Jonathan Nolan, who wrote the short story "Memento Mori" (which later his brother, Christopher, turned into Memento) and helped pen The Prestige and The Dark Knight, has created some of the greatest cinematic works over the last few years using paranoia as a key theme. It should come as no surprise, then, that the envy-inducing writer has some major concerns with social media and Facebook -- brilliantly paranoid concerns, we might add.
From a recent interview with NY Magazine:
Given [your show Person of Interest's] obsession with privacy, what are your feelings about Facebook?
I was talking about this the other day and I was saying, “It’s fucking bananas.” You know, your mom used to say to you when you were a kid, “Well, if the whole world did X, would you do that too?” And I always thought that was a little silly, and then the whole world [joined Facebook] and submitted their info. When I was in college, I spent a year with studies focused around Cuba. Raúl Castro, it took him 30 years to put together a security apparatus to answer one critically difficult and important question, which is, “What is a person’s social network?” The state could figure out who you were married to, who you sat next to at work. The exceptionally difficult question for them to answer was, “Who are your friends?” And that piece of knowledge was always a great — and this makes me sound like a tinfoil-hat-wearing revolutionary crackpot, but the truth is, I work in a town where less than 60 years ago, Congress decided we were a bunch of pinkos and dragged people who do what I do for a living in front of a Congressional subcommittee to testify and rat out their friends because of their informal social networks. Because of who they went to a dinner party with once, or who they corresponded with. We live in a moment in history in which our privacy may not be important. And Zuckerberg tells us it shouldn’t be important. But it’s horseshit. One tiny degree of political difference, one slight alteration in the seats down in Congress, or the world teeters towards distress for one reason or another, whether it’s financial or geopolitical — that list of friends that we’ve publicly put out there If I worked for the fucking CIA, I’d be laughing my ass off.
So you’re not on Facebook?
No, I’m not. One of the ideas I had was actually to have a Facebook account, and the criteria for friending me was that I’ve never actually been in the room with you. To try to throw them off the scent a little bit. Anyway, I should stop talking now because I’m sounding increasingly paranoid.
Read the interview entirety at NY Mag.