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Journal: Thoughts on Time's POY 2010 Article on Mark Zuckerberg

Journal by ideonexus
This article had its ups and downs, mostly downs. Here's my thoughts...

"There are other people who can write code as well as Zuckerberg â" not many, but some â""

If the Time profile of Zuckerberg is acurate, then I think even he would be offended by this statement.

"Websites entreat you to log onto them using your Facebook ID â" the New York Times does, and so do Myspace and YouTube."

Hmmm... So does Time. Great job on the full disclosure principle there.

"Right now the Internet is like an empty wasteland: you wander from page to page, and no one is there but you."

Right, because all World Wide Web content is produced by robots.

Facebook wants to populate the wilderness, tame the howling mob and turn the lonely, antisocial world of random chance into a friendly world, a serendipitous world. You'll be working and living inside a network of people, and you'll never have to be alone again. The Internet, and the whole world, will feel more like a family, or a college dorm, or an office where your co-workers are also your best friends.

It'll be a wonderful land of lollypops and puppies and kittens! Privacy concerns? No worries:

"If "liking" an ad the same way you "like" a news article or a photo of your spouse seems creepy to you â" it's more or less the definition of what Marx called commodity fetishism â" you don't have to do it."

If you have privacy concerns, then GO BACK TO YOUR COLD LONELY INTERNET COMMIE!!!

"Zuckerberg has a talent for understanding how people work, but one urge, the urge to conceal, seems to be foreign to him. Sometimes Facebook makes it harder than it should be. It is biased in favor of sharing. That is, after all, what Facebook is for."

Facebook isn't leaking your personal information to make money, they're doing it because they genuinely misunderstand why people need to keep some things private. Why do you have a problem with this? What's wrong with you? Do you have some secret perverse sexual fetish? Are you performing criminal activities? When did you stop beating your wife?

I did like this thoughtful paragraph:

But what makes life complicated in the postmodern technocratic aquarium we're collectively building is that there actually are good reasons to want to hide things. Just because you present a different face to your co-workers and your family doesn't mean you're leading a double life. That's just normal social functioning, psychology as usual. Identity isn't a simple thing; it's complex and dynamic and fluid. It needs to flex a little, the way a skyscraper does in a high wind, and your Facebook profile isn't built to flex.

But then it goes to the other extreme of The Social Network's Gonna make you demented:

An article published earlier this year in European Psychiatry presented the case of a woman who lost her job to a Facebook addiction, and the authors suggested that it could become an actual diagnosable ailment. (The woman in question couldn't even make it through an examination without checking Facebook on her phone.) Facebook is supposed to build empathy, but since 2000, Americans have scored higher and higher on psychological tests designed to detect narcissism, and psychologists have suggested a link to social networking.

I do totally dig this quote, which mirrors my opinion of twitter:

Now Facebook is the bottle, and we're the genie. How small are we willing to make ourselves to fit inside?

What a journalist rollercoaster! The article was all over the place, but it does give me a more favorable opinion of Zuckerberg, a less favorable opinion of Facebook, lots of concerns about adapting myself to the social network instead of it adapting to me, and now, if you'll excuse me, I must go break this comment down into 50+ tweets.

"The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy." -- Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards