Broker Check

Zuck and Me

| April 20, 2018

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook have been in the news lately.  That’s not unusual, but this time it wasn’t about Zuckerberg being filthy stinkin’ rich, but about his using Facebook to further political ends – some of them his and some his friends’.  My interest in such intrigues is less than zero, but if you care to know my opinion, it’s this:  I signed up for Facebook, knowing that the whole world can learn almost anything it wants to know about me at the click of a mouse.  But, that’s been true since the days of dial-up and Alta Vista, not to mention Google.  And, I don’t care.  If Zuck and friends want to collect mega-data and resell it to businesses or politicians, I think they should have the right to do that.  (Obviously, that’s not true of my relationship with my clients - or you with your doctor, or Trump with his attorney - but that’s another question entirely.) 

In fact, I’m a Facebook champion.  In the past few years, I’ve met some terribly bright and interesting people, and I learn something new and valuable from at least one of them almost every day.  (I put up with some nonsense, too, but I know where the delete button is.) For example, I have long been interested in longevity, and the older I get, the more interested I become.  So, when a Facebook friend (the spouse of a physician) posted this headline: Study Finds That Fasting for Seventy-Two Hours Can Regenerate the Entire Immune System, I was curious enough to click.  My interest was enhanced by the fact that Sweetie and one of our daughters are each afflicted with auto-immune disease.

The article referenced the work of Valter Longo, PhD., and his research team at USC.  From there, I bought and read Dr. Longo’s book, The Longevity Diet1.  The diet itself is not that different from others you may know something about, The Mediterranean Diet, The Paleo Diet, etc., but that’s not the point of the research, or even the book. 

Apparently, periodic fasting for seventy-two hours (monthly, for example) clears out dead and dying cells and, using the its own stem cells, the body regenerates a new immune system.  Scientifically, the research is mostly over my head – genetics, etc. - but the concept is fascinating.  Chapters relating to diabetes, auto-immune disease, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic and debilitating diseases, offer real hope.  Ditto, for conditions like autism.  I’m reminded that of the research and treatments available in 2011, Steve Jobs reportedly said that he would either be cured of his cancer and live forever - or, in six months - he would be dead2.  Well, we know how that worked out, but his faith in the future was justified.  Dr. Longo’s studies confirm that progress toward longer, healthier lives continues – or even accelerates.

As with everything in the evolving world of health research, Dr. Longo cautions that neither the longevity diet nor the fasting regimen are do-it-yourself projects.  Talk to your doctor, please.  But, I do recommend the book.

 To return to my original point: New friends – Facebook or Main Street - are miracles in waiting.  Don’t let the admitted hazards of social media - and they do abound - prevent you from meeting interesting people and learning new things.  And, it’s not just the people you’ll get to know.  It’s also the people who will know you, and by living in the minds of many others, you achieve a unique kind of fame and a virtual immortality.  Think about that for a while.  But, just as you would at the mall, use common sense in all your social media activities.  mh

P.S. 100% of Dr. Longo’s book royalties are going to charities like the Create Cures and others, working to support people with advanced stage and complex diseases.


  1. The Longevity Diet, Avery an imprint of Penguin Random House, New York, 2018. (Previously published in Italy, 2016.)
  2. Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson, Simon and Schuster, New York, 2011.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only, are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.