Internal Memo: Mark Zuckerberg

  • One thing they never tell you about Harvard is that it’s crawling with rats. After a long night of coding, around 6 in the morning, I used to like to walk down to the Charles and watch the Radcliffe crew team row their boats in the cool calm of dawn. There was a certain beauty to this ritual, the code swimming in my head, the swoosh of the ladies’ oars as they came to the catch, the knowledge that soon they would all be updating their status on my Web site. But I couldn’t walk out of Kirkland without the big green door slamming behind me, and then all the rats would rush out of the bushes onto the chemically treated lawn of the quad and then out the west gate and onto JFK Boulevard and over to the Dunkin’ Donuts to find some crumbs. That was my Harvard. It was a hell, but not a hell of my making. I had to get out. I had to fly. I flew west.


  • Yeah, I saw that movie about me. It got some things right and got some things wrong. Sure, I wanted to join a final club. Yeah, I once took a BU chick to a bar. Fine. Something the movie left out is that I really like to quote famous lines of Greek and Latin. I don’t just speak code. One of my favorites is: Non serviam. Do you know what that means? Do you know who said it? I bet you don’t. Homer is my favorite, but I love them all, even that humorous plagiarist and propagandist Virgil. Another good line is from Aeschylus. I’ll go easy on you, no Greek. W. H. Auden rewrote it in English like this: “The earth is an oyster with nothing inside it,/ Not to be born is the best for man.” But never be born and you can never join Facebook.


  • I am now the Achilles of the Internet, but no Paris will slay me. My hubris has made possible the digitalization of your life. Click SHARE and think of me. Edit your profile to include that great new job you just took, and think of me. Scroll down through your status updates, and hear my voice in your head. Tag that picture of you and your mom when you were 3 years old, and thank me for the memories. Press the INFO tab for that guy who pitched for your Little League team and, oh, he’s got a couple kids now, a couple more than you and me. Click NEXT over and over as you scan through all those photos of your ex-girlfriend and her new husband, and know that I’m there, too, looking over your shoulder, weeping right along with you, tears for a love that you two could have had if only she hadn’t checked your email and caught you flirting with your other ex, the one who’s now a lesbian and runs a vegan restaurant in Austin, Texas. Go to the restaurant’s page and click LIKE, and don’t let your tears drip into the keyboard. Back to the NEWSFEED. Stop being so sad, press SEE ALL for EVENTS–surely there’s somewhere you can go. I’ll be there, too. I’m everywhere. I am the 500 million and the 25 billion. I’m everything. You are just you, and I’m you, too. Except you’re not me. Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell.