Sunday, March 6, 2011

Should I worry?

Friday night we watched "The Social Network" movie on DVD. We must have been the last two Facebook users to watch it. The movie story was sad to me, with characters who weren't particularly evil but hurt each other anyway, except no one was a victim. The very first scene of the movie - Zuckerberg character and his girlfriend in the pub - showed him with autistic spectrum qualities. The rest of the movie just reinforced that idea in my head. A young genius who can't relate to people, talking over them and around them, understanding and yet not understanding human relationships, listening and yet not listening to implicit messages.

Immediately after the movie, I watched some videos on the internet of Mark Zuckerberg interviews and concluded that the autistic spectrum qualities that I saw portrayed by the actor really didn't exist in the real-life person. I thought Zuckerberg's interviews showed some awkwardness with public speaking, but he seemed to answer questions with sincerity and full appreciation of the interviewer's ideas, implicit or otherwise. Just my opinion.

I imagine that the movie's mythological creators and creation of (The) Facebook are based in the reality of 19 year old young men with not-yet "fully connected frontal lobes" ("The Teen Brain" NPR article), genius talent, and luck. (Read Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers examples of the genius/luck combination.)

Zuckerberg told more than one interviewer that he didn't want his staff or himself to focus on the movie or to be distracted from their work. That sums up my feelings and thoughts regarding the current furor about teachers and organized labor. I've really just tried to not think about it too much because I don't want to be distracted from my work. But I really wonder now, should I worry?

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