Facebook will die

I have used Facebook for more than 8 years now, constantly and regularly. I have used it for laid-back surfing, as a gaming platform, a political forum and for business. I have also spent a lot of money on it to promote the cafe page and particularly its events. Facebook charged me more and more at the same time that was charging my competitors more and more to reach out to the same audience. It made it really obvious lately to the extent that people who were not coming from Tech and had no familiarity with such tricks also felt something is very shady and got pissed off. This is when you wish the same opportunity that was taken advantage of a decade ago in sillicon valley, was siezed by other people so may the dominant social network of our time have been in the hands of a humbler and less greedy company.

Facebook is investing a lot in other things and so it will be very dissapointing if the future of innovation in this company is not super bright. Still, given the current state of the social network service it does not seem that they can last this way for so long. Facebook as a company may last as long as Coca Cola. And  the concept of digital social networking will also continue with the future human just like alphabet stayed with us. So say both will survive but not necessarily in link with each other. Why social networking does not have to stay locked in the hands of the Facebook company?

For many reasons.

Facebook as we know it (the service) although has grown, improved algorithmically and then monetized agressively, hasn’t provided a different user experience from day one. Now it has hit the limit and is losing the new generations, alarming that it will lose even more of the future generations. All Facebook has is the momentom, piles of cash, huge user-base and invaluable data. This is enough to stay big for a long time, but data can get old like food and a user-base can die out. And most importantly big data insights will be more widespread and be accessible to many more companies, bug and small and that will not be a competitive advantage in a long run.

What if a small service grows so fast and feels the gap, like what Snapchat only much better.

What Facebook (the service) is doing can be done much better. But they don’t innovate unless it’s about making short-term cash. Very important, life changing and profitable predictions must be possible now with their valuable data and they are only showing ordinary improvements. Nothing really amazing comes out of that company, except for more advanced methods to trick and rob the addicted page-owners so they pay more cash and get less, to make them want to pay even more. This will not sustain and they will quit once a better channel appears.

I doubt if the company that owns the next generation of social networks is Facebook. The people in that future company right now lack huge capital, their active userbase, and their valuable data. But there are many other shortcuts as well as enough smart people out there to bridge that gap to grow and eat Facebook. Such process doesn’t have to show its symptoms to the naked eye before it’s too late. I can’t wait to see how and when it is going to happen but it will soon.

Of course any innovation that takes place in social networking or related technologies if not already in Facebook, is gonna be aquired immediately by them. The current way we are using Facebook will not last long, either they keep the continuum intact and manage to ride the next wave of social need and technological advancement or will eventually leave it to the next creative player.

Facebook is huge, rich and powerful. Too big to fail? The exact opposite. Big things can also change rapidly. Such as the inevitable downfall of the corporate Empire. It is in the proceess already and can’t be stopped, although how will it fall through what candidate and which pathway is not clear.

The Yellow Duck!

The black dog affects millions and millions of people (black dog being “depression”)

Now should we talk a little about the “yellow duck” that affects billions and billions of people?

Black dog will eventually catch your attention but the yellow duck will never appear to your sight. It’s always invisible, though if you pay attention to that animation just like the black dog you can also spot the yellow duck. It’s always somewhere in the frame, but the person affected can’t see that. Yellow duck affects billions and billions of people but no one has a problem with it. No one wants to escape from it. ‪#‎Stupidity‬ ‪#‎YellowDuck‬

These Two

This inspiring Palestinian lady reminded me of another admirable person, actually from the other side of the “conflict”. An Israeli man also with disability caused by an accident, who could as well show how not to let anything hold us back.

He is a notable journalist at Wall Street Journal, who was guest to our relatives in Tehran and I later visited his home in NYC to learn more from him. This comparison makes me feel paralyzed, as I see but can’t do anything about it, that great people on both side of a conflict, are condemned to live in the shadow of mistrust and misunderstanding, probably for another hundred years to come.

Wait… He talked on TED too!

Poverty

The way primitive tribes are living in poverty is the way human kind have been living for hundreds of thousands of years. If some kids have swollen bellies is not because you have a rich diet to make your belly muscles. If a considerable part of human kind is still left behind is due to being geographically located far from the heart of recent un-natural developments.

Let’s don’t forget that poverty is ugly, but natural. It’s not, unlike wealth, a product of civilization. Humans are born naked and poor, like other species. All other animals are poor by our very recent norms and standards. The extreme contrast is what civilization caused and made it visible by comparison. Not to justify the poverty, let’s just remember this to be able to reduce and eliminate poverty for our species.

Darwin, Erdős, Mystery

Here it is argued that Darwin was wrong about dating cause women can be as promiscuous as men. Then it brings examples of revisions in studies like in the number of sexual partners that were previously reported quite higher for men than woman and further research does not show this gap.

Just a quick mathematical thought on that. The average number of lifetime sexual partners can not be a good measure for sexual attitude as the sexual attitude may be different in genders but this number has to be equal between them (Graph theory: total out-degree equals total in-degree in a bipartite graph, aka high school prom theorem and in this case works also for average rather than total as both sets are about the same size, read more):

Beyond the abstract world of graphs, men may like casual sex more than women, or not. Whatever the case is, the average number of lifetime sexual partners in straight couples must be exactly equal. There are dozens of studies reporting this number for men versus women as 7 vs. 4, or 12 vs. 7 or … They are all wrong. The error could be due to sampling. Either improper statistical sampling, like leaving out sex hubs such as pick up artists and prostitutes, or local sampling, i.e. in the community asked the numbers were 7 to 4 at a cost of another community having it as 4 to 7. The error could also come from the fact that that genders lie about it: Women report it lower and men higher. And let’s say it’s not even a lie. Men and women estimate this number differently.

Anyhow such ratio not a good measure for a sexual attitude comparison, simply because sex happens between the two genders. So they didn’t really need to put so much effort to perform new research to prove this number is equal as Boromir says:

One does not simply walk into the male side of a heterosexual bigraph to count the outgoing edges to the female side. And if does he doesn’t go to the other side to count the incoming edges, wrong, to come up with two different numbers! And even if he does, he wouldn’t report this error as some shocking result!

And about replacing mean with median: It is only introduced to fix the tautological problem. That can be even more problematic: the median is reported lower for women, which could arguably be even higher, due to the different skewness of the degree distribution between the two genders. That depends on if there are more sexual hubs in men or in women. Which basically asks if we have more womanizers and sex machine in men, than more prostitutes in women? A median is neither a measure of sexual attitude.

So such results doesn’t necessarily prove ultra-Darwinians wrong: In an extreme yet consistent scenario a male may evolutionarily have the desire to mate a thousand females lifetime and a typical female may be hardwired to pick the one and the best. Both fail! It’s simply not possible. Men don’t have more sexual partners than women but want it. Women don’t want as many but they get it.

Remember religion suggested heaven when it firstly encountered death. Trying to please everyone with such limited resources and mathematical barriers, solutions like afterlife 72-virgins are the only way of explaining such statistical difference.

Conservation of memes

There is a pseudo-scientific theory going to shape in my mind. This is based on my newly discovered “principle of meme conservation”:

Memes of a closed society will remain constant over time.

The theory is a populist attempt trying to show that the “meme“s stay and remain in a society forever. In this best seller piece of crap, I will bring examples of invasion or immigration between civilizations that carry different memes throughout the history to show why I think that new memes coming into a population, just like genes, will eternally stay untouched in the host society.

Given that the whole “Memetics” is still considered as pseudo-science, this unfalsifiable peace of work will not as well follow a valid scientific methodology. So I can combine it with even more disciplines and branches of science.

Our chemistry of memes will then suggest that the immigrant atomic memes may be combined with the other memes (like the host memes) shaping new cultural “molecules” that can have completely different characteristics than the atomic memes.

The theory will also have applications in sociology, as an example dealing with the problem of integration of migrants: When new atomic memes brought into a society by a  group of immigrants are combined by the host memes, the emerged culture which have radically different features than the pure imported memes gives a temporary illusion of integration. Such integration, however, never takes place in the sense that cultural atoms will stay eternally unchanged and once their molecules fall apart, even after ages, play their role again. They will only perish if their carrying population dies, migrates or extincts for example by stopping reproduction.

The “principle of meme conservation”, which is a meme itself will reach millions of readers through my best seller book. It will be welcome by many right-wing politicians across the world and will thus be transferred to millions of minds. Unfortunately, this multiplication would break the “conservation of memes” in a contradiction to its own principal claim. Then I shall change my mind and apologize to the scientific world. So… why not changing my mind now and forget about a principle that did never exist and will then never exist according to my “principle of meme conservation”?! :-/

I drew Muhammad

First I preferred to stay neutral in a call for cartoon on May 20th: Everybody Draw Muhammed Day. At the first glance as usual, it looked to me a bit immature to provoke people and to mess with their holy pictures. But now that it’s a real competition with so much of angry offensive Muslim reactions towards it, I eventually need to take “my” side and break the silence existing among many people like me.

I join this page in Facebook not because I do not believe in Muhammad and his lecture notes, or not because it’s fun to mess with other people, those I may not understand quite well. It’s not even because it looks cool to stay calm while somebody is angry at you.

I join this campaign because I’ve lived my whole youth in Iran, after an Islamic revolution, where we were systematically fed up with religion. There many of my friends and I came to believe that it’s the religion, particularly Islam, that has ruined our beautiful land and has wasted many of its great resources. It has not only been the reason behind death of millions of innocent people throughout the history, but also has kept up all this shit till the 21st century.

Yes, it’s true that even though I do not often insult others, in an unconscious level I enjoy all this blasphemy with its harsh contents. This sense of humor satires the truth and spices up the reality. And it thus makes me happy and turns me on.

The absolute majority of the Muslims within my social network have been cool enough not to give a damn to my blasphemous contents I post on my wall every now and then. The fundamental minority who usually make trouble seem to have a considerable social network distance, but let’s help them to learn it too. Nothing happens if someone draws a cartoon of their prophet. They please have to understand through this process: It’s just a picture! They may try to grow up, calm down and by doing it they will buy credit for their beliefs, whatsoever it is. And the majority of Muslims, those who are still discriminated while being cute and nice and peaceful; they better put the blame on those of their own faith before others.

They won’t get offended or else somebody should insult them to that point to end up with peace. It’s true. Honestly, if I’ve learned one thing about fundamental Islam during the past three decades, it’s that there is absolutely no end to its demands. The more you step back the more they come further. The more you respect the more they are hurt by your few faults. Enough is enough and that’s it!

Yes, I think it’s my very right to post this and I then invite those who feel like drawing something to join this cause. Enjoy:

Prophet Mohammed's cartoon - May 19, 2010
Prophet Muhammad's cartoon - May 19, 2010

Happy “Yalda”

Tonight is the longest night in the northern hemisphere, where most of humanity inhabits. Tomorrow, Earth axis is the most oriented away from the Sun which marks the “winter solstice”.

Called “Chelleh“ or “Yalda”, tonight, has been celebrated by Iranians since more than five millenniums ago. It was first as the birth of the Indo-Iranian goddess “Mitra” in the ancient Persia (which was later associated with Sun), and then as a Zoroastrian religious fest. Nowadays, it’s a social occasion where families and friends gather around and stay together, keeping the fire (or candles) burning through the longest night until the sun rises again, reading poems and eating nuts, watermelon and pomegranate.

p.s. Persian Calendar, like the Gregorian calendar, is solar. Moreover its important dates are inspired by nature rather than  human made historical events. For us, today was the last day of autumn and winter started tomorrow, not because one out of billions of humans had birthday or another took over a dynasty and took power. Only astronomy.

p.s. Many thanks to Negin Ehtesabian for that two years ago she made this copyrighted illustration for this blog and I finally use it now. 🙂