Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A Bad Idea

You know, not every idea can be a gem. Even the best and brightest among us comes up with a clunker now and then. Prince wrote "Manic Monday." Steven Bochco did "Cop Rock." Michael Jordan tried to play baseball for a living. So it shouldn't be too surprising that even our generation's Edison, Elon Musk, came up with this brilliant idea:

Oh, the public! Oh yes, let's have the public "rate the core truth" of what they read in the news media. What a great idea! Let's have the people who scream "FAKE NEWS!" every time they don't like something be the judges of the "core truth" of what professional journalists write. I mean, it's not like there was a publication like, say, the Columbia Journalism Review,  or organizations like F.A.I.R. that have actual knowledgeable informed individuals analyzing news coverage. No, this sort of thing is best left to the people that forwarded you that e-mail about Obama being a gay Muslim fascist..

Now I don't know what Elon Musk's politics are. And I certainly don't care enough to find out, but this bullshit. . . This is the kind of bullshit false choice that the right always tries to force people into. Like "Are you in favor of invading and occupying Iraq or do you think that Sadam Hussein is so great and you wish you could marry him?" or "Do you want everyone to be able to walk into WalMart with a machine gun whenever they want or do you want to throw the Constitution douwn the toilet?"  I would have thought that a wealthy, successful man like Musk would be above this sort of crap, but I would have thought incorrectly. I would have at least thought there should be an option for "the mainstream media is in pretty bad shape at the moment and the proliferation of falsehoods purporting to be "news" on social media is making things considerably worse, but this is still a really dumb idea.

Ooooh. I get it. You aren't interested in uncovering the truth, or determining which sources or trustworthy. You're just upset that Tesla got some negative press. And you want to be able to discredit any reporters who don't give you the fawning coverage you're used to. Okay, now it all makes sense!

Then it starts to get a little silly.

But you just said that all they care about is how many clicks and how much money they can pull in. Now you say that what they really care about is their credibility? And they define themselves by some credibility score that as yet does not exist and when it does exist will be decided upon by the same people who click on those "One Weird Trick" ads?

Well. . . I mean. He's got a point. when you tweet things like:

You kind of sound sort of exactly like him.

Wow, it's uncanny!
It's like what Oasis was to the Beatles, you are to Twitter Trump.

And that's not really something to aspire to.


Lowell said...

It just gets worse and worse.

The Texas politicos responsible for sale schools tell us we need more exit doors in our school buildings and tanks in the parking lot and cops in riot gear in the classrooms and every kid should be carrying, especially the ones getting bullied on Facebook because with a gun in their backpack they'll feel important again and never think of shooting at the bullies or the cops, or the teachers, or the tanks, or...well, I might be exaggerating a little...but not much.

Elon Musk must have a few little nobbies in his head that connect on occasion, but when are we ever going to learn that rich guys and doctors make the world's worst politicians.


brewella deville said...

My son, being a science guy, is very interested in the rocketry and Tesla electric stuff that Musk is doing. Talking with him one day about the cars, I suggested that Musk would do better to build an electric car version of the early Datsuns and Toyotas, something affordable for the average family instead of fancy, pretty toys for the very rich. I told him Musk reminded me of the guy who built the DeLorean and would probably end up in much the same way, getting into big trouble trying to save his company when it starts to go south. I think we might be witnessing the first phase of that transition, since it's never ends well when someone starts "hinting" at people to question who "owns" the media.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Seems like he's pretty thin-skinned about criticism. Hmmm, just like someone else who also hates the media.

Anonymous said...

Elon is funning you---and maybe causing some introspection.
The give-away is calling the site "Pravda" which may mean truth in Russian but to all us older guys simply meant propaganda!
Elon has a broad enough family background to know what he is doing---but sometimes genius can be a little vague and not drag along the not-so-quick-witted.
An inside joke that played to the wrong audience.

Showonenewreply said...

When Elon actually starts another business that actually turns a profit by actually selling products instead of bullshitting investors I'll give a damn. Maybe.

Professor Chaos said...

I assumed he was joking about calling it Pravda, but then he tweeted that he had acquired the domain "PravDUH.com," so he might not be joking.

Ed said...

"Do you want everyone to be able to walk into WalMart with a machine gun whenever they want or do you want to throw the Constitution douwn the toilet?"
You forgot about, "do you want income redistribution or do you hate the poor?"