Monday, November 22, 2021

The Freelon Unit


In my opinion, there is no public intellectual who gets things wrong more often, based apparently on conversations he has with cabbies, than NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman*.

Perhaps Mr. Friedman's most notorious codswallop was his repeated insistence that the successful end of the Bush Administration's misadventure in Iraq was just around the corner, in six months, tops.

This led to the birth of the 'Friedman Unit':
The Friedman (Unit) is approximately six months, specifically six months in the future, and named after columnist Thomas Friedman who repeatedly used the span in reference to when a determination of Iraq's future could be surmised...


It would appear that, in his column last week on how to deal with climate change under the headline "Want to Save the Earth? We Need a Lot More Elon Musks", Mr. Friedman may have come up with a brand new unit to once again call his kinda/sorta own:
If I am brutally honest, there is only one motto I would give to the movement to stem climate change after the Glasgow summit: “Everyone wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.”...


...We will get there only when Father Profit and risk-taking entrepreneurs produce transformative technologies that enable ordinary people to have extraordinary impacts on our climate without sacrificing much — by just being good consumers of these new technologies.

In short: we need a few more Greta Thunbergs and a lot more Elon Musks. That is, more risk-taking innovators converting basic science into tools yet to be imagined to protect the planet for a generation yet to be born...

Because, of course, rocket boosters and (gasp!) massive subsidies.

Not to mention Theranos, Pied Piper Hubs and/or Bigheads Galore. 


Those Silicon Valley uber-drivers must really salivate, hard, every time they see Mr. Friedman coming...

*Unless, as Driftglass would tell you, it is the Moustache's stable mate, David  F. Brooks.



Norm Farrell said...

The love affairs with Elon Musk mostly involve people who don't look at the man's record of making big promises and then delivering small results, or no results at all.

YouTube skeptic Thunderf00t reuses to take Musk's promises at face value and provides logical explanations as to why we should be equally doubtful. This is but one example.

RossK said...

Thanks Norm--


If Mr. f00T is correct, would that mean that what T. Friedman really wants is eleventy gazillion vapourware salesmen supreme?


e.a.f. said...

I've heard of a lot of stupid methods of dealing with climate change, but more Musks, that takes the cake for stupid. Can't think of a thing he has done to really improve the world. He sits on his billions, doesn't pay his fair share of taxes and appears to be so in love with himself ........yikes, but then I'm sure Friedman thinks a lot of himself also and provides very little of anything to society in general. Wonder if Friedman pays his fair share of taxes?