Cult of the Individual much?

Apparently they made some movie about The Facebook Dot Com, and it’s a big old hairy intrigue-filled deal about the Rise of The Facebook Dot Com, centering (of course) around Mark Zuckerberg, Creator of The Facebook Dot Com, and they make him out to be a big old asshole who sacrifices friends for dollars.

And he wasn’t really such an asshole.  Or maybe he was.  Whatever.  (you can skip those articles, there’s not much to them, except that reading them will make my point stronger because you will have spent a lot of time reading about Mark Zuckerberg.)  My point is: we read a lot about Mark Zuckerberg.

Quick: name another employee of The Facebook.  Name another person whose blood, sweat, and carpal tunnel contributed to the six-year rise from zero to bigger-than-Jesus.  Name another factor, besides Zuck’s cunning, smarts, and assholery, that brought it to fourteen quadrillion hits per day.  I’m guessing- and when I say “guessing” I’m being sarcastic- that there were a few.

But we’re drawn to the human side of the story because that’s just how we in modern America tell stories: we want one lone crusader to valiantly vanquish all foes in the name of Honor and Glory.  Or else we want one supervillain to slit the throats of all the good guys and spit on their graves.  Look at Apple.  It’s not a company of 35,000 humans; it’s a vehicle for one black-turtleneck-clad loony to “revolutionize” something-or-other by hawking new shiny things.  Forget Apple, look at our government!  We’ve pinned this last decade of pendulum swing to two guys named George and Barack.

Distilling megalithic systems to single people is apparently the only way we can understand and internalize these things, but it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s not true.

That’s really all I have to say.  So, switching gears: Hipmunk is a new airplane search site, and I like the interface it provides to let you search for flights.  It’s a hard UI problem, and I think they’re doing it pretty well.  I got a Kindle, and it’s adequate but not great for reading PDFs.  Decibel fest is this weekend, it’s right near my house; let me know if you’re interested in going to any shows, because they’re always pretty good.  I’m getting more excited about grad school; I’ve found a bunch of great research groups and schools to apply to.  Most things are pretty good, really.

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