Daily Bread for 12.20.22: Quite the Mess, Isn’t it?

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 25. Sunrise is 7:22 AM and sunset 4:23 PM for 9h 01m 40s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 11.6% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM. 

 On this day in 1987, in the worst peacetime sea disaster, the passenger ferry Doña Paz sinks after colliding with the oil tanker MT Vector in the Tablas Strait of the Philippines, killing an estimated 4,000 people (1,749 official).

Consider the following account of a businessman’s actions: 

Imagine taking the job! Yesterday Elon Musk tweeted a poll asking if he should step down as “head” of Twitter Inc.; 17.5 million people voted, and the results were 57.5% to 42.5% in favor of him stepping down. “I will abide by the results of this poll,” he said. But he also tweeted “As the saying goes, be careful what you wish, as you might get it.” And: “No one wants the job who can actually keep Twitter alive. There is no successor.” And: “The question is not finding a CEO, the question is finding a CEO who can keep Twitter alive.” And, listing qualifications for the next chief executive officer: “You must like pain a lot. One catch: you have to invest your life savings in Twitter and it has been in the fast lane to bankruptcy since May. Still want the job?”

Meanwhile Musk has been trying to raise money for Twitter at $54.20 per share, the $44 billion valuation at which he bought it; he said in October that he was “obviously overpaying.” Since then things have, uh, not gone well. So the proposition is … what? You take all of your money, you give it to Musk to buy equity in his company at a price that you all agree is absurd? And then you get to work for him, running a sullen and broken Twitter according to his ever-shifting whims, until he changes his mind and fires you? And when he fires you he denies you severance and dares you to sue, and accuses you of being a sex criminal

That’s Matt Levine’s assessment of Elon Musk’s latest actions at Twitter (seeElon Wants Some Twitter Help‘).

Musk’s ownership has become, in fact, quite the mess. 

There are two aspects to seeing as much: Musk is ridiculous, and he looks ridiculous. 

The latter of these aspects, that he looks ridiculous, is easier to see from a distance. A ridiculous person close up becomes familiar in his ridiculousness, and those nearby become inured to his absurdity. From a distance, however, that absurdity isn’t leavened or obscured: it’s obvious, starkly so. 

For faraway Musk, that’s his problem: he’s unmistakably absurd. For the ridiculous who are nearby, it’s our problem: we have become imperceptive to their foolishness.

We should be looking at our own businessmen anew, with fresh eyes.   

What’s Really Got Inflation on the Run?:

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