First, an act of foolishness or a very silly idea. Secondly, with regard to buildings, the structure is ornamental and serves no practical purpose other than self-gratification.
A good example of this is McCaig’s folly. The miniature Romanesque Colosseum that stands beside Battery Hill, overlooking the pretty town of Oban.
It was first constructed in 1897 by Scottish banker John Stewart McCaig to perpetuate the memory of himself and his family.
Construction halted when McCaig died in 1902 and his family defied his will for more lavish building plans including the tower and covenants for himself and his family; They seem to have more practical plans for his money.
120 years later, we still have follies albeit on larger scales.
Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter is a classic example of what happens when your ego goes unchecked and has no limits.
Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion. The business had incurred losses for seven of the past nine years.
Musk says Twitter loses $4 million every day, which likely explains why he previously tried, unsuccessfully, to get out of the deal to buy the company. It couldn’t be worth what he paid for it.
It is reported that Twitter has nearly a quarter of a billion users.
To make this subscription-based business successful — Musk has now launched “Blue Twitter” at $8 a month — you’ll need one in four users to have an ad-free subscription.
Leaving aside the fact that a lot of users are “bots” – a Twitter social media account controlled by a computer program that generates its content – generating such a high level of subscription seems impossible.
YouTube has 2.6 billion users with 80 million subscribers – that’s three out of every 100 users who are willing to subscribe.
Add to that the fact that Musk has scared away a lot of big advertisers including General Motors, Audi, United Airlines, Volkswagen and Eli Lilly, the major pharmaceutical company.
CBS News suspended its use of Twitter over the weekend, explaining: “In light of the uncertainty surrounding Twitter and out of an abundance of caution, CBS News is pausing activity on the social networking site while continuing to monitor the platform.”
Over the weekend, Elon Musk launched an online poll on Twitter about whether former President Donald Trump should be reinstated on the social networking site.
With 15 million votes cast, the proportion was 52% in opposition, to 48% against. A chilling echo of the disastrous outcome of the 2016 Brexit vote.
Musk tweeted that “134 million people watched this poll.” He loves big numbers.
However, this was only impressions and will likely involve many of the same people (and bots) coming back again and again to check the tally of votes.
Musk tweeted yesterday: “People have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Fox Boboli, Fox Day.”
The translation of this Latin phrase is “the voice of the people, the voice of God.” Now, there is an ego out of control.
We have no idea how many of these “people” were “bots”. Even more troubling is the idea of things being defined by random populism.
You can see that this is Musk’s company and he can do whatever he likes. We are free to leave or stay.
Of course, the financing deal was personally funded by Musk but also by a wide range of large financial investors, buyer let be warned it may be a concept these investors know soon.
Despite Elon Musk’s lip service to free speech and democracy, is it really his big idea to restore Donald Trump to office?
The same Trump who has repeatedly refused to accept the Democratic vote for the US presidency in 2020.
The man who wrongly claimed the election was “stolen” from him while whipping up an angry mob on Capitol Hill.
Trump is the only US president to have been impeached twice, finally by the House of Representatives over the insurrection on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. last year.
Trump reminds us of O Henry’s 1904 novel, Cabbages and Kings. A collection of stories set in the fictional Banana Republic of Anchoria – the term “Banana Republic” was coined by the writers.
Trump has indulged in more hair-raising follies than most people on the planet combined. His ego matches Musk.
Returning to the hate that fills Trumpy on social media could be the move that kills Twitter. It goes against Musk’s ambition for transparency and that Twitter is the best place for accurate information.
Post-truth Trumpism combined with pretending to be anyone by paying eight bucks a month for a blue tick is a marriage made in heaven.
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