The real winner from Elon's Twitter buy
Tippets #173: Jonathan Haidt, Trevor Noah, chip shortages, and more. Enjoy!
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Elon Musk bought Twitter this week. Well, technically he signed an agreement to buy Twitter. But for all intents and purposes he bought Twitter. And the world has gone wild, hot takes flying about faster than a SpaceX Falcon 9.
Elon buying Twitter is the best thing that has happened to the company.
Elon buying Twitter is threatening our democracy.
Elon buying Twitter will lead to less freedom of speech.
Elon buying Twitter will lead to more freedom of speech.
Is this the end of democracy?
Is the public square now private?
Everyone is trying to get in on the action. The Houston Rockets even impersonated Musk on Twitter (with a profile picture change and all), tweeting, “After I buy Twitter, I’m going to make it illegal for the Houston Rockets not to get the first pick in the 2022 NBA Draft”.
Lines are being drawn, sides are being selected, and winners and losers are being declared.
Someone noticeably absent from the discussion? Mark Zuckerberg.
Over the last few years Facebook has been a subject of massive scrutiny from all sides of the aisle, particularly when it comes to topics of misinformation, freedom of speech, and negative influence on mental health. As Founder and CEO, and one of the wealthiest and most powerful people on the planet, Zuckerberg has been the primary focus of this spotlight. Now, Elon Musk has chosen to step into the social media business. The result? There is a bigger light burning much hotter atop Twitter attracting all the attention.
Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are not shy about their distaste for one another. That said, in this case I’m guessing Elon drawing the world’s collective attention away from Facebook might result in a small token of thanks from Mr. Zuckerberg.
Tippets from Around the Web:
Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
This well-researched and nuanced look at societal evolution over the last ten years by Jonathan Haidt is the best thing I have read over the last few weeks. It’s a long (8,000+ words) but worthwhile pursuit. Haidt paints a grim picture about how social media has weakened the “three major forces that collectively bind together successful democracies: social capital (extensive social networks with high levels of trust), strong institutions, and shared stories.” However he some nuanced and thoughtful solutions that are worthy of lengthy debate.
This is a piece that I will certainly be coming back to.
When our public square is governed by mob dynamics unrestrained by due process, we don’t get justice and inclusion; we get a society that ignores context, proportionality, mercy, and truth.
Trevor Noah Holds Nothing Back in Brutally Funny White House Correspondents’ Dinner Roast
For the first time in six years, members of the media gathered together with the President of the United States and watched him get roasted by a comedian. Trevor Noah played host (he’s been doing that a lot lately), and no one was safe. The full set is great, and worth a watch. I did, however, want to point out the below clip from his close the end.
“I really hope you all remember what the real purpose of this evening is…every single one of you, whether you like it or not, is a bastian of democracy. If you ever begin to doubt your responsibilities…look no further than what’s happening in Ukraine…you realize how amazing it is. In America you have the right to seek the truth and speak the truth, even if it makes people in power uncomfortable, even if it makes your viewers or your readers uncomfortable. You have to understand how amazing that is…”
Ford to halt production next week at Flat Rock plant on chips shortage
The chip shortage is going to get worse before it gets better. A combination of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, an earthquake in Japan, and ongoing shutdowns in China have pushed lead times for most semiconductors to over half a year. The impact is going to be widespread. Ford halting production at a plant is just one example.
The Tech Bubble That Never Burst
The tech bubble is always about to burst. Looking back over the last 10+ years, it seems every year was going to be the year that the music stopped. Yet, it has just kept on going. As pointed out in this NYT interactive article, “Yet every time, more money has flooded into start-ups. Instead of a collapse, things got bubblier.” What about now?
Even as the biggest factor driving investors to high-growth start-ups over the last decade — low interest rates — begin to change, even as economists worry about an impending recession and even as start-ups lower their valuations or suddenly run out of cash, few today are predicting a total collapse. A decade of talking about a bubble that never burst will do that.
Quote I’m thinking about: “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” – John Muir
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