Saturday, February 11, 2012

The History of the World According to Facebook by Wylie Overstreet

Facebook, with it's mandatory timeline and confusing privacy policies, is loved-and-hated by many. In fact, I read that there's an online that there's a movement to delete your facebook account. But anyways, one useful feature of the facebook timeline (the old one, not the new one), is it's ability to tell a story. It's been successfully dones for Classic Literature, like the book Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens who Don't Float: Classic Lit signs on to Facebook. Which is why, when I saw The History of the World According to Facebook at the library, I immediately grabbed it.

This book could have been great. There are a lot of things going for it: the politically incorrect humour was the main thing (although I suspect that being politically incorrect will soon be the new politically correct). I laughed many times while reading it. And Mr Bean as Britain's profile picture? (Y)

But, it's seriously hampered by a few flaws. One was the America/Euro-centric bias. Where was the history of China? Or Japan? Or Korea? Or... you get the point. They only appeard during times of War. I could ignore this most of the time, but there was one even bigger problem.

And that was it's anti-religion, to be specific, Christianity (because it barely mentions other religions). The book goes beyond poking lighthearted fun at the Church into nauseating virtiol at times. E.g. When The Origin of Species appears on facebook, it's described as "Backed Up by Oodles of Scientific Evidence and Fossil Records." Um, excuse me, but there's no evidence for the type of macro-evolution that you promote. Natural selection (or Micro-Evolution), does exist, as some information is duplicated or eliminated, but there is no evidence to show how any organism can gain genetic information that has never been in them previously through natural means. In short, I have never seen an article claiming that XXXX effect is caused by a gene that has never existed in that person's/organism before. Normally, it's due to a loss/blockage or duplication of genetic information.

Oh, and the whole World War II thing? Quite pro-American. Nothing wrong with that, but still, there are facts you could include. Like the Rape of Nanking. Or the Fall of Singapore. Or, you know, Japan's attempt to get the European Jews it saved to America. I can see it now:

Japan>America: I got some Jews from Germany. Can they come to your place?
America>Japan: Nope. We're afraid they'll be German spies even though Hitler wants to kill them because they have family back in Germany.

Sigh. What a pity.

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