The Death Of Twitter

Note: My Taki post is on different topic from today’s post. Sunday Thoughts is up behind the green door. It is also on Substack for paying members there. Going forward, I will post the pay-per-view material on both sites. Some people prefer Substack and other people prefer Subscribestar. There was also a rare Saturday post, which was going to be a Taki post but I changed my mind.


The Elon Musk versus Twitter drama is now heading to the litigation phase, as Musk has decided to pull out of the purchase agreement. The usual idiots have taken to social media to offer their hot takes on the issue. Critics of Musk think he made the great blunder they have been predicting. The far-left thinks this is a victory, when in fact it is the death knell for the platform. It is this fact that led Musk to pull out of the deal and take the issue into the litigation phase.

The basics of the dispute are simple. Twitter claims Musk is the breaching party and they intend to force him to abide by the agreement. They argue that they have given him everything he has asked. That means they will go into a Delaware court and ask a judge to compel compliance. Musk will tell the same court that Twitter is in breach of contract for falling to disclose information about their user base, which they are required to do as part of the sale.

No one really knows if the court can actually force Musk to go through with the purchase agreement and buy Twitter. In contract disputes, courts rarely compel one party to perform against their will. Instead, a monetary judgment is levied against the breaching party. In most cases, a settlement is reached before the court has a chance to decide the issue. In contract cases, litigation is a part of the process of negotiating the final settlement of the dispute.

In most contracts, especially complex ones like this, there is a liquidating damages clause that spells out the cost of breaking the agreement. In this particular case, we know there is a liquidating damages clause. Both parties agreed to a billion dollar fee if they break the agreement. There are conditions and the interpretation of those conditions will be part of the litigation. Musk has not offered to pay the billion and Twitter is not asking to be paid the billion so far.

All of this will make for good drama, but it obscures the fact that Twitter is a dead man walking, regardless of the outcome. That reality was made clear when Twitter agreed to the Musk offer. They were under no obligation to accept his offer. The board could have refused the deal. Management initially tried to add a poison pill in order to make it difficult for Musk to buy shares but relented after consulting with the board and the largest shareholders. They wanted this deal.

Musk said he made his best and final offer. He was a large share holder and had access to their public filings but also access to their management. In other words, he knew the peak value of the company and made a premium offer. Twitter had been saying their target price was $70 per share, but they quickly accepted the offer from Musk at $54 per share. In other words, everyone concerned knew that the $54 price was the best Twitter would ever get from anyone.

For its part, the market never bought the $70 claim or the $54 offer. The stock ticked up on news of the offer, but then traded down to below its prior level as news of the agreement got into the public domain. The day before Musk cancelled the deal, you could buy shared of Twitter at 60% of what Musk agreed to pay. The fact that no one was doing this says that insiders smelled problems. They knew Musk would never follow through on the $54 offer.

One reason for the skepticism is that Twitter does not make money and is unlikely to ever make money. The platform is useless for advertising so its only source of income is selling user data. There are plenty of players in that market. The big fish are Google and Apple, who control the mobile market. Since most Twitter users operate on their mobile device, Twitter data is mostly phone data. In reality, Twitter is just a derivative data stream that is rooted in the mobile data streams.

The bigger issue for Twitter and all social media is the barrier to entry has collapsed and disaggregation is upon us. Gab has proven this. They not only have a stable platform that is better than Twitter, but it was done on a shoestring by one committed guy, in the face of massive resistance by the usual suspects. The future is bespoke platforms of like-minded users. People are looking to be free from the blue-check harpies who have ruined the large social media platforms.

Those who have been on-line since the early days saw this coming. It is part of a natural cycle on-line. The first bulletin boards were big central places. They gave way to small places of like-minded people. Usenet splintered into a million sub-channels once it was possible to do so. The first message board communities were much like the big social media sites, but then over-zealous mods ruined them and the sites splintered into a million small communities.

This is why Twitter remains eager to sell to Musk. They have an inside view of what is happening and they know his offer is the best offer. In fact, they know half his offer is the best offer, which is why they will seek to cut a deal. Twitter is basically worthless as they own little in the way of unique infrastructure and their core product is now a commodity anyone can create. Their main offer is access to emotionally unstable people who want to lecture the rest of us.

Elon Musk may be a monorail salesman, but he is an extremely talented one who has worked the most sophisticated marks in the world. He is also the richest man on earth which means he owns the best legal talent on earth. He did not choose to enter the litigation phase because it is a sure loser. He understands that Twitter will have to disclose things in court that they would prefer to keep private. The fact that he is boasting about this on Twitter is a clue to his thinking.

Many assume this is just a way for Musk to lower the price, but he may be using this phase to bleed the company into bankruptcy. His people looked at the user data and probably saw that Twitter is past its peak. Like centralized internet platforms before it, Twitter is about to die from a thousand cuts. If anyone can put up a similar site for people of the same mind, then what is the point of Twitter? Musk can wait out the answer to that question in a Delaware court.

The fact is, Twitter should never have existed in the first place. It was just a novel implementation of the same old idea that has been with us since the dawn of the internet age. The dream of the virtual agora where the demos can debate the issues of the day and find a consensus has been tried many times. In every case, the demos discovered they did not like it and moved back into their own private warrens and subcultures to be free of the masses.

Familiarity breeds contempt and what the big socials have done is make everyone familiar with everyone else. The solution is what was there all along. The various communities build fences between themselves and the others. That way they do not have to be reminded of their unpleasantness. They can also pretend that those people on the other side are good people who mean well. Good fences not only make good neighbors they make human society possible.

This is why Twitter and the other big socials are doomed. Twitter is the most ridiculous and silly, so it will be the first to go. Facebook sees the writing on the wall, which is why they are betting on their virtual realty scheme. Sites like Instagram are just public bulletin boards that offer little interaction, so maybe they stagger on, but the days of big social media platforms are ending. The looming death of Twitter is just the first big step into the inevitable demise of the concept.


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SamlAdams
SamlAdams
1 year ago

Have a hard time seeing the DE court siding with Twitter on provision of DD data. I’ve been on both sides, and you get or produce what is asked for. Period. Recall one deal out of the UK where some of the gross numbers did not make sense, so we went over there and asked to see the actual case files. Wrangled for a couple of days, but finally got them. And guess what? Systemic underreserving. And we walked from the non-binding bid. Another less picky buyer took it, though below the bankers ask. Ended up costing that firm twice… Read more »

My Comment
Member
1 year ago

Gab is boring. There are a few people, most notably Z, who are worth following there. Unfortunately most have only 2 topics: 1. The tribe 2. Everyone else on the Right sucks. Even with all the censorship there are a far wider range of topics covered on Twitter. I have started using Telegram, which I don’t really like, simply because that is where the independent journalists went to when banned on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook. If they want to Gab, all the comments would be about the tribe. A good example of this is the blogger formerly known as Chateau… Read more »

Anson Rhodes
Anson Rhodes
1 year ago

Excellent Taki post. Except for this contradiction: you agree that long-term thinking is essential, yet slag off environmentalism (as usual) which is the perfect example of short-term thinking. Anyone who has the ability to think long-term is necessarily an environmentalist. Those who disagree are either those who blithely believe there will always be birds and butterflies in their garden, or those who don’t care.

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  Anson Rhodes
1 year ago

well, given that the environmental movement is a front for bad people…you are a chump.

Anson Rhodes
Anson Rhodes
1 year ago

I have never subscribed to the idea that Musk is ‘extremely talented’. Signing the Twitter contract without doing the due diligence is idiocy of the first water. He has somehow got extremely rich, but that’s a bubble, and it will burst spectacularly before long.

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  Anson Rhodes
1 year ago

where did you get a copy of the contract to read? are you a contract lawyer?

CuriousGeorge
CuriousGeorge
1 year ago

Very late posting this question, but I’d like to sort of poll the readership here: Do you guys get the impression that Antifa’s presence on Twitter, particularly the doxxing profiles, has waned to a large degree? My anecdotal evidence is that many of the active profiles that I check now and then have significantly fewer retweets, comments, and likes than only a year or two ago. Some appear to have only a very small handful of active followers. Granted, I don’t use Twitter and my observations are from a very narrow sliver of profiles that I check periodically. I’d definitely… Read more »

Panzernutter
Panzernutter
1 year ago

I hope it does go away. I’ve never used it, I am tired of Joseph cotto saying to Paul gottfried, I wrote so and so on Twitter today and mr smith replied ( fill in the blank) . Paul do you have anything to say about that ? Not the best use of gottfried brain power if you ask me. When it gets to that point in the show, I turn it off and feel bad for Paul.

Hi - Ya!
Hi - Ya!
Reply to  Panzernutter
1 year ago

I stopped listening to them. I got tired of cotton acceptance of abortion and Godefried pushing of this weird narrative on Lincoln, that he was a nighteenth cent nationalist and that’s why civil war…

Bilejones
Member
1 year ago

So I detect distinct signs of Branding at the Substack place.
I detect a plan that doesn’t involve the day job.

Eloi
Eloi
1 year ago

I believe the blind spot in Z’s conclusion is the power of the Federal Government to keep the centralized tech platforms front and center. I do not see these large tech platforms going away – I see them getting further subsidized and integrated into the gub. If you want to do any business with the gub, you will have to engage on these platforms. Those hybrid platforms like REALID and other crap come to mind. I had a problem with IRS a year ago, and just logging in required way too much for me to consent (e.g. facial scans). Insanity.… Read more »

Eloi
Eloi
Reply to  Eloi
1 year ago

Apologies – I meant the id.me platform with IRS.

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  Eloi
1 year ago

i gave up on the irs site too, for the exact same reason. it’s all so glitchy, too; site is unusable. funny enough, you don’t need any of that stuff to actually pay your taxes 😛

Forever Templar
Forever Templar
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

I imagine a lot of people will just say “fuck it, you’ve already taken my money anyway” in the long run. It’s a completely unnecessary and arbitrary security system that doesn’t work well in the best of times. The people it ultimately screws over most are those who rely on tax refunds; which is perhaps the point

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

“The platform is useless for advertising so its only source of income is selling user data. There are plenty of players in that market. The big fish are Google and Apple, who control the mobile market.” Would love to see some numbers on Apple’s sale of user data. “Does Apple Sell Your Data? Now that we’ve established that Apple collects and uses your data to serve ads, does it sell your data too? Turns out the answer is No, Apple doesn’t sell your data to third-party advertisers. The Cupertino giant possesses the exclusive rights of showing you ads on the… Read more »

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  Sam
1 year ago

“Apple doesnt sell your data,” “the check is in the mail,” “this wont hurt,” “my dog ate the homework,” and other laughably false common lies…
I gurantee that they make money utilizing your private information. Maybe they do not “sell” it, but lease access to their database of consumer data, or some such other typical “de jure” truthiness from the local Pharisees.
But if you honesty believe that, well, Tim Cook’s widow has some ocean-front property in South Dakota and shes looking for a development partner to invest a small sum…

mmack
mmack
Reply to  Good ol' Rebel
1 year ago

You forgot:

“Of COURSE I love you baby 😘”
“It’s COMPLETELY safe”
And
“I’m from the government and we’re here to help.”

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  mmack
1 year ago

Don’t forget;

“I’ll just put the tip in”

And

“I won’t *** in your mouth”

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
1 year ago

OT (kind of), but this headline from Business Insider is a howler:

“Paul Ryan said he doesn’t normally cry, but ‘found himself sobbing’ while watching the Jan 6. insurrection, book says”

That’s nearly perfect.

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 year ago

Who is walking around thinking “that poor Paul Ryan”? The disconnect is jarring.

Captain Willard
Captain Willard
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 year ago

I cried when Biden slapped Ryan around during that disastrous debate, so are we even?

Carl B.
Carl B.
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 year ago

Pussy. That’s the best description of Paul Ryan.

Cruciform
Cruciform
Reply to  Carl B.
1 year ago

Dysgenic. They nailed him in leftyville as Eddie Munster. One of their few funny memes. He still did their bidding.

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  Carl B.
1 year ago

Paul Ryan? That finking little yellowbellied globohomo crapweasel had better have his passport current and passage prepaid if Wall Street goes Shri Lanka.
Paul Ryan is the reason Roman consuls ended up being prosecuted after their terms were up; probably something we should bring back for the current crop.

fakeemail
fakeemail
Reply to  Carl B.
1 year ago

Nehlen was pretty good with “soulless globalist.”

Nick Nolte's Mugshot
Nick Nolte's Mugshot
1 year ago

During the 2016 election and for a time after, the DR was able to land some solid body blows on. Lefty using humorous memes and YouTube videos. Realizing that the Left was vulnerable to this effective form of ridicule these companies choose to run off half of their customer base which will likely hasten their demise.

Rothmere
1 year ago

I think news of Twitter’s demise is premature. It is a relatively user friendly global megaphone and speaker a rainbow matrix of human temperament and activity data. True also a manipulated social credit tool. But it is almost AI ‘alive’ and too early adopter pervasive to yield its fate to more singular platforms, useful as they are. Eventually Twitter’s fair use value will maintain its popularity even if a small fee appertaining to membership (separate issue). Great thoughtful post by ZMan as are many others.

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
Reply to  Rothmere
1 year ago

I believe Twitter does have value, just like Uber has value, but we won’t know what that value is until the tech recession washes everything out. It’s likely just going to be one small division of a larger company. Tesla, on the other hand, won’t make it at all. Its only value is its physical plant and office furniture. It has no technological or any other advantage and its first mover advantage is now meaningless. Musk is the larger fraud, he’s no good guy.

pyrrhus
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

Musk is a good guy for his rocket and satellite technology, far surpassing NASA..But people buying Tesla don’t have my sympathy..they were warned.

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  pyrrhus
1 year ago

Tesla is pure tax farming. Since Musk is a sophisticated guy, he may have plans already in place to move beyond the electic charade which he took advantage of.

Falcone
Falcone
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

After a few years in the road, Tesla cars are a bucket of bolts.

I’ve been taking them more and more through Uber, and sitting in the back, every time they go over a bump they bounce noisily and sound like they’re going to break. They don’t feel solid at all. I’ll admit the interiors are nice, but I’d never buy one after seeing how poorly they hold up after a few years of use.

PeriheliusLux
PeriheliusLux
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

I think Musk’s fate may not be so bright. Musk placed his bet and aligned all of his incentives with the climate catastrophe agenda. This Hydra of Progressive Bolshevism has many a dagger of disaster in its tentacles. Of all of them, the most disastrous and destructive will be the energy project – for it is a de-energizing of society project. We’ll survive the race war. We’ll survive the economic implosion. We’ll survive the indoctrination camps and the banishments. We won’t survive the energy transition – especially when all the others projects are on the menu at the progressive force… Read more »

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  PeriheliusLux
1 year ago

downvoted for being obsessively long. musk is richest guy in the world; he must be doing something right.

Bartleby the Scrivner
Bartleby the Scrivner
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

On paper.

Take a Tesla stock certificate to a gas station and try to fill up.

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

try that with any stock certificate 😛

PeriheliusLux
PeriheliusLux
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

Point taken on the length of the comment.

Larry Fink controls more financial assets than any other man in the world – he must be doing something right. Doing something right to benefit oneself at the expense of others in a corrupt system is not a virtue. Doing something good is the issue.

Leaders have a duty. Perpetuating lies that are harmful to the civilization and then profiting from their spread is immoral. It is a forfeiture of leadership as it is a forfeiture of duty.

That is my point about Musk. I invite you to address it.

Glenfilthie
Glenfilthie
Member
1 year ago

Hmmmmmmm…. Hmmmmppfpfpffff. I dunno if I agree or not, Z. Even if Twatter is a shadow of its former self … there is still a pile of money to be made over there – even if all there is – is selling more crazy to the shitlibs. As for Elon… he is no mere charlatan. Most businessmen hit or miss changing their products and services to fit the market. Elon has changed the market to fit his products and services … and he doesn’t even have to do that here. All he has to do is rip off Blab –… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Glenfilthie
1 year ago

Glen: As someone who uses absolutely no social media, I can’t speak from experience but . . . the argument that Zman and others would prefer more social exposure (more money is something everyone could use, particularly now) presumes that such exposure would increase acceptance and/or implementation of his ideas. Whether muzzled by the subcon Twitter moderators or people like Adam Schiff, the rules are that positive White group identity is verboten, no matter the platform. The whole focus of much of the DR is to create parallel platforms and society, not rejoining Clownworld and somehow miraculously getting millions of… Read more »

Glenfilthie
Glenfilthie
Member
Reply to  3g4me
1 year ago

Those millions of apathetic grillers and normies make the country run. They do the boring jobs, they pay the bills, and like the Dissidents – they want to keep the lights on, the kids fed, and be left alone on the couch after supper. Generally they are good people and the Dissidents do them an injustice by looking down their nose at them. Are you much different with your dreams of a parallel society? But… they will follow those that will lead. Globohomo and Clownworld consistently step up to do that, whereas the dissidents typically do not. There will be… Read more »

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  Glenfilthie
1 year ago

i don’t think normies are doing the jobs you say, for the most part. i think most of them are office drones doing make work. maybe their superfiliciousness is why they act the way they do. they do follow…right up until the point where they are required to show a spine, then they turn tail.

David Wright
Member
Reply to  Glenfilthie
1 year ago

Torba expressed a sigh of relief when the news hit. He wouldn’t describe it that way but I think he did.
Gab is nice to just vent, get some news or engage with likeminded people.
If you want to engage the enemy via social media you have to go to Twitter.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  David Wright
1 year ago

David Wright: But as Joey Junger says below, the best way to deal with the enemy is to decline to engage altogether. Deprive their fire of oxygen. Does anyone who is truly on our side think they are changing any minds via tweets? Mocking can be done in many ways and different fora. No need for glob-homo sanctioned social media to do that.

Bilejones
Member
Reply to  3g4me
1 year ago

I agree. Those who pretend to believe otherwise have some other reason, which I’d probably rather not know.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  3g4me
1 year ago

The fence-mending nonsense is cope. I suspect most of those who espouse it realize there has been an irreparable break. It must be rough particularly on those with loved ones who would sell them out or cut their throats in a nanosecond.

james wilson
james wilson
Member
Reply to  David Wright
1 year ago

This is an enemy will not engage. Does not engage. Cannot engage.

pyrrhus
Reply to  Glenfilthie
1 year ago

No..Twitter refused to disclose its revenue sources because that would reveal them to be the Deep State…That will come out in Court if they persist, which will wreck what little prospects they have…

JerseyJeffersonian
JerseyJeffersonian
Reply to  pyrrhus
1 year ago

I think this to be true. If the truth were to be known, probably their data needs have been run on government servers, perhaps even the NSA’s servers. That not only lowers their cost of doing business astronomically, but it also provides the government with direct access, at little cost to them, with the identities and posting history of all of Twitter’s users. Rapping into the internet infrastructure is fine, but such frictionless acxess to identities is very useful in various ways.

JerseyJeffersonian
JerseyJeffersonian
Reply to  JerseyJeffersonian
1 year ago

Tapping, not rapping is what was intended.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  JerseyJeffersonian
1 year ago

Totally right. Their backbone is government servers.

Sorry, but I don’t have link, detailing some of the technical details and “business” entities. Tis a public-private thing.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
1 year ago

In other words, diversity, not only of people, but of ideologies, is terrible. People not only want to be with others who look like them, but who also think like them. Homogeneity is happiness; diversity is despair.

Maus
Maus
Reply to  Ostei Kozelskii
1 year ago

As Heartiste used to say “Diversity + Proximity = War.”
Because we didn’t listen to Wallace in 1963, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”
So, we’re gonna get the “rivers of blood” Powell prophesied in 1968.
Twitter is just the place where the turbulent mob of fools will shriek “ree, ree, ree.”

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
1 year ago

Could they have made it work had they not decided to censor anyone they disagreed with? Or is that an option they simply are not capable of doing?

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 year ago

The answer to your last question is an unequivocal “no.” These folks are hyper-religious Secular Puritans. Even if they burn right along with her, the witch has to be torched. They are incapable of exercising restraint and allowing dissent. Impulsivity is their Achilles Heel.

Vizzini
Member
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 year ago

I don’t think censorship or lack thereof makes any difference. The US tradition of free speech didn’t keep us from getting to where we are now. On the contrary, it gave cover for the enemies of civilization to propagate their ideas unmolested.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Vizzini
1 year ago

Vizzini: Precisely. There are always limits and controls on speech. The question, as always, comes down to who/whom. As long as a hostile group owns and funds the platforms, that same group will ultimately dictate who and what may not be criticized.

Horace
Horace
Reply to  3g4me
1 year ago

“hostile group … who/whom” I had an ant farm when I was a small boy, with some variety of large black ants in it. I thoughtlessly put into it some red ants I found in our yard, to see what would happen. The red ants immediately started at the top and dug their way down, methodically hunting and butchering every black ant. I was horrified. There was no shortage of food. It seemed entirely killing for the sake of killing. There is no sapience in ants. Their behavior is entirely genetically programmed: instinct. Our behavior is largely instinctual, too. Instinct… Read more »

Cruciform
Cruciform
1 year ago

I had to fix a stereo speaker for my elderly mother. “Mom, I ordered a replacement tweeter, no need to replace the whole thing.”

She asks, “What’s a tweedle, son?”

So there’s that for Twitter’s future.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
1 year ago

One thing we are forgetting, though, is just how new cell phones and social media are. They are truly revolutionary, in the sense of global cultural impact.

Disregarding the fact that SM is largely a creation of the spy agencies, I can surely understand a bit of societal upset re a tech with this kind of lightning impact.

Something new in the world!
Exciting times indeed- and a sight better than hoeing turnips while fearfully watching for brigands.

Hemid
Hemid
Reply to  Alzaebo
1 year ago

The most revolutionary effect of the internet was that it was beginning to teach the average person that our ruling and professional classes are retarded and evil. “Brexit and Trump,” etc.

So the internet had to be destroyed, and it was.

But the lesson remains with us, so we have to be killed.

c matt
c matt
1 year ago

Elon’s offer has had an interesting effect on twitter.. I only started perusing it in the last year or so, but at first you could freely browse/search to your heart’s content without registering. In the last month or so, it started requiring registration after scanning about ten tweets or so. Guess they are trying to boost registered users.

RoBG
RoBG
Reply to  c matt
1 year ago

FireFox and the Chrome based browsers like Brave have extensions you can download that bypass the Twitter login wall.

Good ol' Rebel
Good ol' Rebel
Reply to  RoBG
1 year ago

Yes, but that level of investment (installing an extension) exceeds my interest in stuff posted to twatter by an order of magnitude. In fact, typing this riposte took more interest than I have for anything on Twitter that cant be screengrabbed and posted as a jpg.

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  c matt
1 year ago

I’ve noticed the same. It’s become increasingly difficult to bypass the “must login” prompt.

Wonder if it’s a last ditch attempt by Twitter to lock out bots so they can go into court and “prove” that real users make up the majority, not bots?

JR Wirth
JR Wirth
1 year ago

Musk’s biggest problem is that the time for due diligence is BEFORE you sign the purchase agreement. If the company isn’t forthcoming with that data, you walk away until they are. If Twitter does settle with Musk it will show that their bot problem is far worse than they let on. Musk says 50% are bots, but if his lips are moving he’s lying. Twitter says 5% are bots, and that seems low. In any case Musk owes extensive damages to shareholders. Some say he did this because long term share options in Tesla were expiring and he needed to… Read more »

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  JR Wirth
1 year ago

” How many other large companies, very large S&P 500 ones, are accounting time bombs after 20+ years of no big fish getting cuffed? ” Basically most of them. As you note, the end of the year will tell the tale, and the only odd revelation will be a few corporations here and there had accurate accountings. We will get a better feel for exactly why the Fed was so gung-ho about buying bonds. It was all about the Bemjamins and the resulting cash infusions. BlackRock is too big to fail, and Larry Fink is too big to prosecute, but… Read more »

TomA
TomA
1 year ago

Why does illicit drug addiction persist in our modern society? Because it can. Our affluence and compassionate nature allow such deadweight to exist and even flourish. If the price of drug addiction was a quick & early death, it would soon cease to exist. Ditto for social media. We have way too much leisure time, both in small fragments throughout the day and in large blocks at the end of the day. If people needed to work 3 jobs just to get by, and had bosses that enforced a no-cell phone policy at work, social media would evaporate quickly. But… Read more »

Tars Tarkas
Tars Tarkas
Reply to  TomA
1 year ago

My dream is that the “smart phone” is a fad, at least in its current form.

I see the most ridiculous sail foam related stuff. App controlled light bulb is the latest sail foam abomination that has come to my attention. App controlled curtains, app controlled cups. Even app controlled Christmas trees. When will the madness end?

Sand Wasp
Sand Wasp
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 year ago

The smart phone is a fad.

The next iteration is cybernetic implants that produce images on the retina.

The iteration after that is direct implants into the brain bypassing the sensory system altogether

Yo
Yo
Reply to  Sand Wasp
1 year ago

Who in the Western world is gonna be intelligent and organized enough to develop that technology and implemented on a mass scale?

You think those diversity hires are gonna be sitting there on a Saturday night at 11 PM running through their algorithms?

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  Tars Tarkas
1 year ago

Tars: I find it darkly amusing to watch YT homesteading channels where the homeowners are pitching their off-grid solar power system where they can check their battery reserve on their phone, or get cellphone notification that someone has driven up their driveway. Or use an ‘app’ to control their lights or automatic chicken coop door.

Solar is awesome for certain and limited uses, but to trumpet being ‘off grid’ yet relying on one’s phone and apps for increasingly mundane things is, obviously, counter productive.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  3g4me
1 year ago

3g4me-

Today JHK posted an entire column about the expensive, non-functional mess his solar system has become:

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/its-not-working/

Some of the preppers get it, or at least they are beginning to. The other day southernprepper1 pointed out that people need to be preparing for an 1865 lifestyle.

I think that’s still a few decades too recent, but his basic point is correct.

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  The Wild Geese Howard
1 year ago

Wild Geese: I’m not a luddite and don’t particularly want to live an 1865 lifestyle. I like AC and hot showers. And ‘off grid’ can be defined many different ways – I’m not mocking anyone who chooses to utilize the grid right now or tries to manage without it. It just seems counter productive to me to try to be more self reliant because one can’t really trust the ‘system’ not to fail, yet rely on that same system for communication. And to try to live independently yet simultaneously rely on one’s constantly/easily monitored or cut off cell phone service… Read more »

Joey Jünger
Joey Jünger
1 year ago

I look at the Left, especially the aggressively online left, as like the Nothing in that movie “The Never Ending Story,” popular when I was a child. The Nothing was this rapacious monster that fed on all negative energy, from apathy to sadness to hatred. It’s their fusion fuel, and the high they get from interacting with the right and immiserating the right is as much a part of the rush as chanting the old familiar slogans with their friends. I think you’ve even mentioned this, how the dumb normiecons like Shapiro or Hannity will amplify whatever sordid crap the… Read more »

Severian
Reply to  Joey Jünger
1 year ago

Let me upvote this a million times. It’s the only tactic that works.

(I’ve stolen the phrase “Oh, is that what your tv told you?” from I wish I could remember who. It ruins their day like nothing else. Lefty comes rushing up to you, yelling something about “OMG Drumpf blah blah blah” and I calmly respond “Oh, is that what your tv told you?” Stops them dead in their tracks and ruins their entire day, which is a big bonus).

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

this used to happen when i was living in cali, and i would say “he’s not even in office” and then refuse to engage further. they would just stand there with their mouth open not knowing what to do once the conversation went off-script.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

Digital Gulag Guard Withdrawal Syndrome is a thing.

B125
B125
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

+1 on everything here.

Don’t argue with them. Tell them to shut up and move on.

Also they don’t get access to normal white people on my watch.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  B125
1 year ago

Yes, but even telling them to shut up feeds them a little. Smirk, shake head, walk away.

The Wild Geese Howard
The Wild Geese Howard
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

I prefer, “Man, you sound just like the effin TV!”

JerseyJeffersonian
JerseyJeffersonian
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

The only thing to add to your tactic is perhaps to say, “Is that what your tv – or your smart phone – tells you?” As many of those who approach you with their line of outraged patter spend way more time getting mainstreamed from their smart phone than a tv – and don’t even notice the “meme injection” that they get 24/7/365 from their smart phone, and from the same actors, any longer because they are living their life being massively online – this smacks the younger set who live “life” vicariously through their smart phone with a metaphorical… Read more »

Joey Jünger
Joey Jünger
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

I think I came up with that “Is that what your TV told you,” line. I also always make sure to say I don’t watch corporate media outlets like MSNBC and Fox News. It drives progressives nuts when you point out (even implicitly) that they’re conforming to the agenda of the richest, most powerful people on Earth, and that their cable saviors are just another flavor of the same crap sandwich. When Matt Taibbi released “Hate Inc.” with a picture of Sean Hannity and Rachel Maddow side by side on the cover of the book, a swarm of childless harpies… Read more »

Severian
Reply to  Joey Jünger
1 year ago

How meta — I stole it from you, then brought it up in a reply to you, forgetting you were the guy I stole it from in the first place.

Anyway, congrats– that phrase is brilliant. It causes them so much pain in their vaginas, which is awesome.

Captain Willard
Captain Willard
1 year ago

Jose Ortega y Gasset called the dawn of the mass entertainment/media age the “triumph of mediocrity”. Twitter’s rise and fall really confirms his 100 year-old prediction. The blue-checkmark crowd made yet another demonstration of the ancient maxim that “opinions are just like a**holes”…..

Of course, the unfortunate consequences will be that the robots will follow traffic to Gab and other successor platforms and that the thought police will ask for more resources to combat the dialogue diaspora .

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Captain Willard
1 year ago

“the thought police will ask for more resources to combat the dialogue diaspora.”

Not enough resources. As mediated as the internet is, it broke the mass media and The Narrative. Not unlike how the printing press broke the church. Funny how things come full circle.

Anonymous White Male
Anonymous White Male
1 year ago

I wonder if “the government” will decide that Twatter, Facebook, Google, etc., are too big to fail. Sure, they only have billions “on paper”. But, so did the banks that the taxpayer ended up subsidizing. Besides, you can buy a Biden or a Senator pretty cheap these days.

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Anonymous White Male
1 year ago

Not just too big to fail, but also free propaganda streams for the swamp and protection for rich liberals. For the big socials, just like for CNN/MSNBC/NYT/WashPost, etc., profit or solvency no longer matters. They will be propped up by the Feds or liberal billionaires, no matter what the cost.

TechieDude
1 year ago

PJ O’Rourke had a great line about this:

“Who thought it would be a good idea to have any idiot connect to any other idiot”

Spingehra
Spingehra
Reply to  TechieDude
1 year ago

I miss P.J.
This, v dare, amren, American partizan and western rifle shooters are more than I can handle most days. I did faceberg for a couple months, looked at Twitter, gagged & closed it never to look again.
One of my daughterinlaws lives to be online, feel bad for my son & their kids..

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  Spingehra
1 year ago

“The first thing a man should do when entering a building is to remove his hat. Then keep it off for the rest of his life. Nothing looks more stupid than a man wearing a hat”

– P.J. O’Rourke.

Ostei Kozelskii
Member
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 year ago

I would like to have seen him tell Sinatra that.

JerseyJeffersonian
JerseyJeffersonian
Reply to  ProZNoV
1 year ago

Well, that pretty much dispenses with this O’Rourke character. He does, however look good in an asshat.

Severian
1 year ago

My big concern is this part: “[Twitter’s] main offer is access to emotionally unstable people who want to lecture the rest of us.” Since that’s also a perfect definition of “the United States government,” where are those folks going to go? Twitter returns to being a sort of open-access JournoList for Media people and their fart catchers. Ok, but what’s the fun in that? If they can’t get people censored and #canceled, what are they going to do with themselves? In other words, when is the government going to start requiring people to have a social media account? You know,… Read more »

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

Universal ID online is already being mulled in the prison colony of Australia, to avoid cyber-bullying of course. Won’t someone think of the children?

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

Jeebus. Talk about thoughtcrime and self-incrimination.

So democracy now means shut your mouth or else, eh?

Captain Willard
Captain Willard
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

Criticizing the government anonymously has been a hallmark of the American Republic since the Federalist Papers. But there are plenty of reasonably free countries where you have to sign your name and ID # to your “letter to the editor” in the newspaper. 9 shysters in robes could decide anything…..

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

I wonder how much gas there is in the Fedi/Mastadon setup maybe. The advantage is the Journos could set up their own “cool kids instance” and preach to the masses that choose to federate with them while still blocking the hoi polloi. The downside is that a real instance is not cheap and is still technically intensive to run (although, a bunch of old, bitter ladies run that “Spinster” instance).

Glenfilthie
Glenfilthie
Member
Reply to  Severian
1 year ago

“If they can’t get people censored and #canceled, what are they going to do with themselves?”

They are going to turn on each other.

I am just chuckling about a new Hollywood trope that is emerging: all the bad guys in their morality plays are radicalized by 4 Chan and Blab. Your mere presence on those platforms can induce you to mass murder, demonology, and other Bad Things. They manufacture evil young white psychotics like sausages.

I suppose it lends credence to the idea that you always know what Lefty is up to by what he accuses others of doing.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Glenfilthie
1 year ago

Exactly, Glen. These people are unwell and need to have a constant enemy to fill the void in their lives.

No doubt Western governments have “experts” lined up to combat Digital Gulag Guard Withdrawal Syndrome, but it will not work.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
1 year ago

Welp, the Zman did call this one early!
A tip o’ the hat, while your audience politely ignores that…certain look of satisfaction.

DavidTheGnome
DavidTheGnome
1 year ago

I feel like in the past, when America was mostly Christian, you would not be as disgusted by your neighbors ideas, were you capable of knowing them via some form of digital social media. Sure you might not like the Italians on that side of the tracks, or that gaggle of wasps in New England etc. But there was a baseline idea about things. Even blacks had bought into it to some degree. I mean yes, social media makes everyone’s ideas kind of public, but surely it’s radically compounded by the fact that we have a huge (compared to the… Read more »

Barnard
Barnard
Reply to  DavidTheGnome
1 year ago

That is a good point, especially on Facebook you see all kinds of comments, relationship problems, political, etc., you would never see from extended family members . The other thing it does is create a customer service pressure point for businesses. You see this regularly, some has a problem with large company and they send a message to its Twitter account in hopes they will move heaven and earth to fix it immediately and avoid the negative attention. It is simply assumed the person complaining is telling the whole truth.

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  DavidTheGnome
1 year ago

That genie is a djinn.
The good news is, we know what they’re thinking; the bad news is, we know what they’re thinking.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  DavidTheGnome
1 year ago

The thing I have a hard time comprehending is that there’s the democratic impulse to incorporate, and it seems to have this tendency not to individualize everyone, but to infantilize them.

Part of me wants to think it’s a kind of coming apart, a race to the extremes, contradiction. But it could be as simple as hive behavior, or something like that. You have a bleating herd that needs tending, and a rotating cast of queens running the show.

Corps and bureaucracy wiping asses and changing diapers, nurturing, culling. The deep state, the managerial state— Democracy! in action.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 year ago

Eventually some figure out minding your own business is better for the common good and start building those good fences. At least for a certain people. Let’s call them Americans.

Paintersforms
Paintersforms
Reply to  Paintersforms
1 year ago

(Apologies, bursting with ideas lately. Hopefully good ones) Stupid thing is, that libertarian streak made it possible for different cultures and religions to coexist more or less peacefully for a while. If I’m thinking straight, we ended up with liberal democracy because the liberal part had an appeal and made it seem workable. But if democracy is totalitarian (everything becomes politicized), then democracy is illiberal, or at least not American-libertarian. Seems like the liberal democratic hive is trying to purge itself in pursuit of consensus. Who knows, the unintended consequence might end up being something favorable to Z blog readers… Read more »

3g4me
3g4me
Reply to  DavidTheGnome
1 year ago

DavidTheGnome: Some are in a great hurry to mend fences. You know – let’s just forget that we called for you to be put in a camp because you questioned The Science – that’s all in the past and we’ll be besties again Or let’s forget that everything I mocked you for as a conspiracy theorist has been proven true – let me tell you about my latest cruise. Even here, people often mention their liberal ‘friends.’ People appear exceedingly anxious to bury the proverbial hatchet without ever addressing the underlying issues. Which is why they’re always shocked when the… Read more »

DavidTheGnome
DavidTheGnome
Reply to  3g4me
1 year ago

I stopped talking to liberals years ago. There’s no point to it.

Comrade
Comrade
Reply to  DavidTheGnome
1 year ago

Fences are racist.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
1 year ago

In the traditional publishing industry, the certain sign a periodical like a magazine or newspaper was about to fold was when the publisher would announce “it matters more who reads us rather than how many people read us.” In sum, that was to say diminished circulation was offset by the quality of the dead Who Reads Us was pronounced. In recent years much the same has been said about Twitter. Due to the presence of the Blue Checks, Twitter was touted as A Very Important Thing because of their influence on society. It turns out that not only were they… Read more »

mikeski
Member
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 year ago

Like Spinal Tap, their appeal is becoming…more selctive.

Kralizec
Kralizec
Reply to  mikeski
1 year ago

Where’s a cricket bat when you need one?

Alzaebo
Alzaebo
Reply to  Jack Dobson
1 year ago

In a way, nothing else drew attention to what they really think than the wholesale banning of Badthought. Real dissidence became cool!

Also, I think a great deal of credit should go to our host, who kept the tiny, flickering candle of Paleocon thought alive.

And moreso, for his exposure of Con Inc. grift. I’d never heard of most of the people, publications, or ideas portrayed here, so pervasive was the Conservative state church and their memory holing.

Conservatism always seemed a bit off- often completely off- but there was nowhere else to turn.

Jack Dobson
Jack Dobson
Reply to  Alzaebo
1 year ago

There is certainly a parallel between Con, Inc., and social media. Both were designed to corral people and keep out Bad Thought.

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
1 year ago

Once these Social Media giants decline, it will be interesting to see if the sharding of these services leads to more, less, or the same wokeness among your average Joe. Facebook in its heyday was relentless in its social engineering, and a lot of people got sucked into it by perceived consensus manufacturing. It will also be interesting if the new gen social media outlets like TikTok, which is probably responsible for at least half the young people who identify as gay or trans, will fare any better in a few years. There’s also a wild card that governments have… Read more »

Barnard
Barnard
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

That already happened. The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter posted a message on Gab that he was tired of talking and “going in” right before he went there. They tried to hang responsibility for that on Gab and Torba, but it didn’t work. I assume the other social media companies weren’t excited about that precedent being set.

Chet Rollins
Chet Rollins
Reply to  Barnard
1 year ago

That’s true, once that precedent is set, the only option is some sort of ownerless blockchain implementation or a federated system of small nodes that are moderated by some average Joes that are part of a larger system (think Fediverse)..

Then you run into cases where someone was “inspired” through an article, and the feds can go after that publication with the precedent set, which will turn into anarcho-tyranny with regards to any speech rights online.

p
p
Reply to  Chet Rollins
1 year ago

why not something like Bitmail???

DLS
DLS
Reply to  Barnard
1 year ago

“I assume the other social media companies weren’t excited about that precedent being set.” I don’t think they are too worried. You can buy a lot of protection for $400 million zuckerbucks and allowing the feds to moderate your sites.

karl von hungus
karl von hungus
1 year ago

i joined gab recently (mostly to read zman’s feed) and it really is a hoot :). people seem less uptight there because you can say pretty much what you want, and not get nagged at too much.

zman, i genuinely can’t tell if you are going after cornelius or just sparring a little?

i never post anything though…

Evil Sandmich
Evil Sandmich
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

Depending on where you’re at that’s probably advisable unless you’re sitting behind some VPNs. Aussie TheFinn panic-deleted his account when it became clear that his tyrannically government would no doubt kick his door down for some of the stuff he had posted there. (In Australia it’s illegal to have a door that the authorities cannot kick in, of course).

Marko
Marko
Reply to  karl von hungus
1 year ago

Gab is definitely the best option for news & hot takes, even if it’s 85% Covid abortions and pedos in high places. I thought the lack of libtards would make it a dull echo chamber, but there’s enough right-wing diversity to keep it interesting. It does need more funny accounts though. The best thing about Twitter was the “Weird Twitter” phenomenon which peaked around 2015. Then Trump won and all the weirdos showed their true colors and became run-of-the-mill virtue signallers.

Bilejones
Member
1 year ago

I thought when he made his offer that the plan was to bail, I maybe mentioned it on some guy called Zee’s site. He raised issues and forced disclosures that demonstrated its true worth of 5/8 of fuck all. I think he did it to fill in all the spare time between Boring and Spacex and Tesla.
A man needs a hobby.

(((They))) Live
(((They))) Live
Reply to  Bilejones
1 year ago

Right now he’s spending 99% of his time in Texas building largest/most powerful, and therefore best rocket in the World. What a time to be alive

He seems to spend the other 1% adding to his growing family

ProZNoV
ProZNoV
Reply to  (((They))) Live
1 year ago

I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and it’s incredible.

I was a Musk hater like many here before I saw Starbase with my own eyes.

It may all end in tears, but he’s more Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison than anyone in the US alive today. A big thinker, and a doer.

(((They))) Live
(((They))) Live
Reply to  Bilejones
1 year ago

Yeah I thought at the time buying twitter was an excuse to cash out some Tesla shares without crashing his remaining stake, I think he sold $8billion worth, Most other Tesla share holders think buying Twitter is great move, so they would never suspect another angle

If he also ends up killing Twitter thats a nice bonus

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

“ Familiarity breeds contempt and what the big socials have done is make everyone familiar with everyone else.”

You’ve perfectly distilled a sentiment I’ve had for a very long time but couldn’t articulate well. Thanks.

David Wright
Member
Reply to  Alex
1 year ago

Facebook does it more so. My wife’s account has to hide all from family members because knowing more about them just ruins any decent feelings we might have of them.
The wokeness is possibly the worst part.

Marko
Marko
Reply to  David Wright
1 year ago

I ended my Facebook account in 2018 when I couldn’t stand knowing about the caved-in-head political opinions of my friends, family, and associates. I could have lived my life and continued associating with them without hesitation. But now I know stuff about them that, in past times, I would’ve only known by f***ing them.