Zuckerberg: Looking like a Stranger in a Strange Land

This was the picture that inspired the Tweet, although almost any picture of him would do...

This was the picture that inspired the Tweet, although almost any picture of him would do…

Sorry I haven’t had much time to post.

Here’s a Tweet I sent couple of days ago that I meant to share. Heinlein fans among you might appreciate it:

Do you see what I mean?

Does becoming a billionaire before you’re an adult make you look like that? Maybe it keeps you from developing the usual lines and furrows that show human character.

Again, it’s not his youth. It’s… something else. He’s an unusual-looking guy, and I can’t quite figure out what it is. But it reminds me of descriptions of the Man from Mars in Stranger in a Strange Land, such as when Jill Boardman is trying to figure out her own impressions of Michael’s countenance:


16 thoughts on “Zuckerberg: Looking like a Stranger in a Strange Land

  1. bud

    I propose we play a drinking game. Every time Brad has a post that is devoid of any substantive merit but instead goes into a style-related meme everyone takes a shot! This only applies is the post involves an important event that is worth discussion. Clearly the Zuckerburg hearing are very important for the privacy issues involved. How he looks, not so much.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Bud, you really, really have no interest whatsoever in the things that give life flavor, do you?

      Well, I’m always going to stop and smell the roses on this blog. You just want hard facts, go read the Associated Press. That’s what they’re there for, and they do a great job. I’m for the stuff that others don’t cover. I like the grace notes, the cherry on top that makes it more fun to be an observer of life.

      I’m so sorry that it bugs you so much…

  2. Norm Ivey

    He certainly has some social quirks. Some have described him as having Asperger’s. I’ve never heard him say so, though. I think he was a bit befuddled by the lack of understanding some of the panel had about social media. Like he can’t quite grok the senators.

  3. Richard

    Have you seen the clips from when he visited all 50 states? He is about the most socially awkward person I’ve ever seen. Away from a keyboard and computer screen he doesn’t have a clue about how the outside world works. In NC they took him out to the speedway, I don’t know if the guy even knows how to drive. He couldn’t carry on a conversation with the people he was talking to. His answers to Congress were very strange. Starting every single answer with “Senator” or “Congressman” and referring most of his answers to his “team”. The best thing Facebook can do to move forward is to force him to retire and get someone who is fully capable of running a business this large, not someone who created a software package and by pure luck had it explode into what it is today. Bill Gates is less nerdy and has more business skills than this guy does.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      I think you’re right, Richard. I saw Gates in an interview recently and he speaks like a normal person who not only knows his tech, but also knows how to talk to people. Of course, he’s older and has had more time to learn — and has involved himself in facets of life beyond the technology. He’s experienced the world outside the bubble. Maybe he was as geeky as Zuckerberg when he was younger…

  4. Barry

    Nothing unusual to me.

    Looked like a guy that wasn’t use to such a situation (almost no one would be) and is shocked the senators don’t seem to have a clue how Facebook or social media works.

  5. bud

    What I don’t understand is how Facebook evolved from this benign space to share pictures of your children, grandchildren and vacations into this force for political mischief. Isn’t that what killed Myspace? I use Facebook for family and friends sharing time and try to avoid politics (although I do occasionally get sucked in). Perhaps there’s no money to be made for a pristine site just for true family sharing. But it would be nice to be free from concerns about having your identity stolen. Sigh. Probably not in my lifetime.

    1. Doug Ross

      Look through your Facebook friend list and tell me which ones you believe made their decision on whom to vote for in 2016 based on what they saw on Facebook and Twitter. Then ask them off they ever would have voted for the other person. This is the most overblown excuse for Hillary blowing the election. It didn’t happen.

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Wow. You’re just totally in the bag for Trump now, aren’t you? Because no one else on the planet thinks what the Russians did is somehow an “overblown excuse for Hillary blowing the election.”

        Only Trumpistas react to bad actions by Trump or Putin by bringing up Hillary Clinton. Say “Trump” to them and they say “Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!” No one else is thinking about her…

        1. Brad Warthen Post author

          All that said, I haven’t even thought about Zuckerberg’s testimony in terms of Trump or the Russians or anything political. It interest me as a cultural artifact, an interesting moment in a world that is being rapidly changed by technology.

          I would think it would interest you for the same reasons…

          1. Brad Warthen Post author

            As George Constanza would say, “Worlds are colliding!”

            In this case, it’s Facebook World crashing into Congress World. And George is getting upset!

      2. bud

        How about this. We can have a drinking game whereby whenever someone brings up something Hillay in response to ANY criticism of Trump everyone take a shot. Be good business for AA.

    2. Brad Warthen Post author

      How did it evolve? Because of the ad preferences algorithms. They route information to people according to their perceived political preferences.

      Facebook didn’t intend it for that — they intended to gather info on what you like so they can make money off it. This was just a byproduct.

      Personally, I don’t see why people would turn to Facebook for politics or any other kind of news. Twitter is a much, much better platform for those things. But only politicos and journalists seem to get that. Everybody else turns to Facebook…

      1. Richard

        Did Facebook intend to gather every location you’ve been, every photo you’ve taken, every text message you’ve sent and repeat these with every contact you have in your cell phone? Or is that just a byproduct of Zuckerberg’s wanting everyone to share photos?

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