Friday, November 30, 2007


I'm not sure if Mark Zuckerberg knew what he was creating when he developed f-book or if, like the rising sun it eventually dawned on him months after he created it BUT it might possibly be the most remarkable creation of our civilization. How you ask? What about fire or electricity, or even the computer Mark used to develop f-book. Even the systematic culmination of data in the form of dictionaries, encyclopedias and even Google may not be able to compete with the importance of facebook. What makes me say this?

At our most fundamental level some might say our soul purpose is to preserve and transfer data (in the form of DNA). On a more sophisticated level our purpose is by in large to gather, preserve and transfer data. Universities and colleges are merely data banks that previous generations use to store information only to be passed to the next generation. In essence, institutions such as these are human hard drives and we are all bits of information waiting to write our small piece of data that we accumulate throughout our lives to a greater pool of knowledge. What more are our cities than hubs for us to exchange data? our roads, telephone wire, cable wires and tvs are merely the wiring and hardware necessary for us to pass data back and forth just as a computer would pass data from its CPU to RAM to its hard drives and back. So what component of the human network is facebook?

If you look at facebook at its basic unit (You, me any individual with a profile) it is the digital imprint of your life. As the years progress you'll watch your friends get older through the pictures they post. Since fbook stores every action you take by the end of your life fbook might be ablt to tell you how many times you broke up with your current b/f or g/f, how many different partners you had, how many friends or acquaintances you made. If someone were too look throughout your facebook profile 80 years from now it would give a viewer a description of someone else's life in way that we have never been able to view this data. As it stands now we can only read about people in history books, but people centuries from now will have pictures, feeds, human interactions (for example Einstein poked Franklin D. Roosevelt), people will have a more accurate description of anyone and everyone.

So if everyone is digitally recording their lives then facebook will act as the RAM that identifies our human civilization. Yes the analogy doesn't quite match up but if you think of RAM as the component that gives a PC its context, then facebook does exactly that. A century from now a student could look at my profile and figure out what was popular and what wasn't, what we wore how we dressed, what was considered sexy, what issues were important to us. I wouldn't give fbook the title of hard drive simply because that would imply all of our data as a civilization was somehow being stored by fbook which is far from true. I think we'll have to wait for that great invention but as it stands now, fbook should be regarded as one of the most important inventions of our time solely because it might (one day) have the power to accurately describe how we as a civilization interact , grow and change. Ok i'm tired now...

No comments: