Elon Musk, the man who challenges the “System”

I like Elon Musk. I can hear the criticism here. What a horrible capitalist! What an awful libertarian! Yes, yes, but I like it. He does nothing like the others. It’s a UFO. That’s good: he makes it. This changes us from the bosses of Silicon Valley. He does not crawl in front of the ambient wokism. Under the Covid, he sent hygienists of all stripes for a walk. Instead of the surgical mask, he sported a bandana of a space cowboy who is about to go rob the bank with Billy the Kid and set fire to Skynet with Sarah Connor. Today, he wants to expel all the prosecutors who are rampant on the Internet. Who will complain? He once toyed with the idea of create a platform to assess the credibility of the central media. Her name ? “Pravda.com”. She did not see the light of day. You might as well directly control the source of disinformation, Twitter in this case, even if it cost it $44 billion. “The woke mind virus, he warnspush her civilization towards suicide. We need a counter-narrative. »

One-click censorship

Before its takeover, Twitter had made a specialty of deleting accounts. With a click. The guillotine was squeaky; Twitter is click. The result is the same, symbolically speaking. Anyone who thought he could twitter freely is condemned to silence. Censorship is no longer like in the time of Victor Hugo “foul breath and black fingernails”. It is clean on it, as dematerialized as an algorithm. It is no longer power that holds the scissors, the famous Anastasie scissors, from the name of censorship in the 19th century, but these new leagues of virtue that are the Gafam, non-governmental surveillance agencies. No censor in history has concentrated so many financial and technological resources. We are talking about the largest market capitalizations in the world, united to muzzle freedom of expression.

They muzzle it temporarily or permanently. Momentarily: like the account of such a doctoral student in biology who has the affront to recall that there are two biological sexes. Definitely: like that of Donald Trump, a real digital coup, the first in history, stealthy, insensitive, surgical. Conversely the Gafam never consider suspending the accounts of rappers who call for the hanging of white people, of the CCIE, the CCIF’s cache-sex, of the Iranian mullahs, specialized in fatwas, who have a lot to do at the moment with the revolt of the veil .

Yes, it was time to release the bird, to speak like Musk. “The more I learn, he tweeted, worse it is. The world should know the truth about what was going on at Twitter. » While waiting to find out, advertisers decamp and the Twitter action unscrews. Nothing alarming for Musk. He can lose two billion dollars in an afternoon because he snubs financial analysts. Or 100 billion, like this year.

applied science fiction

Although South African by birth, nothing more American than him. He is a pioneer, a man from the Frontier, a reader of Benjamin Franklin, king of self-made men. Like it or not, America is the last station before the conquest of space, a launching pad to Mars. Musk’s drop point. He has often been compared to Iron Man, aka Tony Stark, megalomaniac playboy, rowdy billionaire and genius inventor imagined by the inexhaustible creator of superheroes that was Stan Lee. Tony Stark may be unbearable, but we end up getting attached to him, especially thanks to the interpersonal skills of his assistant, the mischievous Pepper Potts. Musk is equally whimsical and show-off. King of self-promotion, he exhibits a stratospheric and childish ego. When he is not challenging Putin in single combat, he takes himself for God, at least his after-sales service. There was the augmented man, he is the Augmented Creation to the borders of Mars. Your choice: Iron Musk or Elon Man.

We do not know who is the copy of the other. Tony Stark was created from the character of Howard Hughes, genius jack-of-all-trades, whose destiny evokes that of Icarus. A peril that awaits Musk, today in the position of the earthen pot against the iron pot – the System. For six months, he has had to face a series of attacks. We come up with a case of sexual misconduct on a plane. He is accused of having disdained accusations of racism in the Tesla factories. A Democratic senator has just called him a parasite who does not pay income taxes; and the EU, through the mouth of the exponentially pretentious Thierry Breton, political commissioner for the internal market including digital, let him know that “the bird will fly by our rules”. Its own indeed – and the Orwelian ones of the EU.

Musk’s strength is that he pursues in his own way The longest dream in history (Omnibus) so dear to the great historian Jacques Benoist-Méchin, but projected into the future. When asked how he came up with the idea of ​​making reusable rockets or getting into the electric car industry, he replies: “I read books! » Him, the child of science fiction who grew up with the futuristic sagas of Asimov and Iain Banks, who discovered Mars with The Martian Trilogy (Omnibus) by Kim Stanley Robinson, who tweets like Douglas Adams, jokes in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, his children’s bedside book, which swears by the very reactive SF pioneer Robert Heinlein, or The Lord of the Rings. So much so that he forged the first name of one of his children from Galadriel, the lady of the woods imagined by Tolkien. Another of his children was less fortunate since he received the name of a space capsule: X Æ A-XII. Elvish surely, maybe Martian. But as he will do his schooling in Texas, it may be complicated for him.

The greatest engineer since Wernher von Braun

Who believed in Musk’s crazy plans? Hardly anyone at first. Admittedly, colonizing Mars – SpaceX’s raison d’être – will be a different ball game than making electric sedans. But then, when he launched SpaceX twenty years ago, the big aerospace players were chuckling. Same thing for the automobile giants who looked down on him. Today, he invites himself to their table.

Musk is not a scientist in the academic sense of the term. Its originality is that it has redesigned production processes from top to bottom. Control everything in the production chain, no subcontractors, no unions or numbers 2, 3 or 4. He is the chief engineer of his companies. Christophe Bonnal, a seasoned specialist in launchers at CNES, the National Center for Space Studies, says of him that he is the greatest space engineer since Wernher von Braun, the mastermind who designed the V2s and the Apollo program. Tony Stark can go get dressed, even in Iron Man’s titanium armor.

Even the trial in transhumanism that is made to him is to be qualified. He is much more pessimistic than transhumanist. He thinks everything is screwed up, ecologically speaking. It does not matter that none of the conditions conducive to life are met on Mars, he believes in the programmed death of our planet. It will force us to colonize exomondes. Nothing scares him more than AI. In his eyes, this is the greatest threat to humanity, even if he has a curious way of guarding against it, by seeking to transplant AI directly into our brains via chips. Such is his Neuralink project, which he calls, as a good SF reader, “neural lace”. At least the formula is beautiful. There is no border between SF and the world real. The real world is never anything but applied SF. Sitting on a mountain of gold, he is ready to lose everything to restore a little freedom of expression or to go to Mars where he knows he will find only iron oxide. It’s better than all the Jeff Bezos in the world, no matter if their name is Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates. Despite his detractors, Musk is the good guy in a Marvel blockbuster, not the bad guy.

Elon Musk, the man who challenges the “System”