Pixel Scroll 4/25/22 Mrs. File You’ve Got A Lovely Pixel, Scrolls As Sharp As Her Are Something Rare, But It’s Sad, She Doesn’t Read My Books, I’d Give Her Free Copies, But It’s No Good To Beg

(1) SALE OF TWITTER PROMPTS RESPONSE. It was announced today that Elon Musk will buy Twitter. Cora Buhlert tweeted her reaction to the news. Thread starts here. Here are excerpts.

Meanwhile, John Scalzi noticed a disturbance in the Force:

(2) LITFEST 2022. LitFest Pasadena runs from April 30-May 14. The science fiction/fantasy related programming is on April 30 – see the graphic below. (Yes, in the Mountain View Mausoleum – what could be cheerier?)

(3) NOT IN MY BACK YARD. The New Yorker reports local angst about “The Plan to Make Michigan the Next Space State”. And the monied entrepreneurs who might want to carry out the project.

…I had come to visit… because Granot Loma had been selected as the location for a proposed rocket-launch site, as part of a plan called the Michigan Launch Initiative. If built, the site, along with two other facilities, would constitute the first spaceport in the Midwest. The site planned for Granot Loma would host vertical launches, through which rockets carrying satellites and other payloads—not human passengers—would be sent into low-Earth orbit. The second facility is a horizontal-launch site at the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, about two hundred miles north of Detroit, where aircraft carrying satellites would take off from runways. Operations for both sites would be supported by the third facility, a command-and-control center, which would be situated in the Upper Peninsula, in Chippewa County, east of Marquette.

The spaceport plan is the brainchild of the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association (mama), a trade association founded in 2007. mama estimates that the command-and-control center will be operational by 2023, and that all three sites of the spaceport will be up and running by 2026. Their initiative has been polarizing: some locals believe that the spaceport will benefit the economy and attract more talent to the state, while others, particularly those who live close to Granot Loma, worry about the potential disruption of having rocket launches in their back yards….

(4) CRUSH HOUR. Commuters, SYFY Wire can tell you where the dino traffic will be heaviest: “Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World Dominion map”.

America has a little dinosaur infestation problem in Jurassic World Dominion. How bad is this prehistoric predicament? Director and co-writer Colin Trevorrow made it quite plain with a nifty map of all the once-extinct animals now running loose across the United States in the upcoming blockbuster (out in theaters this June). “It’s a problem,” tweeted the filmmaker, 

(5) TRIVIAL TRIVIA. [Item by John King Tarpinian.] As we know, James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher were in a series of movies together, Star Wars.  Until they appeared on an episode of the TV series, Big Bang Theory, they had never met.  Since Jones’ Star Wars performance was as a voice actor he was never on-set.

(6) JAMES BAMA (1926-2022). Artist James Bama died April 24 at the age of 96 reports DeathObits.com. He was inducted into the Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2000.

James Bama, a legendary and super talented American Artist/Painter, who painted Doc Savage, Frankenstein, the crew of the Enterprise and so many other fantasy/sci-fi subjects, has sadly and unexpectedly passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2022, leaving his entire family, close relatives, and groups of friends in total devastation and sadness.

… Beginning with The Man of Bronze (1964), he created a powerful set of 62 Doc Savage Bantam Books paperback covers, frequently employing actor Steve Holland, star of TV’s Flash Gordon (1954–55), as a model. He also created the box art for Aurora’s monster model kits, such as King Kong, Frankenstein, Dracula, and The Mummy. His work is collected in The Western Art of James Bama (Bantam Books, 1975) and The Art of James Bama (1993). Brian M. Kane’s James Bama: American Realist (Flesk, 2006) has an introduction by Harlan Ellison.

(7) MEDIA BIRTHDAY.

1999 [Compiled by Cat Eldridge] Twenty-three years ago on this evening on FOX, the David Duchovny-written-and-directed X-Files’ “The Unnatural” episode first aired. It is not connected to the underlying mythology of series, and thus is one of their Monster of the Week stories.

We’ve aliens (as in Roswell), baseball and the KKK. Well, only the latter are the monsters here if you ask me as the aliens definitely aren’t. We would have had Darren McGavin here too but he suffered a stroke after he was cast as one of the principal characters, but after the stroke, he was replaced by M. Emmet Walsh whom you’ll recognize as Bryant in Blade Runner. McGavin never filmed anything again. 

It had a notable cast, so I’ll list it: Frederic Lane, M. Emmet Walsh, Jesse L. Martin, Walter T. Phelan, Jr.  Brian Thompson and Paul Willson.

Reception for this episode is exceptionally good. Them Movie Reviews said of it that, “It is truly a credit to Duchovny that The Unnatural works at all, let alone that it turns out as a season highlight. There are any number of memorable and striking visuals in The Unnatural. The sequence where Dales discovers Exley’s true nature is one of the most distinctive shots in the history of The X-Files.”

While Doux Reviews stated “Think about it for a minute. This is an episode about baseball players in the 1940s. They are not only black in a time when being so could be life threatening, they are aliens. Our two heroes are, for the most part, nowhere to be seen throughout this hour. This story should never have worked. It did and it does on every subsequent re-watch. Written and directed by David Duchovny, this is an earnest hour of television. Duchovny took a premise that could have been silly and inane beyond the telling of it and chose to take the whole thing seriously. Because he does, we do as well.”

Audience reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes give the series as a whole an outstanding eighty-six percent rating. 

The X-Files are free to steam on Amazon Prime. 

(8) TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS.

[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born April 25, 1897 Fletcher Pratt. He’s best remembered for his fiction written with L. Sprague de Camp, to wit, Land of Unreason, The Carnelian Cube and The Complete Compleat Enchanter. I’m rather fond of The Well of the Unicorn and Double Jeopardy. I see that he and Jack Coggins were nominated for International Fantasy Award for their Rockets, Jets, Guided Missiles and Space Ships, a non-fiction work published in 1951. Anyone known about this? He got nominated for two RetroHugos, the first at MidAmericCon II for “The Mathematics of Magic” novella, the second there for another novella, “The Roaring Trumpet”.  (Died 1956.)
  • Born April 25, 1907 Michael Harrison. English writer of both detective and genre fiction. He wrote pastiches of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin. His most remembered work is In the Footsteps of Sherlock HolmesThe London of Sherlock Holmes and The World of Sherlock Holmes. He was also a noted Sherlock Holmes scholar, being a member of both the Baker Street Irregulars of New York, and the Sherlock Holmes Society of London. He wrote three genre novels — The Bride of FrankensteinHigher Things and The Brain. (Died 1991.)
  • Born April 25, 1915 Mort Weisinger. Comic book editor best known for editing  Superman during the Silver Age of comic books. He also served as story editor for the Adventures of Superman series. Before that he was one of the earliest active sf fans, working on fanzines like The Planet (1931) and The Time Traveller (1932) and attending the New York area fan club known as The Scienceers. (Died 1978.)
  • Born April 25, 1950 Peter Jurasik, 72. Ambassador Londo Mollari on Babylon 5 who would be Emperor one day and die for his considerable sins. (Yes spoiler, but there can’t be anyone here who hasn’t seen Babylon 5.) He has also very short genre credits other than Babylon 5— Doctor Oberon Geiger for several episodes on Sliders and Crom, the timid and pudgy compound interest program, in the Tron film.
  • Born April 25, 1952 Peter Lauritson, 70. Long involved with the Trek franchise starting with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. He became the producer of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and supervising producer for Deep Space NineVoyager and Enterprise. He directed three episodes of those series, including the Hugo Award-winning (at ConFrancisco)  “The Inner Light”, as well as being second unit director for two Trek films.
  • Born April 25, 1969 Gina Torres, 53. The first thing I remember seeing her in was Cleopatra 2525 where she was Helen ‘Hel’ Carter. (I really liked that series.)  Her first genre was in the M.A.N.T.I.S. pilot as Dr. Amy Ellis, and she actually was in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions as a character named Cas but I’ll frankly admit I remember almost nothing of those films. She’s had a number of DC voice roles including a recurring Justice League Unlimited run as Vixen / Mari McCabe. And of course Zoe in the Firefly verse. Lastly anyone remember her on the Angel series as Jasmine?
  • Born April 25, 1981 Silvia Moreno-Garcia, 41. She’s the publisher of Innmouths Free Press , an imprint devoted to weird fiction. Not surprisingly, she co-edited with Paula R. Stiles for the press the Historical Lovecraft and Future Lovecraft anthologies. She won a World Fantasy Award for the She Walks in Shadows anthology, also on Innsmouth Free Press. She was a finalist for the Nebula Award in the Best Novel category for her Gods of Jade and Shadow novel, which won a Sunburst and Ignyte Award. And finally with Lavie Tidhar, she edits the Jewish Mexican Literary Review. Not genre, but sort of genre adjacent. Canadian of Mexican descent.
  • Born April 25, 1988 Jonathan Bailey, 34. Here for being Psi on the Twelfth Doctor story, “Time Heist”,  the best story I think that they did. He, in what I think was his only other genre role, was Lewis is Alice Through the Looking Glass.

(9) COMICS SECTION.

  • Bizarro – a comic that consistently lives up to its name. Today’s joke is about vampires.

(10) CLASSIC CAR FOR THE 21ST CENTURY. If this vehicle was in LA they could re-enact the famous photo of the shuttle driving by the big donut on the roof of Randy’s Donuts. “Drive to the airport in your own Endeavour Space Shuttle” in the NZ Herald.

Consultant John Powell and his friend dairy worker Paul Mulligan have converted a 2006 Nissan Presage station wagon into the Endeavour Space Shuttle to raise money for Starship children’s hospital.

They said this is an ideal vehicle for Kiwis “to the airport and beyond”.

The “shuttle” has clocked just under 200,000km on its wheels but as for flight time, it’s still brand new with less than a minute on air.

“Other than some split-second flight along the bumpy New Zealand highway, it’s brand new,” he said.

“It’s very hard to find a spaceship with less than 200k on the clock,” Powell said.

it has three rocket engines driven by a fire extinguisher generating incredible but unmeasurable thrust.

… However, the downside is the vessel does use unleaded 91 petrol as a fuel source, the price of which seems to be flying higher than the Endeavour but this fuel type is a whole lot cheaper than the liquid hydrogen which retails roughly for about $10 per kg.

(11) STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION ANIMATED SERIES CLASSIC STYLE. [Item by Mike Kennedy.] A fan-made animation has surfaced of the ST:TNG scene where the Borg kidnap Picard. It’s made in the style of the Filmation Star Trek: The Animated Series. Spot on. 

(12) THINKING BIG. [Item by SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie.] OK, this is unashamedly sciencey but is also the metaphysical stuff of science fiction: Greg Egan’s Quarantine for example, but then you’d expect me to say that, my being a Science Fact & Fiction Concateneer.  One of my favourite YouTube channels is PBS Space Time: always good to start the week with a bit of physics before moving on to the serious stuff of bio- and geoscience. This channel has a few million followers so quite a few do like its hard science.

Sometimes episodes have maths and sometimes the maths is a tad heavy. But equally, some episodes are maths free. This week’s episode is one such.  Further – while some say biology is the most amorphous of the four core sciences (maths being the fourth) – physics too can have its unquantifiable moments even if part-spurred by real experimentation. This week’s episode of PBS Space Time looks at such an area of fuzzy physics when asking the question “Does the Universe Create Itself?”…  Apparently, we could be living in a universe that is playing Reverse 20 Questions with itself.

(13) WAYBACK TO THE FUTURE. [Item by Martin Morse Wooster.] Barry Norman reviews Back To The Future on the BBC in December 1985, and said while he liked the film, “If you give more money to Steven Spielberg, that can’t be helped.  It’s already been established that he’s a descendant of King Midas.”

(14) SOCK IT TO MOMA. Stephen Colbert interviews Oscar Isaac and we learn a Dune movie relic is now part of the MOMA Collection: “Oscar Isaac Gifted His Modesty Sock To “Dune” Director Denis Villeneuve”.

(15) ROLLING ROLLING ROLLING. From three years ago, OK Go’s music video “This Too Shall Pass” is staged around an epic Rube Goldberg Machine.

[Thanks to JJ, John King Tarpinian, Chris Barkley, Rob Thornton, Andrew Porter, Anne Marble, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie. Michael Toman, Cat Eldridge, Mike Kennedy, and Martin Morse Wooster for some of these stories. Title credit belongs to File 770 contributing editor of the day Kendall. We’ve done the short version of this title; today we’re going all the way!]

51 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 4/25/22 Mrs. File You’ve Got A Lovely Pixel, Scrolls As Sharp As Her Are Something Rare, But It’s Sad, She Doesn’t Read My Books, I’d Give Her Free Copies, But It’s No Good To Beg

  1. First!

    May I say how surprised I was that the Suck Fairy had come nowhere near Fletcher Pratt when I re-read some of his short fiction several years back? I was quite surprised just how good it is.

  2. Weird. I got an email calling this “Auto Draft”

    1) I am not sanguine about the future of Twitter as a medium I will want to be engaged in regularly. It may wind up in the Facebook bucket.

  3. 1) Over the past few years, I have been surprised at how much effort some people will put into being trolls. For no gain for themselves, just the pleasure of annoying others. It’s been a disappointing revelation about human nature.

  4. (1) Not leaving Twitter yet; there are still things that have to be done, legally, before the deal is done, and Musk is going to find that having is not as pleasant as wanting (to coin a phrase).

  5. Paul Weimer: I didn’t get a notice at all. And the link wasn’t tweeted. So we’re back to mysterious broken notifications.

  6. There’s a strange synergy between the last two scroll items! MoMA has an incredible video called The Way Things Go, a half-hour Rube Goldberg machine! My son JP loves all things OKGO

  7. My first encounter with the work of Mort Weisinger was a Bantam paper titled “1001 valuable things you can get free”. It was a fun book to order things … especially stuff that wasn’t available at the Post Exchange in Yongsan Garrison in Seoul. Great stuff for a pre-teen kid.

  8. 1) Kind of interested to see what the alternatives is to Twitter. I’m more into it for sharing news than for social contacts. I think I will most likely leave if it’s bought by Musk, just to avoid the nonsense drama.

  9. 7) A quarter of a century since the one time I saw that episode, and I remember that it’s set in Roswell and in one scene a saguaro is visible… and saguaros don’t grow within hundreds of miles of Roswell.

  10. 1) Big influx of new users on Mastodon yesterday (by local standards), but it’s not really a drop-in replacement for Twitter and in any case established communities give people an incentive to stay where they are.

    Still, if you like the idea of something like Twitter but at a more human scale then wandering.shop is a nice F&SF-oriented place to start:
    https://wandering.shop/about

    My feeling is news and tweeting-as-public-performance will be the least affected by any changes to Twitter – it’s halfway to being a broadcast medium already – so if that’s what you mostly enjoy then it makes sense to stay there.

  11. (1) I’m on the cusp, just waiting to see the deal finalized and for him to reinstate Hair Cheeto. I’ve enjoyed twitter, but I heavily curate my feed, only view it on the PC where I can block ads and “trending” lists and other nonsense, and keep my list of people I follow relatively small while blocking retweets (I came to see YOUR thoughts, not theirs). But I won’t miss it if I go, despite the friends in the writing community I’ve made there. I quit Facebook five years ago and never looked back. They are terrible places, and social media is a mixed bag of some really hoopy froods, combined with numerous fascist goblins of death.

    (8) Okay, look, I have NOT seen Babylon 5, so thanks for the spoiler. 😉 I tried the pilot earlier this year, and bounced off its bad 90’s cheesiness hard. Just can’t see wading through a couple of seasons of that stuff to get to the “good seasons.”

    (15) Always loved that video. Their follow ups were equally fun.

  12. (1) Maybe it’s just the people I follow on twitter, but I’ve been seeing a lot of chat about ‘become ungovernable’ and I’m looking forward to a lot of anti-Brand action.

  13. Jeff Reynolds says Okay, look, I have NOT seen Babylon 5, so thanks for the spoiler. ???? I tried the pilot earlier this year, and bounced off its bad 90’s cheesiness hard. Just can’t see wading through a couple of seasons of that stuff to get to the “good seasons.”

    I consider it all great. But more importantly, I refuse to the consider any series such as Babylon 5 that ended a quarter of a century ago one that I need to consider such that spoilers have to avoided. Where do we draw the line then? Is the old Trek also off the discussion list? New movies, series and books obviously, but there has to be some reasonable date of when things can be commented upon without fear of spoiling them.

    Now listening to The Deep Blue Good-By, the first of the John D. MacDonald Travis MacGee mysteries.

  14. When I don’t see a notice in the evening, I’ll have to remember to check the site (I did get the notices for the other two items this morning).

  15. Speaking of those John D. MacDonald Travis MacGee mysteries, I had forgotten how graphically violent they are. The reviewers today have a nostalgic view of these novels but MacDonald was unflinching in his depiction of McGee and the world that he lived in which was not a nice one. Bad things happen to good people and worse things happen to bad people. McGee makes a good first person narrator though not one to be always trusted.

  16. (1) Am I being too optimistic in thinking that its maybe a little early to panic about Twitter?

    Also, that Scalzi post reminded me — I don’t know if anybody’s seen it but the guys at Upstream are going after SFWA again (with an out of nowhere cheap shot at this site to boot, I might add). Wonder if he’ll comment? Who am I kidding, it’s Scalzi, he comments on most things.

  17. James Bama’s passing really hit many of us in the pulp community hard. I never had the pleasure of meeting him, but of all those who did, none of them ever had a bad word to say about him. An inspired artist, a good man. And let it be remembered that without his brilliant Doc Savage paperback covers, the Man of Bronze, The Shadow, the Spider, the Avenger, Captain Future, and many other pulp magazine heroes of the pre-comic book world would be as dead and forgotten as dime novel hero Nick Carter. Thank you so much, Mr. Bama. Rest well, and paint.

  18. I’ve basically been a Twitter user for as long as I’ve cared about social media at all, and … I’m not super optimistic, but I’m willing to wait for a bit to see how this all shakes out. I think Twitter under Musk will be worse, but I can’t be sure how much worse.

    Like Sophie Jane, I’ve been at wandering.shop for a while, so if you’ve followed me on the twitters (odds are slim, but ya never know!) feel free to find me there.

  19. I have an old account at wandering.shop myself, predictably as Princejvstin.

    @bookworm1398. We’re on three years and counting of the Underbridge Dwellers who harass Patrick Tomlinson discovering their second favorite target – me.
    (and number of days since they have actively harassed me in multiple venues? That number is zero).

  20. Another one who didn’t get last night’s notice, but did get the two this morning. A strange element moving in the internet, perhaps?

    1.) I didn’t leave Facebook but I’ve significantly modified how much time I spend there. FB cooperated, however, by being unuseuable at times. However, there’s some communities I interact with there that I don’t have connections with elsewhere. So I heavily curate my FB feed.

    I suspect Twitter will be much the same. I had already started aggressive curation over the past few weeks, and just before Musk’s purchase, had noticed the arrival of a LOT of new accounts that were into playing edgelord games.

    Meanwhile, I set up a bolthole on ContactSocial and…well…it’s been interesting over there.

    Not planning to jump to any heavy video-dependent social media. For one thing, they usually bias toward mobile apps and I don’t use those during the day–computer-based social media is my thing, because I use it for breaks from writing or other things. Phone apps are too small to read and I want fun stuff on my tablet.

  21. The individual running Upstream may be, as he says, “a professional graphic designer and copywriter” but what he is not is a professional forensic accountant. His analysis of the public filings of SFWA are pure bullocks. Even I who am a rank amateur but who has had to to file my share of those documents can see that.

    I really like to know what he thinks they did that pissed off their members.

  22. “Because as it turns out, their most recent Form 990s have recently been posted to the somewhat notorious OnA Forums.”

    Ah yes. The home of all your harassment needs.

    Their latest “crusade” seems to be is that they (and here hence Upstream) are under the impression SFWA is bankrupting itself in supporting Patrick against their harassment campaign.

  23. @Chris R
    I can speak to that, because I am their second favorite target. They were originally a Reddit subforum whose hobby was harassing and getting into scuffles with all and sundry. When Patrick, who never backs down from a scuffle gave as good as they got to their stuff, Patrick became Enemy #1.
    I became Enemy #2 when, in response to them using photos of mine (of Patrick) against Patrick, started issuing DMCA requests to Reddit.

    Eventually they got kicked off Reddit for their antics (although…I think they are back now) and that just made them angrier at Patrick and me.

    3 years and counting later, here we STILL are. I am harassed in some form just about every day. Patrick gets it far worse.

  24. (1) I wish I’d said this, but credit goes to a commenter with the handle Pope Gregory the Ninth on this piece by Marina Hyde in the Guardian:

    “I fear that Twitter’s reputation as a place of calm, respectful debate and nuanced discussion is in jeopardy.”

  25. (8) It’s not genre, but Fletcher Pratt is also known for his set of rules for naval wargames. They do require a lot of space however (I’ve played using them a couple of times and had to do it outdoors on a lawn). There are photos of Pratt running games that used an entire ballroom as the game area.

    Peter Jurasik also had a role in one of the Big Finish Fith Doctor audios.

  26. It will be a while before the Twitter deal completes. Matt Levine has a good description of the process in his Bloomberg column. It’s behind a paywall so a brief excerpt

    Why does it take so long? Well, some things need to happen between now and when the deal closes. Most notably, Twitter’s shareholders have to vote on the deal. Twitter will have to write a proxy statement explaining the deal, run it by the Securities and Exchange Commission, send it to shareholders and give them some time to read it before voting; this can take months. Also there are regulatory approvals — under antitrust laws, etc. — that Twitter and Musk need to get before closing the deal. Also when the deal closes Elon Musk will need to have about $46 billion in cash[1]; he has agreements — with banks and with himself — to get the cash, but actually getting it can take time.

    So current users have time to consider their options, and Musk might even change his mind, not that he ever does that.

  27. Jim Janney says So current users have time to consider their options, and Musk might even change his mind, not that he ever does that.

    Some things to consider. There may well be other bidders now for it, and European regulators need to sign off on him buying the company which cult be difficult given their tendencies. Oh and there’s no saying how the stockholders will decide on this offer. They could well reject it.

    Now watching season eighteen of Silent Witness

  28. @Cat Eldridge: McGee is refreshingly non-invulnerable, and takes a lot of hit points (and shows on his damaged hide that he’s taken lots more in the past). But he also has a James-T.-Kirk level of mortality among his love interests.

  29. 1) Not sure why people are running from Twitter unless it is a desire to be sheltered from the panoply of perspectives that exist in the world. Social media enables encounters with all sorts of people.

    If the objective is to be sheltered from the world, then shouldn’t the first step be to utilize private channels? (i.e. Slack, Discord, privately moderated BBS/messaging boards?) Or alternatively, the mute/block button or a killfile are useful solutions.

    Something positive (IMO) has changed at Twitter HQ. Folks that are a little closer to my ideological preferences are reporting an inexplicable increase in engagement. As anecdata, my tiny account recently seemed to have more engagement in 24 hours than in the prior 24 weeks combined. Shadowbanning seems to have ebbed noticeably.

    Regards,
    Dann
    No man ever listened himself out of a job. – Calvin Coolidge

  30. Oh I don’t know, maybe if you are a member of a minority and are a target of harassment, abuse & death threats by trolls, then maybe you might want to leave a platform whose new owner has signalled that it will be even easier for trolls to conduct their harassment, abuse & death threats.

    Some people may decide they have better things to do with their time than to be subjected to that barrage of abuse. That’s how the free market works right?

  31. @Soon Lee
    Given that Musk is bad-mouthing Twitter’s management (on Twitter!), there are people now expecting the deal to collapse .

  32. dann665: Yessir, happy kumbaya political tolerance has ever been the hallmark of fandom. I’m sorry, Sam Moskowitz, what’s that? Oh, you remember kicking the Futurians out the first Worldcon because of the political flyers they were going to distribute? And Mr. Heinlein, you remember writing to Forry Ackerman complaining fans were avoiding the army in WWII? And Mr. Campbell, you say you were aware fans and writers divided over the Vietnam War?

    Well, let’s not get enmeshed in trivia. Other than a few hundred exceptions, up until the end of the Twentieth Century every fan calmly tolerated every political opinion ever expressed.

  33. P J Evans notes that Given that Musk is bad-mouthing Twitter’s management (on Twitter!), there are people now expecting the deal to collapse.

    Setting aside Musk, Vanguard, Morgan Stanley, BlackRock and State Street control nearly thirty five percent of the company. They are risk adverse and are not going to vote for anything they think will be bad for their portfolio. It’s hard to say how smaller investors will vote.

    European regulators are already signalling that unless he agrees in writing that he will follow their social justice policies that they will not approve the sale.

  34. @dann665

    Not sure why people are running from Twitter unless it is a desire to be sheltered from the panoply of perspectives that exist in the world. Social media enables encounters with all sorts of people.

    Dann, really? Surely you can’t be this ignorant. It’s not the “perspectives,” it’s the harassment and abuse so many non-white non-straight not-male people face on Twitter. If the sale goes through, Musk is already signaling he’s going to dismantle what little moderation exists. Not to mention inviting That Fucking Guy back on the platform (whether TFG accepts or not)

  35. Bonnie McDaneil. Says Dann, really? Surely you can’t be this ignorant. It’s not the “perspectives,” it’s the harassment and abuse so many non-white non-straight not-male people face on Twitter. If the sale goes through, Musk is already signaling he’s going to dismantle what little moderation exists. Not to mention inviting That Fucking Guy back on the platform (whether TFG accepts or not)

    Let’s make something clear. You don’t have to be non-white non-straight not-male for a Twitter mob to got after you. I don’t believe that our very well-liked Paul Weimer fits into that category and he’s been chased viscously by a Twitter mob by years now. All you have to be is someone that a certain crowd there doesn’t like. That’s all it takes. Nothing else matters. All you have to do is offend someone.

    Twitter is the very ugly realisation of Niven’s flash crowds. Effortless to get started and almost impossible to stop once they are in motion, so unless Twitter changes fundamentally its rules of engagement, flash crowds won’t go away on Twitter no matter who own it.

  36. Paul Weimer says to me very well said, thank you.

    You’re welcome.

    Twitter is a hell place, period, for far too many individuals. Whether Musk buys it, that isn’t going to change that. AndI don’t deny that many individuals, including some here, find it a useful social network. That doesn’t negate the harm that it continues to inflict upon far, far too many.

  37. @Cat Eldridge

    Let’s make something clear. [snip]

    Nicely said.

    It would be better if there were no Twitter mobs. Differential moderation that seems to be based on the political inclinations of Twitter employees is not a productive step towards the objective of eliminating that sort of activity.

    @Bonnie McDaniel

    Dann, really? Surely you can’t be this ignorant.

    Of course not and you know better. Twitter’s moderation seems to be focused on reducing a limited range of abuse as if it mostly originates from the right. It also seems to define “abuse” poorly as illustrated by the Babylon Bee episode. I didn’t follow Mr. Trump before he was bounced and have no intention of following him should he return. Given the number of dictators, autocrats, and theocrats that still have functioning accounts, I see no good reason to not allow him to return.

    Or ban those that are worse than Mr. Trump to be consistent. Either approach works for me.

    Just finished the Conan/Lovecraftian mashup “King of the Bas****s” by Brian Keene and Stephen Shrewsbury which was…interesting. 3 stars when I write the review.

    Starting Rebeccas Roanhorse’s “Fevered Star”. Looking forward to reading the sequel to a Hugo nominated book. An experience that has been a rarity for me recently.

    Regards,
    Dann
    Popular opinions, on subjects not palpable to sense, are often true, but seldom or never the whole truth. – John Stuart Mill

  38. Cat Eldridge wrote

    Some things to consider. There may well be other bidders now for it, and European regulators need to sign off on him buying the company which cult be difficult given their tendencies. Oh and there’s no saying how the stockholders will decide on this offer. They could well reject it.

    Yes, there are a lot of things that might happen. To me they all sound a bit like “and maybe the horse will learn to sing”, but this is definitely not my area of expertise, if I even have one anymore.

    Aso, and I should have mentioned this earlier, if anyone wants to read Levine’s columns without paying for a Bloomberg subscription, you can sign up for the email version here. That’s how I get it, and there is likely to be more on the Twitter deal before all is said and done.

  39. Jim Janet says Yes, there are a lot of things that might happen. To me they all sound a bit like “and maybe the horse will learn to sing”, but this is definitely not my area of expertise, if I even have one anymore.

    Nor mine either but I’m but watching the European privacy movements for over a decade now. If I was laying down money, and I mean serious money, and I was betting on the European regulators versus Musk, my money would be on them.

    Oh and the British government weighed in this week and said their social privacy rules would likely mean them opposing him purchasing Twitter. That means he couldn’t operate the social network in both the U.K. and all of the European Union.

  40. Jeff Jones says I guess Musk didn’t do his research, making Twitter an impulse purchase.

    Musk is intensely anti-government so it never occurred to him that he might actually need to observe the niceties of getting government approval for this. I really do not think this is going to happen in the end.

  41. Dann:

    Something positive (IMO) has changed at Twitter HQ. Folks that are a little closer to my ideological preferences are reporting an inexplicable increase in engagement. As anecdata, my tiny account recently seemed to have more engagement in 24 hours than in the prior 24 weeks combined. Shadowbanning seems to have ebbed noticeably.

    Since Elon does not have control of Twitter yet, changes in engagement can’t be due to his efforts. Why give him credit for increased engagement for your tweets.

    Musk claims both that he will allow speech to the limits of what is legal, and that he will ban use of pseudonyms (such as “Dann”) which in America is a protected form of speech. So my faith in his clarity of thinking is quite limited.

    What Musk appears to be is a pseudolibertarian like those that L. Neil Smith criticized as “Franklinite” (“limited government and keep those subsidies coming”). We seem to be experiencing a surge in such pseudolibs (such as those that think the government generously gives the people a limited number of rights listed in the Constitution, when in fact, by original intent and long tradition, the Constitution does not state or imply that non-listed rights don’t exist) – I hope “pedoguy” doesn’t add to the anti-liberty rhetoric on Twitter.

  42. @Karen Fressen

    I apologize for the delay. Busy few days.

    In this case, “Dann” is anonymous as “Karen”. Inspector Clouseau could figure out my full name in less than a minute given the information contained in this reply.
    My hope is that he will ensure that any moderation effort will be applied on a non-partisan basis. We’ve had partisan moderation for a while and it is counterproductive.
    No one knows why Twitter is changing its moderation effort. I don’t think that it is a coincidence that these changes are occurring as Mr. Musk is purchasing the company. I could be wrong and it is a coincidence.
    It’s nice to find a point of agreement. The Constitution does acknowledge individual rights that existed before the Constitution and will exist after it is gone. It takes a very expansive view of individual rights. It also is supposed to severely limit the range of actions available to the government.

    Regards,
    Dann
    A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by. – John Wayne

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