We need not be “loyal to the earth” like the atheist Zarathustra, but we would do well to expect our salvation to be worked out in the solar system we have been given.

For technologists, that means pursuing goals that are difficult but possible: cures for cancer and ­Alzheimer’s; compact nuclear ­reactors and fusion power. For statesmen, that means deconstructing the ­corrupt institutions that have falsely claimed to pursue those goals on our behalf.

It is a paradox of our time that the path to radical progress begins with moderation. Extreme optimism and fatalistic pessimism may seem to be stark opposites, but they both end in apathy.

Peter Thiel, reviewing Ross Douthat’s The Decadent Society: How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success