My Intellectual Heroes


What is it that drives humanity forward? What, if not talent and incredibly hard work, has allowed us to survive thus far? Gifted individuals manage to change the course of history in ways that are hard to imagine. We owe it all to those who made it easier to live on this planet.

On my side of the story, I massively admire original thought, courage, and impact.

Ilya Sutskever

A leading artificial intelligence (AI) researcher, Sutskever co-invented the Transformer architecture, a deep learning model that revolutionized natural language processing (NLP). Before his current role as a researcher at Google AI, Sutskever served as Chief Scientist at OpenAI. His contributions have significantly enhanced machines’ ability to understand and generate human language, making him a central figure in the ongoing AI revolution.

More about Ilya:

David Deutsch

British physicist and philosopher David Deutsch is a champion of quantum computing and the multiverse theory. His book “The Beginning of Infinity” delves into the concept of self-explanation within physical laws, proposing that the laws of physics themselves can explain their own existence. Deutsch’s ideas push the boundaries of our understanding of the universe, its potential for technological advancement through quantum computing, and the nature of reality itself.

Eric Weinstein

Theoretical physicist and managing director of Thiel Capital, Eric Weinstein is known for his work in complex systems and his willingness to challenge conventional views on scientific and social issues. He co-founded the Mathematical Resonance Society, a group seeking to identify unifying principles across diverse scientific disciplines. Weinstein’s unique perspective encourages critical thinking and exploration beyond established paradigms, making him a thought leader who inspires us to question the status quo.

Peter Thiel

Billionaire entrepreneur and venture capitalist Peter Thiel is the co-founder of PayPal and Palantir Technologies. A strong advocate for rational thought and skepticism towards mainstream institutions, Thiel emphasizes creating new things through innovation rather than imitating existing ones. His book “Zero to One” encourages entrepreneurs to challenge conventional approaches and pursue breakthrough ideas. Thiel’s contrarian views and investment philosophy have influenced many in the tech world and beyond.

Rory Sutherland

Behavioral scientist and author Rory Sutherland is renowned for his work on irrational thinking and decision-making. His book “Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don’t Work” explores how understanding psychological biases can be used to achieve positive outcomes in marketing, business, and even personal decision-making. Sutherland’s insights help us navigate the often illogical world of human behavior, making him a valuable resource for anyone seeking to understand how people think.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Financial essayist, former derivatives trader, and author of the influential book “Fooled by Randomness,” Taleb focuses on the study of complex systems and events with extreme consequences, which he terms “black swan” events. He emphasizes the importance of understanding uncertainty and the limitations of human knowledge in a world often obsessed with predictability. Taleb’s ideas challenge our assumptions about risk and knowledge, prompting us to consider how to better prepare for the unexpected. His work has had a significant impact on finance, economics, and our overall understanding of the world.

Favorite interview:

1 comment
  1. Great thinkers! I’d add the recently passed Daniel Kahneman, Niall Ferguson, and the AI crowd (Demis Hassabis, Yann LeCunn, Karpathy, etc)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *