pigrabbitbear writes "What if da Vinci had built that flying machine he was always rambling on about? What if Tesla got the upper hand over Edison and gave us all free energy? What if Harry Lewis had invented Facebook in 1997?
Up until a couple days ago, that last one wasn’t a question alternate-historians had spent much time with. But thanks to revelations in an obscure blog post, it might be time to start pondering a massively different course social media came close to taking.
Lewis — a venerated 64-year-old Harvard computer science professor and former dean of Harvard College — has long been known as part of Facebook’s pre-history: Mark Zuckerberg took a class of his and created a proto-Facebook one-off site in January 2004 called “Six Degrees to Harry Lewis.” But years before that, Lewis came close to inadvertently snuffing Facebook before it could even become a glint in Zuck’s Exeter-trained eye"
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