Thursday 14 July, 2022

The Lone Wolf

A solitary breakfaster, photographed from my room at a luxurious German Schloss I stayed in a few years ago. (For the avoidance of doubt: a big corporate outfit was footing the bill for my stay.)

Quote of the Day

”Golf had long symbolised the Eisenhower years — played by soft, boring men with ample waistlines who went around rich men’s country-club courses in the company of wealthy businessmen and were tended by white-haired, dutiful men of colour.”

  • David Halberstam in his great book, The Best and the Brightest.

Footnote: I changed the word used to describe those dutiful attendants in the book. Times — and sensibilities — change.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Liam O’Flynn, Arty McGlynn, Christy Moore and Rod McVey | The Point, Dublin | 1997


Amazing quartet. No wonder we miss Liam.

Long Read of the Day

 Elon Musk is an honorary Facebook Boomer

Life’s too short to be obsessed about Elon Musk, so it’s good of Charlie Warzel to focus on him so that the rest of us don’t have to. His current column, in which he argues that Musk’s conspiracy theorising about Twitter bots reminds him of the madness that grips aged family members who are constantly getting into arguments on Facebook about stuff they don’t really understand.

Back in April, in response to the news that the Tesla and SpaceX founder was mulling an offer to buy Twitter, I argued that Elon Musk was a master of pseudo-events. “Musk commandeers the attention, legions speculate,” I wrote. “But ultimately we end up where we started. The only winner is Musk.”

It’s three months later, and we are, in so many ways, back where we started. Musk is trying to pull out of the deal, arguing through his lawyers that Twitter is not being cooperative and that he believes the platform is not being honest about the number of bots and spam accounts. If you’re interested in the particulars of Musk’s justifications and what the legal battle between Twitter and Musk might look like, you can read more at length about it here. But I’d like to talk about Elon Musk’s obsession with bots and how it actually illustrates the ways he is an extremely shallow thinker when it comes to online dynamics.

In short, Elon’s bot obsession is like Facebook-addled Boomer behavior.

Musk’s bot excuse is obvious bullshit…

Yep. And it will probably cost him more than the $1B breakup fee.

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