Go Tab Yourselves

Today in tech: The most popular topic? Gaming 🎮

Last Wednesday started with Kim Masters quoting Linda Yaccarino’s previous colleagues calling her “not collegial” and “a scorched-earth manager” in The Hollywood Reporter and ended with Elon Musk on stage at a New York Times Dealbook event calling his “friend” Andrew Ross Sorkin “Jonathan” and telling the few large advertisers who could still potentially save his social network from its impending collapse to “go fuck yourselves.” Wow, I thought, nothing could prevent this from being the lead item in Tabs tomorrow!

And on the shelf behind me, unobserved, the last finger on a dusty monkey’s paw labeled “Henry Kissinger” began to twitch…

I know we don’t enjoy looking at or listening to Elon Musk, but it’s worth watching this short clip because Musk is visibly falling apart. To return to Mencken for the second time in consecutive newsletters: there is a vague, unpleasant manginess about his appearance; he somehow seems dirty, though a close glance shows him carefully shaved. Musk squints and waves his head around like a mortally wounded lizard, oozing flop sweat and lurching from the ineffectual teen defiance of “go fuck yourselves” to the ineffectual teen self-pity of a stammered “uh eh uh whuh uh what this advertiser boycott is gonna do is it’s gonna kill the company.” Tell it to Earth!?

Mark Popham posted: “ZORAK: when was that, when you were crying in the bathroom? SPACE GHOST: you know what? tell it to earth, Zorak! MOLTAR: *at the controls* ah ha WHAAAT? ZORAK: tell it to EARTH? SPACE GHOST: that's right! See what the earth has to say about that!”

Dave Karpf checked in on his prediction that X would fold by September, which was obviously wrong on timing but still feels like it captures “the relevant narrative beats.” In Business Insider Grace Kay reported that Claire Atkinson reported that most of X’s ad sales staff have already collected their final bonuses and left for jobs where they have something to do, and that Elon has somehow managed to lose money even in the only division of the company that brings in any revenue. And this weekend Wal-Mart confirmed to CNN that it’s not advertising on X, not because of anything Musk said or because of all the Nazis on the platform, but simply because advertising there doesn’t work.

Following the news, Joe Benarroch, head of Operations at X, told CNN in a statement… “Walmart has not advertised on X since Oct[ober] so this is not a recent pause, the company has just been organically connecting with its community of more than one million people on X…”

So they’re still posting for free. I imagine that Musk‘s investors and the banks holding X’s worthless debt are pleased about that. You did it, Joe.

Did Linda Yaccarino have a Linda Yaccarino tweet for all this? Hell yeah she did. “People in Japan spend over 1.5 billion minutes on X each day. The most popular topic? Gaming 🎮”

Also Today in The Fall of the House of Musk: A small number of Cybertrucks finally got delivered, and based on Marques Brownlee’s first impressions video, it appears to be a vehicle with several interesting ideas wrapped in a heap of expensive, dangerous trash. It’s hard not to conclude that Tesla would be dominating the electric truck market if they’d released a normal looking pickup with the same specs on schedule two years ago for the originally announced price, rather than trying to convince F-150 Lightning buyers to spend more money to look like a jackass driving a refrigerator with malice aforethought at some point in the distant future.

Today in Tech: Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin wrote his own version of Egg’s techno-optimist manifesto, and I disagree with a lot of it, but surprisingly not all of it. For example this isn’t a point you frequently see made by tech enthusiasts:

Often, it really is the case that version N of our civilization's technology causes a problem, and version N+1 fixes it. However, this does not happen automatically, and requires intentional human effort

It is intentional action, coordinated through public discourse and culture shaping the perspectives of governments, scientists, philanthropists and businesses, and not an inexorable "techno-capital machine", that had solved [problems like air pollution, the ozone hole, and solar power costs].

He does try to create a dumb new sect of the AI religion called “d/acc” though, and can we please not. Forbes doxed @BasedBeffJezos and if that is gibberish to you, count yourself blessèd among the wretched of the earth and do everything you can not to change it. KISS played their last concert and then announced they will become computer cartoons to embarrass their fans for the rest of time.

“The graceful curve outlines the charming charm and depicts exquisite details.” You will never guess what product this is sales copy for. Code your own Sphere. What if sleeping is normal, and being awake is what needs explaining? Also today in sleep: “Lucid dream startup says engineers can write code in their sleep.” This whole concept: jail for a thousand years. Apple patented a smart ring but it may not go where you think. 404’s Samantha Cole on the urologist developing “a Fitbit for the clitoris. A Clitbit.” Signal is in financial trouble since the CIA pulled its funding because good encryption makes it harder for them to surveil Americans. “Are we the baddies?” they failed to wonder. I know perfectly well that the Oxford Word of the Year is marketing but they’ll get me with it every single time anyway. This year it’s “rizz.” Baby Gronk could not be reached for comment. "Billie Eilish Comments on Coming Out: ‘I Didn’t Realize People Didn’t Know’.” It’s not our place to make assumptions, Billie, but we didn’t exactly not know. And in The Guardian Alaina Demopoulos tracked down the woman who created the horny Kissinger death copypasta.

image of henry kissinger against backdrop of a text with lots of emojis

Finally: Luke O’Neill and David Roth had a good conversation about Media Ownership These Days. And friend of the Tabs Sam Circle’s “Last Week’s New Yorker Review” is Curbed’s reason number thirty five to love New York right now. You couldn’t throw a link in there though, Choire? They say the New York Times changes you but I didn’t want to believe it…

Today’s Song: Basement Jaxx & 100 gecs, “where’s my head at”

Music Intern Sam is back! Thank god, I was out of ideas. I’m told the baby is babying well.

Upcoming schedule notes: I’m going to Morocco later this month so Tabs will be off for a slightly extended winter holiday break from December 15th to January 2nd. You all have those two weeks off as well, I checked with your boss and they said it was cool.

If you‘re a paid subscriber you can find the complete horny George Santos expulsion copypasta in the Tabs Discord. Just search for “SANTUSSY.”

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