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April 08, 2014

Mike Judge Endorses Instapundit's "Higher Education Bubble" Theory

HBO is apparently so high on Mike Judge's new comedy, Silicon Valley, that they're letting you watch the first episode for free on YouTube.

Instapundit must not have actually watched it, or else he would have noted the fierce attack on modern-day college occurring near the beginning of the show.

The character who delivers this diatribe at a TED talk is called "Peter Gregory," who is obviously based on tech titan Peter Thiel. Thiel, famously, is a strident critic of what college has become, and actually offers people $100,000 if they will quit college to pursue their tangible, possibly-useful dream. (I assume Thiel has to first approve of your dream before you get the money. So, you know, don't just quit college and then show up at his door with your hand out.)

In the show, the Thiel-analogue is noted to have made just exactly this offer himself, and then gives that TED talk rant at about 8:25 in the below link.

There are two things about this that are interesting for conservatives, who have long suspected Judge of having conservative (or libertarian, or at least liberal-skeptical) positions:

1. This Thiel analogue is the more attractive character of the two tech titans depicted. The Thiel analogue is helpful towards the heroes, wheres the Thiel analogue's rival seems to want to cheat the hero out of his invention.

The rival tech titan is a Blazing Douchebag who smugly propounds upon his devotion to "social justice." The Thiel analogue hasn't revealed his politics, but Peter Thiel himself is a conservative-leaning libertarian.

2. Mike Judge permits someone in the audience to talk back to the Thiel analogue, and say that his ideas are "dangerous," but that guy is a rumpled old hippie, and he is humiliated in verbal sparring by the Thiel analogue. He's left only to sputter "Fascist," impotently, as he leaves the auditorium.

This is probably the most mainstream reference to the idea of a growing Bubble in Higher Education and the current wretechedness of the college system (particularly when one factors in costs and benefits).

Worth a watch. Skip to 8:25, as I say, and watch the minute long second exchange.

I watched the show earlier today on YouTube. Overall, it's pretty good. It's plainly a Mike Judge production, with his sense of humor and sensibility obvious in the script.

Oh, being a Mike Judge production, and being on HBO, you should know there is some objectionable material here, all of the adult potty mouth sort. Though the minute I'm recommending is clean.

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posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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