What Does Mark Zuckerberg Read to His Baby?

Mark Zuckerberg | Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan had their daughter Max less than a month ago, but they’re already starting her education.

The Facebook CEO has posted a picture on the social network alongside his monthly book recommendation showing he and Chan reading out loud to their young daughter.

He starts by joking that the next title in his Year of Books list is “Quantum Physics for Babies.” That’s a real book that introduces the basics of quantum physics with simple pictures and sentences.

He’s actually recommending “World Order” by Henry Kissinger.

But baby books might actually make the list next year.

Zuckerberg is poking a little bit of fun at himself and overzealous parenting in general — but there’s growing evidence that reading to infants helps their vocabulary and reading skills later on, even if they don’t understand a single thing you’re saying at the time. Plus, it’s a bonding experience.

“I am loving reading to Max,” he writes. “Next year looks like it’s going to be A Year of Children’s Books!”

If Max ends up excelling in the maths and sciences, it would align with Zuckerberg’s own childhood: Mark created a messaging program called “Zucknet” using Atari BASIC at age 12 and also regularly coded computer games for his friends.

Earlier Mark Zuckerberg wrote:

I want to share a few more thoughts on the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative before I just start posting photos of me and Max for a while.

I hope one idea comes through: that we as a society should make investments now to ensure this world is much better for the next generation.

I don’t think we do enough of this right now.

Sure, there are many areas where investment now will solve problems for today and also improve the world for the future. We do muster the will to solve some of those.

But for the problems that will truly take decades of investment before we see any major return, we are dramatically underinvested.

One example is basic science research to cure disease. Another is developing clean energy to protect the world for the future. Another is the slow and steady improvement to modernize schools. Others are systematic issues around poverty and justice. There is a long list of these opportunities.

The role of philanthropy is to invest in important areas that companies and governments aren’t funding — either because they may not be profitable for companies or because they are too long term for people to want to invest now.

In the case of disease, basic research often needs to be funded before biotech or pharma companies can create drugs to help people. If we invest more in science, we can make faster progress towards curing disease.

Our investment in the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is small compared to what the world can invest in solving these great challenges. My hope is that our work inspires more people to invest in these longer term issues. If we can do that, then we can all really make a difference together.

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