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Old 12-20-2022, 01:23 PM   #51
whomario
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Originally Posted by Mota View Post
We'll he's stepping down because of the poll, right?

Well, no. You see, this was faked by the Bots* that he declared dead a week earlier. Zombie-Bots, better watch out for those.

*That Megaupload criminal and Nazi cosplayer said so, in case you had any doubts.
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Old 12-20-2022, 01:36 PM   #52
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He's a genius, right? He didn't become stupid overnight. There must be some 3D chess going on here. It's as if he's trying to create a distraction from something.

If only there were something else regarding Twitter going on right now that we could point to as a reason. Yet he invited it in the first place and had to know what they'd find. Beyond me.

It just looks like someone buying a $10 billion company for $44 billion, only to destroy it. Tax writeoff? Blackmail from one of his many, many co-parents? I don't think even Penn and Teller could spot what's really going on with all this hand-waving. Maybe we should start a poll.
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Old 12-20-2022, 01:38 PM   #53
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Maybe we should start a poll.

When in doubt...!

But only those who purchased the original FOF can vote.
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Old 12-20-2022, 01:43 PM   #54
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This was obviously a ruse to round up all the liberal bots that plague twitter.
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Old 12-20-2022, 02:16 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Solecismic View Post
He's a genius, right? He didn't become stupid overnight. There must be some 3D chess going on here. It's as if he's trying to create a distraction from something.

If only there were something else regarding Twitter going on right now that we could point to as a reason. Yet he invited it in the first place and had to know what they'd find. Beyond me.

It just looks like someone buying a $10 billion company for $44 billion, only to destroy it. Tax writeoff? Blackmail from one of his many, many co-parents? I don't think even Penn and Teller could spot what's really going on with all this hand-waving. Maybe we should start a poll.

I mean, there's been a decent number of realistic scenarios floated like the above about a tax writeoff for his other businesses to him just making a valuation mistake to some quid pro quo about rare earth metals and some shady financing deals to maybe he's just never been a genius in the first place and there's no 3D chess and he's just a useful idiot to people more rich and powerful than he is.

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Old 12-20-2022, 02:28 PM   #56
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This was obviously a ruse to round up all the liberal bots that plague twitter.

That screen shot sums up Twitter perfectly. More than 200,000 people have commented.

I don't know about anyone else, and new speed-reading techniques, but even at only 280 characters per message, no human being could even begin to parse a 200,000-response discussion over the course of one day.

People participate in social media to talk, not to listen. That's the drug.
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Old 12-20-2022, 05:29 PM   #57
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That and boobs.

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Old 12-20-2022, 09:14 PM   #58
Brian Swartz
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Originally Posted by dubb93
Hard to believe a few years ago everyone thought this man was a genius.

I'd suggest it actually isn't that hard to believe, and is actually pretty common. High achievers in one area (whether you want to use the 'genius' or not is up to you) can be impressively bad in others and it's also easy for them to be blind to these weaknesses because of the traits that lead them to be high achievers in the first place.

Or as has been said, a good act doesn't wash out a bad one, or a bad the good. Most people are nuanced and complicated, and genius can be closely tied to madness in a number of cases.

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Old 12-21-2022, 12:49 AM   #59
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He was never a genius. Just some guy who bought some companies with his daddy's money. This whole thing has been the best advertisement for an estate tax you could ask for.
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Old 12-21-2022, 08:53 AM   #60
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People need to stop equating wealth with genius. Also thinking that genius in one thing translates to anything else.



(Would anyone call Dan Snyder a "genius"?)
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Old 12-21-2022, 10:05 AM   #61
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Musk is clearly an out of the box and big thinker when it comes to some of the innovation that he's done. However, this effort, smacks of someone with an ever growing "look at me" narcissism and ego. There's an addiction to that sort of attention, and I think he really admired just how trump was able to use that, and is applying that in his own way, to his situation. Hence, twitter feeling like the sandbox he keeps shitting in.
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Old 12-21-2022, 10:20 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by RainMaker
Just some guy who bought some companies with his daddy's money.

This is simply false. He founded Zip2 with his brother and most of the money for it coming from investors. It was sold for $307 million four years later. Leaving aside his complicated involvement with X.com and PayPal, which it's debatable how much credit he should get for, he founded SpaceX which is worth well north of $100 billion. Others share credit for what has happened at Tesla, but they've unquestionably had a significant impact in a product that's vital to the future of society and one that it is a major player in it's industry. Very little of what he's done is due to 'his daddy's money'.

I don't think genius or not-genius is worth debating, but the odds that there is a single member of this forum who would have been able to do with Musk has done, given the exact same starting resources/conditions, is remote in the extreme.

Last edited by Brian Swartz : 12-21-2022 at 10:32 AM.
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Old 12-21-2022, 10:58 AM   #63
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I don't think genius or not-genius is worth debating, but the odds that there is a single member of this forum who would have been able to do with Musk has done, given the exact same starting resources/conditions, is remote in the extreme.

I think you are forgetting one thing: jbmagic.
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Old 12-21-2022, 11:32 AM   #64
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The "remote" part is the point though. The chance that Musk would have done it is also remote in the extreme. (I saw something the other day that mentioned Musk having applied to Netscape for a job but being turned down. He gets the job? Probably doesn't become today's Elon Musk.)
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Old 12-21-2022, 11:33 AM   #65
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I mean, it's like the lottery. Someone is going to win it. The chances that any particular person does? Remote in the extreme.

The only real difference here is that some people get to buy a lot more tickets.
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Old 12-21-2022, 12:00 PM   #66
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If you have a major role in making one company successful and never do it again, sure. Musk has done this multiple times. That indicates that at some level he has an impressive level of ability in doing it. Most people don't even have a willingness to try, which might make them better human beings (or worse) in a variety of ways, but the idea that Musk has just gotten lucky and that's the sum total of his life story is totally laughable on it's face. It's like how you have to be lucky to become an astronaut in NASA - but you also have to be really good at some really important things also or it doesn't matter how lucky you are, it isn't happening.

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Old 12-21-2022, 12:20 PM   #67
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A lot of this always smacks to me of 'we don't like this person for Reason X', usually because they identify to some degree with a some group we oppose, so let's discredit their accomplishments. It's like the whole Tom Cruise and Scientology thing, or the recent passing of Kirstie Alley. You can detest Cruise's personal life and still enjoy his movies. You can hate Alley's political stances and still like Cheers. Or Sean Connery and some of the statements he made over the years, or whoever in whatever field (business, politics, sports, you-name-it). People don't fit in these cookie-cutter boxes of approval/demonization. Recognizing them in one area doesn't preclude criticizing them harshly in another.

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Old 12-21-2022, 12:24 PM   #68
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Most people don't even have a willingness to try,

Most people also don't have daddys money to fall back on if they try and fail
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Old 12-21-2022, 12:43 PM   #69
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A lot of this always smacks to me of 'we don't like this person for Reason X', usually because they identify to some degree with a some group we oppose, so let's discredit their accomplishments. It's like the whole Tom Cruise and Scientology thing, or the recent passing of Kirstie Alley. You can detest Cruise's personal life and still enjoy his movies. You can hate Alley's political stances and still like Cheers. Or Sean Connery and some of the statements he made over the years, or whoever in whatever field (business, politics, sports, you-name-it). People don't fit in these cookie-cutter boxes of approval/demonization. Recognizing them in one area doesn't preclude criticizing them harshly in another.

I agree. I know what went into breaking away from what people did because they were supposed to do it and take a salary for it and build something, even something as insignificant as a series of games. All the decisions that go into it, the risks, the endless hours with no one to bill for them.

To dismiss that as being able to fall back on money... money is important, but it's only one piece of that picture. Whether you have to worry about your next meal is important, but there are so many other things you give up when you decide you're no longer going to rely on someone else for a job or fit a corporate mold for a career.

I don't know what Musk is doing with Twitter. It seems like insanity to me. But it doesn't invalidate the rest of it. Behind every corporation out there is someone, maybe long in the past, who gave up a lot to build it.

Being born in the 20th Century in the most advanced country in the world with all the modern advances - there wasn't even electricity in the 1800s - we all started out life far past third base.
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Old 12-21-2022, 12:53 PM   #70
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In Musk's case we're not talking about being good at one thing and being bad at another, we're talking about a very public display of how objectively bad he is at the thing he is supposed to be good at.
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Old 12-21-2022, 01:09 PM   #71
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I mean, Musk has some talent in identifying companies to target (and I guess for hooking them up with government money). Until now he seemed to have a pretty good idea of how to improve company visibility, but not so sure on that one anymore. (And with Tesla, it would appear to me that he has been great at selling the company to Wall Street. Making profits off of CARS, I think the jury is still out.)

I'd say this about execs too though. Some "genius" execs just happened to catch lightning in a bottle. Take Meg Whitman. eBay? GENIUS! HP and, uh, Quibi? Not so much.

(Not that there aren't execs who can replicate success. Dave Thomas did so with KFC and then Wendy's. Lee Iacocca with Ford and then Chrysler. Of course, both replicated success in the same industries they had before.)
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Old 12-21-2022, 01:29 PM   #72
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It also seems worth pointing out that Musk's behavior is not disconnected from what he was doing previously. He was using memes & slang to seemingly drive crucial decisions at Tesla that he made public for no reason, smoking weed on Joe Rogan purely for popularity points, regularly confronting/insulting his own labor & crushing multiple city's infrastructure projects with promises that inevitably failed. His behavior/performance at Twitter only seems like some kind of mystery/disconnect if you're invested in thinking of him as a genius, or weren't paying attention to his earlier behavior, otherwise it all actually fits pretty neatly in the same box.
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Old 12-21-2022, 01:38 PM   #73
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Don't consider Musk a genius but he is smart, he's a visionary, he's certainly gotten lucky, he's certainly an asshole, he's a great salesperson & BS'er (almost always a common denominator in a successful businessman) etc.

However, he has done things that the royal "we" at FOFC would not be able to do (even with whatever advantages you believe he had and let's not forget his disadvantages like Asperger's). Sometimes a person needs to accept his limitations.

He certainly has the financial resources to right the ship. He may well fail spectacularly but it is his $44B to waste. But I will concede being a big mouth and "trapped" (?) into buying a company he was trolling is pretty stupid.

And his Twitter acquisition is <2 months old. Way too early to judge how this will play out but not a good start.
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Old 12-21-2022, 02:04 PM   #74
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As the parent of a child on the spectrum, Aspergers isn't a thing anymore, I take umbrage at you claiming it’s a disadvantage. I would argue it’s a large reason he’s gotten to where he is.
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Old 12-21-2022, 02:07 PM   #75
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As the parent of a child on the spectrum, Aspergers isn't a thing anymore, I take umbrage at you claiming it’s a disadvantage. I would argue it’s a large reason he’s gotten to where he is.

Fair enough. It's described as a developmental disorder.

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/aspergers-syndrome#:~:text=Asperger's%20Syndrome%2C%20a%20form%20of,can%20be%20rigid%20and%20repetitive
Quote:
Asperger's Syndrome, a form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a developmental disorder. Young people with Asperger's Syndrome have a difficult time relating to others socially and their behavior and thinking patterns can be rigid and repetitive.

FWIW, I have a friend that has 2 boys that has Asperger's. He describes it as a disadvantage and worries about when they become adults. But they may be on a different spectrum than yours.

Last edited by Edward64 : 12-21-2022 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 12-21-2022, 02:55 PM   #76
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The psychology world seems quick to attach labels. And since they're masters of mind tricks, they're often quite easily digested and appropriated in various ways.

It's when these labels get in the hands of the press or the Twittersphere, they acquire a life of their own, and it's usually a disparaging one.

ASD is quite wide-ranging, and most of that range is very much functioning just fine. I hate the disparaging part, too, because it's used to dismiss people. I am not on the ASD scale myself, but since I can do some serious math tricks and spacial relations tricks and I am extremely noise sensitive and other annoying things like shaky-cam makes me sick very quickly, people diagnose me all the time - and it's not meant well at all.

The brain is immeasurably complex, and most of it is essentially maintaining a state machine. You could probably identify a billion "disorders" and most of them would likely just be trading one disadvantage for one advantage in society.
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Old 12-21-2022, 03:14 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Brian Swartz View Post
If you have a major role in making one company successful and never do it again, sure. Musk has done this multiple times. That indicates that at some level he has an impressive level of ability in doing it. Most people don't even have a willingness to try, which might make them better human beings (or worse) in a variety of ways, but the idea that Musk has just gotten lucky and that's the sum total of his life story is totally laughable on it's face. It's like how you have to be lucky to become an astronaut in NASA - but you also have to be really good at some really important things also or it doesn't matter how lucky you are, it isn't happening.
There are many people I have known that would be considered "successful", and some are not very smart, some are quite evil, some are severe narcissist, and some are good people. There is something in them that drove them to be able to succeed, and it is not necessarily the same in each. Sometimes it is as simple as what they just had a great gift in that area. Some times it is an innovated mine that hit the right thing at the right time. Sometimes it is just a really disciplined business mind.

Elon reminds me of the people I know that just have this ability to convince people that whatever their idea is it is the best idea ever. He has that confidence that knows no fear. The problem is sometimes that goes hand in hand in being unable to recognize or admit mistakes. It is much like Trump. It is a narcissism that drive you to be real successful, but also make you dangerous in certain situations.
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Old 12-21-2022, 03:19 PM   #78
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Fair enough. It's described as a developmental disorder.

https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/conditions/aspergers-syndrome#:~:text=Asperger's%20Syndrome%2C%20a%20form%20of,can%20be%20rigid%20and%20repetitive


FWIW, I have a friend that has 2 boys that has Asperger's. He describes it as a disadvantage and worries about when they become adults. But they may be on a different spectrum than yours.
Part of what Lathum is saying is that it is not a term used in official diagonstic's any longer. It is just the "Autism spectrum."
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Old 12-21-2022, 04:58 PM   #79
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This is simply false. He founded Zip2 with his brother and most of the money for it coming from investors. It was sold for $307 million four years later. Leaving aside his complicated involvement with X.com and PayPal, which it's debatable how much credit he should get for, he founded SpaceX which is worth well north of $100 billion. Others share credit for what has happened at Tesla, but they've unquestionably had a significant impact in a product that's vital to the future of society and one that it is a major player in it's industry. Very little of what he's done is due to 'his daddy's money'.

I don't think genius or not-genius is worth debating, but the odds that there is a single member of this forum who would have been able to do with Musk has done, given the exact same starting resources/conditions, is remote in the extreme.

Yeah, that investor in Zip2 was his Daddy and his Daddy's friend. And he didn't cash out all that much from that deal because other firms had to step in along the way and fix their business.

His big payday was Paypal, which he should get credit for getting involved in. If you read the history of the company, you know he was mostly the money man and they had to push him out when they realized he was going to bankrupt them pretty quickly.

SpaceX and Tesla existed before he got there. Both companies rely on handouts from the government to make money and stay in business. They could not survive in a true free market.

I'll give him credit that he's a good marketer. He built a persona up that he's some Tony Stark guy (media helped him with that) and not just a trust fund baby who made some good investments and gamed the system. There is also a skill in getting billions in handouts from taxpayers. He's a modern day Trump in that regard where his name trades well and the success of the businesses don't really matter.
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Old 12-21-2022, 05:16 PM   #80
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Part of what Lathum is saying is that it is not a term used in official diagonstic's any longer. It is just the "Autism spectrum."

That is exactly what I am saying. People still use the term to describe someone who is very lightly on the spectrum, like my son, but it is technically no longer used as an official diagnosis. Everything just falls under the spectrum now.

My son is incredibly smart and driven, gets hyper focused on one thing. Currently it is marvel movies. He also can't grasp social cues when someone isn't interested in discussing his fixation of the week. I suspect Musk is similar. Intelligent and focused, but doesn't really grasp why the way he acts rubs people the wrong way some times.
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Old 12-21-2022, 06:44 PM   #81
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Most people don't even have a willingness to try,

Most of our parents didn't own a lucrative emerald mine.

Regardless, he's now in charge of a company that does not rely on taxpayer money. We'll see pretty quick the kind of businessman he is competing in the free market.
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Old 12-21-2022, 07:11 PM   #82
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Most of our parents didn't own a lucrative emerald mine.

Speak for yourself!
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Old 12-21-2022, 07:33 PM   #83
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See below snopes article and their conclusion.

What We Know About Elon Musk and the Emerald Mine Rumor | Snopes.com
Quote:
Since at least 2018, a rumor has been shared online about Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk in regard to his father's purported past ownership of an "apartheid emerald mine" or "slave emerald mine." The gist of the claim was that Elon's father, Errol Musk, who reports say has been estranged from his son for some time, owned an emerald mine during apartheid in South Africa, and that it was seed money from his father's wealth from the mine that made it possible for him to become the American billionaire he is today.
And their conclusion below. The article has extensive sources, pretty interesting read.

Quote:
Here's a summary of our findings: We located reporting from as far back as 2009 and 2014 that said when Elon Musk ("Elon" herefafter) was a child in South Africa in the 1980s, his father ("Errol" hereafter) at some point owned "a stake in an emerald mine" near Lake Tanganyika in Zambia, not South Africa. Beyond that, we were unable to find any evidence that showed money generated from his father's involvement in the mine helped Elon build his wealth in North America.
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Old 12-21-2022, 07:42 PM   #84
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Most of our parents didn't own a lucrative emerald mine.

Regardless, he's now in charge of a company that does not rely on taxpayer money. We'll see pretty quick the kind of businessman he is competing in the free market.

However, the number of people on this board or at our workplaces or just walking around on the street with "merely" one million in seed cash is pretty low and that head start affords one opportunities where you're competing with far less than 1% of people. The vast majority of people don't even have that opportunity. Never mind if you have millions. I think there are many who feel that the much larger part of the equation is starting resources and opportunity than desire, skills, etc.

Yes, there are a lot of people who start off with money who burn through it and turn their something into nothing. But that's dwarfed by the number of people who never had a chance at those millions. It's along the lines of the "hey, this person worked hard to get what they have" - lots of people work hard to get what they have. But person working a hard double at Mickey D's versus guy working hard on Wall Street could be as simple as the latter had Mom and Dad's savings to fall back on and could take an unpaid internship on Wall Street versus the other needed to work at age 16 to help the family.

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Old 12-21-2022, 09:11 PM   #85
Brian Swartz
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Originally Posted by Rainmaker
SpaceX and Tesla existed before he got there. Both companies rely on handouts from the government to make money and stay in business. They could not survive in a true free market.

Tesla did. SpaceX did not. Regardless, I really don't get the point you are making here. Unless you think every single piece of equipment the government uses they should build themselves - every pencil, every eraser, every building, every computer, phone line, every everything, then at some level you need private businesses working on government contracts. Why is it bad to have that kind of company but good to have one that conducts it's business with non-government entities?

I don't think we're worse off having capabilities like the Falcon Heavy, Starlink, and the Tesla 3, the highest-selling EV ever. Maybe you do. It's possible SpaceX will get to Mars before NASA does - it's also possible it will end up being a complete failure. But I think we're all better off for the attempt being made.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainmaker
Most of our parents didn't own a lucrative emerald mine.

It's more an issue of willingness, as I stated. It's like the meme that goes around about how we need a reality show where billionaires have to live on the salary of one of their lowest-paid employees for a month. My response is yes, let's absolutely do that. At the same time, let's pick a group of those employees at random and give them the billionaire's lifestyle - and everything that comes with it. Meaning not just the income to live on, but also the responsibilities. Most would run away screaming, because they don't want to have to deal with all of that for any amount of money. And most people shouldn't, and it's entirely healthy and appropriate that they don't. It is also beneficial to society that some do, because that's where innovation comes from.

I'm with you on the idea that we shouldn't put Musk on a pedestal as a role model or hide the failures past and present. At the same time this objection to anything/anybody rich or corporate regardless of justification for it makes me want to puke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingice
there are a lot of people who start off with money who burn through it and turn their something into nothing. But that's dwarfed by the number of people who never had a chance at those millions. It's along the lines of the "hey, this person worked hard to get what they have" - lots of people work hard to get what they have. But person working a hard double at Mickey D's versus guy working hard on Wall Street could be as simple as the latter had Mom and Dad's savings to fall back on and could take an unpaid internship on Wall Street versus the other needed to work at age 16 to help the family.

Well over two-thirds of millionaires inherited nothing. Opportunity is certainly a huge factor, but most people can become a millionaire in their lifetime in America if they live frugally and invest intelligently. Not expertly, just intelligently - a modest amount consistently over decades, diversified without everything high-risk, etc. The reason one person is on Wall Street and another is at Mickey Ds also very often has a lot to do with the fact that the one at Mickey Ds didn't want to sacrifice as much early in life to further their education and have a better life in the future. Sometimes it is just about their level of opportunity, but far more often it's about their own choices.

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Old 12-21-2022, 09:36 PM   #86
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Well over two-thirds of millionaires inherited nothing. Opportunity is certainly a huge factor, but most people can become a millionaire in their lifetime in America if they live frugally and invest intelligently. Not expertly, just intelligently - a modest amount consistently over decades, diversified without everything high-risk, etc. The reason one person is on Wall Street and another is at Mickey Ds also very often has a lot to do with the fact that the one at Mickey Ds didn't want to sacrifice as much during to further their education and have a better life in the future. Sometimes it is just about their level of opportunity, but far more often it's about their own choices.

Would it be safe to say we both agree that it has to do with where the dimensions of hard work and talent meet opportunity and luck. I think we differ strongly on where that line meets?

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Old 12-21-2022, 09:40 PM   #87
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It's more an issue of willingness, as I stated. It's like the meme that goes around about how we need a reality show where billionaires have to live on the salary of one of their lowest-paid employees for a month. My response is yes, let's absolutely do that. At the same time, let's pick a group of those employees at random and give them the billionaire's lifestyle - and everything that comes with it. Meaning not just the income to live on, but also the responsibilities. Most would run away screaming, because they don't want to have to deal with all of that for any amount of money. And most people shouldn't, and it's entirely healthy and appropriate that they don't. It is also beneficial to society that some do, because that's where innovation comes from.


And you miss the entire point of the meme.

If I'm a billionaire and choose to not participate in the responsibilities that come with my billionaire lifestyle I can still live comfortably for the rest of my life, my kids can do the same, their kids can do the same, and so on.

Other people are trying to survive.
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Old 12-21-2022, 09:44 PM   #88
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But most often the rich are rich because they chose that level of responsibility regularly for decades. I don't think I'm missing the point, I think the point is myopic. It assumes the person at entry level is always there through no fault of their own and that nothing better was ever available to them, and that the billionaire did nothing to earn and/or maintain their position. That's true in rare occasions, and far more often is not. A fun thought exercise is to take the entirety of a CEO's salary and divide it among the employees, or some similar endeavor. How much could they lower prices/increase wages? There are exceptions but the usual answer is 'not much at all'. For example, take total compensation from McDonalds CEO Kempczinski of a little under 11 million (as of 2020) and divide it among the employees and you get a dollar per person per week. If I offered you a raise of a dollar a week, exactly how loudly would you laugh at me?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sterlingice
I think we differ strongly on where that line meets?

I think we do as well.

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Old 12-21-2022, 10:14 PM   #89
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But most often the rich are rich because they chose that level of responsibility regularly for decades. I don't think I'm missing the point, I think the point is myopic. It assumes the person at entry level is always there through no fault of their own and that nothing better was ever available to them, and that the billionaire did nothing to earn and/or maintain their position. That's true in rare occasions, and far more often is not. A fun thought exercise is to take the entirety of a CEO's salary and divide it among the employees, or some similar endeavor. How much could they lower prices/increase wages? There are exceptions but the usual answer is 'not much at all'. For example, take total compensation from McDonalds CEO Kempczinski of a little under 11 million (as of 2020) and divide it among the employees and you get a dollar per person per week. If I offered you a raise of a dollar a week, exactly how loudly would you laugh at me?


I assure you that you miss the point of the whole billionaire living on a regular person's wages idea if your first thought is about dealing with the pressures that come with being a billionaire.
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Old 12-21-2022, 10:21 PM   #90
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And while most of today's billionaires are largely self made, although it's difficult to draw that line because most of these polls that I've seen identify self made as starting their own business rather than inheriting one, right now that's mostly because of the tech boom of the 90s and early 2000s. If you expand beyond billionaire' and look at people with a net worth of more than $3 million about half inherited a significant portion of that wealth.

Billionaire status is largely luck driven. Right place, right time, ect. Multiple studies back this. Most or all might have incredible work ethics, but that's not a separating factor when there are plenty of people in society with absolutely insane work ethics.
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Old 12-21-2022, 10:48 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Atocep
I assure you that you miss the point of the whole billionaire living on a regular person's wages idea if your first thought is about dealing with the pressures that come with being a billionaire.

I assure you that you are assuming the unknowable based on this statement. It's possible to understand a thing, and still disagree with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atocep
If you expand beyond billionaire' and look at people with a net worth of more than $3 million about half inherited a significant portion of that wealth.

The largest study on this topic I am aware of is by Ramsey Solutions, with the result that almost 80% of millionaires inherited nothing. I agree with you on the luck bit, but again it's not just luck or skill/ability. You need both. It's important to avoid the single-cause fallacy here IMO. You often have to be lucky, but you also very much have to be other things also.

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Old 12-21-2022, 11:34 PM   #92
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But most often the rich are rich because they chose that level of responsibility regularly for decades. I don't think I'm missing the point, I think the point is myopic. It assumes the person at entry level is always there through no fault of their own and that nothing better was ever available to them, and that the billionaire did nothing to earn and/or maintain their position. That's true in rare occasions, and far more often is not. A fun thought exercise is to take the entirety of a CEO's salary and divide it among the employees, or some similar endeavor. How much could they lower prices/increase wages? There are exceptions but the usual answer is 'not much at all'. For example, take total compensation from McDonalds CEO Kempczinski of a little under 11 million (as of 2020) and divide it among the employees and you get a dollar per person per week. If I offered you a raise of a dollar a week, exactly how loudly would you laugh at me?

Now do it with dividends.
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Old 12-21-2022, 11:54 PM   #93
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Well over two-thirds of millionaires inherited nothing. Opportunity is certainly a huge factor, but most people can become a millionaire in their lifetime in America if they live frugally and invest intelligently. Not expertly, just intelligently - a modest amount consistently over decades, diversified without everything high-risk, etc. The reason one person is on Wall Street and another is at Mickey Ds also very often has a lot to do with the fact that the one at Mickey Ds didn't want to sacrifice as much early in life to further their education and have a better life in the future. Sometimes it is just about their level of opportunity, but far more often it's about their own choices.

Opportunity is one of the most important factors. And it goes beyond just inheriting money. Having wealthy people in your life who can give you a head start or just be a security blanket for you is vital to the success of many.

Jeff Bezos is a great example. He did incredible things with Amazon. He also got the equivalent of $500k in today's money to start Amazon from his parents. Turning that into a trillion dollars is remarkable. But does he do that if his parents are not wealthy and he has $100k in outstanding student loans? Of course not.
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Old 12-21-2022, 11:59 PM   #94
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See below snopes article and their conclusion.

What We Know About Elon Musk and the Emerald Mine Rumor | Snopes.com

And their conclusion below. The article has extensive sources, pretty interesting read.

Are you trying to argue he wasn't rich or didn't own an emerald mine? Errol has spoken about it extenively.

Who Is Elon Musk's Estranged Father? All About Errol Musk

Quote:
In an interview with Business Insider South Africa, Errol admitted that, at one point, he literally made more money than he could physically handle.

"We were very wealthy. We had so much money at times we couldn't even close our safe," Errol said, explaining that one person would hold the money down while a second would slam the safe door shut. "And then there'd still be all these notes sticking out and we'd sort of pull them out and put them in our pockets."

Errol also shared how his sons got involved in the family business and recalled a time when Elon and his brother Kimbal sold a few of the emeralds from his mine to Tiffany & Co. in New York City.

"They just walked into Tiffany's and said, 'Do you want to buy some emeralds?' " he told the outlet.
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Old 12-22-2022, 12:20 AM   #95
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Jeff Bezos is a great example. He did incredible things with Amazon. He also got the equivalent of $500k in today's money to start Amazon from his parents. Turning that into a trillion dollars is remarkable. But does he do that if his parents are not wealthy and he has $100k in outstanding student loans? Of course not.


Also exploiting the absolute shit out of his employees at an extreme level.
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Old 12-22-2022, 12:24 AM   #96
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I don't think we're worse off having capabilities like the Falcon Heavy, Starlink, and the Tesla 3, the highest-selling EV ever. Maybe you do. It's possible SpaceX will get to Mars before NASA does - it's also possible it will end up being a complete failure. But I think we're all better off for the attempt being made.

Those things are good. I just don't know why our tax dollars have to pay the business expenses for a billionaire.

Point was that Tesla would not be a successful company without taxpayers covering a considerable cost of their product as well as their infrastructure. Most businesses don't have that luxury, especially small businesses.
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Old 12-22-2022, 12:26 AM   #97
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Also exploiting the absolute shit out of his employees at an extreme level.

$5 billion in tax subsidies over the past decade helps too. Something your local independent bookstore doesn't have access to.
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Old 12-22-2022, 01:46 AM   #98
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Are you trying to argue he wasn't rich or didn't own an emerald mine? Errol has spoken about it extenively.

Who Is Elon Musk's Estranged Father? All About Errol Musk

The implication is that Musk had significant backing from his parents for his ventures. See quotes below.
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Originally Posted by RainMaker View Post
Just some guy who bought some companies with his daddy's money.
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Originally Posted by Lathum View Post
Most people also don't have daddys money to fall back on if they try and fail
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Originally Posted by RainMaker View Post
Most of our parents didn't own a lucrative emerald mine.
His father owned or had shares in an Emerald mine. But that was over by the 1980s. The Snopes article documented quite a bit of news articles, statements, interviews etc. and ultimately concluded

Quote:
We located reporting from as far back as 2009 and 2014 that said when Elon Musk ("Elon" herefafter) was a child in South Africa in the 1980s, his father ("Errol" hereafter) at some point owned "a stake in an emerald mine" near Lake Tanganyika in Zambia, not South Africa. Beyond that, we were unable to find any evidence that showed money generated from his father's involvement in the mine helped Elon build his wealth in North America.

Interestingly, Snopes documented Robert Reich's quote.

Quote:
Later, on Sept. 20, 2022, he called Robert Reich "an idiot and a liar" for tweeting a video that pushed the emerald mine wealth rumor as fact. Reich, the former secretary of labor under U.S. President Bill Clinton and a professor of public policy at University of California, Berkeley, had tweeted, "Elon Musk came from a family that owned an emerald mine in apartheid South Africa." He also added, "'Self-made billionaires' are a myth."
It would be great if Reich can backup his assertions but apparently not.

Quote:
We reached out to Reich to ask if he could provide evidence of his assertion, but did not receive a response before this story was published.

What are your sources that his parents helped fund his ventures?

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Old 12-22-2022, 06:28 AM   #99
Brian Swartz
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Those things are good. I just don't know why our tax dollars have to pay the business expenses for a billionaire.

Point was that Tesla would not be a successful company without taxpayers covering a considerable cost of their product as well as their infrastructure. Most businesses don't have that luxury, especially small businesses.

Some of this was already addressed, but most businesses are also not producing cutting-edge products in a business that has been deemed important to national goals or in the case of Tesla, even national security/future of the species on Earth.

To be sure, there are other ways to handle this. We could take an approach such as just saying we don't care if we develop alternative, more climate-friendly forms of transportation and just let the private sector do it whenever it feels like it. We could also take a more heavy-handed approach and just demand increased emission standards and the like regardless of whether there is a viable product at a price consumers can afford, and watch the carnage that would unfold in the economy. We've decided carrot is a better approach than stick, and that there are some areas in which just letting events unfold as they will is harmful - or in the case of climate change, catastrophic. What we are doing in terms of developing EVs is entirely inadequate, but it is something.

One can advocate for other alternatives, but in the broad strokes I don't think those other ways are better. I also don't think it makes sense to lump companies that are operating in these critical areas in the same basket with others that are just making common-use widgets or services of whatever type. That's not to say those products don't matter, they absolutely do, but they are far more replaceable and not nearly as vital to the growth of essential technologies.
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Old 12-22-2022, 11:17 AM   #100
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The question is whether to ban personal transportation, if people are genuine about emissions. Electric cars are just virtue signalling, and in a very bad way.

They cost more emissions in the long run when you consider battery production, weight, shortened life, difficulty to maintain in colder weather. Already, people around the world are being told if they have them they can't charge them at peak times.

Right now, they have extremely limited value in specific settings. That may change, but if you limit the equation to puff of emission behind the car = bad, none = good, you're missing most of what's going on.

So these public subsidies... not only does it cost the taxpayers billions to make Musk the richest man in the world, but they've done enormous harm to the cause, if you think carbon-based fuels are significantly hurting the earth (which is another argument I know better than to have here).

I said Musk was a genius. It has been mentioned above that genius comes in many forms. His is the ability to fleece the government to enrich himself. Not the first and certainly not the last.
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