I’ve written a lot about Twitter, mostly on Twitter, but aside from a few quips have mostly stayed away from the latest drama, in large part from sheer exhaustion. I’m tired of the way the last epoch of tech has turned out and tired of the way the next epoch is insisting on refusing to learn anything from the obvious failures of the last.
My friend Mike Davidson does a better job of navigating these rough waters than I do and has written an incisive post on what worries him about the coming change in ownership. Much like Mike, I find Musk grating and in many ways a personification of so much that’s wrong with the state of the world — from gross inequality to toxic fandom to cavalier boorishness — while even I have to admit the guy really did pull the entire global automotive industry into the future by at least half a decade.
Here’s Mike on the biggest issue with Musk at the helm:
The word I keep coming back to with all of this stuff is “callous”. There is a callousness to Elon Musk that shows up in almost everything he does. The strange part is, his fans seem to actually love this callousness, while his detractors hate it.
The thing is though, if there is ONE quality Twitter — the company and the service — does not need more of it’s callousness.
Over the years I’ve had plenty of friendly debates with Mike about Twitter, where he led design for several years, and the tech industry broadly. We agree to disagree on much of it, he’s spot on here, though — the very last thing Twitter needs is to be controlled by someone as plainly disinterested in the vagaries of humanity as Elon Musk.