Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Social Network

Newsweek's David Lyons suggests the origins of Facebook movie, The Social Network, set for release on October 1, exposes a serious and insidious threat to the future of the U.S. economy:
The risk is that by focusing an entire generation of bright young entrepreneurs on such silly things, we’ll fall behind in creating the fundamental building blocks of our economy. The transistor and the integrated circuit gave rise to the last half century of prosperity. But what comes next? “If we distract people with the lure of easy money, with making companies that don’t solve anything hard, we’re going to wind up derailing the thing that has been driving our economy,” Myhrvold says.

We’ve already fallen behind in areas like alternative energy, better batteries, and nanotechnology. Instead of racing to catch up, we’re buying seeds and garden gnomes on Facebook. This won’t end well.
The author seems to suggest that an intervention of some kind is needed to insure that venture money and America's talent are focused on the right things.  An intervention by whom?  Although he doesn't come out and say so, I'm thinking he means the federal government.  And why not?  The statist media has yet to find a non-existent national or world crisis for which the federal government can't provide an inefficient, ineffective, wasteful and fiscally immoral solution.  Admittedly I am an old free markets relic of a bygone age, but I find Lyons argument entirely unpersuasive.

The real societal revelation of a movie about Facebook is better captured by an insightful pre-teen friend of mine (Thanks, JS):

My ultimate regards to Mr. Fincher for his outstanding work in taking the 'person-with-no-life' scenario to the next level. Really. Here, we have Facebook, a website supposedly to connect with old friends but is really used to have obssesive compensation rants about their problems and how mighty they think they are, and then we have the film world, a place where looks matter more than brains and faces are more recognizable than talents. You know what happens when they are combined? A dramatic, action, political, movie about; Facebook! Because apparently the film world is making an 'original breakthrough'.

Just the thought of the making of Facebook, a website to talk on, being brought up as a serious movie idea makes me rather tempestuous. Maybe I'm off my meds or something, but this new movie 'The Social Network' will probably destroy more brain cells than sucking helium. Now, if you want to go see it, then by all means, go see it. I'm not stopping you. But think about something else you can do in that time. And it better not be checking your Facebook status.

1 comment:

  1. My compliments to your pre-teen friends for thinking beyon his/her years.