“Elon Musk has always been good at playing the fool”


After taking over Twitter on October 27 for $44 billion, Elon Musk has been chaining media escapades. Is the world’s richest man “overheated”? Did he forget his goals? Interview with Olivier Lascard, author of the book “Exploring Elon Musk, the man who defies science” (edited by Alisio).

Every week – even every day – its new sparkle. Sometimes he gives ultimatums to Twitter employees, sometimes he declares war on Apple: Since buying the social network from the bluebird at the end of October, Elon Musk has been making a lot of controversial announcements. The amateur billionaire blows hot and cold. This is seen as the pinnacle of freedom of expression, but it has alarmed users, advertisers and authorities who worry about possible abuses without requiring content moderation.

Is the visionary at the helm of Tesla and SpaceX, brilliantly implementing industrial projects, disappearing with Twitter? Our questions are answered by Olivier Lascar, digital editor of Sciences et Avenir, author of the book “Exploring Elon Musk, the man who challenges science” (ed. Alisio).

France 24: Where is Elon Musk going with his takeover of Twitter? ?

Olivier Lascar : When we look at Elon Musk’s activities today, especially with Twitter, we get a general market impression. However, when you look at each of his businesses, each piece of the puzzle eventually comes together well enough to build an overall vision that looks like the future according to Elon Musk.

With Twitter, he uses extraordinary leverage to grow his other companies. In space, for example, it still lacks the authority from the American administration to launch a Starship, which would certainly give NASA time to send its mega-rocket to the moon. If Elon Musk wins the favor of politicians, he could get favorable laws for him and speed up the implementation of his obligations.

For Elon Musk, Twitter may be a formidable tool for lobbying, but Twitter can also become something else. Elon Musk has already said that he wants to create a total application on the Chinese WeChat model, that is, an application that will allow you to do everything in all conditions of life. It’s a bit like the sum of Doctolib, Amazon, Uber… We can use it for absolutely everything. This raises questions about information monopoly, information monopoly, so creating such an application will not be easy. Being the owner of Twitter, Elon Musk can accelerate the creation of this application, which he already calls X.

Ever since he took over Twitter, Elon Musk has been on a chain of media escapades. We have to take it seriously ?

It’s tempting to turn Elon Musk into some kind of media clown. He plays a lot, but he is the one who revolutionized the space and automobile industry. Without this, there would be no rockets that take off and land vertically – and thus would be reusable. So Elon Musk is much better than Zebulon, which he displays on social networks and enjoys displaying in the media. Playing crazy Elon Musk has always served him well. For a long time, his industry rivals didn’t take him seriously, and it’s like the story of the hare and the tortoise: Elon Musk was able to move faster, more efficiently, because his rivals didn’t take him seriously. The lesson of all this today is that it should be taken seriously because it generally does what it preaches and therefore has a real impact on our lives and society. .

How visionary is Elon Musk ?

Elon Musk’s method is to question dogma. He always asks himself: what is the first principle of physics or science that will prevent me from doing such and such? For example, when he wants to send humans to Mars and is told that it is not possible, he asks: “Is it really physically impossible? But we are already sending robots to Mars. – Oh yes, that’s right, robots, we are doing it.” From there, if something is not impossible, it becomes possible. This is Elon Musk’s position. He has an insatiable scientific interest that always leads him to question the technological and industrial assumptions that currently govern the aerospace and automotive industries and all the areas in which he operates.

In spite of everything, isn’t he putting himself in danger by bringing himself to this point? ?

Elon Musk is surrounded by the best engineers, and this has allowed him to achieve achievements in recent years. But since he’s been taking over Twitter for a few weeks now, we still have the impression that he’s overheated. He puts himself in danger every day. Never siding with a political camp, he was able to do business with everyone, such as becoming a NASA contractor and sending astronauts to the International Space Station. Now he is on the side of the Republicans, which puts him in danger because the Democratic government will not want to give him any more contracts. So, yes, Elon Musk is far from indecisive, and it feels like he’s in danger today. As it was said in ancient Rome, the Tarpeian rock is close to the Capitol, so he could have broken his face after the amazing successes he had known.

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