Video Of The Week: Elon Musk on Joe Rogan Experience

I have never been as obsessed with Elon Musk as many are in the tech sector. We own two Tesla cars. We pre-ordered Tesla’s solar roof tiles several years ago but have not yet received delivery of them. I appreciate his ingenuity and creativity and we like the Tesla products we own. We are not and have never been shareholders of Tesla or SpaceX.

With all of that disclosure, I want to share the video of Elon’s appearance on Joe Rogan Experience as the video of this week. Much has been made of Elon’s decision to take a puff on a tobacco/weed joint on the show. I don’t make too much of that. I’ve been around people smoking pot since I was a teenager and I think it is a lot like alcohol. I believe it is fine if it is done responsibly and appropriately and I am pleased that it is becoming legal in many states around the country.

What is more interesting to me in this video is how introspective and thoughtful Elon is in this interview, particularly about the role of AI in our society and the likely impact of AI on our world in the coming years. It is a lengthy conversation, but worth watching if you have some time this weekend.

#machine learning

Comments (Archived):

  1. Rob Underwood

    Well said Fred. Yesterday’s outrage online was not just ridiculous but ludicrously hypocritical. It all would have made Captain Renault blush.More importantly perhaps, its seems like so many people hence totally missed the rest of a very interesting, thoughtful two hour discussion rushing to get outraged about something quite likely they do, or at least many of their close friends and family do, especially if they work in and around the tech sector .. It’s no coincidence that one of the best places to recruit and do tech deals is on the floor of a Phish show, especially MSG.

  2. Pointsandfigures has posted a few blogs about how Tesla the company is not a good investment. Not obsessed with Musk either but the stock is a good candidate for shorting, even after the current decline. Jimmy Chanos is short I think,

  3. JamesHRH

    Really?CEO of $55B PubCo goes on a comic’s podcast to drink whiskey and try weed after acting like a financially clueless jackass for the past month and you notice how introspective he is? That’s it?You’ve been spending too much time around narcisssitc sociopaths then.He shows ZERO concern for anyone working for him, investing in him or ownin his cars.Colossal jackass.The next time an NFL owner signs an Uber talented domestic abuser, remember how easily you forgive Elon for not giving a fuck about anybody but himself …….. because he is so talented.

    1. sachmo

      Were we watching different videos?He spent a lot of time talking about Tesla and things like it’s advanced traction control features, its safety record with the US govt testers, the autonomous driving features and how many court cases against the company for said features were thrown out.He may not have talked about shareholders or workers specifically, but he wasn’t really asked about those things.Last time I checked, nothing illegal about sipping whiskey or smoking pot in California… Who cares what he does on his free time? He wasn’t drunk or intoxicated on air. The interview covered a number of topics and his answers were for the most part thoughtful and interesting.Tesla may have other problems, but this interview is a straw man issue.

      1. Richard

        Maybe, but musk’s pedophile comment has to go down as the dumbest thing a public figure has said this decade.

      2. JamesHRH

        Really?What happened to the stock Friday?He has a responsibility to shareholders to build a great business, not just a great product.Part of a great business is managing the comapny’s Public Image and caring about how your actions affect the stock price.Fanboy free passes being handed out today.

          1. LE

            More of an issue though (wouldn’t you agree) for non long term investors? In theory if the company proceeds to make money then the long term investor won’t take a hit. Someone short term? Sure. But isn’t that an indictment of our whole system? [1]Also a company like this is a big moving ship. It is not some some place whereby employees will all the sudden en masse leave as a result of this type of infraction. It can afford (short term) to have various leaks. His comment about the guy overseas who helped the cave kids was a far worse judgement infraction and for sure calls into question whether he is not getting enough sleep.[1] Animal House courtroom scene reference.

          2. JLM

            .This company, Tesla, has a moon shot P/E starting first with they have zero earnings.Even if they execute, they will regress to the industry norm which makes them worth a whole lot less when compared to MB or GMC.That is IF they can even execute and get profitable.When nobody is doing anything even remotely similar at a similar level of quality, then you get some magic mushroom unicorn type pricing and value.Those days are over.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. LE

            I am not a fan of either Tesla or Musk in any way. I would never buy a Tesla for that matter. I don’t get the love of them at all. Especially people thinking they are saving the environment or somehow less evil than the rest of us. Not the way I think at all. I like a mint on the pillow and all of that jazz and the look and feel of a hotel as well. I don’t get brain candy from fake attempts at doing the right thing.However couldn’t the same be said at a point in time for Apple without it’s ‘magic mushroom’ Steve Jobs circa 1998?I am not saying Musk is Jobs or close in any way. For one thing Jobs (in the parlance of Tom Peters) ‘stuck to the knitting’. He focused on one thing and one company. And in fact part of the resurrection of Apple (if you believe what you read) was that Ellison of Oracle told him to cut the product lines down and focus. So Musk is not doing that at all. So ‘get rid of laser printers you don’t need to sell that type of thing’.Jobs was only doing computers (and then phones) but he did them better and he did it in competition with well established and larger players. However those players (cell phone companies and computer people (in particular Bill ‘I don’t know from design’ Gates) were formidable opponents and profitable.That said so far what Musk has achieved is to get certain types to buy into his visions. That is actually what Jobs did actually. However having used a great deal of computers in many situations I can say that the Apple products were in fact way better than the crap they were competing with. Tesla on the other hand (so this agrees with you) honestly isn’t anything but a luxury electric car. The fit and finish and operation isn’t leagues above what is out there in ICE autos.I do think that a fatal flaw that Tesla has is that it operates as if the brand is Musk. So they are susceptible to Musk dying or getting sick or whatever. That is a huge issue. Sure Apple got beyond that. But honestly it’s a stupid strategy. They should have an entire team of visible execs that look as if they could run the company if Musk goes to burning man and never comes back. I never understand why companies don’t do this. That is be more than the most visible member so people feel as if there is more to the company than the top dictator.

          4. JLM

            .Jobs was in on the ground floor of a new industry.We have been making cars for a century.Jobs did stick to his knitting. When he added things they were logical extensions of his core competency or his existing customer base.Jobs was tough on execution. Musk struggles with execution.It is not just how good is your idea. It is also how good is the idea upon which you can actually execute, produce?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. Betty

        Btw I think he was getting drunk. Or definitely buzzed.

      4. LE

        Last time I checked, nothing illegal about sipping whiskey or smoking pot in California… Who cares what he does on his free time? He wasn’t drunk or intoxicated on air.When you are a public figure you have no free time. It’s all public time. Unless of course nobody is around to witness what you are doing. Here there was no expectation of privacy at all. In fact it was the opposite. Like Mark Zuckerberg doing a road show in his hoodie [1]. It was done purposely and calculated to advance a renegade image. You would expect that both Elon and Marc have enough will power to handle the situation appropriately. So if they don’t it’s a clear statement. Having to act appropriately in a particular place is simple compared to the rest of their job. Right?And yes smoking pot in some places and drinking Whiskey is legal. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t raise eyebrows or concerns when done publicly like this. For example if my daughter brought a boy home and during dinner he got up and went outside to smoke a joint or have a whiskey don’t you think I’d be a bit concerned? It shows a total lack of situational awareness and more importantly respect. I doubt that Fred would disagree with me on that despite his views on Pot. Anyone else?In the 60’s when I was a kid my parents sold their home. The buyer came to the house and my parents asked him if he wanted something to drink. He said sure ‘a beer’. My parents weren’t drinkers and they didn’t mean liquor and didn’t have beer. So the buyer said ‘ok no problem’. He then went out to his car and got a beer and brought it in and drank it. That wasn’t disrespectful but it was defacto ‘weird’ to my parents and the culture that they surrounded themselves in. Also it was the middle of the day. Not the night. Alcoholic? Possibly. My point is that there are certain things that are defined as appropriate (which obviously varies by the group). In this case Elon definitely violated the norm of what behavior is expected for someone in his position and in that particular circumstance. [2][1] At the very least defacto disrespectful for a business person. Noting however that he is now all ‘growed up’ and wearing a suit when in front of Congress.[2] The way I’d sell that is as ‘no it’s the opposite the weirdness and lack of respect is actually good, not bad’.

        1. sachmo

          I think this is an unreasonable standard to hold a person to. It would be like expecting a CEO of a public company to never get divorced or to only have heterosexual children, or whatever other prejudice of the month. If marijuana is legal, there shouldn’t be an aspersion cast upon people that smoke it. In 20 years time, we will see other public CEOs smoking weed on their free time and will think nothing of it.As for a guy smoking weed when meeting the parents of his gf… well that would be contextually inappropriate. If Elon had pulled out a joint during his NY Times interview and took a large puff, I would agree with your analogy. But on a youtube interview with Joe Rogan, a dude who smokes pot, it was completely within context. I think a better analogy is young man smoking pot with his friends in someone’s backyard when the parents aren’t home.Anyway, we can agree to disagree.

    2. Richard

      in a way it’s good to see what asses most public figures actually are. Cory Booker’s Spartacus moment should be a wake up call. The fact that Elon Musk is on Twitter saying anything that doesn’t relate to his companies is simply bizarre.

      1. JamesHRH

        Narcissism run amok.Anybody who thinks Colin Kaepernick really cares about being an NFL QB1 is a fool – look at the sacrifices other QB1s make to keep the job.This book is about universities and thinking, but it applies to work and principles.Being CEO or QB1 is NOT about living your best life or giving liberty to your self expression: it’s about doing the job.

        1. LE

          about living your best life or giving liberty to your self expression: it’s about doing the job.I agree. For example Job’s daughter (new book) is going around whining (or perhaps others are doing the whining) about what, for lack of a better way to put it, a ‘dick’ he was. This is well known. How he abused employees and people in general. She is all over what a bad dad he was and how it hurt her all of that. Important: Nobody is forcing you to work for Steve Jobs or anyone else. Well I should say it this way. If you have gotten to the point where you can get a job with ‘a Steve Jobs’. you certainly have other options for employment. So if you don’t like it quit. And find another job. There are plenty of places that will hire you. Plain and simple. Don’t play like you are some person with only a single opportunity.And you know what? I don’t give a shit about how he treated people what I care about is that whatever he did ended up creating great products that I love and that make my life easier. Now I know everyone else is going to argue that he could be both the guy who created a company with phenomenal products and also have been nicer to his daughter and people in general. I don’t agree. That is easy for someone to say when they aren’t the person trying to build something great or for that matter (in lesser cases) even stay afloat in today’s world.

          1. PhilipSugar

            I think you have to separate the two. Don’t want to work for the guy. We agree. Have him father you and not take responsibility??? Well sorry you have to own that. Now you don’t owe her anything more than a roof, food, and education until she is 18. That’s a damn low bar.

          2. LE

            Well the story that is spun is that he wanted a paternity test or that he didn’t acknowledge her until the paternity test.For example (for the ‘defense’) it’s possible that Chrisann the mother was ‘screwing around’ or that Steve had reason to believe that it wasn’t his child. So that could have driven his behavior. After all why is the assumption that he did not have a reason to question who the father was? Maybe they had orgies? Who knows? We don’t, right?His later behavior could have been for a variety of reasons as well. The fact is we don’t know the complete picture or how much of it is the truth. But in the court of public opinion it all gets mashed together as ‘you are a bad guy’. The press takes a clip and runs with it and then nobody questions anything.That said does it seem very strange that a person with so many resources like Steve Jobs would have behaved in such a cheap way? Of course it does. So what does that tell us? It also says ‘there is something going on here which we don’t know about’. Usually I have found that is the case when there is odd behavior like this.Noting Warren Buffet and his ‘grandaughter’:…Despite her status kind of a dick move, no? From such a ‘nice guy’. You know avuncular likeable ‘he cares’. Apparently not enough to even throw her some money? Must be a valid reason? Who knows.

    3. LE

      like a financially clueless jackass for the past month and you notice how introspective he is? That’s it?People like Fred are ‘glass half full’ types. Also ‘hero or zero’ taking it a bit further. Little gray area.As such his reaction makes sense. I think that that ‘glass half full’ is what allows him to invest the way he does successfully.Many of the rest of us are stuck on ‘what is wrong and what can go wrong’ vs. ‘what can go right’.

      1. JamesHRH

        Totally agree, but given where Elon is in the lifecycle of his career, I am surprised Fred would not comment on the transition a founder has to make – either grow your capabilities or grow your team.But, you have to grow up if the company is going to mature.

  4. LIAD

    He took one drag on the joint he didn’t know what he was doing he didn’t inhale he looked pretty nervous about it.Seemes to me more a big F.U. to the haters, detractors, shorts, press etc. Akin to how a kid rebels against their parents.Much of the conversation to me seemed bumbling I always find it hard watching or listening to him but yesterday was especially painful.What I thought particularly telling was the bit he said his brain felt like a never-ending exploision. Ended up feeling quite sorry for him.I wish him nothing but good.

  5. PhilipSugar

    Here is the thing Jason Wright correctly showed the CEO of Axel Springer where he talked about people basically hating the press and other elites and basically putting a sharp stick in their eye purely out of distain and hate. Total distain and yes hate is a strong word, but hate.Am I a believer in Tesla? NO. But do I care if this guy takes a drag and bares his heart?? NO.Yes, you can say well he is a a big public company CEO. You know why Tesla is worth what it is????? Because YOU are not running it, he is. It’s mind over matter, frankly he shouldn’t care about you in the cheap seats because it is mind over matter, he doesn’t mind because you don’t matter.

    1. JamesHRH

      We will see if Wall St matters.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I would say Wall Street says he is worth more than GM, Ford or Chrysler. You or I running it???? Not so much. Sorry just the cold hard facts. I think he is ready for a fall and not buying somebody is absolutely crazy.

        1. JamesHRH

          Can’t a narcissistic founder can be replaced by competent COO who executes the vision, see Cook, Tim?

          1. _miki_1774

            I love Tim but he couldn’t have done what Jobs & Woz did.

          2. JamesHRH

            I have worked with a dozen narciissists who refused to do the obvious thing – let a pro CEO build the company while they take the title of EVP / Founder, Product / BusDev.I never said Tim could get Apple to where it was when Tim took over. I said that Tim took over building the business long before that and has done an exemplary job of executing at scale since Steve Jobs took ill.

          3. _miki_1774

            If “executing at scale” means maximizing profits for investors and stakeholders I would agree with you. But this is not what this is about. Tesla and SpaceX are disrupting entire industries with products that are vastly superior to their competitors’, that’s their mission and their job is not finished yet.BTW, what is a pro CEO? An overwhelming majority of the most successful technology companies founded in the past 10 years (specially in SV) have a CEO with an engineering background. The times when the technical founder is seen as someone to be replaced as soon as the business takes off have been long gone.

          4. JamesHRH

            Zuck has Sheryl, Bill had Steve. These product people were mature enough to share the spotlight with an operations leader.Elon is not.Disruption does not happen without execution at scale.That is why so many disruptive product creators get acquired – because executing at scale is a vastly different capability than creating disruptive products.

          5. _miki_1774

            Musk has Gwynne Shotwell in SpaceX, and, since yesterday, Jerome Guillen at Tesla. Look them up.

          6. JamesHRH

            I know who they are.Jerome hasn’t ever built 2M cars a year. He took one program at Daimler and did good things.And, neither of them can get him out of the financial jam he is in.He’s likely wigged out this summer because it’s dawned on him that he has experimented too much / too long and his chances of success are now minuscule.

    2. LE

      Because YOU are not running it,Agree. This is why pundits are pundits and not actually and typically doing things. Writers, bloggers and so on. Even comments here and even me for that matter. [1][1] That is actually the point that I drill into my wife so she can fend off people who seem to think that they way I operate (or things that I say) is non standard, weird or plain wrong. And this works it is a great retort I have found. I have a version of what sounds like in short ‘sure if I didn’t have these bizarre thoughts I wouldn’t be creative enough to do what I do well’. And honestly that is really the case. My mind does not stutter. It thinks freely and creatively.I notice this early on as a kid. My dad would call out as nuts (using a yiddish word) some of the things I said and various ideas that I had. But then I noticed that he was wrong, say, 50% of the time. Later (and Fred has said this as well with regards to some things he invests in) I noticed a correlation between the bizarre ideas and things that worked. Truth is stranger than fiction. And so the pattern was set. I am me. And that is why I can do what I do well. Because others are not me and their brain doesn’t think in the same creative way. Not saying I am super successful either. Just that the way I am allows me to earn my living so I am sticking with it.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Here is the thing, you have to think can you win playing and being better than traditional people or break the mold. Now I can’t find out what time this interview was. Generally Joe Rogan is more of a late night person as he is the UFC announcer, and he does in fact fight mixed martial arts. Also I would point out that whiskey is made by Georgia Florida Line a very, very successful country band, and is very, very popular in the country (never had it, but I agree it sounds pretty bad) but it is an UNBELIEVABLE business idea. We have the former CFO of Seagrams (yeah those whiskey guys that supplied the prohibition) working for us. Genius. Instead of giving up the “angels share” (about 2%/year) of whiskey and having carrying costs of maybe another 8%/year, you flavor it and ship it out the door that day. You are making at least twice as much as regular whiskey. Genius.

        1. Jim Ortiz

          small points, but:-Bruce Buffer is UFC “announcer”, Rogan does commentary-Rogan is not a mixed martial arts fighter (has never had an MMA fight), but does train in brazilian jiu jitsu and kick boxing

  6. sigmaalgebra

    Forparticularly about the role of AI in our society and the likely impact of AI on our world in the coming years.AI is (1) a brilliant effort at hype, or in Musk terms, hyperhype, and otherwise some (2) fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) for the anxiety newsies often want, (3) dreams, (4) a lot of basic, obvious challenges fully visible for decades but with essentially no progress, and (5) a few, simple, rarely very useful applications of (6) some intuitive heuristics and somewhat updated, old multivariate curve fitting, i.e., 100 year old regression analysis with highly polished software SPSS, SAS, R, etc. going back decades. So, right, do a perpendicular projection and get the Pythagorean theorem againtotal sum of squares = regression sum of squares + error sum of squaresFor (6), can see the Bloomberg and David Rosenberg course notes for “Foundations of Machine Learning” at…with a discussion at…There is some progress in some of the basic math, e.g., some different and more practical ways to get information on goodness of fit, but, for the basic fitting theorems and calculations and applications, we’ve been able to pursue those for decades, and in all that time I never saw a regression analysis guy with a yacht over 100′ long. At GE I used to do consulting on regression analysis, and really good applications were rare. Once as a B-school prof, I found a company that wanted to evaluate their sales territories via regression — maybe okay but no biggie and nothing like “intelligence” and certainly nothing to deserve newsies anxiety, hype, or hyperhype. Some of the economists, e.g., the econometrics people, have for decades strained and strained with essentially just such curve fitting hoping to do well understanding, predicting, controlling a national economy; they got a little utility occasionally. Similarly for some of the social scientists; just fit some data and test a social theory; didn’t work very well; didn’t work nearly as well as what Ptolemy did with his epicycles which didn’t work very well, either. Instead of Ptolemy, what did work was Galileo, Kepler, and, finally, Newton, and then empirical, linear (as in regression analysis) curve fitting had NOTHING to do with the successes.Yes, yes, lots of systems change smoothly (just an intuitive concept) and are continuous (close to the mathematical definition) and look differentiable in the sense of calculus. So, since differentiable, there has to be a good, local linear approximation. Good and important, a core part of calculus, and terrific stuff. But did I mention “local”? The local part is crucial. To get more than local, usually have to use the fundamental theorem of calculus or, more generally, solve a differential equation, and the AI people have no inputs for that theorem or such an equation.So, for an example of something much, Much, MUCH, MUCH better than AI is the little differential equationy'(t) = k y(t) (b – y(t))I’ve explained at AVC before (right, once saved FedEx from going out of business). So, the y'(t) is the local, linear approximation, but the value of y'(t) varies with time t. So to get the value of y(t) for lots of times t, have to solve the differential equation. In this case, all we need to do is use the fundamental theorem of calculus. Then, presto, bingo, we get a nice solution, and “Look, Ma, no regression analysis, AI, ML, or big data in sight.”. We just knocked to the ground regression, curve fitting, big data, AI/ML, knocked its shoes off, and got it to scream “Uncle”.Net, that AI/ML empirical curve fitting just is NOT very powerful stuff.For “intelligence” the AI community has a very long way to go to work their way all the way up, Up, UP, UP to, say, uh, a field mouse. Would you believe a spider? Spider webs can be amazing things. A house fly? Uh, how good are you at swatting a house fly? Moreover, by analogy, for AI I see the David Rosenberg materials, etc. as no more than a first grade paper airplane on the way to an F-22.The Rosenberg materials, likely some of the most solid work in AI/ML so far, are just a tweak on 100 year old regression analysis that has a long track record of being not very useful and hardly even a scratch on the way to AI. For AI, such curve fitting just AIN’T IT; it’s just next to irrelevant. I have some ideas for a start on AI, but instead I’m doing a startup. Unlike AI, my startup (1) has some solid, new applied math with some value and (2) is fully practical and valuable now.More generally, applied math more generally has a terrific track record. So, for the short term, practical results desired from AI/ML, just look to applied math more generally. E.g., for something really simple that just totally knocks the socks off AI/ML is the little differential equationy'(t) = k y(t) (b – y(t))and for applied math that’s just a small thing, a toy, simple, an hour in freshman calculus, but actually at one point quite useful and for some somewhat good reasons.As we can have guessed for a long time, and also in the video today, getting excited about AI is for people smoking funny stuff.A very long, solid, and astounding track record shows, some good applied math can be some of the most powerful and valuable work in all of our civilization. Watering down the value, with irony, “regression toward the [a new, lower] mean”, is sad stuff.The hype is for people who don’t understand enough math and want to use over active emotions, their own or those of others to be exploited, and irrationality to get attention and/or fool people. Rotten stuff.So, net, forparticularly about the role of AI in our society and the likely impact of AI on our world in the coming years.the results will be (1) a few useful applications, count without taking shoes off the really important ones, and (2) a lot of hype, etc. that will be forgotten as they should be.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      Checked the math requirements, I think I don’t pass. Intuitive heuristics and real experience is my thing. Explain me the algorithm and I will code the fastest industrial version for you.Solutions using ML and AI are implemented today using libraries as common building blocks, no deep math or statistical knowledge is required for that, I mean deeper than the knowledge needed to understand what are you are assembling to solve a problem.I sucked at math. As a curse, one of the first assignments I had on my first job was to estimate the amount of oil left in the tanks of a wrecked ship down in Cape Horn. We were handed the ship blueprints and a team went there to measure the tilt, the level of fuel still in several of the tanks that weren’t spilling and other measurements.Some Turbo Pascal and my “Rinehart Mathematical Tables, Formulas and Curves” by Harold D. Larsen later, one long week in fact, I got a decent estimate with it’s proof.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Fine, as far as that goes.Looking at life as a whole, where math can make big progress is only a narrow slice. For that slice, regression analysis, AI, ML are so lacking in power as to be such a narrow slice of a narrow slice as to be nearly invisible, after the hype is away.Still, sometimes can find some quite powerful applications of math — there is a long history of fantastic successes. E.g., starting just after 12/7/1941, some of the astounding successes have been in US national security. The remark at the beginning of the movie about John Nash went “Math won WWII” — true or close to it. Math sank four aircraft carriers at Midway. Math sank most of the supplies on the way to Rommel in North Africa. Math did radar and the proximity fuse. And math did the crucial design work for The Bomb. For all of life, yes, narrow, but still broad enough to make a huge difference in WWII. And math was crucial for nearly every bullet, bomb, etc. that won Gulf War I — e.g., GPS.Solutions for the little differential equation look likehttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…No way, not a chance, could use the Rosenberg AI/ML math to get those curves. In particular, with the differential equation can get those curves with just two numbers, the beginning and the asymptote at the end, and the AI/ML stuff wants “big data”, way more than just two numbers.The solution, with TeX formatting, ishttps://uploads.disquscdn.c…Can’t do that with the Rosenberg AI/ML; that solution, an hour of freshman calculus, is “smarter” than the AI/ML.Part of the fundamental difference is that the AI/ML stuff is just empirical curve fitting with no idea behind it. In strong contrast, the differential equation has an idea: The growth is viral where the growth rate is proportional both to the number of current users talking and the number of remaining target users listening. Then we get the differential equation and, with just two numbers, the curves. Then can use a little data to pick one of the curves. Did that. Got our investors from General Dynamics to change their minds, cancel their plane reservations back to Texas, unpack their bags, and stay. Saved FedEx. Some applied math.Lesson: There’s lots of good applied math, but the AI/ML stuff is only a weak, thin slice of that and has essentially no promise of any significant role now or for the future in anything like “intelligence”. As in this example, it’s just trivially easy just to totally blow away AI/ML.

        1. Lawrence Brass

          Ahh, beautiful typesetting again.. :-)Plus the opportunity to learn math, again.

  7. sachmo

    I watched most of this talk, and would have to agree that his one puff of some weed is much ado about nothing.Marijuana is legal for recreational use in the state of California. He didn’t do anything wrong.Moreover much of the chat is pretty interesting, watching how the guy thinks / frames problems.I would agree, anyone who has some time this weekend, working on hardware projects may find some value in the talk.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I agree with you. I think the vast majority of people commenting did not watch the video. The only question in my mind is do you get any “personal” time. If this was an interview with the financial press about Tesla, I agree 100% it was wrong.This is just an example of how the mainstream press loves to vilify people and not really report the stories where you have to think and work but just report the easy soundbites. The guy smokes weed!! He is unfit!!!! He might be but not because of this interview.If you were going to report on this interview which really isn’t reportable you’d say: He was having a wide ranging intellectual, philosophical, interview in a very casual environment with Joe Rogan who proves he can do interesting interviews. Joe offers him a smoke and he looks at it strange and takes one try.

  8. Salt Shaker

    Optics matter. Institutional investors own 64% of Tesla stock. You think those guys are smoking weed? Prob not. It may be legal in CA. but that prob doesn’t make those money managers feel “warm & fuzzy” about Musk’s judgment and ability to lead, combined w/ other recent PR fiascos that he created. The rules for a publicly traded company—written and unwritten—are different. You don’t get to create them, they’re created for you.

    1. sdso234

      A lot of them are probably smoking weed, snorting coke, and/or taking oxycontin. Not sure what the point is here. Its ok if its hidden, but not ok if its for everyone to see?

      1. Salt Shaker

        There’s this little thing called time and place.

        1. sdso234

          Fair point. But it’s not like he went onto Face The Nation and lit up. Rogan’s show is known as a place where people are a bit looser, and the vibe is a little less formal. The time and place was probably as appropriate as it can get. That being said – he’s been acting inappropriately in other ways (the whole going private thing, calling the Thai SEAL a pedophile, etc.) … so toking up publicly probably is an easy fit into a narrative of Musk as “erratic”.Your original comment seemed to indicate that it was the FACT of his smoking weed that was the problem, not the publicity of its occurrence. If that is in fact your opinion, then my original response is also applicable: several of his investors are probably using drugs, and this does not necessarily disqualify them from their jobs .

          1. Lawrence Brass

            Have you ever had a work meeting with someone who is high, so high that he only talks bs he will forget in a few hours? I hate that. It is not judgmental, I think it is a lack of respect to other people.No problem going later to the pub or bar and have some drinks or whatever.

          2. Salt Shaker

            If you’re the Publisher of High Times magazine, then smoking weed in a public setting is prob okay. If you’re the CEO of a publicly traded company, then prob not such a good idea. I could care less about Musk’s personal, private indulgences (weed, alcohol or whatever), but he recently has exhibited lapsed judgment that can call into question his decision making and leadership qualities.

          3. LE

            I could care less about Musk’s personal, private indulgences (weed, alcohol or whatever)I think you probably mean as long as the behavior is minor and not addictive.

          4. LE

            Rogan’s show is known as a place where people are a bit looser, and the vibe is a little less formalExcept that people who watch “Face the Nation” will see this and not think ‘oh ok I get it’. I never heard of Rogan until Musk went on his show.

        2. JLM


    2. LE

      Agree.It’s not ‘do you wear cowboy boots when having sex’ it’s ‘are you bragging about doing it?’.It’s all about whether you have enough respect to understand and play with the general norms that people expect (which changes over time). [1]Noting also that if the situation ends up bad with Tesla long term people will look back and say ‘wow you really screwed up it was clear the guy lost it’.Separately another thing about Musk is that he is a big imitator of others I believe. For example he is trying to be both Steve Jobs and Donald Trump. No question that his observation of what Trump has gotten away with (and the way that Jobs acted with people) has influenced his behavior.[1] Really no different as I have said that when someone invites you to a party you decline the invitation in a way that shows respect. And it doesn’t even matter if the person knows you are making something up. They still like the fact that you respect them enough to lie in that case. It shows them that you actually care what they think and you care about them.

    3. _miki_1774

      Look at the competition and compare. Replacing Musk at the helm of Tesla will give us another GM or, in the case of SpaceX, another ULA, both run by classic CEOs, both stagnating companies that don’t innovate and that will be bankrupt in the next 5 years. I personally don’t want that.In fact I would prefer the CEOs of those companies to be clones of Musk.

      1. JLM

        .Fair comment. There is, however, a lot of range between Elon Musk and a monk. There is a lot of room for improvement.Tesla’s Chief Accounting Officer quit after 30 days.Pretty big hire. Strong candidate.If you have a well run and professional organization, your CAO does not quit after 30 days, does he? Apparently, he indicated his intention to quit after only two weeks.It has taken two weeks to make the perfume to put on this shit to make the stank breathable.Guy was pursued with vigor. Gets his new uniform and finds out the CEO doesn’t GAS what the numbers say after the first couple of practices.This is a real world problem regardless of how brilliant anyone is.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. PhilipSugar

          That is ugly as an ape as you like to say. Really ugly. He must have got there and within a week said…..WTF did I just do.

          1. JLM

            .”Ugly ON an ape.”An ape is already ugly. So, if you put ugly ON an ape that is even uglier.The Tesla CAO said he left because nobody would listen to him when he told them there were “change of control” provisions in all of their debt which would be triggered if they took the company private. Sort of a big thing.He also said the company didn’t even think about complying with the requirement to issue a US SEC Form 13D announcing the intent to take the company private by an entity which did not yet have majority control of the company.He was the Seagate CFO and Tesla lured him away. It is a mess.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. LE

          Pox on both houses, no?What guy takes a job and then finds out something that he didn’t know in an interview and/or by simply sizing things up? Only explanations are some hidden fraud -or- he has aspergers and can’t read people very well or is easily faked out. This is not a recent naive college grad who hasn’t been around the block. [1]As with the leader in chief (not permitted to utter the name) as someone put it (think WSJ) ‘no candidate for president in my lifetime has came wrapped in less false advertising’. Ditto for Musk and the way he rolls.[1] The boyfriend of my daughter just got a new job at Outcome Health and I fear he doesn’t know what recently happened at that company. My hands are tied he had already given notice by the time I found out.

  9. Guy Lepage

    Such a great and powerful interview… I was glued to this yesterday. Sent this out to friends yesterday as a must watch/listen. Elon’s view on AI is compelling and loved his view points on privacy and Instagram.

  10. Vendita Auto

    One asks who will be allowed the extension ? us or them. Cixin Liu asked the same question.

  11. Betty

    Agreed that this should be the video of the week.I love that Elon is genuinely concerned and cares about the impact of AI on society. Genuine passion in the tech sector is always impressive and awe inspiring to me.However, I’m on the side (and I may be mistaken but I think Fred wrote about this here once) that CEOs and other people in very public facing roles need to conduct themselves with extra caution. Drinking and smoking weed are fine, but perhaps it’s more his attitude while doing these things that is a little bothersome to me. He shows no poise or sense of responsibility, and as one commenter here wrote, he almost has a F-U type of attitude. Maybe I’m reading too much into his attitude, but still as a highly public profile figure, he should show some level of professionalism.

  12. Doug Simpson

    Also impactful to see how how incredibly passionate he is about Tesla’s mission / sustainable energy. When he talked about carbon you could feel the passion and drive.

  13. JLM

    .We spend a lot of time here in Freddie’s Joint virtue signaling and blowing smoke up our collective asses about servant leadership. So, one is tempted to ask the question: “Who does the Muskrat serve?”One school of thought is that he serves his own immense ego. Genius comes packed with sides of narcissism and a bit of ego appreciation, no foul there. Guys a genius.His full time job is not being a genius. It’s being the CEO of Tesla with that POS solar company he jammed in there.In the last six months, Musk has become progressively more erratic from crying at NYT interviews, to violating a few SEC regs while spinning us a $420/sh “funding secured” tale of going private, a reversal of field – “just kidding,” losing critical employees, to, now, giving interviews with a glass of whiskey (Old Camp, peach pecan whiskey – for God’s sake drink something a man would drink), to finishing off with a joint.Guy has a personal life that is also a little erratic.So, who does Elon Musk serve?I suspect the answer is “nobody.”The signs are all there that this guy is bumping up against his own Peter Principled ceiling. Still a genius. Still smart as Hell.But, more importantly, from a purely analytical perspective, the training wheels are about to come off.1. The gov’t subsidies are running out.2. Tesla is struggling with basic manufacturing.3. The competition is coming.Now, you have Volkswagen, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes (just showed off their first SUV offering which ships immediately), Jaguar, Lexus all fielding EVs.4. These boys can do the manufacturing bit of this industry in their sleep. They have financing, manufacturing, sales organizations, dealer networks, service networks, a trained sales force, and a database filled to overflowing with customer names.These guys knock out millions of cars per year per company. They got that.5. These companies are not learning luxury. They are luxury.Elon Musk has a job. A hard job and he owes a fiduciary duty to his shareholders (about 65% institutions BTW), stakeholders, employees, and customers. It is time for him to lead.Instead, he is on a podcast drinking whiskey and smoking a joint. Both perfectly legal. No judgment intended. More power to him.But, a choice.Elon, just needs to get to work.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…Disc: Short AF TSLA

    1. LE

      Agree with just about everything you are saying. [1]Top hits:His full time is not being a genius. It’s being the CEO of Tesla with that POS solar company he jammed in there.You have to qualify the use of ‘genius’ down to the specific areas of genius. It is not a broad generality like ‘she is beautiful’. After all as the saying goes “Sophia Loren without a nose is not Sophia Loren”. Jammed? For sure. Anyone of the things he is doing is more than a full time job done right. He is not that special and does not have that much capacity because he simply has the same time as everyone else in the world. Most of those people don’t sleep under their desk either.He selling two things that the general public is just happy without. Solar panels and Electric cars. Being shoved down our throats even though most people are happy without those about the same as they are happy with their credit cards vs. bitcoin. No? Just like most people want to vacation in the sun not someplace in the North. Try as you might hard to pull them from their beach vacations. This is how you make money? Sell things people don’t want. I get interviews with a glass of whiskey (Old Camp, peach pecan whiskey – for God’s sake drink something a man would drink),Thanks for pointing that out. I know nothing about liquor. Maybe it was a product placement by the host and he got paid for that? And you know an Alcoholic will drink what is served.a trained sales force, and a database filled to overflowing with customer names.Exactly and in particular the customer names and buyer relationships. Plus as of today I could test drive a vehicle if I wanted as well. Important to most buyers to also drive it off the lot.Instead, he is on a podcast drinking whiskey and smoking a joint. Both perfectly legal. No judgment intended. More power to him.Nah it is fucked up. I gave an example of what I would think if my daughters boyfriend stepped away from dinner to do that. Shows a lack of situational awareness and that is a factor in all sorts of airplane crashes? Lack of respect and just a stupid thing to do unless you have figured out an angle and plan to use it to your advantage in some way (possible but I don’t think that was what was going on).[1] “Just about” because time is short and perhaps there is something that I might not agree with.

    2. JamesHRH

      He knows he can’t do the job.@ best, these changes are a sign he is setting himself up to move out.The insane financial predictions are super risky – he’s setting up a final humongous capital raise.

    3. Rick Mason

      Did we see the same video? This is much ado over nothing. Sure Musk is under pressure, but it’s a walk in the park compared to the pressure he was under back in 2008. The Tesla shorts took a bath for a long time and now they’re seizing on a few things, blowing them up out of proportion and recovering some of their losses.We’re watching the Thomas Edison or Edward Land of our era. Is he flawed? Sure he is but that doesn’t mean he won’t climb back to have one success after another. If you’re going to worry about Tesla worry about Elon having a stroke after working some of those 120 hour weeks.Tesla is a stock like Microsoft or Amazon or Google that you own for your lifetime, just be prepared ahead of time that it will be a very bumpy road.

      1. JLM

        .I am not just looking at the video. I see the video as the latest in a series of contra-indicators whose cumulative impact is weighed differently than individually.I agree that he is an idea guy, but the future of Tesla is now in the hands of the execution gods. He had first mover mojo and now that is gone. He squandered the advantage.These guys like Volkswagen can produce 2MM cars on four different continents in their sleep. They have the infrastructure of factories, dealerships, maintenance, sales. They don’t have to build that.You cannot disrupt someone who is better at the core competency than you are.I don’t think Tesla will be an independent company within 24 months. I think he will have to raise money and the first camel under the tent will be someone like Volkswagen who will eventually swallow the entire company.I think the company is way too dependent upon a single individual, i.e. Elon Musk. We have seen this story – the founder cannot carry the company to the finish line. It is called Uber.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Rick Mason

          I’m not so sure about VW, they did do something absurdly stupid by cheating on diesel emission costs. They also did so well they convinced their customers that diesels were the car power plant of the future;<).Detroit can also produce large numbers of cars but does anyone want to buy them? Tesla has a waiting list of hundreds of thousands of people who are just waiting for the chance to buy one of his vehicles. China has done everything they can to keep American cars out. Yet they invited Musk in and gave him a sweetheart deal.As for Travis Kalanick and Uber, I don’t think that story is finished just yet. I know he ran into troubles and Dara Khosrowshahi seems to be saying and doing all the right things, a superb manager. But I also remember in the mid-eighties the same things being said about John Sculley at Apple. We all know how that one turned out.The VC’s learned a lesson in the nineties that you don’t forcibly remove the entrepreneur from the business. It seems like at least one firm is going to relearn that lesson the hard way. I always regarded Bill Gurley very highly, used to love his blog. But his efforts at Uber ended up putting a big neon sign over Benchmark telling people not to pitch there. Taking a startup from zero to $70 billion is a pretty rare skill and not one to be discarded easily especially the classless way they went about it.

          1. JLM

            .I use VW as an example of a company who is willing to invest in another car company and slowly acquire 100% of the company over time. This is what they did with Skoda.They have built Skoda into a big brand in India showing their ability to export their expertise.No question the VW management was cheating in their diesel debacle.I think the China-Tesla deal is based on China’s ability to steal a new technology. American ICE companies have been building there for some time.I hear you completely as it relates to the “fire starter.”As I often joke, there are:1. Fire starters (Musk, Travis K)2. Fire maintainers (Dara K), and3. People who like to piss on your fire.When VCs are involved in a control position with a board, they are not going to represent all the shareholders. They are only going to represent their own shares. This is why founders should never give up control of their companies via the board or classes of stock.There some notable examples of entrepreneurs who heeded this warning – Zuck, Snap.I think there is a lot of difference between Tesla, a car company, and other tech based startups because of the age of the industry and the channels of distribution.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Rick Mason

            Electric cars change so many things. There are 90% fewer parts than in a gas or diesel powered car. I’ve been through a few car plants including BMW’s in Munich. A lot of the skills of mechanical engineering and assembly won’t be needed. All those fine craftsmen will find other careers. Two things matter, software and batteries. Tesla still has a very long lead in both and for some companies the changes will prove insurmountable.I’ve spent my life in Michigan and the smartest move that GM has made since the sixties is to have bought Cruise. They’re going to spin it off and create a separate stock which will give added value to the employees stock options. If this was Mary Barra’s idea it will make her the best GM CEO since Alfred P. Sloan. I’m still pulling for Ford, but I have my doubts that Chrysler/Fiat will ever figure things out fast enough.

          3. JLM

            .An electric car should be a simpler power plant, but I would also contend that as far as assembly is concerned they are a “power plant in a box” meaning they are a purchased sub-assembly and every car manufacturer will be able to buy the same sub-assemblies eventually.I think German engineering is German engineering and the likes of Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Volkswagen will eventually not only equal, but surpass their competitors whether it is ICE power plants, EV power plants or the software and battery tech which supports EV power plants.I do think that Tesla had a jump on everybody, but that first mover advantage is non-existent.The big frontier on EVs which is simply not conquered is the distance issue coupled with the time to recharge.Tesla has no advantage on this hurdle. They will cross it with the others when it is finally figured out. They will be in the middle of the pack.When they are able to produce EV powerplants which can go 1,000 miles and recharge in less than 3 hours, EVs will be mainline. Until then, they are not full competitors in the car game.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            I do think that Tesla had a jump on everybody, but that first mover advantage is non-existent.Yes, for high end approaches to battery management, could use some good algorithms and software. But:(1) Electric cars go WAY back, IIRC, before the Model T. The lead-acid battery remains one of the best and is OLD. Those cars worked and had no software at all!(2) Electric golf carts and fork lift trucks have been doing well without software for decades.(3) WWII submarines did well with lead-acid batteries without software.(4) GM has been in and out of electric cars for decades.The first year of the Chevy Camaro was, what, 1967, and it’s still being sold, indeed with some retro styling back to 1969. In strong contrast, it’s telling that none of those old electric car models is still sold.I doubt that Tesla has anything important to teach GM about electric cars. My guess is that Tesla got a lot of their expertise in electric cars by hiring engineers who got their expertise in electric cars at GM.(5) IIRC, way back there this whole argument about electric cars resulted in a Ford executive saying a summary statement “You build me a good battery, and I’ll build you a good electric car.”.(6) Not to forget, sports fishermen have been using battery powered trolling motors for decades — no software.For the parts count and simplicity, yes, an electric motor looks like it has a big advantage over a piston engine and a transmission. Looks that way. But, there is still a lot to a car: Brakes, steering, doors, windows, lighting, HVAC, seats, entertainment, crash protection, the body and frame, etc.E.g., I got reminded of some of how much there is in a car last week when I reinstalled the power window in the driver’s door of my Chevy Blazer SUV — I was successful, but it was tricky. I was lucky; I didn’t break the glass or lacerate my hands.The charging arithmetic I did is just basic physics; can bend my assumptions some, but can’t get around the basic physics or my theme — charging is a biggie problem. That charging a battery as fast as filling a 20 gallon gas tank and with the same energy as that gas tank could take 8 million Watts will be a show stopper for a long time. 8 million Watts, 8,000 KW, is the power of some hundreds or thousands of houses. So, currently, charging a few electric cars that fast would dim the lights for much of a medium city.We’re talking hype and hyperhype.It’s astounding how far some absurd hype can go. Or, “Any morning a lie can travel around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.”. Apparently such hype can be an effective way to separate a lot of people from a lot of money; curious way to make money.E.g., the media keeps suggesting that just any day now we will have “self driving” cars. So, maybe the things will do all the last mile deliveries of mail, pizza, Chinese carryout, products from Amazon or Wal-Mart, kids from school, etc. Commuters will get to browse the Internet while they are driven to work. All taxis and trucks will be self-driving. That’s what the media are suggesting. Just any day now.But: Occasionally current driving with current traffic on current roads requires actual intelligence. Crow intelligence is not enough. Neither is parrot intelligence, or cats, dogs, or monkeys. Instead, real, actual, and mature enough to be over 16, HUMAN intelligence is needed. So far we have nothing in computer science for such intelligence, not even a serious start, not even for crows. So the whole idea of self-driving cars is just media hype, a continuing excuse for headlines and stories, 1000 words at a shot, for years to come.Hype, the media and public norm version of really ugly, noxious weeds in a garden.The strength and perversity of the hype shows that rationalism is overwhelmed.Not much sense in rationalism, physics calculations, etc. Instead, the hype will win, in this case for maybe another 10 years.Trying to replace the hype with rationality is like trying to teach a pig to sing — the effort just irritates the pig and tires out the teacher.I need to remind myself: Offering rationality to overcome hype is worse than throwing pearls before swine. So, instead, maybe I will see if there are some ways to make biggie bucks from hype!!! Always be ready to take a big short position!!!

          5. Rick Mason

            Actually the early electric car way outlasted the Model T. Detroit Electric was selling cars until 1939!

          6. jason wright

            Thomas Edison owned one, and Henry Ford’s wife Clara drove one. It’s an issue of timing. Now is the time.

          7. sigmaalgebra

            No question the VW management was cheating in their diesel debacle.Gee, VW cheated!! Who did they cheat?? VW cheated the Greenies!!!! Hurray for VW!!!!The Greenies have cheated everyone else for a few decades now. It’s great justice that finally someone did a good job cheating the Greenies!!!!!The Greenies have ruined the A/C in two of my cars, put a stupid exhaust gas recirculating system on my car which hurt fuel economy and caused a maintenance problem, ruined my lawn mower by running the crankcase breather into the intake air and, thus, put a thick layer of carbon on the exhaust valve, greatly opened the lash on that valve, caused shock to the camshaft, and broke it ruining the engine, put ethanol in gas which made my current mower sick and rusted out the gas tank and fuel line in my SUV, etc. A car I bought couldn’t have power seats due to the weight insisted on by the Greenies. By forcing the electric utilities to buy their worthless solar power, they raised my electric rates. With the subsidies for “renewable” energy they wasted my tax money. I HATE the Greenies. I hope VW finds another way to stick it to the Greenies!

        2. sigmaalgebra

          Simpler: There’s a “car market”. It’s HUGE, in all the countries of the world, still even Cuba.For that market, electric cars are a really bad joke, for nearly everyone a big mistake — range too short, charging time too long, battery life too short, battery replacement really expensive, and actual power levels, e.g., for highway speed driving in hilly areas, too low. For the charging time to speed up to something convenient for a major fraction of the car market would take BIGGIE changes in the electric grid from the center to the edge. Really fast charging threatens to heat the batteries too much due to the internal resistance of the batteries.Let’s get a ballpark number for charging. Let’s compare with a 20 gallon tank of gasoline.A unit of energy is the Joule. Alternative units of energy include British Thermal Units (BTUs) and food calories.A fast Google search shows that one gallon of gasoline has 120 million Joules of energy, e.g., if ignited.A Watt is a unit of power, that is, of energy flowing per unit of time. Another unit of power is horsepower. A Watt is a Joule per second.Okay, suppose we can fill a 20 gallon tank of gasoline in 5 minutes. Suppose we want to charge a battery similarly, that is, put that much energy into the battery in that time. So we get the arithmetic( 120 * 10**6 * 20 ) / ( 5 * 60 ) = 8,000,000which says that we need a cable carrying 8 million Watts. Uh, let me step back before you connect that thang.There is also the issue of heating the battery from its internal resistance.A Google search shows a 7.5 volt NiCd battery has an internal resistance of155 milliohmsThen the current (Amperes) during the charging is( 8 * 10**6 ) / ( 7.5 )Amperes.This current through the internal resistance of the battery generates power(155 * 10**(-3) ) * (8 * 10**6) / (7.5)Watts.A Watt is a Joule per second, and we are charging for (5 * 60) seconds so generate(5 * 60) * (155 * 10**(-3)) * (8 * 10**6) / (7.5)Joules.The latent heat of vaporization of water is2,260,000 = 2.260 * 10**6Joules per kilogram.So charging the battery will boil away(5 * 60) * (155 * 10**(-3)) * (8 * 10**6) / ( (7.5) * 2.260 * 10**6 )kilograms, liters, of water.Collecting powers of 10 we have( 5 * 60 * 155 ) / ( 7.5 * 2.260 * 10**3 )liters of water boiled away.Then doing the arithmetic, we have( 5 * 60 * 155 ) / ( 7.5 * 2.260 * 10**3 ) = 2.743in the 5 minutes. Hmm!Easy to find the charging stations from all the clouds of steam rising!Some countries are highly in favor of electric cars. IIRC Norway really likes them. But Norway wants to save on gasoline and is awash in hydroelectric power. So, they have some electric cars. The ones I saw were only a little larger than a golf cart and are not legal as cars on US roads.So, in some countries, some electric cars will have to be sold.But I see no way for electric cars to take a significant fraction of the car market.

          1. JLM

            .Haha, I feel like I’m in Thermo with a bit of entropy and enthalpy thrown in. That was a half century ago.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Rick Mason

            I won’t quarrel with your math. But battery technology didn’t change for years. In fact GM’s EV-1 electric car experiment in the nineties used lead acid batteries that weren’t very different than what earlier electric cars used in 1920. Now battery tech is rapidly advancing and not static. So what may be true today in terms of capacity won’t be true tomorrow.When Tesla first introduced its sports car in 2008 if you’d suggested that they’d ever introduce a semi tractor with the same technology you’d have been laughed at or mocked. Where will battery technology be in 2028?

          3. sigmaalgebra

            For years, EEstore has been within a month of announcing a terrific capacitor based on barium titanate.Batteries are basic chemistry — take a look at the periodic table and try, try again.For me, for a much better battery, seeing is believing. As the Ford executive said,You build me a good battery, and I’ll build you a good electric car.remains.I’m all for good battery research. I’m sure so is the US DoD and NSF and maybe even NIH. I’m sure any high end university chemistry or chemical engineering department would love to have a research prof making good progress on batteries. Such research tends to be quite competitive with the money well spent. So, let the research continue.Then, when there’s a good battery, …!I wouldn’t extrapolate battery progress or think of much progress in 100 years or ever. It’s the same periodic table, guys, going way back to after the first big stars exploded after the big bang.In the meantime, Musk and his followers have reasons and are not influenced by arithmetic with Amperes, Volts, ohms, Joules, Watts, etc.

          4. Rick Mason

            I like capacitors and I’ve followed the research for some time. I believe its the future of batteries, but how far into the future? Right now it looks to me like twenty years or more;<). There’s lots more than can be done with today’s technology, the biggest advance in the short term is lowering the price. For me a 300 mile range works fine for how I drive. If the price drops then they will sell more electric cars. When it makes clear economic sense the fleets will move to electric.As far as the Ford executive’s thinking well that’s why Detroit is playing catch up. When GM was getting to launch the EV-1 in the early nineties they expected 80-100 people to sign up in Los Angeles. But they had to cut off the phone number in 24 hours. That’s because 10,000 people signed up! For a car with 70-100 mile range! Classic case of the Innovators Dilemma, they knew the demand was there for an electric car yet they dismantled the program after a few years and crushed the cars. They weren’t willing to obsolete the gasoline engine so they let Elon Musk do it for them.

          5. sigmaalgebra

            300 mile range? Okay if can recharge in the time it takes to fill a 20 gallon tank with gas.But my arithmetic says that such recharging, for a ballpark estimate I assumed 5 minutes, will draw 8,000 KW, and can’t hope to do that very often for very many people for a very long time.Again, 8,000 KW is the electric power of ballpark 2000-4000 houses. Do that with with the 2,000 houses figure for five cars, that’s 10,000 houses and about 40,000 people. So, dim the lights for maybe 100,000 people, that is, a big chunk of a medium sized town, with the 4,000 houses figure, 200,000 people. Uh, that’sa lotsa voters!Capacitors — same story on recharging except for maybe less heating from internal resistance.Sure, get an EV 1, cruise slowly around the neighborhood on Martha’s Vineyard, the Hamptons, along Sand Hill Road, down Fifth Avenue, on Rodeo Drive, etc., turn heads, then park the EV, and fire up the 6.2 l Chevy for the real driving. Or for the Big Time, the Chevy Suburban with the 6.5 l or so Diesel.

      2. JLM

        .Small point. I think Tesla attracted a whole different type of “short” as of the beginning of August. Up until then, there were a lot of ideological shorts who were offended by Tesla being worth more than Ford or GM.As of the beginning of August, I think Tesla has attracted a different type of short. The kind of guy who sees the competition unlimbering their power and not imagining Tesla being to compete with the likes of Volkswagen.This is more of an “everybody is going to get the same P/E ratio when everybody has similar product offerings” short.If you slipped in around August, you are $100/share to the good. Taking that profit has nothing to do with the company, Musk, or the stock. It is just financial opportunism.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Rick Mason

          Now I understand your thought process. But I do believe that Tesla will always command a very high P/E. The Tesla owners that I know are intensely loyal to the brand. They’re so open to everything that they do that even here in cloudy mid-Michigan they’ve ordered Tesla roofs and have the big batteries in their garages. They’re mostly high earning millenial’s and just aren’t going to be buying any other brand for the rest of their lives. With Elon being Elon you never know what he will invent and stick into Tesla’s product offering either.

          1. JLM

            .Tesla will command a high PE as long as they have magic. Once the world sees behind the curtain, not so much.I think you are right about Millenial loyalty to Musk personally.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. Michael Elling

      The only thing that will save Tesla is to open standard the technology for his charging stations/technology to all the smaller players (and bigger ones too). Or at least charge very low licensing costs. It’s the network effect, stupid.That’s the only way to win the standards war: “So far, there are about 7,000 CCS charging points worldwide, according to CharIN, with more than half in Europe. The European Union backs CCS as the standard for fast-charging but does not prohibit other plugs being installed. That compares with 16,639 charge points compatible with CHAdeMO – most in Japan and Europe – and 8,496 Tesla Superchargers, with the majority in the United States. In China, there are 127,434 GB/T charging stations, according to the China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance.”…One would think they (all 4 actors above) would read about Ted Vail and the history of telephone networks 1885-1913, combine that with lessons learned from the internet and figured out a more sustainable market driven solution rather than one that might require regulatory intervention and/or likely result in a suboptimal outcome (like VHS). But Musk could pull an end-run and influence everyone’s destiny if he can get out of his siloed, winner takes all thinking.

  14. jason wright

    when the Tesla brand is taking a hit it’s time to hit the road and remind everyone of the value of brand Elon. Cars are not conversational.

  15. Sam Raj

    Insightful interview. All the criticism is complete much ado about nothing. In fact, I trust Musk far more than management at company like Volkswagen who should not even be allow to sell cars in the US after falsifying emission tests and lying to the public. Lot of people who seem outraged about him having a drink or puff of weed (legal in CA btw) are the same people have no problem voting for a President who cheats on his wife with hookers, lies almost constantly, and stiffed thousands of investors, contractors and employees from his real estate business. The hypocrisy is deafening.Paypal, Tesla, SpaceX, Hyperloop, The Boring Company, etc…the guy is a genius. Elon – I hope you don’t listen to all the naysayers, keep toking up, and coming up with more brilliant ideas! Btw – Steve Jobs, another genius, credits dropping acid for a lot of his creativity. Funny how Apple stock ended up after all these years. I’m personally going to buy a bunch of Tesla stock next week.

  16. george

    Yes, he is unconventional, yes he may not fit the unified definition of CEO for a publicly traded company but he is clearly a tech visionary and business genius. Times are changing, perhaps so are viewpoints on traditional management behavior…Candidly, I’m a Tesla Investor – I’m married to this Man’s vision and firmly believe, Elon is doing a heck of a job of outthinking, and outplaying several competitive industries all at-once. He’s leading hard where it counts – critical transformation and road-mapping the future.

  17. Mica is awesome!

    As a shareholder of Tesla stock, it doesn’t matter what he says. My primary concern is, where does he have the time to do these interviews and write these tweets? I thought he has two companies to run? I thought he doesn’t sleep? How are interviews like these helpful to the company, the production of the product, or for his employees? I have great admiration for Musk…..but Elon please focus focus focus. Stop tweeting and appearing in these types of public venues for no good reason.

  18. Tom Hart

    A future without Elon being Elon is not a future I want.

  19. Vendita Auto

    Reading the comments most of the arch Angeles feasting at the table of the Lord of flies are legacy educated sycophants , (I know I will get deletes again but WTF)

    1. JLM

      .Have no idea what this means, but it just reads great.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  20. paramendra

    I watched this a few days ago. The media’s obsession with the “blunt” shows how media works. They will focus on those 2 seconds in a 2 hour 37 minute interview. What I liked best was the format, and the length of the interview. It is long. I like that. And it is not 2 hours 30 minutes, or 3 hours. Makes you feel like they talked for as long as they needed to. That in depth treatment is a good thing. He is rightly the most celebrated entrepreneur right now. Who else is taking such big bets?