Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Facebook as Art

The map here was created by an intern at Facebook, Paul Butler. which shows you how sophisticated the interns at Facebook must be. (Back when I was an intern at a magazine, my boss took me out to lunch one day and I, not being quite sure of place settings, ate her soup. I was not very sophisticated.) Butler's map illustrates the distribution of Facebook's 10 million friendships. This beautiful visual is a work of art in its own right--what about a 3x5-foot print of that for a holiday gift? As this post notes, the Facebook map, like nighttime photographs of the earth from space that show population concentrations and the places where people have access to artificial light, reveals how divided the world is technologically. I was stunned by how the U.S. is essentially divided almost in two in this regards. Perhaps we need to take note of not just the red states and the blue states, but also the Facebook states and the unfriended states when considering the social and political underpinnings of the nation.

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