?
Itís really important that we understand the ideology of Silicon Valley. Five of the top 10 companies in the world are tech companies. They exert an enormous cultural and economic influence over our lives. Those companies have been really successful at telling a story about the world and their place in the world: weíre just trying to make the world a better place. Thiel comes with a very different perspective. He comes out of activist conservative media. I think itís really important that we explore the ideology of what somebody like Peter Thiel believes. When you start peeling back the layers, what you find is this very out-there political and economic philosophy that I think is a little bit scary.

What do you find scary about his economic and political philosophy?
Itís bordering on fascism. Thiel taught this class at Stanford and then turned it into a book called Zero to One. He talks about how companies are better run than governments because they have a single decision makeróa dictator, basically. He is hostile to the idea of democracy. Thatís pretty scary when you consider the role the companies that heís been involved in play. Facebook, Iíd say is the most influential media entity in the history of humanity, but he also has a major stake in several defense contractors, including SpaceX...


Larry Ellison joins Peter Thiel in Trump's camp

Eliza Dushku

I felt the same way. Kind of surprised the show has survived these sordid scandals.


BTW Eliza Dushku starred in a couple of underrated series..


Andy Griffith convinces Rafe Hollister to get Vaccinated

Andy Taylor convinces him to get his tetanus shot but you get the gist..





Secretive Pentagon program that started on Trump's last day in office just ended

The mystery has not.

Control of a remarkable 6 percent of the Internet was handed over to a Florida company as part of a cybersecurity pilot project. Now the Pentagon has taken all 175 million IP address spaces back




Enemy of the State

Good for Hayden.

Interesting tidbit about Hayden and the movie 'Enemy of the State'
An episode of PBS' Nova titled "Spy Factory" reported that the film's portrayal of the NSA's capabilities was fiction: although the agency can intercept transmissions, connecting the dots is difficult.

However, in 2001, the then-NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden, who was appointed to the position during the release of the film, told CNN's Kyra Phillips that "I made the judgment that we couldn't survive with the popular impression of this agency being formed by the last Will Smith movie."

James Risen wrote in his 2006 book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration that Hayden "was appalled" by the film's depiction of the NSA, and sought to counter it with a PR campaign on behalf of the agency...


Turns out the movie might have helped the agency..
In June 2013, the NSA's PRISM and Boundless Informant programs for domestic and international surveillance were uncovered by The Guardian and The Washington Post as the result of information provided by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. This information revealed capabilities such as collection of Internet browsing, e-mail and telephone data of not only many Americans, but citizens of other nations as well.

The Guardian's John Patterson argued that Hollywood depictions of NSA surveillance, including Enemy of the State and Echelon Conspiracy, had "softened" up the American public to "the notion that our spending habits, our location, our every movement and conversation, are visible to others whose motives we cannot know"...

Jimi Hendrix


Paul Simon


Gleason was Great

in The Comey Rule..


Life on Mars (2008-2009)

I always thought the BBC version of House of Cards was far superior to the American version. Even before the Kevin Spacey stuff came out. I also acknowledge that the BBC Life on Mars is better than the ABC reboot.

That said I really liked the American one too...

As I looked this up it appears they made several changes after the original Pilot..

This was the best though (2006-2007):

Big Fan of TGF

Going back to The Good Wife. In fact The Good Fight is less of a spinoff of TGW and more of a re-tooling. With the focus switching from the Julianne Margulies character to the Christine Baranski character. Which was the best part of TGW from the beginning.

Tackling current issues has been a key to their success. Going all the way back to the spin they did on The Social Network movie (the Facebook movie written by Aaron Sorkin). Clearly the creators of TGW felt Sorkin took gratuitous shots at Mark Zuckerberg in the movie. So their episode portraying that sided with Zuckerberg. We now know that take hasn't aged well and history has validated the concerns Aaron Sorkin expressed in the movie.

Their willingness to tackle these issues though is what makes the show interesting.

A Summer Song

Plus on the last day of July...

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