Listen to Elon

I’m often critical of Elon Musk. Turned off by his egomania.

Disappointed in his juvenile comments from the bully pulpit of Twitter. One of the richest and most powerful men in the world attacking and mocking people who are unable to fight back.

I’m disappointed that a guy who claims he doesn’t care about money is so reluctant to pay more in taxes though his businesses have received billions of dollars in tax subsidies.

That said, I admire almost everything else. His work ethic. His companies, especially Boring and Starlink.

Elon Musk does much more good for the world than bad. He’s scientific and well aware of the risks of climate change. He calls for a carbon tax. Musk endorsed Andrew Yang and expressed support for his proposed universal basic income.

Though the headlines shout that Elon is a “free speech absolutist”, Musk himself says Twitter must abide by the laws of each nation. I doubt much will change in terms of Twitter policy in Canada or the USA.

In fact, I’m guessing Twitter will be better for me with Musk as owner.

Warren had me watch this recent interview. Elon defends his life and ethics quite well.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

CANCEL me in 2022

If you are irked that I call Donald Trump the fat golfer, please stop following my posts.

After a lifetime study of comparative religion, Joseph Campbell concluded that the best course was to Follow your Bliss. Make a list of those things in your life that you most enjoy; those things that enervate you, compel you; interest you in a sustained way. Do them!

Make a second list of those things that vex your existence. How can you avoid or minimize those? CANCEL them.

When in office I mostly called Trump the toddler President — rash, undisciplined, selfish, spoiled. Out of office fat golfer better sums up my opinion of him in a short, colourful way. Trump is the master of name calling. Since he does it, I feel it’s ethical to reciprocate.

The Ugly American

I believe in freedom of speech. The fat golfer can say whatever he wants on his golf course. BUT not in my home. Not on my blogs. Nor my social media feeds.

I also believe in the freedom to NOT listen to speech.

Since Rush Limbaugh — the Big Fat Idiot — popularized the notion of cancelling people in the 1980s, the word cancelled has become increasingly loaded. And increasingly meaningless.

Though I’m left leaning, I haven’t yet cancelled JK Rowling, Woody Allen, Jordan Peterson and many more. You should if they irritate you enough.

I AM quick to unsubscribe to organizations and people I believe are distributing dangerous and/or unethical content online.

Certainly the American GOP / FOX money making machine picks a new Mr. Potato Head to cancel every day. Gots to keep their mostly old, white supporters angry. (That story was fake news, by the way.)

The best coverage of this issue I’ve heard is on my favourite podcast – Reputation.

Struck From the Record On the Media

This week, the Supreme Court officially struck down Roe v. Wade, overturning fifty years of legal precedent and abortion rights across the country. On this week’s On the Media, hear about the case that almost defined the abortion debate instead. Plus, the Jan 6 committee’s latest bombshell evidence of Trump’s manipulation of the justice department.  1. Alana Casanova-Burgess [@Alanallama], former OTM producer, and Jessica Glenza [@JessicaGlenza], health reporter at the Guardian, look at the case that Ruth Bader Ginsburg wished the Court heard instead of Roe v. Wade. Neil Siegel, a professor of law and political science at Duke University School of Law, puts the Susan Struck v. Secretary of Defense case in context. Dahlia Lithwick [@Dahlialithwick], who writes about the courts at Slate, untangles what the justices actually decided in Roe. Listen. 2. Michael Waldman [@mawaldman], president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, discusses how the January 6 committee's findings could aid a Justice Department indictment. Listen. Music: The Water Rises (Laurie Anderson) – The Kronos QuartetJohn’s Book of Alleged Dances – The Kronos QuartetTateh's Picture Book – Randy NewmanAtlantic City – Randy Newman
  1. Struck From the Record
  2. The 'Country Queers' Who Don't Want to Flee Rural America
  3. The Conspiracy Machine
  4. Alex Jones Doesn't Care About You
  5. Worth a Thousand Words

Why we LOVE Stacey Abrams

If you’re celebrating seeing Donald Trump and the worst of his deplorable followers driven off social media, thank Stacey Abrams.

She devoted years to building the Democratic Party in Georgia. Wrote a book about voter suppression and co-produced an Amazon Prime documentary, “All In: the Fight for Democracy.”

People in the know credit Stacey Abrams for flipping the 2 Senate seats from Republican to Democrat.

NOW the Biden team has control of all 3 branches of government for 2 years.

NOW the Biden team can enthusiastically regulate BIG TECH.

NOW Twitter, Facebook and pretty much every other major platform is banning Trumpy hate speech.

Thanks Stacey.

We have to break-up BIG TECH

Professor Galloway recommends the American government mandates a break-up of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Facebook shareholders would actually make MORE money after the split. And those companies would have a better chance to compete with one another.

Galloway recommends Amazon be split from Amazon Web Services (VIDEO).

He recommends YouTube be split from Google.

MORE COMPETITION is good for the consumer. Good for the economy.

MORE COMPETITION

Elizabeth Warren, for one, is keen to push that legislation. And I agree.

YES. I know governments will do a lousy job. Politicians don’t understand Tech.

But the alternative is even worse. Bezos and Amazon — at this rate — will have too much share of the world’s wealth.

Aggregation Theory postulates that it’s nearly impossible to compete with a company that is able to aggregate a majority of consumers.

How do you launch a company to compete against Amazon, for example.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Zucked by Roger McNamee (2019)

Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe

Roger McNamee was early mentor to Mark Zuckerberg. And an early investor.

A big Facebook promoter.

ZUCKED is McNamee’s intimate reckoning with the catastrophic failure of the head of one of the world’s most powerful companies to face up to the damage he is doing.

I’ve not heard any other critic as astute, nor as fair, as to exactly why Facebook is harming and even killing some of their customers around the world.

As Facebook is unable to police itself, governments should step in.

Would you pay for ad-free Facebook?

I would.

In addition I’d want personal controls over my feed.

As Professor Galloway points out so clearly, it’s the algorithm driving monetization that causes MOST of the problems with Facebook.

Both right and left leaning Americans are convinced that Facebook currently is biased against their beliefs. Both GOP and DEMs want to change Facebook.

Facebook is a private company and can do anything it wants — unless laws are changed. And they will be.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ad-free-facebook.jpeg
Results of one online survey.

Facebook would continue their free service with advertising, of course.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.

Censorship by flood of misinformation

Back in the 1990s I was completely convinced that Google and the internet would make the world a much better place.

If people had more information, they’d be able to make better decisions.

It turned out to be mixed. Smart people make better decisions.

But many are overwhelmed, disinterested and easily confused.

Social Media – Good or Bad?

When the internet — and then social media — got popular I was convinced it would make the world better.

Better informed.

The poor and powerless would have a voice. A blog. A podcast.

Seems I was wrong. 

Social media was supposed to be the ultimate free speech platform, a place where the world would come together to swap information and share opinions. It would be the battleground of ideas. …

Twitter has become a playground for bots and trolls. Facebook is filled with misinformation, a place where foreign governments can set up groups to spread fake news. …

At the same time, users have retreated into their own bubbles. …

Social Media has had its Day