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Maggette


Total Posts: 1213
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2019-07-17 06:50
Hi,

what the heck is his plan?

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5143
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Posted: 2019-07-17 10:31
I'll say this about Thiel: he may have some strong views and he may use the blood of children in weird ways, but he surrounds himself with and employs people with diverse views that don't align with his own. E.g., Alex Karp, billionaire patriot a la Palantir who thinks Thiel's main man is a dangerous lunatic; Eric Weinstein, smart guy who I think has been sitting on some kind of half-baked Einstein-Cartan theory that got him ostracized from physics but who likes DMT and thinking about maths and completely opposes Thiel's politics.

That being said, I believe that Thiel truly believes that their behavior is treasonous acts of sedition.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

deeds


Total Posts: 468
Joined: Dec 2008
 
Posted: 2019-07-17 12:31

Isn't Palantir under lamestream [sic] media pressure for providing 'algorithm enabled' apps for ICE agents to ferret out more offenders as of last few days?

Timing would suggest press release level communication is standard pettifoggery, mis-direction. Maybe Trump approach will become a widespread tool. (not unlike the master)

Probably is an authentic view of Thiel's.

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5143
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2019-07-17 14:28
Yeah, but I first heard about them and Karp when JPM started using them in very creative ways. Most people will never understand their data footprint or how powerful disparate data that’s been linked can be. Ironically, that’s probably Thiel’s priveledged perspective: he sees the power behind the GUI and screens and understands the legality, or lack thereof, and he gets angry. People are fucking stupid. They think just because they use a private interest instead of a public one, like for, say, healthcare, they are protected by the same privacy laws. They assume Chinese walls between content and service providers. They assume that use cases are limited. Thiel understands, or at least has considerable access to people that understand, the reality, and he sees the danger. Note he sees the danger in the software, what he knows, and not the hardwear (rockets, drones, ionospheric heaters, penis stretchers).

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

Maggette


Total Posts: 1213
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2019-07-17 14:53
Well, there are always the conspiracy theories that he is trying to get the attention away from facebook or it is a way to please the conservative part of his network.

I don't know.

Maybe it is patriotism. Maybe it is the conservative liberetarian in him that just hates the drone like "ultra progressive" image of alphabet. That would be an understandable*** reaction. My guess is with the Thiels of this world it is more often about their ego than anything else.

*** most standards would consider me probably more left wing. On LinkedIn I follows some of the, more or less, hip tech company feeds (googleAI, DeepMind, amazon AWS, Microsoft, Oracle ...)

And even for me, an open feminist, the flood of "inclusion" and "diversity" propaganda posts are a bit much.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5143
Joined: Mar 2004
 
Posted: 2019-07-17 15:14
And I could be totally wrong, but I think the size of his PA and the fact that he notoriously avoids the limelight could suggest it isn’t all ego. We (the US) don’t apply the same constraints on software that we do on (physical on-perm) hardware. It’s probably the psychology of it all. I remember export limitations on early macs because you could buy a ton of them and scale for massively parallel applications (hardware / memory management challenges of Appleseed vs Beowulf clusters). Somehow, on the hardware front, using Azure or AWS EC2 GPU instances don’t receive the same scrutiny as foreign interests trying to use NERSC assets. Same goes for software and data.

I personally think that sanctions are short-term solutions. Everyone just needs to up their game. Unfortunately, given IQ levels in the US, that means allowing people from other countries to be educated and work here. Something has to give.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

Nonius
Founding Member
Nonius Unbound
Total Posts: 12793
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Posted: 2019-07-18 06:37
@chiral, on Eric Weinstein, listened to Joe Rogan interview him...his ideas on physics do seem close to crank-ish.

Chiral is Tyler Durden

Maggette


Total Posts: 1213
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2019-07-18 07:25
On the other hand he is quite open about the fact that it might be crankish and that it has to sound crankish.

I like listening to the guy. Didn't watch the Joe Rogan interview, but liked him with LEx Fridman.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

chiral3
Founding Member

Total Posts: 5143
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Posted: 2019-07-18 12:06
I don't know the backstory but it reminds me of Garrett Lisi and his E8 stuff. Difference between Lisi and Eric is that Lisi published a paper and gave talks. Eric did neither but appears to be fine talking to lay people who may build a temple for him and give him virgins.

Thing is I think Eric's advisor was Bott. So points for that. Also, and I have no idea what his actual idea was, since his "infamous" talk was never recorded, but he keeps talking about 14d and spinors and gauge symmetries and stuff. Well, is a symmetric bilinear form over the tangent space that that bundles over 4d, so there's 14. And if you want spinors and local gauge symmetry you'd get that from a cartan theory. Plus, if you want to do ayahuasca there's no singularities, so you get bounce theories where black-holes become traditional Einstein-Rosen bridges beyond the event horizon. Maybe, in these universes, they discovered quantum theory before GR and when they got to GR they demanded local gauge invariance and the Einstein theory is in the appendix and the Dirac equation is non-linear and nobody outside of pure math is talking about magnetic monopoles (except they don't call them "monopoles"). And maybe Majorana is alive in South America. Anyway, if this is his theory, it's not new or crackpot, so not sure what his deal is really or why he only communicates with lay people fnord.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

Maggette


Total Posts: 1213
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Posted: 2019-07-19 20:12
Whenever the topic on this phorum is something like optimization and control, statistics and software engineering or machine learning I feel I can hang....but then a dude like chiral3, nonius, ES..r etc. come along and remind me I am stupid tool that studied a glorified version of business administration...

chiral3...where you wanna have the temple built and the virgins delivered? ;)

Kidding aside, thx everybody for the input

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

The Doc


Total Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2019
 
Posted: 2019-07-30 16:22
Thiel is a venture capitalist. Venture capitalists do not have ideas. He makes money from other peoples ideas. He always talks about stagnation of the tech industry, but never explains what actually needs to happen, bc he has never been an entrepreneur. He is prob the next president of USA (or 2024). Its prob bc he is a great communicator (being a philosophy major) and his reasoning is very good for the general public that doesnt even know basic stuff about how big companies work.

Im not an expert by any means.

chiral3
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Posted: 2019-07-30 17:49
I’d have to venture that P(female prez)>>P(gay prez) at this point in American history. But who knows, I was only right about the last one at 10pm election night.

Thiel has access to smart people and he’s a good communicator. He has the impatience of a good CEO, so I wonder how much *new* listening he does. Presumably, at one point in his life, he was a good listener, because he parrots smart things. Given he’s picked and chosen those things to the exclusion of other things, he would also seem to have an ideological basis for what he says, which is nice and, these days, not always guaranteed. On the flip side, very little is known about the guy. I know he reads Girard and mainlines the blood of children. I’d still welcome him in public service, in some capacity. Not sure how much more runway he has in ‘con valley.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

EspressoLover


Total Posts: 405
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Posted: 2019-08-02 17:40
Like Arnold, Thiel is constitutionally prohibited from holding executive office because he's not a natural born citizen. Absent a constitutional amendment, which is basically impossible at the current juncture in American politics, he can't be president.

Good questions outrank easy answers. -Paul Samuelson

rod


Total Posts: 405
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2019-09-06 20:54
It would be naive to take Edward Luttwak literally, but months ago he did attack Google for flirting with treason:

"We have to start safeguarding our crown jewels. When Google, in the same month, can say we’ll refuse to cooperate with the Pentagon and they cancel project Maven, M-A-V-E-N, that’s the Hebrew word for understanding, right? They cancel the project and then announce that they’re going to have a regime-compliant search engine to suit the Chinese authorities, and nobody goes and tears them limb from limb, that’s very serious. In other words, before we start talking administration, people have to understand that Google cannot do that. You cannot say, I refuse to work with the Defense Department of the country that protects the territory on which Google is, and open to the Chinese in the same month and not get punished for it. They should have got punished for it.

[...]

Oh, they refuse to cooperate with the Defense Department and what you do is, Department of Commerce starts asking them to license things and don’t license things, and see whether Microsoft Edge cannot be favored by U.S. government policy to weaken them. You cannot have people, you can’t have a U.S. company refusing to using work with the Pentagon, to improve the Pentagon’s intelligence by having better search engine kind of thing. And declaring that they will, in fact, cooperate with the Beijing regime, in doing a search engine that accepts Chinese censorship. They have to be punished for it. If society in the west coast, people that live around Google, think that sounds great then it just will be emphasizing, it will sort of confirm the notion that once you consume enough marijuana within a certain county everybody in it becomes loco."

chiral3
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Posted: 2020-04-05 13:57
I'll revive this since Eric put his infamous Oxford talk up in his latest podcast (best watched on youtube), which is really the first glimpse into what the heck he's been talking about.

I didn't follow 100% of it, some combination of having not thought about this stuff myself in a really long time, Eric's presentation style, and the fact that it was really a broad sketch of a framework, not so much a theory. In the latter regard, it reminded me of Lisi's work.

In terms of the presentation style, I liked it, but I can see why it irks practicing researchers. Unnecessary diversions into analogy and metaphor at the expense of rigor and focus.

In terms of the framework, I like that Eric seemed to focus on proceeding while not losing or constraining tools that are useful for actual calculation. In many regards the framework was not dissimilar, ideologically, to other higher-dimensional ideas, ricci flow techniques, the creation of things like fadeev ghosts, etc. For the same reason, it seemed partially un-natural, or contrived.

He doesn't seem to actually produce a theory or results, rather a schematic for a framework. Not sure there's the material to explore further, even if I had the energy, time, or even brains at this point in my life. Eric says, now in his 50's, he's re-tackling the problem. Good for him, I wish him luck and hope he endures. I get the impression this has pained him. I am not sure why he holds on so much but he's clearly emotional about his treatment in academia. In his mind he was run out of Harvard, his PhD saved only by Bott, if I recall correctly. Seems strange that if he had conviction that he wouldn't just keep at it in some way, as opposed to having this talk 20 years later, only to revive it yet again 7 years later.

I like that he considers that there was a point where we ventured down a wrong path. On the face of it I thought maybe he was referring to string bullshit, like it was the 1970's where we took a wrong turn. Nope, he goes back to the dawning of gauge theory, assuming Einstein is really an effective theory. There's been a number of places where physics has banged it's head against a wall and just accepted something unsatisfying so it could move on: ultraviolet divergence, renormalization, basically anything quantum, etc. Places where a good answer, that agreed with experiment, trumped unsavory or approximate math. Weinberg recently took up the question, again, of "what is mass?"; or maybe better stated "why are masses?", regarding the standard model. Similarly the background metric never felt right. Why should this measuring apparatus be fundamental, or why should contrivances, like tetrad formulations, be anything other than reinventions.

Anyway, interested in thoughts if anyone is still thinking about this stuff.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

rod


Total Posts: 405
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2020-04-05 14:58
Eric Weinstein? Luboš thinks he's an idiot:

"You didn't become a physicist because you weren't capable of doing any research that would be considered interesting at that time. So you weren't hired by the people who really understand stuff."

But, then, unless your surname is Polchinski, Luboš may perhaps think you should be converted into biodiesel.

chiral3
Founding Member

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Posted: 2020-04-05 15:13
Lubos thinks everyone is an idiot.

Nonius is Satoshi Nakamoto. 物の哀れ

Maggette


Total Posts: 1213
Joined: Jun 2007
 
Posted: 2020-04-05 18:04
The "everyone" set excludes him.

Still both, Weinstein and him, are way above my paygrade....so I guess it is not me to judge.

My gut feeling is that both are a tiny tiny tiny bit overconfident in their ability to understand, predict and optimize the entire universe and everything within.

Ich kam hierher und sah dich und deine Leute lächeln, und sagte mir: Maggette, scheiss auf den small talk, lass lieber deine Fäuste sprechen...

rod


Total Posts: 405
Joined: Nov 2006
 
Posted: 2020-04-09 06:08
Luboš scooped professional string theorists as an undergrad in Prague. What were Weinstein and Thiel doing as undergrads?
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