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Friday, April 29, 2011

An eccentric philanthopist

In the recent New Libertarian Notes interview I reprinted here, RAW discusses his libertarian political ideas, but when asked about his work in the movement, replies, "I'm more involved in space migration, intelligence increase and life extension which seems to me more important than any mammalian politics."

So if there were a weird rich person who wanted to give away money to advance RAW's causes, it seems to me he would give money to aid space migration, improve human intelligence, extend human lifespans and support libertarian causes, at least in the broad sense of supporting civil liberties, something RAW advocated all his life even as some of his political perspectives shifted.

Believe it or not, there is such a person — venture capitalist Peter Thiel. (If you've seen the movie "The Social Network," he shows up as one of the characters, the first big investor in Facebook.)

Thiel's foundation funds research into combating aging and also funds the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Thiel has invested in SpaceX, the most important private space exploration company, and has given money to The Human Rights Foundation and the Committee to Protect Journalists. His foundation site also notes investments in antiviolence causes.

Thiel is a libertarian, and regularly commits thought crimes against conventional wisdom that draw attention in the press.

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