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Palantir's earnings call rhetoric is terrifying

"Woke is paganism", says the CEO.

2 min read

Mark Nottingham highlighted this alarming quote by CEO Alex Karp from the latest Palantir earnings call:

I think the central risk to Palantir and America and the world is a regressive way of thinking that is corrupting and corroding our institutions that calls itself progressive, but actually -- and is called woke, but is actually a form of a thin pagan religion.

That is a real danger to our society. And it is a real danger to Palantir if we allow -- if we don't discuss these things. The reason we have by far the best product offering in the world is because we have by far the best alignment around how to build software, what it means to build software, full alignment with our customers, a view that some -- the Western way of living is superior and, therefore, it should be supported by the best products.

[…]We believe we are fighting for a stronger, better, less discriminatory, wealthier, more open, and better society by providing the friends of the West, U.S. industry, U.S. government, our allies, with by far superior products.

I find this so alarming. I’m so opposed to this way of thinking that I don’t exactly know where to start. “Woke is paganism” smacks of a deeply regressive way of thinking; not least because “paganism” is bad smacks of a very narrow way of thinking where some religions are better than others. I hate it on every level — and that’s before we get to the US-centric nationalism.

Palantir, of course, is the company whose products and services routinely power systemic human rights abuses. So perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised. But it’s still very striking to see these kinds of words expressed during an earnings call.

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