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Zuckerberg goes full Oprah, starts book club

Technically Incorrect: As his resolution for 2015, Facebook's CEO discovers something new: books. But might he also be considering a talk show to go with it?

Today a book club, tomorrow a revolutionary Facebook talk show? TheNxtViralVideo/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

At some point, often late in the evening after an excess of spritzers, we all become intellectuals.

We pontificate (we think) deeply. We even refer to books (that we haven't read). Our friends are agog (a-gag) at our wisdom.

Perhaps this is what has led Mark Zuckerberg to start a book club.

In a New Year's message to his believers, the Facebook CEO explained: "My challenge for 2015 is to read a new book every other week -- with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies." This blinding revelation came to him after an alleged 50,000 people made suggestions as to what should be his New Year's resolution.

In previous years, he had plumped for: learning Mandarin; meeting one new person who doesn't work at Facebook every day; writing a thank you note every day to someone who has made the world a better place; committing himself to a vegetarian life, save for eating animals that he has personally killed: and, finally, wearing a tie every day (there must have been some days when he wore one only to bed, surely).

Zuckerberg's first book choice is not, oddly enough, "The Collected Works of Aaron Sorkin." Instead, he's plumped for "The End of Power" by Moisés Naím.

This is all about how individuals are gaining power at the expense of institutions such as corporations and governments. Its subtitle is not "Could Have Fooled Me."

Just as with Oprah in her finest literary hours, Naím's book sold out within three hours of Zuckerberg's pronouncement. Naím told Bloomberg: "I had no clue that this was going to happen. It's gratifying and energizing and a great thing for an author."

Let's look further ahead at Zuckerberg's burgeoning commitment to books.

Will there be a repeat, as happened in Oprah's time, of an author railing against his work being chosen by a nonliterary mortal -- even worse this time around, a techie? Who can forget Jonathan Franzen claiming that his selection for Oprah's Book Club besmirched his place in "the high-art literary tradition"?

Can one imagine, say, French author Thomas Piketty musing: "I object to my work being chosen, or even read, by a noneconomist American"?

I personally have higher hopes for Zuckerberg's enterprise. I fancy that the next step is his own Oprah-style talk show.

It will be called: "What's Not to Like?" He will interview famous people for 15 minutes. Then he will put their performance (and whatever wares they happen to be selling) up to the verdict of Facebook's faithful.

They will be deemed either Likable or Not Likable. The latter designation will, of course, destroy their careers overnight.