Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

Twitter, in a now rescinded support article:

At both the Tweet level and the account level, we will remove any free promotion of prohibited 3rd-party social media platforms, such as linking out (i.e. using URLs) to any of the below platforms on Twitter, or providing your handle without a URL.

If you were one of the people who thought Elon Musk's acquisition would be anything but an unmitigated disaster from the day news first broke in early 2022, I implore you to use this as an opportunity to pause and reflect. In my mind, no other outcome was ever remotely plausible. Musk was clearly addicted to Twitter the same way someone might be addicted to slot machines. And if a gambling addict were to buy their favorite casino, no one should expect it to go well.

There have been countless signs over the years that Musk's mystique as a genius playboy was every bit as artificial (and as we've now seen, brittle) as Donald Trump's facade as a serious businessman. The success of Tesla and SpaceX's management teams was clearly to cocoon Musk away from anything operationally important. He's just another rich kid who was able to buy his way into the upper echelons of power. That he funded meaningful enterprises was great, but he clearly never possessed the managerial or engineering skills needed to effectively run them.

If we've learned anything, it's that machismo and faux-intellectualism are even more effective at influencing society's elites than we otherwise might have feared. The only rational reaction to this and similar revelations is for us to put to bed, once and for all, the Great Man myth that wealth is fairly allocated according to a just, meritocratic process. Once you exclude the billionaires that were born into wealth and then further remove the one-hit wonders that lucked into it, scarcely anyone is left to admire and emulate. It's a shame, then, that the belief that the rich deserve to be rich is so vital to the American identity that its endurance is all but assured.

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