Thiel on competition for degrees

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This reference is used to annotate "I would never send my kids to school" (2017) by Piotr Wozniak

Peter Thiel on school conformity, competition in life, and his individual dreams. Excerpts from "Zero to One". Chapter: The Ideology of Competition:

"We teach every young person the same subjects, irrespective of individual talents and preferences. Students who don't learn best by sitting still at a desk are made to feel somehow inferior [...] Elite students climb confidently until they reach the level of competition sufficiently intense to beat their dreams out of them. [...] For the privilege of being turned into conformists, students (or their families) pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in skyrocketing tuition [...]. Why are we doing it to ourselves? I wish I had asked myself when I was younger."

Thiel explains how having graduated from Stanford Law School, he nearly got a Supreme Court clerkship, and how devastated he was when he failed. When he sold PayPal in 2004 he knew that "winning that ultimate competition [for clerkship] would have changed his life for the worse".


Quoted excerpts come from the following reference:

Author: Peter Thiel

Book: Zero to One

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero_to_One