Elon Musk's Twitter is going precisely as planned (poorly). Among all the reporting, one of the most effusive data points has been ignored by tech reporters: Musk's use of the 🤣 on Twitter. We cracked the code — crickets from the MSM, as usual — and until our report, he had not gone a day without tweeting it since October 23. Another tech winner-then -loser, Elizabeth Holmes, has handed in her letters begging for a lighter prison sentence. Buried among the 100+ letters from friends of the family is the news that her dog Balto, known for shitting in the Theranos office, has died. How? Well, a mountain lion carried him away. But surely, Elizabeth reacted appropriately? We’ll leave that judgment to you. Because judgment is a very personal thing, , much like a relationship with someone who may or may not be on the line for billions of dollars after their crypto scheme blew up. And maybe, you’ve been so busy running your crypto-whatever into the ground that you forget to delete your Tumblrs detailing your interest in race science. For example, the abandoned Tumblr of Sam Bankman-Fried’s alleged polycule partner/Alameda Research’s former CEO, Caroline Ellison. Another fun fact: did you know all the FTX idiots shared the same therapist? Maybe they should’ve hedged their bets across a variety of mental-health providers. IDK! And finally, going out with a salute to all the Swifties in the Ticketmaster waiting room. It’s like the beaches of Normandy out there. And what better time than on this, the 10-year anniversary of when Rihanna trapped a bunch of bloggers on a plane?
Why So 🤣 Elon?
By Tarpley Hitt
He's not mad, data shows he's actually cry laughing more than usual
There hasn’t been a universal language since at least the Tower of Babel. Esperanto was a bust. Interlingua was a joke funded by a Vanderbilt. Don’t even talk to me about “Ido,” as I don’t know what any of its words mean and neither does anyone else. But few dialects have come closer to global comprehension than emojis. They’re the hieroglyphics of the internet age, the wingdings of the 21st century, only they mean stuff, like “I’m a cloud” (😶🌫️) or “I’m a passive aggressive coward” (🙃). Because of this universal legibility, most people with access to the computer can interpret this easily:
This is obvious. This is clear as day. This means you are dealing with a highly aggrieved maniac who thinks the height of humor is an epic bacon meme or a joke about pronouns. This is the pictorial equivalent of buying a ticket to see Ricky Gervais and dutifully clapping like a trained seal. Nobody who has sent this emoji has actually been laughing while they hit send, merely staring blankly at a screen, idly wondering if they should send a third follow-up text to their ex.
It also happens to be one of Elon Musk’s most-used emojis on Twitter. Indeed, between Aug. 1 and Nov. 11, he tweeted it out 98 times. For contrast, the total number of times he tweeted other emojis in that same period was just 69. To quote Elon, nice. But since Musk’s quixotic attempt to buy Twitter became increasingly likely to succeed, despite his best efforts, he seemed to have been relying on his friend 🤣 more than ever. We’re not the only ones to notice this. Continue reading
Elizabeth Holmes's Wolf Dog Was Killed By a Mountain Lion
By Olivia Craighead
He's pissing in the great open office in the sky now
Elizabeth Holmes is facing up to 15 years in prison for defrauding Theranos investors, and she is using all of the marketing skills that let her do that in the first place to argue against a harsh penalty. In a robust sentencing memorandum filed on Friday, every single person who still has something nice to say about the disgraced former CEO wrote a letter to Judge Edward Davila. The report’s contents range from brief notes from former employees (“I believe in her character,” wrote former Theranos machinist Jason Lu) to photo collages of Holmes with her child to a letter from Cory Booker. It’s kind of like a mixed-media group project where getting an A means that someone stays out of prison.
The first letter comes from Billy Evans, Holmes’s husband, who broke his eight-page letter into sections with titles like “Our Love” and “The Price We Will Always Pay.” In the section titled “Dreams, Lessons, and Possibilities,” Evans finally answers the question many of us have been asking: What ever happened to Balto, the husky that Holmes insisted on telling people was a wolf?
Well, Balto died. Continue reading
Are These Caroline Ellison's Tumblrs?
By Tarpley Hitt
Two tumblrs rumored to belong to Alameda Research’s former CEO have some pretty interesting posts
Last week, news broke that the giant crypto exchange firm FTX and its overly close sister company, Alameda Research, were likely abusing user funds, leading to a loss of $10 billion and the bankruptcy of a crypto empire. The founder of the companies, 30-year-old MIT grad Sam Bankman-Fried, had been painted by the media as a crypto wunderkind, a “Luke Skywalker” bringing sophisticated financial vehicles to the unregulated market of decentralized trading — as well as being a true believer in the concept of “effective altruism,” a philosophy popular in Silicon Valley in which one donates their wealth to better humankind through the most efficient means possible.
Instead, “SBF,” as he is widely known, appears to have been defrauding his users by siphoning off an alleged $10 billion in assets to invest in VC projects through Alameda Research. Whether he is in fact guilty of those allegations is up to the SEC, the DOJ, the CFTC, and Bahamian law enforcement, all of which are investigating the implosion. But at the very least, the scandal seems to be why Alameda has shut down, FTX has filed for bankruptcy, and Bankman-Fried remains supervised by American federal authorities.
As reporters picked over the FTX-Alameda scandal, several other revelations about SBF and his squadron of yes-men gamer nerds emerged. The FTX org chart was basically 10 mathletes in a trenchcoat — a “gang of kids in the Bahamas,” as one source told CoinDesk last week. They were allegedly so high on prescription stimulants they could drop fruit-based finance metaphors in VC meetings while playing League of Legends at the same time. They lived in the Bahamas, presumably for tax reasons, and in the same house, presumably for sex reasons. They shared a therapist. And they were allegedly entangled in some kind of polycule, perhaps to maintain what one member supposedly called an “imperial Chinese harem,” wherein everyone had “a ranking of their partners,” knew where they fell in the pecking order, and conducted “vicious power struggles for the higher ranks.” Had this gotten more attention earlier, perhaps fewer people would have sent them their life’s savings. Continue reading
FTX Idiots All Shared a Therapist
By Leah Finnegan
Despite access to an “excellent shrink,” they still managed to squander billions of dollars
For anyone thinking that the nubile minds behind FTX, the cryptocurrency juggernaut once viewed as the future of banks until being gutted this week by the reality that maybe a cadre of thirtysomething League of Legends addicts aren’t equipped to handle billions of dollars, weren’t receiving proper mental-health care, don’t worry. The nerds all shared a therapist, although a lot of good that did them.
The nugget is buried in a slobbery, 13,000-word profile of FTX’s founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, that has now been humiliatingly removed from backer Sequoia Capital’s website (though you can still read it in full on the Wayback Machine). The writer, a thrillingly uncritical Adam Fisher, grills the therapist, George Lerner, about why Bankman-Friedman can’t simply enjoy anything (besides, presumably, alleged fraud): Continue reading
Taylor Swift Fans Are in the Trenches Against Ticketmaster
By Olivia Craighead
If you are in the queue for Eras Tour tickets, STAY IN THE QUEUE
If you have a Swiftie in your life, I would encourage you to perform a wellness check. Tickets for Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour went on presale today, and the whole thing is a mess. The Ticketmaster website is crashing, people’s Verified Fan presale codes aren’t working, and some of us were rudely relegated to “waitlist” status because we didn’t want to buy three remixes of “Anti-Hero.” It’s a war out there, and only the soldiers with the strongest cell service are going to survive.
To start at the beginning, Swift announced the Eras Tour two weeks ago. At the time, it was going to be 27 dates across the U.S., with international dates to be announced later. Then she added eight shows, then she added 17 shows, and now the U.S. leg of the world tour has 52 dates. Swift is touring stadiums, which usually have a capacity of around 80,000 people; if we do some quick math that should mean that there are around 4 million tickets to go around. Should be fairly easy for anyone who wants one to get a ticket, right? Wrong!
A new genre of Swiftie TikToks soon emerged, wherein people would explain exactly how to use the popular website Ticketmaster.com. “Whatever you do, don’t refresh the page,” someone would say. Then another person would say that you actually should refresh the page but not when you’re in the queue. Hacks were shared, tips were traded, and the tenor of SwiftTok was akin to being on a boat en route to Normandy in 1944. Continue reading
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