Ahmed Areff throws the bones and tries some old-school prognostication about the state of our world.
Welcome to the end.
Rejoice that you actually made it here and haven’t boiled to death in your own skin.
We are immensely grateful that you’ve continued to use our platform and shared your content and invaluable data as civilisation collapsed into corruption, war, genocide, drowning, mass starvation or heat stroke. Your ongoing support has translated into value for our shareholders, and as the temperatures and oceans rose, so did our profits.
Some people still call us by our bygone name of social media or consider us "tech companies". We like to think of ourselves as a billionaire's strategic avant-garde system to fragment people, and their psyches, ultimately bringing us one step closer to the singularity and the worship of soon to be built machine overlord. But, we digress…
We’ve worked hard to bring you to this point, destroying all factual consensus and sense of community just so that you can spew the mundane minutia of your mind out into the world.
Who needs a nuanced take on a basic income grant when have 280 characters, memes and 30-second videos. Discourse is old-fashioned, especially when we can monetise both the "righteous indignation" and "oblivious consumer" market segments. We have made a full pivot from a platform you used to use to build communities, into a system fully optimised to enhance and emphasise human conflict.
Who needs experts?
Who needs experts when you are now our doctors, engineers, virologists, statisticians, journalists and judges? We’ve put the power to destroy lives in your hands – you are the weapons in this war. Congratulations, you’ve finally made it, and you didn’t even need an ID and background check to plug in.
We kept Panda (not the animal) and it’s brethren feeding our machine with beautiful, shareable, unsubstantiated, Grade A bull (not the animal). But, don’t forget that we still managed to capitalise on your beautiful shareable content on the irreversible death of Pandas (the animal). Their viral videos will be missed.
We have turned anaesthesiologists into podcasters and "acclaimed journalists". We have taken the concept of radical economic transformation and made it social ammunition in the battle for a slowly failing and increasingly irrelevant political party. We have made you hate your neighbours, stirred up racial tensions, allowed influential people to say that the legacy of colonialism was not only negative and helped some bully businesses with a red-tinged brand of wannabe fascism.
We can scratch that itch for some coal extremists who think that criticism of their clinging to poison is a conspiracy by the liberal media, research institutions and civil society groups.
Or better yet, that the virus that killed those people you know and loved, is just a plan to have some other billionaires pump nanobots into your body, or change your DNA so that you will become mindless drones.
As if you need injections to do that.
Our friends in the tobacco industry have been regulated and taxed into oblivion, but we've put our brightest minds on it, and co-opted some of their old methods. "Get them while they’re young" is still a solid business strategy – especially as so many of our older users have since expired.
Now that the world is a smouldering pile of useless and unmissed natural stuff, we have just the right thing to pick you up. Our virtual worlds will take you to the top of Kilimanjaro, to our virtual beach where you can ride our branded narwhals, and out to our beautiful copyrighted forests, before bringing you back to some of the most beautiful homes in the metaverse.
We are listening
Reality showed us that our constant drive for growth was too simplistic for a now depleted world of finite resources. Our virtual worlds, instead, offer infinite possibilities and infinite growth.
We have prime virtual real estate just for you and are hoping that you would be willing to invest in this bright future. We accept payment in gold, oil, food or baby formula, and our roaming militias will be doing collections every Tuesday and Thursday.
Please note that we will not accept any of our now defunct crypto tokens.
If you want to be a platinum investor join us for one of our open days. Our virtual braais are to die for – in fact, many who tried to survive that way, did that just that.
We always care and worry about you, our dear customers.
Didn’t you ever wonder how we knew you wanted that new bunker and that blackmarket AK-47 with the serial number scratched off in preparation for the next round of looting? Well, we know you and and listen to your needs.
We are always listening.
Ahmed Areff is Fin24's deputy editor. Views are his own.