Patrick Byrne: What do you believe?

Patrick Byrne: It’s hard to outgrow a heavy Catholic upbringing. I certainly had that. I was an altar boy and left when I was about 13 or 14 and became interested in Asian philosophy. My sense of how the world works is very Daoist, which is to say Daoism . . . Daoism became ..., which in Japan is pronounced “...”. So it’s my, I guess, a Zen sense of how the world works. My sense of my obligations in the world probably come from that . . . that Catholic upbringing. So I’d say if I had a personal philosophy, it would be those . . . those two. I have no disrespect for organized religion, but to me it’s a handrail. And it’s a handrail to help you get somewhere. I mean the idea is . . . The goal is getting . . . Well it’s not even a goal; but there’s that place and those handrails, and it’s easy to confuse the two. I’d say only in the sense of . . . I’m not sure that anything has any meaning. I’m not sure that 50 million years from now, anything we’ve done means anything more than what some ants are crawling around on a rock mean anything more than they have. But if there is meaning, that meaning is to be found in service. It’s in the way you live your life and the . . . and the real service you provided other people. But I’m not even sure that . . . I’m not sure that makes the grade. We may all just end up ...some ants crawling around on a rock in space.

Recorded on: 10/29/07

 

A shift from Catholicism to Asian philosophy.

This is the training any graphic designer should have. It’s on sale now for under $40.

Come to grips with the fundamentals of graphic design and master the field's top tools.

Gear
  • The School of Graphic Design Mastery Bundle covers basic industry philosophies and tools.
  • Special courses dig into branding techniques as well as using the Adobe Creative Cloud apps.
  • The $1,400 training course is available now for only $39.
Keep reading

What the world will look like 4°C warmer

Will your grandchildren live in cities on Antarctica?

Surprising Science

Micronesia is gone – sunk beneath the waves. Pakistan and South India have been abandoned. And Europe is slowly turning into a desert. This is the world, 4°C warmer than it is now. 

Keep reading

Why vaccines are absolutely necessary

Vaccines have done their job so well that anti-vax parents have forgotten the horror of contagious disease.

Videos
  • "Autism is caused by a lot of factors that we don't fully understand," says epidemiologist Dr Larry Brilliant, "but vaccines are not one of those factors."
  • Vaccines have saved hundreds of millions of children's lives—they have eradicated smallpox, nearly eradicated polio, and they have reduced the population explosion. How? Thanks to vaccinations, parents no longer expect 50% of their children to die from disease, so they have less children.
  • Vaccines have protected the lives of children so effectively that anti-vax parents—who only have their children's best interests at heart—have lost sight of how critical vaccines are. When polio was rampant in the U.S., parents waited in line for hours and hours to have their children vaccinated. Safety changes our mental calculus, but vaccinations must continue to ensure that safety lasts.
Keep reading