During Donald Trump’s presidential run, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel was one of the Republican’s few supporters from the tech world, donating $1.25 million to the President-elect’s campaign. Now, the Facebook board member has spoken to The New York Times’ Maureen Dows about a subjects such as the Muslim registry, Apple’s demise, and Silicon Valley’s lack of sex.
Talking about the infamous Billy Bush tape, Thiel said: “On the one hand, the tape was clearly offensive and inappropriate. At the same time, I worry there’s a part of Silicon Valley that is hyper-politically correct about sex. One of my friends has a theory that the rest of the country tolerates Silicon Valley because people there just don’t have that much sex. They’re not having that much fun.”
Thiel’s views on the sex lives of Silicon Valley workers could be accurate. A 2012 survey of 10 major US cities by condom maker Trojan showed that Bay Area residents have the least amount of sex per year and the shortest sessions.
In a “confirm or deny” piece, Dows asked Thiel if the age of Apple was over. Despite remaining the biggest tech firm in the world, it’s a question other people have asked in the wake of the good-but-familiar iPhone 7.
"Confirm. We know what a smartphone looks like and does. It's not the fault of Tim Cook, but it's not an area where there will be any more innovation," he replied.
Back in December, tech workers from a number of large firms pledged that they would never help build one Donald Trump’s most controversial proposals: a Muslim registry. It was suspected that data-mining company Palantir, where Thiel is chairman, would be one firm that co-operated - but it seems this isn’t the case. Asked if the company would be involved in the registry’s construction, Thiel said: “We would not do that.”
Thiel also took the opportunity to speak about Trump, saying the incoming president was "very good on gay rights" Adding: "I don’t think he will reverse anything. I would obviously be concerned if I thought otherwise."
Thiel also revealed he prefers capitalist Star Wars to communist Star Trek, talked about his quest to live forever (“Why is everyone else so indifferent about their mortality?”), and, when asked about Obama and political corruption, said: “[T]here’s a point where no corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring.”
But Thiel’s most memorable quote came when he was asked about Facebook being a political echo chamber. “There’s nobody you know who knows anybody. There’s nobody you know who knows anybody who knows anybody, ad infinitum.” Indeed.