Elon Musk is a total disappointment

posted by Jeff | Thursday, December 15, 2022, 10:01 PM | comments: 0

I looked up to Elon Musk mostly for two reasons. First he was (is?) totally committed to the idea of sustainable energy and transportation, which is a key issue in solving the climate crisis. Second, he wanted to revolutionize space travel through the use of reusable spacecraft, in the face of a more than a half-century of disposable vehicles and no real progress toward making humanity an interplanetary species. These are lofty and important goals, even if they're not politically convenient in light of our often science-averse politics.

But then he bought Twitter.

At the time, his bizarre stance on free speech absolutism, which isn't even logical since the concept of free speech is one of government regulation and not of private platforms like Twitter, clearly had no regard to the impact of random dissemination of bullshit. I mean, I could see on the surface how that would be important logically, but an introspective and thoughtful person would also see how that doesn't really work when your platform's survival depends on advertising.

As a fellow autistic person, I want to see Elon succeed. I do think that "my people" often have perspectives that rise above the partisan and illogical nonsense of our time. And while I believe that it's hard for him to really screw up the sustainable energy and transportation story, he's endangering that legacy with his bizarre behavior over Twitter. Today he permanently suspended Twitter accounts on the part of bona fide journalists who have been critical of him, without explanation. His free speech absolutism, as it turns out, has limits, and they're not OK.

The fact that I can make this statement on a platform that I wholly own should be reason enough to understand why this anti-free speech wrapped in a fake pro-free speech approach is doomed to fail. Elon's world view at the moment is predicated on the idea that Twitter is essential and he's the arbiter of truth. He/it is not. And as a business, it is destined to fail if advertisers continue to bail.

My bigger fear though is that all of the good things that he's managed to accomplish via SpaceX and Tesla are now at risk because of this nonsense. Those companies employ thousands of people who are legitimately changing the world. The auto industry incumbents who are all-in on EV's will eat his lunch. As long as he continues to lead his companies while exhibiting this behavior, that legacy is at risk.


No comments yet.

Post your comment: