John Gruber of Daring Fireball is the poster child for former smart people who suffer from permanent Trump-era induced brain damage. DF was my get up in the morning goto site but that changed in 2017 as Gruber obsessed and hated on Trump at the expense of doing what he was great at. And John was always a hack ‘off with their heads’ political blowhard. The polar opposite of his skillful Apple flavored tech writing.
I hoped those poles would remain fixed in their opposite separate positions and Gruber could still post good tech stuff. Unfortunately the Elon Musk takeover of Twitter pushed him over the edge into permanent political looney territory. The heady tangled mix of politics and big tech crashed, revealing his limits. While the tech Gruber looks at all sides of a complex issue and asking good questions for us to think about together, the political Gruber stoops to political hack level of shadow banning practiced by social media activists, presenting his carefully crafted, highly selective narrative that violently ignores all the other deadly stuff going on. The tech Gruber invites us to think, the political Gruber tells us what to think. All because, I guess, he needs to feed his Trump induced hate fix which is currently Elon Musk’s Twitter.
By early 2019 it was clear to me that Twitter was deeply dysfunctional, shadow banning people they didn’t like, especially in Japan. In COVID zero year 2020 everything went insane, honest science and medical debate was tossed out the window and banned as “misinformation”. Even as things seemed to cool down in the post-Trump era, it was an illusion, over time deadly stuff started to surface. Then Elon finally bought Twitter after a long drawn out buyout drama with Gruber covering it at his gloating childish ‘Elon’s gonna lose big time’ political worst. As Elon started cleaning the Twitter house as promised, Gruber gloated more about the end of Twitter and moved on to the Mastodon ghetto, a safe haven for former cancel culture Twitter Statsi who can no longer cancel. People with poisoned minds need their Trump-hate fix, but now that Trump is no longer in power they have to get their fix with Elon hate. Or whatever hate object they find. People who can dish it out but can’t take it. People like Gruber.
Maybe Twitter will die but I do hope Elon and company make a go of it. I also hope Mastodon is a success. Social media platforms need honest, healthy competition, not more covert censorship disguised as protecting people from ‘disinformation’. Gruber completely ignoring the Matt Taibbi Twitter Files exposé in his gleeful Elon Twitter DF gloat posts speaks volumes about where his heart is on that last item. Shadow banning and covert censorship is okay. Hate kills all that is good in people. If the former Twitter Statsi at Mastodon crowd thinks their chosen social ghetto platform won’t suffer from the same problems as Twitter over time, they are deluding themselves…again.
The old Twitter was bad design, by design, which is why all those unnecessary people were employed to keep it running. Bad by design job security. Supposedly smart people doing stupid things…for politics. And now that Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News, the now full on political Daring Fireball blog is gleefully covering that too. I miss the old Daring Fireball but as Shakyamuni Buddha taught in the parable of the burning house in the Lotus Sutra, life in the world is like a burning house. People with poisoned minds, blinded by hate, will continue to play with their toys like the children in the burning house.