※ Musk and Bezo Show the Perils of Plutocratic Pettiness

Musk and Bezo Show the Perils of Plutocratic Pettiness:

Let me get nerdy for a minute. At least since the work of Max Weber a century ago, social scientists have realized that social inequality has multiple dimensions. At minimum we need to distinguish between the hierarchy of money, in which some people have a disproportionate share of society’s wealth, and the hierarchy of prestige, in which some people are specially respected and looked up to.

People may occupy very different positions in these hierarchies. Sports legends, pop stars, social media “influencers” and, yes, Nobel laureates generally do fine financially, but their wealth is surely mere pocket change compared with today’s great fortunes. Billionaires, by contrast, command deference, even servility, from those who depend on their largess, but few of them are widely known public figures and even fewer have dedicated fan bases.

The tech elite, however, had it all. Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg was, for a while, a feminist icon. Musk has millions of Twitter followers, many of them actual human beings rather than bots, and these followers have often been ardent Tesla defenders.

Now the glitter is gone. Social media, once hailed as a force for freedom, are now denounced as vectors of misinformation. Tesla boosterism has been dented by tales of spontaneous combustion and autopilot accidents. Technology moguls still possess vast wealth, but the public — and the administration — isn’t offering the old level of adulation.

And it’s driving them crazy.

Tl;dr: Don’t pin hopes on these petty tech moguls.

I have a post from last year that says basically the same thing but I cannot find it.

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About Paul

I’m a Detroit expat recently returned from Tokyo living in Chattanooga. I’m a consulting security professional and father of two. I promise that my views and politics are mine; not yours or my employer’s or anyone’s. I follow no party or affiliation or anything. My things are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license unless otherwise stated.

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