Thank you for signing up! The Briefing will formally launch next week; right now I am planning out the first few posts, starting to rope in a few friends to help, and getting some design work done.

BUT - while you are here, one thing that is on my mind this week is this Tweet by Elon Musk endorsing Conor McGregor advocating for a double "No" vote in a pair of referenda scheduled in Ireland for March 8th.

The referendums are pretty low key, but do have some culture war "vibes" as they relate to gender and family norms as laid out in the constitution. So this could just be Elon spotting an anti-woke band wagon and deciding to jump right on.

Or, it could be part of a "feud" (that's the Irish Times phrasing) Elon has with the Irish Government, who proposed and are supporting the referenda.

X is headquartered in Dublin, meaning the Irish state is often the cold face of EU regulation for the company, and, well, you can imagine how Musk feels about EU regulation.

He has also been using his platform to push back on Irish domestic law, especially a proposed Hate Speech Bill, vowing to pay the legal fees of Irish citizens who want to challenge it. He even gave a 25 minute interview to a niche, MSM skeptic Irish publication (yes that one), having engaged with some of its provocateurs online.

And that is not to mention all of the lawsuits he is facing from former employees - Irish employment law does not consider booting people out of Slack as an appropriate way to do the consultation period required before mass layoffs.

So maybe it is all just the perfect combination of the anti-woke colliding with Musk's business interests.

It also happens to be a nice combination for our interests here too - how we cannot separate Irish democracy and politics from either tech, or indeed from the weird global role we have come to play in the tech industry space.

I'm turning on comments for members - so do jump in if you like.

A FINAL QUICK ASIDE: The Musk tweet raises questions too about paid amplification through "blue ticks". As Sam from WhoTargetsMe (who I'll be collaborating with on newsletters) pointed out to me this week, "blue ticks" can be seen as payment for boosting reach, which is something that might come up in this bumper election year as new EU, UK and other rules start to kick in.