Does Elon Musk really understand the books he claims inspired him? – The Telegraph

Posted: April 27, 2022 at 10:24 am

He was repeating a point already made in 2002 to the Scottish Socialist Voice (a publication with which Musk and Bezos are potentially unfamiliar). Nothing and nobody is exploited, and the opportunities for fun are pretty much unrestricted, Banks said of the Culture. I like to think of it as a society that anybody could be happy in.

Those in charge of his legacy may have felt similarly. In 2018, plans for an Amazon adaptation of Consider Phlebas were suddenly shelved. The timing wasnt quite right, said the authors representatives. In the end, I just think the estate didnt want to go through with it, said Dennis Kelly, the Utopia writer who was working on the script for Amazon. They hadnt seen anything [Kelly had written], it was just because I think they werent ready to do it, for whatever reason. Im a little mystified, to be honest.

For Banks, the Culture was a best-case scenario for mankind provided that we could overcome our most toxic instincts. The Culture, he told Roberts, represents the place we might hope to get to after weve dealt with all our stupidities. Maybe.

I have said before, and will doubtless say again, that maybe we that is, homo sapiens are just too determinedly stupid and aggressive to have any hope of becoming like the Culture, unless we somehow find and isolate/destroy the genes that code for xenophobia, should they exist.

As he prepares to bend Twitter to his will, Musk will no doubt see himself, like the Culture, as being on the side of the cyber-angels. His detractors, however, fear that hes about to turn the platform into a libertarian cesspit and a crucible of hate speech. However this online drama plays out, it seems obvious Bankss idea of a peaceful future in which technology and humanity live in harmony is still some way off.

What would Iain M Banks have thought? Most likely that Musks social media empire-building has nothing to do with his vision of an egalitarian future and may in fact militate against it.

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Does Elon Musk really understand the books he claims inspired him? - The Telegraph

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