Founders Fund
Oct 1 · 3 min read

MAY 2020, NEW ORLEANS

This May 2020 we’re hosting HERETICON, a conference for thoughtcrime. Here’s why:

From Galileo to Jesus Christ, heretical thinkers have been met with hostility, even death, and vindicated by posterity. That ideological outcasts have shaped the world is an observation so often made it would be bereft of interest were the actions of our society not so entirely at odds with the wisdom of the point: troublemakers are essential to mankind’s progress, and so we must protect them. But while our culture is fascinated by the righteousness of our historical heretics, it is obsessed with the destruction of the heretics among us today. It is certainly true the great majority of heretical thinkers are wrong. But how does one tell the difference between “dangerous” dissent, and the dissent that brought us flight, the theory of evolution, Non-Euclidean geometry? It could be argued there are no ‘real’ heretics left. Perhaps we’ve arrived at the end of knowledge, and dissent today is nothing more than mischief or malice in need of punishment. But be the nature of our witches unclear, it cannot be denied we’re burning them. The question is only are our heretics the first in history who deserve to be burned?

We don’t think so.

We believe dissent is essential to the progressive march of human civilization. We believe there’s more in science, technology, and business to discover, that it must be discovered, and that in order to make such discovery we must learn to engage with new — if even sometimes frightening — ideas. So:

Imagine a conference for people banned from other conferences. Imagine a safe space for people who don’t feel safe in safe spaces. Over three nights we’ll feature many of our culture’s most important troublemakers in the fields of knowledge necessary to the progressive improvement of our civilization. Topics including but not limited to: biological self-determination (modification, design), geo-engineering, transhumanism, the abolition of college, transgressive media, sex, the softer side of doomsday prepping, the nature of conspiracy, the benefits of starvation, constitutional monarchy (what?!), revisionist demography, immortality, drag culture, and building nations. After dark, on the top floor of our hotel, in a hidden room plastered in newspaper clippings of sightings and secret bases, there may be a talk or two on UFOs and literally a séance. Let’s get weird.

In the 20th Century, the canary was mythologized — a tiny, golden bird that sings, transformed in the bowels of our coal mines into a herald of mortal danger. The fate of any bird asphyxiated by toxic air would as well be met by any miner who refused to mind the warning. Every great thinker, every great scientist, every great founder of every great company in history has been, in some dimension, a heretic. Heretics have discovered new knowledge. Heretics have seen possibility before us, and portentous signs of danger. But our heretics are also themselves, in persecution, a sign of danger. The potential of the human race is predicated on our ability to learn new things, and to grow. As such, growth is impossible without dissent. A world without heretics is a world in decline, and in a declining civilization everything we value, from science and technology to prosperity and freedom, is in jeopardy.

So let’s have a conversation.

Space for our inaugural conference is limited, and invite only. But we’re holding a handful of tickets for the general public, so follow the link to our waitlist — here — and sit tight for further details.

Founders Fund

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