I watched The Social Network recently, despite its alleged inaccuracy to the real world and cultural references that will date this movie a few years from now, the film nonetheless was well crafted enough it will become a staple of cinematic history in years to come and its ideas immortalised. So, here are three main ideas/themes I extracted in my viewing:
1. The basis of networking (socially or technologically) is communication via signals (sound frequency or electronic charges). These signals are shrouded in noise - ie unavoidable entropy - and it is only a human mind that has the ability to filter out the noise and interpret the appropriate messages. This was emphasised beautifully by the score by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, designed as a melody enshrouded by a noisy drone. Compare the score to the scenes in bars or clubs with a lot of distracting noise in the background, forcing the viewer to listen especially closely to the dialogue (I suppose could be interpreted as a metaphor for each character's level of clarity in thought at the time).
2. The Internet is never perceived as a faceless machine or computer monitor. It is always portrayed on screen as people interacting with a computer. This perhaps identifies the 'social network' aspect of the story's title, but also represents the idea of consequences and reaction. I would also like to note this film has some of the best computer hacking I've ever seen portrayed; it is not treated as some sort of wizardry, but as a logical science. The methods he described of extracting all those photos at the beginning were straight-forward, almost making it look easy, and without any h4x0r mumbo-jumbo like "re-routing the decryption protocols" or "what's behind door #3".
3. Society works on the basis of exclusivity, from elite clubs to a circle of friends to an individual. Such an example was based on the original idea of thefacebook.com, being only exclusive to Harvard students. From there it expanded to other colleges and universities, then publicly, and still remains as the greatest means to compete in popularity contests.
The ideas of 1 and 2 relate like this:
1 - The human mind filters noise in communication, unlike a machine who can not filter noise on its own.
2 - The Internet is not a machine on its own, it is people (or as they say in Tron: "Users") who are communicating through the machines.
Therefore: The Internet is group of noisy machines, and the noise is filtered out by the people who use the machines together in a group effort.
Relate this to idea 3: people group themselves using the method of both inclusion and exclusion.
Therefore: A large amount of people (society) functions as both noise and its own filter. Zuckerberg simply enhanced a way for people to filter themselves into a network of clusters. Thus creating 'The Social Network'.
I hope this makes sense when I come back to read it later.