Here’s How Twitter And Elon Musk’s The Boring Company Are More Alike Than You Think
I’d like to build a tunnel from my house to a remote office.
It would have been worth the wait, particularly if I could drive 90 miles per hour. No traffic, no stops along the way — just get in my car and Driving. I can enable autonomous driving mode and sit down to have a cup of joe and create these columns.
There’s a small problem with my idea, though.
First, neighbors. I might have to ask my neighbors to allow me to build a huge above-ground entranceway leading to a subterranean highway. I’m not sure if city officials would go for it. Given the high cost, it is unlikely that the city would approve the loan.
Sadly, we don’t live in a world where someone like myself can build a tunnel like that without some form of consensus and collaboration. Although we think bureaucracy must be bad, sometimes a slow-moving process can work well. Complexity is what makes our system of government so complex.
A few obstacles are facing The Boring Company that demonstrate how it works. A podcast called Today: ExplainedThey did a great job of explaining why tunnels built for cars may not be the most innovative idea in the world. Chicago is one of the examples they used. The project was stopped after everyone realized how stupid it was.
I thought about Twitter as the hosts talked and Elon Musk was mentioned.
While I have been occupied with other topics lately, social media platforms are definitely on my mind. Although the news is quieter now, perhaps because of holidays, Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter seems to be the most important tech news of the year. I’ve been trying to figure out why Musk even bought Twitter, and why he seems to be trying to burn it to the ground.
Yet, the connection between Twitter and boring tunnels is clear: You can do what you like. It’s a mix of libertarianism, free speech, and the Don’t Tread On Me mindset.
In Elon Musk’s world, I could build a tunnel for my morning commute. I would get a loan approval from the bank. The bank would approve my loan. My neighbors will have to be content with the decision. Similarly, I should be able to do what I want on Twitter, as long as it’s not illegal.
Social media should have as little bureaucracy as possible, regardless of whether it is content filtering, gatekeeping or other administrative requirements. That’s the theory at least, even if deploying that widely as a social media policy is pretty hard.
Apparently it’s also pretty tough when it comes to building tunnels, which originated as a joke about The Boring Company and Elon Musk wanting to drive to work a little faster.
We can now begin to see the thoughts and motivations of billionaires who are insanely brilliant. I am also starting to understand why I’m so fascinated by it. In the world in which we live, you can’t build a tunnel to work. You also can’t post internal memos about company discussions regarding a missing laptop, unless of course you buy the company.
A reusable rocket should not be possible for anyone. A private network of superchargers across the nation for an electric vehicle. Unfortunately, the “do what you want” mentality is a wonderful mindset when it comes to building products and is perhaps the foundation of all innovation. This approach isn’t the most effective when it comes social media or how to live with a world that has many rules.
What does all this translate into for Twitter?
I would say it’s a nice idea to let us post whatever we want even if it’s This is insane!. The Boring Company also reminds me of subways. There’s a reason the “do what you want” mindset usually goes underground.