Peter Thiel can be a quite significant deal in Silicon Valley and amongst the world’s tech elites. He was a co-founder of PayPal, became an important early investor in Facebook, and remains a venture capitalist of good renown. He’s also a figure of some controversy: a nominal libertarian who backs authoritarian presidential nominee Donald Trump, a promoter of seasteading, along with the possessor of some odd but compelling suggestions on human longevity. He’s also the guy who bankrolled Terry Bollea (aka/dba Hulk Hogan) in his prosperous lawsuit against Gawker Media.
But that is not critical in the moment. What I’d like to know is regardless of whether Thiel knows who invented email.
It shouldn’t be a difficult question to answer. It is conveniently looked up: Here, see for your self. But I’m not sure Thiel knows. Along with the explanation for my uncertainty is easy: In addition to offering the financial backing for Bollea’s suit against Gawker Media, Thiel gave similar help to a scientist named Shiva Ayyadurai, who sued Gawker Media for defamation just after it published a series of articles that, as former Gawker Media web-site Gizmodo reports, “cast doubt on his claims to possess invented e mail in 1978.” Those stories have been true. Ayyadurai didn't, in reality, invent e mail. (As of Wednesday, a settlement has been reached within this case in which Ayyadurai will acquire $750,000.)
Why did Thiel obtain merit in Ayyadurai’s claims? Maybe it is for the reason that Thiel does not know who invented e-mail. (I can’t underscore this sufficient: It was not Ayyadurai.)
Earlier this week, Thiel held a press conference in the National Press Club to account for his support of Trump. This can be not actually something I thought lots of people today had been serious about, but the Huffington Post was amongst the assembled media. There, Thiel described Gawker as a “singularly sociopathic bully” and claimed that the average “single-digit millionaire” didn't have helpful access to our legal technique.
That’s a dubious claim, to become confident, if only since if Ayyadurai had actually been the inventor of email, as opposed to being the inventor of a false claim to possess invented e-mail, he may well not have needed Thiel’s help to finance his bogus lawsuit against Gawker.
But apparently nobody thought to ask Thiel, “Hey, do you know who invented e mail?” And that is as well poor, due to the fact I’d have liked to hear him answer. Presumably he would have said (incorrectly), “That’s straightforward. It was my man, Shiva Ayyadurai.”
Not surprisingly, journalists then would have written stories with headlines like, “Peter Thiel Will not Know Who Invented E mail.” And then, I guess, he would have sued the individuals who wrote these stories? In fact, that’s a quite exciting follow-up question: “Are you going to sue any of the other people today who wrote about how Shiva Ayyadurai just isn't essentially the inventor of e mail? Or is that some thing that is okay for everybody not Gawker Media to say?”
You see, either Thiel does not know who invented e mail, or he is 1 really intellectually and morally inconsistent fellow!
1 issue is for certain, Shiva Ayyadurai ended up finding a fairly major audience for his false claims. The Washington Post had to lengthily unwind a story in which his claims were reported as genuine. The Huffington Post also permitted Ayyadurai’s claims to seem on these pages. We have been incorrect to have published them and wronger nevertheless to possess defended their publication. Those posts, which attested to the veracity of those false contentions, have rightly been pulled.
But Univision, which acquired most of the assets of Gawker Media as a result of the Thiel-funded bankruptcy situations, opted to take down Gizmodo’s original story about Ayyadurai, “The Inventor Of E-mail Didn't Invent Email.” They have been wrong to possess accomplished so, as Gizmodo’s story was accurate. In reality, had Thiel actually study the story that was the basis of a lawsuit he bankrolled, he would have learned lots about who actually invented e mail.
I wonder if at some point within the future, Thiel may really take the time to find out who invented email. Boy, is he going to become shocked!
Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen towards the newest episode below.