I got back from Tokyo on Saturday, and what was waiting in my post office box but Walter Isaacson’s new Elon Musk biography! I haven’t had time to crack the cover on it yet, but I’ll be starting Sunday and will hopefully make quick work of its 600+ pages. I’m not going to guarantee that I’ll have a review for you, but let’s be real: there’s a pretty good chance I’m going to have some thoughts. (What I’m hearing so far isn’t very encouraging.)
Since I only got back from vacation yesterday (as you read this), I don’t have any commentary this week, but like the last roundup, I have the highlights of the excerpts and details released from the Musk biography so far. That includes the stuff you’ve probably seen floating around about Starlink in Ukraine and Musk basically developing his own foreign policy. But there are also pieces about where his obsession with AI came from and his decision to sideline a more affordable Tesla model. You can find all that in Recommended reads. Plus, there are plenty of labor updates along with a bunch of other news you might have missed.
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A brief comment on Japan though before I let you get to the articles. People often tell me I’m too critical of tech and need to find good technologies. Well, I’ve found a tech that might just save us — or at least our bums. Coming back from two weeks in Korea and Japan, I’m shocked the nice toilet seats they use aren’t also ubiquitous over here. They don’t just have the bidet attachment with warm water, but a seat warmer, sprayer for the toilet bowl, dryer for your bum, and more depending on the model you get. If there was ever a piece of tech I was going to advocate for widespread adoption, the TOTO washlet might just be it. Plus, it isn’t trying to collect data on your bowel movements, as I’m sure some US company would try (and maybe already has). Also, to be clear, this is not an ad. I just love them and plan to buy one.
Anyway, that’s my little rant. If you want a good conversation about the political influence of the tech industry in San Francisco, check out my interview with District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston over on Tech Won’t Save Us.
Have a great week!