MGU 185 | Elon Musk

 

Elon Musk is more than just a businessman; he is also an ambitious man with a limitless desire to contribute to the survival of human consciousness. After Whitney Lauritsen attended an online event through the Clubhouse app, where Elon appeared with Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev, she became curious about the man’s uber futuristic plans. Together with Jason Wrobel, they discuss how an influential figure like Elon can strongly impact the public’s collective response and what may be lurking behind his personal motives in pursuing such ambitious projects. They also dissect Elon’s Mars colonization plan, explaining how this admirable mission for scientific progress may become an escape plan reserved for the rich and powerful.

Listen to the podcast here:

The Influence Of Elon Musk To Our Collective Future 

One downside to the way that we do our show is that it’s not always super timely. We are doing this episode on February 1st and you are likely reading around or after February 10th. I should say 2021 too, that’s the one big thing is I suppose people may read these years in the future if we’re fortunate enough. It feels frustrating sometimes because we wish that it could be super timely. I suppose we could start posting the videos to YouTube and then it would be timely because we don’t edit those. The reason it takes a little bit of time for episodes to come out after we record them is because they go through an editing process. With YouTube, we just slap them up there and do a tad bit of editing to get it to display properly. 

If you haven’t checked out our YouTube channel, you can go over there and see some of our recordings. You won’t see this one because Jason and I agreed that we didn’t feel like recording video mainly because when I turned on my camera and I noticed that the shirt I’m wearing is stained with the delicious lunch that I ate. I’m very sloppy. My hair is a mess. While I am a big believer in showing up as you are and not being too worried about being camera-ready, there are some days where I’m like, “I don’t feel comfortable presenting this side of myself on YouTube.” 

It’s interesting too on that note how we get so nervous about how other people perceive us. We’ve talked about in some upcoming episodes the concept of cancel culture. Many of us are afraid to show ourselves in the state that I’m in now because we’re worried that we won’t get the benefit of the doubt or something like that first impression. I noticed this and this is a complete tangent. We’ll get to the big point of this show. One more thing I will say is there was an interesting TikTok video of a girl posting about an experience she had in a dating app. She had shared a photo with this guy and he commented on her eyebrows. It was a little cruel the way he handled it, which was her point. Myself and a lot of people in the comment section were saying how, “Maybe the guy didn’t handle it super well,” but it’s true that the second that I turned on the video, I noticed her eyebrows and it took me back a little because of the way she’d styled them. 

Human beings, for the longest time, cannot drop the desire to live forever. Click To Tweet

I personally don’t judge people for things like that but I noticed it. That’s the point here is I’m not necessarily worried all the time about people judging me. It’s that little fear of someone noticing something and then it’s affecting their perception of me, which maybe is judgment. I don’t know. That’s the long-winded answer to why we don’t record every single episode at this point. As Jason and I said in the past, we don’t want to get camera-ready. In some dayswe’re perhaps more naturally comfortable and confident on camera than others. Now is not one of those days. Let’s get to the main subject matter which I think all of this can be tied into in some ways, which is another discussion about the Clubhouse app. It’s the latest social media networking application that you can get across a new level. 

It went into a different stage is a better word because they had Elon Musk on the app. My dad was the one that told me about this. Once I learned about it, it was all over Clubhouse and social media. People were so excited about Elon Musk coming on to this live audio-only platform, myself included because I’m fascinated by Elon Musk. I also love Clubhouse. To combine the two of them, I was like, “This is awesome.” I planned my whole night around listening. I’m going to turn it over to Jason to share about the feelings that he had leading up to this. We can then talk about the experience and then our thoughts on it. 

I feel like this is an interesting subject matter because there are many different elements to this. Elon Musk is always an interesting person to discuss. Social media is interesting. People’s reactions to social media as well as some of the subject matters that came up like the stock market, which we’ve touched upon in some episodes. Jason, let’s start with hearing your overall experience leading up to this event, and what made you want to tune into it. 

The feeling that I got leading up to it was the unbelievable amount of excitement, anticipation and hype around it. Whitney and I were texting back and forth prior to the event of how many people were tweeting and putting it on their Instagram Stories, even random people. I remember swiping through Stories and looking up different social media posts of how hyped people were. It was interesting to me because it’s not as if Elon hasn’t spoken at length. We’ve listened to many different platforms or capsules where Elon is talking about his life philosophies, his life’s work and what his visions are. It’s not as if we haven’t seen him in Joe Rogan’s podcast twice talking for hours and hours. I’ve also watched plenty of YouTube interviews and panel discussions with him. 

I do find him fascinating, much like Whitney. His life viewpoints and the things that he’s putting his energy and financial resources into, which I particularly want to dig into some of the subject matter regarding some of the stuff he’s doing with Neuralink. In particular, his desire to build a human colony on Mars by 2050. I want to dig into the ethics and the intricacies of that discussion. Elon fascinates me simply because he is probably, in my estimation, aside from authors like Philip K. Dick, the embodiment in our society of someone who I would consider an uber futurist. Someone who is looking at not only his financial accomplishments and his market valuation of his businesses, but leveraging his financial worth and his power into some pretty radical ideas for the future of humanity. 

I find them radical in many ways because of my own belief systems that we’ll dig into. It was interesting to see the hype around it. When we went on Clubhouse and we finally got on, we couldn’t even get into the room for the first few minutes. There were overflow rooms. You estimated, Whitney, there might have been 50,000 people. There might have been ten separate rooms with 5,000 listeners per room. It was nothing like we’ve seen on this app before. It shows you the interest in this man. He keeps flip-flopping between him and Jeff Bezos for the world’s richest. They are both closing on a net worth of $200 billion. 

Going back to his desire to do some things with Neuralink, human consciousness and Mars colonization, he said it would take probably a minimum of $250 million to pull this off. His net worth is getting very close to $250 billion so I don’t think that’s any coincidence. I find him fascinating for so many reasons. Some people think he’s a cyborg. Some people think he’s an alien. I think that his consciousness, his particular acumen, talent and intelligence is focused on specific things he wants to accomplish. 

It’s interesting to get all of these different responses to him. One thing I did after his talk was I went into this room with a few people that I had met previously in Clubhouse. I thought they were going to talk about some other things but a lot of the conversation ended up being about Elon Musk and his talk. A number of people in there were pretty critical of him. They were critical of his talk in general, which I’ve seen a variety of people sharing how they didn’t feel like the moderators of this event were that great. They wanted it to be deeper and more conversational. Instead, they felt like your typical interview with questions that you could probably look up and learn about Elon. It didn’t bother me at the time but reflecting back, I can certainly see how that could have affected people. 

When I was in that room, first of all, it took me 30 minutes to get into his actual room. I ended up going into the overflow rooms in the beginning. I remember at this certain point, when I was trying to click in, it was filling up and I wasn’t able to get in. It was this feeling that I’ve had at events before where you’re anticipating something and excited about it. You’re waiting in a line and then you can’t get in. It’s a big disappointment and you settle for the overflow rooms. I’ve been in that situation many times. Beyond that experience, I realized it wasn’t about being in the room because some people might see it as a clout like, “I got into the room. I got into Elon’s room. I’m in the same room with Elon.” I can see a little bit of the draw but some of the criticism I’m hearing is how people are fanboying or fangirling about Elon. 

As you’ve talked about before, Jason, he’s just another human being. He happens to be incredibly wealthy, influential and also intelligent in a unique way. Some people get triggered by that. We can dive more into that. It took me some time and I finally got into the room. I admit it was fun. It felt like a little bit of a historic moment but that goes away so quickly and I kept trying to be present to them. I was then interested about the response that people would have, which is why I went into another discussion room. It seems like there’s that common reaction that people have to someone that’s influential of irritation or resentment like, “How could people fan girl over Elon? What’s the big deal? He’s just a human being,” or “He’s not that great. Let me list out all of his flaws. Let’s criticize this.” I felt the energy in this one room that I was in. I ended up staying a little bit longer because I was fascinated by that response.  

I was also using that as an opportunity to reflect on my reaction to Elon because, as Jason and I were talking during the event, we were texting back and forth about it. I thought it was awesome. I was like, “This is great. I can’t wait to see how this impacts Clubhouse,” which is why I wish this episode came out sooner because who knows what’s happened with Clubhouse between the day we did this and the day this episode has been released. It’s either going to have a big splash, a mediocre one or maybe not impact it at all. I’m fascinated by how platforms like Clubhouse evolve. 

Some people also are speculating on Vlad from Robinhood, the stock exchange app. Apparently, I don’t know if you heard any of this. I haven’t read a thing about the Clubhouse since. I don’t know what the media is saying, but according to the people in the Clubhouse room that I was in, in the overflow rooms, there was a lot of discussion after the event because Vlad from Robinhood came on with Elon at one point. After the event, people were out to get this man and predicting that he’s going to get fired within the next 48 hours. There’s all of this reaction to him in addition to what was already happening with Robinhood for a few days previous. I’m super curious how that’s affecting the stock market, the whole conversation around hedge funds and all of that. Have you seen anything else about it, Jason? Have you looked into the media?  

MGU 185 | Elon Musk

Elon Musk: Many people are afraid to show themselves in their current state because they worry about not getting the benefit of the doubt.

 

I read an article, I believe it was on either Wall Street Journal or Business Insider. This article that I read was not being critical of Vlad in particular, but critical of the choice that they had made to restrict the buying of new securities and stocks. They were saying that from a branding perspective, Robinhood’s whole ethos and their brand promise was that they are opening up investing to the little guy. The individual citizen who heretofore has been beholden to some degree to the whims of Wall Street, institutional investors and hedge funds. They were saying that the damage that has been done is pretty critical. If you’re a brand and you have a brand promise of putting the power as they do back in the hands of the individual citizen investor, and then they make a move to restrict as they did from having individual citizen investors being able to purchase stocks and securities as they had been, that it breaks their brand promise. It breaks the ethos of their mission. 

Rather than being critical about Vlad in particular as the CEO, they were saying it was a horrible move as the brand when you promise one thing that is your mission statement, and then you make a choice that is in direct diametric opposition to that mission. I thought it was interesting because it got into the dynamics of branding and being careful about delivering on your promise. The trust that you build with your customers and the public is a very fragile thing. It often takes a long time as a company to build up brand equity and then 1 or 2 major moves like cutting people’s ability off to trade can potentially shatter the trust that you’ve built over years with your customer base. That was the one article I read and I did find it pointed. It raised a lot of good points around how careful you have to be when you make a very specific brand promise and then you make moves to break it. 

It’s a fascinating thing if you step back and examine it. It keeps bringing up that idea of cancel culture and integrity too. This was an important thing for us to go through as a country to recognize what’s going on with the stock market, how people are being treated and looking at the inequality in terms of money. That’s one of the reasons that Elon triggers people. They see him as this rich man who’s going about life using his influence and being bold. That’s not my perception of him. He’s incredibly intelligent, has big dreams and figured out a way to go where he wants to go in life. 

I know that’s not always so simple. I’ve listened to part of his biography years ago way before I got my Tesla. I was only semi-interested. Once I got my Tesla, I got a little bit more interested in Elon Musk mainly because as someone who owns the car, I’m staying a little bit more up-to-date about things he is doing and saying, but there’s so much more to him that I don’t know. A lot of people don’t know. This is one thing that I’m a big advocate for. Certainly we can have our opinions but we can’t state our opinions as if they’re facts unless we have the facts to back them up. In this moment, I don’t but the little that I’ve learned about him so far is that it feels like he has been passionate about being an entrepreneur. He has this big passion for changing the world through automobiles and going to Mars. It’s like, “Who else is doing that?” Not that many people. 

He’s trying to look at all of this as benefiting the human race, but some people don’t see it that way. Certainly, you can look at him and wonder like, “Is this beneficial? Is this pushing us as human beings into a place that isn’t good for us?” That’s what triggers people. People are scared of him in some ways because he’s so powerful and influential. People want to make sure he doesn’t change life in ways that we’re not fully comfortable with. Do you see it that way too, Jason? 

It’s a complicated discussion because on the one handI do believe that there is a somewhat altruistic motive for Elon Musk to shift our economy, transportation and energy sector to something that is more sustainable. I do think that he does have a vested interest in his personal power at the same time. He’s a complex human being in the sense that he’s making these great strides for sustainable energy and transportation. The thing that concerns me in terms of his personal motives as he describes continuing to have human consciousness survive in the universe. When you dive into some of his visions for colonizing Mars by the year 2050, there are concerns that I have and it’s reflected in an article that I want to direct you and our readers to that is interesting and also disturbing and not surprising. 

It’s on OneZero.Medium.com. This article was written a couple of years ago by an author named Douglas Rushkoff. It’s called Survival of the Richest: The Wealthy are Plotting to Leave Us Behind. It’s a long article. I’m going to summarize it by saying that this author was invited to what he believed a few years ago was a conference. When he arrived on this conference, he was ushered into a very small conference room. It was not a conference at all but there were five men that he does not have the ability to name. They were five of the richest men on the planet. He realized that he was not there to talk about the information of the future of information technology. They had invited him and paid him this money to spend a few hours asking him personal questions. 

These five richest men on the planet asked him about the looming climate crisis. Where is going to be the safest place to live, New Zealand or Alaska? Is Google building AI technology that allows people to upload their consciousness into external brains? How to maintain authority and build a personal security force? They talked about this thing called “The Event.” That was their euphemism for impending environmental collapse or global social unrest, a nuclear explosion, an unstoppable virus or an AI system that destroys the world. 

He goes on to say that for hours. These men revealed their obsession with protecting themselves and making sure that they and their families would continue to be safe. To summarize, the author says, “That’s when it hit me.” As far as these wealthy gentlemen were concerned, this was a talk about the future of technology. Taking their cue from Elon Musk wanting to colonize Mars by 2050, or Peter Thiel reversing his aging process and living forever, or men like Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into super computers. 

Changing your perspectives is the first step to becoming more aware of everything in life. Click To Tweet

These men were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether. Insulating themselves from very real and present dangers of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panics and resource depletion. For them, harnessing the power of the future of technology is about one thing, escape. It’s a fantastic article but I’m saying this because Elon wanting to colonize Mars as a huge example, it is partly about him wanting human consciousness to continue in the universe. He said some fascinating things about how much it’s going to cost to get to Mars. That it’s going to be potentially a 6-to-9-month ride in a spacecraft that initiallyit’s only going to be two years that the window will be around. 

Wealthy people will have privilege because they’ll be able to pay for it. In an exchange of tweets and articles, someone asked Elon, “What about the workers that are going to go there to build the buildings, dig the trenches, set up water systems, start to plant gardens and start to terraform Mars so that it’s livable for humans? They can’t afford $500,000 for a space ticket to Mars.” He said, “We might offer some work exchange program where workers and skilled laborers can go there and then they can “work off the fee it would have taken to get them there.” Someone’s response was like, “Isn’t that like indentured servitude? We’ll give you a free ticket to go to Mars but then you’re going to spend X number of years working off your ticket.” 

Their concern is like, is Elon going there to be a dictator? What laws will be enacted? Who’s going to have a structure of society? How are we going to build that? My long answer is that Elon is a complicated mixture of altruism and wanting humanity to continue. You don’t get to nearly $200 billion unless you do have some sort of desire for power. I’m concerned about the wealthy people saying, “Fuck off. Enjoy tending to the decimated earth while we go create a new civilization on Mars.” That’s something we need to be careful of. 

It’s a certainly interesting food for thought that I haven’t dug into in the way that you have. What comes up for me is that it is all based in our human desire to survive. We see the threats happening to this planet and are looking for an escape route. It’s like, “What can I do to avoid that doomed future?” As human beings, we also have an interest in living longer as you do Jason or living forever. That’s wired into us, into our deep desires for survival. I believe that’s where a lot of this comes from and including money, like the desire to make a lot of money, it’s having access to resources. I can see how that desire of power too is like, “If I’m more powerful, then maybe I can survive longer.” Even if we strip it away, the desire to get into the room with Elon is part of that because that’s like clout, luck or success. 

If you know the right people, you can get in. If you’re there at the right time, you can get in. If you’re prepared, maybe you’ll get in. All of these factors hoping that you can be part of something. The desire to fangirl or fanboy is iyou get close enough to somebody, you’ll feel more protected. Is it that if you’re in their inner circle that you’ll have the knowledge to protect yourself or you’ll get the tools so that you can build yourself up in the same way? To me, it keeps coming back to the desire for survival.  

You’re absolutely right. My question in all of this is if you take something like the idea of immortality, they’ll pluck that out of a complicated soup of topics we’re discussing now. This idea of Elon since we’re talking about him as a central archetype and person in this conversation. With his business, Neuralink, how he was saying that initially these tests that he’s doing on pigs and monkeys, I have a lot of mixed feelings about the ethics of this especially when he’s talking about having monkeys that are using thought forms to play video games. Is this the best use of our resources? That’s maybe a side conversation in terms of ethics and using animals to test human applications, which historically are all that effective especially in applications like this. 

The point is if we do have the technology to transfer our consciousness telepathically, digitally into a hard drive, a robot body, a biological clone of ourselves like Avatar. Just because we can do it, should we do it? This gets into the ethics of technology, biotech and consciousness. My curiosity aside from the ethical implications of this is more about a spiritual examination of even if that was an option and I had the money to do it because we all know that will not be free. At least not in the current structure of our capitalist system. You will pay to transfer your consciousness into a different vessel, be that robot or biological. Should we do it? If I had the option, how would that reframe my relationship to life? In some sense, maybe our appreciation, sense of love, connection and to some degree, our sense of urgency to create and do certain things is fueled by our awareness that our physical body is going to die. 

That the vessels they call Whitney and Jason will die one day. We can talk about consciousness and soul, where our souls go, maybe we could dip into that. I’m curious, Whitney, what would your framework be around this? Let’s say we fast forward 30 years in the future. You and I are standing in 2050. We’re in our 60s and 70s. They’re like, “For $25,000, you can take your consciousness and upload it into this other vessel.” Would you want to do it? How would that affect how you even approach life? If you had the perception, you could theoretically keep changing vessels ad infinitum until the end of time. How would the idea of immortality affect your level of appreciation, urgency, focus and creativity? Would you even want that? I’m asking you that not as a rhetorical question. I’m asking, would you think you would choose that? 

MGU 185 | Elon Musk

Elon Musk: Elon Musk is just another human being who just happens to be incredibly wealthy, influential, and intelligent in a unique way.

 

I don’t know. I’m one of those people that if it’s presented to me and I can evaluate it more, that helps me make a decision. A perfect example is the vaccines. I’m not jumping the gun to get the vaccines. I want to step back and wait and see how it’s working for other people. For me, there are certain things like this that I’m not quite an early adopter at. I like to see how things are going for other people. I suppose I’m like that with many things. In fact, I want to look up the definition of early adopter because there’s the little curve. If you type early adopter and do an image search, it shows you the curve of how people often make decisions on things. Adoption curve is what it’s called. 

It does make sense that I would be in the early adopter category because that’s the first part of the curve. The first one is the innovators and disruptors. I would not put myself in that category. That would probably be Elon Musk. That’s typically where a lot of these technology companies are in. Those are the people that are willing to be the very first ones to do something and willing to take a lot of risks. I feel like the early adopters like myself wait to see how it goes for those people. If it makes sense, then we will get into that realm and do it. There’s then the early majority, the late majority and the laggards. If you look at the image of the curve, the early majority and the late majority tend to be the mainstream and the most amount of people that are doing that.  

It’s fascinating because I like to try to take in all of that information to decide what I’m going to do. There’s another one that I’m looking at that describes it. The first part of this is the innovators and the technology enthusiasts, then it’s the early adopters and the visionaries. It depends on your definitions. People that typically want something, we like the development side of it. That’s very exciting. It then becomes more of the pragmatists and the conservatives, the people that want solutions and convenience but maybe need to wait to get more information. I always find that this is interesting to look at in terms of how we react to something. 

Are we on that side of creating something and visualizing the visionary side of it? Are we a little bit more critical of something? Are we more of a spectator? Are we more inactive? Where would you put yourself? I’m going to guess, Jason, that you’re a little bit more in the early majority side of most things. I’ve noticed that I’ll often bring up an idea to you as an early adopter but you generally don’t jump on super-fast. Maybe you need to wait for a little bit more social proof. Would you say that’s right? Where do you think you fall in this? 

I think that’s accurate because, first of all, there’s a certain number of bugs that need to be worked out in a beta phase of a product, be that a new vehicle, a vaccine. Certainly if we’re talking about AI and consciousness technology, it’s not a bad thing working out bugs and learning as you go is part of the experience of consciousness on this planet. For me, it’s more about perhaps a feeling of safety and that I can count on this thing that I am investing my financial resources into. I don’t necessarily feel like being a beta tester for a corporation selling me a product to work out the bugs and the flaws on. Some people don’t mind that. I’m a big fan of reliability. I want to know if I’m investing my resources into something that it’s going to be reliable, that it’s going to do what it says it’s going to do. 

That’s part of my system of value in life, generally speaking. As we get into fully autonomous cars, we get into more advanced vaccines and medical delivery systems as Elon was talking about on Clubhouse where you’re taking digitally created mRNA sequences and enclosing them in a lipid barrier, which is right straight into the human genetic system. This is going to be interesting for the future of disease and the future of treating disease. It’s also like injecting ourselves with digitally-created mRNA sequences and lipid barriers. It sounds like something maybe the human biological system is going to need to have some time to get used to. We’re going to need to have a lot more time to see how people are reacting to these kinds of things. 

Part of it is a desire for safety on my part, a desire for reliability, and not necessarily wanting to be a human Guinea pig for certain things. That doesn’t interest me. Some people don’t mind. Some people are super fascinated by that. It doesn’t feel like something that I want to engage in per se. You’re right on in terms of the maybe early majority category where I would slot into. I’m certainly not a Luddite. I’m certainly not like, “I can’t trust this technology. What is all this?” I’ve talked on the show how much I love analog technology. I love vinyl records. I love stick shift cars. I love going to vintage clothing stores. There’s just a lot of analog tech that I love but for me, it’s the safety, control and reliability thing if I get to the core of it for myself. 

This is why Elon Musk triggers a lot of people is that he has access to money but also his money is giving him access to people, data and information that the majority of us as human beings don’t have access to. That’s part of the reason that I’m so intrigued by him. Clearly, this man is studying things. He’s very strategic. If you listen to him, you can start to gain some information. That’s one thing I like about him. From my perception, he doesn’t feel super secretive. Even when he brought on Vlad from Robinhood, it felt like he wanted him to share openly. It’s almost like Elon Musk struggles to censor himself, which has gotten him into some trouble. I didn’t feel like that was happening on Clubhouse because it wasn’t set up to be that way. 

When I was in the room afterwards, they were speculating about how involved a PR team was. I get the feeling that Elon Musk doesn’t censor himself. He doesn’t want to be led by a PR team almost like Donald Trump. Donald Trump did a lot that he wanted to. He was advised at times, maybe sometimes he listened to people but a lot of the times Donald Trump was saying whatever the fuck he wanted. That’s my perception of Elon Musk. Do you get that too? 

He dissolved Tesla’s Public Relations division. I don’t know if you knew that but in 2020, I was reading in some technology and automotive journal blogs that they were attempting to reach out to Tesla’s PR department for comment on certain things whether those were fatalities that happened as a result of autopilot or whatever the case was. They said that sometime in 2020 that you can no longer get a comment because Tesla no longer has a Public Relations or marketing division. It’s just gone. To your point, success, wealth, influence and power is hand-in-hand with boldness and brazenness in certain people. To the point where we know that if you have a certain amount of money, influence and power on this planet, what’s the colloquial phrase, if someone has a fuck you money? There’s money and then there’s “fuck you” money. 

Nearing $200 billion worth of net worth is more than the GDP of certain small nations. He’s wielding an amount of money, power and influence that if we go back and we tie into this conversation about Robinhood, and a lot of the ways in which the Reddit army is manipulating markets. We see how the Securities and Exchange Commission and these hedge funds running to the government saying, “Help us, we need bailouts.” Part of the concern that I’ve read with the government and the SEC in particular was how much power does Elon Musk have when he tweets out rallying the Reddit army? He’s encouraging in his tweet storms to have individual citizen investors go and bankrupt these hedge funds, and encouraging people to invest in Dogecoin and some of these obscure cryptocurrencies. 

The SEC I’ve been reading is concerned about how much power he has through his social media comments to influence markets, and it’s very real. He was saying in Clubhouse how he was saying the tweets about Dogecoin were jokes but people took it seriously, and Dogecoin went up fucking crazy, something like 1,700% or something. He was saying like, “I was joking. I wasn’t telling you to go and rally and have this ridiculous crypto go through the roof,” but people did it. They didn’t take it as a joke. It’s interesting to think about that. You bring up Donald Trump and how on social media he had a hand in the insurrection, and a very strong hand in not denouncing certain people that were trying to overthrow our government. 

If human beings can gather for one collective thought or purpose, big changes will happen. Click To Tweet

Similarly, when Elon tweets out about a stock or a cryptocurrency, people take it very fucking seriously. That can either be viewed as empowering or as the SEC and the government are saying, “This dude might have way too much power over his followers,” his fanboys and fangirls, “who take what he says as gospel.” They don’t see it as a joke. They’re like, “Let’s go buy a Dogecoin. Let’s go bankrupt these hedge funds.” I don’t know necessarily if it is healthy for that person being Elon to have that much sway over the public. 

Who knows? You can say that about anyone. What are you going to do? The question is, “How do you stop something like this?” As we come to you as an answer on this show is, “We just have to be more aware.” One of the best ways to become more aware is when someone points it out and says, “What if you looked at it a different way?” It’s like what happened me because I was caught up in the semi-fangirl response to Elon. When I got into the room that was a little bit like skeptical/maybe even anti-Elon Musk. That was humble or eye-opening perhaps. I got to look at it from other people’s perspectives and better understand it. 

That helped me step back and examine myself. I’ve had to do this a lot on Clubhouse. Clubhouse triggers me in this intense way. It’s similar to the feeling of FOMO. There’s a rush to accomplish things. Although I will say that thanks to Elon Musk, if we look at some plus sides to this in the smaller side of our lives, I posted that I had eleven invites to Clubhouse because that was the most I had accumulated over time. For those of you that aren’t on the platform, you get 1 or 2 invites when you first join the platform. The more time you spend on it running rooms or interacting, you get more invites. In the beginning, I was giving them out to anybody I could think of without even asking them.  

I wasted some of them because there are still five people I’ve invited that never responded to it. The way Clubhouse works is you can’t revoke your invitation. Now I’ve become a little bit more mindful of giving them out to only people who want them. I felt like there are probably many people hearing about Elon Musk going on Clubhouse and either wanting to listen to him, or now that they know about the platform, they want to get on there too. I posted on most of my social media platforms or a few of them. I posted on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I said like, “If you need an invite, send me a message. I’ll hook you up with it.” I got many people asking and it was cool because I had a handful of people that I hadn’t heard from in years that were suddenly like, “We need your help now. I haven’t talked to you in a while. I hope you don’t mind that I’m asking.” 

I also got a few strangers. Some of them came because they saw my tweets, which was connected to Elon Musk’s tweet about Clubhouse. Some of them came from Pat Flynn who’s a big podcaster. He had mentioned me in one of his posts about Elon and I got hit up by some of his followers. It was cool because I felt like I was helping people check out this platform and they were so grateful. I don’t think I would have thought to do that where it not for this big event that happened. 

MGU 185 | Elon Musk

Elon Musk: People usually model themselves after the people they admire, not realizing that as human beings, these figures also have room to grow.

 

That to me is the best part about Clubhouse. As we spoke about in one episode, you and I got connected to this amazing man named Greg. Now we’re running rooms together to help brands and other people in the natural products industry. I don’t think we would have done something like that if it weren’t for Clubhouse. If we look at Elon Musk, part of all of this is he’s making Clubhouse feel more legitimate and piquing people’s interests, which brings them onto a platform. Where if somebody is either fortunate because they happen upon the right room and the right people there, or more strategic and aware of what they’re doing on there, you can have a lot of incredible experiences on that platform that I’m not finding anywhere else. The reason that Elon Musk going there was so special was it showed that. There were minimum 50,000 people on that app listening to Elon Musk. That’s insane. 

It was the first time that you saw a room fill up. I didn’t know that Clubhouse rooms could fill up. There was so much exposure to this platform and getting all those people on here to start these conversations. We’re likely going to see a big ripple effect to that. You can get caught up in the potential negative elements of what Elon is doing and other people in his place. If we look at it in this current perspective, there’s still a lot of good. If we stay aware like we did with the president, we’ve seen how collectively as human beings we can make big changes. We have seen that with Black Lives Matter. There was so much momentum that was built with that movement in 2020. 

Even though it stemmed out of some horrific events, it has caused people like myself to become much better allies. It took something horrifying to trigger that within me, sadly. Elon Musk in a way, any of these people that are not feeling great about him, we can collectively try to do something about it, and then maybe we can even shape more of how he’s interacting. Going back to Donald Trump, he wasn’t working for us as a president. He was doing some, from many perspectives, toxic things to our country. Collectively, we made a change there. At the time, it felt like in some ways maybe we were powerless. In some ways, we were afraid that we wouldn’t be able to make a change. What happened in 2020 in our country with the election showed that there are strengths when we come together and we are determined to make a change. 

It’s important to remember that when you talk about this power to change that we as individuals have choices every single day. It doesn’t mean that they are easy choices. They are simple choices in the sense that if we have an example of wanting to put a hedge fund out of business, the individual people are showing that they have the power to do that. If we don’t want to support a billionaire entrepreneur, we don’t have to buy their products. I’m not saying this to be pedantic or overly simplistic, but it comes down to money is embodied energy. Voting is embodied energy. Marching, gathering, organizing are all embodied and directed energy. If there’s something we disagree with or want to change, we are not powerless to your point. We can organize, we can direct our intelligence, talents and our financial resources to or away from things that we either agree or disagree with. 

The thing that I feel a lot of mixed feelings about in regard to some of the initiatives that I suppose I’m sitting with and trying to figure out how I feel is Elon has said that he wants to and has begun to sell all of his assets. He doesn’t have any houses that he owns anymore. He sold all of his ten properties in California because he wants to free up enough resources to be able to put into these endeavors, particularly the Mars colonization. My question is on the one hand you want to accelerate the advent and the utilization and adoption of sustainable energy. You’re wanting to re reduce the price of electric cars, making power walls available, solar panels. You’re then investing hundreds of billions of dollars eventually or maybe even trillions into setting up a human colony on Mars. 

One of the billionaires responded, I can’t remember who it was but he said, “The Earth needs more heroes.” Why are you investing all this money into colonizing Mars when you could take $100 billion and invest in the acceleration of carbon sequestration technology? Let’s get the carbon out of the atmosphere. Why don’t you invest that $100 million into regenerative agriculture and reducing the dependence on factory farming and all the carbon and the methane that’s being put in the environment through factory farming? Those are valid points. Why are we putting all this money into an “escape hatch of running away to Mars in many years? Put more of that money into healing the planet.  

It’s a complex thing because in some cases, he’s a capitalist. He’s an entrepreneur. He wants to make money because money is embodied energy that allows him to carry out these visions. I do think that’s an interesting point is, why put all this money into the proverbial escape hatch for humanity of setting up a new society and environment on Mars when you can put that money into healing the Earth. I might feel differently in many years but the idea of leaving the Earth behind and being like, “Good luck, everyone. We’re going to Mars.” There’s something about that mentality that doesn’t sit well with me, and I’m trying to figure out why. First of all, the Earth is an intelligent, complex and systematic thing that can heal itself. I feel like if we were to be less brutal with how we treat the Earth, it would regenerate itself. That’s my point is I personally would like to see Elon funneling more of his money into healing and regenerating the planet rather than creating an escape possibility in many years for humanity. That’s my two cents. 

That makes a lot of sense when it comes to someone that big, you have to find a way to reach them. We want those things but in order for us to initiate change, we have to get more involved. We have to find a way to encourage him to do that, and that can be starting petitions, movements, publications and connecting with the people that know him, and seeing what can be done to better understand what exactly he’s doing. Electric cars aren’t perfect. They are not the answer to the planet. He has made a lot of strides and raised a lot of awareness. Notice how long it’s taken for people to feel comfortable with electric cars. It’s still a work in progress.  

Building up your brand equity takes a long time, but a single mistake can quickly shatter the customers' trust. Click To Tweet

Most people don’t have electric cars or I don’t know the statistics, maybe I’m wrong but still most people I know don’t have electric cars. I’m one of a few people in my life. I know a lot of environmental people. Electric cars are not the answer. Perhaps people don’t have them for another reason because certainly buying a new car because it’s electric is not great for the environment. We’re not going to get into that now. My point being is that my perception is that he has examined this from a business standpoint and wondering how he can make an impact on the environment. Maybe he has a personal mission to get to Mars for whatever reason. That might be why it feels a little uncomfortable because it feels inaccessible.  

Maybe it also feels like, is this just Elon Musk gaining a lot of power to make his childhood dream come true? I don’t know. It would take a deep dive look into him from a lot of different sources to understand exactly what this man is doing and why. In the meantime or in addition to doing that, how can we create more change? You and I have our platforms. Certainly, we can continue to talk more about the environment. We can start to encourage our audience and use that ripple effect. We have to be dedicated for a long period of time. This is not a short-term fix. This is something that we all have to collectively get more involved with. It’s a little disheartening to me because many people are trying to create positive change in the environment and there’s still so much resistance for whatever reason. 

We might be doomed as human beings if we don’t get our act together. On the negative side, we have had a lot of experiences in our lifetime that have shown that human beings struggle to do something collectively. One thing we all have in common is that we all live on the same planet. Maybe if it’s positioned us in a way that we can easily understand and make a changethen we can. I don’t think it’s just about Elon Musk. I don’t think Elon Musk is the make or break person for us. He’s just got a lot of influence and hopefully he’s using his money for good and doing it for a good reason that we might not fully understand. Without fully knowing if that’s the case, in the meantime, your concern and pause is important because the big key here is to not just look at somebody in trying to model ourselves after and admire them without recognizing that they have room to grow too. 

At the same time, one big thing that came up for me when I was listening to the people that were critical of Elon Musk was they started to point out some other people. There’s this human tendency to “Yeah, but.” I don’t know if you and I have talked about this. I’m going to try to find this article. It was written by someone who wrote a book called The Pursuit of Perfect. He talks about this idea around yeah, but-ing people that are influential. 

How we have a tendency to find somebody that’s in a position of power or influence and find their flaws to try to drag them down. I wonder sometimes, is that why people say things that are negative about Elon Musk? If they can back up what they’re saying with resources like you were sharing, Jason, that one article that you had referenced. I can see how that’s a point of concern but for people just wanting to find a flaw in somebody that makes a lot of money and has a lot of influence and power, we need to step back and say, “Are we doing this out of some desire to drag people down to our level?” 

MGU 185 | Elon Musk

Elon Musk: The wealthy are preparing for a digital future not to make the world a better place but as a way for them to escape reality.

 

What you bring up is something that I want to talk about first an analogy and then a concern around human consciousness. The analogy, which might be a little clunky but it just came to me in this moment. The concern that I have in investing many resources and billions of dollars in technology into creating a colony on Mars or the possibility of colony on Mars is this mentality of, “We tried Earth, sorry. Good luck everyone who’s left behind there. We’re going to go to Mars and create a whole new civilization there but we tried, we did. We made electric cars and we tried as best as we could but sorry, it’s not working out. We’re going to go try over here.” 

This is clunky but it makes sense in my mind of you’re in a relationship, you put years of effort toward it, you go to therapy, you try and heal it. At some point you’re like, “This isn’t working. I’m going to go try with that person over there.” There’s this one reason why I don’t know that it will work is because if we don’t address the most concerning parts of the human experience, greed, power hungriness, oppression, prejudice, racism, these things are not going to magically go away when we cultivate and terraform a new planet. If we as a human civilization bring our pathos, our psychopathy, our pain, our traumas, our oppression, our prejudices, our greed. If we don’t address the deepest wounds of the collective human psyche, the same shit’s going to happen on Mars. We’re bringing in talented engineers, programmers, CEOs, rich people and maybe devise a new set of laws, a new constitution, a new way of operating. 

If we don’t address the most painful, violent, troubling parts of our humanity, our psychology and the way that we treat each other, who’s to say that we wouldn’t have an incredibly similar experience of human society by the time we got to Mars? We would be going to a different planet and bringing all of those things along with us. My whole thing is unless we figure out how to live together here on Earth, and unless we figure out how to heal ourselves, our society, our collective wounds, violence, pain, separation, class warfare and all the shit we’re dealing with, we’re going to take that shit with us to Mars. It’ll be no different unless we heal it here. 

The same thing comes up for me on a platform like Clubhouse. People are wanting to get on the platform because it’s the new thing. It’s like, “We get to start from scratch. We get to be on another social media platform.” There are all these hopes and dreams of creating more influence, getting more followers and growing your business. We’ve been through this before. I certainly went through that with TikTok. I remember all these different platforms coming up and dangling these promises of a good life. Now there are Clubhouse influencers and it’s interesting because it’s just another platform. You might find success on there. I’ve certainly seen this happen on TikTok. Some people who have been trying for years to become influential, their whole careers have been made through TikTok, which is great. 

As we’ve talked about before, just because you have a ton of followers, you get more money, clout and whatever else you’re after, it doesn’t mean that your life is going to be that much different. You’re the same person with more followers, more money and more power perhaps. At the core, you’re still you and you still have issues. That idea of going to Mars is not going to solve all your problems. It’s like becoming an influencer on any of these platforms is not going to solve your problems. It makes you feel good and makes other people admire you. Even Elon Musk in his talk was saying he still leads a life similar to a lot of other people. He’s still watching TV shows and having trouble with sleep. What else did he rattle off? I remember you and I were saying that it’s refreshing to hear Elon share the he’s going through this stuff too. 

I wrote down a list of quotes that were amazing. One of my favorites was, “I don’t like chores but if I don’t do my chores, things go to hell.” I was like, “That’s relatable.” There’s a lot of stuff every day that I’m like, “Do I have to do this shit?” The reality is chaos is going to be there no matter what, but I find that if we don’t do our chores like Elon said or we shirk our responsibilities too long, the chaos amplifies. He had a lot of human moments in that conversation. I go back to the analogy of it’s this idea that if we change jobs, we change relationships, we get a new car, we make more money, we have more followers, then magically somehow our lives are going to change. 

The foundation of this mentality is very much at the heart of my concern about this Mars colonization of, “Let’s change planets. Let’s take everything we’ve learned, change planets and start fresh.” If we’re a violent, oppressive, hateful species that can’t get along together, then what’s going to be different? How many empires have we seen rise and fall on this planet? Rome, Egypt, Sumeria, Persia and now the US. Some people are saying that the cycle of the US empire is going to fall soon because of the cyclical nature of history. 

In some ways, a lot of those civilizations made the same mistakes with class warfare, greed and manipulation of the financial systems. If you look at history, these ancient civilizations that ruled for thousands of years, they made very similar mistakes. I’d add a level of mental health, psychopathy, culture and repeating the same mistakes. My whole thing is I’m not getting on a spaceship to go to Mars if we’re still killing each other, hating each other, judging each other, and everyone is trying to be rich, powerful and famous because the same shit is going to go on there. I’m not interested in that. Put me in the forest. I’d rather go to my tiny house in the forest with the people I love and my animals and being like, “You all figure it out. Bye.” Unless we do get to the heart of these very concerning aspects of the way that we engage with one another as human beings, you could plop us anywhere in the universe and we’re going to keep making the same mistakes. 

That’s probably my biggest concern with all of this. At the same time, there’s a part of me that gets interested in the idea of taking a space travel to another planet. You mentioned Elon living out his childhood dream. Is there a part of my child brain, my inner child that’s like, “What would it be like to leave the Earth and get on a spaceship? That sounds fascinating. What would it be like to, as my body ages and dies, if I’m in my 90s to have this cool, cyborg, Iron Man suit that I could upload my consciousness into?” I’m not saying this because I’m a hater or I’m wanting to poo-poo Elon or the progress of technology but I think that uploading our consciousness into Iron Man suits that have the ability to fly, shoot lasers or whatever the case is going to be many years from now. 

If we’re not fixing things at the level of how we treat each other, if we’re not kind to one another, if we’re not sharing resources then we’ll be flying around in these robot bodies with new technology of how to wound one another and treat each other poorly. I don’t want that future. At the core, I want to do whatever is in my power to change how we treat one another. That starts on a level of self. We talk about examining our own racist tendencies, examining our own ways that we want power, control and influence at any cost. Examining the ways that we’re careless with our resources in life. These are important questions we need to stare down as a human race before we decide to get into robot bodies and leave the planet. That’s where I’m leaving this. I want to sure that I’m doing everything in my power to create a fairer, equitable, loving, compassionate world so that we’re not taking all this bullshit to different places in the galaxy. That’s where I’m at with it. 

It’s been great hearing that perspective. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to encourage the reader to reach out and share your perspectives on Clubhouse, Elon Musk, Robinhood, stock market, Mars and all these different subject matters that have come up and how you feel about it. What research have you done? What have you felt ignorant about? What changes would you like to make? How are you getting involved with these changes? These are all important questions for us and important for us to explore. We got very close to having Kimbal Musk, Elon’s brother on the show. I was thinking how I’d love to follow-up to have him on not to talk about Elon because I felt like that might be exploiting him, but it certainly would be interesting. Knowing about the work that Kimbal does gives me some hope about Elon because Kimbal is involved in the food industry and making a change there. 

He has almost a grassroots feel about him and he’s very supportive of his brother. It seems like they have a good relationship. They seem to have this passion and common for the earth and it’s expressed in different ways. Kimbal especially has this sweet, authentic vibe about him and the fact that he was open to being on our show. For the reader, the only reason that he hasn’t been on our show yet as far as we’re aware is because we were going to record with him last March 2020 at an event that got canceled due to COVID. We tried to reschedule a few months later when we switched over to doing virtual recording but our confidence wasn’t fully there. 

If we change jobs, we are just changing relationships. Click To Tweet

Now that we’ve gotten in this flow, it’s a good opportunity to revisit it and see if we can make that happen, and not to talk about Elon. I don’t want anyone to feel like we’re exploiting him and bringing him on to get to somebody else. It would be interesting to see that inside look into the work that he’s doing and perhaps how that’s overlapped and affecting one another. It’s amazing to see other family members and what they have in common with each other based on how they were raised and the dreams that they had as kids. We’ll see if we can make that happen. In the meantime, we have many incredible guests from all different backgrounds and perspectives coming on to talk about different elements of life from the hardships to the amazing things and the tools. 

We’re honored to have you as a reader and to have amazing people on that we hope are benefiting your life in many different ways. If you haven’t yet hit subscribe, you can reach out to us through social media. If you’re on Clubhouse, hit us up there. We’re easy to find. Most of our accounts are under @Wellevatr. You can find our email on our website. That is the best hub to learn more about us in the show. It also helps spread the word. If this episode or others resonate with you, you can copy and paste the URL from our website. Every individual episode has its own URL at Podcast.Wellevatr.com. You can share that around and make it easy for anyone else to read and be part of the discussion too. Thanks for checking out this episode. We look forward to connecting with you on social media and in upcoming episodes. Until then, wishing you the very best and certainly, we can’t wait to hear what you think about the subject matter because it can evoke a lot of interesting perspectives and opinions. 

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