It is sad to see so many people who work at Twitter have lost their jobs. Almost half of the 7000 employees have been fired yesterday. While the new owner Elon Musk might think he is Iron Man, in reality his actions look more like Thanos in “Avengers: Infinity War”. Thanos is the villain in the movie who kills half of the population. I feel sorry for all the Tweeps at Twitter who lost their jobs. They are real people who have to pay their rents and their mortgages, who care for their kids and their family and who do not know what the future will bring :(

A lot of scientists, engineers and writers have switched to Mastodon instead, including myself. If more people will follow and abandon the social network it could be the end of the company. I have helped to build a number of sites and communities myself. It is always sad to see a site vanishing, as if a whole universe disappears.

Elon Musk’s recent acquisition of the social media site Twitter reminds me of the classic story of the old man and the sea from Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway’s book The Old Man and the Sea is about an aging fisherman who engages in an epic battle to catch a giant fish.

Mr. Musk is like the old man who has caught something spectacular, in his case the blue Twitter bird, but before he can enjoy the fruits of his catch – which he already killed himself – the investor sharks he has attracted will destroy his dreams.

Photo of a proud fisherman from Unsplash

Hemingway writes: “But what a great fish he is and what he will bring in the market if the flesh is good […] I wonder if he has any plans or if he is just as desperate as I am?”

The old fisherman fights day and night, while the fish pulls the boat through the line (the contract) that connects them. Hemingway writes “The first stars were out. He […] knew soon they would all be out and he would have all his distant friends. The fish is my friend too, he said aloud, I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him”.

Shortly after the fish is dead and gone – eaten by the sharks (the investors) which have been attracted by the bloody spectacle.