A Bigger Picture on Elon & Twitter

April 25, 2022

If Elon Musk owns Twitter, what are the risks, and what are the opportunities? In order for Twitter to support democracy — and Musk’s goal of becoming a multi-planetary civilization — we need a radical redesign that goes beyond free speech. Note: this conversation was recorded on April 21, 2022, 3 days prior to an official announcement that revealed Elon Musk and Twitter reached a purchase agreement for $44 Billion.

Clarification: In the episode, we talk about the creation of The Daily Show, featuring Jon Stewart. To be clear, The Daily Show was created by writer and producer Madeleine Smithberg and comedian and media personality Lizz Winstead — for comedian and host Craig Kilborn. Jon Stewart took over in 1999, which is when he had the conversation with executives that we reference in the episode, where he didn't want to see the viewership numbers.


Tristan Harris started his career as a magician. He studied persuasive technology at Stanford University, and used what he learned to build a company called Apture, which was acquired by Google. It was at Google where Tristan first sounded the alarm on the harms posed by technology that manipulates attention for profit. Since then, he's spent his career articulating the insidious effects of today’s social media platforms, and envisioning how technology can serve humanity. Today, Tristan is the president and co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology. 

Aza Raskin was trained as a mathematician and dark matter physicist. He took 3 companies from founding to acquisition before co-founding the Center for Humane Technology with Tristan and Randima Fernando. Aza is also a co-founder of the Earth Species Project, an open-source collaborative non-profit dedicated to decoding animal communication. Aza’s father, Jef Raskin, created the Macintosh project at Apple — with the vision that humane technology should help, not harm, humans.

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