Highlights From Elon Musk Reddit AMA

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If you were able to make the Elon Musk reddit AMA last night, I assume you had a fun time. Cutting through the reddit banter and jumping to what I thought were the interesting questions + answers, below were the highlights for me.

Unfortunately, unless you are very interested in rockets and SpaceX, a lot of the questions and answers were regarding those topics. I saw very few Tesla Motors or SolarCity questions, and even fewer answers (natch).

In total, there were nearly 10,000 comments, but only a couple dozen or so answers from Elon. Below is one regarding the Tesla Model 3, as well as several regarding more general life topics that I found interesting. Based on the answer to the Model 3 question, it seems the Model 3 won’t look much like the Model S, despite what has previously been said or implied (and rendered). Or maybe Elon simply meant “other non-Tesla cars” or simply meant that it would look a little bit different (that seems unlikely).

 

Q: Hi Elon, I’m already saving up for my Model 3. Can you share anything about the Model 3 that we don’t already know?

Elon: It won’t look like other cars

 

Q: Hi Elon, I currently work for Toyota Tsusho in Fremont doing the wheel assembly for Tesla. I want to let you know how proud I am to be however minutely linked to such a powerful and positively influential company such as yours. Keep doing the good work, sir. You are an inspiration to not only myself but countless others around the world.

My question: You seem to have had to deal with a tremendous amount of adversity in a few of your ventures. Do you have any advice for those dealing with seemingly insurmountable adversity?

Elon: There is a great quote by Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

 

Q: I’m a teacher, and I always wonder what I can do to help my students achieve big things. What’s something your teachers did for you while you were in school that helped to encourage your ideas and thinking? Or, if they didn’t, what’s something they could have done better? thanks!

Elon: The best teacher I ever had was my elementary school principal. Our math teacher quit for some reason and he decided to sub in himself for math and accelerate the syllabus by a year.

We had to work like the house was on fire for the first half of the lesson and do extra homework, but then we got to hear stories of when he was a soldier in WWII. If you didn’t do the work, you didn’t get to hear the stories. Everybody did the work.

 

Q: tl;dr: How do you learn so much so fast? Lots of people read books and talk to other smart people, but you’ve taken it to a whole new level.

It seems you have an extremely proficient understanding of aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, software engineering, all various subdisciplines (avionics, power electronics, structural engineering, propulsion, energy storage, AI) ETC ETC nearly all things technical.

I know you’ve read a lot of books and you hire a lot of smart people and soak up what they know, but you have to acknowledge you seem to have found a way to pack more knowledge into your head than nearly anyone else alive. Do you have any advice on learning? How are you so good at it?

Elon: I do kinda feel like my head is full! My context switching penalty is high and my process isolation is not what it used to be.

Frankly, though, I think most people can learn a lot more than they think they can. They sell themselves short without trying.

One bit of advice: it is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree — make sure you understand the fundamental principles, ie the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.

 

Q: Hi Elon. A friend of mine is all paranoid about the computer singularity, and used your name as a source of his paranoia. Don’t you think it could all be a bunch of hype?

Awesome car/rocket/etc stuff you do! Huge fan!

Elon: The timeframe is not immediate, but we should be concerned. There needs to be a lot more work on AI safety.

And, with all due respect to the Roomba dude, that is not a concern

[Yes, Elon included the link to that video. :D]


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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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