“Humanity’s Database”

That’s the title of David Pogue’s review of The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick. A few excerpts:

“(Kirkpatrick) has written what amounts to two books about it: the first and second halves of “The Facebook Effect.” The first part is a fascinating but flawed corporate history, starring Facebook’s reticent creator, the Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg; the second is a thoughtful, evenhanded analysis of the Web site’s impact.”

“Not long from now, Facebook will be a frighteningly centralized database containing the information of about a half-billion people. Its advertisers already use this data (“You can show your ad only to married women aged 35 and up who live in northern Ohio,” Kirkpatrick notes), but apart from that, nobody can predict what the company will do with our information.”

“Despite its foibles, “The Facebook Effect” leaves you with a deep under standing of Facebook, its philosophies and, most startlingly, its power. You come away with a creepy new awareness of how a directory of college students is fast becoming a directory of all humanity — one that’s in the hands of a somewhat strange 26-year-old wearing a T-shirt and rubber Adidas sandals.”

Several times while reading Mr. Pogue’s review I found myself saying, “Yeah. I didn’t think of that.”

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