Terrible Solutions to Terrifying Problems
July 19, 2018 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Elon Musk’s iPod Submarine, a one page game from Tin Star Games. For less terrible solutions: What Elon Musk Should Learn From the Thailand Cave Rescue (SPOILERS: He chose not to learn those things and, um, went somewhere else)
posted by Artw (64 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
Ok. So our solution to every complex problem is the A-Team. I hope they don't get too busy, take a vacation, or ever have to solve two of the same problem in different locations at the same time.

That's my short way of saying this opinion piece is a mess.
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:24 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Avengers is more accurate than the A-Team I guess, since they have a larger pool of heros they can call on for more specific situations. Still their reach is very limited, so my point stands. .
posted by The_Vegetables at 10:26 AM on July 19, 2018


I wonder what happened to the altruist wealthy folks who didn't let wealth corrupt them and turn them into insufferable boors.
posted by kalessin at 10:33 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Warren Buffet and Bill Gates seem to do genuinely good work and/or give their money to people who know what to do with it.
posted by chrchr at 10:36 AM on July 19, 2018 [21 favorites]


Brain is still intermittently telling me that to write a filk 'Elon's Submarine' to the tune of Yellow Submarine... resistance is crumbling.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:40 AM on July 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the legitimately altruist wealthy folks just attract conspiracy theories.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:41 AM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was in London recently, visited a museum and art gallery (V&A, Tate Modern) and they both had new wings paid for by the same guy.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:42 AM on July 19, 2018


Elon Musk's iPod Submarine might actually function as a game. The core mechanic is very close to that of Spyfall, a party game where all non-spy players are dealt cards that place them at a location (church, restaurant, submarine (heh), office, etc.) and give them a role at that location (e.g. chef, waiter, maitre'd at a restaurant), but the spy's card merely tells them that they're the spy. Taking turns, each player asks any single player a question about the location that they're in and/or aspects of what they do there. The non-spy players win if they figure out who the spy is, based on them giving suspicious answers, and the spy wins if they correctly guess what location the others are talking about.

It's good fun, and while EMiS is simpler, it could work, given an imaginative group of players. I gotta try it at the next boardgame meetup.
posted by jklaiho at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


My first thought on seeing a side-cut view of the Thai cave was: Scramble

Elon Musk just put that thought into stainless steel (because he's a billionaire). Though I think he didn't think through the "needs to bend" question very carefully.
posted by chavenet at 11:02 AM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wonder what happened to the altruist wealthy folks who didn't let wealth corrupt them and turn them into insufferable boors.

They never existed?? Even the wise elves who gave us high quality swag became orcs.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:08 AM on July 19, 2018 [8 favorites]


Musk (before he started calling the diver who actually did things a pedophile) petulantly defended his gadget after the rescue director said it wasn't needed, pointing to correspondence with someone else on the project.

My take is that the Thais treated him with kid gloves, indulging his engineer's disease idea while they worked on the real rescue, because he was possibly useful (money, batteries, drilling) and also represented a PR problem.
posted by thelonius at 11:20 AM on July 19, 2018 [34 favorites]


I hereby christen this submarine, the SS Dunning-Kruger!
posted by adept256 at 11:22 AM on July 19, 2018 [40 favorites]


It honestly reminded me of the kind of ideas my elementary school friends and I used to have (e.g.: giant wall to keep out killer bees) back there in the 70's
posted by thelonius at 11:23 AM on July 19, 2018 [9 favorites]


It’s very familiar tech behavior to me - some high up manager has a pet solution he has a bee in his bonnet about, insists everything be focused on that regardless of practicality, absolutely loses their shit when some solution is proposed or, worse used successfully, that does not incorporate the pet idea.
posted by Artw at 11:24 AM on July 19, 2018 [22 favorites]


wonder what happened to the altruist wealthy folks who didn't let wealth corrupt them and turn them into insufferable boors.

Wherever they are, they're swimming against the physiological tide:
Subjects under the influence of power, [UC Berkeley prof Dacher Keltner] found in studies spanning two decades, acted as if they had suffered a traumatic brain injury—becoming more impulsive, less risk-aware, and, crucially, less adept at seeing things from other people’s point of view.

Sukhvinder Obhi, a neuroscientist at McMaster University, in Ontario, recently described something similar. Unlike Keltner, who studies behaviors, Obhi studies brains. And when he put the heads of the powerful and the not-so-powerful under a transcranial-magnetic-stimulation machine, he found that power, in fact, impairs a specific neural process, “mirroring,” that may be a cornerstone of empathy. Which gives a neurological basis to what Keltner has termed the “power paradox”: Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.
posted by Iridic at 11:29 AM on July 19, 2018 [17 favorites]


Artw... is your final line a reference to Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems?
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2018


I imagine that being a tech star would make you a narcissist even if you didn't start out that way.
posted by Pembquist at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2018


It sickens me that serious professionals are being forced to humor him and treat him with kid gloves because of his massive ego and money and influence by saying "Well... it didn't help in this instance, but maaaybe your important and very smart ideas will be helpful in future rescue scenarios!" instead of telling him to take the blueprints for his stupid bathtub submarine and stick them where the sun doesn't shine.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:39 AM on July 19, 2018 [10 favorites]




altruist wealthy folks who didn't let wealth corrupt them and turn them into insufferable boors.

I know a couple of tech hundred-millionaires who are just quietly giving money through foundations and not making much if any noise about it.

What was gross about the Elon Musk submarine wasn't just the stupidity of the idea, nor the embarassing outcome. It's also just how the whole thing was a big Elon Musk Publicity Stunt. Sit the fuck down, dude.
posted by Nelson at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


... kid gloves... because he was possibly useful (money, batteries, drilling) and also represented a PR problem.

Maybe they’re just very polite.
posted by Segundus at 12:06 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


The media (and the man himself, of course) insist on patronizing Musk with bullshit like "Maybe we can use this device in the future to rescue Scooby and the gang from the haunted hedge mazes of Nambia!" No one will ever use this stupid submarine to rescue anyone. For some reason we are also required to wash his feet because hey, at least he is trying to help! What did YOU do to help rescue these boys, eh Mr. Smarty Pants? I don't see YOU making magical expanding tubes made out of unicorn eyelashes!
posted by Brocktoon at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yes, it's nice when rich people build wings on art museums, but in a functional society, even a well-regulated capitalist one, public institutions would have the resources they need for such things. Rather than a few billionaires funding their own pet projects for cachet or publicity, society as a whole could assess the general need and provide targeted support in a rational way.

But then there'd be no billionaires, and Ayn Rand's corpse would be sad.

My reaction when Musk was talking about taking a big battery to Puerto Rico was that, in my country, we have a publicly-owned utility, mismanaged though has sometimes been, with the mandate and enough resources that that would never seriously be considered a necessity. When you rely on heroes, it's a sign that you've fucked up the job of governance, bigly.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has declared that space exploration is one of the main things he should spend his money on. But poorly paid workers in Amazon warehouses, who work under grueling conditions, may have other ideas about how Mr. Bezos might best spend his money.
Bezos called this money his "winnings" but all of these tech billionaires haven't won anything, they've stolen it. Some of them are trying to rehabilitate themselves by giving a tiny bit of it back, others are just spending it on toys.
posted by klanawa at 12:30 PM on July 19, 2018 [32 favorites]


Artw... is your final line a reference to Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems?

Don’t think I’ve read that one but I (And the kids) do like his work.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2018


I find it a pretty uncharitable reading of the article that the solution to every complex problem is the Avengers. I read it more that the solution to every complex problem is specifically not Iron Man (as too many people think of Elon Musk).
posted by cardioid at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


Is it just me, or does it seem like Musk is losing his fucking mind?
posted by mondo dentro at 12:45 PM on July 19, 2018 [22 favorites]


Bezos called this money his "winnings" but all of these tech billionaires haven't won anything, they've stolen it. Some of them are trying to rehabilitate themselves by giving a tiny bit of it back, others are just spending it on toys.

"Winnings" is how they congratulate themselves on their fortunes, in a sad attempt to recognize that they may not have earned it all, but remain unable to recognize that it represents the suffering of many others. Manbaby steps, I guess.
posted by Revvy at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


Is it just me, or does it seem like Musk is losing his fucking mind?

Not just you. There has been a steady increase in public whack on his part and his investors just told him to shut up.
posted by Revvy at 12:47 PM on July 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


It must be hard watching your car manufacturing company fail in real time.
posted by Nelson at 12:48 PM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Ayn Rand's corpse would be sad.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:51 PM on July 19, 2018 [10 favorites]


Elon was always whack, though. Just the word is finally starting to get out.
posted by subdee at 12:54 PM on July 19, 2018 [5 favorites]


The real irony is they essentially got the kids out with a jury-rugged sub they built onsite, that was lighter and more maneuverable than what Musk made and shipped from the US.

Typical engineer: identify the correct answer and then proceed to overdesign and overbuild an impractical solution.
posted by Big Al 8000 at 1:12 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I find it a pretty uncharitable reading of the article that the solution to every complex problem is the Avengers.

Maybe so, and as much as I agree with klawana ("When you rely on heroes, it's a sign that you've fucked up the job of governance, bigly.") most of the failures mentioned are at the feet of government (cf: the cave, NASA funding, school funding & equitable outcomes, wage regulations, Bezos' cash in the first place) , and the ire of this article is not the failures of government, but rather defining who the hero gets to be.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:21 PM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


@kaivanshroff
Mark Zuckerberg is not a genius.

Elon Musk is not a genius.

Jack Dorsey is not a genius.

These people will not fix society.

They are good at one thing.

They are not leaders.

They don’t understand social issues.

They are not big thinkers.

They struck gold once.

Enough

posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2018 [54 favorites]


So once upon a time, we were working a problem on the ISS where there was a risk that an EVA astronaut would get fibers on their suit (like insulation fibers, although I think in this case it was carbon fiber). We had to come up with a way to get the fibers off of the suit in the airlock so that they wouldn't get inside the ISS and end up in people's lungs.

The obvious solution was tape, which took us about 0.03 seconds to think of, but as is our practice we also spent some time thinking about alternative methods. I thought of using a balloon plus static electricity to lift off the fibers. I spent a couple of hours on this idea: first I had to find out if there were balloons on the ISS (yes, from a PAO thing), then if it could work on the fiber in question (probably) and how to generate the static electricity because taking off the helmet to rub a balloon on your head would defeat the purpose (soft Velcro seemed to work). I presented it, we gave it some thought, and concluded is was not in any way a reliable solution compared to tape. We went with tape. (In the end the suit didn't get contaminated anyway so the contingency plan was not required.)

When I heard about the submarine this floated to the surface of my memory. Imagine if I had reacted to my idea being (correctly) down selected by throwing a fit. Who does that? You present your plan, and if it is a bad plan you should thank your stars someone has a better one.
posted by BeeDo at 1:54 PM on July 19, 2018 [39 favorites]


....if there were balloons on the ISS (yes, from a PAO thing)

Wouldn't that interfere with the LRF support?
posted by thelonius at 2:02 PM on July 19, 2018 [1 favorite]


My first thought on hearing about the submarine: this man has never moved his own furniture.
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on July 19, 2018 [25 favorites]


Remember in Incredibles 2 when one character's whole deal is that superheroes rot society by making them complacent when a healthy society is one engaged, active and empowered to solve their own problems? And how, even after supers save the day at the end (spoiler?) the movie makes a point that that doesn't disprove the above thesis?

Something about all this is making me think of that for some reason.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:27 PM on July 19, 2018


@ZackBornstein
Rough week for billionaires

Mon: Billionaire calls rescue hero a pedophile
Tues: Billionaire commits open treason
Weds: Billionaire defends holocaust deniers

Excited for Thurs & Fri

posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on July 19, 2018 [24 favorites]


That's good, but I'd revise it just a little:

Mon: Billionaire calls rescue hero a pedophile; faces zero consequences
Tues: Billionaire commits open treason; faces zero consequences
Weds: Billionaire defends holocaust deniers; faces zero consequences

posted by Atom Eyes at 3:02 PM on July 19, 2018 [23 favorites]


Considering Musk's recent support for the pedophile cult NXIVM (see last item on list), I suspect he's as prone to Projection as Trump, especially in matters of sexual perversion (and I, regrettably, have had more exposure to real pedophiles in their non-pedophile activities than most 'normal' males, and both of them fit the profile I have sadly developed).
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:20 PM on July 19, 2018 [7 favorites]


You know, I don't think there should be any billionaires. In my private economic theory, the existence of them is evidence of massive market failure.

But, that said, Musk really is a talent, and he's pretty much sui generis when it comes to the modern era. The guy is an audacious creator. The rocketry. The cars. The battery plant. He deserves credit as a hell of an engineer (or, at least, engineering manager--at a very large scale).

For someone that good, that visionary, I expect ego dysfunction and can tolerate a fair amount of crazy. But you couldn't help suspecting the breakdown of proper executive/emotional/intellectual inhibitory function when, already having a ton on his plate he got into the hyperloop hype, started promoting tunnel making, and now this rescue pod-sub thing... Lately, it's just seeming more and more like a slo-mo nervous breakdown.

My leftism aside, I'm genuinely sorry to see it.
posted by mondo dentro at 3:50 PM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


With every passing day I hate all of these people more. Why can't they just board their rocketship to Mars already and leave cavemen like me alone to play with our plastic garbage in the ruined world they've forced upon us?

If the solution is ever anything other than "give away all my money and retreat to a monastery," you're still part of the problem.

Sorry, I took a break from the politics megathread and read this. I'll go get a beer now.
posted by SystematicAbuse at 4:16 PM on July 19, 2018 [4 favorites]


Once we have power, we lose some of the capacities we needed to gain it in the first place.

Seriously, this is why I avoid power: so I won't turn into a total asshole.

5 Scientific Reasons Powerful People Will Always Suck
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:16 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


But, that said, Musk really is a talent, and he's pretty much sui generis when it comes to the modern era. The guy is an audacious creator. The rocketry. The cars. The battery plant. He deserves credit as a hell of an engineer (or, at least, engineering manager--at a very large scale).

He didn't do any of that, he paid people to do that.
posted by dilaudid at 6:27 PM on July 19, 2018 [13 favorites]


By my reading of the timeline the Musk effort began well before the first rescue and depending on the weather the attempt may vastly more difficult. Jumping into the effort seems from left field unless one notes that the spacex company has an active research lab building space suits, and a significant issue in space or underwater is air processing. There had been a lot of discussion whether the boys could work with scuba with minimal training, I just don't see where conceptually a micro sub that removes that one issue unworthy of discussion but in the timeframe there really was no time for discussion.

Musk at the very least needs a screener to check his public messaging and was utterly inappropriate with the pedo tweet but it was a reaction to a slightly less inappropriate "stick his sub" comment (that probably should have been edited out of the CNN news story. Basically the entire internet/media circus industry needs an army of clones of the MiFi-Mods.
posted by sammyo at 7:01 PM on July 19, 2018


The NYT op ed by Zeynep Tufekci is brilliant and everyone should read it. It articulates well the argument that was made here in one of the self driving car threads: reliable, safe technology (like airplanes) requires people who know what the fuck they are doing and are capable of learning from other people.
posted by medusa at 7:21 PM on July 19, 2018 [2 favorites]


I played "Elon Musk's iPod Submarine" with some friends last Saturday. MVP of the night was the solution to "white male hegemony" — "Equal PayPal."
posted by valrus at 9:19 PM on July 19, 2018 [6 favorites]


He deserves credit as a hell of an engineer

I find it fascinating how many intelligent people show themselves utterly incapable of grasping the very simple and undeniable fact that he is no such thing (nor someone who manages engineering work on a day to day basis such that he deserves intellectual credit for their successes). Literally. There is no question of this. He is not an engineer; he is not a scientist. Despite his relentless self-promotion, I don't even know that it can even be said that he's ever lied and made that claim. People are so desperate to have Great Men to worship that they will invent stories about them that are patently, wholly, objectively untrue to fit into that narrative.

He's not Tony Stark. He's a dude who writes checks. Writing checks to the right people under the right circumstances is its own highly respectable and useful skill. But it doesn't make you an inventor. Robert Moses didn't design the Triborough Bridge, for Christ's sake.
posted by praemunire at 9:43 PM on July 19, 2018 [11 favorites]


Industries can get stuck on things that were learned long ago, even if it doesn't apply anymore. For example, GM made electric cars to prove to California that they couldn't ever work, and then gleefully crushed them once the state backed off. They actually proved modern electric cars could work, but couldn't see it because internal combustion was baked into their DNA. Similarly, the aerospace industry has a staid engineering style, for example some Space Shuttle computers used magnetic core memory. They weren't born like that: deaths had beaten humility into their culture.

Musk cut through this with sheer hubris. He made Tesla out of AC Propulsion, which in some sense came out of GM's EV1 (through Alan Cocconi, but mostly the modern EV idea), and proceeded to humiliate the existing automobile companies by not only creating a new company, but making them pay for it through zero-emission credits. Then SpaceX showed what rocket scientists could do in business-causal attire. Lots of explosions, but some pretty cool reverse-takeoff recoveries to make up for it. It's impressive what his businesses have accomplished.

But industries learn lessons for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are outdated and don't apply (like battery technology), but often they were hard-won (like killing people). Pushing through means ignoring all lessons, good or bad. Industries too new to have forgotten anything (like tunnel boring) have nothing to offer the intrepid, and will just wait for the inevitable failure.

Diving technology is in the middle, since it was re-developed in the mid-20th century. A diver died on this rescue while staging air bottles. Right now for diving the only thing better than the typical ~250 bar steel air bottles are rebreather sets or supplied-air hoses, neither of which make sense in cave diving. Composite bottles can't help because they have to be neutrally-boyant. Rebreathers are huge and finicky. They tried an air hose. But how about a cryogenic bottle for these extremes? A back-of-the-envelope figure is 3x more air per bottle, and it's kind of in the Musk/SpaceX technological wheelhouse. Perhaps there's room for smarter dive computers and better underwater communication as well.

This would only be a supporting role in future rescues, instead of a splashy instant win, so I guess it won't happen.
posted by netowl at 10:11 PM on July 19, 2018 [3 favorites]


Industries too new to have forgotten anything (like tunnel boring)

You're kidding, right?
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:18 AM on July 20, 2018 [5 favorites]


I find it fascinating how many intelligent people show themselves utterly incapable of grasping the very simple and undeniable fact that he is no such thing [as a hell of an engineer]... nor someone who manages engineering work on a day to day basis such that he deserves intellectual credit for their successes).

Oooohh. My favorite. Virtue signaling by uncharitable caricature. Gold star. Also, completely full of shit. If I don't think there should be any billionaires, how am I looking for a Tony Stark to worship? You're confusing me with some Musk fanboys who must have caused you some trauma elsewhere.

Me, I think everything he's doing should be done by a social enterprise. That doesn't mean I can't respect what he's accomplished. Musk is an asshole. Got it. von Braun was a fucking Nazi. Still a great engineer. Do you think he designed all the components to the Saturn V himself? Read what I wrote, when you get off your high horse: "... or at least an engineering manager."

And then there's this sort of inanity:

He didn't do any of that, he paid people to do that.

Oh, so you think Musk went to craigslist and posted "looking for engineers; must be able to land rocket booster tail first on ocean barges", or "looking for industrial engineers for world's largest battery factory; must have experience with global supply chains and accounting."

This is arrogant, or delusional, or maybe just smug.

Maybe it's because I've been an engineering professor for 30 years, assessing talent (with marginal success) and managing projects in the measly 5-6 figure range--I've been humbled by the experience. First, you have to find good people, then you have to manage, motivate, and direct them. Musk didn't do all of this shit by just "writing checks". I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that if I gave any of you jokers 10 billion bucks you couldn't accomplish what he has. I know I couldn't. Give the devil his due.

The final thing I'll say is that in Musk's case, we have a control group: Peter Theil. I'd like to see our entire system of global oligarchic capitalism overturned, but until the revolution comes, I think the world would be better off if our billionaires had the social and infrastructural orientation of Musk instead of being like Thiel, whose main focus with his money is to become an Immortal God on a burning Earth.
posted by mondo dentro at 9:37 AM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oooohh. My favorite. Virtue signaling by uncharitable caricature. Gold star. Also, completely full of shit.

That's a big and informative post you've written there, but this dialogue's straying dangerously close in format to the Vern Unsworth/Elon Musk one that it's discussing.
posted by ambrosen at 9:42 AM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I find the notion that theirs all that much of a difference between Thiel and Musk extremely questionable.

(Also, “virtue signaling”? Try and make your normal person disguise at least a little better)
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on July 20, 2018 [10 favorites]


I think the world would be better off if our billionaires had the social and infrastructural orientation of Musk instead of being like Thiel

I just don't see Peter Thiel and Elon Musk as two inevitable ends to the billionaire dude spectrum. At least Bill Gates is going to eradicate malaria.
posted by Think_Long at 9:53 AM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm definitely not alone in having been accused of being a pedo by someone trying to own/pwn me or own/pwn the libs. I think the pedo accusation is, frankly, and sadly, just another bit of currency that anti-progressive, crypto-loving (sometimes quite wealthy) MGTOW type folks, both powerful and inadequate, use to prove how awesome they are.
posted by kalessin at 11:27 AM on July 20, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't think Musk's personal foibles should affect his businesses...but I do think the libel should affect his personal finances, as a point of principle.

Unsworth really has no choice but to sue Musk for defamation: this is about the Rule of Law, now.
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 2:29 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't think Musk's personal foibles should affect his businesses

Seriously? Musk is the CEO of Tesla, the public face of a public company. Is the personal behavior of CEOs immune to criticism? How about Harvey Weinstein's personal foibles?
posted by JackFlash at 3:11 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


sadly, just another bit of currency that anti-progressive, crypto-loving (sometimes quite wealthy) MGTOW type folks, both powerful and inadequate, use to prove how awesome they are.

Without for one second wanting to justify either the prejudice in general or its application in this particular case, I will say it is quite common in circles I run in to cast strong side-eye at any unaccompanied Western man who chooses to relocate to Southeast Asia in middle age, with the implication invariably being that they now wish to pursue sex tourism and the exploitation of minors as a lifestyle.

This, at least, is what I understood Musk to be saying, and as stupid a comment as it may be, I cannot honestly tell you I would have been shocked to hear more or less the same thing said by folks I know over a few pints at the local.

That said: fuck sex tourism, fuck redpilled misogynist cryptobros, and double-fuck egostuft chumplord Elon Musk.
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:13 PM on July 20, 2018


I thunk his propensity for building things that explode and then acting like its nothing to do with him should affect his business.
posted by Artw at 3:13 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


Equating Musk with Weinstein is a canard...their offenses and circumstances are quite different and both Musk and Weinstein are dealing with very real consequences of their behavior, now.

What Musk did with respect to Unsworth is a textbook case of libel, and it should be treated as such...Musk should reach settlement, and move on...but this matter really has nothing to do with any of his businesses.

If, in the future, some people will silently append "...that douchebag!" whenever they hear the name "Musk" as a result of this fiasco, that will be his burden to bear...but it doesn't necessarily disqualify him from running a car company, just like his post-facto tweeted apology doesn't necessarily absolve him of libel.
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 4:00 PM on July 20, 2018


Musk should reach settlement, and move on...but this matter really has nothing to do with any of his businesses.

Oh, you are quite wrong about that. I don't know if you are in the U.S., but Tesla is a public corporation with public shareholders who have control rights. Tesla is in financial crisis right now and highly dependent on its ability to borrow money and refinance its debt in the public markets later this year for its very survival. Shareholders are already complaining about Musk's increasingly erratic public behavior and the possibility of increased borrowing costs because of it. Shareholders can and will remove him if they believe his behavior jeopardizes their investment.
posted by JackFlash at 4:25 PM on July 20, 2018 [1 favorite]


@etrillionaire
It will no doubt surprise you commoners to see one of your betters using this populist soapbox. I am aware that generally the spectacularly wealthy would not deign to employ such an ephemeral platform, as they are too busy managing their empires. But I am a free thinker!
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on July 21, 2018


@JackFlash

Musk's volatility is priced-in by the markets, at this point...it's part of his "genius" and mystique...

It would take more than a large financial settlement against him, personally, to damage his reputation to the point where that becomes sufficient grounds for investors to demand his dismissal.

About the only indefensible course of action that Musk might take in this scenario, now, would be to challenge Unsworth's inevitable and righteous libel suit, and take it to trial, by jury...

Like I said: Musk should settle quickly, and move on.
posted by littlejohnnyjewel at 6:15 PM on July 21, 2018


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