Thursday, May 26, 2011

Worthwhile Sentences on Interventionism

From Mark Zuckerberg: "A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa."

From Tate Watkins: "What if an international peacekeeping force had descended into Charleston after Confederate troops bombarded Fort Sumter?"

From Planet Money: "Has any single human being, either directly or indirectly, cost the United States more money than Osama bin Laden?"

From John Mueller and Mark Stewart: "The cumulative increase in expenditures on US domestic homeland security over the decade since 9/11 exceeds one trillion dollars."

From Paul Valery: “Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder.”


  1. I'm having an especially tough time with the Zuckerberg quotation. It is without context, but even so, I take issue with several of the underlying philosophies. First of all, what does he mean by "relevant"? A dying squirrel may be more relevant -- because maybe I just hit it with my car and have to peel it from my tire -- but it will never be more important. That's a necessary distinction, and I'm horrified that he is even comparing a squirrel to a person. Of course, the key phrase is "to your interests," which I am also horrified by. Do we help people dying in Africa because it is in our best interests or because it is in theirs? If this statement even remotely reflects Z's political views, I think he should stick to what he's good at: stealing others' ideas and profiting off them. ;)

  2. Oooh, I watched the talk. Fascinating. So the quotation was still somewhat out of context, but it doesn't sound like Z was intending to comment on foreign policy. He's still a DB, but that makes me feel a little better.

  3. I believe the quote comes from the book "The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World". Of course I wasn't (nor I think was Zuckerberg) suggesting this is a good thing. Just a reality. In fact he wasn't the first to suggest this. Adam Smith did it 200 years ago:


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.