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Mark Zuckerberg, In It To Change the World? 268

schmidt349 submitted a story about Zuckerberg that might fly in the face of what you've heard of the guy in the past. "Award-winning New York Times journalist David Kirkpatrick's new book The Facebook Effect presents readers with a complex view of Facebook's founder and CEO. Primed by hours of conversation and research deep into the history of the social network, Kirkpatrick reaches the conclusion that money isn't a primary motivation for Zuckerberg, 'a coder more than a CEO, a philosopher more than a businessman, a 26-year-old who has consistently avoided selling out because he sees Facebook as his way to change the world.' Kirkpatrick deftly handles the controversy surrounding Facebook's sometimes cavalier attitude toward user privacy, and the result is a much more balanced and less sensationalist account of Facebook's past, present, and future."
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Mark Zuckerberg, In It To Change the World?

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  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:17PM (#32511870)

    ...who has consistently avoided selling out because he sees Facebook as his way to change the world

    Yeah, if you overlook Facebook Ads, the massive support framework for extracting personal data and giving it to third parties under the guise of 'gaming', the Beacon program, and extending the API so any website can add things to your profile through IFRAMES if you don't delete your cookies/logout. No, Mr. Zuckerberg has a very clear vision of how he intends to change the world: He recognizes the incredible value of having personal information on the majority of people connected to the internet, and he wants to capitalize on that.

    He intends to sell the information to the highest bidder, while keeping the market where these exchanges take place to himself. That's his brave new world.

  • by z-j-y ( 1056250 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:18PM (#32511878)

    Dr. Evil isn't motivated by money either, and he wants to change the world too.

  • Change HIS world. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mollog ( 841386 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:18PM (#32511892)
    As parent points out, he's out to change HIS world. He might have more credibility if he hadn't stole the code, and wasn't compromising user's data, but, hey, he's got the stage so why not try a little spin on the truth.
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:19PM (#32511918) Journal

    Just when everyone is thinking "Zuckerberg, what an ass!" we get a book purporting that Zuckerberg is in fact a genius coder and philosopher. And here I thought his philosophy boiled down to "fucking idiots tell me things about themselves that I can sell." When are we going to stop this sycophantic worship of sociopaths who happen to get rich by screwing over others?

  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:20PM (#32511942) Homepage

    but if their advertising practices are any indication, they are in it for the money. I'm pretty happy with many of the security changes they made a couple of weeks ago after the furor over privacy reached the boiling point, but to claim they have benevolent intentions is ignorance at best.

  • I'm the CEO bitch (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xx_chris ( 524347 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:21PM (#32511954)
    Sorry, but this just stinks of a payola article.
  • see Craigslist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lapsed ( 1610061 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:21PM (#32511964)
    For an example of what happens when people forgo money.
  • His brand of truth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:23PM (#32511998)

    I just don't trust the guy. Sleaze-ball comes to mind.

    I can't get into his method of profit--selling our private info to others.

    I'm careful about my private information. I'm sure others aren't so well versed on what to disclose to Facebook. I like the site, seriously, as it has let met get in touch with so many friends and family

  • Just Interviews? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CheshireCatCO ( 185193 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:28PM (#32512070) Homepage

    So is the book based solely on interviews? Because interviewing the subject himself with no other sources will nearly always give you a favorable picture of the subject. We all craft our own favorable narratives, consciously or not, and that's even more so what we share with the world.

    The Time article doesn't really delve into the other research that Mr. Kirkpatrick might have done, so it's very difficult to judge the quality of the book.

  • Oh yeah, he is! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:28PM (#32512074) Journal

    Zuckerberg is clearly doing what he does in order to change the world. I can't imagine how that would even be a question.

    However, his image of the future seems a bit dystopian in my mind. Bring the consumers together, lead the dumb ones to the slaughter, and then force-herd the stubborn ones down the same path. Everything is marketing, everything is sales. Social interaction cannot exist, if not for the sake of making a profit. "There is no privacy" - unless you're one of the powerful elite.

    By all appearances, he's trying to increase the class spread, and turn the entire world into marketing. O brave new world, that has such people in't!

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kenoli ( 934612 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:34PM (#32512186)
    It won't be popular unless braindead retards can use it unassisted, and social networking is all about the popularity contest.
  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:40PM (#32512264)

    am i the only person that hasn't signed up for facebook?

    No, but I wonder sometimes if communicating by email with people these days is perceived analogous to communicating by fax machine, or telegram. I *like* email dammit.

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:41PM (#32512282) Journal

    the actual application is trivial save for the scaling to millions of users...


    Now, You can spout that your independant framework is the best way to go, and even if you manage to master the untrivial task of scaling to millions of users, when you get offered large sums of money for your product, lets see you not sell out.

    I may not like what Zuckerberg is doing, but I can't honestly say I wouldn't do the same were I in his position. I think a small bit of the hate directed towards him is generated by the jealousy that his product is on top.

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <.moc.ztiwokfelnosaj. .ta. .nosaj.> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:43PM (#32512302) Homepage

    the actual application is trivial save for the scaling to millions of users...

    Which is a bit like saying that traveling to the Moon is trivial save for building a Saturn V rocket.

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eln ( 21727 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:51PM (#32512442)
    Getting the code to work right is not the tough part. Hell, making the code scalable to millions of users isn't even the tough part. Getting enough people to use your social network so that you reach the critical mass Facebook has is the tough part.
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <> on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:56PM (#32512516) Journal

    No, the traits that allowed us to become the dominant life form are cooperation, reciprocity, a sense of fairness, and intelligence. The only thing we have going for us as predators is our stamina.

    The traits you describe are sociopathic. Sociopathy does not mean you don't know right from wrong. It means you have a diminished sense of empathy and remorse, and you look at people as objects. Sociopaths know right from wrong, which is why they try to hide what they are. They just don't care.

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GrumblyStuff ( 870046 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @12:56PM (#32512528)

    No, fuck off with your updates, your farmville, your "Jimmy likes this comment!", your photo-tagging, and updated ToS (now with more caveats!) and forcing default settings to the most open option.

  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:08PM (#32512770) Homepage Journal

    It's easy to say that you're not primarily motivated by money once you're already a billionaire several times over.

    Hell, give me a mere couple of million and I'd show you what it's like to not be motivated by money...

  • Re:see Craigslist (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hijacked Public ( 999535 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:18PM (#32512936)

    I'd argue that they better understand how to focus on content than most anyone else.

    They lack decent search but I can't think of much else that would make Craigslist better rather than just whizzier.

  • Re:see Craigslist (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bysshe ( 1330263 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:31PM (#32513148)
    Add wikipedia and wikileaks to that list. Cock Suckerburg isn't in this to save the world, make it better or anything of the kind. He's in it to conquer society and screw anyone who gets in his way.

    Real philanthropy is done by those who don't want the fame, money, or power.
  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:33PM (#32513178)

    I believe you mean a world in which he has all the money. If he sells out, that opportunity is lost.

  • by assertation ( 1255714 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:41PM (#32513328)

    that money isn't a primary motivation for Zuckerberg, 'a coder more than a CEO, a philosopher more than a businessman, a 26-year-old who has consistently avoided selling out because he sees Facebook as his way to change the world.'

    What was the author smoking when he wrote this?

    Not out for the money? "avoided selling out"? What about the phrase "monetizing information" that so often comes up in Facebook's conversations?

    What the interview with the 19 year old Zuckerberg who called his users "stupid" for making their information available to him? Yes, he was 19, but I have seen articles on the internet claiming he has said similar things like that in what he thought were confidential conversations.

    What about Facebook making defaults public, when it is obvious private would be preferred and doing so without notice?

    Is that lack of respect for other people consistent with a "philosopher" who wants to change the world for the better?

  • by spazdor ( 902907 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:49PM (#32513460)

    That's what we're thinking about Zuckerberg.
    oh no i've said too much

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aztektum ( 170569 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:55PM (#32513536)

    That and the fact he is a colossal d-bag

  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Michael Kristopeit ( 1751814 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @01:57PM (#32513562)
    facebook is not analogous to any of the things you've listed... you really couldn't talk to your family without facebook?

    get real. you're just too lazy to make something better or easier.

  • Re:Again.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BobMcD ( 601576 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:28PM (#32514050)

    Give me an example. please. name me one person who wanted to make the world a better place, and gave less of a fuck about money.

    Buddha. Gandhi. Mother Theresa.

    That's three. Google yourself some more. All of these people were successful, too. Moreso than Zuckerberg.

    stop thinking with your wallet for a second, and start thinking like a human being.

    Capitalist pigs and all that aside, I'm thinking with my brain. People get painted by their behaviors. MZ doesn't even admit to his crimes, let alone begin to atone for them, and you want to anoint him a saint. He has yet to do one decent thing for humanity, as far as I have seen.

    You're attributing to a single slimeball the entirety of the internet's value while simultaneously blathering on about the limits of materialism.

    In short you're not having a conversation, so have a nice day!

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:39PM (#32514240) Homepage

    How about Dr. Horrible? Same story--give me infinite power, and I'll make things better.

    Infinite power as a poor second choice to Felicia Day. See also: food, oxygen.

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:39PM (#32514242) Journal
    He never said he had benevolent intentions, he said he wanted to change the world. He dreams of being atop a world changing company, just as Bill Gates, J P Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and the railroad barons of old all have done. He wants to be the great. He wants to be respected. He sees 'changing the world' as a means to that end, but no moreso than being rich.
  • Re:Well Obviously. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GIL_Dude ( 850471 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:42PM (#32514296) Homepage
    People who say "post something on the internet and then complain about privacy" are missing a key point: Access Controls. Facebook has them. Just like many web sites do. The problem is that Facebook has a habit of either removing or neutering certain controls and making available information that they shouldn't.

    This is similar to having a HR web site at work where people can access their own records to update emergency contact, children, addresses, etc. This site probably has lots of info on you (national ID number, etc.). Now imagine the admin of the site made a change that neutered or removed the access control list so that everyone in the company could see each other's information. Well, you posted it on the intranet so it's your fault? Not really - it is the fault of that admin. In Facebook's case it is the fault of them changing their model and changing items that had an access control list to public.
  • by drewhk ( 1744562 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @02:59PM (#32514544)

    "I'm sorry to reduce human behavior to such a depressing and simple model, but you can't deny thousands of years of human evolution, which show that in almost every society wealth is concentrated amongst a small number of people."

    And you deny hundred thousands of years of human evolution, when this was not true.

    Also, proving my point, we have a trained eye for injustice and we tendentiously overreact any cheating in society while we do not recognize the unsurmountable amount of evidence of everyday cooperation.

    Even the most psychopathic ones of us cooperate. Even using money is cooperation. In fact it is completely impossible to live in a human society without huge amount of cooperation.

    Your opinion is formed by this strange sampling bias that makes us more aware about cheating.

  • by dnahelicase ( 1594971 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:13PM (#32514732)

    I just don't trust the guy.

    Don't trust the man behind facebook? I'm sorry, but when I read that I started laughing so hard my boss thought I wasn't working

    Zuckerburg: Tell me everything about you and I'll sell it to advertisers

    Person on the street: What's in it for me?

    Zuckerburg: I'll let you see information about people you already know for free!

    Person on the strees: Free!?!?! I'm in!

  • by wealthychef ( 584778 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:47PM (#32515162)
    He's got the kid gloves because in order to get access to the wealthy for an interview or book material from them, you have to kiss their ass.
  • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @03:59PM (#32515312)
    At its heart, all Facebook is is a way for users to verify that another user is who they claim to be. If a dozen of my friends create websites and want me (but not the general public) to have access, I don't have to create a dozen logins and passwords. I only need to make one which gives me access to all their sites. Facebook just locks you into their web site to use this "feature".

    Open Source Software could've done the same thing with public/private keys. In fact I'm still hopeful it will. My dozen friends could make websites anywhere, and by using public/private keys they could verify that it's really me visiting their site. But PGP keys never took off because the interface was clumsy and the immediate benefit (secure email) wasn't a big enough carrot. Facebook took off because it let people share photos and messages, which apparently was a big enough carrot.

    I can't for the life of me understand why people would want to have a company run by a person of dubious character as Zuckerberg in control of such a crucial interface like a universal login for the Internet.
  • by drewhk ( 1744562 ) on Wednesday June 09, 2010 @04:16PM (#32515528)

    This is much more complex than that. Game theory is too simplistic to give answers.

    Some problems with game theory
      - Nash equilibria are not evolutionally stable
      - They are also exponential to calculate
      - Evolutionally Stable Strategies may not exist
      - They are also exponential to calculate
      - Evolutionally Stable Strategies could be solved only for very simplistic scenarios
      - Evolutionary game theory (currently) deals with simplistic, pairwise, independent games
      - Correlated equilibria are polynomially computable and more realistic (it also nicely explains many cooperation phenomenon) -- but still far from reality

    Altruism and cooperation are great miracles of nature that we do not understand fully. Just take your time and dedicate a day to observe all the cooperation that you can find.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?