In this article for Unherd, Mary Harrington discusses Peter Thiel’s ideas regarding the dangers of progress. Peter Thiel, a prominent entrepreneur and investor, argues that while technological advancements have brought immense benefits to society, they have also introduced significant risks and challenges. He raises concerns about the potential misuse of technology, loss of privacy, and the unintended consequences of rapid progress. Thiel’s perspective highlights the need for careful consideration and ethical reflection as we continue to embrace and shape the future through innovation and technology.
Editor’s Note: Perhaps one of the main differences between Thiel and Elon Musk is that Thiel recognizes the fact that our societies are in denial of cultural stagnation. He says that though our societies may have shifted away from “exteriority, from measurable things”, it did not help that we had shifted towards “the interior world of yoga, meditation, psychology, parapsychology, psychopharmacology, psychedelic drugs, video games, the internet, etc.” He says that we must re-orient our attention away from “displacement activities” towards “concrete forms of progress of the sort that might translate into a return to…widespread optimism”.
Thiel is touching on an important point here. While there is a need for humanity to turn inward in order to search for meaning and purpose, it must not be done in a way that will disconnect us from the harsh realities that we are not facing. Thiel, however, has not been able to see the underlying issue that has led to the stagnation of our societies. Biotech and space travel, two of his pet projects, are not the path toward progress. There is a higher truth that must be discovered here – a truth that will enable humanity to discover our true place in this universe [see IS CONSCIOUSNESS CREATING REALITY?, WHY MATERIALISM CANNOT EXPLAIN CONSCIOUSNESS, WHAT IS THE GLOBAL CONSCIOUSNESS PROJECT?, SCIENCE AND SPIRITUALITY: OBSERVATIONS FROM MODERN CONSCIOUSNESS RESEARCH, GARY SCHWARTZ: CONSCIOUSNESS CONTINUES AFTER DEATH].
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