Tesla founder and SpaceX rocketeer Elon Musk has gone from pop culture hero to zero this year. Should progressives reconsider his exile?
Over the past decades, tech companies and Silicon Valley, with the combined wealth and influence of several small countries, have come to dominate more and more of our lives.
The Great Technological Revolution happened exactly as geologists think the earth came to be as it is; long, slow transformational processes and rapid-onset changes that left the landscape permanently and instantly altered.
With the improvements like GPS and text messages came new concerns. Few offerings of technology have offered more problems and potential problems than social media.
The new town square has produced inevitable debates about what speech should be permitted, who should do the permitting, how transparent that process should be, what role the government should play in oversight, and how to protect problematic types of speech like political dissent and criticism of powerful people, companies and systems.
Twitter, like Silicon Valley itself, is populated by more than a few people who want much more censorship on social media platforms. Limiting who is allowed to speak, what discussion topics are off limits, even deciding what constitutes as misinformation and disinformation, have left tech companies in a veritable pretzel of moral relativity, constitutional principles and changing attitudes.
Elon Musk is one person in Silicon Valley who does not believe tech companies should censor public opinion in the new town square. Months ago, Musk wanted to be the new sheriff on Twitter, and pledged to run censorship right out of town by buying the social media platform and transforming it.
And with that, Musk lost his status as a cult-hero of progressives.
Musk did as much for the electric car as Henry Ford did for horses. Musk revolutionized the prototype, which until then had the zero coolness factor of a Toyota Prius.
Electric cars aren’t going to save the planet, of course. In fact, the majority of the electricity flowing through the nation’s power grid is currently being produced by burning fossil fuels; coal, natural gas and petroleum.