Best Of The Web
“When Elon Musk speaks, people listen, even when it’s not too clear if he has any idea what he’s talking about. Musk’s every word is scrutinized, and each of his ideas is heralded as a breakthrough in human discovery. For example: the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX announces that he believes reality is actually a simulation, and suddenly, the theory becomes mainstream. And when Musk reiterates his belief that the world’s population is headed for collapse by 2050, the internet becomes littered with think-pieces proclaiming Musk’s prophecy as scripture.
That’s why we should all be concerned that Musk is asking for government approval to start hacking people’s brains. You read that right. His company NeuraLink, which attempts to connect the human brain to a computer interface, has applied for permission to start testing the device on humans. The system has already been tested on a monkey.
But Musk isn’t a prophet, nor is he a world-class philosopher; he’s just a businessman—albeit a very successful one. And therein lies the problem. Musk is a self-built, tremendously successful individual. He founded PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla—three monumentally important companies. He is one of the richest men in the world. Does any of that have to do with his ability to predict shifts in global population? Of course not. Unfortunately, we’re predisposed to think the opposite.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."
"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."
"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."
"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."
"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."
"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."
"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."