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Which was the most dangerous part of The Elon Musk Show on 60 Minutes the other night? Was it:

  1. The part where Musk basically baited the Securities and Exchange Commission, all but looking for another reason for the government to come back after him. ("I want to be clear. I do not respect the SEC," he told interviewer Leslie Stahl.)
  2. Where he cruised along in a Tesla on Autopilot with both hands and feet away from the controls, despite corporate Tesla's vehemence that Autopilot on Tesla is not the same thing as  self-driving.
  3. When he told Stahl that despite his "taking Tesla private at $420" launching an investigation and basically costing him near-control of the company and $20 million, there's still nobody reviewing his tweets before they're posted. ("I guess we might make some mistakes. Who knows? ... Nobody's perfect.")

I couldn't sit through all this without thinking about Ralph Nader's 1960s book about the U.S. automobile industry, Unsafe at Any Speed -- not because I think Teslas are inherently unsafe, but because Musk himself is such a radical wildcard. Genius or crazy? We've asked the question so many times that it's hard to have any idea about the answer. 

He tweeted recently that nobody can change the world working 40 hours a week; a corollary might be that people who play it safe rarely make history. Still, that doesn't mean you necessarily want to sit next to him in the passenger seat while he does it -- literally or figuratively.

Here's what else I'm reading today:

Google goes to Washington, finally

After skipping the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in September over election meddling on tech platforms, Google heads to the Hill Tuesday. More specifically CEO Sundar Pichai is making the trip. Expect to hear questions on political bias in search results, data breaches on Google+, and how the company was working with China on a censored search engine. Will Pichai offer more than platitudes as a response? Stay tuned.
--Sean Captain, Fast Company

Check out this totally unbelievable product on Amazon

Selling on Amazon seems like a no-brainer for many businesses. Until, that is, you discover some of the creepier creatures in the jungle: the merchants flagging competitors products with fake trademark infringements, the black market investors taking over Amazon wholesaler accounts, the fake product review-writers, and the algorithm hackers. Here's a short guide to some of the pitfalls.
--Guadalupe Gonzalez, Inc.

The best office Secret Santa idea ever

Secret Santa is a fun office holiday tradition, but let's be honest: No one ever actually likes their  gift. Here's a variant on the classic game that maintains all the best parts--while fixing its biggest problems. Use it and everyone will go home happy. 
--Suzanne Lucas, Inc.

Watch what you eat very, very closely

Add this one to the unexpected effects of climate change: an unprecedented number of mutant Japanese pufferfish, or fugu. They thrive in cold water, and and Japan's coasts are warming, so the fish are heading north and interbreeding with new species. Fugu are a delicacy, but if you don't prepare them correctly, their poison can kill you within hours--and these new hybrids don't necessarily look like the originals. Talk about a life-or-death challenge for regulators. 
--Mari Saito, Reuters

One vacation maybe Jack Dorsey shouldn't have tweeted about

On Sunday Twitter's CEO let loose a tweet-storm gushing over his silent meditation retreat In Myanmar. It was 10 days of self-care for Dorsey--a calming, relaxing detox from the stresses of running two tech companies. But the backlash was swift: Twitter users took him task for promoting as a vacation spot a country where social media has partly enabled a genocidal campaign against hundreds of thousands of Muslims.
--Tom McKay, Gizmodo

Published on: Dec 11, 2018
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