Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 250

Thread: Elon Musk

  1. #1
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
    Posts
    5,037

    Elon Musk

    What's the deal with that guy? Is he REALLY AMAZING or is this some sort of marketing cult??
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  2. #2
    Doesn't care what his title is
    Christmas Cardmaker Extrordinarie

    Posts
    5,178
    Elon Musk makes me hope we have a Kryptonian living somewhere on our planet.

  3. #3
    I think Elon is a pretty cool guy. He shoots missiles and doesn't afraid of anything.

  4. #4
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    I think Elon Musk’s investments are carefully structured around government policy and I’m concerned by it.

  5. #5
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    It's basically Peter Thiel's "government is customer #1" thing, paired up with some halfway decent personal branding.

    Like you've got:
    - Tesla, which sells luxury goods under a tax incentive. Most analysts predict Tesla sales are going to tank hard when the EV tax credit goes away. (Luxury goods are highly price elastic so this wouldn't be surprising.)
    - SolarCity, which sold renewable energy technology under a tax incentive. More or less a luxury good, same problem as above.
    - SpaceX, which sells orbital rockets principally to the US federal government. Previously these were supplied by a monopoly at wildly inflated prices. Breaking into this market required a lot of work and a literal lawsuit against the US government, so I don't mean to minimize the accomplishment by saying this, but Boeing's prices are sooooo high that it'd be almost impossible not to make a fortune on this, even while severely undercutting the competition.
    - Untitled hyperloop venture, state transportation infrastructure. US infrastructure construction costs are obscene, just totally and wildly out of step with the rest of the world. Nobody knows why, but whatever pet theory you have is wrong. It just is. Anyway, if you can somehow deliver surface rail infrastructure at a lower price than existing US infrastructure builders, and I somehow suspect this would be easy unless you chose to make it difficult, you'd clean up in that market.
    - Boring, municipal transportation infrastructure. Same as above, except tunneling in the US is in a much worse state than surface rail, even as a factor of costs as compared to all other countries.

    What I find really interesting is Musk's access and willingness to throw these incredibly massive amounts of capital at these enterprises. I mean real capital. Not software, not cash, I mean he's hauling around steel and huge-ass drills. Well, cash too, I guess. These are all incredibly obvious market opportunities, but they're also damn intimidating. I'd bet even most billionaires don't think they'd be able to crack these nuts, despite being the only people with the resources to do so.

    At the same time, the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away: EV tax incentive threatened recently but saved. Renewable subsidy threatened recently but saved. Orbital launch market required lawsuit, only a matter of time before Boeing bribes their way back in. Hyperloop, positioned against moneyed and labor intensive competitors, requires government permission. Boring, bidding against politically connected, regionally tied firms.

    This sort of strategy worked fine for companies like Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon, but it's also scary. Those companies built themselves up quite early as these faceless evil megacorporations. Musk's companies are... Musk. If he, personally, gets on some pol's ****list, all of his companies are toast. Given that the US government is kinda... um, mercurial, especially about EVs and renewable energy, but increasingly in a more general sense, it seems quite risky. Last year it looked like the GOP was going to cut EV and renewable incentives right up until the very end, whole lotta clenching going on. Make no mistake, that's an existential threat to Tesla. It's hard to think it's not just a matter of time until the US government brings it all down.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I think Elon is a pretty cool guy. He shoots missiles and doesn't afraid of anything.
    lol

  7. #7
    Child's Play CharitySon of Krokodile XVI
    Posts
    5,037
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    It's basically Peter Thiel's "government is customer #1" thing, paired up with some halfway decent personal branding.

    Like you've got:
    - Tesla, which sells luxury goods under a tax incentive. Most analysts predict Tesla sales are going to tank hard when the EV tax credit goes away. (Luxury goods are highly price elastic so this wouldn't be surprising.)
    - SolarCity, which sold renewable energy technology under a tax incentive. More or less a luxury good, same problem as above.
    - SpaceX, which sells orbital rockets principally to the US federal government. Previously these were supplied by a monopoly at wildly inflated prices. Breaking into this market required a lot of work and a literal lawsuit against the US government, so I don't mean to minimize the accomplishment by saying this, but Boeing's prices are sooooo high that it'd be almost impossible not to make a fortune on this, even while severely undercutting the competition.
    - Untitled hyperloop venture, state transportation infrastructure. US infrastructure construction costs are obscene, just totally and wildly out of step with the rest of the world. Nobody knows why, but whatever pet theory you have is wrong. It just is. Anyway, if you can somehow deliver surface rail infrastructure at a lower price than existing US infrastructure builders, and I somehow suspect this would be easy unless you chose to make it difficult, you'd clean up in that market.
    - Boring, municipal transportation infrastructure. Same as above, except tunneling in the US is in a much worse state than surface rail, even as a factor of costs as compared to all other countries.

    What I find really interesting is Musk's access and willingness to throw these incredibly massive amounts of capital at these enterprises. I mean real capital. Not software, not cash, I mean he's hauling around steel and huge-ass drills. Well, cash too, I guess. These are all incredibly obvious market opportunities, but they're also damn intimidating. I'd bet even most billionaires don't think they'd be able to crack these nuts, despite being the only people with the resources to do so.

    At the same time, the Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away: EV tax incentive threatened recently but saved. Renewable subsidy threatened recently but saved. Orbital launch market required lawsuit, only a matter of time before Boeing bribes their way back in. Hyperloop, positioned against moneyed and labor intensive competitors, requires government permission. Boring, bidding against politically connected, regionally tied firms.

    This sort of strategy worked fine for companies like Boeing, Lockheed, and Raytheon, but it's also scary. Those companies built themselves up quite early as these faceless evil megacorporations. Musk's companies are... Musk. If he, personally, gets on some pol's ****list, all of his companies are toast. Given that the US government is kinda... um, mercurial, especially about EVs and renewable energy, but increasingly in a more general sense, it seems quite risky. Last year it looked like the GOP was going to cut EV and renewable incentives right up until the very end, whole lotta clenching going on. Make no mistake, that's an existential threat to Tesla. It's hard to think it's not just a matter of time until the US government brings it all down.
    That sounds pretty risky for Mr. Musk(le).
    Looks like we're not going down after all, so nevermind.

  8. #8
    I like how he smells

  9. #9
    Well, "Elon" is Finnish for "life's", so code this switching!

  10. #10
    Anything homoerotic about a bunch of dudes wanking off to Elon's hot new monster?

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	hot_new_monster.png 
Views:	32 
Size:	154.4 KB 
ID:	27813

  11. #11
    Likes Kittens. Eats Fluffies
    Posts
    12,135
    I mean, I guess, but the 'bunch of dudes wanking off' part came from you, not from this screenshot.

  12. #12
    But that headline...

    Also, rockets are phallic symbols.

  13. #13
    finally, let's not forget the name of this company.

  14. #14
    SpaceEreXXXtion

  15. #15
    Likes Kittens. Eats Fluffies
    Posts
    12,135
    What company? Zero-G Boners, Inc.? Or his other company Electric Hot Rod, Inc.

    or was it hte othera one Charge ME Up Dadady Incuorprorated.? (!)

  16. #16
    Zulenglashernbracker
    Posts
    5,883
    i do not like him
    I had a blog. It sucked.

  17. #17
    Likes Kittens. Eats Fluffies
    Posts
    12,135
    He ain't very good at public speaking.

  18. #18
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    Leftist memes call him Rocket Jesus

  19. #19
    Zulenglashernbracker
    Posts
    5,883
    BORING company

    "Not a Flamethrower"

    I'm going to put one of my cars into orbit around Mars!

    I want to retire on Mars and drive around in my fancy electric car.

    My children, who aren't even ten years old yet, "intern" at SpaceX!

    Tesla pushed "self driving" cars to the masses quickly in order to "encourage competition" and "show it's possible (to solve the simplest problem and push it to people and them still kill themselves with it)" and totally not to beat the hype from legitimate car manufacturers actually getting their **** together!

    HAVE I MENTIONED WE'RE GOING TO MARS AND SPACE AND ****?
    Last edited by Zloc_Vergo; 02-05-2018 at 02:25 PM.
    I had a blog. It sucked.

  20. #20
    Likes Kittens. Eats Fluffies
    Posts
    12,135
    u seem a lil mad zloc

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Zloc_Vergo View Post
    BORING company

    "Not a Flamethrower"

    I'm going to put one of my cars into orbit around Mars!

    I want to retire on Mars and drive around in my fancy electric car.

    My children, who aren't even ten years old yet, "intern" at SpaceX!

    Tesla pushed "self driving" cars to the masses quickly in order to "encourage competition" and "show it's possible (to solve the simplest problem and push it to people and them still kill themselves with it)" and totally not to beat the hype from legitimate car manufacturers actually getting their **** together!

    HAVE I MENTIONED WE'RE GOING TO MARS AND SPACE AND ****?
    beautiful
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  22. #22
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
    Posts
    8,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Zloc_Vergo View Post
    i do not like him
    this

  23. #23
    You guys don't like him. Why not?

  24. #24
    He is generating a sense of complacency in the populace by promoting apocalypse cure-alls that have no chance of working for anyone but richie rich and his circle jerk buddies
    Epstein didn't kill himself.

  25. #25
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
    Posts
    8,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    He is generating a sense of complacency in the populace by promoting apocalypse cure-alls that have no chance of working for anyone but richie rich and his circle jerk buddies
    Basically this, it's a substitute for actual politics and meaningful change, which are only won though hard work and dedication, and never the benevolence of a billionaire.

  26. #26
    I don't understand why Elon Musk deserves for all the ills of capitalism to be placed at his feet, though. If rich people are going to drive fancy cars, isn't it better for them to pollute less and consume less fossil fuels? It sounds to me like Reid is just scapegoating him as an outlet for his leftists ideology. How is Elon Musk to blame for his own good public relations? At the end of the day, does it really matter if people obnoxiously adore him too much, except that it will make it more likely that any failure of the government in continuing its green subsidies will result in public outcry for killing innovation?

    I do definitely agree with Jon`C about the negatives of the way he's structured his companies around government policy. In particular I'm not sure what good SolarCity is doing besides optimize for government subsidies so aggressively that to me appears to borders on shady.

  27. #27
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
    Posts
    8,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    I don't understand why Elon Musk deserves for all the ills of capitalism to be placed at his feet, though. If rich people are going to drive fancy cars, isn't it better for them to pollute less and consume less fossil fuels? It sounds to me like Reid is just scapegoating him as an outlet for his leftists ideology. How is Elon Musk to blame for his own good public relations? At the end of the day, does it really matter if people obnoxiously adore him too much, except that it will make it more likely that any failure of the government in continuing its green subsidies will result in public outcry for killing innovation?

    I do definitely agree with Jon`C about the negatives of the way he's structured his companies around government policy. In particular I'm not sure what good SolarCity is doing besides optimize for government subsidies that to me borders on shady.
    Elon Musk isn't particularly bad as far as billionaires go, it's more that he's an emblem of the systemic economic problems within America. And he puts a good face on that radical economic disparity that's rotting the country. Like, I'd rather have him than one of the Koch brothers, Musk's effects are far less pernicious, but I wouldn't say it's good that he exists in the big picture.

    The cargo cult surrounding him and his businesses are disgusting and I probably overreact as a testament to how much I hate people who worship him. People should not idolize billionaires. It's embarrassing.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Elon Musk isn't particularly bad as far as billionaires go, it's more that he's an emblem of the systemic economic problems within America.
    Yeah, that's what I thought, it's in your head. Literally his only crime is being a more successful capitalist than you, and you are blaming him personally for what he 'means' to you.

  29. #29
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Yeah, that's what I thought, it's in your head. Literally his only crime is being a more successful capitalist than you, and you are blaming him personally for what he 'means' to you.
    Well technically conspiracy to violate banking regulations is at least a few crimes, and according to the media he's committed at least a few crimes against Tesla employees as well, but I'm not sure if this post is meant to be a joke or not.

  30. #30
    Actually I didn't mean it as a joke. I'm not a Musk worshiper myself, but as far as capitalists go, I don't see what the big deal is. Although I wasn't aware that he conspired to violate banking regulations.

  31. #31
    Also, I know Reid probably doesn't want to be a capitalist, so admit that I was having a little fun comparing his comparative lack of success to Musk.

    For what it's worth, though, AFAIK Musk wasn't super privileged before he got wealthy. His dad was a sailor, and Musk went to Northwestern and studied engineering, IIRC. He made it big in the dot-com era, and from what I can see, has used his money for much more noble things than other people who made a bunch of cash from Paypal, like Peter Thiel.

  32. #32
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    His dad was an engineer, his mom was a model, and he studied economics at Wharton.

  33. #33
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    I mean, I'm not saying he was born a millionaire like Bill Gates or anything, but he also wasn't that unprivileged. He was probably about as privileged as any of us. Own computer as a kid, lots of books around, lots of time to tinker around, didn't have to worry about affording or succeeding in college, etc. It'd still take a lot of luck, skill, connections, and individual drive, but it's not like he had to get a full time job at 14 to help pay for his single mom's chemo or anything.

  34. #34
    (Hmm, I incorrectly remembered where he'd gone to school.)

    Sure, I didn't mean to depict his ascent as a rags to riches fable. That trope is mostly bull**** as far as I can see, with some exceptions I guess like Andrew Carnegie.

  35. #35
    I'd also like to say that building public libraries is probably more noble than selling clean cars to rich people (or even launching rockets into space), but now we're back to comparing apples to oranges. Anyway, Musk isn't nearly as wealthy as Carnegie was (although now that I think of it, that man seems to be as great as any a role model for those who become obscenely wealthy, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't his experience being poor that led him to give away most of his money).

  36. #36
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    re: selling clean cars

    Broad strokes, selling anything cars is terrible for the environment, especially if the vehicle you're replacing is post-2012, and operating an EV is worse for the environment than gasoline if your local power is generated from thermal coal. The only clean car is one that doesn't exist, but a used car complying with current regulations is the next best thing.

    Plus, selling a luxury sports coupe under an EV subsidy is probably not what the authors of that subsidy had in mind.

  37. #37
    Well, I for one am certainly no fan of automobiles. There's a whole chapter of American history about how the auto industry steamrolled other forms of transportation. It's dangerous, dirty, and makes people unhappy by wasting their time. About the only thing I can imagine going for it (beyond the freedom to choose your own time and destination at will) is the dispersed geography of North America that might make other forms of transportation impractical (especially considering urban sprawl, although come to think of it, perhaps it's the automobile itself that helped facilitate that phenomenon).

    Anyway, I'm rambling, but I certainly am not too impressed by the prospect of having everyone driving self-driving electric cars (which, uh, aren't actually safe enough to hit the road, said Jon`C last time, and indirectly cause more pollution anyway than their internal combustion counterparts... lol, gg). It smacks incremental improvement, so I guess I'll have to concede that Spook and Reid had it right all along with the whole "he gets people's hopes up for something that won't work" perspective.

    Although I'm not exactly sure what, if anything, would have taken the place of Musk worship had he not existed. A public movement in favor of rail and against urban sprawl and the rejection of automation as a band-aid for the automobile? It doesn't strike me as likely.

  38. #38
    Admiral of Awesome
    Posts
    18,379
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Although I'm not exactly sure what, if anything, would have taken the place of Musk worship had he not existed.
    Speculative bubble in guillotine stocks

  39. #39
    Whoa, that might actually work.

  40. #40
    ^^vv<><>BASTART
    Posts
    8,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Also, I know Reid probably doesn't want to be a capitalist, so admit that I was having a little fun comparing his comparative lack of success to Musk.

    For what it's worth, though, AFAIK Musk wasn't super privileged before he got wealthy. His dad was a sailor, and Musk went to Northwestern and studied engineering, IIRC. He made it big in the dot-com era, and from what I can see, has used his money for much more noble things than other people who made a bunch of cash from Paypal, like Peter Thiel.
    Not everybody who criticizes another person has an inferiority complex, Jones.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •