Remember when Jay Z and Beyonce launched their streaming service, Tidal, and Beyonce's Lemonade album was only available if you signed up?
Former President Trump is doing the same thing.
If you want instant access to the linguistic effluence of the most famous person on planet earth, you're going to need to sign up for an as-yet-unbuilt social media platform.
This new variant of social media, dominated by Trump's followers, won't be so much the 'town square' for all views as 'Trump Tower'. It's easy to see how this echo chamber may lead to progressively more extreme viewpoints and the resulting actions that stem from them.
As I read about this new social media evolution, it brought to mind something Richard Dawkins talks about in The Selfish Gene. To paraphrase: evolution through natural selection appears to be a benign force that leads inevitably to better outcomes for the organism.
It's not. We only see it that way because it's turned out rather well for us. Whether biological or cultural, evolution evolves to spread the gene [or the meme] most effectively, not for the host's benefit. Sometimes this leads the host to greater strength, sometimes to weakness and extinction.
By this measure, social media, rage, and celebrity politicians have far greater reach than thoughtful news. Is this one evolution of communications that's too far for democracy?
While we're on the topic of evolution, it's worth noting that even with exclusive access to the demigoddess Beyonce, Tidal didn't survive - and was bought this week by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, ironically.
But on Sunday adviser Jason Miller said social media was the immediate target. “The president’s been off of social media for a while,” he told Fox News Media Buzz host Howard Kurtz, “[but] his press releases, his statements have actually been getting almost more play than he ever did on Twitter before.” Miller said he had been told by a reporter the statements were “much more elegant” and “more presidential” than Trump’s tweets, but added: “I do think that we’re going to see President Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months here with his own platform. Advertisement “And this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media, it’s going to completely redefine the game, and everybody is going to be waiting and watching to see what exactly President Trump does. But it will be his own platform.” Asked if Trump was going to create the platform himself or with a company, Miller said: “I can’t go much further than what I was able to just share, but I can say that it will be big once he starts. “There have been a lot of high-power meeting...