Peter Thiel’s new book “Zero to One” is out and lighting up "best of" lists.
At an Independent Institute luncheon earlier this week, Thiel explained his zero to one framework and why it’s relevant for framing the discussion around where do we go next, both as individuals and as a society. The X axis, he explained, represents globalization. The Y axis, technology. While the X axis was straightforward, he filled in some context around the Y axis, by coming right out and saying that our society has evolved into one that neither understands nor values technology…to the point of fear. He underscored the point by challenging audience members to name one science fiction movie in the past 20 years that featured technology in a hero vs. a villain context.
These comments were especially timely given one of the STEM night @Playground plays from Monday. In ____ , aliens kidnap a human to be a pet. The human in question turns out to be a disheartened scientist from the Human Genome Project and quickly discovers that identifying the project did not speed up human evolution. Further, an unintended consequence was to create further apathy for science and technology reflecting the disturbing trend Thiel so cogently identifies.
If awareness is the first part of solving a problem, we have indeed been warned.