Posted by DrJohn on 19 November, 2020 at 5:10 am. 1 comment.



AS A KID growing up in Dobbs Ferry, New York, a bedroom community north of New York City, Mark Zuckerberg loved playing games. One was a PC-based strategy game called Civilization, with the tagline “Build an empire to stand the test of time.” Gameplaying stoked a desire to learn programming. His parents, a dentist and a psychiatrist, hired a coding tutor.

Zuckerberg quickly surpassed his local public school’s computer science offerings, enrolling in a graduate course in eighth grade. After his second year of high school, he asked to attend a private school with more AP and computer courses. His parents wanted him to go to nearby Horace Mann, a highly selective preparatory school, but Zuckerberg, once described by his father as “strong-willed and relentless,” preferred the more rarefied Phillips Exeter Academy. Exeter it was.

Zuckerberg thrived at the exclusive New Hampshire prep school, seemingly unintimidated that classes there might include a Rockefeller, a Forbes, and a Firestone. Besides establishing himself as a computer whiz, he was the captain of the fencing team. He was an avid Latin student, developing a fanboy affinity for the emperor Augustus Caesar, an empathetic ruler who also had an unseemly lust for power and conquest. Zuckerberg still indulged in games; his favorite was a successor to Civilization set in outer space called Alpha Centauri, in which players chose to lead one of seven “human factions” to control the galaxy. Zuckerberg always took the role of the quasi-UN “Peacekeeping Forces.” The spiritual leader of the peacekeepers was a commissioner named Pravin Lal, who opined that “the free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny.” Zuckerberg would later use a Lal quote as the signature on his Facebook profile: “Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.”

Much more at Wired

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