On my winter break I decided to listen again Elon Musk appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience #1169, in September 2018, which turned out to be one of the most epic episodes ever, where the pair smoked a blunt and pondered the flat-Earth movement, the future of AI, “inventing shit”, the possibility of being in a computer simulation, fancy Japanese swords and several other of the eccentric billionaire’s favorite topics.
That was round 1, here are the highlights:
The boring company
“I’ve lived in LA for 16 years. The traffic has always been horrible. I don’t see any other ideas for improving the traffic. In desperation we will dig a tunnel. Maybe it will be successful and maybe it won’t.” (4.51)
“I don’t think people understand what I do with my time. They think I’m like a business guy. My wikipedia page says business magnate? I’m a business magnet. 80% of my time is engineering and manufacturing. Hardcore engineering. Designing things.” (10:30)
He worries about the future of AI — but not as much as he used to. “The danger is going to be more humans using it against each other, I think, most likely, that’ll be the danger, yeah,” he murmured.
“It feels like we are the biological bootloader for AI. The percentage of intelligence that is not human is increasing. Eventually we will represent a very small percentage of intelligence.” (17:30)
We are cyborgs
“What most people don’t realise is you are already a cyborg. Your phone is an extension of yourself. It is just the communication rate between you and the cybernetic extension that is your phone (and computer) is slow. Very slow. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.” Read about Elon’s company Neuralink here. (28:50)
On the dangers of social media:
“No one looks good all the time. It doesn’t matter who you are. Instagram can make people quite sad. People think of themselves relative to others. Happiness = reality – expectations.” (40:15)
Back to the future
“I think we should take the set of actions that are most likely to make the future better. And then reevaluate those actions to make sure they are true.” (53:30)
Being Musk comes at a high cost.
“I don’t necessarily think that you would want to be me. I don’t think most people would like it very much. It is very hard to turn it off.” (2:16:28)
Rogan, in response, suggests meditation and an isolation tank.
What gives Elon satisfaction:
“I like to get things done. I like to be useful. That is one of the hardest things to do: to be useful. Doing something useful for other people.” (2:19:22)
“My goal is to try and do useful things. Try to maximise the probability that the future is good. Make the future something you look forward to. Make things people love.” (2:25:14)
You can check out the entire episode below.