Science fiction has a few tell-tale tropes:
- protagonists are always rugged individualists
- large, top-down organizations are either pure good or pure evil
- changes by protagonists are always innovation, changes by antagonists are always sabotage
I mean, Ayn Rand is just Robert Heinlein with no fucking imagination whatsoever and Heinlein is what happens when you wanted to go to engineering school but couldn't. Bruce Sterling made the argument that William Gibson was the most important science fiction writer since Jules Verne because he was the first person to imagine a future that wasn't a complete reset of the present. And, no surprise, his vision of the future has never been a happy one.
This is why I dearly love cyberpunk and dearly hate steampunk. Cyberpunk addresses pessimism of the future through parody of the present; steampunk addresses pessimism of the present through parody of the past. People who are into cyberpunk see the trendlines of things sucking and want it front and center where it can be discussed. People who are into steampunk just fucking figured out computers and want to retreat to a befarkled past where everyone else is just as fucking clueless as they are.
And this is why Zuckerberg and his ilk just.don't.fucking.get the metaverse. It's always been a bad idea. It's always been an artificial realm that shouldn't kill you? but does. It's always been a mirage, a terrible place you cope because the terrible place you live is worse. I mean... going back to Lewis Carrol! But your average tech genius is a hothouse flower of a human, a privileged white male asshole who never had to work a day in his life but bootstrapped some bullshit garage narrative because Sandhill Road demanded it. Buzzword buzzword this. Buzzword buzzword that.
So of course they become the villain. The universe is always shit and is always saved by trend-buckers who face no consequences. PROTIP: Batman is a fascist.
The market buys and sells people's sentiments eight microseconds before they have them, that's where the money comes from. It doesn't know macro, it doesn't know Putin, it knows Markov chains. We're buying and selling the velocity of the applause meter on a show with a laugh track.