Roger Farinha

Founder, New American Spring

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If you could do an ideological project with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, what would it be?

To be a TEDster, one must be a big dreamer. I dream of a massive face-to-face community network designed to revitalize traditional community, with the secondary but priceless effects of reforming US adult citizenship, and US youth character formations. This network must moreover have a social-networking, technological dimension. I can think of no person more suited to this side of my ideological project, than Mark Zuckerberg himself. He has demonstrated his ideological prowess and has arrived as one of the top technological geniuses of our time. Yet I feel I have the community organizational genius to design a face-to-face network equaled to his social network in Facebook--if only he would go to work for me, pro Bono; and be willing to write a whole new social networking dimension for my nonprofit organizational movement in New American Spring. (

What would YOUR dream be, had you the opportunity to work with an accomplished social entrepreneur?

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    Lejan .

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    Dec 5 2012: Mark who? I don't know this man and I don't share the 'buzz' about Facebook.

    For a personal project I only choose people I know and whom I trust, so there would be none with Mark Zuckerberg.
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      Dec 5 2012: Facebook is the newest golden child of the new tech entrepreneurial phenomenon. Like anything else, once it becomes too big, it becomes unpopular with people like you and, sad to say, me sometimes (in my elitist moments)-- feeling that I'm not "smarter than the rest" if I go with the hype.

      But this is exactly why Facebook, and Mark, would do well to branch out in a nonprofit endeavor. It will give Facebook new credibility, it will be something never before done-- it would actually translate into entrepreneurial genius, if Zuckerburg would hear me out. For I represent the ideological strain of humanity-- the dreamers who will not sell out to the profit motive.

      Here's a quote from my book, the first modern-day American classic (soon to be):

      "No longer should our greatest energies be dedicated to the motive of material survival and creature comfort—the status quo, global condition which seeks to reduce all major human initiatives to the commonest value of money. Corporations are not persons, and unenlightened capitalism is beastly! With the birth of a radically new non-profit movement, we might attain to our next evolutionary step. Let our present society be seen for its shameful and no longer quiet desperation, for Henry David Thoreau long ago called us out. If non-profit organizations would arise to compete alongside for profit businesses, for example, propelled by the best and brightest and most talented of our species (individuals no longer seduced by primitive profiteering), our world would gradually transform into a new Atlantis."
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        Dec 5 2012: Regarding your quote and what it describes, people in France in 1789, not smarter than the rest, would have set out to collect what ever they could find to build and to put on their first barricades.

        So if you hope to win Mark Zuckerberg to become the revolutionary leader of your movement, you are either lacking charisma or conviction in your abilities and beliefs, or all - yet for certain you did not understand the idea behind Facebook if you choose for a fox to guard your hen house, if NOT '... to reduce all major human initiatives to the commonest value of money' IS what you are after.

        You appear to provoke for the sake of good and controverse arguments, so it would be interesting to know about the real intention of your question here.

        And I would be surprised if you buy what you said about the 'new tech entrepreneurial phenomenon', so what is it you like to find your answers for?
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          Dec 5 2012: Definitely not the revolutionary leader, Zuckerburg, but the first humble entrepreneur (so defined by accidental fate) who recognizes the paradox only few geniuses do-- that in not initially looking solely at financial profit, profit often comes as a bi-product. Heck, this is perhaps the very reason Facebook got so large. I personally don't feel Mark had the capitalist vision of Facebook in the beginning, as much as an ideological project as I do. I, however, am adamant about not-for-profit revolutionary evolutionary innovation-- so there is no plan to ever be swallowed by the capitalist monster. This is not to say, however, that Facebook cannot remain a for-profit company, having a nonprofit subsidiary in a tech-symbiosis, later to enjoy capitalistic boon for that unlikely relationship.
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        Dec 5 2012: You are limiting your view if you connect 'evolutionary leadership' to success only, as there is no binding cause and effect realtion to it. Elevating Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates to entrepreneurial role-models is nothing but a false conclusion. Their success is a conglomerate out of chance and uninfluenceable timing, as they had been at the right place at the right time. Without the slightest doubt they have their talents, but those are neither extraordinary, nor rare, nor superior compared to others which are around. We come to see great leadership or inspirational thinkers only if they succeed, financially, which probably spawns the term 'golden' for such a 'child'.

        But is 'net profit' a true and only indicator of outstanding achievements, people and ideas? Wikipedia Germany is currently asking for donations, so do I have to take this as evidence of their incapacity to run this beautiful concept successfully? According to your 'new tech entrepreneurial phenomenon' they are nothing but lousy beggars, right? I seperate 'buzz' from 'value', which is true to ME.

        Those who follow the herd get only to see - buttocks! And this not always literally.

        Exceedingly few entrepreneurs set out for exorbitant financial revenues only, and it does not take genious, to figure out why. Moral corruption happens on the way of success, not at its very start. You may set in stone today your obduracy on the 'non-profit' part of your revolution, as a constant reminder of the very beginning.

        History is full of examples that especially this feature proves itself difficult to maintain and it takes stout hearts for all of us when we get to the point where decisions come up to be finally - and financially - made and not just imagined.

        Good luck with your movement! Yet remember, pride comes before a fall, and this feature can spawn even at a very beginning.
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      Dec 5 2012: I'm actually in full agreement with you that most successful people are not head and shoulders smarter than the rest-- they were mainly in the right place at the right time. Human beings are very limited creatures, and we are more subjects of accident than self-mastery. And yes indeed, pride is our greatest enemy.

      I was saying in my own mind the other day, after hearing a quote from a famous and successful person about being successful (I don't remember the quote), but I counter quoted: "Nay. The best we can do in life is to strive our very best to do what we love." Not even "do what you love." Because not all of us have the wherewithal to even do what we love. Yet we can all strive our best and sincerest.

      That's all I'm doing...
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        Dec 5 2012: I think it is honorable what you are doing - no complains - but what got Mark Zuckerberg to do with your ideology if it is not about to set-up a social network site? This is a connection I am not getting but to the extend to catch a dull glitter by an off-topic celebrity. Could you let me in on this?
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          Dec 5 2012: New American Spring's Second Arm, an organizational network to be called Citizens Activated, is envisioned as a face-to-face community revitalization organization. Yet because technology is so embedded in our culture, there must be an on-line dimension of the community forums of Citizens Activated (people are more likely to join "community" in the comfort of their own homes before getting into face-to-face forums, not to mention the excellent informational benefits of the on-line forum). This is where a natural marriage or symbiosis with Facebook would come in handy. I would require that the independent social network be fully in New American Spring ownership so as not to put it at risk of being usurped by Facebook; but Facebook can be given credit as the tech mother of the Citizens Activated localized community social network; as well as enjoy benefits such as advertising revenues sparked by the Citizens Activated community (in repayment of its capitalist interest--which does have its legitimate place).
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        Dec 5 2012: Yet another social network site, I see. So you need programmers, web designer, database specialists and server capacity... and Zuckerberg?

        In my personal view you are overestimating the 'power' of such a platform especially if the majority of its user are 'couch potatoe revolutionists'. If they are not willing to face their community in real, and rather stay home for the 'American Spring' to happen, it is not gonna work at all.

        Time, effort and talent to build such a platform would better be used on the 'grass roots' of the problems you are about to tackle. Communication and synchronisation can be done via already existing technology, such as Facebook, yet it does not need to be reinvented and just tweaked to serve your porposes.

        Since OWS it should have become clear that movements do not struggle because of lacking Facebook-derivatives, but of lacking general PARTICIPATION! On which 'rather staying home' has its part in it.

        As I mentioned before, the French managed to change their 'system' even without having the technology of the telephone, so information technology is no requirement for change to happen!

        And as long as the majority of your nation is not shaken enough by their circumstances to leave their homes, you will not be able to shake them via social network postings.

        People like Alex Jones are screaming their message and agenda into the crowd, using all available channels of modern technology, yet how much did they really change in their liking?

        Recruitment for a New American Spring will fail on a still distracted and whealthy enough middle class, and just another social media site noting but a blinking LED at night at timesquare...

        Things got to get worse, still, to have a chance to get better...
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          Dec 5 2012: New American Spring through Citizens Activated has no "agendas" or "causes" per se, except the resurrection of the "villages" in an ever more anonymous society. This requires a technological as well as a face-to-face forum. All causes and social healing will be a bi-product of a more locally connected society. This is why I call NAS an "organizational" rather than a "grass-roots" revolution.

          Per its potential. People are really looking for ways to connect with one another beyond the intangible social networking ways presently available.
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        Dec 5 2012: If 'social healing' is no agenda to you, what is? And hoping for 'tangible' digital communication unreal unless you are aiming for 'The Matrix' ...

        'Agenda' in itself has no negative notion, it is it content which can.

        What makes you think that a digital social network was able to heal an anonymous society? What do you think is the cause of anonymity in societies in the first place?

        What you are describing here reminds me very much on the movie Wall-E in which people of a futuristic civilisation on a spaceship communicated with one another only via media even though they sat right next to each other...

        How more 'tangible' a society can become if not via face to face communication? Via active participation within our local communities. In our bodies, not our avatars ...

        Let's picture this: The new NAS real time render engine directly streams video footage of our web-cams on the head of our avatars, by which we enter the 'multiplayer' communication network of our local and not so local communities. Force feedback gloves and video-goggles of the mark I setup is simulating this experience as 'tangible' as possible for this technology to be affordable to all...and then, what? What do we do better and less anonymous than we do today. Who will be there and what do they do once the 'weather' question got setteled?

        What keeps you today to connect with your real world neighbours besides those of next door or next property? What keeps you from introducing yourself to neighbours in your street or building which you only now by sight? And why would you talk to them in a virtual reality more often or for the first time?

        Did you ever try to meet 'one new neighbour a day' by your initiative? If not, why not? And if, what happened? Did it work out? Did it sustain?

        What is the cause for anonymous societies for you today? Lack of technology and city halls? Is that really the cause?
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    Dec 5 2012: The main things all ted users have their thoughts. All of us can express our thoughts for all bad thing like terrorism, criminals. I want to make a crime free world. everyone wants to talks about their city ,their country I want to with all of them about this beautiful world.
    I dont want to be indian or american pr french. I just want to be Human and want to make all person as Human.