The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Part III Of My Interview: Twitter and Reasons For Hope

Last of three parts.

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The Decline Of Facebook (Meta)


  1. Ché Pasa

    Never been a fan of Musk or Twitter, but some of the narrative being promoted by Musk and others about Twitter “censorship” is just ludicrous. Was he born yesterday?

    The conflation of Twitter with “Teh Medja” is just the start. Twitter has a function of getting mostly mainstream news headlines out quickly and broadly but Twitter does not constitute “The Media” by any stretch of the imagination.

    Nor is it in any way unique that Twitter and government security/intelligence interests are interrelated — as is the case with just about every public facing information outlet and the government. As has been the case for just about ever.

    Musk and his media partners have been promoting this nonsense because it serves his rightist agenda, but it doesn’t have much to do with what’s going on or what we need to know and do something about.

    Let’s accept that media has been actively influencing politics and political campaigns for as long as both have existed. Let us also accept that government and media influence one another for purposes of their own. Ordinarily, government in the United States does not directly censor media reporting and stories. Doesn’t have to. Mutual influence and mutual interest are generally enough to gain media cooperation as well as governmentpriorities. Government did not order Twitter to censor the all-important Hunter Laptop Story. It has never been censored, and it is not censored now. On the other hand, there are plenty of lies about it serving a range of interests and agendas.

    But we could say that about practically every all-important news story. We usually only find out about the lies many years after the fact. By which time, most have faded into irrelevance.

    Any idea that Twitter — or any equivalent/rival — would not be influenced by its own pecuniary interest as well as the interests of government, whether or not subject to direct censorship, is naive at best. But I don’t think people like Musk or Taibbi are naive.

    There’s something else going on, something the bright, shiny object of “censorship” is obscuring. Will we ever know what?

  2. Trinity

    It is my understanding that Bell Labs took (very good) care of the innovation side of communications, while Ma Bell took care of enabling communication. Ma Bell wasn’t supposed to innovate. The last thing we need is to continue to conflate two very different activities: managing something such as a service (telephones) and the very iterative grunt work needed to develop innovative products or services that are also actually viable. This really only works best when multiple groups are addressing the same problem, and regularly share their work with each other and the public for feedback.

    This may be one of the few positive models that came out of British imperialism, where a well educated (and usually personally wealthy, i.e., financially supported) social class could devote their time to problems that interested them. They were even able to support poor versions of themselves who had the same desire and skills. I’m not advocating for imperialist rule, I’m advocating for supporting worthy research, not focused on profit.

    At my job, we are up to our eyeballs in being called to “innovate” by management, and absolutely no one knows what that looks like, except it has to be digital-technology related, of course. Nor do they seem to realize that building an AI or machine learning system that can actually solve a problem may take a decade or more to build. And that’s only if the problem is tractable, and the problem set is well defined. Given the myriad number of problems that need to be solved, I’d say that problem definition is the real problem.

    The world is still being made in the likeness of SillyCon Valley, so I enjoy hearing that they are also appearing to fail, and therefore exemplifying that the one rule that rules us all is change, and not just “positive” change.

  3. Willy

    There’s gotta be a better name for this pathology. Dunning Kruger God delusion? …to better define when successful smoke and mirrors performers come to believe that they’re doing actual magic.

    Musk was not the founder or inventor of Paypal. It was founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek. Musk was not the founder or inventor of Tesla. It was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Musk did found SpaceX, but surrounded himself with actual geniuses like Tom Mueller. Then he persuaded Joe Rogan to influence the naïve into believing that he himself was the actual “super genius”.

    Hell, I thought Thomas Edison was fairly notorious for taking credit for the creative genius produced by the actual geniuses he’d found to work at Menlo Park, like the actual Tesla. Haven’t we all known guys like that? But I’m unaware that Edison ever became fool enough to publicly disclose his actual self.

    The hope I’m hoping for from social media, is that like Musk, these rich and powerful clowns continue to fail at controlling their egos and reveal themselves as the actual opportunistic carnival barkers which they really are.

    And then more of the budding actual technical geniuses out there will be a bit wiser.

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