Posted on December 27, 2022 by John Scalzi
(Image: Royal Society, used under Creative Commons. Additional photo editing by me)
If I had one wish out of 2022, it would be It’s this year – finally – when the myth of the supposed efficiency and virtue of billionaires is buried in a shallow grave at the bottom of the river. The year 2022 was filled with examples of people who had more money than meaning, lost a fair amount of that money and gained no further meaning in return. Notable among our trio of faded poster kids for the concept include Mark Zuckerberg, who destroyed his company’s stock as he chases a social media revolution that no one wants, including the people who make it; Sam Bankman-Fried, who proved that a Ponzi scheme was alive and well and changed its name to “crypto”; And of course, Elon Musk, who was exposed this year as an incompetent and somewhat fascist whose antics are destroying two companies — Twitter And the Tesla – and we should be very grateful that the third (Space X) company has long-term government contracts. As I write this, Tesla’s share price is down nine percent on the day. I’ve heard rumors that Bill Gates has made a lot of money these days by selling shares of the company. If that’s true, at least Somebody makes a profit on Tesla; It is not the musk or the shareholders of the company.
I feel vaguely cocky about billionaire doom this year ever since Kaiju Conservation Society, Travel By Bullet And the Three Bots: Exit Strategies All of them beat stupid billionaires to a greater or lesser extent. TR: ES called out Musk by name, much to many Muscovites’ heartbreak, but time has proven both me and the ring that everyone now seems to agree that, given Musk’s work experience on Twitter, he’s the last person. Anyone might want to count on him to get us all to Mars. As for Bankman-Fried, there are several plot points to it travel by bullet It mirrors so closely what’s really going on at FTX and Alameda Research that I feel like I should be suing him and some of his party mates for plagiarism, not that they have any money anymore. But the truth is that I am not a high priest; I just understand that it is easier to get rich when you have family money and/or you are actively committing fraud.
screwed bankman fried; He’s going to spend a lot of time in the concentration camp at Otisville or something. Musk will probably be fine financially, because even if he is no longer the Richest Man in the World™, he has more than enough margin to get by. But the notion that anyone who doesn’t lick his own shoe still considers him a genius, or even competent, is laughable. As for Zuckerberg, well, bless his heart, he and Meta seem determined to ride the Sunk Cost Fallacy concept down to MySpaceLand.
(Oh! And also: Ye, aka Kanye West, who became totally anti-Semitic this year and because of him went from a billionaire on paper to — well, whatever he is now, being a billionaire he sure isn’t.)
(Oh! Oh! And also Donald Trump, who is currently walking around in NFTs made of stolen art, whose tax returns show he’s better at not having money than having it, and who has paid less in taxes over the past five years than nearly every American, because, on the whole Paper anyway, it’s a broke loser.)
In all cases, damage has occurred, to a greater or lesser degree.
Which is, well: good. Being a billionaire is not a virtue. It doesn’t have to be actually detrimental to one’s humanity (others can and do disagree with me on this), but it doesn’t speak well of anyone. As forValuing billionaires for being billionaires is real nonsense that has very clearly done more harm to the world than not. Musk, Trump, Yee, Zuckerberg, Bankman Fried, and any other billionaire do not deserve your respect simply because they are rich, and the fact that people gave them respect because of that money allowed them to cover up their ongoing moral and ethical shortcomings. , of which there are many, and which continue to harm our society.
If 2022 marks the beginning of the end of the billionaire haphazard cult, I will take that as a victory. We can use all the winnings we can get, by 2023.