The Facebook IPO and the New Hopeful Cyberpunk

Somewhere, the Winklevoss twins are sitting in chintzy, antique high-backed chairs, in front of a dreary fireplace, drinking dark, deep liquor, blanketed in mournful cigar smoke sticking to the faded drawing room drapes, and… cursing.

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What makes America great is the fact that a company that made it possible for you to stalk your exes is now worth $150B.

For a guy that has half the brains of Brin and Page, and less of the bipolar maniacal design thrust of Jobs, he is now a dozen places below Gates in the list of world’s richest people.

Zuckerberg on 29.

The IPO was anemic. Overhyped. The naysayers, their ilk ever practical, are blathering about the next tech bubble, gingerly approaching bursting point. A sudden nonexistence of tech primacy, accompanied by triptychs quietly distressing: the finality of bankruptcy filings, the Silicon Valley suicides, the consigning of two-to-five letter stock acronyms to the dustbin of failed binary dreams.

In true hacker-in-college-dorm-room (Ivy League, if you please), an all-night hackathon was staged, interspersed with street hockey and hordes of Facebook employees camped out in their sleeping bags and an overabundance of Mac Book Pros.

The old Agilent Technologies crane from their old Palo Alto office (corporate history, shedding headquarters like skin) stood in the centre of the nerd druid circle, a relic bathed in the caffeine-infused blood of Valley code warriors and the shamanistic groveling of venture capitalists.

The new vanguard holds the spoils of war. Where is Agilent/HP now? A severed-head-trophy displayed to the cowering masses, held by its limp hairs with adroit blasé-ness by a grey-hood(i)ed Zuckerberg.

If there is anything to be gleaned in all this, is that fortunes greater than the GDP of banana republics can be gleaned from air and the holy accretion of all the pixels of everybody’s self-aggrandizing summer beach holiday jump shot.

This is the beauty of the tech startup ethos. A similar (or greater) valuation to the intangible wealth value of blips of electricity versus the concrete goods of gentrified manufacturing, real estate, agri, utilities; a sensibility that we Filipinos have yet to achieve in such dazzling manner.

This is why we hack, we script, we app.

In this ever-changing tech dystopia, with its meme-creation and doxing and torrenting and kickstartering and Instagramming, there’s still the dream of the fringe cyberpunk making it big on Red Bull and inversion-of-control.

And I may prefer Twitter and all, but the greatness of tech brings a tear to many a geek’s eye tonight.

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