What Do You Believe That No One Else Here Does?

 

Peter Thiel is well-known for asking this question in interviews:

PETER THIEL: The intellectual question that I ask at the start of my book is, “Tell me something that’s true that very few people agree with you on.” This is a terrific interview question. Even when people can read on the Internet that you’re going to ask this question to everybody you interview, they still find it really hard to answer. And it’s hard to answer not because people don’t have any ideas. Everyone has ideas. Everyone has things they believe to be true that other people won’t agree with you on. But they’re not things you want to say.

He himself was unforthcoming when asked the question, though:

TYLER COWEN: Peter, tell me something that’s true that everyone agrees with you on.

PETER THIEL: Well there are lots of things that are true that everyone agrees with me on. I think for example even this idea that the university system is somewhat screwed up and somewhat broken at this point. This is not even a heterodox or a very controversial idea anymore. There was an article in TechCrunch where the writer starts with “this is going to be super controversial” and then you look through the comments — there were about 350 comments — they were about 70 percent in my favor. So the idea that the education system is badly broken is not even controversial. You know, the ideas that are really controversial are the ones I don’t even want to tell you. I want to be more careful than that.

So what do you believe that puts you at odds with everyone else? What do you believe that puts you at odds with Ricochet, in particular?

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  1. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    B Jenner: The face that launched a thousand . . . Lunches.

    • #451
  2. user_138833 Inactive
    user_138833
    @starnescl

    Turn out I’m super topical.  Just saw on Twitter that Bruce just came out as a . . .  Republican.

    I guess I could claim I saw this coming?

    Anyway, welcome Bruce!  Hoist that decathelete javelin high and prop up that big tent!  Now even higher with stilettos!

    • #452
  3. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @DadDog

    Umbra Fractus:

    Dad Dog:

    Umbra Fractus:

    Western Chauvinist:

    Umbra Fractus:

    I also believe that Sola Fide amounts to salvation exclusively through butt kissing.

    Whoa there, cowboy. You lost me. Please explain.

    None of your actual deeds, good or bad, makes any difference regarding salvation; the only thing that matters is whether or not you pay homage to God in the proper manner.

    Me thinks one of us misunderstands sola fide. I understand it to mean that we are saved by faith alone, not allegiance alone.

    I’ve yet to meet any sola fide adherent who defines “faith” by any means other than, “membership in some Christian church.”

    Then, let’s meet!

    • #453
  4. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Ball Diamond Ball:I believe that the Constitution as such is no longer an adequate basis for the government.

    Come on, this definitely requires a post of its own, complete with rough draft of the new constitution you propose. (And I may agree with you, even, so let’s work up a new, improved Constitution and submit it to our fellow citizens for consideration. Maybe this thread can be more than a weird Ricochet fluke–maybe it can save America, right?)

    • #454
  5. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    thelonious:I hate Christmas.

    You’re definitely not alone on that. Although I like it now that I have something more fun to do on Christmas than eat Chinese food. Ever since I took over Jewish Christmas on Ricochet, I’ve kind of looked forward to it. But you’re definitely not the only one who hates it, I promise.

    • #455
  6. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    starnescl:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Bryan G. Stephens:I don’t like chocolate

    Neither do I. I’ve never understood what the big deal is.

    Both of you, there is still time to take it back . . . .

    I think it’s probably genetic. To me it tastes bitter and unpleasant. I’ll of course eat it to be polite if someone serves it at a dinner party, but I’m absolutely certain I’m not experiencing it the way people who go into raptures about it do.

    • #456
  7. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Claire, why do you assume that I propose a new Constitution?

    • #457
  8. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Ball Diamond Ball:Claire, why do you assume that I propose a new Constitution?

    I suppose I have no good reason to assume that. But I’d still like to hear more about what you mean.

    • #458
  9. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Claire Berlinski:

    Ball Diamond Ball:Claire, why do you assume that I propose a new Constitution?

    I suppose I have no good reason to assume that. But I’d still like to hear more about what you mean.

    I think we need the Constitution we have now with one additional amendment:  “And this time we mean it”.

    • #459
  10. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Claire Berlinski
    Ball Diamond Ball:Claire, why do you assume that I propose a new Constitution?

    I suppose I have no good reason to assume that. But I’d still like to hear more about what you mean.
    ———————–
    New post up.

    • #460
  11. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    It’s interesting that nearly 500 comments in, nobody here believes the children are our future. Maybe conservatives really are bad people.

    • #461
  12. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    We may suffer from longevity, but as a population we are not healthy.

    I believe that we are all guinea pigs in the service of  the medical profession’s understandable but wrong-headed and increasing over-reliance on the promise of drugs and vaccines, and that the result will be continuing disaster.

    Homeopathic remedies, when well-prescribed by a trained physician, can work deeply and quickly to bring about a cure.  I don’t care whether you believe this so long as you leave me and my physician alone.

    It is a rare person who is willing to seriously consider an opposing argument without instantly thinking of his own retort.  (I am not one of those rare persons.)

    • #462
  13. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Sandy:We may suffer from longevity, but as a population we are not healthy.

    I believe that we are all guinea pigs in the service of the medical profession’s understandable but wrong-headed and increasing over-reliance on the promise of drugs and vaccines, and that the result will be continuing disaster.

    Homeopathic remedies, when well-prescribed by a trained physician, can work deeply and quickly to bring about a cure. I don’t care whether you believe this so long as you leave me and my physician alone.

    It is a rare person who is willing to seriously consider an opposing argument without instantly thinking of his own retort. (I am not one of those rare persons.)

    I have no objection to whatever you want to ingest, but as for me, I’m a big fan of double-blind clinical trials that produce statistically significant and reproducible results.

    • #463
  14. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Cato Rand:

    Sandy:We may suffer from longevity, but as a population we are not healthy.

    I believe that we are all guinea pigs in the service of the medical profession’s understandable but wrong-headed and increasing over-reliance on the promise of drugs and vaccines, and that the result will be continuing disaster.

    Homeopathic remedies, when well-prescribed by a trained physician, can work deeply and quickly to bring about a cure. I don’t care whether you believe this so long as you leave me and my physician alone.

    It is a rare person who is willing to seriously consider an opposing argument without instantly thinking of his own retort. (I am not one of those rare persons.)

    I have no objection to whatever you want to ingest, but as for me, I’m a big fan of double-blind clinical trials that produce statistically significant and reproducible results.

    And I have no objection to your choice to believe in double-blind clinical trials.  I believe them, too, especially the parts about the side effects.  I am forced, however, to also believe in my own forty years of experience–which you have no reason whatever to trust, nor would I ask you to.  Anyway, thanks!

    • #464
  15. Cato Rand Inactive
    Cato Rand
    @CatoRand

    Sandy:

    Cato Rand:

    I have no objection to whatever you want to ingest, but as for me, I’m a big fan of double-blind clinical trials that produce statistically significant and reproducible results.

    And I have no objection to your choice to believe in double-blind clinical trials. I believe them, too, especially the parts about the side effects. I am forced, however, to also believe in my own forty years of experience–which you have no reason whatever to trust, nor would I ask you to. Anyway, thanks!

    You’re certainly right about the side effects.  I think they disclose them if they know of them, but they do it in a “don’t worry about it, it hardly ever happens” way.  I am now being told by a new doctor that some problems I’m having may be attributable to statins that another doctor put me on years ago.  Who knows?  It’s a crapshoot either way.  I’m just trying to maximize my odds.

    • #465
  16. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    Cato Rand:

    Sandy:

    Cato Rand:

    I have no objection to whatever you want to ingest, but as for me, I’m a big fan of double-blind clinical trials that produce statistically significant and reproducible results.

    And I have no objection to your choice to believe in double-blind clinical trials. I believe them, too, especially the parts about the side effects. I am forced, however, to also believe in my own forty years of experience–which you have no reason whatever to trust, nor would I ask you to. Anyway, thanks!

    You’re certainly right about the side effects. I think they disclose them if they know of them, but they do it in a “don’t worry about it, it hardly ever happens” way. I am now being told by a new doctor that some problems I’m having may be attributable to statins that another doctor put me on years ago. Who knows? It’s a crapshoot either way. I’m just trying to maximize my odds.

    Statins are indeed a big problem.

    By the way, I should have mentioned that there are in fact double-blind studies on homeopathy, some positive, some negative, as one would expect. I’m at work today, but if you are interested, I’ll be glad to send some links.  Here’s one that I randomly and blindly pulled up.  It’s from JAMA.

    • #466
  17. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Casey:It’s interesting that nearly 500 comments in, nobody here believes the children are our future. Maybe conservatives really are bad people.

    Have you met any kids lately? *shakes his cane*

    • #467
  18. Claire Berlinski Editor
    Claire Berlinski
    @Claire

    Umbra Fractus:

    Casey:It’s interesting that nearly 500 comments in, nobody here believes the children are our future. Maybe conservatives really are bad people.

    Have you met any kids lately? *shakes his cane*

    The very word “Millennial” makes me cringe.

    • #468
  19. Grendel Member
    Grendel
    @Grendel

    ctlaw
    The LOTR trilogy was unreadable.

    Only the first two or three times you try. Skip Tom Bombadil and it isn’t bad. Or you can go to right to the movies. Someone who is no more than lukewarm toward the scripture won’t mind the deviations the fanatics find in the film.

    • #469
  20. Grendel Member
    Grendel
    @Grendel

    Fred Cole
    I also think we’ve crossed the line and are now living in a police state

    I wouldn’t put it quite like that, but I do think that the police are more and more the minions of a Fascist bureaucracy. But maybe that’s what you mean.

    • #470
  21. Grendel Member
    Grendel
    @Grendel

    vide #310

    Apparently the idea that Jindal, Cruz, and Rubio are not natural-born citizens and therfore not eligible to be President is so outlandish no one even wants to disagree.

    • #471
  22. user_3467 Thatcher
    user_3467
    @DavidCarroll

    I believe that the well-intended 50 state civil rights acts that apply to employers of fewer than 50 people hurt minorities. They contribute significantly to high minority unemployment rates. By making it more costly to fire ineffective minority employees, the state civil rights acts effectively incentivize discrimination against minorities.

    • #472
  23. user_1050 Member
    user_1050
    @MattBartle

    There’s no point in drinking any beer that you can see through.

    • #473
  24. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Claire Berlinski:

    Umbra Fractus:

    Casey:It’s interesting that nearly 500 comments in, nobody here believes the children are our future. Maybe conservatives really are bad people.

    Have you met any kids lately? *shakes his cane*

    The very word “Millennial” makes me cringe.

    Old people are the future-

    • #474
  25. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Old people are young people’s future.

    • #475
  26. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    Ball Diamond Ball:Old people are young people’s future.

    Well, remember that if the future turns out to include fewer & fewer young people. Then old people will have become the past, present, & future of young people.

    • #476
  27. user_650824 Inactive
    user_650824
    @T

    Troy Senik, Ed.:

    Titus Techera:

    3. Term limits — including for the presidency — are a bad idea

    I’d except the presidency, in fear. Can you imagine an FDR fourth term?

    I assume you mean a complete FDR fourth term? I think it’s true that there’s a better case for term limiting executives than legislators simply because of the fact that there’s more power consolidated in the executive branch (how about we trade off term limits for a controlled demolition of the administrative state?). That said, I basically agree with Hamilton’s argument against term limiting presidents from Federalist 72:

    I’d argue that at least some of the blame for the modern curse of the second term owes to the passage of the 22nd Amendment, which term-limited presidents. I’m more fearful of an executive who gets to exercise power for four years knowing that he’ll never be held accountable by the electorate than one who might be angling for a third term.

    I’d invert the current term limit regime as it pertains to the executive and legislative branches.

    Many senators and congressmen don’t have to worry about being voted out of office enough to worry about doing the “right thing”. Hamilton extolled “merit” when it came to getting reelected but that is not the case when most incumbents get reelected (the last couple of elections, notably 2010 and 2014, are exceptions).

    Nearing the end of one’s term could induce senators and congressmen to do things they otherwise would not do but they are one of many and their ability to unilaterally do things is limited. Conversely, nearing the end of their term might inoculate them from threats from their own party (i.e. less fundraising) to vote for or against something, like Obamacare, because that is what they truly believe versus what will get them support from the party for their reelection campaign or appointment to a coveted position. As it currently stands, those senators and congressmen who are in no fear of not being reelected have little reason for “good behavior” as it pertains to their being term limited or not.

    The incumbency bump isn’t as true for the presidency but that isn’t the deciding factor for me. Presidents should not be subjected to term limits because term limits weaken a president’s power and standing internationally. Domestically, as we are seeing with the current president (and as we saw with his predecessors), term limits induce presidents to do things they otherwise would not do because they don’t have to worry about getting reelected.

    I’m fully aware that these positions seem contradictory on the surface but that contradiction is negated by the fact that while the president is the sole operator of power in the executive branch each legislator has comparatively little individual power since they are members of large bodies.

    • #477
  28. user_3467 Thatcher
    user_3467
    @DavidCarroll

    We should not encourage people to vote.

    Also, anyone who makes his or her living from the government should not have the right to vote in elections involving that level of government (federal, state or local).

    • #478
  29. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    David Carroll:We should not encourage people to vote.

    Also, anyone who makes his or her living from the government should not have the right to vote in elections involving that level of government (federal, state or local).

    Where does one draw the line? Contractors? Social Security recipients?

    • #479
  30. Ricochet Contributor
    Ricochet
    @TitusTechera

    T:

    You might wish for an elected monarch if you wish for the full powers, reputation, & long-term perspective in the executive.

    You might consider, too, that throwing the legislature out of office en masse frequently means no one really knows procedure. Also, no one would have any reason to respect it–it cannot bind him for long. Also, the party would be in absolute power, as the individuals are entirely too replaceable.

    Let me tell you an old Chesterton story–he says, our reformers see a fence, see no reason for it to be there, want to tear it down. But I prefer a reformer who first finds out why the fence is there & then decides whether she knows it or no-

    • #480
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