Billionaire tech investor and PayPal founder Peter Thiel made big headlines for his once-secret funding of the lawsuit that destroyed Gawker, then for his strong backing of Donald Trump, the latter an anomaly in Silicon Valley. Now he "explains himself" in an interview with Maureen Dowd, as the headline in the New York Times puts it. As Dowd notes, Thiel prides himself on bucking conventional thinking, and highlights from their back-and-forth illustrate that:
- 'Everyone says Trump is going to change everything way too much. Well, maybe Trump is going to change everything way too little. That seems like the much more plausible risk to me."
- After Dowd points out that President Obama's eight years have been free of ethical problems, he responds, "But there’s a point where no corruption can be a bad thing. It can mean that things are too boring."
- He says "conflicts of interest" aren't necessarily bad: "I think in many cases, when there’s a conflict of interest, it’s an indication that someone understands something way better than if there’s no conflict of interest. If there’s no conflict of interest, it’s often because you’re just not interested."
- On the infamous Trump audio talking about women: "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."
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