Sunday, January 23, 2011

How can you be unsocial in Social Networking?

I went to see that movie The Social Network the other day. I saw it with my friends, which is hilarious considering the basic premise of the movie is about a guy who invents the largest site about social connectedness but has no friends of his own.

The thing I find so interesting about internet start-ups is that they are founded by very talented, young, computer hackers who prior to starting their billion dollar companies engaged in muckraking and rogue behaviour while fucking with people on the internet. Hacking itself, being a big fuck you to 'the man' of course.

Now, as CEOs and Founders themselves, these once upon a time rebels have become that 'man' they so hated as youths and spend their time not only ensuring that the kind of hacking they used to do doesn't happen to them but also collecting all kinds of information that can be used to to our (yes our) disadvantage should someone decide to be devious one day.

The Social Network was a very interesting movie to watch. I keep hearing that it's a fictionalised version of how Facebook started, and certainly Mark Zuckerberg himself has expressed frustration that books like The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich weren't 'better journalism' and that the "true story" is just too boring for Hollywood. I'm sure it was; after all everyone's life is too boring for Hollywood but when I hear phrases like I guess my real life is just too boring for Hollywood so they made stuff up to sell the movie I immediately think that all the worst bits are true. I've heard Mark Zuckerberg being interviewed and at best he is socially awkward, abrupt and evasive. It doesn't take much of a stretch to connect the dots on that famous tag line:

"You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."

It doesn't make it true, but it makes a lot of sense. Especially considering that what we do know to be fact (the court cases the involvement of Sean Parker, facemash... blogging while drunk etc) is enough to convince anyone that clearly these are arseholes we're dealing with here. Perhaps that's a judgement call, but I'm willing to make it. So there. Who knew geekland could be so cutthroat?

The movie itself was pretty fantastic. Flawless music by Trent Reznor (as always) really created the right (rather creepy) mood and great performances by a surprising cast (including JT, finally that devastating curl came in handy for something other than being in a boy band) and furthermore it was fun to watch a movie that wasn't afraid to be topical.

Are you worried about the privacy issues inherent in using a site like Facebook?

This is just perfect: Creep - Scala and Kolacny Brothers

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