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Big Revolution - Does Elon Musk need an intervention?

Welcome to the start of another week, and Monday's Big Revolution. – Martin
July 16 · Issue #141 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to the start of another week, and Monday’s Big Revolution.

Big things you need to know today
- A German court has ruled that it’s possible to inherit digital content from a relative who has passed away. The parents of a teenager who died in 2012 wanted access to her Facebook account.
- China’s ‘cashless society’ is going so well that the country’s central bank has had to remind businesses to also accept cash.
The big thought
Credit: SpaceX
Does Elon Musk need an intervention, or just a break?
I didn’t want to write another big piece about Elon Musk, but it is worth reflecting on his behaviour yesterday. As you may have seen, Musk made a baseless allegation against a member of the team of divers that saved those Thai boys and their football coach.
It looked like the kind of crass, throwaway joke someone might make in person to a friend. The sort of thing they know is wrong but say for effect. Saying it online is, of course, an entirely different thing, and the storm of criticism (eventually) led to Musk deleting his tweets.
It has gone beyond saying Musk is reckless and unprofessional; now it’s like the man needs an intervention to stop him tweeting. His fans will say I’m being unkind, that he just cares so much about changing the world that he’ll destroy anyone who gets in his way. His fans will ask why that is a bad thing. After all, the rest of us aren’t changing the world like Musk is, right?
But being a genius doesn’t give you a pass when you act like an idiot. Is Musk really going to help the people of Flint, Michigan, or was that tweet last week another random outburst? He seems to be taking steps to fulfil his promise, but you can see why it’s worth asking.
By recklessly throwing baseless accusations around, Musk establishing a pattern of outbursts that may worry investors in Tesla and SpaceX about his judgment.
Given these regrettable Twitter outbursts and other episodes are a relatively new phenomenon, maybe they’re a sign that the stress of simultaneously running a bunch of big-vision, high-stakes companies, with lots of expectations to live up to, is getting to Musk. 
Maybe he needs to get some support from the people close to him. Maybe he needs to bring in a communications chief who he’ll listen to before making public statements. Maybe we can help by not paying so much attention to him.
One thing’s for sure; he should take a break from Twitter.
One big read
What’s really at stake in Google’s Android antitrust case What’s really at stake in Google’s Android antitrust case
The EU is expected to land Google with an enormous fine in an antitrust case relating to Android, possibly as soon as this week. But as this piece notes, that fine isn’t necessarily the biggest problem for Google. “The real question is whether Brussels forces the company to open up its Android ecosystem.”
One big tweet
A short thread. What if there’s no way to fix Twitter’s problem with bad behaviour? What if, beyond a certain size, it was always going to get like it is thanks to a combination of basic product design and human nature?
There’s a very strong case for arguing Twitter’s entire architecture is tailor made for toxicity and no matter how many focus groups you create it’s unsalvageable in its current form
8:05 PM - 15 Jul 2018
That’s all for today...
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