A preview of the fall?
When the big tech oligarchs who now clearly control everything turn on each other in a violent struggle to become CEO of the World, who do you see coming out on top? Tim Cook seems a little old and frail for what will certainly shape up to be a younger man’s fight. Mark Zuckerberg looks like he’s got a weak chin. Elon Musk has a kind of devil-may-care, bad-ass vibe, but is it all an act put on by a scared little boy? Jack Dorsey looks like a “full patch” Hells Angel these days, but that could be just the beard. Pre-beard, he looked a bit like Mr. Bean. I think a good bet could be Sundar Pichai of Google. He grew up in India, which automatically makes him tougher than the aforementioned gang of American college boys. And his background is in engineering and materials science, which somehow sound more intimidating than mere coding. Or is there a dark horse I haven’t mentioned here? Please answer before Big Tech deplatforms you.
— Winston Smith, Five Points
At first, this question resurrected fond memories of watching Celebrity Deathmatch on MTV back in the day and falling into a totally unreasonable and juvenile rage when my chosen celebrity didn’t “win” the claymation battle. Then I thought about how the inevitable fall of western liberal democracy will probably lead to some form of corporate plutocracy as a surrogate for conventional government, which really sucked all the joy out of my nostalgic trip down memory lane.
A lot of these tech CEOs appear to have turned themselves into glorified storage vessels for human growth hormone in recent years, so I tend to wonder if they are, as a practical matter, theoretically unkillable. Might Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos actually be able to heal himself of any injury in real time, Wolverine-style? If so, it would give either of them a serious advantage over a younger guy like Zuckerberg, who hasn’t yet flirted with notions of chemically induced immortality.
Depending on how broad you cast this net, I wouldn’t write off any of the alt-right microblogging social media guys. They’re probably too small to be contenders, but what do you want to bet the CEO of Gab sleeps with a few homemade AKs under his bed? If you ask me, it’s a phallic thing with these guys and their exotic weaponry displayed in crushed velvet cases, but if it came to a true battle for CEO of the World, you wouldn’t want to rule them out. Then again, maybe they’re all talk in the long run. Like I said, it’s a phallic thing with them.
Of course, if this were an episode of Celebrity Deathmatch, there would only be one way it could end. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are perpetually stabbing each other and healing their wounds, and all the white power dudes are blogging about their homemade guns and trying to dox Mark Zuckerberg, who responds by deleting their accounts which leaves them super depressed because now they can’t stalk their ex-girlfriends anymore. This goes on for a while till Elizabeth Holmes breaks out of prison by crawling through a Shawshank-style sewer pipe that she convinces everyone else to dig for her, and she swoops in on the battle and straight drains everyone’s souls out through their eyes. She teams up with Martin Shkreli, because they’re both members of the same prison gang, and somehow we end up believing we’re all better off for it.