“I once read a statement by Ed Snowden that there are things worth dying for. And I read the same thing by Manning, who said she was ready to go to prison or even face a death sentence for what she was doing. And I read those comments and I thought: that is what I felt. That is right. It is worth it. Is it worth someone’s freedom or life to avert a war with North Korea? I would say unhesitatingly: “Yes, of course.” Was it worth Ed Snowden spending his life in exile to do what he did? Was it worth it for Manning, spending seven and a half years in prison? Yes, I think so. And I think they think so. And I think they are right.”

Daniel Ellsberg (who leaked the Pentagon papers, a top-secret study of US govt decision making on the Vietnam War) said that in conversation with Edward Snowden.

Read some of the transcript in the guardian here.

I don't think I have whatever it takes to do what Snowden and Ellsberg did, although I guess with some of these matters, you don't know how you react until the choice is in front of you.


If you'd like to feel inspired by commencement addresses and life lessons try:  Neil Gaiman on making wonderful, fabulous, brilliant mistakes; or Nassim Taleb's commencement address; or JK Rowling on the benefits of failure.  Or Charlie Munger on always inverting.  Or Ray Dalio on Principles.

Read about my questions to a dying man, on how to live a life well lived.

Or, a thought about the narrative of Bitcoin.