Comstock Rewind...Elon Musk is Smarter Than You
A white knight rides to the rescue!
The Plant has seen nice growth over the past couple of months; not enough for me to retire yet, but thank you all, nonetheless.
And since it would shame to deprive all the new Plant subscribers of my past greatness, I figured now is a good time to republish some of my personal favorite articles that didn’t get the attention they deserved.
Enjoy this one from last November, just after Elon took over Twitter.
I dedicate this to all the Elon haters out there:
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is considered by many to be the greatest writer in history. From Crime & Punishment to The Idiot to The Brothers Karamazov, his genius is unquestioned. Now let’s imagine that old Fyodor was hired to write a menu for a restaurant. Not only would that be easy for him, but it is also far beneath him to write something so mundane. But wait just a second there; he is rewriting this menu for the favorite local establishment. All the bigwigs eat there, the mayor, the owner of the local theater, the editor of the town’s newspaper, and everyone’s favorite babushka, who leaves her delicious, homemade rugelach out for the local children. However, business at the restaurant has hit hard times, and the owner asked his good buddy Fyodor to freshen up the menu a bit. So he does, but he and the owner both forget one thing…people hate change. The restaurant’s business must be fine because they’ve been eating there, so that must be good enough! And now, to the locals, Dostoyevsky is a hack! All his great novels must have been flukes because look how badly he screwed up this simple menu that was working so well…for them. Bah. Throw this fraud out with the trash!
Now, let’s think about what Elon Musk is doing with Twitter.
Let me state what I’ll call the Musk Theorem. It goes something like this - Elon Musk knows more about how a technology business operates than you do, period, end of theorem. Aside from maybe three or four people on earth (who are likely not reading this), this is undeniably true. I don’t care that you went to Harvard, worked at McKinsey, vacation in the south of France, and snort lines of caviar off models’ tits while sailing on 200-foot yachts off the coast of Mallorca. Musk is the most successful entrepreneur in modern history. He brought the world mass adoption of online payments (Paypal), electric cars (Tesla), and satellite internet access (Starlink) and reinvigorated the space industry (SpaceX). Not to mention building a company that drills transportation tunnels and makes a freaking flamethrower (The Boring Company). So yeah, Musk knows better than you; deal with it. The funny thing is that nearly everyone agreed with this sentiment until the end of October…then he bought Twitter, and now the guy is not qualified to run one of those ice cream pushcarts on South Beach.
Throughout his tenure, people from both political sides have been bitching and moaning about the decisions he’s been making. “How dare you make me pay for my blue checkmark and make it available to the prols,” declared the Liberal beau-monde! “Ha, you see, it blew up in your face because people are impersonating you! You stupid little pleb! We knew it all along.” On the other side, it’s been, “Gee Elon, Mr. big, tough, free speech guy. You’ve owned the company for fifteen minutes now; why haven’t you allowed all the permabans back on the site? Guess you don’t REALLY care about free speech…Stalin!” Of course, now any number of previously banned accounts, The Babylon Bee, Jordon Peterson, and yes, by popular vote, Donald Trump..but it wasn’t FAST ENOUGH, you see.
Both sides are annoying AF! Before moving on, please review the Musk Theorem. Ok, let’s continue.
Maybe, just maybe, he is doing what he’s doing because a) he knows better than you, and b) he knows more than you. Ever considered that you conceited little prick? Everyone has been coming up with their theories about why he purchased the company, how he is driving into the ground, etc., and most of them are not just stupid, but the stupid that makes Lenny from Of Mice and Men say, “George, I’m not THAT dumb, am I?”
There have been dozens of these tired articles written over the past few weeks that I could pick on, but one stood out as the most devout worshiper at the stupidity tabernacle. I introduce you to Hamilton Nolan and his article from The Guardian, Elon Musk’s Twitter is going to be a Disaster. Mind you, this was written on October 28th, a day or two after Musk completed Twitter’s purchase. Talk about burying the body before it’s cold.
In truth, Musk probably bought Twitter for the same reason that sickeningly rich people throughout history have become press barons: to try to control the conversation. About themselves, in particular, and secondly about their own economic interests, and thirdly about their own inevitably selfish, bizarre, half-witted political beliefs.
But Musk was already on Twitter, Tweeted constantly, and was one of the accounts most engaged with on the platform. The only sense this logic could make is if Musk thought Twitter was going to ban him. Even then, is he going to pay $44B not to get banned from Twitter? This is the kind of stupid I am talking about. But let’s read more from Lord Nolan.
Elon Musk is, ironically, the exact type of person for whom Twitter is poison. Wealthy, powerful, and celebrated, he could have kept his mouth shut and let his work speak for itself; instead, he uses Twitter and reveals to all of us that the richest man in the richest nation in the history of the world is an unfunny meme guy easily seduced by the same sorts of ideas that grab the minds of Reddit-scrolling 13-year-old boys.
I’ll let all this go except for the unfunny part. I present to you exhibit a) AOC tweeted the below after Musk fired a shit ton of their useless employees (we’ll get to that later). Elon decided to tell AOC he appreciated her words of support.
Say what you want, but that is pretty God Damn funny.
In a message to advertisers posted the day the sale closed, Musk wrote that “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.” OK. Sure. Forty-four billion dollars seems like a lot to pay for the right to grandly reinstate @NaziAnime666’s right to post gifs about Pizzagate or whatever, but a fool and his money are soon parted and all that [emphasis added].
I don’t know if Hamilton is married, but holy shit, his significant other must have Andre the Giant-sized hands to be able to cup what he’s got going on in his ball sack. Imagine the level of narcissism it takes to call Elon Musk a fool.
Later in his well-informed and thought-through screed, Nolan admits he really hates Musk because Musk doesn’t like unions, and he encourages Twitter to unionize. Great advice Nolan. I’m sure all your Tourette’s like insights are big hits at your AOC-stanning microbrewery meet-ups. So this is the level of thought we are dealing with here. Not the brightest shining stars in the universe. Maybe more like a white dwarf or a neutron star? I’ll leave that to the astronomer, guys.
Give me a share, good people. I’m slaving away here for you…
As we move into more recent events, the reason du jour Musk is not just a fool but a rotten, no-good, booger-eating, poppy pants fool is because he is firing Twitter employees. It’s one thing to take away people’s blue checkmarks, but to expel their Liberal compatriots who have stormed the gates of their favorite mental illness-exposing platform is a bridge too far. People are actually arguing that Musk is a fraud in his free speech stance because he fired employees who publicly criticized him on Twitter. Apparently, it is news to a large swath of Americans that the first amendment does not ensure you get to retain your job after calling your boss a dumb shit in public.
As an example, I want to give you all a multiple-choice test: Let’s say a guy just purchased the company you work for; let’s call him Balloon Tusk. And Mr. Tusk tweets this:
Now, you’ve been working assiduously on solving this problem, and you think Mr. Tusk is being unfair. So, you can:
a) Act like a housebroken adult and calmly reach out to Mr. Tusk through internal systems, to have a 1:1 discussion with him to better understand his perspective. From there, you can determine whether he’s missed something or has a point and then work together to figure out how to fix the problem. Then solve the problem, and prove your value to your new boss.
b) Ignore it. You haven’t done shit for work over the past five years, and it’s better to hide in the hopes that other people take the fall for you.
c) Act like someone who has never interacted with adults before, has no instincts about human nature, doesn’t understand power dynamics, and decides to prove all these things to the entire world.
Let’s see which one Mr. Eric Frohnhoefer chose:
Option c is it! But hey, it only has 144k likes, so I’m sure Mr. Tusk won’t notice, right? But as Scooby-Doo would say, “ruh, roh, Shaggy.”
Is Eric right? Maybe, I have no clue. But kids, here’s a tip from someone who’s been around, having a public pissing contest with your boss is never a good idea and never one you’re going to win. Well, at least it’s only Balloon Musk, right?
Hold on! Unfortunately for you, Eric, your boss is the wealthiest man in the world and the greatest tech entrepreneur in history. You REALLY fucked up. Excellent work nuking your career, in any case. Sucks to be you. I’d tell you to “learn to code,” but that hasn’t worked well for you. So maybe learn to dog walk?
Now people are claiming that Twitter won’t work anymore because he’s fired all the people who keep it alive or some shit like that. Did I miss the point where Twitter became a hamster wheel, and the only way to make it work is to have enough hamsters chasing the cheese (or whatever hamsters chase) to make the wheely thing go around and around? Is Twitter one of those pirate ships where people had to push that big wheel thing to make it go (I’m not a sailor, in case you haven’t noticed)?
Is there any point at which these people think, “you know, maybe this isn’t own, I think it is, and I should hold off here because it may boomerang on me and prove the depths to which my stupidity falls?” Nope, they just happily jazzercise down the self-own road.
I’m sure you’ve read to this point and thought…wow Gordon, along with being handsome, you’re also witty, well-read, and wicked smaht (Boston accent coming at ya)! That is mostly true, I admit, but I’m not that smart. However, I am smart enough to know one thing, Elon Musk knows how to run a tech business better than I do. Obviously, he’ll make mistakes along the way. Why do you think great artists sketch before painting? So they can make temporary mistakes early in the process before moving forward to the permanent thing. But in tech, nothing is ever permanent, so making mistakes is of even less significance here. Mind you, these aren’t mistakes building cars or rockets…these are mistakes on a shit-posting social media network. Could the consequences of errors possibly be any lower?
Maybe reinstating your favorite meme’er wasn’t his top priority if the company was borderline bankrupt? Maybe keeping make-work jobs for people with useless college degrees isn’t how a serious business runs? Just maybe…
So take my advice, shut your traps, watch the master work, and let Dostoyevsky write the new menu.