Episode 118: Spoiler… Facebook Exists.

The Overthinkers tackle The Social Network.

Matthew Wrather hosts with Natalie Baseman, Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and John Perich, to overthink The Social Network.


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6 Comments on “Episode 118: Spoiler… Facebook Exists.”

  1. Chris #

    I haven’t seen the movie, but Mark Zuckerberg played himself on last night’s episode of The Simpsons. He’s everywhere! By which I mean he’s in two places.


    • fenzel OTI Staff #

      By being in two places, he is showing that his quantum waveform is not subject to locality. If that’s the case, he might as well be everywhere.


  2. Wade #

    The Schreiber theory of filmmaking states that it’s the screenwriter, not the director, who is the real author of a film. Not exactly a revolutionary concept, but given how distinctive Sorkin’s dialogue is compared to Fincher’s relatively subdued direction, I think it’s safe to say that Sorkin is the one really steering The Social Network.

    Similarly, the Winklevosses (Winklevii?) gave Mark Zuckerberg pretty clear direction on creating the Harvard Connection, but Zuckerberg was the one who actually authored the Facebook source code.

    It’s probably no accident, then, that this particular story was given to a writer like Aaron Sorkin, and I don’t doubt he relished the opportunity to write a story about someone wielding his ability to write over those who simply can’t, even if that person happens to write thousands of lines of code.


  3. Sylvia #

    I thought all the farm animal references had to do with the first quiz that Zuckerberg mentioned in the beginning of the movie. The one where you had to pick who was hotter, a girl or a farm animal. Then he created the revenge quiz of who is hotter, girl on the left or girl on the right.

    It’s difficult to remember as the the words were fast and furious. It’s definitely a movie to see more than once; not only because of its complexity, but also because it’s really really good.


    • fenzel #


      Well, yeah, that’s what it relates to in the movie. The constant problems caused him by farm animals are a sort of Dantean punishment for what he says about the BU girl at the beginning of the movie and when he’s making facesmash.

      But I still think Farmville has something to do with why farm animals are present throughout the movie, regardless of how the movie justifies it internally.

      After all, what do you do on Facebook? Look at girls or look at farm animals, apparently.

      I also would have liked a reference to an illegal game of Scrabble somewhere in the movie, but people’s memories are too short for that, perhaps.


  4. Krin-dogg #

    Fenzel, I’m interested in what you said about the way in which the Zuckerberg character figured out the conditions under which one can create a successful social network. That is, you remarked that the old-school social network of Harvard relies upon traditions accrued over hundreds of years that take on seemingly mythological dimensions. On the other hand, Zuckerberg and company manage to create their own social network, which in many ways resembles the traditional one (e.g. the parties, wealth, admiration/envy of others, etc.), but is easily created in only a few years. It sounds to me like this is a natural extension of the characterization of Zuckerberg as a hacker. He’s a talented computer hacker in the literal sense, as we see in beginning of the movie. But he’s also a sort of social hacker, in that he’s able to “crack the [social] code” of the college-aged people around him, and use that knowledge to create something new, namely, the social environment you described. I think that the moment where Zuckerberg realizes that relationship status is the essential missing ingredient before the site goes live encapsulates this talent that he has; he has somehow managed to tap into the psychology of his peers and exploit it.

    So, is this movie really a Hackers reboot? Straight to video sequel with Angelina Jolie, anyone?


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