Musk biographer Isaacson now on his third version of the "Musk secretly turned off Starlink to stop Ukraine attack" story, having found reason to change the one printed in his book

Originally published at: Musk biographer Isaacson now on his third version of the "Musk secretly turned off Starlink to stop Ukraine attack" story, having found reason to change the one printed in his book | Boing Boing


As I recall, Isaacson began this project chronicling the life of this genius tycoon and technologist before Musk overpaid for Twitter and proceeded to demonstrate he was anything but. Better to stick to writing biographies of people who are already dead.


But then you can’t do a sequel.


They know what it is: a biography of a living, litigious celebrity by a courtier content to be seen as the least-necessary mouthpiece in the history of celebrity biographies.

The other subjects of Isaacson’s often award winning biographies, such Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, were dead and thus couldn’t dispute his version of events. So perhaps the solution is that Isaacson should tell Musk to drop dead.


Tell that to Robert Caro. His biography of LBJ already has four volumes and is supposedly supposed to get a fifth if Caro lives long enough to finish it.


Perhaps Amazon should offer a sub-menu of political affiliation as to which version of a biography would be most appealing? (“would the resulting ‘shipping charges’ change?”)


The whole ordeal is having the Pentagon tear their hair out, I am sure.

Can you imagine if they had had the private sector run their early GPS systems and someone like Musk or Steve Jobs decide to just say “nope” one day?

I know they are now looking to replace starlink with something of their own. I am a bit surprised they weren’t more forward looking in this regard, especially with out tech heavy the US military is.


Isaacson should have stuck to writing about dead people. They don’t publicly contradict earlier interviewers just to appears their edge lord fans.


the “weird” part - is that it’s not just a single quote, or single mischaracterization. the excerpt i saw was something like a page of conversation between isaacson and musk, and all of the back and forth supported the statement

at that point, it’s either a true conversation or it’s a fabrication. i wouldn’t expect musk to tell the truth, but i would expect a biographer to relay what was said accurately.


He’s scared shitless of Musk. Probably with good reason.


“might start a war” um just wtf? Russia invading Ukraine is already a war, no?


or have the good graces to call it an auto biography and yourself a ghost writer. Writing a biography of a living person just seems like a bad idea.


I think that they might mean dragging NATO into the conflict, which would very much make it something of a “new war”…


It’s not like the new version of the story is really any better for him, either. Because of Musk, Starlink was explicitly not working in areas of Ukraine where the Russians had control (Ukraine had to request expansions of coverage every time they recaptured territory) - he’s been deciding all along how Ukrainians were allowed to use the service. In this case, they were clearly led to believe it would work in that area (otherwise they wouldn’t have used it to launch an attack), and Musk consciously made the decision that he wouldn’t allow them to use it that way. Doesn’t matter if he turned it off or refused to turn it on when they expected it to work, he made that decision - everything else is splitting hairs.


Are Tesla cars similarly geofenced? I’m not sure why cars would benefit from a geofence, but I’m not privy to the whims of Elon Musk, and it would be fun to start such a rumor. #juskaskingquestioins.

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I hope Isaacson got paid an obscene amount of money to write this because he’s got virtually no credibility left.


He’s scared he’s going to lose bulk sales to the usual suspects – RW magazines and organizations, who admire Musk’s anti-wokeness.

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No. He’s pretty strongly against geo-fencing. Let me tell ya. :roll_eyes:

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From the reporting I see overseas, my understanding is that Starlink has only ever worked in the Ukraine controlled territory and advances as the front line moves.
It has never worked in the territory under the control of Russia because Russia has not approved Starlink.

Personally I think it should work in all the territory that is internationally recognised as being Ukraine, but I also understand that it is a commercial service and has no requirement for full service coverage.

I would rather than someone else other than Musk was making the decisions so that some serious thought was put into it - that would be a better outcome that what we have at the moment. We need adults rather than clowns in control.


… TIL Winston Smith is a real person :thinking: