Monday, April 11, 2011

In Haste: The Social Network

 How is one supposed to respond to this film? To this way of life? To this generation?

What Zuckerberg and company created was a phenomenal feat that spoke to the inner longings of the great myriad of collective personalities in society. Facebook offers a product that many of us not only engage with, but consume with a ceaseless zest. Perhaps Zuckerberg did indeed find a way to bottle the college experience and make it eternal. Maybe.

As I watched that last scene, the closing shot of moment to moment refreshing, I found myself tramped in a land I didn't know. Should I mourn for the Zuck? Should I see his relative failure at reaching social euphoria as a means to vilify and condemn all of Facebookom? Or do I turn and say, "Well, by the grace of God a magnificent device has clawed into existence out of a very flawed individual"? What should I say? What should I think?

The greatest of my emotions, however, was perhaps awe. I was awed at the genius and sheer intuitive force behind the facebook. What giants of thought walk around us! And then I sigh...

These men like Zuckerberg are leveraging their genius essentially for social mobility. They're primary influence, their fundamental kick to work hard, was that of fame. To me, this appears quite sad.

Thankfully and refreshing, I also recently caught an episode from the new Morgan Freeman narrated Discover Channel show, Through the Rabbit Hole. Here, these geeky scientists toil over numbers and conjectures not because it will lead to fame or social fortune, but because the questions of this cosmos urge them on. Now, a skeptic could say that they are as much motivated by pride as the Zuck generation, and although pride likely comes into the picture at some point, I think the two groups fundamentally start from a different place. The scientist, eager to look as far as possible into the reaches of the universe, began to look because they wanted to know more about this place got plopped us into to. The Zuck clan began because they wanted to exploit the world created by the social creature. One starts with examining pure creation, while the other looks to leverage creation's creations.

That what I have to say about that.

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