It’s not an engineering problem

My thoughts exactly on Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Welcome to hell.

In the technology magazine The Verge, editor Nilay Patel wrote, “Welcome to hell, Elon.” The problems with Twitter, Patel wrote, “are not engineering problems. They are political problems.” The site itself is valuable only because of its users, he points out, and trying to regulate how people behave is “historically a miserable experience.” 

Patel notes that to attract advertising revenue, Musk will have to protect advertisers’ brands, which means banning “racism, sexism, transphobia, and all kinds of other speech that is totally legal in the United States but reveals people to be total a**holes.” And that content moderation, of course, will infuriate the right-wing cheerleaders who “are going to viciously turn on you, just like they turn on every other social network that realizes the same essential truth.” And that’s even before Twitter has to take on the speech laws of other countries.

Letters From and American, 10/29/22

Anchors away

Today’s the day. We leave for LAX in a few hours, and from there we fly to Amsterdam. Then on to Southampton, and from there we cruise north along Norway’s coast. This is a whole lot of trouble just to see some energized particles in the solar wind.

We have about a day and a half in Southampton, so we decided to rent a car and see some sights. Stonehenge, the New Forest, and Salisbury Cathedral are all in play. Salisbury was my first European cathedral, many years ago, and it made quite an impression on me. I’d like to see if it seems as majestic now that I’m better traveled.

I’m taking all the Fuji camera gear, and this trip will be the deciding test. If I still get pictures I like better with an iPhone, I’ll declare myself an inferior photographer and divest all the Fuji gear. That’ll be sad, but I have to apply the Dirty Harry rule: “A good man always knows his limitations.” Hard to accept, but true.

Another acid test – if I get sick again as a result of this cruise, that’s it. I’m done with them for the foreseeable future. I know a certain spouse who won’t be happy about that, but…Dirty Harry rule again. I’m tired of losing perfectly good days to illness.

I realized that I’ll miss several other things by being gone the next couple of weeks, not just the elections. UK’s preseason hoops games. Halloween. The peak of the fall leaves in KY. The probable first rain of the season in Socal. Everyday life doesn’t seem so mundane when you have to miss it.

This awful summer of sickness, death and travel has really crystallized my desires for the future. I miss the grandsons, and everyday life with them can be every bit as good as seeing the world. Better. Gonna do something about that when I get back.