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Elon Musk @elonmuskGiven that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done? https://t.co/aPS9ycji37
More than 70 percent of more than two million people who answered this poll said that no, Twitter does not rigorously adhere to free speech principles. Is Elon Musk going to fix this?
Then it was confirmed that Musk had purchased more than 9 percent of Twitter:
Musk was offered a seat on Twitter’s Board of Directors but declined to join.
It seems likely that Musk didn’t join Twitter’s Board because he doesn’t want to be limited to less than 15 percent ownership of the company. Perhaps he wants to buy more than 15 percent and be in control.
Or he might cash out. Or do something else. Too early to tell. Watching how this develops in the next few months (or maybe days?) will be fun.
Besides minor technical point, the main Twitter issue is free speech. Some people like to call free speech “hate speech” when it comes from the other side of the political divide, but feel free to engage in hate (sorry, free) speech themselves.
Make no mistake, there is real hate speech out there and I’m not opposed to reasonable moderation of real hate speech.
But it happens all too often that Twitter moderation targets only one side of the political divide. Even calm and reasonable posters who dare questioning some fashionable cultural dogmas are punished. But I have seen Twitter tolerating real hate speech including death threats and exhortations to violence when it comes from the other side. This must end, and the sooner the better.
I hope Elon (who calls himself a free speech absolutist - I just love this guy) will do something to fix this soon. If so, I look forward to using Twitter much more. Actually, since I try to cultivate an optimistic outlook, I’m already using Twitter more.
Let’s move to space now:
The “Return to Space” documentary covers the story of SpaceX from the beginnings to Crew Dragon Demo-2. I watched Bob and Doug from the beginning to the end of the Demo-2 mission, and it felt like history in the making. Perhaps the documentary is too long and too slow, but it’s very worth watching because Elon says, clearly and in your face, that we must return to the Moon, then settle Mars and become multi-planetary before the window of opportunity closes.
This MUST be said clearly and in your face, and repeated and retweeted and said again and shouted from the top of high places, because becoming multi-planetary, first in the solar system and then out there among the stars, is the most important task of humanity at this moment.
We can either remain locked down on this planet waiting to die, or boldly go out there and reap unlimited material and spiritual rewards among the stars. This is a cornerstone of Turing Church.
The problems with Twitter are symptoms of a material but also spiritual lockdown (see my book “Futurist spaceflight meditations”) and it is good to see that Elon is striving to do something about both.
Cover image from Netflix.