among the many things that interest me about occupy, facebook ranks in the top 3, be prepared, hang on, because what I’m going to write is explosive. facebook is really popular.  around the world.

a few numbers:
-  estimated profit for this year: about $4.25 billion. 
-  users: just under 1 billion, probably a billion by now.
-  charitable donations – don’t know. facebook has a neat trick. they host many charities, the go-between for donor and charity. all these activities add up to some amazing numbers. facebook is doing nothing. they’re like the table at a gourmet dinner. take the dinner away and all you have is the table. like I say, neat trick.

-   mark zuckerberg, facebook’s papa, donated $100 million to new jersey schools just before ‘social network’ opened, the film in which he was an ass. he did this on the oprah show.  many remarked that this was a publicity effort. gee, you think?

facebook is a massive, broadly used communication tool. it’s nothing more than a new phone, with a lot more bells and whistles. and it’s free. we think. but we still have to look at annoying ads, which is how facebook makes moola.

but it is a tool, simple as that. designed initially for one purpose, to rate girls, then redesigned as users wanted more, and redesigned through this give and take between designer and user. at one point, the designer thinks it’s finished and she thinks she knows how people will use it.

not so fast.

people are ingenious creatures, give them a knife, they’ll soon be using it as screwdriver or hammer or cork remover.  henry ford ran into this. his first cars were supposed to replace the horse and buggy. wrong. people transformed them in all sorts of ways. for example, they cut the back open and it became a truck; they took the rubber off the wheel and it was a generator. henry redesigned it pronto.

it’s the same with facebook. but wait. not quite so. because facebook, as I see it, has been virtually taken out of the control of zuckerberg et. al. occupy has turned facebook - designed to let families and friends keep up with each other – into its major communication artery, used by various occupy groups, used for recruitment and for getting out its message, or its propaganda. yes, occupy does indulge in propaganda or spin. they call it the real truth, which it may well be. but you can call an egg a rock, it’s still an egg.

what occupy has done, and this first happened in egypt, is completely subversive. not as subversive is normally used, but subversive in a fascinating way. they’ve taken facebook and are using it in a way no one intended.  

occupy is demonstrating that facebook is a real tool of change. facebook, as far as I see from the 18th floor, is the most powerful, fastest way to relay ideas across time zones, across countries, across borders. without, or with very little, censoring. occupy oakland puts raw footage of violence at a rally on their page. they send it to occupy wall street who send it... and the race around the world is on.

hey, china doesn’t ban things that hint of democracy and free speech on whimsy. they banned facebook a couple years ago.

facebook once the biggest, friendliest face on the block, is now the sharpest weapon, so to speak, that occupy has occupied. and those always yakking about freedom of speech don’t have a clue how to cope with freedom of speech that slips through their fingers whenever they reach for it.

in fact, facebook may well be the closest thing to free speech that many of us have ever seen.

 





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