• Moderators, please send me a PM if you are unable to access mod permissions. Thanks, Habsy.

Tech Thread

I mean this is no different than threads now though either. Unless you need to know what T-Swift was wearing last Wednesday?
I follow basically all the same politics and news accounts that I followed on Twitter. Plus some sports and other interests. Lots of accounts have moved over, or they post on both.

But whatever, I’m not particularly interested in convincing you, and it’s not like I think threads is virtuous.

long read (see url) that I chopped up

Elon Musk Is Dangerous To Society​



The Consequences of Capital

What happens if Musk decides that he doesn’t agree with NASA’s path to space? What happens if Musk decides that certain parts of certain countries should or should not have Starlink access depending on whether they’re voting that day, or who polls suggest they’ll be voting for? What happens if Musk succeeds in bringing payments to Twitter, and then decides whether certain people’s transactions will and will not go through? What happens if Musk decides to take his campaign against certain news outlets up a level and outright bans links to certain outlets on Twitter, much as he did with Substack earlier this year? What if Musk decides to start favoring certain destinations on Teslas, prioritizing those who pay him to advertise on Tesla’s version of Google Maps? What if Musk decides — as he is fully allowed to — to simply not allow certain political entities to post on Twitter during an election cycle? What if Neuralink actually happens, and Musk suddenly has chips in the heads of real people?

One might call me an alarmist, but many of these are things that Musk could decide to do today and implement tomorrow. Musk cannot “lose money” in a way that will actually harm him, unless, of course, Tesla’s stock crashes, an unlikely event as said stock has become a meme stock with a vile following of wealthy freaks propping it up.

We are not “on the verge” of Musk doing anything. He has already started to do things that make him less of an entrepreneur and more of an extremely annoying James Bond villain. He’s inelegant, inarticulate, oafish, callous, and capricious, lacking any grace or humility, which makes it easy to dismiss him as a dumbass. The problem is that Musk, while not as smart as he believes, is smart enough to have created an insulation field around him, and he’s begun to realize the robustness of his cult of personality.

Musk regularly tests the boundaries of what society will allow him to do in exactly the same way that every conservative in America has since Trump ran for President, seeing how many taboos or norms he can violate and remain unscathed. He, like Trump, is alluring to men with fragile egos and a lack of responsibility, saying the “things they wish they could say,” which loosely translates as “give voice to bigoted justifications for his own personal failings.” The ADL didn’t cause Twitter to lose $22 billion in market capitalization — Musk did by ripping out the trust and safety team and empowering the worst people to walk this Earth. He plays the eternal victim, yet he is the ultimate victimizer, and knows that anyone who truly tries to fight him will ultimately lose, because he can lose more money in a legal fight than they will make in a lifetime.

While I do blame some of the media for fueling Musk’s rise to power, the reality is that Musk is a truly unique creature, a monster that only the digital age could create. He quickly realized that the media would simply write about anything he did and used that to flood the tech press with endless crap, some of it true, some of it embellishment, and some of it utterly false. The speed at which digital media works is such that there is very little followup on a story that’s run, and as a result many will simply take a big company’s word for it — and Musk used this to his advantage to build the false persona of the man who invented Tesla, SpaceX’s rockets and Starlink’s satellites.

Musk is the modern-day P.T. Barnum, except he is capable of creating 100 news stories with a single tweet, manipulating financial markets and world events in the process. He doesn’t need a media department because he doesn’t need to provide any service to the media — they will always cover him because they believe they have to, even if they oftentimes don’t.

Musk can do what he wants. He cannot be banned from one of the largest social networks in the world, where he can control hundreds of millions of eyeballs. He can choose to whom — consumer, company or country — he gives access to the internet, and he can choose for whom a car will drive. He has enough money to back almost any cause, and he can promise said cause publicity both by association and by tweets. He has an army of psychopathic ghouls, equally hollow and petty little contrarian men who want to blame their own failures and misfortunes on others. He is unable to experience shame without immediately retaliating with explosive, well-funded, and highly-visible wrath, a modern-day tyrant kleptocrat that can promise humiliation and annihilation with an audience of millions.

The Kleptocrat Emperor

This is the consequence of media personalities like Kara Swisher who spent years propping up Musk, giving him softball interviews until he turned on her, taking America’s Billionaire Apologist from steady acolyte to scorned hater in the space of eight months, despite years of evidence that Musk was a scumbag. To be (briefly) fair to Swisher, this is a problem that affects almost every outlet and reporter that covers billionaires — the assumption is always that they will act with empathy, patience and grace, three things that Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg and their ilk lack. Failing that, one would suppose they’d act like a normal person — a losing proposition if you’ve ever read Jeff Bezos’ texts.

Except Musk is more dangerous than all of them, other than perhaps Jeff Bezos, who controls 7.6% of America’s consumer retail spending, a national newspaper, and a rival space company paid for with the labor of Amazon’s 1.6 million workers. Not to mention AWS, which is essentially the cornerstone of the modern Internet, proving the infrastructure behind an unknowable number of websites and applications, in the process becoming the OPEC of cloud computing — with all the leverage and power that entails.

Musk is not a goofy weirdo or the real-life Tony Stark. He’s a fragile, mean-hearted ogre, one hell-bent on seeing his whims brought to life at any cost. The only way to write about this man — the only fair coverage of Elon Musk — is to frame him as a villain, a bigot, a bully, and a crook.

But what do you do about the man who has everything?