Sun,10 September 2023
In the realm of tech giants, disappointment often lingers close behind their lofty promises. This sentiment rings especially true when it comes to Elon Musk, the entrepreneur known for his grand ambitions that sometimes fall flat. Musk's acquisition of a beloved social network led to its decline, and his treatment of workers across his conglomerate of companies has stirred controversy. Even the timeless allure of jokes centered around numbers like 420 and 69 fell victim to his touch.
Yet today, a glimmer of a different kind of promise emerged from Musk—a promise that he and Mark Zuckerberg would engage in a cage fight. It's a concept that seems almost too absurd to be true, considering Musk's knack for making statements that often deviate from reality.
But today felt different. The morning tweet (yes, we're still calling them tweets) seemed distinct in its tone, as Musk declared that the fight was indeed on. He added a touch of grandeur by mentioning discussions with Italy's PM and Minister of Culture for an "epic location," pledging a gesture that blends the past and present of Italy.
For once, Musk's words appeared definitive. He even mentioned donating the proceeds to veterans. Yet, reality found its way back to us through a response from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg took to Threads, Meta's own microblogging platform, to douse the growing flame of expectations. In his response, he quipped, "I've been ready to fight since the day Elon challenged me... Until then, please assume anything he says has not been agreed on."
While it's undoubtedly amusing to see these two tech titans sparring via their respective platforms rather than in direct conversation, the substance of Zuckerberg's post left me wanting. The tantalizing prospect of witnessing the spectacle at the Colosseum in Rome, even if it was likely a joke, added to the allure. Yet, the possibility remains open—TechCrunch has yet to conclusively state that covering a billionaire brawl in Rome is out of the question.
It's clear that my desire to savor authentic Italian pasta while watching two billionaires duke it out isn't a top editorial priority. But this disappointment isn't entirely misplaced, for it uncovered a truth about myself: I genuinely want Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg to face off in a cage match.
The rationale behind this unlikely aspiration goes deeper than mere spectacle. Both Musk and Zuckerberg, in their own ways, stir significant concerns. Their actions bear weight not only because I cover their ventures, but also because I care about the broader implications for humanity. Zuckerberg's decisions at the helm of a platform used by billions have been implicated in grave consequences, from genocide to democracy disruption. Similarly, Musk's negligence on content moderation and platform safety raises alarms. Watching these influential figures repeatedly stumble without learning from their mistakes becomes disheartening, especially when legislative attempts to regulate them often backfire.
Hence, a pact with myself formed: in order to navigate the turbulent waters of social media reporting while preserving sanity, I would cheer for the most ludicrous outcomes, as long as they remain harmless. The notion of a Musk vs. Zuckerberg cage fight encapsulates this ethos perfectly—ridiculous, yet the potential harm is limited to the participants themselves.
And then there's the spectacle of the fight itself. Witnessing men of immense power grappling with their own hubris is a source of entertainment. Musk, for all his attempts to immerse us in virtual reality, now faces a reality of his own making.
Amid his reality-warping endeavors, Zuckerberg quietly delved into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, securing tournament victories while steering his sprawling tech empire. Musk, on the other hand, seemed preoccupied with legal battles and unauthorized light shows.
Zuckerberg's prowess makes him the favorite in this hypothetical showdown, though Musk's public commitment leaves him with no room for retreat. It's akin to his $44 billion pledge to buy Twitter, followed by a reversal—except this time, no money is at stake.
My interest in the actual fight is minimal; it's the vulnerability of male ego that captivates me. The richest individuals on Earth can still harbor egos so fragile they willingly step into an ancient arena for a potential thrashing. Elon and I might differ on many things, but our shared marvel at the intricacies of human nature is one unifying thread.