Sunday, August 29, 2021

‘The smartest person in any room anywhere’: in defence of Elon Musk, by Douglas Coupland

 He’s the Silicon Valley Übermensch, the maverick boss of Tesla and SpaceX who wants us to colonise Mars and who can wipe out billions of dollars with a single tweet. So what’s not to love?

The left are not keen in Elon Musk, but I don't think he's that bad. There's always  going to be smart rich people, so best to encourage the nicer ones. I think the criticism should be aimed at the system itself, which can allocate so much wealth to a few individuals. Just the same, Elon Musk may have done us all a favour by speeding up the production of electric vehicles, where apart from producing less CO2, they will make our cities so much quiter. I know the manufacturing of Tesla cars is very polluting, but it's a step in the right direction, and battery technology will improve in time. 

But self-driving cars will kill people!

Grow up.

Musk didn’t just generate a few fundamental patents and move to Santa Barbara to golf for the rest of his life. Every day he tries to reinvent the wheel and it’s working. Shopped online lately? Ever wanted to visit the International Space Station? Want a new car? With cars alone, Musk pretty much single-handedly shamed and forced the global auto industry to accelerate the electric car rollout by seven to 10 years. Yet people kvetch, and it makes me wonder if there is something fundamentally flawed about our era that it is almost impossible to get people to say something nice about pretty much anyone else. A “like” given to someone else is a like that could have instead gone to oneself, which I suppose indicates that there’s something fundamentally different about selfhood than, say, 25 years ago. I pick 1996 because it seems to me to have been the acme of the celebrity profile – remember them? In Vanity Fair, say. The glossy cover. The fawning. The expectation of dirt revealed. Will they backstab? Even the interviewers were famous for interviewing, and it all feels like a million years ago. Are there any celebrity interviewers left? Oprah, I guess, but her heart doesn’t seem to really be in it, and she now seems to be merely an enabling conduit for the Megan-and-Harry feelings politics that blights our era.

The Guardian

World’s first virtual train track unveiled in central China


Peter Pan said...

Vaporware King.

Just search Youtube for Thunderf00t and you'll find lots of videos making fun of Elon and his supporters.

All hail the white paper!

Kaivey said...

I've seen some. They reckon his ideas won't. They seem to know what they are talking about, so we will have to see