Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 568 total)
  • Elon Musk
  • vinnyeh
    Full Member

    I’m sure most of those following SpaceX’s escapades have already seen this, but this is a fascinating interview with Musk from a few days ago.
    Interesting to see him talking openly and enthusiastically for so long with someone he treats as a peer, he’s coming across very differently to how some of the press portray him. Quite charismatic, more technical than I expected -he seems to have a nuts and bolts understanding of everything going on around him, an innovator rather than investor, and obviously has a huge enthusiasm for what he’s working on.
    I’m sure there’s lots of takeaways from his mannerisms as well.
    Well worth an hour (for part 1, anyway) of your time.

    richmars
    Full Member

    Yes, watched this last night. He does seem to know alot about what he’s spending his money on. Looking forward to the next part.

    PJM1974
    Free Member

    While it’s fascinating watching a billionaire showman recreate what the Mercury programme did with Alan Shepard sixty years ago, I do wish that the guy put as much energy into paying his tax as he did launching himself into sub-orbital space. From The Hill:

    “Elon Musk paid less than $70,000 in federal income taxes between 2015 and 2017, and he did not pay anything in 2018, according to recent reports. He did pay his taxes in 2016 by exercising more than $1 billion in stock options”.

    If he paid his taxes, he’d still have enough cash left over for stunts like this and we’d have more money to fund infrastructure and fight climate change.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    I can’t really see any similarity between Shepherd/Mercury’s suborbital flight and SpaceX’s program.
    Or where he failed to pay his taxes.
    Or why you think that Musk paying (more) tax in the US would lead to the country paying money to ‘fund infrastructure and fight climate change’.

    slowoldman
    Full Member

    I can’t really see any similarity between Shepherd/Mercury’s suborbital flight and SpaceX’s program.

    Quite. That would be Bezos.

    nickc
    Full Member

    I’ll leave this here for balance

    If you think watching that is worth an hour of your time, feel free to listen to a bit about his background, the wealth he’s comes from, the relationship his family had with apartheid South Africa, the abuse of worker rights, his tax evasion, his govt funding, and how he treats people from union involvement to being his first wife…

    butcher
    Full Member

    Don’t always agree with the guy but he’s a fascinating individual, prodigiously talented, and definitely not the billionaire investor some like to portray him to be. His hyper focus leads to some narrow minded thinking sometimes imo, but I like listening to him speak. He has this rare quality when being interviewed where he stops to consider the question, often for long periods, before formulating a response. It’s not pre-rehearsed stock answers, you can see him working through the problems as he goes. I like that.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    Thanks for that contribution nickc.
    For the sake of your own balance, did you take the time to watch the link? I’m sure there’s a few positives and insights you can take away.

    know your enemy and all that.

    thols2
    Free Member

    he’s coming across very differently to how some of the press portray him. Quite charismatic, more technical than I expected -he seems to have a nuts and bolts understanding of everything going on around him

    It’s not just the press, it’s his own social media rantings. The dude is a prize ****. The Thai cave rescue thing is a prime example – he came up with a crackpot idea of trying to go in there with a submarine, then he accused one of the divers of being a paedo. Utterly bizarre behavior, not what you expect from the CEO of a major company.

    He has an engineering degree, so he does understand technical stuff, but his imagination tends to run away on him. One of the problems with engineers is they tend to be very arrogant about technological solutions and dismissive of people who disagree with them. Musk was so confident about self-driving technology he told his engineers to design the Model Y without a steering wheel, instructions they ignored because regulators would not allow it on the roads. He doesn’t have a production engineering background and refuses to listen to any dissenting opinion so the Tesla production ramp-up was a horror show. Assembly line workers constantly had to bodge things to get the cars off the production line. Here’s a famous example:

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    Yes the guy can be a tool but far from being a Mercury programme me-too SpaceX is now doing multiple manned orbital space travel and satellite launches that NASA can’t. Tesla is the main reason that EVs are now at least 5 years ahead fo where we would be without it and its the only thing that’s keeping the legacy automotive OEM’s even partially honest.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    One of the problems with engineers is they tend to be very arrogant about technological solutions and dismissive of people who disagree with them.

    Conversely the problem with people who do your job is they tend to make strange generalisations about people based on their occupation.

    thols2
    Free Member

    Conversely the problem with people who do your job is they tend to make strange generalisations about people based on their occupation.

    Oh, if only you knew what I do for a living.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    SpaceX is now doing multiple manned orbital space travel and satellite launches that NASA can’t.

    It’s not that they can’t, it’s that they chose not to. They decided that commercialising repeat activity to LEO was a better use of NASA’s budget. They were right.

    The only two reasons that both Tesla and SpaceX exist today is government funding and the cult of personality around Musk.

    Musk didn’t create Tesla, he was an early
    Investor. Tesla was created as a technology company around software and battery hardware – that was someone else’s vision. Musk also didn’t guide Tesla until 2010, he was mostly involved in the technical aspects of the Roadster. Tesla only raised $150m in its first 6years, it was government bailout money in the financial crisis tied to environmental improvement in Automotive vehicles in 2008/9 that gave Tesla the ability to fund the Model S with $0.5bn of public money. This money was used to have Panasonic custom make a battery configuration for Tesla at an unprecedented scale.

    Musk started SpaceX after a failed attempt to buy Russian rockets to give him cheap access to space. He than set about chasing the X-prize money and eventually the CCC project money.

    From 2006 – 2009 Tesla and SpaceX couldn’t have survived without government money and Musk was moving money and staff between both companies to keep them alive. This technically wasn’t legal.

    BUT, for all this, neither company would be alive today if not for Musk. Not so much his technical acumen, but his astuteness in getting the right people at the right time to do the right things. His ability to direct resources and encourage investmentX. This comes from him, his personality, his drive.

    It’s infectious, it’s inspiring and people tend to overlook the worst when we feel for the cause.

    I like the effect he’s had on two industries, but can’t quite bring myself to worship the man like so many seem to.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Musk also didn’t guide Tesla until 2010

    And was forced to step down as chairman in 2018 by the S.E.C because he broke really basic laws about being a director (don’t make shit up). Tesla was forced to appoint two further members to the board to essentially make sure that Musk couldn’t make shit up in future as part of the deal.

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    About 5 years ago Musk would probably have sold you Tesla for a decent offer but GM chose to take a $2billion stake in Trevor Milton’s vapourware at Nikola. In comparison $0.5 billion government money invested in Tesla looks like the deal of the century.

    marshie
    Free Member

    It’s fascinating. I like Elon’s ambitions in space. He’s one of those people that is single handedly changing the world.

    Drac
    Full Member

    He’s one of those people that is single handedly changing the world.

    By buying teams to do the work for him?

    dyna-ti
    Full Member

    The Thai cave rescue thing is a prime example – he came up with a crackpot idea of trying to go in there with a submarine, then he accused one of the divers of being a paedo. He came up with a crackpot idea of trying to go in there with a submarine

    Sounds like he was rather pee’d off by the instant dismissal.
    But consider this. Whats his field ? Engineering. And is it numpties who work for him or a team of development engineers and scientists. People who excel at problem solving.
    So the diver turns down someone with near unlimited resources and a team of highly qualified problem solvers.
    As to the idea, that could have been discussed and looked at and if found to be unsound then dismissed, and in fact something that was to be moved by the divers.
    ” a tiny, kid-size submarine … Light enough to be carried by 2 divers, small enough to get through narrow gaps. Extremely robust.” The idea behind it was to rescue the kids without them needing to swim or use air tanks”
    Given the children would be weak from lack of food and being stuck there. Chances of them being able to swim underwater was an unknown. Plus ‘submarine’ is just a discriptive, but not in the true sense of a submarine as we know and understand it. It sounds more like a small diving bell.

    convert
    Full Member

    As to the idea, that could have been discussed and looked a

    Which would have been marvellous had Musk and his employees had a chat with those in the know during the design phase to work on a practical specification. At the point diver dude dismissed the offer it was already under construction.

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    By buying teams to do the work for him?

    If he does so what? He’s not Tony Stark. However he does seem to be buying all the right teams.

    retrorick
    Full Member

    I’ve just started watching the everyday astronaut interview. 10 mins in, interesting, nice to see inside the site rather than the external cameras that are outside looking in.
    I don’t mind watching the ‘fan’ channel cameras like the Ocean Cam YouTube channel. They give the view of the tourist passing by which is what I’d be doing if I could go and visit the site.

    Looking forward to the launch and probable explosion. Would be nice to see a successful launch and retrieval though.

    Drac
    Full Member

    If he does so what? He’s not Tony Stark. However he does seem to be buying all the right teams.

    Not sure why you chose a Marvel character. The point is he’s not singlehandedly doing anything, the guy just throws money at projects for other people to do the work under his name.

    uponthedowns
    Free Member

    Because he’s obviously not some real life Tony Stark super genius working alone with the help of some robots Of course he has accomplished what he has done by being intelligent picking the right people to work with and motivating them. Doesnt devalue in any way what hes accomplished

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    Not sure why you chose a Marvel character. The point is he’s not singlehandedly doing anything, the guy just throws money at projects for other people to do the work under his name.

    There’s a thing people do in arguments where one side makes an assertion and the rebuttal is pretty much diametrically opposed. Oddly, it’s found a lot less in real life than on the internet.
    As an NHS worker, you’re probably perfectly aware of the ineffectiveness of “just throwing money at projects for other people to do the work”, without retaining control and direction!

    What Musk has done, whether singlehandedly, or by throwing money at projects, or, more likely by doing something in between the two, is build a system to rapidly and iteratively prototype, build and test space-going vehicles.
    The difference in development pace between SpaceX and competitors, government and commercial is phenomenal.

    Anyway, as I said in the original post, it’s a very interesting interview, well worth watching, regardless of your opinion of Musk and what he’s doing.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    The difference in development pace between SpaceX and competitors, government and commercial is phenomenal.

    It is now. It wasn’t when they had to worry about contracts, funding and public opinion like every other company.

    SpaceX were conservative when they started, ambitious when they got the CCC funding and Tesla money, again conservative when scaling the Falcon 9, then, when that contract was secure and Musk’s wealth was immense, they started Starship and Starlink. But neither of these projects are funded, they’re paid for by Musk/SpaceX, so failure IS an option. This isn’t the case for many other companies, especially ones with multiple products that can be affected by a single Engineering turned PR disaster.

    Look at what happened to BP, Boeing and VW.

    SpaceX’s rise has less to do with the dynamism of its leader and more to do with their freedom to fail and their means of funding.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    I like the effect he’s had on two industries, but can’t quite bring myself to worship the man like so many seem to.

    This sums it up for me. He’s a capable businessman, and an engineer that has become more of a project manager (some have said micro-manager), lots of technical people move into project management (and often forget they’re no longer engineers), his projects are just bigger and he is still able to wrangle the chaos apparently.

    I’ll admit I liked his requirements spiel, he’s still a bellend though.

    Unfortunately/fortunately he’s been infected by the modern cult of personality bollocks, this promotes the businesses and attracts investment but perhaps detracts from the organisations themselves, people don’t invest in Tesla/space X they invest in Musk…

    It’s fascinating. I like Elon’s ambitions in space. He’s one of those people that is single handedly changing the world.

    I’d he though? He’s accumulating wealth from government contracts, and by making leccy cars the expensive option first (the affordable ones are coming apparently). But is he “changing the world” or just exploiting it in a slightly different way?

    Anyway if you can stomach 50mins of fanboi video, here’s 40 odd mins of Elon hate:

    Drac
    Full Member

    Daffy has put it much better than I could.

    dakuan
    Free Member

    with their freedom to fail and their means of funding.

    Who’s responsible for getting that done then? Elon fanboys are insufferable, but painting him as ‘just a billionaire buying toys’ is way wide of the mark.

    nickc
    Full Member

     I like Elon’s ambitions in space. He’s one of those people that is single handedly changing the world.

    If by changing the world you meant sending rockets into space so that he can advertise at you…then yes he’s “changing the world”. I wonder how long it takes before folk realise that their object of unearned hero-worship is just another money obsessed douche-bag grifter.

    vinnyeh
    Full Member

    bindun @nickc. Watch this space.
    That’s one for the geeks, btw.

    After reading the article, I do reckon you’re letting your enthusiasm for all things Musk run away a bit.

    Anyways, part 2 is up now, though not sure if anyone watched part 1 on the back of this thread.

    thewanderer
    Full Member

    The thing that the Elon haters don’t understand is that he’s way on the Autistic (or is it Aspergers) spectrum. He’s brain is going a million miles thinking about rockets, cars etc.. human interaction is something he doesn’t understand and therefore appears to be a d**k.

    It’s a trade off Uber high functioning in some areas, really poor in others.

    Personally, I think his complete focus on improving the human condition is awesome. He breaks it down to first principles applies fierce logic to it. His lack of empathy (definition of a psychopath) gets him in trouble but also lets him cut through the BS.

    I don’t think Billionaires are necessary good for society but Elon is the most interesting and is trying more than the rest to do good. Tesla certainly has succeeded in acceleration of electric vehicles and Space X has the best chance of making us multi planetary Is his efforts misplaced… Maybe but give me him over all the other Billionaires spending their money on yachts, cars, real estate. Give me an interesting character over the rest of the self centered lot.

    thols2
    Free Member

    He’s brain is going a million miles thinking about rockets, cars etc.. human interaction is something he doesn’t understand and therefore appears to be a d**k.

    His arrogant dismissal of anyone who questions his judgement is a major problem for Tesla. Pushing the boundaries of technology is great, but safety regulators are there because of the long history of promising new technology causing problems.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Personally, I think his complete focus on improving the human condition is awesome

    Unless, of course, you happen to live anywhere near where he wants to build and test rockets

    eulach
    Full Member

    Unless, of course, you happen to live anywhere near where he wants to build and test rockets

    https://myrgv.com/local-news/business/2021/03/30/musk-announces-30-million-donations-to-area-schools-brownsville/

    Flaperon
    Full Member

    His arrogant dismissal of anyone who questions his judgement is a major problem for Tesla. Pushing the boundaries of technology is great, but safety regulators are there because of the long history of promising new technology causing problems.

    I’m hardly a Musk fanboi, but the problem with cars crashing in the USA is nothing to do with Tesla and everything to do with the fact that most American drivers are both lazy and distracted with mobile phones, coupled with higher speeds, no road policing, narrow lanes, and heavy goods vehicles moving at 75mph. No MOTs means that tyres are frequently damaged or worn.

    You might think phone use is bad in the UK, but it’s nothing compared to the USA. Almost every other driver is heads-down on a phone.

    The only way you’ll stop this is to fit a camera inside the cars themselves and either record people while they’re using autopilot or cruise control, or have it figure out whether they’re looking at a phone and disconnect if they are.

    funkmasterp
    Full Member

    Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Charles Feeney trump Musk in the billionaires doing good stakes and also don’t come across as total **** which is nice.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Personally, I think his complete focus on improving the human condition is awesome. He breaks it down to first principles applies fierce logic to it.

    Comes up with the Vegas loop somehow?

    Fierce…

    thols2
    Free Member

    I’m hardly a Musk fanboi, but the problem with cars crashing in the USA is nothing to do with Tesla

    The problem with Tesla autopilots is largely due to Musk pushing it as an “autopilot” instead of assisted driving. Musk’s personality defects encouraged people to behave like ****s, so you get things like the video of the guy setting the “autopilot” and then climbing into the back seat and reading a book.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Full Member

    Yeah it’s a bit crazy they’ve not been banned from calling it autopilot (even if they do clearly state on their web-site it’s not yet fully autonomous). That said I doubt anyone has actually bought one thinking it is fully autonomous, some people just like to do stupid things whilst driving.

    Flaperon
    Full Member

    Presumably it’s going to stay under the Autopilot name. Volvo call their system “Pilot Assist”. Ford call theirs “Co-Pilot”.

    Stupid is as stupid does, and just changing a name won’t fix anything.

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