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the prospect of elon musk taking over twitter has the left unraveling
because if there is one thing they do not want, it's a free and fair public square
for those who (implausibly) missed this, the internet is in full melt down today over elon musk making a bid to buy the entirety of twitter and take it private. i have not always been a musk fan, but i will say this for senor muskrat: the man is not afraid to take just massive, outlandish swings at things, and, as odd as i find it to be saying this, he may be just what twitter, the american agora, and modern politics needs.
and this is why the left has lost their minds. if nothing else, elon’s power move has elicited every one of them to not just speak but shriek the quiet part out loud. they are showing their true colors in dazzling 8k resolution. and it is glorious.
the. fear. is. palpable.
and it should be. because this could be the end for the way of life on which an entire politico/social tribe has become dependent. “free and fair public discourse in a marketplace of ideas” is their kryptonite. it will destroy them.
having those who disagree be allowed to speak without down moderation and “message shaping” and without the self-censorship that comes from the constant terror of deplatforming (and it’s evil twin, decatforming) if the bullying bluebird’s increasingly heavy handed censors take a dislike to you will be the end for them.
not only will they have to compete fairly in a market of ideas, but those who wish to speak against them will finally get a voice that can be heard rather than suppressed.
the simple evidence of the true size of groups and movements will finally become visible. the wokesters of lunatic loserdom are not a large group. they only appear that way. this deception is achieved by media control, selective amplification, selective suppression, and top down dialogue shaping about what is allowed to trend and who gets shadowbanned, down moderated, and outright ousted.
the reality is stunningly different that the output of abusive avian algorithms and the wokesters and lathered leftists know it.
an whoo doggie do they not want you to see it.
let’s take a quick tour of some of their takes today.
“democracy dies without censorship.” could there be a better mantra to reveal the utter bankruptcy of one’s ideas, ideals, and interactions?
well, actually, yes. it would seem there can be.
not to be outdone, this fragile flower of academia demands that “punch no punchbacks” be the law of the land such that he may avoid being knocked down by the more precocious children. not only does “stay in your lane elon” constitute some kind of world record for impotent imprecation, but this whole line of reasoning is outright self mockery.
longstanding gatopal™ elon bachman nails this:
because, let’s face it, of all the logical fallacies, appeal to not only authority, but one’s own authority is perhaps the purest expression of coddled vanity.
and, oh my godwin, they went right for “tHiS wILL MaKe tWiTTer NaZI!”
i mean, sure, if you live in a world where you consider hugo chavez a right centrist, it might look like this, but such fanatical flights of fancy struggle to survive contact with the rudiments of reality. i wonder if he even knows the NAZIs were the “national socialist german workers party”? perhaps he missed that day of clown college?
apparently, a lot of people missed that day.
though for sheer melodrama, this will be tough to beat:
the media are terrified.
and these dying mastheads desperate to cling to societal stature have finally run their true flags up the mast.
this would signal the death of their monopoly on ideology and complete their journey to utter irrelevance.
this is not the last tango in weimar, this is a cosseted clerisy quaking in their misbegotten boots as they see a freight train of “actual reality” bearing down on them to topple their ivory towers by making everyone’s soap box the same height.
so how did this happen? it happened because the media has become so rigged and rancid that no one can stand it anymore. they can control the message, but only at the cost of widening this perception. change is coming.
the menacing muskrat may be an unlikely avenging angel, but i suspect i can see the arc of the origin story. he has certainly not always been a fan of free speech on twitter. he was ruthless and relentless with the tesla critics back in the day when his car company was teetering on the edge of solvency and was touch and go on being one of the most dramatic bankruptcies in american history. but he pulled it off. and now he is secure in his perch and can revert to his actual predilutions and preferences.
ironically enough, this was my pinned tweet back in the bluebird days:
it was one of the few things i agreed with him about back then.
then, 2020 came and elon bucked the orthodoxy and came out against covid restrictions and the cavalcades of californian performative stupidity. and twitter turned on its golden boy. and i think elon got red pilled. i think he got a good look at just how nastily dishonest the platform had become and how rigged the game was. he’d never had it pointed at him before. and i think it pissed him off. and angry elon is not afraid to pull a few tails and knock things down.
i was not an elon fan, but the last 2 years have been a time of bewildering alterations in bedfellows. his genuine pleasure in upsetting applecarts and pissing off the pompous and false bureaucratic bloviators has been a joy to watch.
i admit it, i’ve been swayed. i am rooting for musk.
this is what billionaires are supposed to be like. not toadies, not co-conspirators in the scam, but stroppy, iconoclastic proponents of progress. and a free and open public square for america is progress and this “well, i don’t like what you did so i’m going to go buy or build one and do it properly” is the beating heart of the american ethos.
my only concern in all this is that “fixing twitter” allows it to remain as a walled garden. and walled gardens of discourse are the awkward adolescence of the internet. their foundations lie in permission, not self-sufficiency. i wrote about this in my seminal substack.
but the jump from the current world to a truly peer to peer version is a very difficult one and it’s one that would be a helluva lot easier of you could take one of the current centers of network effect value and use it as a base from which to build, especially if you, oh, i dunno, owned your own satellite based internet service and your own rockets to launch more. see, now THAT starts to look like synergy. it also sounds like things that both he and jack have spoken about. and elon and jack are old pals.
it also sounds like independence and like a helluva way to start to transition the public square to precincts outside of governance. what a legacy to leave THAT would be.
and perhaps the actual vision set out once upon a time by jack could be realized.
jack takes a lot of heat for what happened to twitter, and he certainly deserves some, but i also think he’s upset about it. he got run over. it wasn’t his company or his call. and he got forced out and since his ouster, the bluebird has rapidly gone rabid in pursuit of ideological purges. i have lost count of my friends who have been booted. taking it private and reverting to old ideals could be the way to get to the real p2p prize later. i think they see that and i’m willing to believe them and believe in them. maybe i’m just getting brain addled and losing my cynicism, but i think this move is being made out of genuine desire to pursue the ideal of the open agora. (and yeah, they’ll likely mint money doing it. this system would THRIVE.)
so what happens now?
well, musk made a bid. in cash.
the board is going to have an emergency all hands meeting today.
i expect they will do everything in their power to reject this. they are ideologues and they are mostly gonna get fired and the employees are in apoplexy. they don’t want to give up the power. but they also the board of a public company and owe absolute fiduciary duty to the shareholders who are not going to get a better offer unless twitter can find some kind of white knight, and that’s almost certainly gonna be a stock deal.
but if they say no, then the company will be in serious play. elon is already filed as a 13d activist. he can form a group.
the holder base is quite concentrated and management owns basically nothing.
vanguard is 10.3%, musk 9.15, morgan stanley 8.1, blackrock 6.5, state st 4.6, aristotle 2.5, jack is 2.3, ark 2.2, fmr 2.1, and clearbridge 2.1. no one else is over 2%, but it’s 81% institutional.
i would suspect that vanguard and MS and SS will all support “pay me.”
add in elon and jack and you’re at about 35%. if blackrock joins, this is basically over. they call a meeting and either have shareholders ratify the deal or elect a board who will.
i suspect the small institutional holders will overwhelming break for the deal, esp in this tape. a cash windfall like that is hard to turn down.
unless the board can pry vanguard or morgan stanley loosed to support them and their vision, they’ll be under A LOT of pressure to accept. (or to squeal to the SEC or anti trust to block this which seems a likely outcome. i see few other solid plays for them and the brandon administration is likely to oblige if it can. they want unfettered debate ahead of this election like vampires want a tanning bed….)
i suspect they will try to play for time and take a long weekend to try to get a coalition built or a regulator captured.
will make for an interesting easter.
and sure, there are risks here, but consider the alternative.
this looks like a step in the right direction and, win or lose, this is going to shake the jar and make a LOT of the fun bugs come out to fight.