Earlier this year, we learned that early Facebook investor Peter Thiel didn't believe in higher education, and thanks to a just-published New Yorker profile, we now know that he also doesn't believe in death. What a contrarian! For the straight and narrow Americans out there, it gets even grittier. Thiel, pictured above with TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, also invested in the development of anarchic off-shore colonies -- "sea-steading" -- through a nonprofit slash Randian fantasy founded by Milton Friedman's grandson. He wrote a big check for the Singularity Institute which, in New Yorker writer George Packer's words, "is preparing for the moment when a machine can make a smarter version of itself, and aims to insure that this 'intelligence explosion' remains 'human-friendly.'" Over the course of ten pages, including one full-page, full-color portrait of Thiel sitting on what appears to be a massive Ottoman made from the fur of exotic animals, Packer describes Thiel as nothing less than a genius and nothing more than a ginger-haired math nerd trapped in a billionaire's lifestyle. This is probably best communicated through Packer's slight but unavoidable focus on Thiel's voice, especially his stutter.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

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