Column: Elon Musk takes Twitter exactly where we thought he would — into the sewer
Elon Musk seems to revel in not being held to account.
He makes bold claims he can bring humans to Mars, or launch a space elevator, or bring everyone back to Earth, or do anything. For a long time he seemed to be completely unconstrained. But then, just when he had begun to feel some of the benefits of SpaceX’s recent accomplishments, a series of tweets from March 25, 2016, has sent him into “exile” in the Twitter-verse.
According to a piece in The Washington Post, Musk has been tweeting on a regular basis since 2015, at least a few hundred times a month, and in 2017, for the first time, he’s used the “retweet” button. He has, for the first time, directly addressed the public. Since the “March 25” tweet, he hasn’t tweeted anything. The article goes on to list many of the things the billionaire has said that were untrue: that Mars would be inhabitable in two-to-three decades, that the Tesla Model 3 was going to be a “game changer,” or that he was going to colonize Mars for a “better future” for his children.
There’s some sense in the story of a new, silent Musk. In his early days in Silicon Valley, he had no Twitter presence, and those early tweets were mostly just his musings on the company’s new rocket and the company’s new rocket company. There’s certainly some sense in the fact that Musk seems to prefer to do things quietly, and in a more private way. Even with all the attention he’s gotten recently, he seems to have a low profile. But maybe not for long.
We’ve heard the old mantra that Musk’s fortune derives in part from being the guy who invents the future. But maybe that’s because he created the internet, which has become a massive repository for billions of dollars in financial speculation, or maybe it’s because he started SpaceX, at the time the only company that had the ambition to go to Mars, and now