SAN DIEGO, CALIF. (The Street) -- Want to know what Mark Zuckerberg thinks about power and violence? Just join his book club.
If Zuckerberg's first two book selections are any indication, the Facebook (FB - Get Report) CEO will spend 2015 opening up about his personal world views. The social-networking executive's latest pick, for instance, is the controversial 2011 book The Better Angels of Our Nature by Harvard College Professor Steven Pinker, which theorizes that despite the perception of increasing violence we may be living in the most peaceful era in history. The book addresses hot-potato topics such as morality, genetics, and religion, and hints at Zuckerberg's proclivity for heavy subject matters.
Started at the beginning year, the Zuckerberg book club, hosted on the "A Year of Books" Facebook Page, is a public invitation to join the Facebook chief in his personal challenge for 2015: to read a new book every other week "with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies." The challenge is Zuckerberg's annual affair in self-improvement. In previous years, he has challenged himself to learn Mandarin (2010), only eat animals that he kills himself (2011), and write a thank-you note every day (2014).
In 2015, however, Zuckerberg has adopted a bit of an Oprah complex with a book club reading list that appears to extend his Facebook agenda for world unity.
"Recent events might make it seem like violence and terrorism are more common than ever, so it's worth understanding that all violence -- even terrorism -- is actually decreasing over time. If we understand how we are achieving this, we can continue our path towards peace," Zuckerberg wrote of his reasoning for picking The Better Angels of Our Nature.
And the first selection, The End of Power by Moisés Naím, gave away his attitudes on power and government.
"It's a book that explores how the world is shifting to give individual people more power that was traditionally only held by large governments, militaries and other organizations," Zuckerberg said. "The trend towards giving people more power is one I believe in deeply, and I'm looking forward to reading this book and exploring this in more detail."
Might we be witnessing the evolution of the Facebook CEO into a political figure head? Zuckerberg already finances the FWD.us super PAC to advance Silicon Valley-friendly policies such as immigration reform, but he has only recently started to use his platform to speak up on world issues. And his new-found lack of neutrality is not going unnoticed. During a recent question-and-answer session, Zuckerberg was asked why he chooses to condemn some terrorist actions and not others.
"There are certain topics that I speak about, mostly things that are related to Facebook's mission in some capacity, and our efforts to help connect the world and give everyone a voice," he said in response, noting that the terrorist attack against satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo was an attack to silence people. "Across the board, we generally always are trying to fight to help as many people as possible share as much as they want."
Zuckerberg, then, in the spirit of Facebook appears to be embracing this philosophy of expressing what he wants, whether it's offensive or not. Eleven years after Facebook's creation, its chief seems to have found his voice.