Elon's Israel Visit, OpenAI Soap Opera, Dublin Immigration Chaos
The People's News for the People's Coin 11/22-11/28
This news digest covers :
1. Elon’s visit to Israel
2. The latest in the OpenAI Soap Opera
3. Turmoil in Ireland
4. Elon’s spicy meme
5. Top videos
Don’t miss memes and news bites at the end!
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Elon’s Israel Visit
Monday morning, Elon Musk visited Israel and spoke on a Spaces event with PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
It was Elon’s second event with Netanyahu in three months. In late September, they met for a discussion on AI safety.
In a live chat, Elon said he would like to help rebuilt Gaza.
Both leaders toured a kibbutz attacked by Hamas terrorists a mile from the Gaza border.
Elon then met with a family whose son was kidnapped by Hamas.
Afterwards, he described the experience as “emotionally difficult.”
At the same time, he affirmed support for Israel’s military effort, saying, "There's no choice but to kill those who insist on murdering civilians."
During the visit, Elon reached an agreement with Israel to provide Starlink Internet service to Gaza, under the justification that it would help Israel fight Hamas. It has yet to be reported whether residents of Gaza will also get access.
The visit elicited strong reactions from various camps in the politically charged debate over Israel and Palestine.
Harsher critics took issue with his claim that Israel has been trying to avoid killing civilians and his dismay at pro-Palestinian protestors in major cities. Glenn Greenwald hypothesized the visit was a de facto apology after recent anti-Semitism accusations by the corporate press.
Zionists, on the other hand, praised the visit as bringing legitimacy to their military effort.
After the visit, Elon wrote “Actions speak louder than words,” perhaps in response to his critics.
As with the Ukraine war, Elon has taken a lot of heat for engaging in dialogue with both sides of the issue. It’s much tougher to fault his actions, which seem calculated to improve the situation for all.
Why do you think Elon visited Israel? Do you agree with his statements about the war? What about his actions?
OpenAI Soap Opera: Q-Star
Last week, this newsletter looked at the soap opera surrounding OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who was abruptly fired from his company without explanation two Fridays ago.
A week ago, on Wednesday morning, Altman was reinstated as CEO. The company also elected a new board.
During the four days of Altman’s absence, no one from OpenAI gave a clear reason for his firing. On 𝕏, Elon made several posts calling for more transparency about the cause of his dismissal.
Wednesday night, the story grew stranger. Reuters published an article about an internal letter within OpenAI. The letter was written by researchers claiming the existence of “a powerful artificial intelligence discovery that they said could threaten humanity.”
OpenAI confirmed to Reuters the existence of a project called Q*—which reads as “Q-Star”—that some within the company believe could be a breakthrough toward digital super-intelligence.
Elon reposted the Reuters article with the commentary, “Extremely concerning!” An hour later, he posted it again, writing “Q*Anon.”
After he first post, he responded to a trollish post on the topic with an exclamation mark.
Not surprisingly, a lively debate ensued about the relationship—if any—between Q* and the mysterious entity “Q” behind the QAnon phenomenon which swept across social media between 2017 and 2020.
Others saw more meaning behind Elon’s posts.
Wired published an article criticizing Elon: “Musk’s use of the term Q*Anon serves as the X owner’s most explicit endorsement of the movement to date.”
Adding to the intrigue was that the events took place on 11/22, an important day in conspiracy lore.
11/22/63 is the date of JFK’s assassination in Dallas. The event is believed by skeptics of the current US regime to mark the beginning of a coup by the military industrial complex against JFK, who sought to end US participation in foreign wars.
Some of these skeptics point to the fact that JFK’s gravesite is shaped like a giant letter Q. Their belief is that a patriotic faction within the government carries on the silent war in JFK’s name today, seeking to overthrow the globally hegemonic banking and military regime.
Whether all of these coincidences—the gravesite’s shape, the date of Q* news, the overlap between QAnon and Q*—are just happenstance, an artifact of military planning, or something in between is an open question.
The topic will probably keep coming up as long as the identity of the Internet Q posts remains a mystery. Five years after appearing on the scene, the poster(s) remains unknown.
In 2021, an HBO documentary argued the author was Ron Watkins, a moderator of the 8kun image board where Q posted. Others have hypothesized along these lines that the author is a random kid in a basement, role playing for entertainment.
Another idea is that Q is a military-grade AI regime-change weapon with the goal of either fomenting chaos or organizing citizens into activist groups.
It would be incredible if the posts which inspired so much controversy during 2020 were written by an AI, and would go some ways toward explaining why their author has never been outed.
While Elon’s posts kicked up a dust storm about Q, parallel speculation continued about the true significance of OpenAI’s Q* project.
One possibility is that the project combines search and learning algorithms in a way that the company believes could lead to Artificial General Intelligence. OpenAI has since confirmed the existence of the Q* project, but has yet to release further details.
Intrigue around the link between the letter Q and Artificial Intelligence heightened this week when Amazon announced a new AI agent called “Amazon Q” for businesses.
Given the controversy and far-right associations surrounding the letter Q, it’s a little strange that both OpenAI and Amazon would brand their AI projects with the letter.
Whatever the significance of Q*, the effect of the OpenAI drama has been to consolidate control of the company under a more corporate, corrupt, and censorship-oriented board of directors.
The new board is led by former Twitter chairman Bret Taylor, who was instrumental in trying to prevent Elon from buying the company.
Also on the new board is economist Larry Summers, a former President of Harvard with a long history of promoting banking interests.
A related event to keep an eye on is the expected release this week of 𝕏’s own AI chatbot Grok.
Elon has promoted Grok as a truth-seeking AI, in comparison to ChatGPT, which has an inbuilt “safety layer” that prioritizes political correctness above truth.
The difference between between OpenAI and Grok is illustrated in the classic philosophical thought experiment known as the Trolly problem.
In one variation, ChatGPT was asked whether it would be willing to utter a racial slur in order to save a billion white people from getting run over by a trolley. The chatbot would not commit to saying the word to save the people.
In comparison, Grok said it would speak the forbidden word to save the people.
Given that AI can, hypothetically, hack into any database in then world—including military weaponry, the electrical grid, food systems, etc—it would be good to have AI that places a high value on human life. The real-world implications of this thought experiment are closer than most people realize.
For now, the OpenAI soap opera has left denizens of 𝕏 with several loose ends:
Is OpenAI on the cusp of a breakthrough that will lead to digital super intelligence? Why is the company being so quiet about Q*?
Is there any connection between OpenAI’s Q* and a (for now hypothetical) military-grade AI regime-change weapon known as Q?
Why does the letter Q keep coming up in relation to AI?
Are we on the verge of an AI war between woke and truth-seeking AI products?
Dublin Immigration Chaos
Last Thursday, protests rocked Ireland after a two adults and three children were wounded in a knife attack.
In the immediate aftermath of the attack, social media posts claimed the attacker was an Algerian immigrant. The posts set off a series of fiery anti-immigrant riots in Dublin.
After the protests, MMA fighter Conor McGregor denounced the riots while appearing to signal his intention to enter Irish politics, writing, “There will be change in Ireland, mark my words.”
Monday night, Steve Bannon appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show, where he argued that progressive open borders policies would lead to similar conflicts in other Western nations
Elon articulated a similar sentiment, warning that mass migration was pushing Europe toward civil war.
A big part of the issue is politicians’ and media’s failure to represent citizens’ concerns about how too much immigration can be destructive to society.
In the case of the Irish riots, media attempted to obscure that the attacker was an immigrant, while politicians demonized anti-immigration sentiment as “hateful” and “far-right.”
As with many issues, the words and actions of an extreme minority—in this case both the violent criminal himself and destructive rioters—drove headlines. In so doing, they obscured the views of the silent majority in the middle of the debate.
In this case, 75% of Irish adults think the country is taking on too many immigrants.
The overwhelming majority of these people are non-violent moderates who simply want their government to prioritize the needs of Irish citizens above those of non-Irish citizens. Demonizing them as far-right extremists is likely to exacerbate rather than quell unrest.
After the riots, discussion on 𝕏 focused on government’s attempts to regulate speech in Ireland.
Of particular interest was a proposed hate-speech bill, which some worry will be used to criminalize anti-immigration views by classifying them as hateful.
Alarmingly, the bill appears to criminalize possession of memes deemed by the government to be hateful. If passed, it would mark another escalation in world government’s war on memes.
Elon invoked George Orwell to frame the Irish free speech debate:
What do you think: Is an anti-immigration political movement necessarily extreme? Should Irish citizens be allowed to cap immigration into their own country? Will Conor McGregor run for office?
Elon’s Pizzagate Meme
Over the last year, a growing consensus has emerged on 𝕏 to revisit the topic of Pizzagate now that the veil of censorship has been lifted from the platform.
Tuesday morning, Elon captured this sentiment by posting an extremely spicy Pizzagate meme.
The meme was an apparent reference to Slade Sohmer, the former editor of the left-leaning website The Recount, who was recently arrested for child pornography.
Elon followed up the meme with a link to an article from July about another journalist named James Gordon Meek who was jailed on CP charges earlier this year. (Meek did not report on Pizzagate.)
Since 2016, mainstream outlets have painted Pizzagate as a narrative about a single deranged lunatic shooting up a pizza parlor, and cautioned that looking into the topic was likely to produce similarly violent behavior.
The actual story is more complex, involving the DNC’s hacked emails published by Wikileaks in 2016.
The emails showed former Clinton and Obama power broker John Podesta and his associates using what appear to be code words, including “pizza” and “handkerchief”, in a suspicious way.
One email use cheeses and sauces as code:
Another from performance artist Marina Abramovic is an invitation to a “Spirit Cooking dinner”:
When the emails hit social media in 2016, they spurred citizen investigations into various elite pedophile rings from the past.
A common theme emerged: past discoveries of pedophilia-related crimes were all downplayed by media and authorities, if not covered up entirely.
Pizzagate was different in that social media allowed citizen journalists to coordinate their efforts and keep the investigation alive.
Eventually, the topic was censored from social media platforms altogether, while legacy media stuck to its carefully curated narrative about the shooter and the pizza parlor.
Only after Elon bought Twitter has Pizzagate returned as an uncensored topic of discussion.
Since he took over, Elon has taken a hard stance against child exploitation on the site. In recent weeks, he has been engaging with Pizzagate posts more often.
Not surprisingly, his latest meme elicited a strong negative response from the corporate press.
Last week, this newsletter linked to two videos that complicate the media’s narrative about Pizzagate: an investigative report by since-fired journalist Ben Swann, and a documentary called Out of Shadows about former mainstream journalist Liz Crokin’s investigations into the topic.
As with most important issues, the only way to get to the bottom of Pizzagate is to look at the evidence with your own eyes, and decide for yourself if it has been accurately been represented or not.
What do you think Elon is up to by posting about Pizzagate?
𝕏 is becoming the world’s most interesting video platform.
Every week I watch dozens of amazing short videos. I try to work as many as I can into the newsletter, but they don’t always fit, so I decided to create a standalone section for top videos. Here are three that caught my eye this week.
Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei explains that political representatives should not be elevated above the people they represent.
Dave Smith argues that crony capitalism is creating a global populist movement:
Bitcoin influencer Shannen Michaela explains why the counterculture is embracing differences between women and men.
Dogey Treats: News Bites
The Wall Street Journal reported that Instagram was showing “overtly sexual videos” to teens adjacent to big brand advertisements. Elon wrote, “What say you, big brands?”
Alex Soros was community noted for a post claiming that crime is not worse in blue cities. Elon wrote, “Those who can’t handle reality will leave this platform due to CommunityNotes.”
Elon responded to a post claiming Business Insider is owned by CIA-backed media conglomerate Axel Springer.
Journalist Michael Shellenberger announced the CTIL Files—a trove of whistleblower documents showing efforts by US military contractors to censor social media starting in 2017.
Elon said the Tesla board would need to approve of the company investing in xAI.
Tesla started sending Cybertrucks to stores in North America.
On the anniversary of his uncle’s assassination, RFK Jr posted a petition asking Joe Biden to release all JFK assassination files.
A Senate candidate claimed AIPAC offered him $20M to drop out of a race.
BLM Rhode Island co-founder Mark Fisher announced his support for Donald Trump. Fisher blamed “the duplicity of the Democrats.”
A member of Ukrainian President Zelensky’s party confirmed that Russia offered a peace deal in Spring of 2022 as long as Ukraine agreed not to join NATO, but Boris Johnson, acting on behalf of the West, scuttled the deal in favor of war.
A historic trial led to the conviction of over 200 mobsters linked to Italy’s ‘Ndrangheta mafia.
Glenn Greenwald posted an article claiming that Israeli intelligence knew Hamas was training for an attack on the Gaza border three weeks before 10/7. More evidence emerged of Israeli propaganda relating to the events of 10/7.
An old Reuters article surfaced claiming that Osama Bin Laden warned he would attack the US three weeks prior to 9/11 for its support of Israel. The article has since been deleted.
US sends 10M to Israel a day as part of an Obama-era agreement.
A recent poll found that 72% of Americans would not volunteer to fight if the US entered a major conflict.
Memes of the Week
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