It was a day that will go down in tech history books, as much for its potential significance as for its utter bizarreness.
For a brief moment on Wednesday, the worlds of Silicon Valley business, partisan politics, conspiracy theorists and the theater of the absurd all collided into one magnificent spectacle, as Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey visited Washington DC for back-to-back Congressional hearings.
In the morning, Dorsey joined Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in the Senate to answer questions about foreign manipulation of social networks. At an afternoon hearing in the House, Dorsey took the hot seat on his own to respond to allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies ‚ÄĒ an idea that has been increasingly propagated by Republicans, including President Trump.
Adding to the day’s drama were howling protesters, Dorsey’s spiking heartrate and several deflty-timed jump scares by Alex Jones, the infamous conspiracy theorist who seemed to delight in stalking various prey throughout the Capitol, emerging, ghoul-like from various corners.
Amazingly, a photographer was able to get a picture that captures all this, and more.
This photo was taken by Politico’s M. Scott Mahaskey during a break in the hearings and posted to Twitter.
The detail and tension captured in the photo are reminiscent of a canvas by one of the great masters; a Velasquez, or perhaps Hieronimus Bosch. The more you look at the picture, the more you find.
Let’s take a look: