Three theories for his seemingly erratic behavior
Hey PJ! Enjoying the show.
My question: I find that when I listen to podcasts, my brain stores where I am when I'm listening to it. That means that when I think about a podcast story, I am returned to the place that I listened to it.
When I think of The Case of the Missing Hit, I'm in Borough Market, London. When I think of the serial killer Dennis Nilsen, I am on Hampstead Heath. When I think of Long Distance, I'm in the lift in my old, old, old work office on the Strand. When I think about the Terra/Luna collapse, I'm in Forest Gate park.
My question is -- why does my brain work this way? And does it happen to everyone? To have synaesthesia with places?
As a (relatively) recent migrant to Montreal, are we going to get a Montreal reference in every show? First it was waxing nostalgic about Concordia, now we're talking about the city's beautiful dysfunction. Let's get a whole ep about the best city in North America! I'm sure you can jam it into the format somehow.
Intrigued to learn more about Mr Musk. Thanks again for this episode!
nicely done, PJ 🙏🏼
i just subscribed to your podcast.
i look forward to learning more about Search Engine.
you might also enjoy reading --> https://opentochange.substack.com
I know this may not be common Western wisdom, but colonizing anywhere has outcomes that are mixed at best, wretched and poisonous at worst.
the techjourno hagiography of Musk’s early life should include his actions around regular-degular folks like me. I understand why it never will, so this comment is for the record.
Thank you so much for this episode!!!
All your answers/reporting are way better than my (conspiracy) theory:
He is self aware enough to know that twitter is a terrible addiction and he needs to overcome this time suck. So he bought it and is ruining it for everyone (if I can’t have it, no one can) so he can go off and be productive again.
It's so nice to have you back in my ears on a regular basis. You're crushing it with the new show. Great job and thank you :)
Loving the series so far! I subscribe to the fourth (and probably least likely) explanation of Elon Musk which is that he’s basically saving the world by acting the way he is. He’s shitposting like right wing nut so that Republicans will buy electric cars to own the libs AND he’s almost single-handedly destroying social media, the greatest evaporator of productivity in the history of mankind, so that people will do something better with their time.
As far as explaining Elon's erratic behavior, the most common theory I hear in San Francisco is that he's doing this to destroy a popular tool used for labour organizers and civl rights activists.
Folks here in tech also think this is some sort of master plan that Elon is doing to give tech workers less bargaining power. I was hoping these theories would be presented this episode, but I guess they still could come up in future episodes.
Personally, I think Elon is just incredibly stupid. I don't think he's an evil mastermind, but the people supporting him (ie Peter Thiel and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal) might actually be hoping for Twitter to become a less useful tool for dissenting voices.
If only you'd waited another week, you could've covered X!
hi guys, off topic but the ads you’re playing in Europe/Germany are fingernails on a blackboard awful - I don’t know what service you’re using to set the ads but they’re the same as that you would hear in a grocery store or at like 5 AM on terrible talk radio (shoooopp at PENNY! we have ALLL THE DEALS!) where penny = dollar tree grocery. I assume your US ad people think regionally targeted ads are good but tbh they’re probably going to turn off a lot of listeners, at least in Germany ❤️ someone should open an ad agency to create podcast ads for english-speaking european-based listeners, it appears to be a wide open market 😂
Hi PJ! I am reading an excerpt from Naomi Klein's new book "Doppleganger" (https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/08/naomi-klein-naomi-wolf-book?utm_source=pocket-newtab-en-us) and she said something that literally could have been yanked from this episode: "When the self is carved up, the external self can develop its own agenda and overtake the “real” self completely. It’s a lesson highly relevant in the age of human-impersonating chatbots, but it may also help explain why so many formerly trustworthy people seem to turn into unscrupulous attention addicts on platforms designed to partition us from ourselves. It may be that those people—the ones hawking sham cures or making surprising alliances with malevolent figures like Bannon and Carlson—are simply doing what it takes to attend to the brand version of themselves. A self that has its own needs and agendas: to be seen, to stay relevant, to be omnipresent in our cultural hall of mirrors." Just thought you might find it interesting.
This is going to take a little while to unpack, but I have a better explanation. First off, I'm a gay socialist, I dislike Musk for being notoriously bad to his employees and (honestly I mean this with zero shade towards you, militantly anti-union while also having more money than god, a significant portion of which comes directly from the government. I could go on too. I don't hate him though. The first half of this essay is exactly how I've felt watching politics since 2016. https://thescrum.substack.com/p/love-and-politics
As soon as I heard your guest say "at that time he had started talking about more about Twitter's role in society as a bastion of Free Speech, and Elon had adopted this right-wing position that social networks were censoring too much speech and that free speech was essential to a democracy, and he was going to. rescue twitter from what he saw as the encroachment of woke ideology or whatever, the context for this was that twitter and a lot of social networks got a lot of flak after the 2016 election for the way that Russians used them to interfere in our election." I knew you were going to miss what I think his main objective was. But we need more context.
First off, by any objective measure, Hillary Clinton is a hawk, by all accounts she pushed Obama into what he called the biggest mistake of his Presidency; turning Libya from the country with the highest HDI in Africa into an open-air slave market. She bragged about rubbers stamping the 2009 coup of a leftist leader in Honduras in the first edition of “Hard Choices” and looked the other way as the military dictatorship murdered prominent environmental activist Berta Caseres. She also supported the CIA operation ‘Timber Sycamores’ to topple Assad in Syria by arming Al Qaeda (yes, that All Qaeda), after all they were "on our side". https://mate.substack.com/p/al-qaeda-is-on-our-side-how-obama
But the relevant part was just how hands on she was during the 2014 coup in Ukraine and its aftermath. And rather than explain it I’ll just refer you to these two articles. https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/06/18/the-undiplomatic-diplomat/
Clearly, Russia was topping her list of countries to regime change. And she wasn’t about to let all that hard work pushing us towards war with Russia go to waste, so she completely manufactured Russia gate out of thin air. Honestly, that is settled fact at this point. Here is just one sentence from the Duram report:
“These examples are also markedly different from the FBI' s actions with respect to other highly significant intelligence it received from a trusted foreign source pointing to a Clinton campaign plan to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server. Unlike the FBI's opening of a full investigation of unknown members of the Trump campaign based on raw, uncorroborated information, in this separate matter involving a purported Clinton campaign plan, the FBI never opened any type of inquiry, issued any taskings, employed any analytical personnel, or produced any analytical products in connection with the information. This lack of action was despite the fact that the significance of the Clinton plan intelligence was such as to have prompted the Director of the CIA to brief the President, Vice President, Attorney General, Director of the FBI, and other senior government officials about its content within days of its receipt. “
Full thing here: https://www.justice.gov/storage/durhamreport.pdf
Basically, the entire establishment media spent 4 years lighting their hair on fire convinced that Trump was a Russian agent for no other reason than Hillary Clinton wanted war with Russia. All of the objectively awful things Trump did get ignored while journalists were LARPing The Manchurian Candidate. So why do I think any of this has anything to do with Twitter? Because Twitter was/is where mainstream journalists talk to and about each other. Or as Noam Chomsky would put it, use flack to manufacture consent. https://youtu.be/34LGPIXvU5M
Elon does not like the news. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/carolineodonovan/elon-musk-tesla-spacex-war-press-media The very first thing he did was open the twitter files, which demonstrated that government was doing everything it could to sensor speech, even accurate but inconvenient speech. I think he just really dislikes journalists as much as his buddy Peter Theil does.
Wait I'm a little confused with this. Has Twitter imploded significantly, I actually haven't noticed any real difference since he took over for better or for worse. Have users fallen significantly? I use Twitter as really my only social media and to be be fair I use it mainly for breaking news, crypto related things I like and sports.