2022 Was the (Hopefully Last) Year of the Rich Fake-Genius
The 'Genius Billionaire' is a myth. Let's leave it in the dust.
Perhaps more than any previous year, 2022 made us realize, in both real life and fiction, that billionaires are not inherently more intelligent and better than everyone else. From Jurassic World: Dominion and The Glass Onion, to Elon Musk and the fall of crypto/NFTs, here’s to hoping we learn our lesson for 2023 and stop trusting these rich idiots.
IRL billionaire embarrassments
Somehow, no billionaire has done more for banishing the myth of the rich genius than Elon Musk. His buyout of Twitter has allowed the whole world to see for themselves the ridiculous shortsightedness of his “leadership” abilities, in addition to his general lack of common sense. This crack in the facade is making people look twice at the “richest man in the world.”
The Twitter account @capitolhunters, which had previously been mostly dedicated to tracking down people involved in the January 6th insurrection, also released a massive breakdown of Elon Musk’s lies about his own education. You can read the thread in full at this link.
Sam Bankman-Fried & the fall of crypto/NFTs
Crypto and NFTs have been all over the news for the past few years, but the most recent dip in value for these products seems to be the death toll for the schemes as a whole. Crypto and NFTs may have seemed like fake money from the start but the schemes of Sam Bankman-Fried have resulted in actual people losing their life savings.
Zuckerberg and Facebook took similar gambles on the METAverse, promising that VR was the future of human interaction. All of this while ignoring the problems of Facebook, such as privacy and data protection. In the end, the METAverse is losing billions, with the people who created it being ordered to use it in an attempt to inflate the usage numbers.
Fictional billionaire fails
Jurassic World: Dominion
While Dominion made some baffling decisions with its use of the dinosaurs, its villains are still at the cutting edge of rich people’s idiocy. Dodgson (yes, that Dodgson) is a pathetic mix of tech mogul and Monsanto CEO. He pretends to care about the world by hiring Ian Malcolm to talk to his scientists about the dangers of the technology they’re using while also actively using that technology to cause a manmade global famine that can only be solved by his product. He also claims to see himself in his delegate, Ramsay Cole, not realizing that Ramsay is a whistleblower with an actual backbone. Fittingly, Dodgson gets the same end that Nedry got all those years ago.
This movie could not have come out at a better time for all of this; Miles Bron is a clear Elon Musk parody but also shares a lot in common with other tech moguls who have been traditionally touted as geniuses. In reality, these so-called geniuses are just conmen who stand on the shoulders of actual geniuses. Without getting into spoilers, this movie also places blame not just on the individual billionaires, but on the army of yes-men enablers they surround themselves with in order to maintain their facade. It’s only thanks to whistleblowers and these billionaires’ own pride that they can be brought down.
Slightly lesser known than the previous two, Shion Takeuchi’s animated series about the shadow government shows how even if there were hidden societies secretly running the world, they’d still be just as self-centered, ineffectual, and idiotic as the regular government. While Reagan’s father, Rand Ridley, is technically a genius billionaire, his ego gets in the way of everything he wants, leaving him scratching his head when everything inevitably falls apart. His former business partner, JR is a more traditional rich person who only got as far as he did through a combination of ridiculous paranoia and riding on Rand Ridley’s coattails.
When Reagan herself finally meets the Black Robes who all secret societies report to, they sell her on the idea of being brought into the fold in order to make her stay Cognito Inc, trying to play off their control as necessary for maintaining order. But in reality, they appear to be using her for some greater plan.
Lessons for 2023
Honestly, the best lesson we could take from 2022 is to not trust any of these supposed billionaire geniuses. Stop investing in their schemes, stop stroking their egos, and stop giving them the title of genius.
I know it’s easier said than done, especially when these people control large swaths of the economy. But not treating these idiots with reverence or idolatry is the first step to protecting ourselves from their self-involvement.
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