I really like this piece. Generally enjoying a lot of your pieces, because they seem to approach things through that ethical lense, that “little voice of conscience” that so often gets brushed aside in service of society-person values like “SUCCESS”.
You know, it doesn’t have to be this way. All these faults are, in theory, resolvable — but what it’d take is Musk having a little ability and willingness to listen to critics and at least try to understand them instead of thinking they’re all out for bad.
One of the things I think that I find troublesome about recent “values” (read: values needed to be a good little society person emphasizing SOCIETY’s type of “success”) is the idea you should say “fuck off” to critics and never let them “get you down”. While I think that’s legitimate when it comes to mean-spirited, ill-intentioned ones, it is foolish I think to ignore all criticism. You really need to develop a discerning lense that can tell apart that which is well-intentioned and that which is mean-spirited. If you should pay attention to nothing else I should say the one thing to pay attention to is if the criticism is simple and crude or if it is a well-argued piece coming from someone who is emphasizing the small voice of conscience, which you may or may not be banishing to the back of your mind. Material failure is okay, but moral failure should be shunned. The failure (heh) to distinguish these two types of “failure” is also another thing I think goes wrong with a lot of hackneyed society stuff said out there like “love failure”, etc. . For me, one of the most important virtues to develop is indeed just that one: discernment. The ability to look at things finely, and make small and yet important distinctions. It’s very telling that we consider this a trait to be derided with the pejorative term of “splitting hairs”. I like hair splitters.
If there’s anything anyone should be terrified of, it should be hubris. Thinking that you never need to consider anyone else’s concerns. That you know it all, even if you don’t. And that doesn’t mean “conform” and “be like everyone else” either bullshit (i.e. be a good little SOCIETY PERSON, which is actually what I’m critiquing!) but to listen and empathize, and then find the way that is best for you to address those sincere concerns and also to learn the best lessons you can from their lives and their experiences.