"Tell Me Something That's True That Very Few People Agree With You On"

CRE's picture
Rank: The Pro | 25,286

I was watching an interview featuring Peter Thiel where he describes this as a question almost always asked to people interviewing for his companies. He also said that most of the responses are very bad and are either a conventional truth that is even more true than people think "People aren't worried about X enough" or trivial, i.e. something unusual that is true but is also completely unimportant.

So, how would you answer the question?

Comments (53)

Jan 16, 2016

We are doomed as a species and it's not worth struggling against our downfall.

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Jan 20, 2016

.

Jan 20, 2016

We are speeding up the process of the sixth extinction and pretending that it's all natural

Jan 20, 2016

Don't worry, gentleman. Jesus will save us. The Republicans told me so.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:AN...

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Jan 20, 2016

Tough question, likely to either be controversial, bigoted or downright depressing.

There are some people that aren't worth allowing to live.

(Specifically, murderers, rapists, etc.)

Associate at Family Office
"Investing is not a game of Possibilities but of Probabilities."

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Jan 16, 2016

I'm cool with murder for convenience, both the death penalty and abortion

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Jan 20, 2016

You mean killing for convenience. Murder by definition is unlawful killing.

Jan 16, 2016
chunkylover53:

You mean killing for convenience. Murder by definition is unlawful killing.

Both acts are classified as murder under the laws of my home country. However, in the case of abortion, there is a common law defense which more or less equates to convenience available.

Jan 20, 2016

You are not a special snowflake

Your kids are as annoying to me as my kids are to you

Nobody really wants to hear about the dream you had last night

The Sun will eventually expand and annihilate our planet

Doing the 'safe' thing is not as safe as most people think

The U.S. Isn't going broke

Luck plays an important role in success

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Jan 20, 2016

I think South University, ICPI, University of Pheonix and other For-Profit universities have created a platform that will become the standard for elite private education.

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Jan 20, 2016

Trump and Obama are BFFs who giggle over all the current news stories.

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Jan 20, 2016

Emotions are central to good rational thinking

Jan 20, 2016
HY.r.e.a.m:

Emotions are central to good rational thinking

David Hume, is that you?

Jan 20, 2016

Antonio Damasio

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Jan 20, 2016

History hasn't ended- it is not only possible for world wars, holocausts or plagues to occur again, it is very likely.

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Jan 20, 2016

the worst type of extra-terrestrial species that could 'discover' us is one that:

  1. thinks in the same manner as us, and
  2. is more advanced than us

because historically and even today advanced civilizations simply dominate the less advanced one..

Jan 20, 2016

It's been a while since I last read From Zero to One by Peter Thiel, but this is one of the answers he gives to the questions isn't it?

Jan 20, 2016

It's a very good book.

schmooze or lose

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Jan 20, 2016

People are commodities.

Observe. Learn. Share.

Jan 20, 2016

Global warming is a man-made problem AND GMOs are harmless.

Jan 20, 2016
ebbitten:

Global warming is a man-made problem AND GMOs are harmless.

In what world do you live in, where few people would agree with this?

Jan 20, 2016

The majority believe one or another but its not by that much ( http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/... http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/08/11/am...) and the groups of people who believe in one usually don't believe the other.

Jan 21, 2016
The Real Max:

ebbitten:Global warming is a man-made problem AND GMOs are harmless.

In what world do you live in, where few people would agree with this?

GMOs ARE harmless. Not only that, being "anti-GMO" directly harms farmers, disadvantaged people, third world countries, etc.

Best Response
Jan 20, 2016

That people who ask these types of interview questions are fucktards.

Or that a self described hard core libertarian whose biggest success, Palantir, produces products that helps the CIA and NSA spy on the American people is a hypocrit fucktard.

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Jan 21, 2016
Dingdong08:

That people who ask these types of interview questions are fucktards.

Or that a self described hard core libertarian whose biggest success, Palantir, produces products that helps the CIA and NSA spy on the American people is a hypocrit fucktard.

So what you're saying is you're a big fan of Peter Thiel?

Jan 20, 2016

I've only tangentially come across him in business but no, not really. I admire some of the things he's done but he's kind of a dick when you meet him. And he's no more a dick than a lot of senior finance people, but I don't really like too many PE execs either because they're, well, dicks also.

And while I know the stated goal of an interview question like that is to see how people think and react, asking an epistemological/alethiological question is really only going to spur political or religious opinion and not reveal a great missing truth because most absolute truths we acknowledge today are proven by science, or at least widely accepted by a vast majority of the scientific community (and I'm not evoking global warming, more like physics, chemistry, etc). So when it's asked by a guy who is very open about his more extreme political beliefs, I think it just sets someone to incorrectly answer the question and allows him to get around laws that don't allow for discrimination based on political affiliation (at least in California where I'd wager he makes the vast majority of his hires) and religion (Federal). Or at least it leaves him with the impression that this person isn't a libertarian like me and therefore is not qualified for this job, which unless you're interviewing for the Cato Institute shouldn't be a consideration. Leaving aside any political debate on the merits and detractions of libertarianism (because I really don't want this to turn political), if the exec asking the question had a "Feel the Bern" sticker on his Prius sitting in a parking lot on Hamilton Avenue in PA and the person answered something that revealed his love of limited government, it's doing the same thing. If I were asking the question and someone said that the Truth was that the earth was created 6000 years ago and that the little baby Jesus played with Dino the dinosaur, I'd have a really hard time ever hiring that person, even though they may be the best investor on the planet but I just found out that they summer at The Creation Museum.

With regard to Thiel himself, he is a very vocal libertarian, and that's his opinion and right. However, and I don't know his personal political beliefs so I may be incorrect, most libertarians I know want extremely limited government and little to no government intrusion on personal liberties. But the company that he's personally co-founded with the largest valuation, Palantir, not only is tech that the NSA and every other letter agency uses to comb through data to spy on not only foreign terrorists but US citizens, another main client is the government division that oversees/oversaw the Stimulus Act of 09 and a large percentage of their revenue is from government, but one of its early and continued investors is In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA. Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with what Palantir is or has done but I think it's similar to a Wall Street PE or HF exec saying they're a far left liberal and then being staunchly against taxing carried interest as ordinary income.

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Jan 20, 2016

The U.S. health care system has the highest rates of cancer survival, survival from infectious disease, shortest wait time to see a physician, most MRIs per 1000 and the highest rates of customer satisfaction.

The WHO rates the U.S. system low because, rather than measuring the actual efficacy of the system itself, it measures the health of the general population.

American's live very unhealthy lifestyles but their healthcare system is extremely advanced (probably, in part, precisely because they live such unhealthy lifestyles).

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Jan 20, 2016

To be fair the short waits may due to a decent number of people not willing and/or able to go see a physician. I've always believed the way the American healthcare system was by far and away the best as long as you could afford it.

Jan 21, 2016
Esuric:

The U.S. health care system has the highest rates of cancer survival, survival from infectious disease, shortest wait time to see a physician, most MRIs per 1000 and the highest rates of customer satisfaction.

The WHO rates the U.S. system low because, rather than measuring the actual efficacy of the system itself, it measures the health of the general population.

American's live very unhealthy lifestyles but their healthcare system is extremely advanced (probably, in part, precisely because they live such unhealthy lifestyles).

Citations please? I dont disbelieve you, I just want something to stuff down the throats of people who hate on it (im a brit that despises the NHS).

Jan 20, 2016

This thread has the makings to be a goldmine.
Gold, Jerry!

Jan 20, 2016

People don't actually give a shit about diversity in the work place and they shouldn't because it can never be fully realized (ie where do you draw the line white,black, women, single mother, under 5'4,?????). Organizations should focus on maximizing fairness in their hiring process.

"Not me. Im in my prime"

Jan 20, 2016

The Coal industry isn't disappearing!!

Jan 20, 2016

Cloud Peak Energy is going to be up 600% with 18 months

Jan 20, 2016

Allied Resource Partners is a better bet!

Jan 20, 2016

Def Leppard is the greatest band of all time and Styx never got their proper due.

Jan 20, 2016

Online education will replace the traditional college experience.

schmooze or lose

Jan 20, 2016

Maybe I'm not understanding the context, but why would this question necessarily have to do with social issues or politicized ones? If someone asked me this during an interview, I'd give them an answer related to the position or field that I was seeking a position in, not anything to do with abortion or whatever.

Jan 20, 2016

Social issues have a larger pool of people with an opposing view. You look smarter if you're right about something and the opposition is in the millions vice three people.

"Not me. Im in my prime"

Jan 20, 2016

I don't know if you'd look smarter. It's just riskier. You can still impress without commenting on a controversial social issue if you answer the question in a way that's relevant to the position. It would not only show that you're interested and informed about an industry, but that you're a critical thinker. You'd be making a comment that the interviewer and his or her peers might disagree with, but if it can be substantiated, then you'd come off as an intelligent person. You could probably do the same with a social issue, but the extra risk of evoking a negative emotional response is not worth it in the case your interviewer disagrees with you. And lets face it, a logic-backed, contrarian industry view that happens to conflict with an interviewers beliefs is less likely to create negative sentiment compared to a political, societal, or religious argument, which is 100% in someway or form nested in emotion. I'd love to see someone argue a nuanced view advocating less gun control to a liberal mother who lost a loved one to firearms.

Jan 20, 2016

Ultimate power move..tell them: that I'm smarter than them.

Jan 20, 2016

You're not above average

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Jan 20, 2016

Peter Thiel: "Tell me something that you believe to be true that few people would agree with you on."

Me: "If you'd been born just five years later, you wouldn't have nearly as much money, nobody would know who you are, and I wouldn't be sitting here right now answering this stupid question."

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Jan 20, 2016

we have way too many nukes on this planet to not worry about that stuff..

Jan 21, 2016
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Jan 20, 2016
Feb 21, 2016
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