The Winklevoss Twins Strike Back!

by Nathan Harden

Okay, this is getting very entertaining. After Larry Summers gave the Winklevoss twins a verbal lashing earlier this week, the two men, famous for claiming Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them, have written a letter to current Harvard president Drew Faust, calling Summers’s remarks “an unprecedented betrayal” by a Harvard faculty member.

In the process, they even take a dig at Summers’s infamous comments on gender parity in the sciences, comments that ultimately cost him the Harvard presidency several years ago:

His manner was not inconsistent with his reputation and present day admissions of being tactfully challenged. It was not his failure to shake hands with the three of us upon entering his office (doing so would have required him to take his feet off his desk and stand up from his chair), nor his tenor that was most alarming, but rather his scorn for a genuine discourse on deeper ethical questions, Harvard’s Honor Code, and its applicability or lack thereof.

We now further understand why our meeting was less than productive; someone who does not value ethics with respect to his own conduct, would likely have little interest in this subject as it related to the conduct of others. Perhaps there is a “variability of aptitude” for decency and professionalism among university faculty.

Nothing like watching Harvard grads hen-peck one another.

The twins are each worth many tens of millions of dollars. (They come from a very wealthy family. And they were paid $65 million plus additional company stock in a settlement with Facebook.) And so far as I can tell, they have never had to work a day in their lives. I’d like to think they could use some of their millions to do some good in this world. But why do I get the feeling that all their privilege has only fed a greater sense of entitlement? And what, pray tell, does the current president of Harvard have to do with this feud? Their letter to Faust is the equivalent of spoiled kids’ running home to Mommy to tattle-tell.

I’d like to give the Winklevoss twins some advice: Stop trying to settle scores with everyone who crosses you under the guise of upholding the “Harvard honor code.” Next, go find something important to do with your lives.