Newsletter 2 August 2023: viral stories; Tesla dash lies; Texas porn blockers; B&N unchained

Newsletter 2 August 2023: viral stories; Tesla dash lies; Texas porn blockers; B&N unchained

Newsletter week three, thanks for hanging with me. This week: an essay on COVID’s viral storytellers, how Tesla faked out its drivers (including me), more snarky news takes, people to follow, books to read, and explugation. Stories are easier to invent and spread than messy scientific truth David Quammen has been writing books on science,…

The dishonesty of The Dawn Project’s anti-Tesla Super Bowl ad
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The dishonesty of The Dawn Project’s anti-Tesla Super Bowl ad

An advocacy group called “The Dawn Project” aired an ad challenging the safety of Tesla’s Full Self Driving feature during the Super Bowl. The ad is a good example of dishonest fearmongering. Before I analyze the ad, let me clarify two things. First, this ad appeared, not nationally, but in local markets like Washington, DC…

Disruption wins — except when it loses
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Disruption wins — except when it loses

Disruptive innovation requires viewing the world differently from conventional wisdom. Disruptors who succeed manage to change the conventional wisdom. Disruptors who fail end up victims of the conventional wisdom. And that includes the conventional wisdom inherent in government regulation Disruptors who ignored the rules YouTube was built on pirated, copyrighted content. It violated rules and…

Elon Musk lays off 10% of Tesla’s workforce . . . as cruelly as possible

Elon Musk lays off 10% of Tesla’s workforce . . . as cruelly as possible

Once again, let’s take a look at an Elon Musk missive. This time he’s laying off 10% of Tesla’s salaried workers. Here’s the internal email, according to CNBC: To: EverybodySubject: Headcount ReductionDate: Friday, June 3, 2022 Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10% as we have become overstaffed in many areas. Note this does…

What’s wrong (and right) with Elon Musk’s emails banning remote work?

What’s wrong (and right) with Elon Musk’s emails banning remote work?

Elon Musk sent his staff two blunt emails requiring them to work in the office, not remotely. His tone was bold. His meaning was clear. But his policies aren’t going to get him what he wants — especially if he ends up applying them to his next acquisition, Twitter. What Musk Wrote Musk sent his…

Elon Musk’s brand is an implausible future — and it’s cheaper than advertising

Elon Musk’s brand is an implausible future — and it’s cheaper than advertising

Tesla announced a humanoid household robot Thursday, with a prototype due out next year. It made headlines even though there was nothing to see but an actor in a suit. Elon Musk was just musing out loud with slides and silly props. This is not new. Most of what Musk announces has no dependable release…