Much has been said and written about Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX; the architect of Tesla, the boss of Twitter; and many more. Wherever there is injustice or something important, there is Elon. A potential global risk or threat? Elon is there to share his opinion. Do we have to fear the world’s second-richest man or embrace him?
By Arthur Blok
It has to be said that Elon Musk is an extraordinary gentleman.
Since bursting onto the Silicon Valley scene over two decades ago, the 51-year-old serial entrepreneur has captivated the public with his business activities, I-know-it-better attitude, abundant ego, and intriguing public speaking skills.
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, he moved to Canada at age 18, acquiring citizenship through his Canadian-born mother. After being accepted to a physics graduate degree programme at Stanford University, he quickly dropped out and founded two technology start-up companies during the "dotcom boom" of the 1990s.
His first venture was Zip2, a company he co-founded with his brother in 1995. The company provided online city guides and newspaper directories and was eventually sold to Compaq for $307 million in 1999, making Musk a multimillionaire at 27. Three years later, he sold another enterprise he founded - an online banking company - that eventually became PayPal, which was sold to eBay in 2002 for $1,5 billion.
A promising start to his entrepreneurship.
He invested his fortune into a new rocket company, SpaceX - which he aimed to make a cost-effective alternative to Nasa - and a new electric car company, Tesla, where he chaired the board until becoming the flamboyant chief executive in 2008.
Anno 2023, roughly 15 years later, his net worth is estimated to approach 200 billion U$, making him the second richest man globally after Bernard Arnault.
Musk has become a father of 9 children from three women. He prefers strange names like X AE A-XII, and Exa Dark Sideræl, just to name two.
The Twitter files
The Tesla founder profiled himself increasingly in the public debate, coming to a climax after buying Twitter in April 2022 for $44 billion. Soon after purchasing the social medium, he released documents and information about Twitter’s interference in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by censoring the New York Post’s Hunter Biden reporting.
He also released information that showed the Biden campaign was involved in censorship efforts. Showing that Twitter employees knew they had no legitimate basis for censoring the Hunter Biden reporting but proceeded anyway.
In case you missed it in your local mainstream media outlet: stunning evidence was shown that the Democratic party, the FBI and Twitter cheated with the US presidential elections.
Deliberately misinforming the US public to give Biden an advantage in the elections.
Twitter removed links and blocked the reporting about the corrupt and coke-addicted son of the current US president from being shared by direct messaging on its platform.
Twitter users who fought against that censorship were locked out of their accounts. Former US president Donald Trump became a figurehead of that censorship.
Musk clarified that Twitter, and other Big Tech companies like Facebook, were effectively an arm of the Democratic Party and the Biden campaign, something Trump repeatedly stated in the campaign and which he was silenced for.
So Trump was right again.
This is something expected of communist China, not in America, which preaches democracy all over the world.
More recently, Musk started warning the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Calling it: “one of the biggest risks to the future of civilisation” at the World Government Summit in Dubai (UAE).
He has a point. AI could become one of the greatest dangers to our global society in the not-so-distant future.
Musk is co-founder of OpenAI, the U.S. startup that developed ChatGPT - a generative AI tool that returns human-like responses to user prompts. It is an advanced form of AI powered by a significant language model called GPT-3. It is programmed to understand human language and generate responses based on vast data.
Whereas cars, aeroplanes and medicine must abide by regulatory safety standards, AI does not yet have any rules or regulations keeping its development under control.
Countries like the US, China, India and the United Kingdom are caught in a blind race to develop super intelligence. A blind race that focuses on who creates the most advanced AI, not realising its potential danger, which exceeds that of nuclear warheads and could reduce mankind to chimpanzees.
At least Elon tried to warn us.
Another notable instance occurred when he mocked the Covid-measures by tweeting: My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci. A jab at America’s so-called top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, who has been under fire by conservatives for handling the COVID-19 crisis and gaining wealth from it.
Again he had a point. Recently it became evident that Fauci and his wife’s net worth grew by $5 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. The wealth of the 82-year-old retired director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and his wife soared from $7.5 million in 2019 to $12.6 million at the end of 2021, according to a report from the non-profit OpenTheBooks.
Last one: in a series of tweets in 2020, he mocked people who list the pronouns they would like others to use to describe them in their online bios. He was immediately accused of being transphobic.
He never formally apologised, despite pressure from aggressive LGBTQIA+ activists worldwide. Good for him; why would you care what a bunch of frustrated perverted radical left wokists think of you?
Numerous more examples illustrate the extraordinarity of his personality. In all fairness, there can only be one conclusion; Musk might be a bit wacko, but at the same time, he is a visionary, an idealist, passionate, and hard-working man who fascinates millions all around the globe.
Compared with other billionaires like Warren Buffet, Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, he has his heart in the right place, and so far, he has mostly shown good intentions and is not blinded by profit alone.
For that, he deserves some credit.
Let’s conclude with one of his mottos: When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favour.
There you go.