Stewart Alsop III explores the life in Silicon Valley through a conversation between Peter Thiel and Eric Weinstein - July 26, 2019
Smash Notes
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1.

Who is Stewart Alsop III? 00:00

Stewart Alsop III is an American entrepreneur and the host of the Crazy Wisdom Podcast.

He joins us on Smash Notes this week to talk about life in Silicon Valley through the lens of his own podcast, as well as the conversation between Peter Thiel and Eric Weinstein on the Portal.

2.

What are Peter Thiel and Eric Weinstein think about the progress? 00:55

In their discussion on the Portal, Peter and Eric discuss how the progress of innovation is stalling. We are no longer seeing the astounding growth that drove America in say the 1920s, and instead we only have innovation in bits.

3.

What was different between 1920s and the progress in innovation today? 02:05

According to Peter Thiel, 1920s and 1930s was driven largely by a boom in technological and scientific progress. Even though the growth was badly mismanaged, the drivers for growth were solid. Meanwhile in today's world, we do a decent job at managing the economy, but technological growth is actually stagnating, while the big tech companies are still marketing themselves like the driver for the future.

4.

What is the problem with ideological conversion of engineers in Silicon Valley? 05:55

According to Stewart Alsop, we humans always tend to put other people in boxes, turning a society into "Us vs. Them" situation.

It could be very helpful for the people in Silicon Valley to get out for a while and to see the world for what it is, which is a place drastically different from the bubble within the valley.

This transformative experience could help open one's eyes and to change how we treat and respond to people who are not like ourselves.

5.

Could Silicon Valley's success be the cause for its downfall? 07:50

While the economy is doing well, people in technology circles fall under a false impression that technology is the answer to all of humanity's problems and they, tech founders and employees, are the winners. This notion is then further reinforced by the groups outside of the Valley who are cheering for tech and associated growth, making people in the bubble feel right. This newly acquired empowerment and wealth then turn tech people's focus on attaining more wealth, instead of solving problem they'd originally set out to solve, and as a result, cause their long-term success to dwindle.

6.

What can be done about the homeless people in San Francisco? 09:55

According to the discussion between Stewart Alsop III and Vinay Gupta, it is quite easy for people in San Francisco to put homeless people into the "us vs. them" groups and pretend the problem does not exist. At the end of the day though, poor people with health problems are prosecuted by the society, and it is important for the wealthy to realize that, to get out of the bubble, and to assist people who cannot help themselves, given the circumstances.

7.

How can you learn to think different? 15:19

If you want the diversity of thought and experience, don't go to university. To learn what other people are not learning, you have to put yourself in a place where you are not surrounded by people with the same groupthink. Leave the bubble and explore.


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