It’s inarguable that Mark Zuckerberg revolutionised the Internet. Facebook changed it’s purpose radically and infinitely, so much so that it’s hard to imagine the Internet without Zuckerberg. Facebook also inspired other huge apps we use in our daily life, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. It changed the way we sell our ideas, the way we write, journalism, well the list could go on and on.
On Thursday, Mark Zuckerberg was awarded an Axel Springer Award, the first of its kind, for being an outstanding entrepreneur.
A speech was made in his honour by longtime friend and mentor, Peter Thiel, and in that speech Thiel envisions and articulates a world without Zuckerberg.
Thiel hypothesises a cyberspace that is research centred and unsafe, in sum, a boring, scary, dark place. We’d still be learning about cyber-safety in University media courses, rather than the social discourse on the Internet and mediums like Instagram.
- An endless whirlpool and focus on information. “If you could go back to the first years of the new millennium in Silicon Valley, you would hear a lot more about ‘information’ than about people. ‘Organising the world’s information’ was the idea of the age,” Thiel told the audience. “While the implicit goal of computer science had been to build a machine that can do everything a human can do, Facebook has made software that only makes sense as a tool for humans. Its success in doing so has helped to gradually orient software developers away from the mania for replacing people.”
- A creepy hub for strangers to chat, meet and get a thrill…if you’re into that. “You can imagine an alternate history in which people don’t become comfortable using [the Internet] to meet their friends and family,” Thiel said. “It could have remained a wild and dangerous place – – maybe an exciting place to escape for a while, but maybe not part of your daily social life. Facebook has led a long and subtle but deeply important trend away from mob behaviour, away from the kind of nastiness that hides behind masks and rules in shadow.”
So to the people who are anti-Facebook, is this any better?