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.
Read the rest here:
- In college, Elon Musk thought these 5 things would change the world - CNBC - July 4th, 2020
- Is Elon Musk a Republican? - Fox Business - July 4th, 2020
- How Elon Musk's Starlink satellites may have stifled the best chance to find Planet 9 - CNN - July 4th, 2020
- Elon Musk hits out over Ghislaine Maxwell picture - 'someone is pushing this' - Daily Star - July 4th, 2020
- A reflection in a photo of Elon Musk and Kanye West appears to show Grimes taking the picture - Insider - INSIDER - July 4th, 2020
- Leaked Elon Musk Email, Plus Tesla Firmware 2020.24.6 and Texas Gigafactory Hearing - TheStreet - June 24th, 2020
- How to land a job at Elon Musk's SpaceX, according to the rocket company's software team - CNBC - June 24th, 2020
- Artist turns Elon Musks viral tweets into illustrations that are now part of a colouring book - The Indian Express - June 24th, 2020
- Elon Musk Is Attempting to Revolutionize HVAC Systems - ACHR NEWS - June 24th, 2020
- Elon Musk Bitcoin vanity addresses used to scam users out of $2 million - ZDNet - June 24th, 2020
- Titletown to Teslatown? Brown County reaches out to Tesla's Elon Musk - WBAY - June 24th, 2020
- Why Intelligent Minds Like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs Embrace the Rule of Awkward Silence - Inc. - June 24th, 2020
- Column: Tesla's reluctant commitment to cobalt a warning to others - Andy Home - Reuters - June 24th, 2020
- Elon Musk's tunnel project hit a milestone. But the future is unclear. - CNN - June 13th, 2020
- Here's how to find out when Elon Musk's SpaceX may provide you with satellite internet - CNBC - June 13th, 2020
- A midnight tweet from Elon Musk was presented as groundbreaking, but it was merely stating the obvious about cannabis - The GrowthOp - June 13th, 2020
- Croatia's Elon Musk Launched an Electric Mountain Bike, and It's Insane - Gear Patrol - June 13th, 2020
- Elon Musk: Enduring Truths And New Lessons From An American Pioneer - Forbes - June 1st, 2020
- How Elon Musk took SpaceX from an idea to the cusp of making history - USA TODAY - June 1st, 2020
- Who is Elon Musk, and what made him big? - DW (English) - June 1st, 2020
- SpaceX founder Elon Musk in 2012: "I would have to be insane if I thought the odds were in my favor." - 60 Minutes - CBS News - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk and Grimes have changed their baby's name. A bit - CNN - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk's big day gets scuttled by clouds, and four other business stories you need to read today - CNN - June 1st, 2020
- Tired of the Mess Earth is in? Billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos Are Readying Outer Space for You to Liv... - News18 - June 1st, 2020
- Of course billionaires like Elon Musk love outer space. The Earth is too small for their egos - The Guardian - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk wants you to read this story about one of the biggest medical and economic blunders of all time - MarketWatch - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk is polluting the skies with SpaceXs thousands of satellites - MarketWatch - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk's SpaceX is hiring: Take a look at some of the positions - Fox Business - June 1st, 2020
- SpaceX Starlink: Do the costs of Elon Musks ambitious plan outweigh its benefits? - Scroll.in - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk got the title of real-life Iron Man after his assistance in Marvel films - Geo News - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musks SpaceX Commissioned a Street Artist to Create Indestructible Gold Paintings as Dcor for Its First Trip to the International Space Station -... - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk and Grimes had to change their baby's name -- a bit - KPTV.com - June 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk appears to be selling more California properties after pledging to 'own no house' - CNBC - May 14th, 2020
- Elon Musk has a complex relationship with the A.I. community - CNBC - May 14th, 2020
- What would Elon Musk name you? This website may have the answer - Hindustan Times - May 14th, 2020
- Nobody tells Elon Musk what to do. Maybe that's the problem - San Francisco Chronicle - May 14th, 2020
- Go read this Wall Street Journal story about Elon Musks personal finances - The Verge - May 14th, 2020
- Elon Musk rails against stay-at-home orders while tweeting debunked and controversial coronavirus claims - CNN - May 14th, 2020
- Grimes Shares the First Video of Elon Musk Holding Baby X - HarpersBAZAAR.com - May 14th, 2020
- Elon Musk and Grimes' Baby Tops This Week's Internet News Roundup - WIRED - May 14th, 2020
- Elon Musk and Grimes reveal how to pronounce baby's name -- but they disagree - CNN - May 14th, 2020
- Tesla patents a new battery cell that Elon Musk hypes as way more important than it sounds - Electrek - May 14th, 2020
- Is Grimes' relationship with Elon Musk distracting us from her musical brilliance? - Happy Mag - May 14th, 2020
- Elon Musk has a lot to say about Covid-19. Some of it isn't true - CNN - May 14th, 2020
- Elon Musk | Biography & Facts | Britannica - May 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk | SpaceX - May 1st, 2020
- Elon Musks 42,000 StarLink Satellites Could Just Save The ... - May 1st, 2020
- How Elon Musk Became Elon Musk: Elon Musk's Early Years - May 1st, 2020
- Coronavirus has Elon Musk acting like just another used car salesman - The Guardian - May 1st, 2020
- A lot of exciting news: Elon Musk reveals just how far ahead of the game Tesla is now - The Driven - May 1st, 2020
- Trevor Noah Unlocks The Mysteries Of Apple Phones, Elon Musk, And Trumps Twitter - Deadline - May 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk Demands COVID-19 Restrictions Be Lifted: Give People Their Freedom Back! - Consequence of Sound - May 1st, 2020
- Elon Musk: The TSLA stock price is too high in my opinion - ForexLive - May 1st, 2020