The Social Network

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This trailer is the first thing that has provoked a coherent thought in my head since I fell bedridden with the pain of an eye infection a few days ago. So I figured I’d expand upon that coherent thought.

My favorite part (just barely one-upping the choral Radiohead in the background) is the brief exchange at the end: with incredible economy of time this exchange quantifies and exemplifies the struggle I anticipate to be at this movie’s core: the essential otherness of the paradigm Zuckerberg operates on and the failure of the establishment to “get” it. Zuckerberg, as he sees it, is a brilliant inventor and scientist comparable with Edison or perhaps Newton; he didn’t create the principles his project operates on, but he was the first to exploit them properly and did so in a manner requiring more than a little cleverness.

The assembled boards of review and adjudication see things differently. They are composed mostly of older faculty members or scholars of law who are more than a little uncomfortable in the chilly waters of the Internet. Zuckerberg is just a kid and there’s a lot he doesn’t know: his pride and self-entitled attitude recall the very worst epithets and slurs that the Baby Boomer generation lavishes with relish upon those born post-1980. Selfish. Arrogant. Into Computers. Not enough friends.

Not to say that the assessment is incorrect. Neither is, really. But as the internet more and more comes to define the human race’s collective consciousness, will, and history, the architects of Web 2.0 will take their places beside Gates, Jobs, Ford, Edison, Einstein, and even Newton.

Anyhow, that’s all gleaned from a trailer and none of that’s meant to be taken as a serious position on Zuckerberg himself or Facebook itself. Rather, that’s the struggle painted in The Social Network, and I can’t see it as a bad thing that the human race is starting to ask questions about how the Internet is going to change us and what we can do to make those changes positive.

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One Response to “The Social Network”

  1. Ari Collins Says:

    One of my biggest reactions when seeing this trailer last night (during Inception BIATCHIZES) was: “Wait, the movie’s about two groups of college kids suing each other over copyright infringement and intellectual property? Really? I mean, really? Huh. Really. Huh.”

    I’m as rosey-arsed about Web 2.0 as you, but I’m not sure I believe this movie is actually going to capture the societal changes the way it thinks it is.

    Oh, and you’ve OF COURSE seen the Jesse Schell TED Talk, right?

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