I have resisted writing anything about the news that Facebook, which you may have heard of, raised a bunch of money at a $50-billion capitalization. The Interwebs and The Twitter are all ablaze about the news, with many comparing this epochal (financial) moment to Google’s IPO, both in financial and societal import.
Maybe. But I don’t think so. Where, at the time, Google’s new services represented things I care about and that I think matter — discovery, curiosity, and transparency — Facebook represents things that I don’t care about — narrowing, nattering, tribalism, etc. More than not caring, these are mostly things for which I have active contempt, as they represent the antithesis of curiosity and openness, which are what Google (mostly) facilitates, and that Facebook (mostly) doesn’t.
Yes, yes, it’s a lovely transaction, and it’s not as expensive as some think, and I would cheerfully have Facebook shares. But as a generational event it leaves me cold. So go right on celebrating the news that Facebook has raised money at its current valuation. You can do it without me, however. [-]