In case you haven’t heard, Elon Musk is very rich. As someone who grew up in the Hamptons, I know that rich people can afford to have bonkers-ass dreams and convince people they’re good ones. Musk’s ambition to send crewed missions to Mars in the next 10 years is a bit ambitious. But even that seems reasonable considering his ultimate goal of sending thousands of everyday people to and from Mars on a rocket that hasn’t been invented yet.
That said, could Elon Musk finally get to play Martian overlord by the 2060s? I’ve seen more impossible things happen in the last two months alone. Also, telling people they should be prepared to die to fulfill his pipe dream is pretty shitty marketing.
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Musk is a serious person, but he can also be something of a loose cannon, making outlandish statements designed to troll the press or simply amuse himself. In a 2015 interview with Stephen Colbert he semi-seriously endorsed dropping nuclear weapons on Mars; last year he implied on Twitter that he’s developing an Iron Man-style flying suit for the Pentagon. Most reporters assumed that the tunnel thing was another one of his jokes.
Musk wouldn’t seem to be in a particularly good ideological position to benefit from Trump’s infrastructure largesse. He’s a climate change hawk who was so closely identified with the Obama administration that Mitt Romney attacked Tesla during the 2012 debates. (Tesla had received a government-guaranteed loan in 2010.) In the next presidential election, Musk supported Hillary Clinton for president, describing Trump, in an interview with CNBC, as a man who “doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States.”
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The United Auto Workers signaled Friday that it’s gathering support to unionize Tesla’s assembly plant after someone claiming to be an employee of the automaker publicly criticized the company over factory conditions. The UAW confirmed Friday that Tesla workers “have approached the UAW, and we welcome them with open arms.” The union said those workers […]
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Elon Musk has not always been an optimistic voice for AI, warnings of its dangers to humanity. But here he sounds more muted about the threat. He sees the AI future as inevitable, with dangers to be mitigated through government regulation, as much as he doesn’t like the idea of them being a “bit of a buzzkill”.
He sees humans as information-processing machines that pale in comparison to the powers of a computer. What is necessary, according to Musk, is to create a greater integration between man and machine, specifically altering our brains with technology to make them more computer-like.
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No fewer than five Tesla customers told BuzzFeed Monday that they’ve canceled plans to purchase the car maker’s highly anticipated Model 3 after Mr. Musk agreed to participate in two White House advisory groups, particularly in light of the president authorizing a broad executive order last week limiting the intake of refugees and restricting immigration.
Despite telling CNBC prior to Election Day that Mr. Trump was “not the right guy” for the White House, the 45-year-old South African-born entrepreneur has since accepted roles on the president’s economic advisory group and manufacturing council.
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Elon Musk is reportedly using his access to President Donald Trump to push for a carbon tax.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO said the Trump administration should consider a carbon tax at a White House meeting he attended Monday morning, a senior official at the White House told Bloomberg. The official said the proposal got little to no support from the other executives in attendance.
Tesla declined to comment for this article.
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Musk was expanding on a report published last week by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration that not only exonerated AutoPilot of having a role in a fatal crash in Florida last summer but added that airbag deployments indicated that the crash rate had fallen nearly 40 percent, to 0.8 per million miles driven, down from 1.3 per million miles before the original version of AutoPilot was installed.
The fatal crash had cast a pall over Tesla’s system, prompting some critics to say that the company had overpromised simply by choosing the name AutoPilot. Tesla acknowledges that AutoPilot is not—yet—a truly autonomous system but rather a package of driver-assistance features, such as emergency collision avoidance, lane keeping, and active cruise control.
On Saturday Musk warned customers who were about to have access to the newly downloaded software package that there might be a need to adjust the hardware—specifically the angle of the cameras.
Read more "Tesla Aims to Cut Crashes (And Misses)"