Tag Archives: Harvard University

Keeping Our Distance (Technologically Speaking)

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missjunebug wonders if she and her fellow bugs are getting closer through technology or farther apart. She had the good fortune (and excellent planning, thanks, r.h.) of seeing that terrific (and slightly terrifying) gem of a film The Social Network on opening day. She was antennae deep in good buzz about the film and made the effort to catch it early instead of 3 months down the road on Netflix. She’s glad she did. Superb acting, directing, writing based on that little gem of a book The Accidental Billionaires which is worth the quick read. Enjoyment x 10. 4 out of 4 stars. Oscar worthy.

That said, missjunebug worries a bunch about too much online time for all of us, digitizing our lives instead of participating in them, texting instead of talking, facebooking ourselves into feeling lonelier and less connected (or making others feel that way), and speaking of Facebook, she worries about the “socially autistic” genius of Mark Zuckerberg. To say he is one with the glowing screen of his laptop as depicted in the film by actor Jesse Eisenberg is a substantial understatement. To say he exhibits a misguided (thanks partly to Justin Timerlake’s Sean Parker) disloyalty to his one true friend is at the center of his anti-heroic non choices. He sets himself to act in a technologically distanced default mode and leaves the rest to the lawyers.

Zuckerberg as played by Eisenberg (ZuckerEisenberg?) shares much in common with the tragic Shakespearean hero: the hubris (of genius in Mark’s case) and the ambition (for something to substitute for the Harvard Final Club he never gets into, but as he points out near the end of the film could buy and turn into whatever he wanted). The fatal error? That part is pretty easy to figure out: the cold and distanced betrayal of his one and only true friend Eduardo Saverin.

To his credit, for ZuckerEisenberg it’s never about the money. As Mr.JB has pointed out to missjunebug numerous times, money is a very short term motivator. True dat. But what may motivate ZuckerEisenberg is much, much darker than that. Or maybe he just wanted to get laid.

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