The Year Tech Bro Lunacy Was Exposed
I think 2022 will be remembered as the year we finally saw the billionaire tech bro narrative for what it is: an insane fantasy held by adult children with too much money and too much power too early in their lives for them to do any good.
The Big Threat of Big Tech has become the Big Joke practically overnight. We are watching the real-time implosion of the Silicon Valley mindset under the weight of its own hubris. Happy New Year.
Just hours ago, it seems, Elon Musk was considered the great threat to civic discourse. By using his money and network of like-minded investors to take over Twitter, it appeared that the closest thing we had left to a “public square” would be surrendered to the whims of this would-be Trump. Most frighteningly, perhaps, Musk threatened that he would unleash “thermonuclear name & shame” on companies that chose to suspend their advertising on the platform.
But over the course of the next few days, Musk reversed his plans and policies on a moment-to-moment basis, first saying he’d establish a moderation council before making any major decisions, then reinstating Kanye and Trump, then kicking off Kanye again, then lambasting Trump and supporting Rick Desantis once Trump made it clear he wouldn’t return to posting on the platform. Finally, in a last-ditch effort to stoke some excitement, he made an arrangement with a former journalist to selectively “leak” Twitter’s prior openness to the DNC’s requests to repress a Hunter Biden story.
The man who once popularized the electronic automobile and landed rocket ships on barges was now leaking stories about his own company to be published exclusively on his own platform as a way of generating the sort of ire and indignation that could make a messaging app relevant again — at least among those who prefer to be outraged by media nonsense than actual human suffering.
How the mighty — and scary — have fallen.
For his part, Mark Zuckerberg undermined the future of Facebook by going all-in instead on the speculative virtual reality and blockchain hybrid known as Web3. Stock of his holding company, Meta, has since gone down by 70% and the formerly invincible Facebook now feels a bit more like…