A Legend, Paradox and Meme | A 10 or 11 Page Guide to Elon Musk

Elon Musk

I won’t talk about the fact that he was born in South Africa. Or about the fact that he emigrated to Canada partly because his mom is Canadian. Or how he finally got to the land of dreams and opportunities. There’s enough of that on Wikipedia. Go there. All I can tell you is that he’s an experimental physicist and an economist. Sounds boring? Well he is. Ever so often, he feels fear quite strongly but lately he’s learnt to say, “Don’t doubt your vibe… because its true”. Credit: Emo G Records.

Legend

So hes famous? Yes. Is he notorious? Yes. Are there unknown facts about him? Yes. Could he be a myth? Yes. He’s a living legend. For decades to come, stories about him will pass on from generation to generation. From planet Earth to planet Mars and among the stars. There’ll be debates about him in barber shops. His accomplishments today will be fundamental to applied research and technology in the future. His first principles approach to problem solving, though not his own invention will also be appreciated. His quirkiness? Can’t miss that. X Æ A-12?

Not-A-Paradox

Tesla’s Mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Fundamentally the future is vastly more exciting and interesting if we’re a space-faring civilization and a multiplanetary species. It’s going to be a slightly bumpy ride, a little rough around the edges but as we smoothen it out, it’ll be smooth as glass. Sounds familiar? We are playing a dangerous game with the planet. Essentially a Russian roulette. A dumb experiment. Elon and big oil are both not happy about it. Chicken and egg situation. But something decided to do something about it. Now he’s swinging for the fences, literally. Before 2002, there had been attempts to produce electric cars.

But they were slow, boring glorified golf carts. Some made it to the print though. Concept cars which big auto knew will never reach the Giga press. Mmm, there’s hydrogen too. But don’t hold your breath. It’s Lidar to Elon as Kryptonite is to Superman. The chances of starting a car company, dethroning entrenched positions, and casting a S3XY Hāremu no jutsu on the entire industry with cataclysmic effects is slim to none. 10% if you’re able to survive a nervous breakdown. You’d have to work over 100-hour weeks and sleep on a couch/ sofa in a semi alien dreadnaught factory- pick your poison, the width orders of magnitude smaller than a bunkbed sized mattress. Does this hurt your heart and brain?

Image credit: Tesla

So Tesla is having an Apple moment. Who gets to choose Blackberry or Nokia ? Mercedes-Benz or Toyota? Don’t be surprised. Well of course, there’s Sony too. Hahh…too many bodies to choose from. VW and Hyundai may have a Samsung and Huawei (Pre-trade war) moment too. I’m not sure about the fate of the others. We’ll see.

What did you say the base price of launching a payload on a non-reusable rocket was? $109 million. What’s Elon offering? $62 million. And Military launches? Well those are unpredictable beasts. I’ll stay clear. So we’re witnessing landing of orbital rockets on Autonomous spaceport drone ships (ASDS) in the ocean 8–10 minutes after they’ve launched? In our lifetime? We’ve seen some spectacular landings on the ground too. Remember the first Falcon Heavy launch and landing? Don’t Panic. It didn’t come easy though. This was the culmination of agile development, mathematics for immortals, some brilliant minds, and cutting-edge simulations. A touch of How not to land an orbital rocket booster too. Today, orbital rockets are being reused up to eight times and counting. Starlink gets to test the sooty Falcon. Starship is in the works. Finally, we’re going to become a multiplanetary species up among the stars. A space-faring civilization floating in the Expanse of the universe. Tell me that’s not inspiring. I’d love to die on Mars too. Just not on impact. Lol

…and then there’s the “soul destroying LA traffic”. So he decided to just dig tunnels under the streets. I’d rather be in a boring tunnel during an Earthquake than on the surface. It’s the safest place to be. Do you agree?

Image credit: The Boring Company

When last did you have an epiphany like this? Well, last night. I decided to write this mini lecture. So he’s really digging. The Las Vegas Convention Center Loop — Las Vegas, Nevada is nearing completion. Fans of the project have already performed simulations including approximate capacity and wait times. The price of the Loop vastly undercuts that which a traditional company would have asked. Albeit this is not your regular sized tunnel. Elon alludes to having a 3D network of tunnels under cities. According to him, theoretically, we could have an infinite number of tunnels under cities and all will be well. Many more projects are expected to follow after the skeptics have convinced themselves that this “prototype” works. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Not a paradox?

Think about it. What economic activity do all his companies have in common? Transportation. See, that wasn’t so hard. Tesla is leading the world’s transition to sustainable energy on land. Effectively moving all Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to electric. People need to move from place to place and what better way to do it than through a clean, non-polluting, and electrifying experience. The Boring company seeks to heal the soul-destroying traffic in cities around the world, starting from the United States. That’s transportation too. Moving people from place to place without the torture and the loud honks. Starlink? Transport three. What’s the internet? It’s simply a collective of information moving around the world. Something’s got to pull that html page from a server. How does it reach your phone or computer? Well, the Transport layer of the TCP/IP stack. I’m literally laughing at my own jokes. Usher in SpaceX. What makes Elon smile? The thought of humans becoming a multi-planetary species. A space-faring civilization out there among the stars. How do we do that? Starship, transport four. Finally, the Human/ AI symbiosis, Neuralink. A tertiary layer of our cortex and limbic system improving input-output bandwidth. A road to communicating at high bandwidth. Telepathy, essentially. Transport five.

Meme

If you don’t know what a meme is or where it came from, don’t worry. You’re not alone. I don’t either. So I’ll head over to Google. Give me a sec…

Commanding some 44.8m followers as of writing, Elon is arguably the most prolific business magnate on Twitter. Well, Trump too. From crowdsourcing ideas for the next gaming rig in your Tesla vehicle (I dream of driving a Model Y someday. This PC is filled with Falcons, Merlins, Dragons, Raptors, Octovalves, … please, Just Read the Instructions) to disrupting the submarine industry, the meme lord has effectively democratized corporate to public relations. He despises long chains of command and encourages his talents to approach him directly if they know what they’re saying. You’d better come prepared. He can afford any context switching penalty you throw at him. Oh did I forget the Shortseller Enrichment Commission? Shhhhh…I hope Little Green Riding Hood doesn’t take this personal. I better wear my S3XY Short Shorts. Don’t hate the man. He answers customer complaints too.

Frankly, I’ve never met Elon. I look at things in terms of probabilities. There’s a 90% chance you haven’t met him either. For what it’s worth, take the 0.1 odds. You may succeed. Some of the lucky ones who have had the pleasure of meeting him say he’s polarizing as if they aren’t weird themselves. The man was raised by books for crying out loud. Besides, he’s an inventor with a million ideas swirling around his head all day all night. He doesn’t want to be him. You shouldn’t either. Work like Hell. Every waking hour.

Neuralink Masterplan- Part deux (Did I just say Altered Carbon?)

Altered Carbon is a book and a TV series. Well, technically the book came first. Authored by Richard K. Morgan in 2002, the book depicts a future Sci-fi world where humans could live for many centuries and possibly, forever if:

a. our “Stack” remained intact

b. we can be “re-sleeved” into a new body using the “Stack”

c. we can needlecast into a new body

d. ….please go read the book or better still watch the cinematic adaptation on Netflix

So back to the book or series- same thing, I guess. I’ll refer to both as the story, henceforth. The Stack is arguably the most important piece (of tech device) in the story as it embodies a person’s existence, past, present, and future. As Elon puts it, our “Digital Self”. He says, we’ll be able to “spin up”- another Altered Carbon term …ourselves into a robot or another body in the future. I don’t doubt him. Humans are notorious for first painting a picture, Hollywood and sometimes “The Simpsons” style, then manifesting it after only a few years. Hmm, some creatures we are. Whole protectorates (governments, lol) will deploy CTAC, darng! (SWAT/ SEALS/ basically an elite military unit) to secure a Stack. There are even merchants who extract a person’s life experiences from Stacks and somehow manage to privately Pay-per-view them to individuals who wish to equally experience those moments. Exciting stuff. Hollywood, in the flesh!

Ok, a tweet for your troubles.

About Neuralink — I copied this text from their website. You can always visit directly or ask Google to (re)direct you.

“Neuralink is a team of exceptionally talented people. We are creating the future of brain interfaces: building devices now that will help people with paralysis and inventing new technologies that will expand our abilities, our community, and our world.”

Neuralink Masterplan- Part one

He’s trying to do some good here. Come on. Hard at work on not so invasive implants, Elon together with his highly skilled team of doctors and engineers believe they can restore certain human functions that were previously compromised by brain or spine injuries. The short-term goal of Neuralink, according to their website is to develop brain implants that help people with paralysis to regain independence through the control of computers and mobile devices. There’s even room to increase more channels of communication in the brain for the potential treatment of other neurological disorders. Better than Utah Array. You know, brain stuff.

One more link- Human/ AI symbiosis

“If you can’t beat them, join them. One thing’s for sure- we will not control it”. Elon emphasizes this every time he talks about Neuralink. AI or artificial intelligence used to keep him up at night. He worries it is by far one of mankind’s biggest existential threats. World War III if it happens, will be caused, and fought by AI. Again, I believe him. We’ve already seen instances of deep fake- Deepfakes are synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness- a Wikipedia definition. There’s a recent article about the US military deploying a special AI a.k.a ARTUµ as co-pilot in a U-2 “Dragon Lady” spy plane in a test flight. See https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/16/politics/air-force-flight-artificial-intelligence/index.html.

Don’t get me started on those weird looking dancing Boston Dynamics robots — Softbank. We are essentially cyborgs. I agree. He says, smartphones, computers and other similar devices are an extension of ourselves. Though our input-output bandwidth is slow, we are a giant cybernetic, a biological bootloader collectively programming this AI. Too technical?… ask Elon. Our everyday Google searches irrespective of what part of the world you’re in, feeds and posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and similar systems are some of the ways we program this AI. Here lies a small paradox. He worries about AI imploding yet he’s at the forefront of bleeding-edge AI. No one was landing orbital rockets until SpaceX- his rocket company. Intelligent electric vehicles with redundant FSD chips was science fiction until the meme lord was born- He cofounded Tesla. His next-gen tunnel boring machines will be faster than Gary the Snail. Boy, did his former college roommate complain he wasn’t as successful as bloody Elon? Rule #4.

We’re nurturing something dangerous, something straight out of Hollywood, something we’ll not be able to control. We may even end up programming a Queen AI that will send commands to subordinate AIs. I’ll call her Mothership. I’m sure that name blows a horn. Ask Elon. After all, he’s not-an-alien. You can watch The Great Wall, starring Matt Damon for relief. Relax, we’ll get to Mars in about a month’s time. Six months is too long.

Not many things excite me. ..but the ones that do, really do

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