Better to Amputate the Tail Slowly?

S M Chen
6 min readSep 10, 2023

Elon Musk is sui generis.

Bulu Patel. Pixabay. Free use

In addition to being the richest man in the world (not that there is anything intrinsically laudable or wrong about that), he is a genius.

His IQ has been estimated at 155.

Who else has founded multiple state-of-the-art companies, the most successful arguably Tesla and Space X?

His innovations have been handsomely rewarded, and he has become a billionaire from Tesla alone.

Who else has come up with the notion of reusing space rockets which, in itself, is an enormous cost saver?

Who else has named their children (with Grimes, aka Claire Elise Boucher) X, Y (nicknames) and Techno Mechanicus?

OK, that last one about the children with Grimes I wrote tongue-in-cheek.

A person is entitled to name his children whatever he (or she) wishes.

The child/person is always free to change their name later.

Some do.

But the rest is weightier.

Sure, there have been some blips along the way, one of the latest his challenge to Mark Zuckerberg for a mano a mano duel.

This may or may not happen, but the outcome is guaranteed not to increase the IQ of the high-tech world.

Pugilism has never been shown to improve intelligence.

All one has to do is recall the image of Muhammed Ali carrying a flag at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984.

He may had been hit in the head once too many times in the ring.

This challenge issued to Zuckerberg by Musk is reminiscent of Musk’s earlier unanswered challenge to Vladimir Putin re Ukraine.

Presumably winner take all.

Ukraine may not have been consulted.

Volodymyr Zelensky may not have agreed to terms in the event Musk lost.

But maybe we shouldn’t expect a man like Musk to behave like the rest of us. His fertile imagination, which he has apparently put to good use elsewhere, may include wandering into territory some of us might consider just plain looney.