Well, that turned me away from Post pretty quick

Most boring logo ever.

As the general exodus from Twitter continues, new alternatives have been springing up. I’m using Mastodon, but I’ve also been seeing some attention paid to another option, an app called Post. I know nothing about it, but I was willing to give it a try, until I read more about where Post comes from. The article was more about a tech journalist, Kara Swisher, who has been a cheerleader for Elon Musk until recently, when she’s been trying to bury her past sycophancy in a memory hole.

Swisher also recently pushed people toward a new social network called “Post,” a site backed by Andreessen Horowitz. You may remember A16Z from last year, when they attempted to pump and dump worthless social network Clubhouse, while also aiding in the direct harassment of Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz (who was at the New York Times at the time). Worse still, on an episode of her Pivot podcast she admitted that she’s an advisor in Post, and that her co-host Scott Galloway is an investor. From what I can see, Swisher was pushing people toward a product – on November 17, and again November 21 – that she would only reveal her involvement with four days later.

Post has recently gained attention for claiming to “allow users to read premium news from multiple publishers,” only to offer you the chance to pay for news that is otherwise free elsewhere. And up until recently, Post had intimated that it was against their Terms of Service to make fun of people for their net worth.

Post cries for a return to civility, where the public squares are not quite as public and the powerful are not quite as criticized. Swisher benefits by being one of the biggest new names on a platform, hedging her bets against Twitter (note: Andreessen Horowitz financed part of the Twitter deal and general partner Sriram Krishnan temporarily helped out Musk in his first days at the company) at the time when it’s most convenient to do so.

It’s also a naked attempt by venture capital to recreate the world in their image, and it proves – as has been proven, as will be proven again – that these people have no idea how normal people act or what they want.

I guess I won’t bother with Post, then. Venture capitalists can get fucked.

Less novel, the article also has a nice rant against Elon Musk.

As I’ve related above, Musk has been an irascible shithead for many years, but his overwhelming clout with the media meant that he could, effectively push through any idea his little mind desired. A flamethrower? Sure. $420 Tequila? Of course. Landing humans on Mars? He said 2022, but everybody was fine with saying “within five years” or “2029.”

Musk has gotten away with a mixture of half-truths and outright lies enough times that he believed that he had the popularity to do anything, another condition afflicted upon those with billions of dollars. When he bought Twitter, I truly think that he believed everybody would be behind him, because up until that point most of the media had been. Kara Swisher gave an interview in May about how smart Elon was. Jessica Lessin of The Information described the acquisition as “like watching a business school case study on how to make money on the internet.” Hell, he was able to con banks and investors into raising $13 billion for him. Musk still had the ability to manipulate the media – and still does, in the sense that he can still get a bunch of stories about literally anything he does – but couldn’t change the reality that he did not have a plan for the website that he tied his entire financial future to.

That’s why he seems so utterly pathetic. Musk may have had no plan, but he also appears to have never considered the eventuality that most people would dislike his choices. For someone supposedly tuned into “the future,” he continually fails to adapt to his changing circumstances, picking and losing fights and taking that as proof that his cause is just rather than his ideas being bad. And now his closest allies are wobbling sycophants like David Sacks, who accidentally ended up on the right side of the antitrust debate in an attempt to kiss up to his boss.

What we are likely seeing is society turning its backs on the ultra-rich, and are beginning to see that being able to spend a lot of money does not make someone smart, right or just. The common narrative of the abusively powerful is that they are victims, and that victimization is key to their narrative – except the last three years have chewed through much of the sympathy that a regular person would have for anyone with a billion dollars. It used to be convenient to kiss up to these people – comfortable, even – but “having a billion dollars” no longer guarantees that someone is worthy of adulation.

Many, but not all, journalists have given Musk a free pass for years — I guess they were seduced by the prospect of access to a person with more money than sanity. The rest of us, including me, saw right through him, but then there wasn’t a chance we’d get any money from him, or even a dinner invitation. I am glad to see his reputation shrivel now, though.


  1. wzrd1 says

    Oh, a chance for dinner with Musk
    What a bizarre way to begin losing weight!
    And about as much fun as gargling drain cleaner.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    And up until recently, Post had intimated that it was against their Terms of Service to make fun of people for their net worth.

    Oddly specific.

  3. ardipithecus says

    I’m getting confused. Is a muskrat someone who does Elon’s dirty work? Or a whistleblower?

    @2 Yeah, and it makes me wonder which would twist their knickers more, ‘robber baron’ or ‘trailer trash’?

  4. dstatton says

    Hard to believe that anyone thinks that Musk’s statement that Apple withdrawing advertising is an attack on freed speech sounded “smart”.

  5. Howard Brazee says

    We see time and time again that when people are told how great they are, they believe what they are told. They think they can get away with anything. They have affairs and become “experts” in everything. Their Achilles heel is when they only listen to “yes men” who parrot what they want to hear.

    The man who’s even richer than Musk is the epitome of that with his war against Ukraine.

  6. whywhywhy says

    After watching the uber wealthy, I have decided that I don’t want to be rich. This is a goal that I feel that I can achieve.

  7. raven says

    Musk is simply a horrible person and making it obvious to everyone.

    His latest is war profiteering in Ukraine.
    He keeps raising the prices of his Starlink terminals and subscriptions but only in Ukraine and now only when their electrical grid is under relentless Russian attack.

    Instead of helping the most vulnerable, Musk is price gouging them!!!

    BTW, SpaceX and Musk are heavily subsidized already by the US Federal government. SpaceX rockets are launched from Vandenberg AFB and Cape Canaveral.
    The Federal government is a main customer.
    You don’t think those rockets are launched from Musk’s backyard.

    Starlink prices in Ukraine nearly double as mobile networks falter

    Starlink prices in Ukraine nearly double as mobile networks falter
    Russian assault on electricity grid drives Starlink prices up.
    ars technica

    The list prices of Starlink communications devices have nearly doubled in Ukraine, as mobile networks have started failing under Russia’s assault on the country’s electricity grid and increased demand for the SpaceX-manufactured satellite communication device.

    Starlink terminals, which are made by Elon Musk-owned SpaceX, will increase in price to $700 for new Ukrainian consumers, according to the company’s website. This represents a rise from about $385 earlier this year, screenshots of past pricing data shared by users inside the country show.

    The consumer cost of the monthly subscription to Starlink has fluctuated recently, dropping from about $100 to $60 on Ukraine’s Independence day on August 24 to “reflect local market conditions,” and will now rise to $75.

    Prices have also soared in neighboring Poland, where many Ukrainians source Starlink to avoid problems with domestic mail delivery, but remained the same in Slovakia and most other European countries.

    Musk did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The small portable devices, which connect to satellites via a book-sized antenna, have provided crucial Internet connectivity to the Ukrainian military and civilians in areas with little to no mobile phone networks or broadband coverage.

    It is unclear if the prices have also changed for the Ukrainian government, which uses a mix of Starlink from various donors, including Musk’s SpaceX, the Polish government, Nato allies, and crowdsourced supporters.

    In separate, ongoing negotiations between SpaceX and the US Department of Defense, SpaceX had as recently as October asked Washington to pay $4,500 a month for each terminal intended for Ukraine, a person familiar with the situation said. A Pentagon spokesman said the department has been in contact with SpaceX about Starlink but declined to detail the discussions. He said the US and Ukraine have identified satellite communications as a critical capability on the battlefield.

    Musk turned on connectivity for the satellite-based service within Ukraine days after Russia launched its full-blown invasion on February 24, responding on Twitter to a request by a Ukrainian minister.

    Since then, Ukrainian military has used Starlink extensively along the frontline, where months of battles have rendered mobile networks unreliable, using vast amounts of high-speed data to communicate with each other and with their bases and to transmit high-resolution drone images.

    The Ukrainian government is planning to purchase thousands of new Starlinks, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said on Tuesday, and will make their imports tax and duty-free.

    Civilians in areas taken back from Russian control also often rely on Starlink while Ukrainian mobile network providers restore services.

    In recent weeks, though, mobile networks in big cities such as Kyiv have also faltered, as Russia has sought to cripple Ukraine’s electricity distribution system.

    Musk has previously complained that the cost to SpaceX of delivering Starlink services to Ukraine could run as high as $100 million by the end of 2022, after the Financial Times reported that the Ukrainian military faced operational problems in October after discovering the devices didn’t work in areas recently liberated from Russian control.

    SpaceX had also asked the US government to pick up the costs of providing the service to the Ukrainian government and military that could run to $400 million over a 12-month period, CNN reported in October. It is unclear what additional costs Musk is referring to, since many users pay SpaceX directly for buying the terminals and a monthly subscription fee.

    Dimko Zhluktenko, a software engineer who runs a charity to fundraise equipment for soldiers, said he had purchased as many as 200 Starlinks in the past to send to the front lines, averaging about $500 for the price of each terminal, a deposit, and the first month’s subscription fee.

    But his most recent fundraising effort, where he was raising $50,000 to buy 100 more, has been derailed by the price increase.

    “This really just affects civilians at the moment—as a Ukrainian doing it for the military, I will pay whatever amount is needed,” said Zhluktenko. He said he was using a Starlink because 4G in his Kyiv neighborhood was down on Tuesday afternoon.

    Demand for Starlink has grown in recent weeks, local retailers said, as a small gray market emerged of people paying as much as $1,125 for immediate delivery of the devices, rather than waiting to source them from Poland or for SpaceX to make the delivery.

  8. raven says

    A month or two ago, I was neutral on Elon Musk.

    A few days of watching him in action on Starlink-Ukraine and Twitter turned that into a strong negative.

    I will never buy anything at all associated with Elon Musk.

    I work hard for my money like almost all of us and my values are important to me. One value is keeping my money away from people like Elon Musk.

  9. says

    What we are likely seeing is society turning its backs on the ultra-rich, and are beginning to see that being able to spend a lot of money does not make someone smart, right or just.

    I totally agree; but I should add that an important part of this turning-away has to be a recognition that the zillionaires who get the most attention, positive or not, all too often serve as distractions for other zillionaires who are doing even more harm to the rest of us with much less noise. Elon Husk is now serving as a Diversionary Clown Prince for his backers in the Twitter buyout, whose agenda keeps on getting eclipsed in the media by his antics. (Notice how NONE OF THEM are complaining about Husk’s money-losing antics? They’re not buying Twitter to improve it.) And he’s also, knowingly or not, serving the same purpose for other plutocrats, such as Peter Thiel, who have, among other things, been quietly financing and guiding reich-wing bigots and anti-democratic election-deniers for some time now.

  10. Reginald Selkirk says

    QAnon Leader Accidentally Outs Self As Statutory Rapist in Lawsuit Against Local Paper

    Phil Godlewski, a Pennsylvania-based QAnon leader with hundreds of thousands of followers on right-wing social platforms like Telegram and Rumbler, sued a local newspaper in 2021 for defamation after the Scranton Times-Tribune mentioned a 2010 indictment against Godlewski for “corruption of a minor” in a profile about him. Now, per a new report from the Daily Beast, Godlewski’s defamation lawsuit has inadvertently exposed the full extent of his disturbing history of grooming and raping a teenage girl, who’s called “B.D.” in court records, over a period of time. More recently, text messages show he pressured a now-adult B.D. to lie about the situation in court…

  11. imback says

    I soured on Musk in 2018 when his idea on how to rescue the Thai cavers was disregarded and he threw a hissy fit at the actual rescuers.

    As far as Swisher goes, we all have judged people wrongly before, so I may accept that sort of thing as long as one can change one’s mind with new evidence. However, not divulging one’s interest up front in a journalism story is a big no-no right off.

  12. Jazzlet says

    imback @12

    It was a it more than a hissy fit, he accused one of the experienced cave dive rescuers of being a paedophile.