You have 500 Million Friends

the social network
Image by whipsmart via Flickr

Everyone’s on Facebook, right?  Poking, messaging, friend requests, liking, and other every day words take on their own meanings on this website.  A website that has a population equal to the whole EU, has overtaken email, texting, and the telephone as a means of communication and still manages to grow despite a small (but extremely vocal) community of detractors that think it needs to be shut down.

Sorkin and Fincher’s movie, based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, doesn’t touch on the minutiae of the privacy activists concerns, but rather delivers a tight precis of the Facebook’s birth pangs and subsequent legal fallout.

More sympathetic to Zuckerberg than I would have imagined, the movie seems to be the beginning of a narative that portrays the Facebook co-founder as a misunderstood genius (possibly with Asperger’s) that just wants to be loved. Sorkin is at his best when allowed to write fast paced dialogue and interweaving the various legal issues with the Facebook story stopped the movie from grinding to a halt or becoming a spiritual sequel to A Few Good Men.

Love it or hate it Facebook is here and most people will continue to use the site until they finally get bored with talking to each other.  Open source initiatives like Diaspora may gain some currency with a certain type of user, but they won’t ever be as cool, and as Zukerberg’s character says in the movie, Facebook is nothing if it’s not cool.

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“HE DIDN’T FALL? INCONCEIVABLE.”

Argumentum Ad Verecundiam
Image by ShedBOy^ via Flickr

You Are Not so Smart is a blog about the many ways we delude ourselves based on psychological and economic research.  In a similar manner to the Freakonomics Blog it takes pot-shots at the conventional wisdom such as wine snobbery, the usefulness of meetings, and caffeine buzzes.

The Misconception: You know why you like the things you like and feel the way you feel.

The Truth: The origin of certain emotional states is unavailable to you, and when pressed to explain them, you will just make something up.

(via Kottke.org)

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Gangsta for life

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