I realize that’s not a revolutionary statement, but we live in pretty stupid times.
NFT, TikTok, SPAC, the Metaverse… those four alone could be another Mount Rushmore of wildly stupid stuff that has spewed into the mainstream over the past couple of years.
But there is stupidity everywhere, every day, as you may have noticed. Let me illustrate my point using two tweets that were sent within minutes of each other on Wednesday morning.
The first tweet was sent by Bill Gates, a man who was the undisputed richest person on the planet for around 20 years in a row between 1997 and 2017, before being overtaken by Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos was the undisputed richest person on the planet from July 2017 until January 2021 when he was overtaken by the person who sent the second tweet, Elon Musk.
The first tweet
At 8:03 a.m. PST Wednesday morning, Bill Gates posted a thread on Twitter. The thread talked about the challenges we face as a species, including climate change, disease, famine, war, and equality. That was Bill’s bad news. Its good news? In this thread, Bill also announced that he was doing two things to combat these global issues:
#1) He instructed the board of his philanthropic foundation to increase annual spending from $6 billion to $9 billion. For your information, this $3 billion increase alone is enough to be one of the largest foundations on the planet in terms of annual spending.
#2) Bill announced that he was transferring another $20 billion value of his private wealth to the foundation. That’s $5 billion more than he committed to transfer a year ago.
In his last two thread tweets, Bill remarked:
“Looking to the future, my plan is to donate all my wealth to the foundation other than what I spend on myself and my family. I will go down and eventually out of the list of the richest people in the world. I have an obligation to return my resources to society in ways that have the greatest impact in reducing suffering and improving lives. And I hope other people in very wealthy and privileged positions will also step in at this time.“
These last two tweets that combined the statement above each received around 3,000 likes and 500 retweets.
Bill’s main thread tweet, the one in which he announced a $20 billion charitable donation… received:
- 84 retweets
- 35 quote tweets
- 869 likes
(Starting late Wednesday evening)
The second tweet
Exactly 12 minutes later, intentionally or not, Elon Musk turned on the old Twitter machine and posted the following:
A+ for cinematography pic.twitter.com/anGjQKbq5W
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 13, 2022
As I type this article, Elon’s tweet has the following stats:
- 38,800 retweets
- 3,533 quote tweets
- 337 201 likes
- Over 12,000 replies (Bill has disabled replies)
Who knows what those stats look like as you read this article. His retweets and likes have both increased by over 5,000 in about 30 minutes since I started writing this article.
To be fair, Elon has 40 million more followers than Bill (100 million versus 60 million). But follower count aside, these two tweets…sent 12 minutes apart…are the perfect illustration of the times we live in.
Bill Gates, one of the richest people in modern human history, is announcing a massive philanthropic donation to tackle extremely serious global issues…no one cares.
Elon Musk, the richest person in modern human history, posts a Hunter Biden joke…and the whole world explodes in laughter and applause.
Also for the record, regardless of your political party, Elon’s joke was pretty funny.
Anyway, thanks for the laugh Elon and thanks for the massive donation to better humanity Bill!
Have a stupid day!