Peter Thiel: PayPal founder and libertarian futurist
Dr. Eldon Tyrell: a corporate figure in Blade Runner, presented almost as a a kind of deity who has the power of creating life
I have no doubt though that, in principle, Thiel's mindset would amount to a licence to create a future as dystopian as anything in Blade Runner (click on the link underneath his picture in this post for a further taste of what I mean). This goes all the way to Thiel's narcissistic plan to clone himself: here I am reminded of the scene written for Blade Runner that was never filmed. Batty appears to have killed Tyrell, but it later emerges that another section of the pyramidal (signifying plutocracy) corporate headquarters houses a shark swimming around in an enormous tank. Tyrell's brain, apparently for his personal protection and befitting the lack of sleep required for calibration to the rhythms of the market***, had been transplanted into the shark. Simply an incredible image of the parallels between the savage predators of the ocean and the predators of the corporate world. My speculations in this post (partly with tongue firmly planted in cheek) therefore suggest that although Thiel may be only low-hanging fruit, figuratively speaking, when compared to Tyrell in terms of an overall future social impact, he might at least achieve a comparable level of sentient immortality once he decides to use technologies to blur the species boundaries.
I should also point out that Thiel obviously doesn't appreciate how capitalism is actually incompatible with meritocracy. He blames political correctness (see link under Thiel's pic in this post) for fueling the education bubble, claiming that it prevents the articulation of "certain truths about the inequality of abilities". But consider how the poor would be less likely to tolerate Thiel's ilk if they had to accept the (fallacious) idea that wealth is commensurate with the amount of effort and ability invested. Zizek offers a pithy assessment of the proposal that:
a viable and orderly social democracy could be based on a deal whereby we give total power and status to a super rich knowledge elite in exchange for all citizens – regardless of merit or effort – being guaranteed a basic income. He dismissed this, in part because he said it took no account of envy. Zizek quoted Frederich Von Hayek who argued – against advocates of social justice – that the poor find it easier to accept the wealthy if they think their fortune is unmerited. For the masses to accept that those at the top deserve their success means the majority have to accept not only that they are poorer but they are less virtuous.
*** which would make sense (LOL!) as an alternative to cocaine, which has long been the drug of choice on Wall Street
(CREDIT TO my fellow blogger Derridata for first offering a comparison of Tyrell and Thiel, and for discussing meritocracy with me)