Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Tesla, and X (formerly Twitter), at the AI Safety Summit on November 1, 2023, in Bletchley, England. (Photo by Leon Neal via Getty Images)

Does Elon Musk Have Too Much Power?

Bari talks to Walter Isaacson. Plus: the best response to antisemitism. And what the rest of the West can learn from Israel.

Elon Musk is many things: genius tech innovator, owner of the world’s most important public square, freelance diplomat, volatile CEO. No wonder his every move is covered so closely. 

But don’t let the media carnival around Musk distract you from just how much he matters. Musk is building our future, at both SpaceX and Tesla, and influencing our present, with X and Starlink. With the platform formerly known as Twitter, he can control the flow of information. And he isn’t afraid to use his internet infrastructure company to influence geopolitics. Starlink has offered Ukraine intermittent support, and more recently, Musk floated the idea of offering Wi-Fi to “internationally recognized aid organizations” in Gaza when Israel cut off access ahead of its ground invasion. 

On this week’s episode of Honestly, Bari talks to Musk’s biographer Walter Isaacson. He spent two years shadowing Musk, and has a better idea than anyone of what Musk is doing with all his power, what makes him tick—and why we can’t look away. 

Read an edited transcript of Bari’s conversation with Walter here. Or listen to their conversation in full below: 

How should Jews handle the alarming rise of antisemitism around the world? Not by embracing a victimhood narrative, writes Batya Ungar-Sargon. “Do not cast your lot as a competitor in the oppression Olympics,” she writes in The Free Press. “Instead, reject that entire way of looking at the world.” 

Read her full cri de coeur here:

If the past month has been a stress test for Israeli society, then the reaction to appalling tragedy—and a massive defense failure—has demonstrated the country’s resilience. The solidarity and selflessness displayed by ordinary Israelis in recent weeks is no surprise to Dan Senor and Saul Singer, authors of the just-released The Genius of Israel: The Surprising Resilience of a Divided Nation in a Turbulent World. Today in The Free Press, they explain why Israel’s societal strength offers a blueprint for the revival of the West. 

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