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The Social Network is an elegant psychodrama of contemporary economics.
“And @Buckskins, I really don't think you want to go there, here”
I’m there already. Bring it.
Unfortunately Stuart, having no friends doesn't automatically make you a sad git. Reading about the Russian Revolution doesn't automatically make you an interesting person. It just means that you have a dichotomised, unempathetic, narrow view of the world. Off topic there but I really enjoyed this article, so thanks.
The problem with Socialist is that they rationalise whatever happens through their Socialist prism where capitalism is evil. And try to make events and stories fit these rationalisations. As if deductible by science. To all those who suffer such acute post-facto urge, highly recommended, Talebs Fooled By Randomness.
Facebook's success in short is much more due to luck than anything else. (Why did Orkut not succeed as much or many many others failed) And this is true for most Successes.
Give Capitalism a break!
wanny.my view of the world is a view most of the silent majority agree with,butlets leave you with this to ponder on,facebook in my opinion is one of the greatest evils in the 21st century,facebook has become a haven for paedophiles to prey on children and all other perverted degenerates.facebook has become a haven for all religious and racists nuts of all colours and backgrounds to spread there message of hate and evil,facebook is for the feckless and the braindead who kinda put tributes up to killers like raoul moat,what more do i need to say,i rest my case your noble lord.
Mrs,Josephine Hyde-Hartley, in days of yore, people were able to commit semi-suicide by joining the Brit Army against Napoleon, or become a sailor on a sail trading ship on the seas of Mother Earth, let alone the Brit Navy against the Spanish and others. Todays comfortable life does get to some with a certain in-built character.
And stuart, don't be rude, she has only got a double barelled name because she is not certain of her father - well that is what I have been told.
stuart, grow up, I am past that.
Peace, and all that bollox.
..and by the way, more Mr Leigh, sorry, John Foxx, when he was in Ultravox in the late seventies (1970s). Genius,
be good ehtch tee,dont sit on your cat when its sleeping,dont kill that spider weaving its web ready to catch a little bit of supper.
cat? Wish I had a cat, like my grandmother, but these days they lock you away if you don't give them their shots or something every year.
Got load of visiting feral cats though, excellent creatures.
If so many women did not glorify sluzzies like Lady Gaga nor behave like willing objects for cheap consumption, misogyny would not exist. I'm not letting the men get off the hook here, I have a daughter and agree with most of you write here but my point is that there should be more and more social pressure from women towards other women to not facilitate misogynists. There is a permissive culture for women on the grounds of "women sexuality" that gives cover to those sluts our there that make misogynist possible. In other words, there are many pigs out there but women have more influence within their own gender which seems to be underplayed in preference of blatant male bashing.
The revenge of the nerds franchise has been a staple of Hollywood for generations. In fact I'm pretty sure there's at least one film with that exact title. This is not a recent cultural phenomena, other celebrated films of a similar ilk that spring to mind are Weird Science (where a couple of techno-proficient geeks genetically modify the woman of their dreams), American Pie and a host of other films and shows where geekiness prevails in the end.
I've never been convinced that geeks really were the genuine outsiders anyway. They always had friends and a social group to confide in which was more than can be said for some students. In my experience most were also generally left alone, grew in confidence in their college years and were always considered too meek and insignificant to snare the physical attentions of the most psycopathic bullies. They were always rather more keen wanted to pick on someone they could put in their place to reassert their authority rather than someone so obviously unable to defend themselves.
The real outsiders in life aren't the geeks at all but the people who slip between the cracks. The student too much of a lad for the geeks, not tough enough or crazy enough for the loons or sporty enough to join the football team. Strangely enough, I actually was good enough to play for my school team but hated the preening indulgence of the "Look at my Nike Air triple Mac" tainers brigade.
I was into indie music long before it became fashionable aand long before the geeks but have been the victim of alot of inverse snootiness at indie clubs because I don't fit the stereotype of what an indie fan should look like and dressed like a casual 'lad' from a council estate.
I liked Warhammer 40,000 too but everytime I walked into a shop I was immediately chastised and harangued by the shop manager who was certain I was in there to fill my pockets with the miniature figures that were lucrative bounty on the geekavoid black market.
To me, Geek-sheek is just another insular way of pigeonholing society into conforming to an expected role and it's the people who don't fall into any of the cliched, consumer culture driven caricatures that are really sidelined in today's world.
I was expecting to disagree with this, but actually I don't. It's basically true; it's easy for Zuckerberg to sell out and exploit the misguided trust of Facebook's users because on some level he feels that the world owes him something. Which, in the case of many geeks, an egalitarian might argue that the world *does* owe them some compensation for their earlier social exclusion. Capitalism is the magic ingredient which ensures that this payback accrues to a handful of individuals rather than all of us, and Zuckerberg was one of the lucky few (he was far from the only one to try making a fortune off social networking).
I don't think that geekiness is particularly at stake here though. From what I recall of the late 90s/early 00s internet/business zeitgeist, there was a feeling about that if the geeks didn't exploit their own creations, some idiots who didn't understand them would come along and do it instead. In Zuckerberg's individual case, the logic would have been "either I do this, or someone dumber and less deserving than me does it instead". Secondly the exclusion that geeks feel from the mainstream is what will inspire someone else to destroy Facebook, and that outsiderness and obsessive focus is the thing that will give them the power to do it. The Diaspora project is an early attempt, but bigger and better ones are probably already being built, doubtless by unknown nerdy obsessives (I speak from a modicum of personal experience, as someone who's tangentially involved in a project designed to up-end the corporate-user relationship that underlies Facebook).
Uhhh....unless I missed it, this author and severalof the comments make the assumption that this movie portrayed Zuckerberg or the ciorcumstances at all accurately. Truth is, Zuckerberg wasn't "dumped" just prior to Facebook being born. He had a girfriend, and the same girlfriend, before, during, and after the creation of Facebook, and STILL has the same one.
Now I had problems with the movie, including its portrayal of women, and also re: it's total lack of any sense for the vision that Zuckerberg had; one shared by a lot of people who actually use the social networking technologies, and have spent a years seeking to improve and expand.
If another commenter has already pointed this out, I missed it. So be aware, it was quite a bit of total fiction. I don't know whey they even used the real names, since the use of the actual names implies that this is a depiction of real events. Sorkin can say "it's not a documentary, but why then didn't he call the character "Schmuckerberg"?
Don't be totally sucked in to the idea that this movie has much of a clue about Social Networks or Zuckerberg. It came off as a movie written by people who hate geeks.
Of course the author of this silly blurb forgot one important thing: most of what is shown in the film is entirely made up, by people who were angry not to get any of the money. Zuckerberg, in reality, is so different than the rubbish that was shown in The Social Network.
>>It's a story about power, and about how alienation and obsessive persistence are rewarded with social, sexual and financial power.
No I don't think any kind of voyeurism however clinical (or cynical) started on the internet eg that old "here's looking at you, kid" quote is nearly seventy years old, I understand.
One wonders if the alienation Laurie is trying to describe is because of an infernal desire so many people seem to have to be somehow "once removed" from what they're really doing..perhaps even "out of it", so to speak. Surely to effectively chop up common sense and sensibility in this manner isn't entirely good for the integrity, constitutional or otherwise -What about all these poor people committing suicide in more and more public ways and places - talk about psychodrama..it's awful.
So that ate my lovely comment!
Third time a charm:
It's a story about ...
That's the point of the film, isn't it? I mean, it's a bit weird to tell off the film for portraying fairly accurately (as some say) what really happened. Shouldn't we be worrying more about what this says about the real world rather than chastising the film?
I completely agree that this would not have been the story if it had been a woman, but only because Facebook would not have happened if it had been a woman - she would have been laughed at by other people. Women are discouraged to enter into the 'domain of men', ie business, or patronisingly patted on the head as if they were playing businesswoman ("I don't think that's a word" says Jack Donaghey). Which surely is more of the issue?
Mind you, having no friends, being constantly sued and permanently being in the media eye when you are very shy sounds like a nightmare rather than a fairy tale ending. Karma's a bitch...
what do you mean by poor people commiting suicide,thats the most riduculous comment i have read on a blog in years,being poor has got nothing to do with commiting suicide and in fact alot of quiet wealthy and well off people are more likely to commit suicide judging by the storys i read daily in the press.poverty and deprivation is linked to the poor in society,but there is no evidence being poor makes you more prone to take your own life.
Top post, Penny.
In other words Peter, bring back corsets, the tighter the better, and chastity belts, oh yes....
But maybe not.
More northern rock - I think analoguecrazy4 is just simply brill,
by the way, my favorite analoguecrazy4 track, only on yewtubb,
And by the way, Peter, Captain Janeway from Star Trek is quite a possible role model, but I would say that...
Above lad I reckon is a new,
"The narrative whereby the nerdy loner makes a sack of cash and gets all the hot pussy he can handle is becoming a fundamental part of free-market folklore... It's a story about power, and about how alienation and obsessive persistence are rewarded with social, sexual and financial power."
Enjoyed this article. Where were you at my school? O to have had a girl to play D&D or Cyberpunk or Warhammer with!! I'm still waiting on my rightful entitlement to as much hot pussy as I can handle.
I always wonder what the female equivalent of this sort of power fantasy might be? I doubt its the 'desire for men' that motivates females in their own power/success fantasies, though I'd like to be proved wrong? Female power-craft seems to need to rid itself of men more than attain them? Solanas speaks of extermination; Boyd Rice of rape.
I'm never convinced that males hate women as much as women hate men. Males reduce and make use of women for sure, but I'm not sure it's necessarily out of hatred. Where women don't understand or desire their use and reduction, it becomes obvious why they would respond with a purer hate, but I still believe misogyny to be a misrepresentative term.
I definitely agree with your point about what it means to be a geek.
Having grown up as an incredible nerd and outcast I have myself felt socially marginalised throughout my childhood. However instead of it nurturing neoliberal revenge fantasies, rather, it has instilled in me common empathy and solidarity with the downtrodden or subjugated members of society.
Ammal, take up the piano, maybe electronic,
If they'd called it "Blogs to Bling and Bitches" I might be tempted to see it. Otherwise your take seems 100% in line with what I expected including the Randian/Game Theory aspects. Sorkin was the one behind the nauseatingly trite DC-power-porn called "The West Wing" after all.
Your off the cuff comment demonstrates you clearly don't know a thing about Rand or her philosophy. You can carry on displaying your ignorance and win the approving snickers of your peers since it's so fashionable to trot her out as some ogre, or you can check out the Coles Notes of what she really though here http://bit.ly/aZIdiQ and here http://bit.ly/aoneiL. It's a hell of a lot more humanist and liberal than your snide remark would suggest.
Amjal,sorry but being a 'geek' is no excuse for being unsuccessful with the ladies. What you need there, is
Confidence, [yes with a big C].
I never had any problem with the fairer sex, a farm boy, that loved classical music, and would holiday on my own [for a start!]. I married a showgirl, absolutely fantastic, 2 wonderful, now adult graduate children----it's all in the mind,if you don't ask---well then!
Facebook was also used to help Obama get elected. Now that is not such a 'perverted' use for a website that allows progressives to discuss and formulate ideas. Scientists can connect with others across the world and share ideas. People can socialise with other people across the world and talk about interests they share. Facebook has endless positive contributions to the world, but it also has endless evils like those you have listed. Do you wish Nuclear power were not invented because it started with the horrific A-bomb, Something that could be used for endless evil purposes?
And forgive me when I question your use of the term 'silent majority'. Its my belief that the term is derogatory to those who partake in such a organisation of individuals and, like 'arm chair activists', would rather laze around and let things happen without their approval/disapproval. That's how Hitler got all the power he needed to start killing off the Jews. Thats how Murdoch as got away with all the media 'buy ups'. So, Stuart, I would not start professing my membership to such a silent majority, as it only implies your 'not bothered' about the reasons why this article was written. And 'oh boy, I firghten myself with the thought that another 'Hitler' is just round the corner, as you know that the silent majority will only 'enable' him!
Interesting that there is no Facebook share button for this article!
Why does Facebook not have an edit option (only the 'nuclear' option) for past posts ? If they be so clever... !
This doesnt tell me much about the film at all except it was well-scripted and had few women in.
I sometimes think Penny uses examples of pop culture to discuss her own views on society and she doesn't analyse the actual cultural product.
what happens in the film? how is the main character built up? do we empathise with him or not? what is the cinematography like? the dialogue? the locations? is it funny? sad? scary? It's a film.
Age-old quote: 'Men rule the world. Women rule men.'
In other words, women can 'get laid' anytime they want, sans money, power, brains, etc.
Men, on the other hand, cannot. We have to work for it. Even geek girls fantasize about having sex with the star quarterback, not the head of the debate club. Rock stars have their pick of the litter; plumbers not so much.
So, naturally, most men grow up somewhat misogynistic - that's what happens when you try your hardest and you still lose out to the moron with the muscles or guitar or the cool car nearly every time.
I am confused by this piece. Are you talking about cultural tropes are real world issues? You say that you do not blame Aaron Sorkin for the sexist landscape of the movie, so I assume you think you saw some kind of documentary.
For what it's worth, the real "FaceMash" pitted men against men as well. And apparently the real Zuckerberg had a steady girlfriend for most of the time, and had no interest in social status other than subverting it. People who have been to Harvard at the same moment also say that the "exclusive" clubs atmosphere is utterly gone in the modern era; Sorkin's depiction is more of a hyperreal Paper Chase than a depiction of the environment that Zuckerberg was a part of.
I say this not to defend Zuckerberg there's lots he's done that is more worthy of criticism -- but he doesn't seem to deserve this kind of criticism. And from someone who's just seen a *movie* about him. Please.
@YoungSwanseaTrot; How is my old stomping ground? Does it still have the Mumbles pub crawl? Does it still have my old tutor, Neil Harding, the world's expert on Lenin, at the uni. Does it still have the UKs foremost Russian Studies department? The Russian Revolution .. err I think it happened at The Cricketers in 1982 or was it at 50 Marlbrough Road, BrynMill in 1983.
I miss Swansea and the Russian Studies/Politics Department. I had this very beautiful girlfriend who I managed to trace thru Facebook and who now admits she made a mistake by dumping me after my finals. It may have something to do with the fact that I am far richer than her current hubby. She had her chance and she blew it. Still it was good times and though specialising in Marxism in Russia I came away a nonbeliever. But it looks as though they managed to brainwash you. An Trot .. give us an ice break.
Laurie Penny is a contributing editor to the New Statesman.