Compiling the Thiel questions

Since I’m restarting on this (HOPEFULLY safer) new platform, it’s time to gather up some loose ends into more solid and consistent lists.

The Thiel Question generated several overlapping sub-lists in the last few years. Here’s a condensed and combined list.

First the question itself, and my variation on it.

How would you respond if PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel asked you his favorite interview question: “Tell me something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.”

I’d been thinking along similar lines lately. Not exactly true-but-nobody-agrees; more like true-but-nobody-knows.

1. Rights vs duties, Paine vs Morris. This strictly fits the Thiel standard, since many others have examined the subject and reached the opposite conclusion.

2. Broadly the whole subject of real-value economics and skill-estate. Specifically the FACT that GDP and growth are precisely backwards from real value-added measurements. Leftist economists have approached the question but haven’t hit the specific point.

3. Cave Gas. I’ve been modeling these Lost Places for quite a while. Cave Gas is the only one that nobody else has documented.

4. Hubbard’s E-Meter. I examined the original schematic and noticed that it’s not a passive meter but an active stimulator. Then I built the original schematic and proved it, rather painfully.

5. Math fails to deal with thresholds, which are a vital and universal fact of life in everything from neurons to shrinkflation.

6. Not a fact but a plausible hypothesis that works better than the usual. Cooking started with fermented barley, not with grassfires in the Sabertooth Savannah.

7. Also related to barley, the crucial importance of storage.

8. Debunked the tiresome Tocqueville quote about voters and largesse. (This fits the strict Thiel standard.)

9. Georg Ohm’s original idea about heat and electricity turns out to be more correct than the usual metaphors.

10. There is a sharp demographic breakpoint at age 46. People who live hard and fast die at 46.

11. Counting votes by hand isn’t slow. In practice it beats electronic counting. The reason for the Electoral College was to make cheating easier, not to compensate for “slow” counting. The reason we’re switching to electronic counting is to make cheating easier, not to speed up the count.

12. The only externally observable evidence of awareness is REM sleep, so vertebrates and cephalopods are the only known and proven owners of consciousness. Others may also be aware, but dreamers are measurable and provable.

13. Eskimos survived a period of melted ice and high sea levels, and told us about it in their legends.

14. An accurate understanding of the anti-SOUTHERN-slavery settlers in Kansas. They were sent by Northern sweatshop owners to expand NORTHERN slavery.

15. Normal people want security. Criminals want freedom. This isn’t entirely unknown; populist commentators like Turley hit the first part. My full version is based on prison experience.

16. During FDR’s time, American media were NON-INTERVENTIONIST and pushed NEUTRALITY. Most people think we’ve always been warlike and aggressive.

17. In 2008 Bernanke ANNOUNCED CLEARLY AND PUBLICLY that he had no intention of helping the economy. QE was solely intended to boost share value, which it did. The Fed wasn’t “clueless” and it didn’t “fail in its mission.” It succeeded MAGNIFICENTLY.

18. Jennings Bryan was a fake Pied Piper like Trump. After pulling his mice into the open where they could be exterminated, Bryan joined the Wilson administration and helped to set up Versailles and the League of Nations. Total betrayal, just like Trump.

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In this list as numbered, 2, 4, 12, 14, and 18 are important and unique. The others are either not very important or not unique.

Scientifically speaking, #4 on Hubbard’s E-meter is the best of all by my standards. It was a genuine physical experiment with genuine physical results, which proved that a universally accepted idea was false. That’s real science, even if the subject is narrow and specialized.

Historically speaking, #14 on the founding of Deepstate is unquestionably the most important. I had an indirect personal connection with those people. In the ’50s our family lived across the street from the Goodnow farm in Manhattan, and I often played in their property. A descendant of the Goodnow family still lived there at the time. So the Goodnow documents at KSHS had a strong resonance with old stories and culture.