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Thread: Elon Musk & SpaceX

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    Elon Musk & SpaceX

    There has been lots of controversy surrounding the billionaire Elon Musk, the second richest person on Earth after Jeff Bozo and I think he is a rather peculiar person, yet undoubtedly very smart. He's basically a rich geek. I have to give him credit for what he has achieved so far and if he actually manages to get humanity (publicly) to Mars then that would be quite the achievement. Mars has always somehow been a special dream of mine, not in the sense that I would want to live in the current environment of the planet, but there is just something so fascinating about it and about space travel too. If we humans imagine something great then surely we can turn that into reality. He is a billionaire and generally I think they should not exist, but he is actually trying to achieve something important and beneficial with his money. He has been focusing on clean energy too with his other companies, solar power, electric cars and such.

    "There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What's the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? If the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing." ~ Elon Musk

    In these videos he introduces his Starbase rocket factory in Texas. Any thoughts on this and his efforts?


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t705r8ICkRw


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA8ZBJWo73E


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Zlnbs-NBUI

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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    [...] after Jeff Bozo [...
    Was that an intentional misspelling, or...?

    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    ...] and I think he is a rather peculiar person, yet undoubtedly very smart. He's basically a rich geek.
    Well, he is ─ by his own admission, although I for one had already long pegged him as one ─ an Aspie. And according to his employees, he's a horrible person to work for, and known to throw tantrums. The same was also said about Bill Gates, who's also an Aspie.

    But I guess it comes with the territory: nice people don't become billionaires. And since you're mentioning Jeff Bezos, he in turn doesn't exactly have the best of reputations among his employees either.

    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    I have to give him credit for what he has achieved so far and if he actually manages to get humanity (publicly) to Mars then that would be quite the achievement. [...]

    Any thoughts on this and his efforts?
    Well, he does at least still have that childlike aspect to him that wants to dream about a future full of fascinating and wonderful things, and I too will give him credit for that. On the other hand, I'm not sure whether I agree with some of the things he proposes, many of which are eccentric, to say the least.

    For instance, I can see a whole lot of trouble coming from his intention to hook up the human brain to a computer and start off a transhumanist revolution. We can't even keep our current and ─ by comparison ─ quite mundane computer networks free from malicious actors. So, do we really want governments, corporations and petty cyber-criminals invading our brains? And then we're not even talking about any potentially fatal or otherwise devastating flaws in the technology itself.

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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    Was that an intentional misspelling, or...?
    Quite intentional.

    Well, he is ─ by his own admission, although I for one had already long pegged him as one ─ an Aspie. And according to his employees, he's a horrible person to work for, and known to throw tantrums. The same was also said about Bill Gates, who's also an Aspie.

    But I guess it comes with the territory: nice people don't become billionaires. And since you're mentioning Jeff Bezos, he in turn doesn't exactly have the best of reputations among his employees either.
    Yeah well it would seems that all of those innovators have been quite terrible bosses and I don't know if that tells how they really are as people. I have no love especially for Jeff Bezos as he is filthy rich and still doesn't pay enough to his workers. He literally has too much money and it has only been made possible by the insane nonregulated capitalistic system.

    For instance, I can see a whole lot of trouble coming from his intention to hook up the human brain to a computer and start off a transhumanist revolution. We can't even keep our current and ─ by comparison ─ quite mundane computer networks free from malicious actors. So, do we really want governments, corporations and petty cyber-criminals invading our brains? And then we're not even talking about any potentially fatal or otherwise devastating flaws in the technology itself.
    I think the idea of transhumanism is quite troublesome too. Many mistakenly think that the human brain creates consciousness while it's just actually an instrument for receiving consciousness. Tampering with that hardware could have quite bad consequences in the long run. Sure you could say that we are just wetware androids, but I prefer to have to my body as the vanilla version without any mechanical modifications.

    Interestingly though Musk believes in the theory that we live in a simulation, which is partly true because all of this is just maya, illusion or dream. I still don't think all of this would be literally just some computer program though, but it's a good metaphor for our reality.

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    Bob, aren't you the "rocket man", where art thou to comment on this?

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    plenty busy ... Wind. I think Elon Musk is just brilliant ... Jeff Bozo I don't know much about. I think the starbase is being built of all places Austin, TX which is relatively inland. They're building a damn rocket launchpad about two miles from my house. Not sure how that's going to work out.

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    You must have a nice view in that case.

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    Okay, this is quite crazy. Elon is now the richest guy on the planet, but still hates taxes. Surprise!


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b1Jdubdp8Y
    Last edited by Wind, 28th October 2021 at 01:38.

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    I see that headline everywhere, as if to say that he's swimming around in that amount of cash which he could give away to end world hunger or something like that. It is simply not the case.

    His wealth is made up almost exclusively of stocks in his two main companies, SpaceX and Tesla, both of which he created practically out of nothing, also creating entirely new industries in the process. That is a remarkable achievement we haven't really seen since Henry Ford.

    When they say that his wealth increased by 36BN, it is simply the paper value of his stake in his two companies, which has increased by that amount. It's all theoretical. If he were to start selling his stake, prices would crash immediately and his companies might not even survive.

    That is why I have to shake my head when they (usually economically illiterate marxists) talk about wealth taxes of 90 percent or so. It would simply be impossible to realise the paper value of their assets, it would vanish overnight, because nobody would want to buy it and prices would crash. Also, the companies would be destroyed if their founders were forced to liquidate their stakes.

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    If people who can't make ends meet have to pay large amounts of their income in taxes, billionaires should be made to pay their own 'fair share'. They should anyway. They tax our systems just like everyone else. They should pay in.

    America had the strongest economic growth when it had the highest marginal tax rates. They can afford to pay them just fine.

    They don't want to. And they whine.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    His wealth is made up almost exclusively of stocks in his two main companies, SpaceX and Tesla, both of which he created practically out of nothing, also creating entirely new industries in the process. That is a remarkable achievement we haven't really seen since Henry Ford.
    Yes and I do applaud him for his efforts as he surely has achieved something rather great with Tesla and SpaceX. As some people have written on the comments on those videos, Elon Musk is still one of the few billionaires that is actually liked, the public and the youth loves him for his sense of humour and memes. Yet he is a complicated character too and obviously a bit eccentric in some sense.

    When they say that his wealth increased by 36BN, it is simply the paper value of his stake in his two companies, which has increased by that amount. It's all theoretical. If he were to start selling his stake, prices would crash immediately and his companies might not even survive.

    That is why I have to shake my head when they (usually economically illiterate marxists) talk about wealth taxes of 90 percent or so. It would simply be impossible to realise the paper value of their assets, it would vanish overnight, because nobody would want to buy it and prices would crash.
    You do realize what you just wrote here proves how ridiculous how the current economic system is? It's like a house of cards built on sand.

    When I look at paper money or numbers on a bank account, I realize that it's just paper and digital numbers and nothing else. We all give meaning to those... But why? They exist for exchange of services yes, but it is so ridiculous how artificial all of it is. The whole system literally is artificial and artifical lack, which benefits the few at the expense of everyone else. Once you reach a certain treshold of attaining money, you never have to worry about making a dime again. These billionaires reach a place where the money just starts piling on... Sure there always could be a stock crash, because the whole system is so volatile just like the human nature is. They're both linked together.

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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Yes and I do applaud him for his efforts as he surely has achieved something rather great with Tesla and SpaceX. As some people have written on the comments on those videos, Elon Musk is still one of the few billionaires that is actually liked, the public and the youth loves him for his sense of humour and memes. Yet he is a complicated character too and obviously a bit eccentric in some sense.



    You do realize what you just wrote here proves how ridiculous how the current economic system is? It's like a house of cards built on sand.

    When I look at paper money or numbers on a bank account, I realize that it's just paper and digital numbers and nothing else. We all give meaning to those... But why? They exist for exchange of services yes, but it is so ridiculous how artificial all of it is. The whole system literally is artificial and artifical lack, which benefits the few at the expense of everyone else. Once you reach a certain treshold of attaining money, you never have to worry about making a dime again. These billionaires reach a place where the money just starts piling on... Sure there always could be a stock crash, because the whole system is so volatile just like the human nature is. They're both linked together.
    90% is a level that FDR would not have considered and it seems wealth would have been calculated in a different way. Oil is a commodity? But again, I say that historically and inevitably when the moneyed corporatists have higher tax rates the economy thrives. The super rich have the world economies by the snarklies. They do in fact rule the world. And they manipulate the world. And it is why the right has pulled their pants down for the rich. They have one driving genetic urge... Power.

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    If people who can't make ends meet have to pay large amounts of their income in taxes, billionaires should be made to pay their own 'fair share'. They should anyway. They tax our systems just like everyone else. They should pay in.

    America had the strongest economic growth when it had the highest marginal tax rates. They can afford to pay them just fine.

    They don't want to. And they whine.
    True, but I have seen some left-wing journalists who obviously don't understand basic economics, suggest that billionaires should be made to pay up to 90 percent in wealth taxes. That's just basic economic illiteracy as it would destroy the entire world economy in an instant, if it were actually implemented. That this even needs to be explained to people, let alone journalists, is just a sad state of affairs.

    Now, the income of billionaires should be taxed more, this is a point that even Warren Buffet makes and it should apply to capital gains especially. BTW, capital gains tax is not a wealth tax, though it does tax increase in wealth, which is fair and it should be higher than it currently is, the same rate as the highest rate of personal income tax.

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    Quote Originally posted by Wind View Post
    Yes and I do applaud him for his efforts as he surely has achieved something rather great with Tesla and SpaceX. As some people have written on the comments on those videos, Elon Musk is still one of the few billionaires that is actually liked, the public and the youth loves him for his sense of humour and memes. Yet he is a complicated character too and obviously a bit eccentric in some sense.



    You do realize what you just wrote here proves how ridiculous how the current economic system is? It's like a house of cards built on sand.

    When I look at paper money or numbers on a bank account, I realize that it's just paper and digital numbers and nothing else. We all give meaning to those... But why? They exist for exchange of services yes, but it is so ridiculous how artificial all of it is. The whole system literally is artificial and artifical lack, which benefits the few at the expense of everyone else. Once you reach a certain treshold of attaining money, you never have to worry about making a dime again. These billionaires reach a place where the money just starts piling on... Sure there always could be a stock crash, because the whole system is so volatile just like the human nature is. They're both linked together.
    It's a bit more complex than that. Cash is Cash, you can use it to buy stuff. Assets are different, their value is entirely theoretical, until you sell them and how much you can sell them for and in what amounts (if you have huge assets, it might take years to liquidate them, that is turn it into cash).

    A typical example is the stock or the housing markets. For instance, during the eighties property bubble in Japan, the value of the Royal Palace in Tokyo was higher than that of all the property and land in the United States, combined.

    Does that actually mean, if the Emperor fell on hard times and sold the royal palace to investors, he would have gotten more money than the entire United States was worth? Of course not, that value was entirely theoretical, based on bubble valuations of prime real estate in Tokyo. Once you actually try to sell something of such great value, you will find that it is actually worth a fraction of what those valuations suggest. This is how bubbles pop, they are mostly just ponzi schemes, based on artificially high valuations on low volumes compared to the whole stock. There is always just a trickle that's being sold or traded on the open market, once you increase the volume you want to sell even by a tiny bit, panic ensues and you have yourself an almighty crash. This also applies to crypto btw. None of these things really have intrinsic value in the end, except perhaps for property, land and dividend-paying stocks.

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    Quote Originally posted by Chris View Post
    Cash is Cash, you can use it to buy stuff. Assets are different, their value is entirely theoretical, until you sell them and how much you can sell them for and in what amounts (if you have huge assets, it might take years to liquidate them, that is turn it into cash).

    A typical example is the stock or the housing markets. For instance, during the eighties property bubble in Japan, the value of the Royal Palace in Tokyo was higher than that of all the property and land in the United States, combined.

    Does that actually mean, if the Emperor fell on hard times and sold the royal palace to investors, he would have gotten more money than the entire United States was worth? Of course not, that value was entirely theoretical, based on bubble valuations of prime real estate in Tokyo. Once you actually try to sell something of such great value, you will find that it is actually worth a fraction of what those valuations suggest. This is how bubbles pop, they are mostly just ponzi schemes, based on artificially high valuations on low volumes compared to the whole stock. There is always just a trickle that's being sold or traded on the open market, once you increase the volume you want to sell even by a tiny bit, panic ensues and you have yourself an almighty crash. This also applies to crypto btw. None of these things really have intrinsic value in the end, except perhaps for property, land and dividend-paying stocks.
    It is not a crime to be rich, although only very few rich people got their wealth by not committing any crimes. And the way the system works is that the crimes they've committed along the way toward gathering their fortune have all been legalized.

    I won't go so far as to say that possession is theft ─ which was the communist slogan ─ but capitalism legalizes theft. That's why we have banks, and fiat money. And then there are the hedge funds and the stock markets, and their intricate network of rules for bending the (to them) already favorable and liberal laws. It's pure Machiavellian psychopathy.

    Capitalism is evil, period.
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    Quote Originally posted by Aragorn View Post
    It is not a crime to be rich, although only very few rich people got their wealth by not committing any crimes. And the way the system works is that the crimes they've committed along the way toward gathering their fortune have all been legalized.

    I won't go so far as to say that possession is theft ─ which was the communist slogan ─ but capitalism legalizes theft. That's why we have banks, and fiat money. And then there are the hedge funds and the stock markets, and their intricate network of rules for bending the (to them) already favorable and liberal laws. It's pure Machiavellian psychopathy.

    Capitalism is evil, period.
    It depends on how you define capitalism. Certainly, the kind of system they have in the US and increasingly, the UK, is evil, because it is psychopathic, it is run by psychopaths, and it creates and rewards psychopaths by its very nature.

    However, the system they have in Denmark or say Switzerland is also capitalism, yet it creates very different outcomes. So, I wouldn't say that capitalism itself is evil, but certainly the sort of neoliberal capitalism that has come to dominate the US and the UK, and large parts of the world controlled by them, is in fact that.

    By the same token, you could claim that industrial civilisation itself (the so-called technosphere) is evil, because it destroys the planet (the biosphere) and is therefore unsustainable and self-destructive. I'm not sure whether I agree with the latter, I think it is possible to live sustainably in an industrial civilisation, but it requires very different thinking, probably with an approach that isn't about greed and the accumulation of capital. However, all of that is contingent on the existence of very advanced technologies, along the lines of what you see in Star Trek (Free energy, replicators for food and material goods, interstellar colonies, etc...) and I'm not actually sure whether those are even possible or just a figment of our imagination. If we can make that leap to a star trek-like (level 2) civilisation, we can perhaps move beyond capitalism and our current economic systems, but it all hinges on the hope of inventing technologies that are purely speculative at this point and may very well be wishful thinking.

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