Tesla And SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Talks Love And Science

Elon Musk

DEC 30 2017 BY EVANNEX 18

Elon Musk

Tesla CEO Elon Musk (Image: Numerama)


Elon Musk has already had about as eventful a life as a human being could ask for, and now he can check off yet another accomplishment: seeing his picture on the cover of Rolling Stone. In fact, there’s much more here than a cover shot – writer Neil Strauss spent a lot of time with Musk, and the resulting profile includes not only an exclusive look at some of the latest doings at Tesla, but also an intimate glimpse of Musk’s personal life.

Musk takes Strauss to the Tesla Design Studio, a place which few outsiders have seen (the journalist had to surrender his phone and swear a secrecy oath before being allowed to pass the hallowed gates), for a walkthrough of the Tesla Semi.

Jerome Guillen, who is leading the Semi program, explains that, rather than basing the Semi’s design on legacy diesel trucks, “We just thought, ‘What do people want? They want reliability. They want the lowest cost. And they want driver comfort.’ So we reimagined the truck.”

This is a perfect example of Musk’s vaunted first principles thinking. “A truck must be able to reliably move cargo from one location to another, and must follow the laws of physics,” as Mr. Strauss explains the Muskian mindset. “Everything else is negotiable, including government regulations. As long as you remember that the goal isn’t to reinvent the truck, but to create the best one, whether or not it’s similar to past trucks.”

When Musk sets out to solve a problem, he goes all the way back to the beginning. “There’s this thing called physics,” he says, “which is this scientific method that’s really quite effective for figuring out the truth.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk in front of a SpaceX rocket (Image: Branchez-Vous)

Musk has discussed first principles and the scientific method many times, but here’s how he defined the process for Rolling Stone:

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Gather as much evidence as possible about it.
  3. Develop axioms based on the evidence, and try to assign a probability of truth to each one.
  4. Draw a conclusion based on cogency in order to determine: Are these axioms correct, are they relevant, do they necessarily lead to this conclusion, and with what probability?
  5. Attempt to disprove the conclusion. Seek refutation from others to further help break your conclusion.
  6. If nobody can invalidate your conclusion, then you’re probably right, but you’re not certainly right.

The scientific method is “really helpful for figuring out the tricky things,” Musk quips. It’s a pity most people don’t use it. Planners tend to engage in wishful thinking, ignore inconvenient facts, and make decisions based on what others are doing and aren’t doing.

Understanding the first principles approach explains why so many features of Tesla’s vehicles seem so fresh, so elegant, so “why doesn’t everyone do it like that?” while the offerings of legacy automakers so often seem like repackaged versions of the same old things.

Of course, applying the scientific method is only one part of the reason for Elon’s achievements – your mileage may vary. The Prophet of Palo Alto is also possessed of considerable engineering and financial talents, as well as a rare ability to envision the future.

Elon Musk

Last year, Elon Musk was voted most admired tech leader, by a wide margin, among startup founders (Source: Statista via First Round Capital)

“He’s able to see things more clearly in a way that no one else I know of can understand,” says Elon’s brother, Kimbal Musk. He tells Rolling Stone how the two of them played chess in their early years. “There’s a thing in chess where you can see 12 moves ahead if you’re a grandmaster. And in any particular situation, Elon can see things 12 moves ahead.”

However, Elon Musk is no emotionless thinking machine – far from it. His mischievous sense of humor is well known, and he has been known to get emotional in interviews when discussing important subjects. Musk gave Neil Strauss a poignant glimpse of his personal life, revealing that even as he appeared on stage for the historic Model 3 launch event, he was preoccupied by a recent breakup with girlfriend Amber Heard.

“I’ve been in severe emotional pain for the last few weeks,” says Musk. “Severe. It took every ounce of will to be able to do the Model 3 event and not look like the most depressed guy around. For most of that day, I was morbid. And then I had to psych myself up: drink a couple of Red Bulls, hang out with positive people and then, like, tell myself: ‘I have all these people depending on me. All right, do it!’”

It turns out that all humans need love above all, even geniuses. “If I’m not in love, if I’m not with a long-term companion, I cannot be happy,” Musk tells Strauss. “Going to sleep alone kills me. When I was a child, there’s one thing I said: ‘I never want to be alone.’”

Above: Elon Musk’s comments on his split with actress Amber Heard (Youtube: Wochit Entertainment)

Being one of history’s great movers and shakers is not a likely recipe for personal happiness, as Musk himself has noted in the past. The romantic writers tell us that the kings and queens of old were often forced to abandon their true loves and submit to loveless dynastic marriages for the good of the realm. Today’s heroes of science and industry (there are few in politics) tend to sacrifice their happiness to the demands of 100-hour work weeks and the withering glare of the media spotlight. For them, the admiration of millions may have to fill the space left by the absence of a single beloved companion.

Or not. The scientific method is all very well, but love is also a powerful force in human affairs, and those who give tend to receive. So fear not, Elon – the sea teems with fish, and one may jump in your boat when you least expect it.


Written by: Charles Morris; Source: Rolling Stone

Categories: Tesla

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18 Comments on "Tesla And SpaceX CEO Elon Musk Talks Love And Science"

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Money attracts the wrong kind of women.

Money attracts the wrong kind of men.

Money attracts the wrong kind of people.

Physics is Truth?

Who would’ve thunk such an outlandish and preposterous notion?

At the intersection, where The Scientific Method and Love actually cross, one can often find the wreckage, which is the broken heart of Humanity.

Scientific method only works if the study/observation is under your control. When it comes to love, it is entirely up to the woman. The only “scientific method” a man can deploy is to spread is reputation far and wide and hope for the best.

What? I guess your idea is, “A man’s gotta be what a man’s gotta be and the woman can take it or leave it.”? That’s not love. I’m not sure what you mean. It sounds more like your idea of true love is the man finding the right employee.

It is unlikely that poor Elon will ever find true love. He doesn’t have time for it and his plans for the future won’t allow it. As for sleeping alone, well for a charismatic billionaire, that is an incredibly easy problem to solve. No need to think 12 steps ahead on this one. Hoards of women will throw themselves at him. He just needs to pick one, or two… Polygamy is cool on Mars.

I seriously doubt that Musk’s wealth has much to do with why he has not been able to maintain a long-term relationship with any woman. Surely it’s much more that he’s a workoholic, one with two full-time jobs (at Tesla and at SpaceX) at which he works very hard, leaving him very little time for personal life. He also has children, so that sucks up a lot of what personal time he does have.

There was an interview a few months ago where Musk said something like ~”I can devote about 10 hours a week to a relationship.”~ Yeah, it’s no surprise that he can’t maintain a long-term relationship with any woman! Sure, lots of women have to settle for being second place in their lover’s eyes, with work being #1. But what self-respecting woman would settle for 4th or 5th place in a man’s heart?


I think your commentary is the wisest.

Good relationships take a large amount of effort.

It doesn’t help that he can be an a**hole:

“As we danced at our wedding reception, Elon told me, ‘I am the alpha in this relationship,’” Justine, who was wed to the mogul from 2000 to 2008, wrote in a Marie Claire article. “I shrugged it off, just as I would later shrug off signing the postnuptial agreement . . . Elon’s judgment overruled mine, and he was constantly remarking on the ways he found me lacking,” she continues, saying he told her, “If you were my employee . . . I would fire you.”

Good grief. 🙄

No doubt that’s just as “true” as all the other FUD and other B.S. in your serial Tesla/Elon hater posts.

There is an a-hole here, all right… but it’s definitely not Elon Musk!

I don’t know, maybe do some research before you post your predictable ‘Tesla hater’ nonsense.


needs mistletoe


Maybe Elon needs a partner who’s also very decicated to work. That way it’s imperfect but symmetrical. Perhaps someone involved. In science, engineering or business. Smart women today won’t take being treated as inferiors, so it would likely have to be a marriage of equals, perhaps with the spouse having kids of her own! No one said this would be easy! I’m trying to imagine a Tesla vehicle whose design was worked out or influenced by both Elon and his partner over breakfast. Sounds cool to me.

Do you really see Elon as the type to share his control of his creations with anyone?

I don’t.

A smart woman isn’t getting involved with this guy.

fear of loneliness does cause many people to rush into a relationship and choose the wrong person. Money does increase the chance to attract some wrong persons. Without the fear of loneliness, the intelligent man as Musk will have clear mind to know that who is the true love. He is a professor type of man (got knowledge and like reading). I believe that he is looking for a soulmate, a woman has similar education level whom he is able to share and discuss his knowledge, ideas, dreams, etc with, instead of only looking for sexy women having temporary happiness/relationship.