Brian Micklethwait's Blog

In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

Home

www.google.co.uk


Recent Comments


Monthly Archives


Most recent entries


Search


Advanced Search


Other Blogs I write for

Brian Micklethwait's Education Blog

CNE Competition
CNE Intellectual Property
Samizdata
Transport Blog


Blogroll

2 Blowhards
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adloyada
Adventures in Capitalism
Alan Little
Albion's Seedling
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Alex Singleton
AngloAustria
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Biased BBC
Bishop Hill
BLDG BLOG
Bloggers Blog
Blognor Regis
Blowing Smoke
Boatang & Demetriou
Boing Boing
Boris Johnson
Brazen Careerist
Bryan Appleyard
Burning Our Money
Cafe Hayek
Cato@Liberty
Charlie's Diary
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
Chicago Boyz
China Law Blog
Cicero's Songs
City Comforts
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Clay Shirky
Climate Resistance
Climate Skeptic
Coffee & Complexity
Coffee House
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Contra Niche
Contrary Brin
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Скрипучая беседка
CrozierVision
Dave Barry
Davids Medienkritik
David Thompson
Deleted by tomorrow
deputydog
diamond geezer
Dilbert.Blog
Dizzy Thinks
Dodgeblogium
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
dropsafe
Dr Robert Lefever
Dr. Weevil
ecomyths
engadget
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
English Cut
English Russia
EU Referendum
Ezra Levant
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Flickr blog
Freeborn John
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
ft.com/maverecon
Fugitive Ink
Future Perfect
FuturePundit
Gaping Void
Garnerblog
Gates of Vienna
Gizmodo
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
HE&OS
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Ideas
Idiot Toys
IMAO
Indexed
India Uncut
Instapundit
Intermezzo
Jackie Danicki
James Delingpole
James Fallows
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Jihad Watch
Joanne Jacobs
Johan Norberg
John Redwood
Jonathan's Photoblog
Kristine Lowe
Laissez Faire Books
Languagehat
Last of the Few
Lessig Blog
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Alone
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
listen missy
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Londonist
Mad Housewife
Mangan's Miscellany
Marginal Revolution
Mark Wadsworth
Media Influencer
Melanie Phillips
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael Jennings
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
Mick Hartley
More Than Mind Games
mr eugenides
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
My Other Stuff
Natalie Solent
Nation of Shopkeepers
Neatorama
neo-neocon
Never Trust a Hippy
NO2ID NewsBlog
Non Diet Weight Loss
Normblog
Nurses for Reform blog
Obnoxio The Clown
Oddity Central
Oliver Kamm
On an Overgrown Path
One Man & His Blog
Owlthoughts of a peripatetic pedant
Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
phosita
Picking Losers
Pigeon Blog
Police Inspector Blog
PooterGeek
Power Line
Private Sector Development blog
Public Interest.co.uk
Publius Pundit
Quotulatiousness
Rachel Lucas
RealClimate
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Rob's Blog
Sandow
Scrappleface
Setting The World To Rights
Shane Greer
Shanghaiist
SimonHewittJones.com The Violin Blog
Sinclair's Musings
Slipped Disc
Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
Squander Two Blog
Stephen Fry
Stuff White People Like
Stumbling and Mumbling
Style Bubble
Sunset Gun
Survival Arts
Susan Hill
Teblog
Techdirt
Technology Liberation Front
The Adam Smith Institute Blog
The Agitator
The AntRant
The Becker-Posner Blog
The Belgravia Dispatch
The Belmont Club
The Big Blog Company
The Big Picture
the blog of dave cole
The Corridor of Uncertainty (a Cricket blog)
The Croydonian
The Daily Ablution
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Kitchen
The Dissident Frogman
The Distributed Republic
The Early Days of a Better Nation
The Examined Life
The Filter^
The Fly Bottle
The Freeway to Serfdom
The Future of Music
The Futurist
The Happiness Project
The Jarndyce Blog
The London Fog
The Long Tail
The Lumber Room
The Online Photographer
The Only Winning Move
The Policeman's Blog
The Road to Surfdom
The Sharpener
The Speculist
The Surfer
The Wedding Photography Blog
The Welfare State We're In
things magazine
TigerHawk
Tim Blair
Tim Harford
Tim Worstall
tomgpalmer.com
tompeters!
Transterrestrial Musings
UK Commentators - Laban Tall's Blog
UK Libertarian Party
Unqualified Offerings
Violins and Starships
Virginia Postrel
Vodkapundit
WebUrbanist
we make money not art
What Do I Know?
What's Up With That?
Where the grass is greener
White Sun of the Desert
Why Evolution Is True
Your Freedom and Ours


Websites


Mainstream Media

BBC
Guardian
Economist
Independent
MSNBC
Telegraph
The Sun
This is London
Times


Syndicate

RSS 1.0
RSS 2.0
Atom
Feedburner
Podcasts


Categories

Advertising
Africa
Anglosphere
Architecture
Art
Asia
Atheism
Australasia
Billion Monkeys
Bits from books
Bloggers and blogging
Books
Brian Micklethwait podcasts
Brians
Bridges
Business
Career counselling
Cartoons
Cats and kittens
China
Civil liberties
Classical music
Comedy
Comments
Computer graphics
Cranes
Crime
Current events
Democracy
Design
Digital photographers
Drones
Economics
Education
Emmanuel Todd
Environment
Europe
Expression Engine
Family
Food and drink
France
Friends
Getting old
Globalisation
Healthcare
History
How the mind works
India
Intellectual property
Japan
Kevin Dowd
Language
Latin America
Law
Libertarianism
Links
Literature
London
Media and journalism
Middle East and Islam
Movies
Music
My blog ruins
My photographs
Open Source
Opera
Other creatures
Painting
Photography
Podcasting
Poetry
Politics
Pop music
Propaganda
Quote unquote
Radio
Religion
Roof clutter
Russia
Scaffolding
Science
Science fiction
Sculpture
Signs and notices
Social Media
Society
Software
South America
Space
Sport
Technology
Television
The internet
The Micklethwait Clock
Theatre
This and that
This blog
Transport
Travel
USA
Video
War


Wednesday June 13 2007

I have almost no idea of what Facebook is, yet there seems to be such a buzz about it now that it may soon become something you will be sneered at by your friends and contacts for not being on.  I remember when email became de rigueur.  What’s your email, said somebody.  Don’t have one.  Oh, they said, with mild disgust and more than mild surprise.  Before that it was having a fax number.  Is Facebook approaching that point?  I haven’t yet had The Sneer about it from anybody, but will I?  Soon?

(Thank goodness people don’t have to have blogs.  Wouldn’t that be awful?)

What problem in my life would be solved by being on Facebook?  The problem that having an email address solved was that when people asked me what my email address was, I could tell them, and they could nag me about things.  In due course, I realised that I could nag them.  But what is Facebook for?

David Tebbutt, who is a friend of a friend but not a friend, implies that Facebook is a way for people who aren’t really your friends to pretend that they are.  And, they are a way for third parties to jump to all sorts of false conclusions about your tastes and opinions, by assuming that you share all the tastes and opinions of your friends, or worse, of your “friends”.  Is that right?

Brian, do you only value those things in life which provide you with solutions to problems? Facebook may or may not have value for you - and may or may not solve a problem for you - but that is up for you to decide, should you wish to play around with it. For me, it’s a bit of fun and makes me feel more connected to the diaspora of my worldwide social circle.

Posted by Jackie Danicki on 13 June 2007

Facebook is a slightly paradoxical place. It only becomes useful if lots of your friends are on there. So, unless many of your friends are already using it, there’s no point in you being there, and thus no point in them being there…

That said, I’m slowly being sucked into Facebook and, as Jackie suggests, it is a low maintenance way of keeping in touch with a lot of people.

Posted by Adam Tinworth on 13 June 2007

Biran, you are right (as ever.)

I have read the Paul Allen (the lesser) guff which you linked to “facebook”. he tells you what a great idea it is and also how it is going to make him a really really large amount of money (him) (as we say here in the North.)

But he does NOT say what it is for; only that it is “going to be awesome” - no of course he doesn’t in so many words - but I have “back-translated” into ThatcherMajor-1991-Transitional-Business-Dialect-Herbalife-NuSkin-pyramid-selling-management-speak; a language that is the only one this Paul Allen (not the real one, then!) seems to understand.

I think, talking to my students, who are often my Windows on the Modern World, that it is for them to pick up sex partners on. I don’t think it is for anybody else at all.

Or I may be totally, irremediably wrong. But I don’t think so. Prince William went on it almost as soon as he dumped poor Kate Middleton, for being too posh for his sort. he got 44 “friends” on his first day, not a very good start you might think, but then he is disadvantaged (his brother at least is senior to him in the Army) and his mother was worse than that.

Posted by David Davis on 14 June 2007

David Davies, the story about Prince William you cite is a hoax that the Daily Mail bought into. It is not true.

You also say:

“I think, talking to my students, who are often my Windows on the Modern World, that it is for them to pick up sex partners on. I don’t think it is for anybody else at all.”

The first part may be true of your students, but your second sentence is complete rubbish. Why do you believe this? More to the point, why do you WANT to believe it? Are those of us who tell you that we use Facebook and aren’t using it to find sex partners simply liars? Am I a liar?

This pontificating about the internet from people who do not know of what they speak would not wind me up so much if the people speaking did not always seem to have such rotten, nasty things to say.

Posted by Jackie Danicki on 14 June 2007

Jackie
Firstly, you have spelt my name wrongly. (As I get older, it matters more. Why? it just does.)

Secondly, how do you know that I am not the Shadow-Home-Secretary!?

Thridly, you have not fully read my post. I also wrote; “Or, I may be totally, irremediably wrong”. Did I say that or not? I can see it right there above me now.

Fourthly, you do not know any of my students.

Posted by David Davis on 14 June 2007

David, I’m sorry I spelled your name wrong, realizing immediately after I had published my comment that I had done so. If I could edit it, I would have.

No, I do not know any of your students. And...? I didn’t make any accusations against them, did I?

Capping off insulting views with a caveat that “I may be totally, irremediably wrong” is not some polite way of being jerky. It’s just being jerky.

David, my guess is that your mother was a prostitute. I may be totally, irremediably wrong, though!

See? Doesn’t work.

I expect better manners from of Brits, especially those (like you, David) whose ideas I generally agree with and consider one of the good guys.

Posted by Jackie Danicki on 14 June 2007

This pontificating about the internet from people who do not know of what they speak would not wind me up so much if the people speaking did not always seem to have such rotten, nasty things to say.

All these articles about blogging shrillness and the declining of the standards of public discourse are evidently rubbish then.

Give us the number of your charm school Jackie.

Posted by Mark Holland on 14 June 2007

Very glad you consider me a “good guy”, Jackie! I am really pleased about that.

The “Paul Allen” which was speaking, didn’t really tell us anything ABOUT Facebook and what need it serves in the people that presumably someone had done homework about before launching it, did he. He just wanted to tell us about what a phenomenon is “is going to be”, in a one-dimensional commercial sense for those in the know. This to me sounds just like what socialism does. It tells you how marvellous the Planners are going to make your miserable lives at some time after the end of the latest “5-year-plan”. They don’t say how, either, do they! Get my point?

Posted by David Davis on 14 June 2007

David, I think it would be helpful if Paul Allen’s views on this were disregarded. They do not matter. What matters is what individuals like me find and are able to create with Facebook for themselves. (Hint: For this betrothed girl, it’s not sex partners, no matter what you might say or like to believe of me.)

Mark Zuckerberg (who just turned 23 recently) started Facebook as a student at Harvard, as a tool for himself and university students. His “homework” was his life and the needs he identified in himself, his friends, and his fellow students. This is an age where any individual can create something of massive impact, like Facebook, without much money or a big corporate backer. (This is something to be celebrated.)

Paul Allen’s piece is very insider-y, written for a tech/social media-savvy readership. There are a lot of lines he’s not filling in, but I can’t blame him for that.

Primarily, it is an aggregator for my contacts and an aggregator of information about what they are up to and how their lives may be changing (in the last week, I’ve found out that two friends are getting divorced when Facebook told me they’d changed their marital status on their profiles). As one blogger (Dare Obsanjo) says, Facebook is so hugely popular because it “enable[s] people to connect, communicate and share with each other in richer and easier ways than blogging does.”

Frankly, I don’t know why one would be afraid of that.

Personally, I am not attached to any outcomes for Facebook. Right now, it’s an interesting, fun tool that helps me keep in closer touch with friends all over the world, lets me get to know them better in some cases, and lets me play around with some neat software. Something better might come along someday, in which case, great! I am not in this for the sake of Facebook, but - like its other 24 million+ active users - for the sake of what it does for me.

Posted by Jackie Danicki on 14 June 2007

I’m with you on this one. I don’t have a facebook profile yet and when some friends asks for my facebook profile so that they can add me, i can remeber the look when I say i dont have one

Posted by hot free layouts on 12 June 2008
Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.