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His faith appears grounded in a pervasive Silicon Valley belief that motivates gifted individuals to achieve on a grand scale, no matter the apparent hurdles _ death included.

But even Thiel admitted he has no idea how long that last obstacle will take to overcome.

“I would like to say that I would still be doing this even if I thought there was no chance I would benefit from this in any way,” he said in an interview. “I think we have to work on these things even if they take centuries.”