An Elon tweet posted just an hour ago got 500k likes. To put this in in perspective, his most popular tweet ever got 1mm likes in 24 hours. Just nuts. This is a black swan in the sense few saw Elon becoming as influential even in 2018-2020 as he is today (to give myself a pat on the back, I did).
From the May 2021 post Elon Musk and the Fall of Institutions
If you think Elon Musk is a big deal now, wait until Tesla stock gets above $1,000, or if bitcoin goes to $100k , or if there is another crisis/pandemic, or a mars or moon Space-x mission, etc…Not saying that any of these will happen, but if they do, Elon Musk will only see his popularity and influence grow, similar to how in early 2020 his controversial remarks about the pandemic would see him go from just merely being a popular person/celebrity, to being on par with Donald Trump as one of the most widely followed and debated public figures alive. And then also in early 2021 during the GameStop/WallStreetBets saga, which made him even bigger still.
The vacuum of leadership and loss of confidence in institutions tracks the rise of Musk, but also related individuals whose fans have a large overlap like Lex Fridman and Joe Rogan. Governments, elected officials stopped being moral authorities and are viewed as impotent and perfidious. Same for the mainstream media, which continues to see ratings fall to new lows.
Not to make this too political, but the left has itself to blame by imposing its control over discourse, until the dam finally broke. You cannot label half the country as your intellectual or moral inferiors and expect that these people will just go away or change their minds because Snopes or Politifact said so.
Ukraine and Covid were things in which everyone seemed to have certainty and strong opinions about. And many of those very experts and forecasts were wrong, such as vastly overestimating the risk of nuclear war, another world war, or severity economic crisis due to Covid. But Elon becoming arguably the most famous or important person in the world, is something that few foresaw. He was important, yes, but not like he is now (and will be).
I think this shows the power of memetics. Much like interstellar dust crossing a certain thresholding of density and coalescing into a planet or a star, the same happens with popular people and social media. Or economies. So you have a hegemonic economy and culture, that being the US; a hegemonic individual, that being Musk; and hegemonic companies, those being Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Tesla.
As much capitalism gives people choice, winner take all markets means that a few will reap disproportionate returns once a key threshold is crossed. Even for real estate this holds, such as Bay Area relate and Toronto and Seattle real estate.
Also, I don’t think twitter will falter under Musk’s control, as some are predicting. Trump and other right-wing accounts being unbanned will mean more engagement overall, and hence more ad revenue. No one will quit because of Trump being unbanned. Liberals like engagement and sparing with their opponents as much as conservatives do.