Elon Musk Interview
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Elon Musk Just Had An Important Interview - Here's What He Said

There was a recent interview with Elon Musk and he said some very important and profound things. Let's look at what those are!
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The Interview With Elon Musk


Elon Musk did an interview at Italian TechWeek, a tech conference that took place in Italy recently. Here's how it went down. We've also included the full interview for those interested. I'll paraphrase to simplify Elon's answers

Question:
Elon, what is the source of your inspiration?

Elon:
The source of my inspiration is philosophical. It is to increase the human scope and scale and to answer the questions of reality. We should work to ensure the long term survival of humanity and to extend humanity beyond earth and to other star systems.

Question:
What comes after Mars?

Elon:
It's more than inspiration. It's extending the scope and scale of consciousness. The length of time that consciousness will exist is increased when we go beyond earth. We need to turn Mars into another planet with life and a self sustaining civilization and it's the only other planet in the solar system we can do that with.

By going to Mars, we'll develop new technologies to enable us to go beyond Mars and to other star systems and find out what is going on. Maybe there are other civilizations that existed for hundreds of millions of years that we'll find on other planets beyond our solar system. Our civilization is very new, just starting to evolve 5 to 6 thousand years ago.

Question:
Elon, you created new companies - what is your recipe for that?

Elon:
It's very difficult to create a new company and be successful. It's not recommended unless you feel very compelled to do so. It's like eating glass and staring into the abyss. It's quite difficult.

The basics of starting a company are having a compelling idea or something valuable to the world, finding talented people to do the new thing with you, and building the company up. A company goes through a life cycle like building up cells, turning into a life form, growing arms and legs, going from child to adult. It's like a creature and you have to reconfigure the company at each life cycle.

Question:
Many people wrote off Tesla in 2008, how did you reverse that situation?

Elon:
That was a very difficult time. Tesla was close to bankruptcy about 6 times during its life. The most serious one was in 2008/2009 because Tesla was a small company making a low volume sports car that was expensive and the only electric car at the time. It was very difficult to get customers and investors.

I had money from PayPal, but was running out. I had to borrow money from friends to pay rent. But we were able to raise the money on Christmas Eve of 2008 and if we weren't able to do that, we would have gone bankrupt.

2018-2019 was difficult when we were struggling to get the Model 3 to volume production. People don't fully appreciate how hard it is to go from prototype to volume manufacturing. Other have made electric cars, but Tesla has been able to achieve volume manufacturing for electric cars. Chrysler was the last to do so, about 100 years ago. 2017-2019 was 3 years of difficulty and pain. There is over 10,000 parts involved in production and if even 1 has a problem, you can't build the car. Every moving part has to work. And you have suppliers for some of those parts. I slept in the factory a lot.

Question:
How can we produce enough energy to sustain growth?

Elon:
Long term, we will get most of our energy from solar and wind, along with geo-thermal and hydro-power. We should think positively about nuclear energy. Traditional nuclear energy that is well engineered is quite safe. We shouldn't shut down the nuclear power plants we already have.

Solar energy is underestimated. Without the sun, the earth would be frozen and cold. The sun powers all the plants on the earth. Earth is already solar powered. We need just a little extra power to power human civilization. The solar power of earth is about 1 gW/square kilometer. You'd only need a small plot of land to power all of Europe - 200km by 200km. You could power all of the world with a small plot of land.

Question:
How can human beings interact with machines?

Elon:
The full story of Neuralink is complicated. It's mission is to mitigate the control risk with AI. We need to enhance the bandwidth between us and machines.

Our bandwidth between us and our phones is low and slow using just our thumbs. Neuralink will improve human to machine symbiosis. We want to have a good coexistence with machines.

Neuralink will seek to solve a number of neurological diseases. In the next few years, we'll hopefully be able to help someone who is a paraplegic walk again, or someone whose arms are paralyzed use a computer again. We hope to have our first human trials in the next 6 months or so.

Question:
Are these technologies also going to help us understand nature and animals?

Elon:
The things that animals want to communicate are pretty straightforward. You could communicate with your dog, although I think I know what my dog wants, which are about 4 things - food, water, go outside, be petted. There may be other things we find they want that we're not aware of.

It's better to be optimistic and wrong occasionally, than to be pessimistic and right. People are generally pessimistic about the future, but I want to ensure people that as long as we are not complacent, we will solve the issues of the world today and we can work to make that optimistic future real.

Taking action to make the world better is the best way to ensure a good future. It's great to read books and talk to interesting people. We can always learn and be less foolish over time. We become dumb when we think we know everything. You can learn more by questions than by answers, often times.

There is a lot of opportunity in synthetic RNA. Medicine as software has the potential to revolutionize medicine.

There is also artificial intelligence. We need a lot of tunnels to address traffic in cities. We live in a very exciting time for humanity. It's the greatest technological growth in history.

Question:
You consider yourself an engineer - how do you find skills in interview candidates?

Elon:
I tell people to tell me the story of their career and to tell me the story of problems they came across and how they solved them. That will tell them if they were really responsible for solving the problem or not. That's the best filter for those who know how to solve problems or not.

Question:
The crisis for semi conductor shortages - is it short or long term?

Elon:
We'll have good capacity for getting chips sometime next year - at least that's how it appears.

What do you think of this interview with Elon Musk? Was there anything helpful that you learned?

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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.


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