World makers, social network makers, ask one question first: How can I do it? Zuckerberg solved that one in about three weeks. The other question, the ethical question, he came to later: Why? Why Facebook? Why this format? Why do it like that? Why not do it another way? The striking thing about the real Zuckerberg, in video and in print, is the relative banality of his ideas concerning the “Why” of Facebook. He uses the word “connect” as believers use the word “Jesus,” as if it were sacred in and of itself: “So the idea is really that, um, the site helps everyone connect with people and share information with the people they want to stay connected with….” Connection is the goal. The quality of that connection, the quality of the information that passes through it, the quality of the relationship that connection permits—none of this is important. That a lot of social networking software explicitly encourages people to make weak, superficial connections with each other (as Malcolm Gladwell has recently argued 1 ), and that this might not be an entirely positive thing, seem to never have occurred to him.
Any obligation to a broker should be taken as seriously by an investor as an obligation to a bank or other lender. Failure to meet obligations to a broker may result in legal action against the customer and will almost certainly cause the broker to report the default to a data center. If you can’t pay for a securities transaction, whether your order is placed in a cash or margin account, you should not place that order. Individuals should participate in the securities markets only when they have the financial ability to withstand the risks and meet their obligations.