LITTLE BOY GONE MAD - He may be a 'smug little sh*t', but he's a rich and powerful 'smug little sh*t'. How much control should you have over you?
The intertubes have been all a’twitter – get it, that’s a techie joke – over Facebook’s 347th revision of it’s privacy policies. On the one hand, the outrage is completely understandable. The digital essence of most Americans went to the highest bidder around the time Windows 3.0 showed its first blue screen of death. No one asked if it was OK or offered a cut of the action for selling, well, you.
On the other, this is hardly a new development and the hubbub is a little strident since the time to have caterwauled about it was circa Commodore 64. Today it doesn’t matter if you object or not, the cat is out of the bag and there are too many things in normal every day life that require you to surrender personal information over which you will have no control – credit reports for example.
Where the hell is the Tea Party on this? It’s not OK for the government to know about you, but it is OK for Experian? WTF?!
The web was once a place where egalitarianism prevailed. Everything would be free. Code would be available to all. It would link humanity to solve global problems like war and famine. There was untapped potential. Hell, we might even find aliens by donating unused time on our machines to SETI.
Then, reality came to the hippy coding commune. In Sillycon Valley, there was a Silicon Rush. However, it was less like typical, garden variety entrepreneurship – you know, fellas working their own claims by the sweat of their own brows – than naked capitalism based on the movie catchphrase of the era, “greed is good”.
Every kid with an empty garage and a half-semester at Stanford hungered to be an instant millionaire. For awhile there, you could get actual adults (who should’ve known better) with real money to put up a few million by attaching a lowercase “e” to the front of any stupid noun you could make up – simply e-larious!
But if derivatives traders and loan sharks at Goldman Sachs were “irrationally exuberant”, venture capitalists were like Merril Lynch’s CEO, John Thain, hopped up on too much Red Bull and an inexhaustible supply of steroids.
Lot’s of the wunderkinds turned out not to be so wunderful. Idiotic sites crashed and burned in a big way. It’s true some of the garage code set sold their SmokeMirrors 2.0 apps and escaped with the loot before it all came crashing down.
Others? Not so much.
But the ones who’ve survived the odds and reached a certain point of power – like Google’s Sergey Brinn and Larry Page or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg – have turned into greedy, sh*t-diapered little asses who are no longer entrepreneurs, but thuggish digital pirates like Oracle‘s Larry Ellison – who uses the management principles of ancient Chinese warrior and ruthless military tactician Sun Tzu to run his empire.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH - How much ownership of your digital self is too much?
Zuckerberg is the latest Sillycon Valley mogul to play L’Enfant terrible with the panache only a clueless, 26-year old with more money than God can muster.
Lil’ Mark thumbs his nose at complaints of selling peoples digital souls without permission, at one point even claiming that, “people don’t want complete privacy online“. Maybe a partial grain of truth there, although a little control over someone knowing how many hemorrhoids you have would be nice. Also note that Mark’s personal page is devoid of any actual personal detail.
The Perfect Pander Bear?
Mark obviously has a career in politics if this whole Facebook thing fades, except he can’t afford the pay cut. He’s imminently qualified. He’s proficient in being unable to keep his dick in his pants. His supporters are jumping ship like former Bushinistas leaping over the rail in 2007. And, he panders to more people than John McThusela.
Privacy controls are good. Privacy controls are bad. But perhaps his position that is closest to the truth, “users who share information with [me are] dumb f–ks.” Oh, what the hell, just give me all your personal data and throw in a kidney because that’s just the way I roll.
We love you too Mark.
He’s even in the hunt for the penultimate political pass card, a real trial on allegations of securities fraud.
Good luck with help on that one Mark, you been defriended by a whole lotta people lately.