Jonathan Taplin shares first look at The End of Reality with Vanity Fair.
August 22, 2023
Jonathan Taplin shared an extended excerpt from his upcoming book, The End of Reality, with Vanity Fair this week.
Slated for release on September 5, The End of Reality: How Four Billionaires are Selling a Fantasy Future of the Metaverse, Mars, and Crypto describes what Jonathan considers to be the great con job of the twenty-first century: the ways that the respective tech monopolies of Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Marc Andreesen are individually and collectively ushering our society’s degeneration and eventual bankruptcy.
Jonathan – who has at various times in his life been acclaimed educator, writer, and film producer – is at present director emeritus of USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab. (His remarkable, much-envied career has included stints as tour manager for Bob Dylan and the Band, VP of media M&A at Merrill Lynch, professor at USC, and founder of the pioneering video-on-demand company Intertainer.) We’re proud that in every way, his new book is the full extension of the ideas Jonathan earlier offered in his Five Things I’ve Learned class, Five Things I’ve Learned about the Future of Media and Democracy.
The End of Reality details the personal backgrounds and cultural power of these four technology billionaires, documenting the ways that their tech monopolies have brought about corrupting, long-lasting consequences: middle-class wage stagnation, the hollowing out of many American towns, a radical increase in income inequality, and unbounded public acrimony. At the same time, great volumes of taxpayer money continues to be funneled to their individual ventures.
“I use the term techno-determinism to describe the path the Technocrats have dictated for our country, Jonathan writes of “the Four,” “because they have sold, and we have bought into, the idea that they are going to deliver us a bright future. The future they are now selling us, however—crypto fortunes, the merger of the human and the computer via AI, the prospect of spending our lives in the Metaverse or on Mars—is a lie.”
It’s essential reading. Find the article here, at Vanity Fair. Follow Jonathan on Twitter. Check out his website to discover not only more about The End of Reality, but links to his coming book tour, as well as select podcasts, writings, lectures, and other publications. While you’re there, learn more about his extraordinary memoir, The Magic Years, Scenes from a Rock and Roll Life.