Surveillance

Get Out of School and Save the World!

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We all know Hit and Run is the greatest gathering of brilliant minds on Earth, so prove it by jumping on to the Thiel Foundation's "20 Under 20 Fellowship," applications due before December 31. 

Part of the rules to collect you $100,000:

Selected Applicant must be willing to:

  1. Begin the two-year fellowship at any time from May to September 2012, unless the Foundation approves an alternative schedule. A Selected Fellowship Applicant/Team must specify when the start of the Fellowship will be when the Selected Fellowship Applicant/Team accepts the Fellowship.
  2. Stop active enrollment in school during the Fellowship.
  3. Forgo other employment or educational enrollment during the two year Fellowship except as approved by the Thiel Foundation.
  4. Consider moving to California.
  5. Achieve a specific objective, produce a report or similar project, or improve or enhance a scientific, technical, or charitable capacity, skill, or talent. This may be developed over the course of the Fellowship.

Make anonbot proud!

This deal has been famously celebrated and derided as the anti-education fellowship, since it "pays you to quit school."

Ron Bailey blogged the other month on Thiel's gloomy pessimism about the innovation economy.

The New Yorker profiled him last month (preview only to non-subscribers)

And National Review writes of some libertarian-disturbing actions of the Thiel data company Palantir, quoting from a Bloomberg Businessweek story, quoting Thiel's defense of selling the government super-surveillance:

Thiel, who sits on the board and is an avowed libertarian, says civil liberties advocates should welcome Palantir. "We cannot afford to have another 9/11 event in the U.S. or anything bigger than that," he says. "That day opened the doors to all sorts of crazy abuses and draconian policies." In his view, the best way to avoid such scenarios in the future would be to provide the government the most cutting-edge technology possible and build in policing systems to make sure investigators use it lawfully.

Thiel rocks Reason.tv with Tim Cavanaugh:

NEXT: To Prevent Kids From Smoking Cigarettes, New York Bars Adults From Buying Flavored Cigars

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  1. Consider moving to California.

    Never mind.

  2. I’d think you’d need more than $100k to move to CA, but I guess the unemployment is high…

  3. While most of us have the maturity of adolescents, I don’t know how many H&R commenters are chronologically < 20.

    1. lol…*crys in corner*

    2. So being under 20 makes me immature?

      Choke on a dick and die, asshole.

  4. Technical apprenticeships are excellent things, but I really think we should subsidize an undergraduate education for everyone. A high school education is simply not adequate for the modern world, and people without a proper college-level education are frankly dangerous, because, significantly, what comes with a lack of a college education is a lack of an appreciation of one’s ignorance. What you learn in your undergraduate years is to unlearn a lot of what you thought you knew.

    Basically, the level of education adequate for the heyday of the industrial revolution is no longer adequate.

    1. Didn’t finish a thought… they’re dangerous because they think they’re entitled to pontificate on important subjects and run for political office, at times on an anti-intellectual platform. If only ignorance always came with humility.

      1. You can be a bitter bastard all you want because you wasted time and money on college, that doesn’t make everyone else dumb.

        1. If you don’t require an undergraduate education to be a functioning professional adult in this society then one of two very unlikely things must be true: your high school was uncommonly superb, or you are a genius.

          If neither of those is true, then it’s quite unlikely that you read a sufficiently broad body of work to become truly educated. In all likelihood you read a selection of things that confirmed what you already believed or, at best, rounded out a preconceived worldview. (Hence the existence of libertarianism.)

          1. You grossly overestimate what it requires to be a functioning professional adult.

            1. Okay, someone qualified to have an opinion on complex subjects.

              1. Going to college makes you qualified to have an opinion on complex subjects? I can think of one obvious counterexample immediately.

          2. Isn’t libertarianism kind of like Ultimate Frisbee? That is, everyone picks it up in college?

            1. I think people pick it up in high school (my libertarian phase was in the 9th grade). Then many math and computer science majors hang onto it through college and beyond.

              1. I’m not sure anyone at my high school (teachers included) had ever heard of libertarianism. Maybe it’s because we didn’t have economics or philosophy courses, which would seem to be the main places where you’d learn about that kind of stuff.

                1. We had a special presentation on Ayn Rand in 9th grade English, which brought on my brief libertarian phase. It was a bizarre day in retrospect.

                  There aren’t any libertarian philosophers that qualified as worthy of study in my university philosophy department.

                  1. After I became a libertarian in college, I went back to my old high school and tried to drum up interest in having a small unit on it (I think I talked to the ‘contemporary world problems’ teachers, since they had (very) short units on Marx and Kant in that class. I couldn’t get any takers (cost of materials being the reason from the guy most interested).
                    I only got around to taking philosophy courses when I went to law school. The classes were pretty much 20% utilitarianism and 80% deontological Kantianism (hmm, my labels seem a bit janky). Interestingly, out of all the students, in discussion, I was the only one willing to defend (rule)utilitarianism. It was not popular at all at Berkeley!

                  2. There aren’t any libertarian philosophers that qualified as worthy of study in my university philosophy department.

                    Well, in my university philosophy department, libertarian philosophers certainly were studied. This proves what?

              2. “many math and computer science majors hang onto it through college and beyond”

                Logical, intelligent, independent thinkers. Not bitchass emotions and groupthink.

                1. But people who slept through all the classes where you learn how to think about things other than numbers.

                  1. Is Tony about to finally tell us why you need an English degree to talk about politics?

                  2. One will not “learn how to think” by participating in a philosophy class. Your lack of your awareness of your ignorance is showing.

          3. then one of two very unlikely things must be true

            My high school was fairly average so I guess I’ll have to settle for the genius bit.

          4. Re: Tony the Pederast,

            If you don’t require an undergraduate education to be a functioning professional adult in this society then one of two very unlikely things must be true: your high school was uncommonly superb, or you are a genius.

            The lecherous-for-kiddies sockpuppet does not consider for a second the concept of “being a productive person” to explain the success of someone that did not waste 3-4 years of his or her life feeding the wallets of tenured leeches.

            1. Then there are people who’ve never learned basic manners, who by definition should never go in public, but will anyway.

              1. Re: Tony the Pederast,

                Then there are people who’ve never learned basic manners[…]

                Better to be a brute and good than a dandy and a thief. Or a pederast who wants kiddies to be prostitutes – like YOU.

                1. That’s quite an accusation. Care to say it to my face, tough guy?

                  1. Would you call me a bigot to MY face, Tony?

                    I’d say not. You’re a fucking coward.

          5. “you read a selection of things that confirmed what you already believed or, at best, rounded out a preconceived worldview”

            Projecting?

        2. As far as wasting time and money… college was the best time of my life, and I didn’t pay a dime for it.

          1. Re: Tony the Pederast,

            college was the best time of my life[…]

            And from there it must be all downhill, then.

            Idiot.

          2. “I didn’t pay a dime for it”

            Now we have a really good reason not to give a shit what your entitled ass thinks.

            1. Then who DID pay for it?

              I wouldn’t be proud to say something like that, Tony. Then again, I’m not you, and for that I am grateful.

      2. they’re dangerous because they think they’re entitled to pontificate on important subjects and run for political office, at times on an anti-intellectual platform.

        As evidence for my point below, note that Herman Cain has a undergraduate degree in math, a master’s in computer science, and an MBA.

        There are plenty of people who are schooled and credentialed but not educated, and perfectly unaware of their own ignorance.

        Of course, lack of appreciation for one’s ignorance is also what makes one favor regulations and government power when one is in charge.

        1. Oh lots of people graduate college still scary stupid. Like math and computer science majors. (Except with respect to their fields.)

          1. Seriously. This is an arts graduate looking down his nose a maths and science majors. A-fucking-mazing.

            1. Not really, Hidalgo. Tony has often looked down his nose at people who never went to college, and he is also bigoted against straight people.

              Fat lot of good college did him… hell, he probably learned all his negative traits there.

          2. Ha ha ha. Do you know what E. W. Dijkstra, one of the most influential people in “computing science’s” founding generation, had to say about the most important traits of a programmer? Here it is:

            “Besides a mathematical inclination, an exceptionally good mastery of one’s native tongue is the most vital asset of a competent programmer.” (EWD498)

            Of course, “exceptionally good mastery” of any language requires appreciation of not just that language’s vocabulary and syntax rules, but also the history of the language, its idioms and figures of speech, key literature, cultural context, and much more. To acquire that “exceptional mastery,” you really need the lion’s share of a top-notch liberal arts education, whether or not obtained in a formal degree program at a proper college or university.

            I’m sorry if modern-day CS graduates don’t seem to be getting (or have) that kind of education. But if so, that only means that the educational institutions aren’t doing it right. If they are short-changing their CS graduates so badly, I would be very skeptical about the value of the degrees they grant in other disciplines.

    2. In my experience, people who have a college or postgraduate education often have even less of a lack of appreciation of their own ignorance.

        1. It would be nice if a college education actually taught people to appreciate their own ignorance, but I don’t really find the reality to match up to that ideal.

          Perhaps it was simply the people around me at Duke and Cornell?

          1. The little piece of paper they get at graduation makes them believe that they aren’t ignorant anymore because ignorant people don’t get degrees.

            1. This is the lesson of the Tin Woodman, in receiving his diploma. Because someone in authority said it was OK, he no longer felt “ignorant,” though he probably continued to be in many ways. Even so, he with his head stuffed full of straw was likely to be smarter and more knowledgeable than most of the people he would ever encounter.

      1. That’s what you think! I wrote my Master’s thesis in ignorance. i’m pretty much a leading expert on it.

    3. You’re such a douche.

      1. It continues to amaze me that people still take the bait and fall into the Sarlacc pit of Tony’s trollery.

        1. Sometimes at the end of a long boring work day it’s nice to get a little shot of rage adrenaline to power up for the drive home.

          1. Except it’s a sockpuppet. Fake, boring trollery can get you angry? How?

            1. Compared to the boredom that was the rest of my day it doesn’t take much.

              Also, CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!!111!!!1 DAMN THE FUCKING CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            2. Fake, boring trollery can get you angry? How?

              You’re the expert here. If it bores you, why do you always respond to it? If it makes you angry, why do you feed it?

    4. Re: Tony the Pederast,

      but I really think we should subsidize an undergraduate education for everyone.

      Whoever these “we” that you allude to are, YOU get together and subsidize whatever the fuck you want. You ain’t touching my money, you thief.

      1. Surprised to see you here given this:

        http://videosift.com/video/Old…..aking-Dawn

        1. The, ‘I don’t care what people think,’ guy may be my new hero.

          1. Re: chris,

            The, ‘I don’t care what people think,’ guy may be my new hero.

            I would not be surprised if that was the case, chris.

            1. I’m still undecided. I’m looking for a new hero but can I go with a mere eight seconds of video to decide who that person is?

                1. I was afraid it was gonna be the shower scene from Wild Things. Dodged one there.

                  1. Don’t give me ideas.

    5. Besides classes, which are completely variable and therefore do not necessarily teach one how to be a professional adult, what exactly does college teach that the real world cannot? College never taught me how to live in the real world, the real world did.

      1. I take back the professional adult thing, that could mean a lot of things.

        What I mean is if you want to have opinions about politics, sociology, or other such complex subjects, your value as an opinion-holder probably lines up with the level of education you’ve had on it.

        That doesn’t stop a lot of people who’ve never read a book that challenged their preconceived beliefs from thinking they deserve an opinion on such matters. The value of a structured education is that you’re forced to read things you otherwise wouldn’t.

        1. “your value as an opinion-holder probably lines up with the level of education you’ve had on it.”

          So, seminary graduates have more valid opinions about God?

          1. I’m talking about subjects that refer to things that actually exist.

            1. No one forced me to read the works of Karl Marx (I was young and stupid, and thought communism was a good thing), but in retrospect I wish I hadn’t read his works… a brief outline would have done just as well.

        2. Re: Tony the Pederast,

          I take back the professional adult thing, that could mean a lot of things.

          It only meant you made a sweeping generalization.

          What I mean is if you want to have opinions about politics, sociology, or other such complex subjects, your value as an opinion-holder probably lines up with the level of education you’ve had on it.
          No, it makes you more arrogant. Opinions are worthless; what matters is sound reasoning, which you lack. Must be all those kiddies you had in Indonesia…

        3. Stupid tags…

          Re: Tony the Pederast,

          I take back the professional adult thing, that could mean a lot of things.

          It only meant you made a sweeping generalization without thinking.

          What I mean is if you want to have opinions about politics, sociology, or other such complex subjects, your value as an opinion-holder probably lines up with the level of education you’ve had on it.

          No, it makes you more arrogant. Opinions are worthless; what matters is sound reasoning, which you lack. Must be all those kiddies you had in Indonesia…

          1. OM is like case-in-point #1. The fact that he’s uneducated has not diminished his certainty that he has found the answer to the central question in philosophy, “how should men live?” even though centuries of real thinkers haven’t settled on it yet. If anything his lack of education contributes to his certainty. He’s a hell of a lot more certain that he’s right than I am, and I’ve read a lot more books than he has.

            1. And how are you judging how certain OM is? By tone? How are you judging how many books he’s read? Do you just assume that if he’d read more he’d agree with you? It’s incredible. Your dishonesty and arrogance and straight-up stupidity actually make me quite angry.

    6. “A high school education is simply not adequate for the modern world”

      Why is that, I wonder? I don’t think the world has actually got that much more complicated, socially and politically. Maybe it was the process of subsidizing it, followed by controlling it, that turned it to shit.

    7. Subsidizing higher education made learning a professional trade obscenely and excessively expensive, reduced the value of the certificate, incentivize a bunch of people to waste years of their lives when they should have been obtaining knowledge on the job, centralized power in the institutions and with people who have inflated egos.

    8. Hell, why stop there? Subsidize *everything*.

      1. That was for Tony’s “subsidize college” post waaaay up there. Damn threaded comments.

  5. The Fellowship is open to natural persons between the ages of 14 and 20

    Whatever their definition of normal is, we can conclude that rules out Warty right away.

    1. That’s a shame because he just turned 14.

      1. That’s dog years, not calendar years. You keep screwing that up.

    2. What about those with post-human enhancements?

  6. Good for Rand Paul in forcing a roll call vote on a terrible amendment (detaining people already found innocent in a court of law) that Sen. Levin was going to let go through via voice vote. It failed, 41-59.

    1. Try to explain to a normal person the absurdity of good ole’ Senate logic like:

      Both McCain and Levin, who indicated moments before they would agree to passage of the measure by unanimous consent, voted against it in that roll call vote.

      A Republican aid close to the process told The Hill on Friday that Democratic leaders including Levin had agreed to allow passage of the amendment, which they opposed, in order to dodge the roll call vote and that they had been assurance by at least one high powered Republican in the Senate Armed Services committee that in the end it would be stripped from the final conference report.

    2. Way to get back at McCain.

      1. Wacky thing is that McCain (like Levin) voted against the actual amendment. There was one of these gentleman’s agreements that they’d pass the thing and then take it out during conference since it wasn’t in the House bill.

        Rand Paul, however, didn’t know it was a damn show. He thought it was a damn fight.

        1. Or he knew it was a damn show and called them on it. Gentleman’s agreements to pass something so they can maybe take it out later is a bunch of bullshit.

  7. Didn’t Larry Ellison call himself a libertarian, too? And wasn’t he trying to sell his databases to the Fed so they could track people?

    1. Larry Ellison is primarily an egomaniac.

      And the last time I worked with an Oracle database, it had the worst GUI tools I think I’ve ever seen. Fuck you, Larry, and your guaranteeing that mostly useless Oracle DBAs have a job.

      1. He was a speaker at a libertarian conference I went to. He was not popular.

    2. Given the origins of Oracle, Uncle Sam was for him what venture capitalist are for most firms, so it shouldn’t be a surprise he is a essentially a goon.

  8. 4.Consider moving to California.

    I already considered it. $100,000 is chump change if one pretends to live in California, so: No thanks!

  9. Off-topic: Separated at birth? Brian Doherty and Cyril Figgis.

  10. “Consider moving to California”

    Deal breaker.

  11. “Going to California”

    Spend my days with a woman unkind.
    Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine.

    Made up my mind,
    Make a new start.
    Goin’ to California
    With an achin’ in my heart.

    Someone told me there’s a girl out there
    With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair.
    Took my chances on a big jet-plane.
    Never let ’em tell ya that they’re aw-ooh-all the same.

    Hoh, the sea was red and the sky was grey.
    I wonder how tomorrow could ever follow today-hee.

    Mountains and the canyons start to tremble and shake.
    The children of the sun begin to awake.

    Now.
    Watch out.

    It seems that the wrath of the gods got a punch on the nose,
    And it’s startin’ to flow, I think I might be sinkin’.

    Throw me a line, if I reach it in time,
    Meet you up there where the path runs straight and high.

    Find a queen without a king.
    They say she plays guitar and cries and sings, la-la-la-la.
    Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn.
    Tryin’ to find a woman who’s never, never, never been born.

    Standin’ on a hill in the mountain of dreams

    Tellin’ myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems

    1. Thank you.

  12. Rand Paul, however, didn’t know it was a damn show. He thought it was a damn fight.

    Or he knew, and wanted everybody else in America to know, too.

    Good for him.

    1. My reaction as well. This is the kind of fight the reformers need to fight. Call them out. Complicate their procedural bullshit with some of your own. Make public the acts they want to bury.

  13. We all know Hit and Run is the greatest gathering of brilliant minds on Earth…

    Wow… someone else recognized my brilliance!

  14. “We all know Hit and Run is the greatest gathering of brilliant minds on Earth…”

    Except, of course, when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. 🙂

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