A random thought on Elon Musk

Watching one of the world’s richest man trying to determine what free speech means within his empire, while his empire sort of burns in the background, is rather interesting. Especially given the fact that he bought the rights to do it – and so it is neither immoral nor unethical for him to do so. It’s his to toss around.

It’s rather odd though – because a man dating Hollywood actresses and yet living in a 375 square foot house with his billions does not particularly need to worry about the world’s freedom of speech. Why does he care about whether some people get the stage or not? What drives him then, is as odd as him describing it as “curiosity”.

This reminds me of Masud Akhond’s status update a few days ago, which loosely translates to the idea that money doesn’t change people – it enables them to be what they really are deep inside.

Now, you might find these two thought trains unrelated – but here is my take on it: given the same amount of money, knowledge, problems, power, and a bit of Asperger’s Syndrome – you and I would probably behave the same (erratic) way. Here is why (I believe that):

On the 100th edition of Mark Manson’s newsletter – he wrote a little piece on how everybody in the world is the same. He believes that everybody in the world has a set of six problems that they are struggling with – relationships, purpose, emotions, resilience, life planning, and habits. And although their struggles are different, one can define all humans with a set of problems that can be categorized under these six.

Think of it like your fingerprint of problems. The idea is that you believe you are unique because your six problems are yours alone, and the chances that another person with the same combination would exist in the same time frame is sort of a statistical impossibility. But at the end of the day, that’s how you can be defined. You are just an instance of a class that takes six problems as input.

I don’t particularly agree fully about the simplicity Manson proposes, and you are at liberty to not believe it either. But if you think deeply, you can probably also associate most of your problems with these six issues in one way or the other. Interestingly, Manson believes that these struggles will never cease being struggles – and that whatever you figure out today may be overturned by another struggle down the path. If we assume that it is true, everybody between Rahul Ligma and Rishi Sunak is struggling with the same set of issues – and their issues will never stop being problems either.

But what happens when you are too rich to have a fingerprint of typical problems? What happens when you can buy relationships, have no need for a purpose, can buy your way into happy emotions, need no resilience for you or your great-grandchildren for that matter, and don’t need to worry about your habits?

Somewhere between being a billionaire to a multi-billionaire, you reach a stage when you can mostly buy out your problems. At that point in life – you are writing your own fingerprint of problems. And you could decide to not write any – like the Russian Oligarchs and the Dubai Princes. But you could also wake up on a cold factory floor and decide that hustling about battery problems isn’t the only game you want to play – you want to help Andrew Tate spread hatred for an actual glimpse of what ludicrous mode can do.

It seems rather odd – but what if that’s just your kink?

Now look – I still haven’t answered why I think you and I would have the same kind of kinks that would enable us to do something like that. And honestly, I don’t think I will have an answer to that – ever. Except for the fact that somewhere deep inside – I believe that if I had the same fingerprint of self-invented problems, I would probably be as weird too. What gives you the confidence that you would be any different?