Freedom: A Different Opinion on Mark Zuckerberg’s Letter to His Daughter

[Mark Zuckerberg used 2,234 words to describe the things he values most in the world. None of those words was “freedom.”

Every problem that Zuckerberg says he cares about has been solved by political-economic freedom: the liberation of individuals from coercion by one another and by government. If that freedom existed in the impoverished world then the impoverished world would quickly become prosperous.

What will not make the impoverished world prosperous–or free–is for billionaires to dole out huge sums of conspicuous charity to unfree people while doing absolutely nothing to fight for their freedom.

If you are Mark Zuckerberg and have $45 billion, it is easy to live a lavish lifestyle with only 1% of it.

What would be hard–and admirable–would be for Zuckerberg to stand up in a meaningful way for freedom, in any area or every area, particularly for the billions who lack it most.

Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg, in the face of the recent massacre of Parisians by jihadists bent on enslaving the world to Islamic law, condemned jihadism as a threat to freedom and civilization.

Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg, in the face of an ongoing summit in Paris to outlaw the use of the vast majority of affordable, reliable energy, condemned the environmentalist leaders who oppose energy from fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric sources as a threat to freedom and prosperity.

Imagine if Mark Zuckerberg, in the face of his fellow billionaires condescendingly giving the impoverished world handouts instead of support for freedom movements, created an initiative to promote political-economic freedom around the world.

If Mark Zuckerberg did any of those things he would make a huge, positive difference in the world. But those things would be hard. And he doesn’t do them.

Neither does Bill Gates. Neither does Warren Buffett.

]  Alex Epstein for FORBES | 2 December 2015

Alex Epstein is founder of the Center for Industrial Progress and author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Click hereto contact him about media inquiries, speaking engagements, or anything else.

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The Loudest (and Most Romantic) Silence in the World

1111111 PERELMAN

The Man Who Solved the Poincaree’ Conjecture Problem, and Then Vanished | FIRST OT KNOW

[For nearly 100 years, the Poincaré Conjecture remained an unsolvable math problem — stumping even the most brilliant minds on Earth. The Poincaré Conjecture is a problem that involves the geometry of multidimensional spaces and helped to explain the shape of our universe.

That’s why when Grigori Perelman, Russia’s math genius and one of the most famous recluses in the world, solved it in 2002, people were incredibly shocked. But it wasn’t just the fact that he finally cracked the equation that left folks so perplexed.

After solving the Poincaré Conjecture, Perelman ran away from the recognition and fortune that came with it. Regardless of his desire to live a reclusive lifestyle, mathematicians awarded him the Fields Medal in 2006, which is the most sought after prize in mathematics. Of course, he turned down the award — the only person to do such a thing since the awards were created in 1924. He also declined to teach at Berkeley and Princeton.

It was around that time he gave up on math entirely and moved back in with his mother, surviving off of her pension alone. Although me managed to stay out of the spotlight for a few years, the world never forgot about the man who solved the unsolvable math problem.

Four years later, he did something even more bizarre. In 2010, the Clay Mathematics Institute offered Perelman the organization’s first Clay Millennium Prize, which amounted to one million dollars.Yet again, he refused the money, saying, “I know how to control the Universe. Why would I run to get a million, tell me?”

Some believe that he went insane in the process of trying to figure it out, while others think his reason for suddenly bowing out of mathematics was due to his frustration with the academic community.]

The Prosperity Gospel | Mega-Churches in America

(comments from AlterNet)

On Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took on the fraudulent behind-the-scenes (and occasionally, not so behind-the-scenes) practices of America’s mega-televangelist ministries — specifically, those that have exploited people’s faith for monetary gain with the promise that “donations will result in wealth coming back to you.” It’s called “The Prosperity Gospel,” and is built on the idea that every donation a congregant gives its pastor is a “seed” that will one day be harvested. “Wealth is a sign of God’s favor,” after all.

After learning of these shady practices embedded in mega-ministry culture, Oliver resolved to embark on a thought experiment: Why not file some paperwork and establish a church of his own (“a disturbingly easy process,” Oliver said), call it “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” and then ask congregants to meditate on the fraudulence of megachurches?

Unconditional Love, Capitalism, and Unmasking the Conditions of Loveability

[The patriarch of my family was a first-generation Italian-American: an anti-fascist, feminist, anarchist sausage-maker. For him, money was the most important thing in the world, but only so that you’d able to give enough of it to your children so that money wouldn’t have to be the most important thing in the world for them. Work is the most important thing in the world, but only so that the next generation doesn’t have to work as hard as you….

…. I order to believe that you deserve the glut of resources and love that comes with being a respectable member of the middle class, you have to erase the true cost of that status—the exchanges, violence, and power that earned you that care. Bourgeois liberals will admit that the world is a violent place, because they’re liberals, and they’ll admit that they did well in that world, because they’re middle class, but hey won’t often admit that succeeding in a violent world must mean employing violence for your own benefit. This is what I mean by erasing transactionality.]

Read the full essay here | CASPAR for THE NEW INQUIRY

ULOVE

What is Going on in New Orleans… in Numbers

Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He is also a member of the legal collective of School of Americas Watch, and can be reached at quigley77@gmail.com

When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, the nation saw tens of thousands of people left behind in New Orleans. Ten years later, it looks like the same people in New Orleans have been left behind again.

Stats on schools, housing, incarceration, demographics, income: Shocking Stats About New Orleans | ALTERNET

NOLA

The Things Nobody is Talking About | Harsh, Painful, Stunningly Accurate Article about Greece, Written by a Non-Greek

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds | VANITY FAIR

[The Greek state was not just corrupt but also corrupting. Once you saw how it worked you could understand a phenomenon which otherwise made no sense at all: the difficulty Greek people have saying a kind word about one another. Individual Greeks are delightful: funny, warm, smart, and good company. I left two dozen interviews saying to myself, “What great people!” They do not share the sentiment about one another: the hardest thing to do in Greece is to get one Greek to compliment another behind his back. No success of any kind is regarded without suspicion. Everyone is pretty sure everyone is cheating on his taxes, or bribing politicians, or taking bribes, or lying about the value of his real estate. And this total absence of faith in one another is self-reinforcing. The epidemic of lying and cheating and stealing makes any sort of civic life impossible; the collapse of civic life only encourages more lying, cheating, and stealing. Lacking faith in one another, they fall back on themselves and their families….]

447-438 B.C., Athens, Greece --- The Parthenon at Dusk --- Image by © Colin Dixon/Arcaid/Corbis

447-438 B.C., Athens, Greece — The Parthenon at Dusk — Image by © Colin Dixon/Arcaid/Corbis

On Demand Economy; Access More Desired than Ownership; Transformation of Subjectivity | Shots of Awe