Techno Phantasms V.3: Sorkin vs. Zuckerberg in a Lessig Vacuum Tube


{ Polski Animacji - Labirynt - Jan Lenica, 1963 }

“The Social Network” – The film about Mark Zuckerberg and the rise of Facebook – A pre-Review primer

Ok, we’re cynical bastards, but we wouldn’t trust anyone in the Hollywood machine to get a mass media zeitgeist story right, unless Orson Welles had been cyrogenically preserved and retrieved. No, we mean we are really cynical bastards: Not even the Wachowksi + Cohen bros. combined could make a film about Social Networks and get even half of the bloody fresh Internet Comedy of Horrors right. And Lutz Dammbeck?! Maybe he could get half, but it would be so low-budget , so underground, so cryptic and likely so depressing, only a miniscule fraction of the planet would ever see it … and get it. (maker of “Das Netz/ The Net” 2004 ).

And so the Fincher/Sorkin version, “The Social Network”?! Well we might expect a hard swiping movie ( debit cards accepted ) and well, depending on your circles, some extraordinary conversation points for the bar afterwards. Should be fun, but not expecting any glimpse of the real underbelly + the current blight of Nettopia.

Film opens in Germany on Oct. 7.

And meanwhile Lawrence Lessig’s take on Fincher’s flick in The New Republic ?!
” Sorkin vs. Zuckerberg, The Social Network’ is wonderful entertainment, but its message is actually kind of evil.

Possibly more fascinating + critical to analyze then the movie itself… And downright irksome! There was already a large body of critique growing in regard to Lessig’s hardly radical copyleft tacts and (relatively minor) restructurings, but just when did he start smoking the Net Crack ??!

Quoting from the 2nd page, “Zuckerberg is a rightful hero of our time. I want my kids to admire him.” Lessig, excuse us, WTF did you say !!??

Sure, we understand the fight for Net Neutrality, and we appreciate that he’s doing what he can to make people see this crucial battlefield for anything remotely resembling a true public communications spectrum. Sadly, we were sitting just last night with a couple of IT veterans who have spoken on Net Neutrality over the last couple years, and the future looks predictably grim on that front. One of whom btw  had an early experience of profile “EXECUTION” -without trial- on Facebook some years ago, for posting… wrongness… or eating Wonka’s secret blueberries perhaps ??


But truly, Lessig’s review reminds us that anyone who still has some footing in any kind of real world needs to take a giant step back and consider that the road to coded hell is already paved by a primed and plumped public participating in their own electroshock indoctrination on such a scale not seen since, well since those more simple colonial days of corporate radio + television. But now it’s truly closing in on a post-Orwellian wet dream. “Post” because there’s a bit of research out there that a cybernetic double of the physical world ( similar to, or an evolution of, the mass media mechanisms) makes for quite a nice n handy controller for social structures, social outputs, imposed borders, realtime and realspace, and global capital. In other words, P.K. Dick couldn’t have written a better dystopian script. Stranger than Fiction !??


{ Bendito Machine Part 3 by Jossie Malis, 2008 }

But let’s backup.

The XLterrestrials have encountered Lessig on numerous occasions (in Budapest during the Re:Activism conference and launching of CC in Hungary, and Wizards of OS, Re:Publica, at Sophiensaelle all in Berlin, CC party at Somarts in SF , etc etc ) and he’s an extremely cordial sort, but his opinions and strategies seem to come irreparably attached to a classic ( and perhaps wealthy) Harvard/Stanford lawman-groomed conservatism.

This review reveals that other side, and one that exposes his over-the-top Silicon Valley + internet evangelism… and absurd ( Obama-like ) HOpe. Having faith in the Net as a level playing field, with Zuckerberg as a shining example, is like believing in playing Lotto and/or Stasi 2.0 for your path to riches and democracy. ( In fact the internet does a superb job promoting that exact pair of colliding fantasies. )

Repeat :  “Zuckerberg is a rightful hero of our time. I want my kids to admire him.” That’s absolutely scary!  Only the “Edward Bernays Backdoor Club” could truly love a billionaire scoundrel who sells 500 million users data to the wide-open predatory marketplace of advertising ( i.e the Consumer Industrial Complex ), and who knows what-(corporate-state) -else?.

to be cont.


In the meantime, the two linked animations - Labyrint and Bendito Machine (v.3) – pretty much reveal the recent surreal history of mass media in a compressed nutshell, far better than we could do in anything less than A BOOK.


Please note, we have Not yet seen the film and will add further to this story once we have the input of the film itself. But Lessig’s review is so hilarious and outrageous, we can’t Not begin to analyze it for it’s own goldmine of perspective on Net Culture and Net Faith and Net Delusions.


Upon a second reading of  his film review, there IS one point we can clearly agree with already: The FRUSTRATION !

“The tragedy—small in the scale of things, no doubt—of this film is that practically everyone watching it will miss this point.”

His grandly embarrassing point is that no one will realize that Zuckerberg is a hero for our times. On who the hero/whore of this story is, we are about as far apart as the shrunken polar ice caps. What makes the possibility of Facebook rise to such a dominant force of the networld is certainly Not boy coder genius, Not the power of an open net platform for democratic innovation to flourish uninhibited, but Pure Vulture Capitalism at its exploitative and public backstabbing best.

Astounding that Lessig can still be such a religious libertarian sucker ( note his Wikipedia bio includes his passionate Republicrat school days, which btw include Obama as a schoolmate in Illinois, and his clerking for Justice Scalia. ) !

For us, the Facebook story can only be high comedy as an attempt to demonstrate the power of the internet to provide great social innovation + benefits to all.  As the veteran coders ( mentioned above ) pointed out to us, the Facebook platform is merely a blandly decorated and slightly upgraded BBS that has been around since the early days of the net. But big player investors like PayPal co-founder ( … and Singularity clubber ) Peter Thiel ( and later Microsoft investment ) already knew very well the value of several pre-existing social networks (i.e. Myspace) because of the advertising potentials and data-mining, which around 1994 was becoming the new gold rush/pay off of the previously flailing Net economics.

So along troddles an ambitious Zuckerberg into the Big Pic, a perfect Ivy League MULE to run the numbers, create a cuddly clever (+ collegiately-dorky) interface, and begin shamelessly sucking in the data for this new ripe – and rape – marketplace. And much speculation could be made about intelligence agencies with parallel interests awaiting the latest trend as trojan to arrive, but that would require a lot more investigative research.

Lessig’s review just gets more hilarious the deeper you go !

We didn’t even begin to take apart the screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s bit in all this, which can only get funnier. Well of course we’ll wait to see the film, but here it should be mentioned: The fact that Lessig would bother to make an Emmy-worthy Hollywood and TV hack central to his review and outright billionaire media mogul fawning only reveals what low-grade + mainstream bandwidth your going to get from someone who proclaims openly that he’s a “West Wing” tv series fan. Maybe the problem lies in a little too much time lost in the vacuum tubes !

to be cont.

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