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?

Members have made 494 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Titus Techera Contributor

    Nice try, Miss Claire-

    • #1
    • April 23, 2015 at 3:26 am
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  2. Profile photo of The Reticulator Member

    I think you should go first.

    • #2
    • April 23, 2015 at 3:28 am
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  3. Profile photo of Scott Wilmot Member

    Rick Santorum will be a good President

    • #3
    • April 23, 2015 at 3:29 am
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  4. Profile photo of Fred Cole Contributor

    This reminds me of Mollie Hemingway’s Confess Your Unpopular Opinion post from a couple
    Of years ago.

    • #4
    • April 23, 2015 at 3:30 am
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  5. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Happy to go first, I just didn’t want to steal the limelight. Among other views that put me in a distinct minority among members of Ricochet, I think Sigmund Freud is a great genius.

    Your turn, everyone.

    • #5
    • April 23, 2015 at 3:40 am
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  6. Profile photo of Mike Hubbard Member

    Claire, I think Freud was both brilliant and mostly wrong, rather like Marx. Both men excelled at identifying problems, but their solutions were ghastly.

    I’m probably in the minority here in opposing the death penalty for Tsarnaev, thinking that deep frying food is revolting, and believing that the biggest problem with schools is neither the teachers nor the students but the parents.

    • #6
    • April 23, 2015 at 3:55 am
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  7. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Mike Hubbard:Claire, I think Freud was both brilliant and mostly wrong, rather like Marx. Both men excelled at identifying problems, but their solutions were ghastly.

    I’m probably in the minority here in opposing the death penalty for Tsarnaev, thinking that deep frying food is revolting, and believing that the biggest problem with schools is neither the teachers nor the students but the parents.

    I’m with you on deep frying food. (I take it this is a separate issue from frying Tsarnaev.) I’m probably also with you on the parents.

    Maybe my opinions aren’t so uncontroversial.

    • #7
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:02 am
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  8. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    Liberalism and Conservatism are dead.

    • #8
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:02 am
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  9. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Casey:Liberalism and Conservatism are dead.

    To be replaced with what?

    • #9
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:03 am
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  10. Profile photo of Marion Evans Inactive

    Claire Berlinski:Happy to go first, I just didn’t want to steal the limelight. Among other views that put me in a distinct minority among members of Ricochet, I think Sigmund Freud is a great genius.

    Your turn, everyone.

    Not exactly going out on a limb though, right?

    • #10
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:12 am
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  11. Profile photo of Casey Inactive

    Hard work is not, in itself, good.

    • #11
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:18 am
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  12. Profile photo of Cato Rand Member

    I believe that the existence and nature of God is both unknown and unknowable. Not sure that makes me unique, but it makes me a distinct minority on Ricochet.

    P.S. Claire, Paris in October, we’re looking for a not too outrageously priced but charming B&B type place for our tenth anniversary. Four or five nights. Any thoughts come to mind? Mr. Rand has never been, so we’ll probably do the sights, so proximity to the center would be nice, though not necessarily critical if its metro convenient.

    • #12
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:19 am
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  13. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    I believe it is more likely than not that we are living in a computer simulation.

    I believe (as do many people) that the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics is correct. But I further believe that conscious beings may have a weak and unreliable ability to navigate among future branches in the future multiverse.

    I believe that reliable digital storage may be the secret of life.

    • #13
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:24 am
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  14. Profile photo of Cato Rand Member

    Casey:Hard work is not, in itself, good.

    This reminds me of a probably apocryphal story about Milton Friedman. He was in China for something or other and being carted around by an apparatchik who was showing off China’s development to him. One of the locations he was taken to was a building site that had hundreds of men, with shovels, digging at the commencement of a construction project. Friedman turned to his companion and said, “why are all those men digging with shovels? Why aren’t you using heaving digging equipment for a project like this?” The man politely responded, “you don’t understand Dr. Friedman, this is a jobs project” to which Friedman responded, “oh, well if it’s a jobs project, why don’t you give them spoons instead?”

    • #14
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:25 am
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  15. Profile photo of Bryan G. Stephens Reagan

    I believe that Julius Caesar was right when he seized power from a corrupt Senate, and that The Republic was dead at that point already.

    • #15
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:30 am
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  16. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    John Walker:I believe it is more likely than not that we are living in a computer simulation.

    You do?

    • #16
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:30 am
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  17. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Cato Rand:I believe that the existence and nature of God is both unknown and unknowable. Not sure that makes me unique, but it makes me a distinct minority on Ricochet.

    P.S. Claire, Paris in October, we’re looking for a not too outrageously priced but charming B&B type place for our tenth anniversary. Four or five nights. Any thoughts come to mind? Mr. Rand has never been, so we’ll probably do the sights, so proximity to the center would be nice, though not necessarily critical if its metro convenient.

    Any place you’d want to stay will be close to the metro. What’s “not too outrageously overpriced?”

    • #17
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:31 am
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  18. Profile photo of Britanicus Inactive

    John Walker:I believe it is more likely than not that we are living in a computer simulation.

    Now my head hurts and I’m more than a little afraid…

    • #18
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:32 am
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  19. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Marion Evans:

    Claire Berlinski:Happy to go first, I just didn’t want to steal the limelight. Among other views that put me in a distinct minority among members of Ricochet, I think Sigmund Freud is a great genius.

    Your turn, everyone.

    Not exactly going out on a limb though, right?

    I thought it was. I’m glad to know everyone agrees with me.

    • #19
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:32 am
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  20. Profile photo of John Walker Contributor

    Claire Berlinski:

    John Walker:I believe it is more likely than not that we are living in a computer simulation.

    You do?

    Yes, please read the document I linked to for the reasoning. It’s pretty simple: progress in computing will provide the capability for us to create our own faithful simulated worlds, probably within 150 years; once the capability exists, we will do it (we’re already using our crude present-day computers to create simulated worlds we call video games); and if each simulated world creates more than one simulated world of its own (what I call the branching factor), then it’s overwhelmingly probable we’re not at the top level.

    But shouldn’t this thread be about listing unusual things we believe, not discussing them in detail? That would lead to its own branching in myriad directions.

    • #20
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:38 am
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  21. Profile photo of Cato Rand Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Cato Rand:I believe that the existence and nature of God is both unknown and unknowable. Not sure that makes me unique, but it makes me a distinct minority on Ricochet.

    P.S. Claire, Paris in October, we’re looking for a not too outrageously priced but charming B&B type place for our tenth anniversary. Four or five nights. Any thoughts come to mind? Mr. Rand has never been, so we’ll probably do the sights, so proximity to the center would be nice, though not necessarily critical if its metro convenient.

    Any place you’d want to stay will be close to the metro. What’s “not too outrageously overpriced?”

    Let’s say under $300/night. Under $200 would be ideal.

    • #21
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:38 am
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  22. Profile photo of Cato Rand Member

    Claire Berlinski:

    Marion Evans:

    Claire Berlinski:Happy to go first, I just didn’t want to steal the limelight. Among other views that put me in a distinct minority among members of Ricochet, I think Sigmund Freud is a great genius.

    Your turn, everyone.

    Not exactly going out on a limb though, right?

    I thought it was. I’m glad to know everyone agrees with me.

    Oh I kind of don’t. Freud, like Marx, developed an intellectual system that I believe to be almost entirely untethered from reality. As popularizers, they may be geniuses, but as intellectuals — I have trouble with that word.

    • #22
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:41 am
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  23. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Bryan G. Stephens:I believe that Julius Caesar was right when he seized power from a corrupt Senate, and that The Republic was dead at that point already.

    But the noble Brutus told me Caesar was ambitious, Bryan. If it were so, it were a grievous fault, weren’t it?

    • #23
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:51 am
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  24. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Cato Rand:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Cato Rand:I believe that the existence and nature of God is both unknown and unknowable. Not sure that makes me unique, but it makes me a distinct minority on Ricochet.

    P.S. Claire, Paris in October, we’re looking for a not too outrageously priced but charming B&B type place for our tenth anniversary. Four or five nights. Any thoughts come to mind? Mr. Rand has never been, so we’ll probably do the sights, so proximity to the center would be nice, though not necessarily critical if its metro convenient.

    Any place you’d want to stay will be close to the metro. What’s “not too outrageously overpriced?”

    Let’s say under $300/night. Under $200 would be ideal.

    I’ll have a look for you. I don’t usually think about this problem all that much, since I live here. You should be able to find something very nice in that price range, though.

    • #24
    • April 23, 2015 at 4:53 am
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  25. Profile photo of Bryan G. Stephens Reagan

    Claire Berlinski:

    Bryan G. Stephens:I believe that Julius Caesar was right when he seized power from a corrupt Senate, and that The Republic was dead at that point already.

    But the noble Brutus told me Caesar was ambitious, Bryan. If it were so, it were a grievous fault, weren’t it?

    His ambition usually lead him to do what is best for Rome. He was better than the money grubbing elites, who pitted the underclasses against the workers in order to keep their power. This included having gangs of thugs to intimidate the people.

    Sound at all familiar?

    • #25
    • April 23, 2015 at 5:04 am
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  26. Profile photo of Claire Berlinski, Ed. Editor
    Claire Berlinski, Ed. Post author

    Cato Rand:

    Claire Berlinski:

    Cato Rand:I believe that the existence and nature of God is both unknown and unknowable. Not sure that makes me unique, but it makes me a distinct minority on Ricochet.

    P.S. Claire, Paris in October, we’re looking for a not too outrageously priced but charming B&B type place for our tenth anniversary. Four or five nights. Any thoughts come to mind? Mr. Rand has never been, so we’ll probably do the sights, so proximity to the center would be nice, though not necessarily critical if its metro convenient.

    Any place you’d want to stay will be close to the metro. What’s “not too outrageously overpriced?”

    Let’s say under $300/night. Under $200 would be ideal.

    How does this site look to you? It seems to have good reviews, and the prices look about right for what’s being offered.

    • #26
    • April 23, 2015 at 5:11 am
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  27. Profile photo of Boisfeuras Inactive

    The United Kingdom is, on balance, better off in the European Union, than out of it.

    • #27
    • April 23, 2015 at 5:17 am
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  28. Profile photo of Barkha Herman Member

    Not unique thought among Hindus, but I believe that world is an illusion.

    • #28
    • April 23, 2015 at 5:20 am
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  29. Profile photo of Brandon Shafer Thatcher

    I doubt this would be controversial on Ricochet, but I get disagreement even from somewhat conservative friends: I believe there is a lot of upward mobility in the United States even for the poorest among us. In other words, I believe the “Rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer” meme is a lie and a complete misunderstanding of what the stats on that issue imply.

    • #29
    • April 23, 2015 at 5:24 am
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  30. Profile photo of Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    1. Same Sex Marriage is not, ultimately, an important issue;
    2. Aaron Burr saved the republic from Jefferson’s despotic tendencies; and
    3. An individual mandate for health insurance is not, in and of itself, an awful idea (though it was a terrible idea under the system we had circa 2009).
    • #30
    • April 23, 2015 at 5:27 am
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