Palmer Luckey

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Palmer Luckey

Key Takeaways:

  • A review of several posts and retweets posted after January 2021 showed that Palmer Luckey is a strong supporter of tighter and more advanced border security.
  • Recent Twitter posts also show that he is not pleased with the growing influence of the China Communist Party, especially among companies that are based or operating in the U.S.
  • Based on posts that were posted after January 2021, Palmer Luckey is of the opinion that tech companies and developers should not be blamed when parents break the rules by purchasing and allowing their children to play games or use hardware that they are not allowed to.

Introduction:

  • This report provides insights into Palmer Luckey's thoughts and values based on his social media posts from January 1, 2021, to April 4, 2022, as well as his posts before 2021. Mostly, Palmer Luckey posts about his business activities (Anduril) and developments in the tech world. However, only posts that give insights into how he thinks and what he values/believes in have been included. Below is an overview of the findings, as well as an explanation of the methodology.

Summary of Findings

2021-2022 Insights

Tighter Border Security

  • Based on several posts and retweets, Palmer Luckey is a strong supporter of tighter and more advanced border security. He is of the opinion that future technologies are the key to securing U.S. borders, and that their development and adoption will make the U.S. border impenetrable.
    • "The vast and overwhelming majority of voters in the United States want to know what is crossing our border. The same goes for our politicians, on both sides of the aisle. The same is true in every developed nation - border security is extraordinarily popular outside The Bubble."
    • "Autonomous systems that augment the capabilities of Border Patrol agents are an important part of securing the border today. Future technology development and deployment will render illegal border crossing, smuggling, and trafficking operations extinct. Just a matter of time!"

Aversion to China's Communist Government

  • Palmer Luckey's Twitter posts show that he is not pleased with the growing influence of the China Communist Party, especially among companies that are based or operating in the U.S. He called out Apple for making a secret deal with China and TikTok and DJI for not revealing that they received funding from the Chinese government.
    • "This explains some of out-of-character moves by Apple over the last few years, such as moving data from certain users to servers run by Chinese companies. I am surprised that a public company can make a quarter-trillion dollar deal without reporting it."
    • "In case it wasn't clear - Anduril has, in fact, received money from the United States government. I feel bad for the employees of companies like DJI and TikTok/ByteDance who have to pretend they are not backed by the Chinese Communist Party."

'Biased' Journalism

  • Palmer Luckey is dissatisfied with current journalism standards, based on his reactions to posts and publications by journalists and news outlets. He seems to feel that journalists invent and spread misinformation and are biased against him and large corporations.
    • "To add some context for journalists who don't seem to care about understanding the defense industry even a little bit: If I was helping Russia or selling them our technology, I would almost certainly be in prison. We can't just sell weapons to anyone, that isn't how it works!"
    • "This is misinformation. You quote fabrications and add your own nonsense on top. I didn't pay to produce memes on 4chan or flood the internet with anything. If I seem thin-skinned about this, consider that I still deal with the consequences of lying journalists years later."
    • "Tales of fast food restaurants serving fake meat circulate among the dumb every few years. The recent New York Times article about Subway sandwich tuna failing their DNA test as 0% tuna seems to be the first time such a story has been invented by a major outlet."

Parental Censorship

  • Palmer Luckey believes that it is the responsibility of parents, and not tech companies and developers, to censor the content that their children consume or access. According to him, tech companies and developers should not be blamed when parents break the rules by purchasing and allowing their children to play games or use hardware that they are not allowed to.
    • "Of course there are rules. The parents are breaking them! When they let their child play multiplayer games that prohibit their presence on hardware that prohibits their use, the blame cannot possibly fall on game developers or tech companies."
    • "This is the ever-so-slightly more sophisticated version of the whining that happens when parents buy their 11 year old Grand Theft Auto and then complain ceaselessly about how horrible it is and how someone else should take responsibility for their bad parenting decisions."

Supporting United States' Defense

  • Palmer Luckey does not believe that U.S. tech companies ate doing enough to support the defense of their country. According to him, companies with significant tech capabilities are not helping to develop technology that would be useful to the U.S. military, and this is putting the country at a disadvantage compared to its military competitors, such as China and Russia. He strongly believes that the U.S. Army should be allowed to have the most advanced tech possible and that future tech should be applied or integrated into military technology.
    • "Tech companies like to talk about making the world a better place. Helping the United States defend allies and deter aggressors is one of the most sure-fire ways to make a real and powerful difference. Your country needs you. More in my WaPo OpEd."
    • "Putin in September 2017 said that AI leadership was a means to become “the ruler of the world.” China has vowed to achieve AI dominance by 2030. . . . Meanwhile, much of the top AI talent in the United States is working on things such as ad optimization"
    • "It is interesting to see people complaining about the use of VR by the military. I disagree with those opposed to all military operations, but the position makes more sense than "VR is for joy, how dare the military hijack it. Way to ignore the history of VR!"

Insights Before 2021

China's Influence on American Media

  • Palmer Luckey was concerned over the influence that China had over U.S. media conglomerates. He was of the opinion that the China Communist Party controls Hollywood to prevent any anti-China movies from being made. The Chinese government achieves this through targeted investments in U.S. media conglomerates and content restrictions in China, he said.
    • "China does not give a shit about identity politics. The goal is not to erase Americans or get more lines for Asian actors. They want to ensure that China is not portrayed as anything but a first-world highly developed society with ancient wisdom and modern science."
    • "China controls American media using targeted investment and domestic content restrictions. Only pro-China films can get access to Chinese theaters, and most Hollywood conglos dare not defy the Chinese Communist Party. This situation is unprecedented in history."
    • "This is one of the reasons you see film after film about major and minor failings of the United States and nothing about the religious concentration camps currently run by the CCP. And don't forget the time Iron Man/Tony Stark went to China for cutting-edge medical treatment."

Perspective on College Education

  • While Palmer Luckey does not believe in "taking a break" from college to find oneself, he stated that it is okay to defer college education if the students know exactly what they want to achieve during the break. And if the break goes well, it is okay to not go back to school.
    • "Don't hesitate to take a break from college if you know exactly what you want to accomplish with that break - if it goes poorly, you can always go back, and if goes well, you probably won't want to go back. Not a fan of taking a break to 'find yourself.'"

Censorship of Video Games

  • Palmer Luckey's post showed that he is against censorship of art, including gaming, by the government. He stated that he shared this opinion with Kevin McCarthy, GOP Leader. He also felt that video gun violence is a complicated issue and should not be blamed on gaming.
    • "I've been friends with @gopleader Kevin McCarthy for years. We don't agree on everything, but we do share a belief that government should not censor or regulate art, including video games."
    • "Gun violence is a complex issue that requires a holistic approach, and Kevin will continue to be a great ally for gamers like me to work with."

Wasted Tech Resources

  • Even back in 2019, Palmer Luckey was still convinced that the U.S. tech sector was wasting its resources on meaningless endeavors and big tech companies should do more to promote national security. Another post in 2020 showed that he considered building tools for keeping the U.S. safe and protecting its soldiers to be meaningful endeavors.
    • "Full quote: There is so much great talent being wasted in Silicon Valley on problems that do not matter. They aren’t making the world a better place. They aren’t making the world a different place. And a handful of them, you could argue, are making the world a worse place."
    • "We build tools for America and allies that keep our country safe, our warriors alive, and our values secure. I want to build the best defense company in the world, and this is a meaningful step towards that. To all partners and investors, thank you!"
    • "We can and must transform our national security apparatus to reflect the threats we face. We have the technology. Better, stronger, faster! This is a great article that touches on patriotism in Big Tech, ethics around artificial intelligence, and the China Problem."
    • "The United States needs the support of our greatest tech companies more than @Microsoft needs these 50 workers. The future of combat will include augmentation of all our senses, and @HoloLens is a great step towards that future."

Human Rights Support

  • Palmer Luckey expressed his approval after the United States Senate passed the "Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act." One of the quotes above on China's control of the U.S. media shows that he was displeased that they did not expose the Communist government's human rights violations.
    • "US Senate has just passed unanimously the #HongKong Human Rights & Democracy Act. To the protestors in Hong Kong: You did this. Your courage has moved the Senate. It has moved the Congress. It will move the world. #StandWithHongKong"
    • "This is one of the reasons you see film after film about major and minor failings of the United States and nothing about the religious concentration camps currently run by the CCP. And don't forget the time Iron Man/Tony Stark went to China for cutting-edge medical treatment."

Research Strategy

This report provides insights into Palmer Luckey's thoughts and values based on his social media posts from January 1, 2021, to April 4, 2022, as well as his posts before 2021. The research team analyzed posts from Twitter and Facebook since there are no posts on his Instagram page. While his posts on Twitter and Facebook are identical, his engagement is higher on Twitter and there are more posts on the platform than on Facebook. Therefore, we used his Twitter page as our main source. Mostly, Palmer Luckey posts about his business activities (in Anduril) and developments in the tech world; however, we strove to find posts that give insights into how he thinks and what he believes in. None of the posts analyzed were posted earlier than January 2019.

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