A midnight tweet from Elon Musk was presented as groundbreaking, but it was merely stating the obvious about cannabis – The GrowthOp

In very un-Elon Musk fashion, the brain behind gorgeous electric cars, spacey possibilities (and realities) and plenty of off-the-wall comments came across as uncharacteristically vanilla on social media this weekend.

His more than 35 million Twitter followers were left mostly agreeing after the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX teased something juicy, but the revelation was rather obvious.

Selling weed literally went from a major felony to essential business (open during a pandemic) in much of America & yet many are still in prison. Doesnt make sense, isnt right, he posted after tweeting earlier that he was about to say something that will probably get me into trouble, but I feel I have to say it.

The reactions were not of surprise, but more acknowledgement of something that has been generally accepted for quite some time. As chatter picked up steam, the basic support for his tweet transformed into opinions around cannabis legalization in the U.S. and social and racial inequality, as well as plenty of cheeky tweets and images of stock prices plunging.

Musks connection to cannabis is nothing new. Weed was on Musks mind when he tweeted the stock is so high lol around Christmas time when Tesla shares hit $420, a none-too-subtle nudge, nudge, wink, wink to the unofficial cannabis holiday. Then, of course, there was the infamous appearance on Joe Rogans podcast in September, 2018, when Musk smoked some weed and investors were forced to watch as Tesla stock closed down six per cent.

Musks midnight tweet is only baffling insofar as its painfully obvious. Still, he doesnt quite seem to understand the full context of what hes only now coming to understand. For instance, earlier last week, U.S. Senator Corey Booker linked racial inequality in cannabis enforcement to protests that have continued in America and around the world.

As a result of the work of activists, many U.S. states have decriminalized certain charges or backed away from incarceration for weed possession for personal use. That said, its undeniable that the War on Drug disproportionately affected people of colour, and the convictions remain a barrier to advancement.

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A midnight tweet from Elon Musk was presented as groundbreaking, but it was merely stating the obvious about cannabis - The GrowthOp

Elon Musk: Starship Will ‘Protect the Light of Consciousness’ – Popular Mechanics

Elon Musk has made news after tweeting his opinion that colonizing space is the way to protect the light of consciousness. Now that Crew Dragon has delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station, SpaceX is likely to receive NASA certification to continue flying as part of NASAs Commercial Crew Program. Soon, Starship, Musks prized rocket, will shine.

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Back here on Earth, Musk has touted his Crew Dragon progress as the return of spaceflight from American soil; before now, astronauts have relied on Russian rockets for some time. We may live in a golden age of satellites and low Earth orbits, but that hasnt translated to sustained investment in human spaceflight.

What SpaceX has accomplished is huge, but its the bunny hillits the chalet next to the bunny hillof Musks ambitions for interplanetary travel and long-term colonization of the Moon and Mars.

Thats where the light of consciousness idea comes in. Yes, Musk has really been on a tear of hot takes straight from the Volcano vape. But the search for extraterrestrial life, and the seemingly astronomical odds of finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, makes the idea much less trivial and more existential. And until we know for sure that someone is out there, humans are the only known sentient and conscious beings.

In a way, the debate over consciousnesswhat it is, what it isnt, and how it distinguishes humans from other animalsmirrors the age-old debate over souls. Whether you think of higher consciousness as a soul or just a mind, no one can say for sure if its separate from your body, which mind-body dualists believe, or part of your physical body, which materialists believe.

And we live in a moment when scientists are attempting to turn these millennia-old debates into measurable experiments. In 2019, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, a big-questions nonprofit with global interests, announced a plan to shorten the research cycle on beginning to untangle questions of consciousness. To do that, they began funding scientists and philosophers who can work together to start designing experiments that may answer existential questions.

If this sounds like underwater basket weaving, think again. Whether or not someone is conscious, and what that term means, threads through our society from the most cutting-edge science to simple legal questions of human rights. And what Musk calls the light of consciousness is, as of today, still an almost complete mystery. Hes just the latest space travel enthusiast to voice the opinion.

When NASA first sent probes into space, the agency included date and location for anyone who might eventually find these bodies in space. Then, with Voyager I and II, NASA included the legendary Golden Record, which is filled with descriptions of mathematics and world languages as well as images of scientists, musical instruments, and daily life around the world. Even thinking about these items traveling through space fills us with wonder.

And what is wonder if not, as philosopher Jesse Prinz wrote in 2013, the most human emotion? Other higher primates feel it, too, but only humans capitalize on it to build institutions and artwork and entire ways of life. Why is that? As Prinz explains:

Indeed, it could be that an ambitious plan to live in space is as much a symptom of the light of consciousness as a means to preserve it.

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Elon Musks Boring Company applies to extend Las Vegas Loop to the Strip – Electrek

Elon Musks Boring Company is officially applying to extend its Loop tunnel system at the Las Vegas Convention Center to its first casino on the Strip.

Last year, we reported onthe Boring Company announcing a new proposed Loop system of tunnels for approval in Las Vegas.

The project was initiated by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which operates the citys massive convention center.

They are currently expanding the already gigantic venue with a new section to open in 2021, and they need a new way to move people between all their different halls.

In May 2019, the LVCVA chose the Boring Companys $50 million project to act as its new official people mover.

Last month, The Boring Company announced that it completed the excavation of both tunnels for the project.

They are now seeking approval to move beyond the convention center and connect to a first casino: Encore At Wynn.

Clark County Commissioner Richard Tick L. Segerblom made the announcement and shared this image of the planned expansion:

Wynns hotel and casino is the closest hotel on the strip to the convention center.

The Boring Companys Loop at the convention center will move people between the different halls at high speed with Tesla vehicles inside the underground tunnels.

Its going to be owned and operated by the convention center, but Musk has always had the ambition to expand it to the Las Vegas Strip and even the airport, which would also increase the value of the convention centers own Loop.

Musk recently said that The Boring Company would expand to the rest of Vegas, and he wasnt kidding.

We dont have a timeline for the expansion of the Loop, but we will keep you updated if we get more information.

As I previously stated, I could see The Boring Company link the convention center loop to the airport and then have casinos and hotels pay to have side tunnels reach their facilities.

The Wynn is close enough to the convention center that they can just start digging from there.

The Boring Companys machine is already there, as they are done with it at the convention center now that they are working on the stations.

Therefore, I think this could happen quickly. Exciting.

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Bloomfield Hills organization partners with Elon Musk’s brother to bring gardens to local schools – The Oakland Press

National nonprofitBig Green, run by Elon Musk's brother Kimbal, is teaming up with Hazon: the Jewish Lab for Sustainability in Bloomfield Hills to bring food education and outdoor learning gardens to Michigan classrooms.

HazonExecutive Director Wren Hack gets ready to help participating schools plant produce.

Big Green was founded in 2011 by Kimbal Musk and Hugo Matheson; theywere inspired to use school gardens as a way to help kids increase their preference for nutritious foods, develop healthier responses to stress and improve their academic performance.

Ava Jackson,Big Green program manager, said nonprofit leaders brought the organization to Michigan last year with a goal of building 100 gardens by 2020. She said she is excited this summer to partner with Hazon.Hazon is working to build a movement that strengthens Jewish life and contributes to a more environmentally sustainable world for all.

Beginning the week of June 22,the organization will plant six to seven garden beds per participating school with beans, squash and carrots crops. Ferndale Public Schools will be participating at each one of its five schools; Oak Park, Hazel Park and Southfield Public Schools are also participating.

For additional information and to get involved, visithazon.org/regions/detroit.

-Submitted bySari M. Cicurel

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Bloomfield Hills organization partners with Elon Musk's brother to bring gardens to local schools - The Oakland Press

Elon Musk goes off Twitter and Twitter can’t keep calm – Hindustan Times

With 35.5 million followers on Twitter, Elon Musk is right up there as one of the most followed entrepreneurs in the world. His following on the micro-blogging site is more than that of many Hollywood celebrities, sports personalities, Heads of States, and even Pope Francis. On Tuesday, the Tesla CEO announced he is steering clear of the social media platform 'for a while.'

Musk is one of the most active entrepreneurs on Twitter and has used the platform to not just make announcements related to his companies but also interact with followers - making observations and replying to queries. Not all of his followers may be his fans but the eccentric personality of Musk - especially on Twitter- has almost always divided opinions.

"Off Twitter for a while," Musk wrote in what could be his last tweet for some time now.

And as usual, the words were met with contrasting opinions. And almost every reply was either sarcastic or bordering on humorous. For instance, there were many who wondered if Musk is finally leaving for Mars, a planet he hopes to send a million humans to by 2050.

Many others thought it was about time that Musk took some time off Twitter.

Still others were at their roasting best and flayed Musk.

Musk was also called out on Twitter for not speaking up against racism even as several US cities have seen widespread demonstrations against the killing of George Floyd killing. Some questioned why he invited Donald Trump to the SpaceX launch at a time when the US President had, they say, espoused hardline measures against protesters.

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Elon Musk goes off Twitter and Twitter can't keep calm - Hindustan Times

News Highlights: Top Company News of the Day – Marketscreener.com

FCC Delays Decision on Elon Musk's SpaceX and Broadband Subsidies

The Federal Communications Commission delayed a final decision on whether Elon Musk's SpaceX will be able to qualify as a preferred bidder when the agency prepares to distribute up to $16 billion in funding to expand broadband service in rural areas.

The surprise changes that stripped Chief Executive Herbert Diess of some of his core responsibilities on Monday revealed a deep rift between the manager and the company's owners and workers.

Shares in the online automobile seller soared in their first day of trading, adding Vroom's name to a list of companies that had strong public showings in the past few weeks.

A high-profile investor in HSBC Holdings and Standard Chartered has criticized the London-based banks for supporting China's plan to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong, calling on them to speak out if it results in abuse of democratic freedoms.

Adidas said it would hire blacks and Latinos for at least 30% of new U.S. jobs, invest $20 million in black communities and fund 50 scholarships, in response to internal pressure from black employees at the sportswear giant.

The global airline industry is forecast to lose a record $84 billion this year with a return to profitability coming in 2022 at the earliest.

Even with Apple's design prowess, ARM-based laptops have been a tough sell.

The $5 billion funding package for the city's flagship carrier might also give the government a minority stake in the 73-year-old company.

Tiffany is a fraction of the size of LVMH, but the U.S. jeweler is doing a good job of outmaneuvering its powerful buyer.

The industry's recovery from the oil-price collapse is expected to focus on the Southwest's Permian Basin, at the expense of investment in more-mature shale-oil regions.

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Elon Musk | Biography & Facts | Britannica

Elon Musk, (born June 28, 1971, Pretoria, South Africa), South African-born American entrepreneur who cofounded the electronic-payment firm PayPal and formed SpaceX, maker of launch vehicles and spacecraft. He was also one of the first significant investors in, as well as chief executive officer of, the electric car manufacturer Tesla.

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Elon Musk was born on June 28, 1971.

Elon Musk cofounded the electronic payment firm PayPal and founded the spacecraft company SpaceX. He became chief executive officer of the electric-car maker Tesla.

Elon Musk founded SpaceX, a company that makes rockets and spacecraft. He became the chief executive officer and a major funder of Tesla, which makes electric cars.

Musk was born to a South African father and a Canadian mother. He displayed an early talent for computers and entrepreneurship. At age 12 he created a video game and sold it to a computer magazine. In 1988, after obtaining a Canadian passport, Musk left South Africa because he was unwilling to support apartheid through compulsory military service and because he sought the greater economic opportunities available in the United States.

Musk attended Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, and in 1992 he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where he received bachelors degrees in physics and economics in 1995. He enrolled in graduate school in physics at Stanford University in California, but he left after only two days because he felt that the Internet had much more potential to change society than work in physics. That year he founded Zip2, a company that provided maps and business directories to online newspapers. In 1999 Zip2 was bought by the computer manufacturer Compaq for $307 million, and Musk then founded an online financial services company, X.com, which later became PayPal, which specialized in transferring money online. The online auction eBay bought PayPal in 2002 for $1.5 billion.

Musk was long convinced that for life to survive, humanity has to become a multiplanet species. However, he was dissatisfied with the great expense of rocket launchers. In 2002 he founded Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to make more affordable rockets. Its first two rockets were the Falcon 1 (first launched in 2006) and the larger Falcon 9 (first launched in 2010), which were designed to cost much less than competing rockets. A third rocket, the Falcon Heavy (first launched in 2018), was designed to carry 117,000 pounds (53,000 kg) to orbit, nearly twice as much as its largest competitor, the Boeing Companys Delta IV Heavy, for one-third the cost. SpaceX also developed the Dragon spacecraft, which carries supplies to the International Space Station and is designed to carry as many as seven astronauts. Musk sought to reduce the expense of spaceflight by developing a fully reusable rocket that could lift off and return to the pad it launched from. Beginning in 2012, SpaceXs Grasshopper rocket made several short flights to test such technology. In addition to being CEO of SpaceX, Musk was also chief designer in building the Falcon rockets, Dragon, and Grasshopper.

Musk had long been interested in the possibilities of electric cars, and in 2004 he became one of the major funders of Tesla Motors (later renamed Tesla), an electric car company founded by entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In 2006 Tesla introduced its first car, the Roadster, which could travel 245 miles (394 km) on a single charge. Unlike most previous electric vehicles, which Musk thought were stodgy and uninteresting, it was a sports car that could go from 0 to 60 miles (97 km) per hour in less than four seconds. In 2010 the companys initial public offering raised about $226 million. Two years later Tesla introduced the Model S sedan, which was acclaimed by automotive critics for its performance and design. The company won further praise for its Model X luxury SUV, which went on the market in 2015. The Model 3, a less-expensive vehicle, went into production in 2017.

Musk expressed reservations about Tesla being publicly traded, and in August 2018 he made a series of tweets about taking the company private, noting that he had secured funding. The following month the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Musk for securities fraud, alleging that the tweets were false and misleading. Shortly thereafter Teslas board rejected the SECs proposed settlement, reportedly because Musk had threatened to resign. However, the news sent Tesla stock plummeting, and a harsher deal was ultimately accepted. Its terms included Musk stepping down as chairman for three years, though he was allowed to continue as CEO.

Dissatisfied with the projected cost ($68 billion) of a high-speed rail system in California, Musk in 2013 proposed an alternate faster system, the Hyperloop, a pneumatic tube in which a pod carrying 28 passengers would travel the 350 miles (560 km) between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 35 minutes at a top speed of 760 miles (1,220 km) per hour, nearly the speed of sound. Musk claimed that the Hyperloop would cost only $6 billion and that, with the pods departing every two minutes on average, the system could accommodate the six million people who travel that route every year. However, he stated that, between running SpaceX and Tesla, he could not devote time to the Hyperloops development.

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Elon Musk | Biography & Facts | Britannica

Elon Musk is tech Covidiot No. 1 during coronavirus pandemic

After working as a journalist for over 20 years, much of it in the celebrity world, I have found that whatever age a person becomes famous is the age when his or her maturity (usually) stops.

But something a little different happens in the tech industry: Tech bros, it seems, develop a Jesus complex right after their first big deal believing they (and only they) can save the world because, as their acolytes and mothers have told them, they are just that brilliant.

See: Ubers Travis Kalanick, Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg, Amazons Jeff Bezos and, most especially, Elon Musk.

The guy behind Tesla, The Boring Company and Space X the one who is convinced he can make Mars inhabitable has been showing off his arrogance to dangerous effect during the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Heres a rundown of recent examples of him wildly throwing his opinions out there.

March 6: the coronavirus panic is dumb, Musk tweeted to his 32 million followers.

March 16: maybe worth considering chloroquine for C19, he tweeted. (In some cases, this treatment has produced frightening side effects, and a small study testing it as a cure was halted due to risk of fatal heart complications.)

March 16: Musks Tesla defied a California shelter-in-place order and kept its Silicon Valley factory open, with workers saying it was business as usual. Several Tesla workers have since tested positive for COVID-19. Alameda County, Calif., officials said on March 18 that the factory had reduced its workforce but that 2,500 would still report to the factory.

March 17: According to the BBC, Musk proclaimed that Kids are essentially immune to the virus. This is demonstrably false: In an early April report, the CDC confirmed coronavirus contagion in children in all 50 states.

March 28: Many doctors are not treating patients due to fear of giving or receiving C19, he claimed.

March 31: Musk tweeted that he was rushing to the rescue! We have extra FDA approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping costs are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in [a] warehouse. Turns out, what he actually sent was five-year-old BiPAP sleep apnea machines that cant be used to treat coronavirus victims in the ICU.

April 5: He retweets engineering update on the Tesla ventilator from Tesla is Musk now making his own medical equipment?

April 16: Musk tweets out a partial list of hospitals to which Tesla sent ventilators. A day later,CNN contacts hospitals on the list that confirm they were not sent ventilators, but BiPAP apnea machines.

This is not the first time hes promised to step in and be a hero, only to flail. Remember his bid to save the Thai soccer team trapped in a cave in 2018? Musk offered up a kid-size submarine via his Boring Company, which experts said would not work and which showed up after the actual rescue was in process.

When British diver Vern Unsworth, who actually was heroic in helping save the team, criticized Musk claiming that the tech bro was using the opportunity for public relations Musk accused Unsworth of being a pedo guy. Only after Unsworth threatened to sue did Musk issue a rare apology. A nasty libel lawsuit followed that Musk eventually won.

A year later, Vanity Fair published a piece titled Hes Full of St: How Elon Musk Fooled Investors, Bilked Taxpayers, and Gambled Tesla to Save Solar City.

It outlined how New York taxpayers funded almost a billion dollars for Musks dream of SolarCity a solar factory that was part of Gov. Andrew Cuomos controversial Buffalo Billion program that was supposed to revive the upstate economy. In the end, just 750 jobs were created at the plant and the project was embroiled in a massive federal bid-rigging scandal that led to the downfall of top Cuomo advisers and donor contractors.

In November 2019, the Buffalo News reported that Tesla was getting an $854 million write-down on the plant: New York State spent $958.6 million to build Tesla Inc.s solar panel factory in South Buffalo and buy a big chunk of the equipment inside. Now, auditors are saying the building and all that equipment is worth just under $75 million or just 8 percent of what the state put into the RiverBend factory. As of mid-February, the plant, now called Gigafactory2, still needed to hire 360 people to meet its employment quota of 1,460 by April 30, or face paying a $41.2 million penalty to the state for each year it falls short, according to the Albany Business Review.

Elon, its time to take a breath and think and possibly research work that may not have been done by you before you speak. Take a page from the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and put your money where your big mouth is (without constantly crowing about it). Dorsey, who has teamed up with Rihanna and Jay-Z to donate $6.2 million to CoVID-19 relief funds, recently announced the creation of Start Small LLC, using $1 billion of his own equity to disarm this pandemic. After that, the fund will shift to health and education for girls.

Now that is a hero.

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The Cult of Elon Is Cracking – The Atlantic

Read: When Elon Musk switches on insane mode

Twitter is Musks main mode of communication with the public, including his fans. During other moments of Muskian controversythe tweet that led to fraud charges and cost him his Tesla chairmanship, or the time he got sued for calling a rescue diver a pedo guyyou could count on finding a chorus of support in the replies to Musks tweets, his admirers unwilling to consider any criticism of their hero.

But now, for the first time, Musk appears to have alienated even some of his most devout supporters. Fans are voicing their discomfort, and even dissent, directly to Musk on Twitter, knowing that he might see it. Last month, the top tweet beneath Musks demand to FREE AMERICA NOW and let workers return to their businesses was a bite-size study in cognitive dissonance: my first disagreement with my Idol. :/

Read: What you need to know about the coronavirus

The acerbic persona that once made Musk a cool renegade seems to have sharpened into something more alarming in this global crisis. Surviving a pandemic is rocket science only in the figurative sense, and some fans wish that Musk would let the experts handle it. The cracks in the cult of Elon are starting to show.

I reached out to some of these fans. They were mostly men, ranging from 20-somethings to 70-somethings. They included those who drive Teslas and those who wish they did, those who describe Musk as their idol and those who just think he makes a great car. They all prefaced their remarks with praise of Musks brilliance, vision, and ability to do things that others had sworn were impossible. And besides, they said, nobodys perfect. But. What the hell is he doing?

Read: The mission NASA doesnt want to postpone

Sometimes it just seems like the smarter people are, the more vulnerable they are to overestimating how much they know about something outside of their specialty, Ben Hallert, a longtime SpaceX fan and a Tesla stockholder, told me. If Im an expert in X, then why wouldnt I be an expert in Y?

Hallert loves talking about rockets. He talked about them all the way from Oregon to Texas last spring, when he took his wife and teenage sons to visit the place where SpaceX is building its biggest rocket yet, just off the Gulf of Mexico. Hallerts grandparents worked on the Apollo program, and he has his pilots license. He cant wait to see the SpaceX spaceship get off the ground, but he wishes that the man behind it would stop tweeting.

Read: The thorniest subject at NASA right now

Musks early takes on the coronavirus were mild, if ill-advised, fans told me. In early March, for example, Musk declared that the coronavirus panic is dumb. Fans believed that Musk was only poking fun at the hoarding of toilet paper and Clorox wipes, not the dangers of a sickness that was cropping up everywhere. But as Musks rhetoric escalated, some of his fans tried to reason gently with him that research showed social-distancing measures could slow the spread of the virus. They resurfaced a quote Musk tweeted in 2017, from Mustafa Kemal Atatrk, the founder of modern TurkeyIf one day, my words are against science, choose sciencein an apparent attempt to remind him of his better impulses. Such is the understanding nature of Musk fans, who still want to help their hero see the error of his ways.

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Elon Musk: the Tesla Cybertruck isnt getting any smaller – TechCrunch

In the days and weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the cybertruck a post-apocalyptic inspired vehicle made of cold-rolled steel there was a lot of speculation about whether it would be smaller once it actually made it to market.

Production of the Cybertruck is still a long ways off. There isnt even a factory to build the all-electric truck yet. However, Musk did provide some clarification Saturday on its size. In a tweet, Musk wrote Reviewed design with Franz last night. Even 3% smaller is too small. Will be pretty much the same size. Well probably do a smaller, tight world truck at some point. (Musk was referring to Teslas head of design Franz von Holzhausen. And we assume Musk meant to write light not tight truck.)

The change is important to note since he told Jay Leno that the vehicle is actually 5% too big, according to a teaser video promoting an upcoming episode of Jay Lenos Garage that will air Wednesday on CNBC. If we just take all of the proportions and drop them by 5%, he told Leno, later adding it has to fit into a normal garage.

Musk had previously said the company could probably reduce the width of the cybertruck by an inch and maybe reduce length by 6-plus inches without losing on utility or esthetics.

Tesla hasnt shared the dimensions of the vehicle. And TechCrunch failed to bring a measuring tape at the launch. (Lesson learned).

In the past two months, Musk has provided a few other updates around the cybertruck via Twitter, noting that the company is increasing dynamic air suspension travel for better off-roading and that it will float for awhile, a claim he didnt explain further.

Tesla said it will offer three variants of the cybertruck. The cheapest version, a single motor and rear-wheel drive model, will cost $39,900, have a towing capacity of 7,500 pounds and more than 250 miles of range, according to specs on its website. The middle version will be a dual-motor all-wheel drive, have a towing capacity of more than 10,000 pounds and be able to travel more than 300 miles on a single charge. The dual motor AWD model is priced at $49,900.

The third version will have three electric motors and all-wheel drive, a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and battery range of more than 500 miles. This version, known as tri motor, is priced at $69,900.

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Elon Musk Speaks Frankly on Coronavirus, SpaceX, and Rage Tweets – Bloomberg

If all goes well, on May 27 two American astronauts, Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, will ride in a Tesla electric car to a Florida launchpad, hop out, and then climb into the nose of a Falcon 9 rocket built by Elon Musks SpaceX. Theyll strap in before a bank of superslick touchscreens, as opposed to a Cold War-era clutter of buttons and knobs. The rocket will blast off at 4:33 p.m. EDT and dock with the International Space Station about 19 hours later. It will be the first privately built rocket and capsule ever to put humans into space, as well as the first time in almost a decade that an American spacecraft will ferry Americans into space from American soil.

In another era and under slightly different circumstances, this event would be the whole, glorious story. Immigrant rocket man ferries brave patriots into the heavens. Plop some ice cream on the apple pie, pass the Budweisers around, and let the livestreamed adrenaline loose on the imaginations of millions of kids.

Alas, we do not live in such times. We have a Twitter President and all the tremendous, very big, super-duper baggage that comes with him. We have a Space Force. We have a virus run amok. And, in Musk, we have a Twitter Business Icon with his own impressive set of baggage. So the moment of achievement is complicated. Sort of like The Right Stuff meets The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test where the idea that anything is possible is as unnerving as it is encouraging.

As Musks biographer, Ive spent years watching how he operates and affects everyone and everything in his orbit, from SpaceX to that other company he runs, Tesla Inc. During interviews, he can be loquacious to the point of oversharingand then shut down for weeks or months after some perceived slight. Weve had periods of intense and fruitful interactions, though my book left me in the Musk doghouse for quite a while. The odd e-mail returned. The odd phone call about his desire to reenact the police raid on Kim Dotcoms compound if he ever visits New Zealand. But silence, mostly. Yet here we are, at the leaving-the-planet part of the pandemic, which would certainly qualify as a giant leap for Musk. Sure enough, he called late on May 17.

Its pretty intense days, Musk says, revealing nothing about his whereabouts other than being two hours late for a dinner.

A lot can go wrong with a rocket launch, obviously, from inclement weather to much worse. The only reason NASA entertained the idea of putting astronauts in a rocket built entirely by a private company is that SpaceX has proven itself a remarkably dependable, relatively low-price, competently managed operation. Over the past decade, its launched about 100 rockets, landed many of them safely back on Earth, and come to dominate the industry, while being valued at close to $40 billion. It took the effort of many clever, hardworking people to pull this off, but its Elon Musk in all his audacious, volatile glory that made such a thing possible in the first place.

Even the most fervent Musk hater, of whom there are plenty in the U.S., has to feel some twinge of pride. At a moment when the American Empire can seem to be in decline, heres a clear sign that great things remain possible and that humans have much left to achieve. America is still the land of opportunity more than any other place, for sure, Musk says, waxing patriotic. There is definitely no other country where I could have done thisimmigrant or not. That its a multibillionaire, Covid-19-truthing, entrepreneurial huckster/hero delivering this message is pretty much perfect for America in 2020.

Its not like I stand by all the tweets Ive ever done. Some of them were definitely extremely dumb. On balance, the good outweighs the bad

Illustration: Arno for Bloomberg Businessweek

Like President Trump, Musk uses Twitter as a mainline into the id. But even by Musks flamboyant standards, the last couple of months have been exceptional. Hes vowed to sell almost all his possessions, announced the birth of his son, named X A-12 (pronounced ex-ash-A-twelve), described Tesla as being overvalued, recited the lyrics to The Star-Spangled Banner, and made sure that everyone knows Facebook sucks. The real juice, though, has come on the topic of the coronavirus, where Musk has emerged as one of the most prominent advocates of reopening society and one of the most vocal downplayers of the viruss effects.

He predicted in March that the U.S. would see probably close to zero new cases by the end of April, which was obviously wrong. Like Trump, hes promoted the use of chloroquine, which doctors have warned is unproven to help with Covid-19 and can be very harmful. There have been no calls to inject Lysol but plenty of armchair epidemiology. And, on the subject of reopening, Musk has been less than subtle with such memorable tweets as Give people their freedom back! and FREE AMERICA NOW.

Ricardo Reyes, who served two tours of duty as Teslas communications chief, saw all of this and tweeted, My lord. Seems Gorillas way out of the cage And knows exactly what hes doing. As if to prove his former employee right on both counts, Musk on May 11 announced he would reopen Teslas Silicon Valley car factory in the most high-on-Twitter-dopamine way: Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules, he posted. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me. After additional threats to pull Tesla out of California and move to a more hospitable state, Musk got his way, and Tesla was given the all-clear to reopen.

As for the virus and his predictions of its imminent disappearance, Musk refuses to back down, despite clear evidence to the contrary. I think the statistics became unreliable at the point at which they included those who werent actually tested for Covid but simply had Covid-like symptoms, he says. The statistics became bogus probably around mid-April. Theres about a hundred Covid-like symptoms. Basically anything. And then the stimulus bill gave a major incentive to have someone regarded as having Covid. The data is no longer valid. That said, I would say I was off by maybe three or four weeks.

Suggesting that Covid-19 cases are faked sounds especially abhorrent coming from someone who tends to celebrate science. But Musk has always been a provocateur. Its only in recent years that those outside his inner circle or who dont work at his companies have been able to witness the Full Elon firsthand.

Hes basically become a religious figure on Twitter. The true believers think he can do no wrong and celebrate any position he takes even if it seems to contradict past positions or simple common sense. As in, is he pro-science and fighting climate change or anti-science and denying the spread of the coronavirus? The true believers dont care. Conversely, there are the hordes of people who detest everything Musk does. They think hes an outright fraud who lies and cheats and will do anything to make a buck.

The pandemic tweets, though, have made it harder to tell whats up and whats down in Musk Land. Hes been distrusted by a certain breed of conservative for years simply for producing electric cars and sounding the alarm on climate change. And now suddenly Musks reopening demandscombined with tweets supporting fringe right-wing causeshave aligned him with plenty of voices on the right. Texas, which tried long and hard to ban Tesla from selling or servicing its cars in the home state of Big Oil, has politicians stepping over each other to welcome Musk and his factories. True, many people, even in Texas, have bought Teslas to virtue-signal their love of the planet and hope for a better future. But the symbolism turns quickly if you believe the workers making the car are risking their health on the factory line.

Among the many questions Musks recent behavior raises is, Why tweet at all? Why risk alienating your base and fraying the goodwill of the superfans? Also, why spend your limited free time in a virtual cesspool?

Its hard to make everyone happy, especially on Twitter, Musk says. Look, you can either say things that are not controversial at all, and then youre boring, and nobody cares. Some of the things I say, I would like to retract them. Its not like I stand by all the tweets Ive ever done. Some of them were definitely extremely dumb. On balance, the good outweighs the bad. Its a means of communicating directly to the people without having to go through the press.

The great irony in Musks pandemic denialism is that pandemics are the sort of thing that SpaceX was built to free us from

Billionaires are not in vogue at the momentespecially tech billionaires. To Musks point about going around journalists, the tech pressafter years and years of celebrating young, rich geeksseems to have decided they can now do no right and have ruined civilization. But to the extent that theres still room for nuance and complexity in the world, consider Musks unlikely and remarkable story.

He grew up in South Africa and had the good fortune of doing so in an upper-middle-class home. But thats more or less where the good fortune ended. His parents divorced. He was bullied at school. And he had a disastrous relationship with his father. At 17, Musk decided to leave home, heading first to Canada and then the U.S. for university. When I told my father I was leaving, he said I was going to fail and would be back in three months, Musk says.

Some of his most vocal detractors have promoted the idea that Musk, like Trump, began his career backed by the deep pockets of dear old dad. Errol Musk, an engineer, owned a small percentage of an emerald mine and had a couple of good years before the mine went bust and wiped out his investment. Musk readily jumps onto Twitter to refute the charges that his empire was forged with the aid of family wealth, and part of the reason he wanted to talk to merather comically given the rocket launch and, well, trollswas because the jabs bug him, and he hopes to set the record straight. For what its worth, my reporting, based on conversations with hundreds of people, confirms Musks story. Regardless of your opinion of him, he is a self-made billionaire.

I paid my own way through collegethrough student loans, scholarships, working jobsand ended up with $100,000 of student debt, Musk says. I started my first company with $2,500, and I had one computer and a car that I bought for $1,400, and all that debt. It would have been great if someone was paying for my college, but my dad had neither the ability nor the inclination to do so.

Fast-forward to 2001. Musk is sitting poolside at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The Nasdaq has crashed. Sept. 11 is coming. But life is pretty good for Musk. The company he co-founded, PayPal, is about to go public. His stake will soon be worth roughly $160 million, and hes celebrating in a cabana with some friends, amid the boozy, nearly naked masses. Only hes celebrating like Musk celebrates. Elon is there reading some obscure Soviet rocket manual that was all moldy and looked like it had been bought on EBay, Kevin Hartz, one of the PayPal crew, told me for my book. He was studying it and talking openly about space travel and changing the world.

The Musk sitting by that pool was coming on 30 and, while wealthy and plenty full of confidence, was far from the outsize persona that rampages across Twitter today. That Musk was closer to the awkward loner from South Africa who still had room for self-doubt. He was wandering around in an existential funk, trying to figure out what to do with his money and his life.

Among the least financially advisable projects imaginable for someone in that position would be to start a rocket company. Rockets are national projects. They cost billions of dollars to develop and manufacture. Governments make them via the hard work of thousands of people spread out over many years. The handful of wealthy space enthusiasts whod tried to make rockets in the past gave up after setting fire to their fortunes. The lesson being that one does not pivot into rockets on a midcareer whim. And you definitely dont do it because you think it would be cool to put a small greenhouse on Mars that earthlings could all watch via the internet, Musks actual founding idea for SpaceX.

Cut to 2008, and things are not going well. SpaceXs first three rockets have either blown up or failed to reach orbit. Tesla is verging on bankruptcy after struggling to get its first car to market. Musk has ripped through his PayPal money, trying to keep both of his companies alive. In the background of all this, the financial markets are cratering, real car companies are going under, and Musk is getting a divorce from the mother of his five boys. The only way out of the financial part of this mess is to persuade investors watching their portfolios collapse to take one more chance on Tesla and make NASA, if not you, believe in a space startup by getting the last remaining SpaceX rocket in the factory to orbit. (The way out of the personal mess turned out to be dating a talented and beautiful young actress, Talulah Riley.)

That Musk somehow emerged from this with both companies intact is lottery-odds improbable. If we really are living in a simulation, as Musk has suggested, its the only one you could run where both SpaceX and Tesla survive.

Since then, Musk has built vast rocket, car, and battery factories. Hes employed tens of thousands of people, created a worldwide car-charging network, figured out reusable rockets, started an artificial intelligence software company, dug tunnels for high-speed transport, founded a brain-machine-interface startup, and constructed a high-speed internet systemin space. (Hows your sourdough starter going?)

That he can be a tyrant to those helping him create all of this stuff is no secret. And, as regulators would attest, his business tactics and behavior can oscillate between infuriating and appalling. Yet at a time when America doesnt seem the best at doing stuff, the guy gets a lot of stuff done. Part of the reason Musk is under fire for pushing to open his factories is because he actually has factories to open. People should value manufacturingthe world of atoms vs. the world of bitsfar more, he says. It is looked down upon by many, which is just not right.

Musk has railed against Silicon Valleys squandered brilliance for years, and he has a point. The Bay Area, home to Tesla and its car plant, boasts the worlds top engineers, biggest tech companies, and wealthiest people, as well as some of the finest universities and hospitals. Yet precious few ideas have emerged here about reopening the economy, even as the local daily deaths from Covid-19 have neared zero. The Silicon Valleyites who talk often about saving the world with their apps and baubles have been missing in action when the world actually needs saving.

Musk, true to form, says he wont wait for people to figure out how to turn the economy back on. SpaceX has been working this entire time, because we have a national security exemption, he tells me. Weve had 8,000 people working full time through the whole pandemic. Weve had zero serious illnesses or deaths despite working in L.A., Washington, Texas, and Florida. Its more of the same in China [for Tesla], with 7,000 people. I think when the dust settles it will be obvious this was much less of an issue than people thought.

The great irony in Musks pandemic denialism is that pandemics are the sort of thing that SpaceX was built to free us from. While the mission to the ISS may be a defining moment in his career, its only a steppingstone toward his companys much bigger ambitions. Musk wants to build a human colony on Mars, in part to make people dream big, and in part to give us a backup plan for the human species in case of an asteroid strike or, you know, a plague. SpaceX engineers are busy constructing a massive craft called Starship meant to take humans to, as it says on the website, the Moon, Mars and Beyond. Where such a quest might have seemed laughable decades ago, it now feels very real, especially when you consider the other great irony of Musk: SpaceX, the crazy rocket company, is his most consistent and successful venture.

Following the launch of the astronauts, SpaceX is on the hook to fly several resupply missions to the ISS and to put up military satellites, communications satellites for commercial customers, and thousands of its own satellites at the heart of its Starlink space internet system. Its also in the running to take people to the moon with NASA and apparently to fly Tom Cruise to the ISS to film a movie. This flurry of activity is part of a booming new space industry Musk and SpaceX catalyzed.

Its because of Musk and SpaceX that Ive turned into a space nerd. Ive traveled from California, Texas, and Alaska to French Guiana, India, New Zealand, and Ukraine to see rockets get made and watch them go up. At every launch, the excitement comes from the unknown. Theres a thin, tall metal tube filled to the brim with liquid explosives, and it seems to huff and puff as the countdown heads to zero. At liftoff, the might of gravity becomes obvious, as this object blasts great streams of fire at the ground but struggles to gather momentum. Will it? Wont it? Just like with Musk, you want to see what happens next.

His behavior of late will no doubt color how SpaceXs May 27 launch is perceived, and thats unfortunate. People can understand a businessman wanting to restart the economy, and plenty of arguments can be made that support such a position. Its the straight-up denial of a pandemic thats killed hundreds of thousands of people that casts a pall. But then, Musk will always do as he wishes and operate in the reality he creates. Its this very trait that led to the formation of SpaceX.

For anyone who can look past Musks antics, a successful launch will be a moment of pure shared bliss at a time when the world could use some of that. At the very least, it would affirm that the governmentin this case, NASAcan take intelligent risks and be courageous by partnering with a private company while keeping its safety standards intact. There might have been 10,000 meetings, Musk says. There are probably 10,000 tests of one kind or another that have taken place. Should all go well, Musk, NASA, and all of SpaceXfrom its indomitable and thick-skinned president and chief operating officer, Gwynne Shotwell, to every engineer, coder, and metalworkerwill provide the rest of us with proof of what government and industry can accomplish when they execute on a well-thought-out plan.

Between now and the launch, Musk intends to keep on Musking. He really is doing what he tweeted: selling his possessions, including his many homes. Id rather just stay with friends and rotate among their houses and stay in the factories when there are issues, he says. I kind of like that better. Its less lonely. His comments may not have been thought through at, say, a NASA-like level. Asked where his six boys will stay, Musk allows that he might need some kind of residence in Los Angeles, near SpaceX headquarters. Ill probably rent a place or something. Renting a place thats sort of small. But I actually dont know where it would be.

When the launch does take place, Musk will head to Cape Canaveral and sit with the SpaceX and NASA teams as they do their final engineering reviews. If the weather cooperates and all the technology performs as designed, two humans will safely exit the pandemic and head for the stars.

Assuming its successfulI dont want to seem presumptuousthen it will be an incredible moment for humanity, Musk says. I think its something that everyone should be able to celebrate.

As in parties? In person? Seriously?

I think we can have parties, he says. Yeah, well be fine.Read next: Trumps Reopening Gamble Risks Lives and Livelihoods

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Elon Musk Speaks Frankly on Coronavirus, SpaceX, and Rage Tweets - Bloomberg

Elon Musk is playing Twitter footsie with the fringe right – The Verge

Elon Musk has always had a certain manic energy on Twitter, but in the past week, his output has taken a more troubling turn. Musks ongoing standoff with Alameda County health officials had inspired him to share a wave of disinformation, something he hasnt backed off from even as much of it has been removed from the platforms themselves. But now, Musk seems to be moving into a more troubling part of the online sphere, and he risks taking a lot of his fans with him.

Last night, Musk tweeted a confusing combination of the rose symbol for the Democratic Socialists of America and the red pill meme, a Matrix reference that has become a touchstone for anti-feminist communities online. Its hard to say what Musk meant by all this, but it was clearly taken as a dog whistle by prominent red-pillers like Mike Cernovich and Infowars Paul Joseph Watson. It was also retweeted by Ivanka Trump, which caused Matrix co-creator Lilly Wachowski to curse both of them out.

Its all very surreal and confusing, and its debatable whether Musk meant to stir any of it up at all. But it fits a larger pattern of signaling to far-right figures that is harder to discount. Since the Alameda fight started, Musk has been a regular fixture in the replies of coronavirus skeptic Alex Berenson and stunt journalist James OKeefe who has also been vocal about the counting of coronavirus deaths. And Musk has spent the past month promoting discredited reports about the dangers of coronavirus, describing shelter-in-place orders as fascist, and dismissing the validity of existing case and death statistics on the viruss spread. Along with Fox News, Musk was an early proponent of the antimalarial drug chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, an idea that has been discredited by clinical trials.

None of the tweets are particularly scandalous on their own, and its not as if screwing around on Twitter is some horrible crime (court order notwithstanding). But Musk has been through a lot on Twitter, from the Unsworth Affair to the Securities and Exchange Commission debacle. He knows what it means to his fanboys when he starts talking to another public figure, and he knows how quick that same crowd is to pile onto anyone who tries to call him out on it.

Platforms like Twitter are very fertile territory for a particular kind of huckster who can use the limitations of the medium to sow confusion and build a following. Berenson is building a following this way, and red-pillers like Cernovich and the Infowars crew are running a more advanced version of the same hustle. These hucksters have become surprisingly powerful under President Trump, and it may be that Musk is trying to tap into that, figuring that currying favor with the Infowars crowd will help him keep his factories open. Or it could be hes just spent too much time online and is grateful for all the allies he can get. Still, its weird to see one of the most prominent figures in the tech world playing coy with this sort of thing and for anyone who respects Musks work with Tesla and SpaceX, its an alarming shift.

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Elon Musk is playing Twitter footsie with the fringe right - The Verge

Elon Musk’s friend and a top SpaceX engineer has left the company to join a fast-growing rival rocket startup – Business Insider

A startup that hopes to 3D-print entire orbital-class rockets has picked off a top engineer from SpaceX.

Zach Dunn, the now former senior vice president of production and launch for SpaceX, started out as an intern at the rocket company 13 years ago and most recently reported to founder Elon Musk. But as of June 8, Dunn whom Musk considers a friend will start his new job at Relativity Space.

"Zach made a significant contribution to SpaceX," Musk tweeted on Monday. "I wish him well as he tries something new."

Zach Dunn. Zachary Dunn/Relativity Space Relativity Space is a venture-capital-backed rocket company founded in 2015 by Jordan Noone and Tim Ellis, who are former employees of SpaceX and Blue Origin (Jeff Bezos' rocket company), respectively. The startup has already secured a launch site in Florida and raised more than $184 million, according to PitchBook. Its backers include former Walt Disney executive Michael Ovitz andJared Leto, the "30 Seconds to Mars" rock star and actor.

The company's first big goal is to 3D-print a rocket within 60 days of a customer's order, then use it to launch a payload into orbit.

That rocket, called Terran 1, will stand about 95 feet tall, have 10 engines, and be capable of launching a small to medium-size satellite or other payload into space for about $10 million. The largest size that a payload can be is about 2,750 pounds (1,250 kilograms), or about one Fiat 500 hatchback's worth of mass.

Relativity says the typical lead time for ordering a launch vehicle is about 12 to 18 months, and that Terran 1 will decrease the complexity of a rocket by having 99% fewer parts, since they can be seamlessly integrated into a larger part using proprietary "Stargate" 3D printers.

Relativity Space's rocket factory. Relativity Space

To create such an unprecedented capability, Relativity needs a mastermind to build out and run its "factory of the future" a 120,000-square-foot facility in Long Beach, California.

The company announced this week Dunn would be that person.

"Zach brings immense creativity, audacity, and leadership to a critical piece of Relativity's company vision. He will be instrumental in our goal of developing the factory of the future using large-scale 3D printing," Ellis said in statement emailed to Business Insider.

Relativity knew of Dunn's accomplishments at SpaceX and that he rose through the ranks at the company.

"What wasn't he involved in? At each opportunity Zach would gravitate toward the hardest engineering problems our industry had to offer, and demonstrated success each and every time," Ellis said. "In an organization with some of the very best engineers in the world, this is a feat worth recognizing and we are confident Zach will bring the same success to our 3D printing factory."

Dunn will lead a new division at Relativity called factory development, which a spokesperson said will join two preexisting engineering teams: the launch vehicle development group and the avionics and integrated-software group.

"Initial focus of the Factory Development team is to deliver Relativity's first rocket, Terran 1, to its first orbital launch. After our first successful launch, we will continue to develop the core technologies needed to scale Terran 1 production and beyond," the spokesperson said.

Relativity hopes to launch Terran 1 for the first time in 2021 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it's renovating an old military launch site into a modern commercial complex.

An illustration of a Terran 1 rocket by Relativity Space launching from the US Air Force's Launch Complex 16 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Relativity Space

Relativity is a competitor for SpaceX's small-launch business, which the latter company announced in 2019.

However, Ellis previously said Relativity hoped its 3D-printing technologies would one day join SpaceX on flights to Mars aboard Starship, a towering new vehicle Musk's rocket company is developing, building, and testing at the southern tip of Texas.

"What do you need to make on another planet? We think there needs to be another company focused on this piece of the puzzle," Ellis told Business Insider in 2018. "I would love to launch our factory to Mars and then figure out how to scale and sustain that society very quickly."

This story has been updated.

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Elon Musk's friend and a top SpaceX engineer has left the company to join a fast-growing rival rocket startup - Business Insider

Why Is Elon Musk Tweeting About The Red Pill? – Forbes

Musk just reanimated a dead meme. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Lately, Elon Musks erratic tweeting has been generating headlines, as the billionaire has been calling for America to return to work amidst a global pandemic (wont somebody please think of the shareholders!) and announcing his sons name as X A-12 via Twitter - its still unclear which syllable Musk and Grimes use to refer to their son.

Musks recent Twitter drama was especially amusing, as Musk randomly tweeted to his followers to take the red pill, accompanied by a rose emoji, often associated with the socialist cause.

So, why was Musk referencing The Matrix and making vague political allusions?

Well, the Red Pill has long been used as a metaphor for accepting harsh realities over blissful ignorance, a meme often utilized by the alt-right, who seek to market their unpleasant ideas as the hard truth, rather than deranged incel fantasies which paint women as biologically inferior.

Theres a spectrum of shaky beliefs associated with the Red Pill meme, and its impossible to know what Musk is really referring to, because he deliberately left it open to interpretation. But Ivanka Trump gave a deliriously cheerful response, gleefully acknowledging that she has swallowed whatever bizarre delusion fermenting in the brains of people who unironically use the phrase, take the red pill.

Hilariously, Lilly Wachowski, co-creator of The Matrix, joined the conversation to put both pill-poppers in their place, also sharing a link to Brave Space Alliance, an LGBT social service organization, and encouraged people to donate to the cause.

Its a bizarre, bitter irony that The Matrix, the creation of two trans-women who imbued their own sense of alienation and displacement into the story, has been completely co-opted by the alt-right, who dont even recognize the existence of transgender people.

In The Matrix, the detachment that Neo felt, his suspicion that something was ever-so-slightly off about his world, proved deeply relatable, reaching far beyond the intention of the original allegory.

Perhaps its not surprising that the Red Pill meme proved so popular in the dark corners of the internet; The Matrix highlighted the unreality of modern life, the sense of isolation that our society often induces, the nameless dread that draws so many into believing hateful narratives.

Memes tend to evolve quickly, becoming distorted far beyond their original meaning, and in a sense, it doesnt really matter that the Red Pill was meant to symbolize the brutal reality of gender transition. Sadly, it means something different now.

But whatever Musks intentions, I think we can all agree that it is incredibly embarrassing for an adult to be tweeting about the Red Pill in 2020, a fact recognized by Grimes mother, Sandy Garossino, in a now-deleted tweet that seemed to be directly referencing Musk.

Outdated Matrix references aside, I suppose its somewhat comforting to know that even the rich and famous are losing their minds during quarantine; the relentless boredom is sending us all down some weird online rabbit holes.

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Why Is Elon Musk Tweeting About The Red Pill? - Forbes

The way of the future: Howard Hughes Co. is pitching Elon Musk on a Vegas Tesla HQ – CNET

"Show me all the blueprints. Show me all the blueprints."

Elon Musk, being an outspoken gazillionaire with an interest in engineering, inevitably draws more than a few comparisons to Howard Hughes, aka the guy responsible for the Spruce Goose and the subject of my favorite Martin Scorcese film.

That's why it's funny and a little ironic that he's recently been approached by the Howard Hughes Corporation about moving Tesla HQ to Las Vegas, according to a report published Thursday by ABC News 3 Las Vegas.

So, you might be a little lost at this point. First, Howard Hughes is dead, but his businesses (well, some) live on, and real estate company Howard Hughes Co. is among them.

Why Las Vegas? Well, Hughes spent a significant amount of time in Vegas towards the end of his life and invested heavily in real estate there. His company still owns a good deal of it, including the Summerlin community, which you probably know as a place where rich people with dark secrets were often murdered on CSI.

Now, Elon's tiff with California over its coronavirus shelter-in-place restrictions on businesses is well-documented at this point. Several municipalities have been throwing themselves at him to have either a new Tesla factory placed with them or, to act as a new headquarters, free from California's pesky worker protections and higher costs of doing business.

The Howard Hughes Company's pitch came from current board chairperson Bill Ackman over Twitter -- aka Musk's favorite medium after Soundcloud -- and pitched him on not just Summerlin but also planned communities owned by the company near Dallas and Houston. They even made a sizzle reel to help sell it.

Vegas' mayor pro tem even got in on it, suggesting that the city could name a street after Musk's newest son, X A-12. The levels of thirst on display here are unreal. Can you imagine Google Maps trying to pronounce X A-12 Lane?

Will Musk actually move Tesla out of California? At this point, that's unclear. Doing so would be a massive expense for a company that only now has been able to turn a Q1 profit for the first time in its history, not to mention the logistical headaches. But, if he does, in the end, decide that the Golden State isn't the place for him, he won't be lacking for options in where to go next.

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The way of the future: Howard Hughes Co. is pitching Elon Musk on a Vegas Tesla HQ - CNET

Tesla Model 3 convertible makes the EV that Elon Musk wont build – SlashGear

Tesla doesnt make a convertible Model 3, but that doesnt mean you cant enjoy the wind in your hair in Elon Musks smallest car as long as you have the budget for it. The Model 3 has already come in for some interesting mods, not least a pickup version, but now one customs company has sliced the top off completely.

Its the handiwork of Newport Convertible Engineering, a company which has made a business out of turning normal cars into cabriolets. Back in 2014, in fact, the mod-shop revealed its Tesla Model S convertible, turning the automakers premium electric sedan into an open-topped model.

Now, its the smaller and more attainable Model 3 thats in line for the circular saw. Gone is the roof and the rear glass; in their place is a fabric soft-top, which folds down onto the rear deck. That way you get to listen to the sounds of nature as you whip through it, without a gas engine to get in the way.

There are some style considerations to bear in mind. Most noticeable is the fact that the B-pillar is still in place, right between the front and rear doors. Thats partly because it allows a brace over the top of the Model 3 convertible, which is presumably needed to maintain stiffness: sedans arent designed to just have the roof chopped off, and can end up twisting disconcertingly if they dont have sufficient reinforcement.

The other issue is that the B-pillars are where Tesla embeds some of its cameras for Autopilot. Get rid of them, and youd lose the all-important driver assistance technology, which is part of the charm of the Model 3.

Then theres the cost. Newport Convertible Engineering says that itll cost around $30,000 to make the conversion, and thats not including the Model 3 itself. Your money only gets you a manual top, too. If youd like a powered hood, thats almost $40,000 on top of the cost of the EV.

Is it worth it? Certainly, youre not likely to see many other Model 3 convertibles on the road. The company says itll take 2-3 months to do the swap, which includes body reinforcement and new trim to work around the cuts.

For most, itll all be more trouble than its worth. Still, theres undoubtedly a market for electric convertibles, though so far weve not really seen many attempts at the category. Teslas upcoming Roadster the release date of which remains somewhat nebulous at this point will have a removable roof panel, and the original Tesla Roadster was a convertible too. Neither could be described as affordable, however.


Tesla Model 3 convertible makes the EV that Elon Musk wont build - SlashGear

This what it’s like to be Elon Musk’s neighbour – indy100

Elon Musk recently announced hes selling most of his possessions, including the bulk of his property portfolio.

Lucky for residents in California, where two of his homes have now been listed for sale.

According to a new investigation by Esquire reporter Rachel Monroe, Musk is the neighbour from hell.

Or rather, his SpaceX project is.

Helpfully, she also summarised her findings in a Twitter thread and it doesnt paint Musk in a flattering light.

Monroe alleges that a few years ago, SpaceX began moving operations to Boca Chica, a quiet [retirement] community by a wildlife preserve. It didnt stay that way.

Soon there was 24-hour construction, bright lights on site at night and large trucks making noise at all hours.

Since 3 May, there have also been rocket tests happening in the wee hours of the morning.

Residents are warned in advance, says Monroe, by the police arriving around 10pm and informing them there will be tests at dawn.

Which leaves people living within a mile of the site chosen for a test the difficult choice of staying put and hoping the test succeeds or fleeing to another location in the middle of a pandemic.

Despite SpaceXs promises that there would be minimal disruption and a handful of tests, including pledges to rarely force closures of the local beaches, Monroe says the public beach has been made to close constantly this month due to SpaceX testing.

She accused Musk of taking over public resources and the company of essentially lying to residents.

The retirees living in Boca Chica have apparently been told they have to move because SpaceX says its not safe for them to remain there.

But according to a report in Intelligent Living, its actually because Musk is planning to build a SpaceX Village resort, including 100 electronically bookable rooms and regularly planned activities, such as volleyball tournaments, rock climbing, kayaking, and spaceport lounge events and parties.

Monroes thread wraps up with a quote from Musk in 2005, when SpaceX were briefly forced off their site by Lockheed Martin.

Somebody else builds a house next to you and tells you to get out of your house, like, what the hell? . . .

Were going to fight that issue, because it is just fundamentally unfair.

Between the rockets, the Red Pill tweets and his conspiracy theory about coronavirus, could Elon Musk prove to be the worst neighbour of all time?

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This what it's like to be Elon Musk's neighbour - indy100

Elon Musk | SpaceX

Elon Musk leads Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), where he oversees the development and manufacturing of advanced rockets and spacecraft for missions to and beyond Earth orbit.

Founded in 2002, SpaceXs mission is to enable humans to become a spacefaring civilization and a multi-planet species by building a self-sustaining city on Mars. In 2008, SpaceXs Falcon 1 became the first privately developed liquid-fuel launch vehicle to orbit the Earth. Following that milestone, NASA awarded SpaceX with contracts to carry cargo and crew to the International Space Station (ISS). A global leader in commercial launch services, SpaceX is the first commercial provider to launch and recover a spacecraft from orbit, attach a commercial spacecraft to the ISS and successfully land an orbital-class rocket booster. By pioneering the development of fully and rapidly reusable rockets and spacecraft, SpaceX is dramatically reducing the cost of access to space, the first step in making life on Mars a reality in our lifetime.

Elon also leads Tesla, which makes electric cars, giant batteries and solar products.Previously, Elon co-founded and sold PayPal, the world's leading Internet payment system, and Zip2, one of the first internet maps and directions services, which helped bring major publishers, including the New York Times and Hearst, online.

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Elon Musk | SpaceX

Elon Musk v public health: a timeline of the Tesla factory standoff – The Guardian

On Monday 11 May, Elon Musk attempted to fashion himself into a hero of the anti-public-health movement when he dared authorities to arrest him for restarting production at Teslas northern California car plant, in defiance of the local shelter-in-place order. Neither Musk nor anyone else was arrested, but his action placed state and local officials in the difficult position of figuring out whether and how to enforce coronavirus restrictions against a litigious billionaire who is also a major employer.

On Tuesday, his cause gained the support of another hot-headed executive with an overactive Twitter account: Donald Trump. California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW, the president tweeted on Tuesday morning. It can be done Fast & Safely!

By Tuesday evening, Musk and the local government appeared to have reached a compromise. How did we get here? Heres a handy timeline of what led up to Musks meltdown May:

6 March

On the day that global confirmed cases of Covid-19 surpass 100,000, Musk declares on Twitter: The coronavirus panic is dumb. The tweet sets the tone for Musks approach toward the deadly pandemic, repeatedly downplaying the risk of the virus and opposing public health measures.

11 March

16 March

Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area become the first locales in the US to order all non-essential businesses to close and require residents to shelter in place. Included in the coordinated public health order is Alameda county, home to Teslas only US car factory, in the city of Fremont.

Musk emails his employees to say that he plans to continue working, signaling that he does not plan to shut the factory.

On Twitter, Musk promotes chloroquine, an unproven treatment for Covid-19 that would become the darling of Fox News and Trump before being largely abandoned amid reports of dangerous cardiac side-effects.

17 March

The Alameda county sheriffs office announces that Tesla is not an essential business and therefore can only maintain minimum basic operations under the public health order. Tesla does not comply.

18 March

Musk tweets that Tesla will manufacture ventilators if there is a shortage. There is no indication that Tesla ever took any steps to do so, though Musk tweets about having a long engineering discussion with the medical device maker Medtronic on 21 March.

19 March

Under pressure from local officials, Tesla agrees to halt production at its Fremont factory by 23 March a week after the public health order.

On Twitter, Musk predicts that there will be probably close to zero new cases of Covid-19 in the US by the end of April. He also asserts falsely that children are essentially immune to the virus.

Californias governor, Gavin Newsom, issues a statewide shelter-in-place order.

23 March

31 March

Musk tweets an offer to ship FDA-approved ventilators to hospitals. The devices turn out to be BiPap machines, which are commonly used to treat sleep apnea, rather than the much more expensive mechanical ventilators that hospitals use to intubate severely ill patients.

Bay Area officials extend their shelter-in-place orders through 3 May.

26 April

Musk promotes a YouTube video by two California doctors using misleading statistics to argue against shelter-in-place orders. The video is removed by YouTube for promoting harmful misinformation, and the doctors are jointly and emphatically condemn[ed] by the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine.

27 April

Bay Area officials again extend their shelter-in-place orders, this time through the end of May. Tesla is forced to call off plans to reopen its plant on 4 May.

28 April

Musk adopts the rhetoric of anti-lockdown protesters in a late-night Twitter rant, tweeting, FREE AMERICA NOW and Give people their freedom back! He also falsely describes the shelter-in-place restrictions as de facto house arrest.

29 April

Musk unleashes another rant during Teslas quarterly earnings call with investors, declaring public health measures fascist and demanding: Give people back their goddamn freedom.

Tesla beats analyst expectations for the quarter, delivering its third straight quarterly profit despite the major coronavirus disruptions.

1 May

Another Twitter diatribe by Musk wipes about $13bn off Teslas market value, after he declares that he plans to sell almost all physical possessions, including his house(s), and then opines that Teslas stock price is too high imo. Teslas stock price drops about 9% following the tweets.

4 May

Musks partner, Claire Boucher, a musician who performs as Grimes, gives birth to the couples first child, a son named X A-12.

7 May

Newsom announces new rules to allow some non-essential businesses, including some manufacturers, in California to reopen on 8 May. He also says that local rules supersede statewide rules, if they are stricter.

8 May

9 May

Tesla sues Alameda county, alleging that the countys continuing shelter-in-place order is unconstitutional.

On Twitter, Musk declares that Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately and threatens to stop manufacturing in Fremont. Musk also attacks the local public health officer, Dr Erica Pan, calling her unelected and ignorant.

County officials say they have been working with Tesla on a safety plan to allow the factory to reopen.

11 May

Tesla resumes production at the Fremont factory in defiance of the public health order. Musk tweets, If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.

Alameda county officials tell Tesla that it is violating the public health order and say they hope it will comply without further enforcement measures.

12 May

Late in the evening, Alameda county announces that it has received Teslas safety plan and agreed that Tesla can begin to augment their minimum business operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week. The county says it will work with the local police force to verify Tesla is adhering to physical distancing and that other safety measures are in place.

Musk tweets a photo of an ice-cream sundae with the message, Life should be lived. The photograph was posted on Instagram by a food blogger in 2017 and re-shared by the Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo that same year.

See the article here:

Elon Musk v public health: a timeline of the Tesla factory standoff - The Guardian

Elon Musk’s First Wife Justine Musk Talks Their Messy Divorce

In the late spring of 2008, my wealthy entrepreneurial husband, Elon Musk, the father of my five young sons, filed for divorce. Six weeks later, he texted me to say he was engaged to a gorgeous British actress in her early 20s who had moved to Los Angeles to be with him. Her name is Talulah Riley, and she played one of the sisters in 2005's Pride and Prejudice. Two of the things that struck me were: a) Pride and Prejudice is a really good movie, and b) My life with this man had devolved to a clich.

At least she wasn't blonde. I found that refreshing.

When I first met Elon, I wasn't blonde, either. I was an aspiring writer in my first year at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, sprung from a small hometown and recovering from a difficult case of first love with the older man I'd left behind. I liked older. I liked poetic and rebellious and tortured. I liked a guy who parked his motorcycle beneath my dorm-room window and called my name through the twilight: Romeo in a dark-brown leather jacket.

Elon wasn't like that. A fellow student a year ahead of me, he was a clean-cut, upper-class boy with a South African accent who appeared in front of me one afternoon as I was leaping up the steps to my dorm. He said we'd met at a party I knew I hadn't been to. (Years later, he would confess that he had noticed me from across the common room and decided he wanted to meet me.) He invited me out for ice cream. I said yes, but then blew him off with a note on my dorm-room door. Several hours later, my head bent over my Spanish text in an overheated room in the student center, I heard a polite cough behind me. Elon was smiling awkwardly, two chocolate-chip ice cream cones dripping down his hands. He's not a man who takes no for an answer.

"Elon's wealth seemed abstract and unreal, a string of zeros that existed in some strange space of its own."

He was a scientific type, at home with numbers, commerce, and logic. I was not the only woman he pursued, but even after he transferred to Wharton he kept sending roses. When he'd return to Queen's to visit friends, I found myself agreeing to have dinner with him. Once, in the bookstore together, I pointed to a shelf and said, "One day I want my own books to go right there." I had said this before to a girlfriend, who laughed and spun on her heel. But Elon not only took me seriously, he seemed impressed. It was the first time that a boy found my sense of ambition instead of my long hair or narrow waist attractive. Previous boyfriends complained that I was "competitive," but Elon said I had "a fire in my soul." When he told me, "I see myself in you," I knew what he meant.

After I graduated, I taught ESL in Japan for a year Elon and I had by then gone our separate ways. Back in Canada I took a bartending job, worked on my novel, and debated whether to go back to Japan or to grad school. One night I heard myself tell my sister, "If Elon ever calls me again, I think I'll go for it. I might have missed something there." He called me one week later.

After graduation, he'd moved to Silicon Valley. He was sharing an apartment in Mountain View with three roommates and building his first dot-com company, Zip2. I soon flew out for the first of many visits. One night, over dinner, he asked me how many kids I wanted to have. "One or two," I said immediately, "although if I could afford nannies, I'd like to have four."

He laughed. "That's the difference between you and me," he said. "I just assume that there will be nannies." He made a rocking motion with his arms and said, happily, "Baby."

Then he took me to a bookstore and handed me his credit card. "Buy as many books as you want," he said. No man could have said anything sweeter.

Two years later two months before our January 2000 wedding Elon told me we had an appointment with a lawyer who was going to help us with a "financial agreement" that the board of his new company wanted us to sign. When I looked at him, he said quickly, "It's not a prenup."

Although I'd been dating a struggling 20-something entrepreneur, I was now engaged to a wealthy one. Elon had sold Zip2, which partnered with newspapers to help them get online, in 1999, the year before, and was worth about $20 million overnight. He bought and renovated an 1,800-square-foot condo: We now had a place of our own. He also bought a million-dollar sports car a McLaren F1 and a small plane. Our day-to-day routine remained the same (except for the addition of flying lessons), and Elon's wealth seemed abstract and unreal, a string of zeros that existed in some strange space of its own. I made uneasy jokes that he was about to dump me for a supermodel. Instead, he proposed, getting down on bended knee on a street corner.

Most of his newfound fortune he rolled over into his second company, an online banking institution, X.com, that later became PayPal (the online payment company). It was this board that was supposedly urging him to get a "financial agreement." What I didn't understand at the time was that Elon was actually ushering me into a period of "mediation," which, I now know, means anything done or spoken is confidential and cannot be used in a court of law. But I had no time to research mediation, or learn that it rarely serves the interest of the less powerful person in the relationship. Years later, I came to learn these things. But two months after our wedding, I simply signed the postnuptial agreement. I trusted my husband why else had I married him? and I told myself it didn't matter. We were soul mates. We would never get divorced. A life without Elon was unthinkable, something I'd realized a few months before he proposed, as we napped together one spring afternoon before a friend's wedding. With my arm slung across his chest, I felt that he was my own private Alexander the Great.

Still, there were warning signs. As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, "I am the alpha in this relationship." I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement, but as time went on, I learned that he was serious. He had grown up in the male-dominated culture of South Africa, and the will to compete and dominate that made him so successful in business did not magically shut off when he came home. This, and the vast economic imbalance between us, meant that in the months following our wedding, a certain dynamic began to take hold. Elon's judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking. "I am your wife," I told him repeatedly, "not your employee."

"If you were my employee," he said just as often, "I would fire you."

By the time eBay bought PayPal in 2002, we had moved to Los Angeles and had our first child, a boy named Nevada Alexander. The sale of PayPal vaulted Elon's net worth to well over $100 million. The same week, Nevada went down for a nap, placed on his back as always, and stopped breathing. He was 10 weeks old, the age when male infants are most susceptible to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). By the time the paramedics resuscitated him, he had been deprived of oxygen for so long that he was brain-dead. He spent three days on life support in a hospital in Orange County before we made the decision to take him off it. I held him in my arms when he died.

Elon made it clear that he did not want to talk about Nevada's death. I didn't understand this, just as he didn't understand why I grieved openly, which he regarded as "emotionally manipulative." I buried my feelings instead, coping with Nevada's death by making my first visit to an IVF clinic less than two months later. Elon and I planned to get pregnant again as swiftly as possible. Within the next five years, I gave birth to twins, then triplets, and I sold three novels to Penguin and Simon & Schuster. Even so, Nevada's death sent me on a years-long inward spiral of depression and distraction that would be continuing today if one of our nannies hadn't noticed me struggling. She approached me with the name of an excellent therapist. Dubious, I gave it a shot. In those weekly sessions, I began to get perspective on what had become my life.

"'If you were my employee,' he said just as often, 'I would fire you.'"

We were breathing rarefied air. The first crowded apartment we'd shared in Mountain View seemed like ancient history from our 6,000-square-foot house in the Bel Air hills. Married for seven years, we had a domestic staff of five; during the day our home transformed into a workplace. We went to black-tie fundraisers and got the best tables at elite Hollywood nightclubs, with Paris Hilton and Leonardo DiCaprio partying next to us. When Google cofounder Larry Page got married on Richard Branson's private Caribbean island, we were there, hanging out in a villa with John Cusack and watching Bono pose with swarms of adoring women outside the reception tent. When we traveled, we drove onto the airfield up to Elon's private jet, where a private flight attendant handed us champagne. I spent an afternoon walking around San Jose with Daryl Hannah, where she caused a commotion at Starbucks when the barista asked her name and she said, blithely, "Daryl."

It was a dream lifestyle, privileged and surreal. But the whirlwind of glitter couldn't disguise a growing void at the core. Elon was obsessed with his work: When he was home, his mind was elsewhere. I longed for deep and heartfelt conversations, for intimacy and empathy. And while I sacrificed a normal family life for his career, Elon started to say that I "read too much," shrugging off my book deadlines. This felt like a dismissal, and a stark reversal from the days when he was so supportive. When we argued over the house or the kids' sleeping schedule my faults and flaws came under the microscope. I felt insignificant in his eyes, and I began thinking about what effect our dynamic would have on our five young sons.

In the spring of 2008, eight years after our wedding, a car accident served as my wake-up call. The moment of impact seemed suspended in time: The details of the other driver's face, looking at me in horror as she held a cell phone to her ear, were so clear it was like the distance between us didn't exist. There was a crunch of metal as her car plowed into mine, and when we skidded to a halt, my first thought wasn't, Thank God nobody's hurt. It was, My husband is going to kill me. And in my mind's eye, I could suddenly see myself: a woman who'd gotten very thin, and very blonde, stumbling out of a very expensive car with the front-left wheel smashed in.

I barely recognized myself. I had turned into a trophy wife and I sucked at it. I wasn't detail-oriented enough to maintain a perfect house or be a perfect hostess. I could no longer hide my boredom when the men talked and the women smiled and listened. I wasn't interested in Botox or makeup or reducing the appearance of the scars from my C-sections. And no matter how many highlights I got, Elon pushed me to be blonder. "Go platinum," he kept saying, and I kept refusing.

"I had turned into a trophy wife and I sucked at it."

Not long after the accident, I sat on our bed with my knees pulled up to my chest and tears in my eyes. I told Elon, in a soft voice that was nonetheless filled with conviction, that I needed our life to change. I didn't want to be a sideline player in the multimillion-dollar spectacle of my husband's life. I wanted equality. I wanted partnership. I wanted to love and be loved, the way we had before he made all his millions.

Elon agreed to enter counseling, but he was running two companies and carrying a planet of stress. One month and three sessions later, he gave me an ultimatum: Either we fix this marriage today or I will divorce you tomorrow, by which I understood he meant, Our status quo works for me, so it should work for you. He filed for divorce the next morning. I felt numb, but strangely relieved.

Eight years after I signed the postnup, I began to understand just what I'd done. I had effectively signed away all my rights as a married person, including any claim to community property except our house, which was to be vested in my name once we had a child. But my lawyer is presenting a legal theory that could render the postnup invalid. A postnup, unlike a prenup, requires a complete financial disclosure because of something called "marital fiduciary duty": the obligation of one spouse to be honest and straightforward in financial dealings with the other. Around the time we signed the agreement, Elon was involved in a significant merger between X.com and a company called Confinity. Together, the two became PayPal and raised the value of Elon's X.com stock by millions of dollars more than what he reported on the postnup. Whether this was deliberate or an oversight, according to my lawyer, it could render the contract fraudulent, and thus invalid if it weren't for the protection of mediation confidentiality. That period ended not when we left the lawyer's office or when we got married, but only once we'd signed. The question that will determine the outcome of our divorce case, which has been winding its way through the California legal system for more than two years, is a legal one: Should mediation confidentiality trump marital fiduciary duty, or vice versa? Two years after our separation, we ended up in court. The judge ruled in Elon's favor, but stressed that the case was "a long cause matter" and immediately certified it for appeal. Resolution is at least a year away.

In the months after our separation, I dyed my hair dark and cut it. I also developed a friendship that gradually deepened into romance with a man I'd known casually for years. One night he took me to a reading of Eve Ensler's new play. "This is power-woman central," he said, as we watched Arianna Huffington hold court in the front row. As he pointed out other prominent women in the audience, I realized the kind of social world I'd been living in: The females who populated it were the young wives and girlfriends of wealthy men, or the personal assistants who catered to them. Women disappeared after some point in their 30s, and any female ambition other than looking beautiful, shopping, and overseeing the domestic realm became an inconvenience. Being in that audience, watching that staged reading, I felt myself reclaim the freedom to write my own life.

Although I am estranged from Elon when it comes to the children, I deal with his assistant I don't regret my marriage. I've worked through some anger, both at Elon for rendering me so disposable, and at myself for buying into a fairy tale when I should have known better. But I will always respect the brilliant and visionary person that he is. I also can't regret the divorce (our case was bifurcated, which means that even though the property issues aren't settled, our marriage is legally dead). Elon and I share custody of the children, who are thriving. I feel grounded now, and deeply grateful for my life.

And something unexpected happened: Throughout the divorce proceedings, his fiance and I discovered we liked each other. People were puzzled that I didn't want to poke chopsticks in her eyeballs. "It's kind of like a French movie," observed a friend, and I sent Talulah an e-mail:

I would rather live out the French-movie version of things, in which the two women become friends and various philosophies are pondered, than the American version, in which one is "good" and one is "bad" and there's a huge catfight sequence and someone gets thrown off a balcony.

She responded, Let's do as the French do.

She is, by all accounts, a lovely, bright, and very young person, and better fitted to my ex-husband's lifestyle and personality than I ever was. Although she had dark hair when she and Elon first met, she is now blonder than I've ever been.

Justine Musk is the author of Bloodangel, Lord of Bones, and Uninvited. She lives in Los Angeles with her five sons and two dogs.

Originally posted here:

Elon Musk's First Wife Justine Musk Talks Their Messy Divorce