Plus, negotiating with an AI that's better at negotiating than you
Well, writing from a country (US) that once was indeed an "off-world colony" of the one you're in, sometimes it does work out for some of those who leave for the New World. Plenty of small religious sects have thought it's a deal worth risking. Even in relatively recent history, the Mormons seem to have done OK. Look at it this way: You might not create Heaven on Earth, but being on the top of your own section of Hell has its attractions.
Note, I think this is a situation where the chattering class is greatly overestimating its power and influence. They go nuts whenever Musk trolls them, but that's just theater for both sides. I've got to say it's amusing theater though, with great popcorn, served regularly.
I’m glad you’ve aired those doubts about whether Mastodon is going to be ‘the answer’ to the problems thrown up by what’s happening on Twitter. There is still the chance for the same spats and bad behaviour, and also the risk of creating lots of echo chambers. And the tendency to centralise that you identify looks an inevitable consequence of the need to maximise reach and profile. None of which is to dismiss Mastodon, which has the advantage of not being owned by Musk. Like many, I’m dipping a toe in the water while staying on Twitter - not least because of the network I’ve built since 2009. What I am doing, and I suspect I’m not alone, is being more careful with what I post, what I get drawn into and what I feel I need to respond to. The more I think about it, and about all you said in the book, the more I think any solution isn’t in the platform itself but in human behaviour. Which is a tougher ask.