Peter Thiel is an American entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He co-founded PayPal, Palantir Technologies, and Founders Fund. He was the first outside investor in Facebook and has made several successful investments in technology companies.
He is also the author of Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future – a book that has become a popular source of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. Thiel’s views on the future of technology and business are particularly inspiring, and he shares his insights through insightful articles and interviews.
If you’re looking to learn more about Peter Thiel’s thoughts on the future of tech and business, here are some of his book recommendations:
The Black Swan is a standalone book in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s landmark Incerto series, an investigation of opacity, luck, uncertainty, probability, human error, risk, and decision-making in a world we don’t understand. The other books in the series are Fooled by Randomness, Antifragile, Skin in the Game, and The Bed of Procrustes.
A black swan is a highly improbable event with three principal characteristics: It is unpredictable; it carries a massive impact; and, after the fact, we concoct an explanation that makes it appear less random, and more predictable, than it was. The astonishing success of Google was a black swan; so was 9/11. For Nassim Nicholas Taleb, black swans underlie almost everything about our world, from the rise of religions to events in our own personal lives.
Why do we not acknowledge the phenomenon of black swans until after they occur? Part of the answer, according to Taleb, is that humans are hardwired to learn specifics when they should be focused on generalities. We concentrate on things we already know and time and time again fail to take into consideration what we don’t know. We are, therefore, unable to truly estimate opportunities, too vulnerable to the impulse to simplify, narrate, and categorize, and not open enough to rewarding those who can imagine the “impossible.”
From the bestselling author of On Tyranny, the definitive history of Hitler’s and Stalin’s wars against the civilians of Europe in World War Two
Americans call the Second World War “The Good War.”But before it even began, America’s wartime ally Josef Stalin had killed millions of his own citizens–and kept killing them during and after the war. Before Hitler was finally defeated, he had murdered six million Jews and nearly as many other Europeans. At war’s end, both the German and the Soviet killing sites fell behind the iron curtain, leaving the history of mass killing in darkness.
Bloodlands is a new kind of European history, presenting the mass murders committed by the Nazi and Stalinist regimes as two aspects of a single history, in the time and place where they occurred: between Germany and Russia, when Hitler and Stalin both held power. Assiduously researched, deeply humane, and utterly definitive, Bloodlands will be required reading for anyone seeking to understand the central tragedy of modern history.
Bloodlands won twelve awards including the Emerson Prize in the Humanities, a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Leipzig Award for European Understanding, and the Hannah Arendt Prize in Political Thought. It has been translated into more than thirty languages, was named to twelve book-of-the-year lists, and was a bestseller in six countries.
International trade and the development of intertwined global markets makes inter-state war less profitable and probable. This is Norman Angell’s simple hypothesis, vigorously defended in The Great Illusion and at the root of an enduring controversy, from the time of its initial publication – on the eve of the First World War – to this day. Well documented, logically argued and persuasive, The Great Illusion is a passionate defense of peace, attacking widely held, yet unquestioned assumptions about the gains from war and the costs of conquest.
“The signs and instruments of power are no longer armed legions or raw materials or capital… The wealth we seek does not lie in the earth or in numbers of men or in machines, but in the human spirit. And particularly in the ability of men to think and to create.” — Jean-Jacques Servan-Schreiber in his international bestseller, The American Challenge.
The American Challenge was 50 years ahead of its time in its appraisal of Europe, industrialization, the global economy and digital future, and the sclerosis of French politics. The youth of the world can now rediscover this landmark book, and take measure of all that still remains to be accomplished to bring to fruition the dreams of post-war generation.
“The world we live in is very much the world Servan-Schreiber imagined,” Professor Paul Krugman writes in his preface to this ebook edition, further adding that “JJSS was an incredibly insightful prophet.”
With its radically new economic and political vision, The American Challenge was a bestseller when first published in 1967. Selling over 2 million copies in France and more than 10 million throughout the world, the book was translated and published in 16 languages and 26 countries.
An astonishing work of cultural criticism, this book is widely recognized as a brilliant and devastating challenge to conventional views of literature, anthropology, religion, and psychoanalysis. In its scope and itnerest it can be compared with Freud’s Totem and Taboo, the subtext Girard refutes with polemic daring, vast erudition, and a persuasiveness that leaves the reader compelled to respond, one way or another.
This is the single fullest summation of Girard’s ideas to date, the book by which they will stand or fall. In a dialogue with two psychiatrists (Jean-Michel Oughourlian and Guy Lefort), Girard probes an encyclopedic array of topics, ranging across the entire spectrum of anthropology, psychoanalysis, and cultural production.
Girard’s point o departure is what he calles “mimesis,” the conflict that arises when human rivals compete to differentiate themselves from each other, yet succeed only in becoming more and more alike. At certain points in the life of a society, according to Girard, this mimetic conflict erupts into a crisis in which all difference dissolves in indiscriminate violence. In primitive societies, such crises were resolved by the “scapegoating mechanism,” in which the community, en masse, turned on an unpremeditated victim. The repression of this collective murder and its repetition in ritual sacrifice then formed the foundations of both religion and the restored social order.
The New Atlantis by Lord Bacon is one of the most important of the Utopian writings because it envisions the advancements in all branches of learning in the Western Hemisphere. Strangely enough, Plato’s description of the ancient Atlantean empire and Bacon’s New Atlantis both end suddenly in the middle of a sentence. Published in 1627, the year after the author’s death by his literary executor, speculation is that Bacon wrote his story in 1623 or 1624, which would be after his fall from political power. Unlike many of his other major works, Bacon wrote “The New Atlantis” in English and then had it translated into Latin, an indication that he intended it for a wider, English-speaking audience. Bacon focuses on the duty of the state toward science, and his projections for state-sponsored research anticipate many advances in medicine and surgery, meteorology, and machinery. Although “The New Atlantis” is only a part of his plan for an ideal commonwealth, this work does represent Bacon’s ideological beliefs. The inhabitants of Bensalem represent the ideal qualities of Bacon the statesman: generosity and enlightenment, dignity and splendor, piety and public spirit.
Humanity is on the cusp of an exciting longevity revolution. The first person to live to 150 years has probably already been born.
What will your life look like when you live to be over 100? Will you be healthy? Will your marriage need a sunset clause? How long will you have to work? Will you finish one career at sixty-five only to go back to school to learn a new one? And then, will you be happily working for another sixty years? Maybe you’ll be a parent to a newborn and a grandparent at the same time. Will the world become overpopulated? And how will living longer affect your finances, your family life, and your views on religion and the afterlife?
In 100 Plus, futurist Sonia Arrison takes us on an eye-opening journey to the future at our doorsteps, where science and technology are beginning to radically change life as we know it. She introduces us to the people transforming our lives: the brilliant scientists and genius inventors and the billionaires who fund their work. The astonishing advances to extend our lives—and good health—are almost here. In the very near future fresh organs for transplants will be grown in laboratories, cloned stem cells will bring previously unstoppable diseases to their knees, and living past 100 will be the rule, not the exception.
Decades into our future, a stone’s throw from the ancient city of Shanghai, a brilliant nanotechnologist named John Percival Hackworth has just broken the rigorous moral code of his tribe, the powerful neo-Victorians. He’s made an illicit copy of a state-of-the-art interactive device called A Young Ladys Illustrated Primer Commissioned by an eccentric duke for his grandchild, stolen for Hackworth’s own daughter, the Primer’s purpose is to educate and raise a girl capable of thinking for herself. It performs its function superbly. Unfortunately for Hackworth, his smuggled copy has fallen into the wrong hands.
Young Nell and her brother Harv are thetes—members of the poor, tribeless class. Neglected by their mother, Harv looks after Nell. When he and his gang waylay a certain neo-Victorian—John Percival Hackworth—in the seamy streets of their neighborhood, Harv brings Nell something special: the Primer.
From “America’s nerviest journalist” (Newsweek) – a breathtaking epic, a magnificent adventure story, and an investigation into the true heroism and courage of the first Americans to conquer space. “Tom Wolfe at his very best” (The New York Times Book Review)
Millions of words have poured forth about man’s trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure: namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves – in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers that made The Right Stuff a classic.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tom Wolfe is the author of more than a dozen books, among them such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities and A Man in Full. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University and a PhD. in American studies at Yale. He lives in New York City.
Two renowned investment advisors and authors of the bestseller The Great Reckoning bring to light both currents of disaster and the potential for prosperity and renewal in the face of radical changes in human history as we move into the next century. The Sovereign Individual details strategies necessary for adapting financially to the next phase of Western civilization.
Few observers of the late twentieth century have their fingers so presciently on the pulse of the global political and economic realignment ushering in the new millennium as do James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. Their bold prediction of disaster on Wall Street in Blood in the Streets was borne out by Black Tuesday. In their ensuing bestsellar, The Great Reckoning, published just weeks before the coup attempt against Gorbachev, they analyzed the pending collapse of the Soviet Union and foretold the civil war in Yugoslavia and other events that have proved to be among the most searing developments of the past few years.
In The Sovereign Individual, Davidson and Rees-Mogg explore the greatest economic and political transition in centuries — the shift from an industrial to an information-based society.
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