steve jobs didn't invent the iphone. elizabeth holmes, another stanford phd dropout who was feted and fawned over in the media, didn't revolutionize the blood-testing medical industry with theranos. we get it: the concept of a billionaire tech geek genius who is going to fix all of humanity's most pressing problems is a very seductive idea. especially if you're a cucked nerd-type yourself. elon's people spend a lot of money to promote this very image.
but saying that elon musk is a 'genius', or even 'intelligent enough', is a bit like giving the medicis the credit for all of da vinci's findings and creations. musk didn't make shit, not even in the early paypal days. all of this can be readily accessed in 5 minutes of background reading, if you look outside of the glossy magazine puff-pieces and publicity astroturfing. there is a talent and a knack for being a silicon valley/tech/finance bro and leading such organizations, i'll give you that (though it just so happens that the boards/shareholders of both tesla and spacex are increasingly less happy with elon's performance in this very type of role). but it's a long way from polymathic, world-saving genius. 'rich kid spends life manoeuvring for places on corporate boards and pushing out founders and inventors, whilst aggrandizing every success to his own name' sure is a somewhat different order of talent from 'genius inventor, engineer, and scientific ubermensch'.
all of this really is about dilbert's deep-held emotional conviction that government and society generally could be sorted if we just turned it over to businessmen and engineers, his sort of 'hard-nosed' expert. it's reheated technocracy with a very partial and selective reading of the history of such ideas. he's probably so salty about the blair/new labour years because they were supposed to be about a politically agnostic, vaguely 'progressive', forward-looking technocratic form of government. britain fell for the trump 'the apprentice' myth of competency in its way too, you know, with the labour 'lord' alan sugar, of amstrad ... let's get problem-solving businessmen to run society! hence the bizarre non sequitur of mentioning boris johnson and 'humanities oxford grads' in response to any criticism of musk. he has a bugbear for this topic that goes way beyond the personal aptitudes, or lack thereof, of elon musk.
Musk has seen most things he has touched turn into literal gold
tesla is massively overvalued, but that's by the by. it came along during an era of capitalism when mass-funded SV ideas and platforms had money thrown at them, regardless of actual market performance or profitability. the CEOs of wework, uber, airbnb, etc, all fancy themselves as renaissance men, too, i'm sure, despite their businesses barely making a profit for 10 years. amazon is obviously the leader of this type of 'turning things into literal gold': tank a massive operating loss for a decade until you've emptied out the bottom of the market, then abscond on taxes and pay your zero-hours contracts workers a pittance. wow, genius! modern Midases, one and all.
It would probably take the collapse of his companies for Musk to reconsider acting like an insufferable know it all.
he tried to buy out twitter on an egotistical whim, thinking like he could fix the site's problems in a few weeks (like bots and fake accounts), as if it hadn't occurred to the current twitter management or boffins to tackle it before. as i said, for people like dilbert/musk, every problem encountered by other people or in other specialisms is a doddle that can be sorted in an afternoon, if you focus your god brain on it.
turns out he shackled himself to a terrible deal, an overvalued company that makes barely any profit and has deep structural issues with its technology/community. any reasonable investor or buyer would have taken this into account; but no, musk ploughed ahead. now he's had to try and save face because his 'business genius' saw him commit to a purchase price for a company whose share value had dropped 30% in 2 weeks. this is impressive business acumen, how, exactly?
Last edited by uziq (2022-06-27 08:48:42)