Meta Platforms Inc FB co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has spent most of his life creating things to facilitate human connection. He continues to push the limits of interaction as Meta shifts its focus to an alternate reality in the Metaverse.
So what does the man who's making new worlds think about the purpose of living in this one? When it comes to life, the answer is pretty clear, but when it comes to death…
“Constraints are helpful,” Zuckerberg said Saturday on "Lex Fridman Podcast #267."
That's coming from the guy who founded what's now the world's largest social media platform at 19 and became the world's youngest billionaire by the time he was 23.
The Dusk: Zuckerberg is definitely aware of life's finite quality and aims to stay safe, but he's not freaked out by death. He believes longer lifespans are a good thing, which is why he has pledged 99% of his Meta shares to philanthropic causes, specifically toward the ability to cure, prevent or manage all diseases.
"But it was an intentional decision to not focus our philanthropy on like explicitly on longevity or living forever," Zuckerberg said.
If Zuckerberg could have one question answered at the moment of death, he said he would want to know if his family would be alright.
"That might depend on the circumstances of my death, but I think that in most circumstances I can think of, that's probably the main thing that I would care about."
After his response, he noted that although his answer is probably in line with most responses, it's not obvious to him.
"On the one hand, that's probably the thing that's closest to me and maybe the most common human experience," Zuckerberg said. "But one of the things I just struggle with in terms of running this large enterprise is like: should the thing that I care more about be that responsibility?"
For the Meta CEO, it's shifted over time. Before he had a family, the company was all he cared about, he said. "At this point, I care deeply about it, but ... that's not as obvious of a question."
The Dawn: The meaning of life is more clear for Zuckerberg. From an intellectual perspective, he thinks people are meant to connect, which is something that society systematically undervalues, he said.
Taking a religious perspective, Zuckerberg highlighted how the Bible focuses on creation. "Why does the Bible start there?," he said. "It could have started anywhere in terms of how to live, but basically it starts with talking about how God created people."
"I actually think that there is like a compelling argument that I've always just found meaningful and inspiring that a lot of the point of what, sort of, religion has been telling us that we should do is to create and build things," Zuckerberg said.
The Meta CEO has dedicated his life to his interpretation of its meaning: creating things for human connection. Zuckerberg continues to do so by pushing the boundaries of connection, changing the way people create and understand what is real.
"The real world is a combination of the physical world and the virtual world, but I think over time as we get more technology, the physical world is becoming less of a percent of the real world and I think that opens up a lot of opportunities for people."
Photo: Christoph Scholz from Flickr.
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