Listen now | It's the human capital, stupid
Musk is just continuing to prove what labor activists were screaming for years and what the COVID years revealed with shocking clarity. It's almost like ALL workers are essential, and some ARE more essential than others, but it turns out it's the opposite of what we've been told. Remember when every corporation was on the edge of collapse, and it wasn't because the Senior Associate VPs of XYZ weren't showing up, it was because the facilities staff and the customer service reps and the cashiers and the other consistently belittled and mistreated and exploited workers weren't? Well, most of the species remembers.
Thank you Robert for this brilliant explanation and bringing into daylight the stupidity of Elon Musk While I am very sorry for the employees and some of the users of Twitter, I won't shed a tear for musky or the greedy banks who so gleefully enabled him. And guess what (ha-ha) they'll be lucky to get 10 cents back on the dollar borrowed. Like trump only oilier, musky is a con man.
I am hopeful that this will mean that Trump will not have this platform.
Robert, you are a great American, and I think you need not take the job of Postmaster
general, but please keep on trying to replace DeJoy.
My real concern and the reason I am writing this is to ask you to somehow ensure that those members of Congress who let insurrectionists into the Capitol on Jan 5 not be permitted to serve, whether on not they won re-election. best wishes.
Having spent most of my vocational life in high tech, I can tell you that almost without exception, these companies have a very hostile relationship with their employees. Exactly as Prof Reich noted, employees are seen as a cost, which means optimizing them equals eliminating as many of them as possible. Furthermore, they are silently rated on a scale from compliant to “difficult”, where the latter applies to employees who disagree with senior management on anything.
The reality is that high tech companies have almost no value and no capacity outside of their employees, and have almost without exception failed to grow up enough to admit and nurture that instead of trying to minimize it.
"...corporations that regard employees only as costs to be cut rather than as assets to be nourished can make humongous mistakes."
Employees are the engine that run the corporation, they keep manufacturing going.
Sadly it's the CEO who rakes in all the top dollars and probably doesn't know half of what his employees know.
Here’s another example of arrogance! Why is it that the richest men in the world do more harm
Very well put.
I'm sad the to see the demise of academic Twitter: it was a great place to connect with researchers around the world. But my work (Arctic Research organization) is already searching for another space. Maybe Mastsdon?
Twitter bankruptcy will stop the twitter addiction. I will never buy a Tesla and those workers should join the auto workers union.
Beyond your insightful comments, Musk's request to see snapshots of code written is farcical. Looking at static, printed code is almost entirely useless in terms of "understanding the tech stack". The people who could explain that were almost certainly among the first to leave, perhaps voluntarily. Elon apparently was quick to fire the senior people who managed the developers, and they were also among those who understood the architecture and the technology decisions.
several thoughts: first: the person whom musk "borrowed" the largest amount of money from is most famous for sawing WaPo journalist jamal khashoggi into tiny pieces whilst that poor man was still alive -- all because he expressed an opinion that had not been pre-approved by the saudi prince. Or Putin.
second, my reading about musk and his relationship with jack dorsey (developer of twitter, who now is building a new platform, bluesky) is extremely disturbing. for example, i thought they disliked each other but in fact, they are very good friends.
i read this interview transcript by Dave Troy, an investigative journalist addressing threats to democracy, about musk yesterday night and had nightmares as a result:
apparently, musk doesn't care if he makes money. he cares about realizing his leadership of his mars cult. according to this piece: "Musk and the people backing all this are more interested in reshaping the global order than in earning fake “fiat currency.” Their real goal is to usher in “hard currency” and re-base global currencies around scarcity and physical assets. So no it really doesn’t matter much what happens to Twitter’s ad model in the meantime. It will probably do alright, and they can probably find other ways to make money, like adding in payments and weird Dogecoin schemes."
Profound truth! Thank you Robert. It's mind boggling how little Musk knew about how tech companies work and the value of technical and organizational knowledge. I guess that's the kind of myopia that comes from only being a rich owner and reckless, narcissistic consumer .. but not even a very curious one. Sad. Let's hope a more humane alternative emerges and triumphs.
Professor Reich is right on. I would generalize this a bit more, because I remember my Father's stories from the aerospace industry of the 1960's. He has so many wonderful stories from the factories of workers who were not branded as "elites" yet showed brilliance in their work and were irreplaceable to the company. His funniest stories are about what would happen when the new "efficiency" experts would come in to study the production line and increase profitability. The workers, often women, would suddenly change their entire routines, forget everything, and work in slow motion. Once the observers were gone they would go back to their dizzyingly quick and efficient normal routine. My Dad would talk to them about it and they would laugh, then they would show him a dozen things that could be changed to make things better. The moral to his stories is always to respect and trust the people who work with you and seek their advice. The basis of his management style was always respect, and he was the best advocate for his employees. That is at the heart of it. When you spend your days doing a job you become the expert on how it can be done better. Over the years you gain knowledge about how to make your tools better, whether they are physical or mental tools. You are an asset well beyond what you produce on a daily basis. That was true in the equivalent of the tech companies of the 1960's as it is today. The new generation of tech companies didn't magically reinvent the workplace, they didn't create a system that defies the rules of decent human relationships. As Professor Reich points out, they are learning the hard way the lessons my Father learned sixty years ago - and I am sure that those were the same lessons that were learned in the decades before as well.
In a quintessential example of hubris, Musk bought a company for the product it produced without having any idea as to its nuts and bolts as how these were made, or who tuned them. Other corporate leaders squeeze these nuts and bolts for every dollar they can produce without giving anything back to the workers other than the lowest possible wages. Well, I trust labor in the US will wisen up and turn the tables by organizing and fighting for what they are worth. And, the government should lend a hand in this since on the micro level workers are what keep corporations humming, and on the macro level, they are the ones that keep the economy afloat.
I seriously wondered about Musk's $44 billion offer for Twitter. Just where was he going to get $44 billion of _value_ from the transaction? Given that Twitter was losing $4 million EVERY day, it was a losing proposition from the get-go. My impression was that it was some kind of market manipulation involving sparking interest in Twitter shares, driving up the price, at which point he would unload his substantial portfolio of Twitter stock which he **already** owned, making a HUGE profit on the sale. I doubt he ever seriously believed that Twitter would actually want to sell out to him -- an impression reinforced when he immediately tried to back out of the deal. When Twitter sued and won to force Musk to honor his offer, it left him in a position where he has had to scramble to just avoid _losing_ many billions of dollars on the deal. About the ONLY thing he can do is arbitrage the company: break it up into its component parts and sell it off for pennies on the dollar.
Just like Babe Ruth: known to be the Home Run King, but also the strike out king as well. Musk is renown for having become a multi-billionaire from his success in a business venture. Now we see he is also quite capable of striking out -- and ruining the lives of thousands of employees because of his flub. He will be lucky if he loses only $20 billion on this deal when all is said and done.
I think that this underestimates the speed with which Twitter is headed for the trash heap of history. Its reputation for being a reliable means of communication is now gone and there is no sign that its earlier competence will or even could be quickly restored. With its reputation and reliability gone, the exodus will be fast and people will not flock back quickly in the numbers needed to keep it afloat. I predict that it will have to declare bankruptcy in one or two weeks. A classic example of Hubris meeting its Nemesis.
Democrats have Made a huge￼ mistake
It’s the efficiency of AI stupid
In creating one of the worlds most complex AI applications, Tesla replaced thousands of employees who were labeling video images to teach their neural Network how to understand what it was seeing. Once the team had evolved auto labeling they could do this work many thousands of times faster without the need of humans which is the only way you can get a complex application such as full self driving to run.
By comparison analyzing a relatively simple tweet is far simpler￼. In microseconds of computer time, A tweet can be analyzed as to whether it’s respectful, racist, accurate and whether it possesses other dangerous qualities such as suggesting attacks on people or endangering children. A fully documented rule compliance score can be instantly attached to any tweet in order to promote meaningful dialogue between people.
All you need to do to understand the horrific nature of our communication between opposing groups is to read the comments on this article. Not a pretty nor constructive picture. I’m sure that if Robert took the time to read all those comments he would be horrified to see the unhinged reaction people were having to his articles on Twitter.
Understand ￼that on other platforms those comments can be far more dangerous.
Let me explain what you’ll see/read.
1. Ad hominem attacks where instead of discussing the topic those commenting will attack the individuals character directly.
2. crude language and even cursing with no real comment
3. talking point phrases such as “Elon didn’t start Tesla“ Repeated Word for Word by many of those commenting. Not only irrelevant to any central argument but may be a talking point supplied by a vested interest such as the fossil fuel industry that has been attacking Tesla for a decade.
4. comments that have no intellectual content or may simply be emojis with no clear point being made.
5. comments written in ambiguous language where it’s not even possible to determine pro or con
6. statements made as fact that are easily proven dubious or entirely incorrect.
Artificial intelligence can attach a percent ￼probability Range￼ wrt accuracy and create￼ a an exhaustive list of all the sources from which information had been extracted. Databases exist that contain every word ever published in the English language So we’re talking exhaustively thorough here￼. Additionally artificial intelligence can point to conflicts and inconsistencies which can identify fallacious tweets. Sure, say anything but know that it will be evaluated extensively and characterized so the reader can determine whether they want to expose themselves to material which has a very low probability of being correct. Additionally this process would enable readers to expand their knowledge since as a society there is no way we can agree on solutions if our factual basis are not aligned.
Roberts articles have ￼ unintentionally driven people into a reactionary and hysterical camps where comments are antithetical to the possibility of meaningful discussion. Once a respectful conversation ceases, people take sides and our society will enter a downward spiral that may be impossible to break out of. While I do not pretend to know the details of Elon‘s plan, I do know his stated intention is to create a meaningful town Square where people are￼ free to say what they want but where our attention will be drawn to the more meaningful conversations instead of those that will simply incite the greatest Hostility￼ which is pretty much where we are now.
Elon has succeeded incredibly in his for companies and has expressed humanitarian tendencies consistently so at least we should give him a chance to show us what we can do instead of hooting constantly from the peanut gallery as if we know better. None of us have created a multi billion dollar enterprise which requires a skill set that few on here will acknowledge. ￼