Is Elon Musk the greatest visionary or the greatest snake oil salesman of our age?

Discussion in 'world politics, current affairs and news' started by tim, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. tim

    tim EXPLODED TIM! (Help me!!!)

    I used to think that Branston was an overrated braggart, but Musk has his own space programme his overrated motor cars, his giant solar powered shed and now has visions of drilling tunnels at minimal cost and great speed under Los Angeles. Investors seem to love him and throw money at his projects. I think it will all end in tears.

    Ted 2017: Elon Musk's vision for underground road system - BBC News
  2. coley

    coley Well-Known Member

    He's got every major car maker scrambling to develop BEVs, he can launch rockets at a fraction of the cost that NASA could.
    The only real question is, can he keep this pace up?
    urbanspaceman and editor like this.
  3. High Voltage

    High Voltage In the top 97% of Urban's most interesting posters

  4. wiskey

    wiskey Albatross Admirer

    I quite like the fact he's a rich crazy fool, I find his ruthless ambition endearing because it (afaik) doesn't crap on other people from a great height ... unlike Branson.

    That's not to say that working for spaceX etc is all roses, I'm sure it's very pressured.
  5. weltweit

    weltweit Well-Known Member

    His twitter picture for a while was him stroking a white cat on his lap a la Dr Evil. :)

    I get the impression he is enjoying his life.
    Fez909 and lefteri like this.
  6. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    He is an exploiter of his fellow man and a nasty piece of work, same as the rest of them.
  7. Yossarian

    Yossarian free shrugs

    I like Musk more than I like that Amazon wanker - but it's probably all going to come crashing down for him at some point, I don't know how companies like Tesla - and Uber, Twitter, etc. - can go on for so long burning through other people's money and not making a profit.
  8. Supine

    Supine Rough Like Badger

    He's super rich and spending with panache. I quiet like his style.

    His acting is wooden though :D
  9. a_chap

    a_chap When the world came apart, where were you?

    SpaceX is genius squared :thumbs:

    HyperLoop is pure snake oil :facepalm:

    I can't fathom the man.
    coley and Sprocket. like this.
  10. Sprocket.

    Sprocket. I am just waiting for the next tomato..

    I think Musk has mastered the appearance to be worthy to stand alongside all the innovators who have been before him, as someone who wants to inspire others and share his visions and also ensure his own place in history whilst making money.
    Is he any different to Michael Faraday, James Watt or Brunel, in their time?
    The attention and exposure in these days of instant information have probably given him the fame in a few years that took others decades to achieve and the world as it is now, revolves around financial incentives. His ability to bring his latest ideas seem to be perfectly timed. Perhaps he his riding a crest, it is the way he treats his workforce and people in general that will be the make or break of him, though his popularity seems to be growing.
    I heard he has even managed to appear in a cameo on the Big Bang Theory.
    I shall wait and see how this goes.
    coley likes this.
  11. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model every man and every woman is a star

    Why the binary?
  12. FridgeMagnet

    FridgeMagnet Administrator

    Despite all the "living in a simulation" stuff I don't think he's particularly crazy - despite being the CEO of Tesla he's about 1% as eccentric or visionary as Tesla was, or even much of an inventor (he does have four patents but they are not exactly astounding ones).

    He entered Silicon Valley aristocracy from getting in early with PayPal and now he can pretty much get money for anything. It's not like it's his personal genius that powers any of these companies - they're full of engineers that do that - but he is definitely a good businessman and entrepreneur, for what that's worth, which is a lot of money for him.
  13. redsquirrel

    redsquirrel This Machine Kills Progressives

    This, he's a thief.
  14. Johnny Canuck3

    Johnny Canuck3 Well-Known Member

    Imo, Kalanick is a bigger snake oil salesman than Musk.
  15. tim

    tim EXPLODED TIM! (Help me!!!)

    Because I have Manichean mind.
  16. tim

    tim EXPLODED TIM! (Help me!!!)

    Pickman's model likes this.
  17. EastEnder

    EastEnder Brixton Barnacle

    I'm ambivalent regarding Musk. Part of me wants to hate him simply for having a stupid name, but that would be churlish. Part of me admires what he's done & is seeking to do - yes, he's an exploitative, mega rich totem of a capitalist system, but then so is Philip Green, and I know which of the two I'd rather have tarred, feathered & dropped into a hornets nest.

    People like Musk might be the future, they might drive society forward in a way that governments & aged monolithic corporate concerns are unable to do. But ultimately I think any such progress is driven more by their own personal desire for greatness & legacy. Is that a problem though? Maybe, maybe not, depends what the rest of society gets out of it.

    My biggest problem with Musk is his extremely annoying tactic of periodic press releases that promise the unachievable. Creating the impression that hyper fast public transport or landing men on Mars is only a few years away. It's a bit like if a drug company puts out press releases saying they were on the verge of curing cancer, purely because they've done a bit of interesting research. I find it tiresome & transparently publicity driven, far more about currying favour with easily impressed investors than anything genuinely tangible.

    Overall I think he's a knob, but one who might revolutionise areas of technology & advance society, or might just turn out to be an overambitious plutocrat who promises more than he ever delivers. Only time will tell.
    Mation, BemusedbyLife and Riklet like this.
  18. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure this is true, from what I have read he is more than capable (even if articles about him are exaggerating) of keeping up with his engineers, he is meant to have an exceptional mind for scientific detail
  19. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member

    His name is pure bond villain
    emanymton and Bahnhof Strasse like this.
  20. tim

    tim EXPLODED TIM! (Help me!!!)

    And excellent hands for pulling the wool over people's eyes.
    Dom Traynor likes this.
  21. lefteri

    lefteri Well-Known Member

    I'm sure you're right although I reckon he's a pisspoor public speaker, that spacex talk about going to Mars was rubbish
  22. seventh bullet

    seventh bullet red mullet

    Take back everything he stole and then hang him.
  23. copliker

    copliker ...

    Edging ahead of PD's space programme (we're waiting for a skip) is the last straw.
  24. Fez909

    Fez909 toilet expert

    Favelado likes this.
  25. kabbes

    kabbes "A top 400 poster"

    He's a classic Silicon Valley Techno-libertarian. His vision involves a small number of ultra-rich techno-elite being served by the masses with no safety net.
  26. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    we'll keep the scientists
    NoXion and J Ed like this.
  27. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist slowtime

    he reminds me in that manner of 'actual vampire' Peter Theil. Got incredibly rich incredibly quickly and easily, go ultra libertarian.
    NoXion and J Ed like this.
  28. copliker

    copliker ...

    It'll be a tight fit in my mam's shed but we'll manage.
    ska invita and J Ed like this.
  29. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    And some of them don't explode.
  30. SpookyFrank

    SpookyFrank Self-cleaning oven, the whole bit.

    The morally neutral, polymath billionaire saviour figure is a common trope in sci-fi. Musk's persona seems more suited to fiction than to real life, not unlike most of his miracle technologies.

    Even his name is better suited to a character in one of those hamfisted Ben Elton satires than to a real person.

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