What meritocracy?

Elon Musk is doing a fine job of wrecking the reputation (what there was of it) of rich people. Here’s his idea of a clever joke.

Juvenile. Stupid. He bought this thing for $44 billion, and now he spends all his time mocking it and literally deprecating it. He threw away over $20 billion so far, and is determined to destroy all the rest.

Worse is what he’s doing to Matt Taibbi. I don’t much care for Taibbi — he’s also juvenile and gullible — but he was defending Musk, incompetently, and was paid by Musk to fire off that damp squib called the “Twitter Files,” but now Musk is cutting off Substack, where Taibbi makes his money, and has gone so far as to ‘shadow ban’ Taibbi on Twitter.

Musk is a petty 3 year old child. I browsed his Twitter feed to see what’s going on in his brain, and even his deep thoughts are shallow and trivial. Like this one:

Wait, what? Your left arm is the same age as your right, and the two are genetically identical, and typically have similar environmental exposure. How is this an example of precision? How does this tell us that aging can be fixed?

Although…I did once meet a man, a truck driver, whose left arm was ruddy, scaly, and weathered, while his right was pale and smooth. He liked driving with the side window down, and his left arm resting on the door. I guess I’ve cured aging, then — simply stay out of the sun.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Senescent cells cause inflammation and harm to the cells around them. Ageong is apparently a process not just of individual cells, but of whole communities.

  2. F.O. says

    Musk is desperately trying to stay relevant, keep his brand (and therefore Twitter) up, but at this point I would imagine that more and more people will get the impression that he’s scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    Meritocracy is and always has been only a way to legitimize power.

  3. Reginald Selkirk says

    @4: “Tommy John surgery” is an occupational hazard of baseball pitchers, affecting only their throwing arm.

  4. says

    Could somebody fill me in on what the “w” in Twitter has to do with anything? Is there some reason (in Musk’s mind) that it needs to be removed? It there something special about “titter” (aside from adolescent “humor”), but why would that be important?

  5. sqlrob says


    (aside from adolescent “humor”)

    Nope, that’s it, that’s the reason. He also changed his name to “Hally Bolz”

  6. chrislawson says

    Every now and then I have a fleeting thought that Musk isn’t an actual idiot, just a wealthy narcissist with no self-awareness. Then he says we can fix aging because our arms senesce at the same rate, reminding me that he really is an idiot.

  7. raven says

    Twitter has also been overrrun by Russian and Chinese government trolls. Musk like a true Darksider is one of the few westerners to favor Russia during their attempted Ukrainian genocide.

    Best case for Twitter is that Musk runs it into the ground.
    And, then someone buys the remains for not much money and fixes it.
    Fixing Twitter will be easy.
    Twitter’s main problem is the guy who owns it.


    Tumblr has struggled to monetize for its entire existence. Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo (TechCrunch’s parent company) for $1 billion in 2013, but when it sold again to Automattic in 2019, it was worth just $3 million.Nov 10, 2022

    When these social media websites fail, they can fail big time.

    Tumblr was sold to Yahoo for $1.1. billion and last sold for $3.3 million.

  8. chrislawson says

    As for Taibbi, he can rot in obscurity. But wiping all trace of Taibbi’s archived tweets? What a shining example set by the free speech paladin.

  9. jo1storm says

    Reminds me of “Only fools and horses” Christmas episode and joke. When Del Boy says to his brother Rodney that next year they’ll be millionaires (tv series was recorded in 1980s and 1990s) and they’ll have their own business building with initials of their company “Trotter Independent Traders” written on it and they’ll stand on the top of the building and drink champagne while the people bellow look up and point at them…

    Rodney: Of course they’ll look and point at two idiots standing on the building that has “TIT” written on it in giant glowing red letters!

  10. says

    Elon’s sense of “humor” strikes me as that of a man with no personality or understanding of the nuances of human interaction trying to imitate the behavior of others around him. He couldn’t even get off a simple that’s what she said joke, which I think any half-bright nine-year-old could pull off no problem.
    He’s a boob.

  11. raven says

    Elon’s sense of “humor” strikes me as that of a man with no personality or understanding of the nuances of human interaction trying to imitate the behavior of others around him.


    We just found out where Microsoft got their model for their ChatGPT AI.
    I knew Musk was good for something.

  12. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    Sounds like he’s saying, “Aging is caused only by signalling, at a single global rate negotiated to consensus by all cells, of all tissue types. Jam that presumed signal and aging stops.”?

    Like how Twitters’ users collectively form an increasingly negative opinion of Musk, as he tries to distract them from talking about his failures and abuses.

  13. tacitus says

    Titter ye not!

    (I guess only Brits of a certain age will get that one…)

    I got it!

    That certain age must be around 60 by now. We used to live next door to the parents of a friend of Frankie Howerd’s and my parents spent a quiet New Year’s Eve in his company one time. He was a charming man, apparently. I was too young to be invited unfortunately.

  14. wzrd1 says

    What amazes me is that the SEC has only repeatedly warned him about blatant stock manipulation via Twitter and still refuses to do their duty.
    Which then makes me wonder why we’re still funding the entire organization, rather than firing the leadership that refuses to do their jobs and replace them with people who will.
    Then, he’d get the shit fined out of him several times per year and either learn to STFU or go bankrupt, either of which is fine by me.

  15. drew says

    Taibbi is a journalist. His job is to uncover and present facts.

    Strange as it must seem to a university professor, he tries not to put politics into everything he presents.

  16. sqlrob says



    blockquote>Strange as it must seem to a university professor, he tries not to put politics into everything he presents.

    Hey everybody, I found the person that didn’t read the Twitter Files with a critical eye.

  17. johnnyvector says

    Elon, Tesla was a real revelation
    Welcome to the future, we’re running a corporation.
    Would you like to join us,
    Or grow bitter
    Doing whatever the hell you’re doing there at Twitter?

  18. sherlock says

    Oddly enough, Musk is wrong. Hold your left hand in front of your left eye, about a foot away. Now, while holding your left hand there, put your right hand in front of your right eye, about 2.5 feet away. Because light has a speed, and the light reflecting off of your right hand took a bit (a very little bit, but a bit nevertheless) longer to reach your eyes than the light reflected off your left hand, the left hand that you are seeing is older than the right hand you are simutaneously seeing. One frequently sees someone with an old left arm and a young right arm even thought both of those arms may be the same age for all practical purposes.

  19. moarscienceplz says

    Anybody who has seen a middle-aged farmer with his shirt off knows about sun-damaged skin.

  20. StevoR says

    Two words Red necks.

    Origin of term.

    Also Musk. What a douchecanoe and how pathetic can he .. yeah Elon, don’t answer that or take it as a challenge..

    I do hope Musk doesn’t kill SpaceX or Tesla. I think he’s gotten worse. I do gather from recently broadcast doco ( The Elon Musk Show ) that he had a really abusive and abnormal childhood – NOT that that’s any excuse or makes what he’s doing ok. Just context. Seems like he’s been increasingly radicalised given where he started and where he is now?

    It also looks more and more like he is being used to destroy Twitter either by his own choice or by others. If it isn’t his personal desire to drive twitter into the ground leaving just a smoking crater then I wonder if he knows that’s what he’s doing and why?

  21. birgerjohansson says

    When I read about billionaries, I hope one will turn out to be as strangely brilliant as Hubertus Bigend, thr character in William Gibson’s Blue Ant trilogy.
    Or at least a goddamn Bond villain.

    Instead, they turn out to be creepy-crawlies like Trump, Musk or Bezos.

  22. CompulsoryAccount7746, Sky Captain says

    @StevoR #27:
    Looks like your link was malformed.
    Trailer: BBC – The Elon Musk Show
    Aired 2022-10-12 (lol simpler times). Trailer didn’t offer much.
    Article: Guardian Review

    His mother, Maye Musk, talks up her boy’s mathematical aptitude, but it is hard to heed her […] He is a grafter who won’t accept failure, not a visionary.

    Musk is a poster boy for aspirational capitalism, the success story that could, on a less favourable dice roll, have joined the countless entrepreneurial mavericks who have fallen back to Earth. The programme’s darkest notes come from former senior employees […] a man on a mission, who is intimidating and overbearing, and, ultimately, likely to use you up and chuck you out.
    What those billions do to Musk, an already kooky man granted disorienting power, is where it potentially gets interesting. Before that point, at least as The Elon Musk Show tells it, Musk is unremarkable.

    Article: NewStatesman Review

    Musk is the richest man who ever lived and yet, famously, he doesn’t own a house. He has ten children, one of whom is called “X Æ A-XII,” or X for short (a brother to “Exa Dark Sideræl Musk”, AKA, Y). […] Put aside his ambition, daring and Stakhanovite work ethic, and there’s something disturbingly boyish about Musk: the sense of a clock stopped at the age of 15. [Subheading says “overgrown toddler”]
    you begin to feel […] that his success is almost accidental: an expensive fluke. You wonder if his entire empire will one day crash around him […] It is all so… unfathomable.
    Mohamed’s films may not tell us all that we want to know about Musk, but about a certain kind of entrepreneurship in the 21st century, they are encyclopaedic: a dictionary of moneyed nothingness that fascinates and alarms in almost equal measure.

  23. ealloc says

    Taibbi wasn’t paid by Musk (as stated in the op). Taibbi did conspicuously avoid criticizing Musk, and praised him as a defender of free speech (hah!). But that seems to be of his own free will, not due to direct financial relationship.

  24. Steve Morrison says

    Well, Musk just made me titter. Doesn’t he even know what the word means?

  25. wzrd1 says

    Given Musk’s less self aware than a titmouse, I suspect he’s utterly unaware of the meaning of the word titter.
    Even money, he thinks it means something about mammaries.

  26. Rich Woods says

    @tacitus #20:

    That certain age must be around 60 by now.

    Yup. No escaping it. Thanks for the reminder…

  27. macallan says

    I guess I’ve cured aging, then — simply stay out of the sun.

    Well, that means I’m probably going to live forever.

  28. says

    @birgerjohansson: I’ve never heard of the Blue Ant Trilogy. Is Hubertus Bigend the same zillionaire who appears in “Count Zero?” The guy who can only talk to people through holographic projections or other telecoms because he’s stuck inside three boxcars worth of machines keeping his old ass alive?

  29. yaque says

    [delurk] I just watched “Don’t Look Up”.
    Whoo, boy, the “Toxic Billionaire” / Elon Musk character is so creeeepy …

    Spoiler alert! You can imagine how badly he fucks everything up. [relurk]

  30. birgerjohansson says

    Raging Bee @ 35
    No, that was another (Swedish) billionaire.

    The later Blue Ant trilogy contains “Pattern Recognition” and “Zero History”, I forget book # 2.
    Recommended, Gibson is spot on about the post- 9/11 society with surveillance, paranoia and weapon fetischism.
    And national governments playing second fiddle to big corporations, but we have been there for a long time.
    “Zero History” provides a glimpse of pre-Brexit Britain, making me feel nostalgic.