Elon Musk on The Joe Rogan Experience #1470

Key Takeaways

  • Elon thinks being a billionaire is a good thing even though many publicly despise wealth
    • “How does this wealth arise? It’s if you organize people in a better way to produce products and services that are better than what existed before and you have some ownership in that company then that essentially gives you the right to allocate more capital”Elon Musk
  • Elon believes in the US there’s an overallocation of talent in finance and law and some of them should move to manufacturing
    • “Basically too many smart people go into finance and law…we should have I think fewer people doing law and fewer people doing finance and more people making stuff.” Elon Musk
  • Elon believes his company Neuralink will start testing its products on people in less than a year
    • “It could, in principle, fix almost anything that is wrong with the brain”Elon Musk
  • AI will improve further and if we don’t interface with AI we could get left behind
    • “If you can’t beat them, join them. And we’re already a cyborg to some degree because you have your phone, you got your laptop”Elon Musk
  • It might also be possible to save your brain state like a saved game in a video game
    • “I mean you could save state and restore that state into a biological being if you wanted to in the future in principle. It’s like nothing from a physics standpoint that prevents us.” – Elon Musk
  • Elon believes the mortality rate of COVID-19 is much less than what the World Health Organization (WHO) claims
    • “If you’re below 60 and have no serious health issues, the probability of death is extremely low. It’s not zero but it’s extremely low.” – Elon Musk
      • “The mortality is much lower, at least factor of 10, maybe a factor of 50 lower than initially thought”

Intro

Update on Elon’s Personal Life

  • Elon recently had a new son on May 4th
    • His name is X Æ A-12
      • A-12 is Elon’s favorite plane
  • Elon is currently selling his houses and getting rid of most of his material possessions
    • “I think possessions kind of weigh you down, they’re kind of an attack vector” – Elon Musk
      • “I have a lot of houses but I don’t spend a lot of time in most of them and that doesn’t seem like a good use of assets”
  • Musk bought several properties and planned to design a dream house but realized that his time would be better spent working on getting people to Mars
    • “What’s more important, Mars or a house?”Elon Musk

Defining Billionaire

  • Elon thinks being a billionaire is a good thing even though many publicly despise wealth
    • “How does this wealth arise? It’s if you organize people in a better way to produce products and services that are better than what existed before and you have some ownership in that company then that essentially gives you the right to allocate more capital”Elon Musk

The US Needs More Smart People In Manufacturing

  • Elon believes in the US there’s an overallocation of talent in finance and law and some of them should move to manufacturing
    • “Basically too many smart people go into finance and law…we should have I think fewer people doing law and fewer people doing finance and more people making stuff.” Elon Musk
      • “Manufacturing used to be highly valued in the United States and these days it’s not, it’s often looked down upon which I think is wrong”

Neuralink: Coming Soon To A Brain Near You

  • Elon believes his company Neuralink will start testing its products on people in less than a year
    • Just like how people implant heart monitors or knee replacements, people will be implanted with neural links in the future
      • “There are people who have primitive devices in their brains right now” – Elon Musk
        • E.g: Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical procedure involving the placement of a medical device to treat Parkinson’s disease
  • How will neural links be implanted?
    • You take out a chuck of the skull, put the neural link device in its place, insert the electrode threads into the brain and then you stitch it up
      • It’s possible it could reverse your eyesight even if you lost optic nerves
        • “It could, in principle, fix almost anything that is wrong with the brain”Elon Musk
          • It could also restore memories, limb functionality, stop epilepsy, and fix damage from strokes
  • The neural link device will be about 1-inch in diameter and have a battery, Bluetooth, and inductive charger
  • AI will only get better and if we don’t interface with AI we could get left behind
    • “If you can’t beat them, join them. And we’re already a cyborg to some degree because you have your phone, you got your laptop”Elon Musk
      • “Today if you don’t bring your phone along it’s like you have missing limb syndrome”

The Benefits Of Neural Link

  • With the neural link, people will be able to communicate without words
    • Words aren’t an effective way of communicating in the first place; messages get compressed, decompressed, and sometimes misheard
      • The meaning of words also depends on the tone of voice, whether it’s sarcastic or not, and the person’s fluency of the language
        • “I think in principle you would be able to communicate very quickly and with far more precision” – Elon Musk
          • Elon estimates it will take 5-10 years to develop the technology that would make this possible
  • It might also be possible to save your brain state like a saved game in a video game
    • “I mean you could save state and restore that state into a biological being if you wanted to in the future in principle. It’s like nothing from a physics standpoint that prevents us.” – Elon Musk
      • With a future version of the neural link, you would be able to recall memories as easy as pulling up videos from your phone. Except your memory would include all sensory experiences.
        • “All your senses are electrical signals, everything
          • You would also be able to edit your memories
            • “This whole thing right now could be a replayed memory”
  • In the beginning, neural links will only help restore physical functionality but eventually, it could lead to a spectacular cognitive change
    • Elon estimates it would increase a person’s productivity by a factor of 10
      • Right now, the communication rate between your phone and your brain is super slow, but once a neural link is connected to your brain it will be instant communication
  • Elon believes in 25 years it will be possible to create a whole-brain interface or an AI extension of yourself
    • Just like how right now you can read tweets and Instagram posts from people who have died, in the future, you’ll be able to see their memories even if they die
      • “More of you would be in the cloud I guess than your body” – Elon Musk

Thoughts on Consciousness

  • Questions to think about: 
    • Has consciousness always existed?
    • Or was there a point in time in the last 14 billion years where it was born?
    • Are monkeys conscious?
  • “I hope consciousness propagates into the future and gets more sophisticated and complex and that it understands the questions to ask about the universe” – Elon Musk

COVID-19 Is A Practice Run For Something Worse

  • Elon believes the mortality rate of COVID-19 is much less than what the World Health Organization (WHO) claims
    • “If you’re below 60 and have no serious health issues, the probability of death is extremely low. It’s not zero but it’s extremely low.” – Elon Musk
      • “The mortality is much lower, at least factor of 10, maybe a factor of 50 lower than initially thought”
  • “Most of the hospitals in the United States right now are half-empty or in some cases, they’re at 30% capacity”Elon Musk
  • Although the virus isn’t as serious as initially believed, Elon advises people to still follow good hygiene guidelines, wear a mask, and stay home if you’re ill
  • Elon views this pandemic as practice for a real serious virus
    • “It’s just a matter of time that there will be eventually some such pandemic” – Elon Musk
      • “This is kind of like a practice run for something that…in the future have a serious, like a really high, mortality rate”
  • The good news is that our understanding of viruses has significantly improved and several vaccines will likely be created for coronavirus and similar viruses
    • “There’s definitely…a lot of silver linings here” – Elon Musk

Thoughts on Reopening America

  • People should be careful of the government infringing certain liberties
    • “We should treasure that and not give up our liberties too easily. I think we probably did that actually.”Elon Musk
      • People should have the choice of whether they want to stay home or not
        • “Fundamentally, a violation of the Constitution…I don’t think these things stand up in court really” 
          • “If this is a free country you should be allowed to do what you want so long as it does not endanger others”
  • “This notion though that you can just sort of send checks out to everybody and things will be fine is not true” Elon Musk
    • If you don’t produce goods and services, there’s nothing to buy
      • China’s is already back to normal 
        • “China is back at full-steam”
          • Tesla has 7,000 workers in China and 0 of them died

Properly Reporting COVID-19 Deaths  

  • When reporting COVID-19 cases, it should be separated out by diagnosed with COVID vs. had COVID-like symptoms
    • “The list of symptoms that could be COVID-19 at this point is like a mile long” – Elon Musk
      • Also, deaths should be separated by the primary cause of death being COVID or not
        • “If you get hit by a bus going to the hospital and die and they find that you have COVID, you will be reported as a COVID death”
          • Because of a bad-incentive system, hospitals earn more money if they record that someone died from COVID than a different cause of death
            • “It makes the death count look very high”
  • Average deaths in America:
    • 60,000 deaths from the regular flu
    • 100,000-200,000 projected deaths from COVID-19
    • 500,000 deaths from cigarettes
      • “You don’t hear a peep…there’s no one running for Congress trying to ban cigarettes.” – Joe Rogan

Update on Tesla

  • Tesla is currently ramping up Model Y production
  • They’re building a new Gigafactory in Berlin
    • They’re also expanding the Shanghai Gigafactory
  • Tesla is working on the Cybertruck, Semi truck, and Roadster
    • Elon plans on producing the Cybertruck first, then the Roadster
      • It will be a while till the Roadster gets released but Elon promises it will be worth the wait
        • “Let me just say that anyone who’s been waiting, they won’t be sorry” – Elon Musk
          • The baseline Roadster will go from 0-60 in 1.9 seconds, the performance version will go even faster
  • Why did the glass crack during the Cybertruck demo?
    • Elon believes it’s because they hit the truck with a sledgehammer and that cracked the corner of the glass
      • “Once you crack the corner of the glass, then you’re just game over” – Elon Musk

Additional Notes

  • “You don’t always improve but you can aspire to improve. You can aspire to be less wrong.” – Elon Musk
  • For news, Elon recommends following individual reporters instead of publications
    • Joe’s to go reporter is Matt Taibbi
      • “He’s my go-to guy” – Joe Rogan
  • Joe does intermittent fasting for 16 hours a day
  • Elon recommends people to not eat before bed because it negatively affects your sleep
    • “It can actually cause heartburn…and that subtle heartburn affects your sleep” – Elon Musk
      • Drinking a lot of alcohol before going to sleep is also a bad idea
  • Elon lifts weights or runs on a treadmill as exercise
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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