Mike Solana: 'Thought Crime' Is Essential to Progress

The Founders Fund vice president and Pirate Wires author on supporting heretics as a means of social and economic innovation.


"If you're not living in a culture that has room for 'thought crime,' then you're not living in a culture that is growing," says Mike Solana. "You're not living in a culture that has the potential to progress in an exciting and—I want to say utopian—a positive direction."

Solana is a vice president at Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, a venture capital firm that has backed a ton of companies that you probably know well, from home-sharing platform Airbnb to payment processor Stripe. He's also a feisty online presence who's an outspoken critic of what he sees as the moralizing strain present in today's tech journalism.

Solana writes a Substack called Pirate Wires that offers perceptive commentary on the role of technology in politics and culture (a recent entry is titled "Social Media's Slow March to Oblivion") and his Twitter feed is a must-read.

Earlier this year in Miami, he organized Hereticon, which was billed as a "conference for thought crime" and focused on ideas and arguments that have largely been shut out of mainstream discourse. Guest host Peter Suderman talks with Solana about ideological tribalism, how the media can be an agent of distrust, and what he sees as the limitations of libertarian thinking when it comes to dealing with things like Russia's invasion of Ukraine.