Hereticon, From Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Is a ‘Conference for People Banned From Other Conferences’ – The Daily Beast

Posted: October 8, 2019 at 6:47 am

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Being cancelled getting you down? Well now theres a conference for youand everyone else booted from mainstream political discourse for thoughtcrimes.

Imagine a conference for people banned from other conferences, the announcement for Founders Funds exclusive new three-day event reads. Imagine a safe space for people who dont feel safe in safe spaces.

Imagine indeed.

Hereticon (yes, its actually called that) promises to include many of our cultures most important troublemakers, specifically ones committed to improving civilization. That might rule out a few names, but wed expect Founders Fund to highlight at least a handful of thinkers from its portfolio companies.

Palantir will probably show up, given recent protests and the decision by both the Grace Hopper Celebration and the Lesbians Who Tech conference to remove the company, which contracts with ICE, as a sponsor.

Retiring Texas Rep. Will Hurd also seems like a natural choice, after being disinvited to keynote the Black Hat security conference due to his political record on abortion. Hurd is also friendly with Founders Fund portfolio company Anduril.

Unlike gatherings of right-leaning online provocateurs that the event resembles, Hereticon will draw a more pedigreed set. The invite-only conference in May 2020 will likely attract attendees from the much-grumbled about liberal strongholds of American tech, and perhaps others whove been cast out of the silicon gates already.

From Galileo to Jesus Christ, heretical thinkers have been met with hostility, even death, and vindicated by posterity, the blog post grandly opens, going on to declare that troublemakers are essential to mankinds progress, and so we must protect them.

The topics that will take center stage at Hereticon? Theyre a doozy. Conversations will center on a smorgasbord of libertarian micro-obsessions, including transhumanism, the abolition of college (a favorite of Founders Fund partner Peter Thiel), the benefits of starvation a la Jack Dorseys fasting diet, the softer side of doomsday prepping, and immortality, naturally.

While its no surprise to see such an event emerge from the crowd that sees eye-to-eye with a man seen as Silicon Valleys seastead-loving deep-pocketed free press assassin, its interesting to see Founders Fund throw the event themselves. Some of the firms investments, like defense-friendly Palantir and Anduril, are considered controversial in techs left-leaning circles, but many of its portfolio companies are more quotidian utilities like Stripe, Facebook, and Credit Karma. Not exactly heretical.

Its likely a strategic choice for a venture firm that could benefit from drawing the self-identified misfits stalking tech's fringes in toward the center and giving them something to feel collectively persecuted and intellectually invigorated about.

Then again, they might just come together to chatter about UFOs and wax poetic about corporate counterculture. Either way, well be staying tuned to see which technocrats and/or heretics get the invite nod.

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Hereticon, From Peter Thiel's Founders Fund, Is a 'Conference for People Banned From Other Conferences' - The Daily Beast

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October 8th, 2019 at 6:47 am

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