I recently listened to Lex Friedman’s interview with Jeff Bezos. If you want to hear someone speak with incredible clarity and wisdom, listen to Jeff. There’s a reason he is the second richest person in the world.
But there was one topic that resonated with me more than anything.
It seems like the world doesn’t care much about it these days. Just skim through social media and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
However, Jeff reminds us that “truth” is arguably the single most important factor that leads to success and prosperity.
“Yes, challenging. They [truths] can make people defensive even if that’s not the intent. But any high performing organization, whether it’s a sports team, a business, a political organization, an activist group, I don’t care what it is, any high performing organization has to have mechanisms and a culture that supports truth-telling.” – 1:29:14
The evidence is irrefutable. As of this writing, Amazon has about a 1.6 trillion dollar market cap making it the fifth richest company in the world.
If you look at the world’s most successful companies, they all have this trait.
They consistently engage in the pursuit of truth, employing critical thinking, problem-solving, and scientific methodologies in their approach.
“And so science is all about truth-telling. It’s actually a very formal mechanism for trying to tell the truth. And even in science, you find that it’s hard to tell the truth. Even you’re supposed to have a hypothesis and test it and find data and reject the hypothesis and so on, it’s not easy.” – Jeff Bezos, 1:30:10
Elon Musk also famously refers to “truths” and first principles:
“Boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, ‘OK, what are we sure is true, or as sure as possible is true? ‘ And then reason up from there.” – Behind Elon Musk’s Management Philosophy: First Principles, Wall Street Journal
As of this writing, Elon Musk is the number one richest person in the world, with companies that launch rockets into space (SpaceX), produce self-driving cars (Tesla), and let humans transmit information electronically with just their brains (Neuralink). You only do that with capable leadership and truth-seeking.
There is another place where this truth-seeking discipline has taken shape over the past few decades leading to some incredible human achievements and prosperity, including, but not limited to the development of things like:
The list goes on.
This country also ranks #7 in the world for creating the most unicorns, has more than 100 companies listed on US exchanges, with a combined market cap of more than $150 billion, and has the fourth most companies listed on the Nasdaq after the United States, Canada, and China.
There is a reason Israel is called the Startup Nation.
And if that wasn’t enough, Israelis have among the world’s highest life expectancies and lower rates of “deaths of despair” from suicide and substance abuse. It’s also one of the few populations that are young and growing while all other wealthy democracies are aging and shrinking. According to a recent UN report, it is also the fourth happiest nation in the world behind Finland, Denmark, and Iceland.
These achievements would not have been possible without dedicated hard work and a relentless quest for truth.
But, truth is hard.
“You have just asked a million-dollar question. So if I generalize what you’re asking, you are talking in general about truth-telling and we humans are not really truth-seeking animals. We are social animals.” – Jeff Bezos, 01:28:21
This brings us to today.
There is a hot war in the Middle East and an information war online.
Both sides understand the importance of truth or lack thereof.
Iran and their proxies, like Hamas, understand that “we are social animals” and so the more death, destruction, and oppression they can inflict on their people (look what Israel did to us!), the more sympathy they can create for their cause.
It’s why they use human shields. It’s why they hide bombs in children’s classrooms. It’s why they build terror tunnels under children’s bedrooms. It’s why they steal humanitarian aid. It’s why they use hospitals as terror bases. It’s why they scream “apartheid”. It’s why they bankrupt their community but make their leaders rich (with our taxpayer dollars).
It’s why they lie over and over again.
In short, they can prevent “truth-seeking animals” by pulling on the strings of our most animalistic tendencies and emotions, using social media megaphones we all have in our pockets. Who wouldn’t get upset when they see the photos coming out of Gaza? I know I do. It’s horrible and tragic. But that’s the point. They recognize that “truth-telling” for most people is hard, and so they prey on the ignorance and lazy thinking that many people have.
But ultimately, truth will prevail.
And the truth is this:
One side wants dead Jews.
The other side does not want to die.
And if you don’t believe this, then just look at the track records of truth.