Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tech, Social Networks, Blah Blah

YG and I finally got around to watching The Social Network last night after much cajoling by me. I have no idea why he didn't want to watch this movie and think it had more to do with the fact that it was one of "my movies" and not so much the subject matter. Anyway, I enjoyed it. There's been a ton written about how Mark Zuckerberg comes across as such as an asshole, but I didn't really feel that way. He certainly wasn't likeable, just young. We live here in the heart of Harvard, and I see so many entitled little shits like those Winkleturd twins that it was really hard to feel any sympathy for them.

I like the way this article in The New Republic explains it,

"The total and absolute absurdity of the world where the engines of a federal lawsuit get cranked up to adjudicate the hurt feelings (because "our idea was stolen!") of entitled Harvard undergraduates is completely missed by Sorkin. We can't know enough from the film to know whether there was actually any substantial legal claim here. Sorkin has been upfront about the fact that there are fabrications aplenty lacing the story. But from the story as told, we certainly know enough to know that any legal system that would allow these kids to extort $65 million from the most successful business this century should be ashamed of itself. Did Zuckerberg breach his contract? Maybe, for which the damages are more like $650, not $65 million. Did he steal a trade secret? Absolutely not. Did he steal any other "property"? Absolutely not — the code for Facebook was his, and the "idea" of a social network is not a patent."

The movie got me thinking about how much technology has changed just in my lifetime. Some disjointed thoughts:

* When I was in high school, my mom would talk about how her company was working on something called "The Information Superhighway" and I was beyond eye rolly in that 'whatever mom' kind of way.

* I remember being with NN in the computer lab at Syracuse using said Information Superhighway to print out Phish lyrics and thinking it was the coolest thing in the world. This is embarassing on many levels. Phish?

* Dial up.

* I belonged to a chat room to discuss My So-Called Life.

* I distinctly remember sitting on the couch at 913 watching some show about cell phones and declaring that I would never own a cell phone because they were so pretentious. My first phone was enormous. Thirteen years later, I still have the same phone number.

* I said the same thing about iPods. Who needs an iPod when you have a DiscMan?

* And then I said the same thing about digital cameras. At one point in time, I was very fond of my Kodak Disk camera.

* During my semester in London, we would have to sign out time to use the computer lab. I would send email once a WEEK.

* I've been working at high tech companies for most of my whole career. I remember one particular tradeshow where I had back-to-back media interviews scheduled, and my spokesperson would start off every meeting with "Imagine a world where your kids can watch a movie in your house and then program that same movie from your car!"

* I said I would never join Facebook, that it was a time suck and a waste of time. Same for Twitter. I was briefly on Friendster. Ha ha, remember that? Totally missed MySpace.

* I remember discovering "web logs" and thinking, "god, what douchebags."

* My first major at Newhouse was Newspaper Journalism. I cannot remember the last time I actually held a print copy of a newspaper, other than those USATodays that get put under your hotel room door on business trips.

* I very rarely talk on the phone with friends.

* I have some friends, via the Internets, that I have never actually met in person.

* I have almost five years of my life logged online.

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