Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Famous sociopaths: Elon Musk?

People frequently ask me whether there are any "good" sociopaths or "famous" sociopaths, meaning any sociopaths that people might know and respect without necessarily knowing and respecting that they are a sociopath. Of course it's all guessing games because even if that person was aware that they were a sociopath, there is no reason why they would out themselves (just to be socially ostracized and professionally second-guessed). If you read between the lines, though, there are plenty of sociopaths out there doing things, like Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal, Space Exploration Technologies (which contracted with NASA to basically replace the Space Shuttle in servicing the Space Station), and current CEO of Tesla Motors. In a dated New Yorker article, which is unfortunately unavailable without a subscription, the following sociopathic characteristics or quotes are revealed (all are quotes from the article, the text in quotation marks are from Musk unless otherwise indicated):
  • "We're like a giant parallel supercomputer, and each of our brains runs a piece of the software" contrasted with "Most people don't know much."
  • "The people who know me generally have a good impression. Generally, if I didn't fire them, then they have a good impression."
  • He fell silent for two minutes, processing. Then he announced, "I'm going to call Dan Neil and say, 'What the fuck?' Starting with a negative conclusion and backiflling the facts is a classic dickhead move--and a classic human fallacy." Humans!
  • [H]e believes it's the duty of the intelligent and educated to replicate, "so we don't devolve into a not very literate, theocratic, and unenlightened future." As part of his program for Homo sapiens, the beta version, he reminds unfruitful employees,"You should have, on average, 2.1 kids per woman."
  • [Tesla Chief Technology Office J.B. Straubel] says, "As the company has matured, it has become more of a worthy adversary for Elon. He constantly wants everything we're doing to be really difficult, but he works really hard to make sure it's not impossible. He almost won't let us fail." Justine Musk observes, "I like to compare him to the Terminator. He sets his program and just . . . will . . . not . . . stop."
  • At times, between meetings, Musk finds himself daydreaming about building a supersonic electric airplane, or a double-decker highway.
The quotes suggest certain sociopathic traits, the overall tone of the article suggests even more, including an inability to commit to projects for more than 3-5 years, an aggressive risk-seeking that keeps Tesla simultaneously on the brink of bankruptcy and the cutting edge of the auto industry, and a narcissistically grandiose sense of "duty to save the world." Of course, he may not be a sociopath at all, but it is a good example of how sociopathic traits might be very good for someone's professional exploits and--as long as you value cheap and clean electric automobiles, transferring money easily via the internet, or efficiently supplying the space station--very good for everyone else.


  1. Eh, this post is neither here nor there.

    There's a difference between a sociopathic personality and good, ruthless business practice.

    I don't think you can surmise anything without looking at people's personal lives, or how much their practices affect others in a negative way.

  2. Good rising Medusa! To see ME's point one must read between the lines and turn to the underside of stones.

    I do agree on this one ME. Proof is in the companionship with ex-wife Justine Musk. Just look at the content of her horror novels "Blood Angels," "Lord of Bones," and "Univited" I could just image the "pillow" talk between these two over the nature of good, evil and power especially as money and influence arrived.

    They have 5 sons. Now they will be the ones to watch if they don't become too corrupted by being overindulged.‬ The sensuous woman he left his wife for is classic. The whole gestalt makes perfect sense.

    Elon is 38, his wife 36. The mischief has just begun.

  3. A review from Amazon

    "The point-of-view in Bloodangel moves seamlessly between two people who are being awakened to their destiny: New York painter Jess Shepard, haunted by images and dreams that don't seem to be tied to tangible memories, and a Minnesotan foster kid, Ramsey Doe, who is the subject of Jess's dreams. Ramsey is a poet and music fan who has always known there is something different about him, about his lack of a past, about his power, but he's never been able to get a handle on it. The third point-of-view we see is that of heroin addict and slacker musician Lucas, who comes under the spell of beautiful demon-woman Asha and forms a new band (here's where the rock n' roll comes in, complete with a demon singer!) as he does her bidding. The lives of these three people gradually converge as the battle between angels and demons is brought to a head again in the modern day"

  4. An excerpt . . . . from Justine's musings The beauty of fiction is it removes the mask and can say more because of artistic license. You would never see this in a Fobes magazine interview.

    The two of them would fit right in this blog.

    "My love died when she was sixteen, in a concrete tunnel where bad-ass kids went to get high and mess around and be their bad-ass selves. But after they found Sara's body, people only went there to gawk, to hunt for bloodstains on graffiti-covered curves of wall. The tunnel became a haunted place. Less thana year after she died, Sara was the star of her own urban legend. Her ghosthuddles on the concrete shelf and bleeds an endless death, crying and mew lingas the thin arm of light reaches past. Nothing for her to see but graffiti on the walls and a ground littered with crushed pop cans, food wrappers, used condoms, cigarette butts; nothing to hear but the gurgle of water and overhead thunder of cars; nothing to breathe but dank, underground air that smells of earth and sewage. Nothing to do but die.

    Her ghost. Kids claim to have seen it.

    Naturally it's all bullshit. Sara died when the bullet entered her brain.There was nothing lingering about it.

    Enough said. I am going to the spa. The whole day.

  5. [H]e believes it's the duty of the intelligent and educated to replicate, "so we don't devolve into a not very literate, theocratic, and unenlightened future." As part of his program for Homo sapiens, the beta version, he reminds unfruitful employees,"You should have, on average, 2.1 kids per woman."

    Hah. Per woman. I interpretted this as, knock up a woman twice, rinse, repeat for all women you can get it into.

    Bullets 1,2,and 6 are pretty common thoughts for me. 3 is dick but, most people are dicks.

    4 & 5 have some validity, but yeah, without a wider contextual range there's nothing very telling here.

  6. I've been anticipating with a certain reluctance the time when I'd receive a mail from someone asking me this kind of question (which celebrities/famous people are sociopaths or psychopaths), and have so far received two of the kind.

    I am reluctant to write actual articles about it - even though it's a great topic and I have plenty of people I could bring up like you're doing here (and like you've been doing in some other articles).

    What dissuades me somewhat is most of all the possibility of being sued in the future (I don't see it as much of a risk for as long as my blog is so little known as is the case still).

    I can see that you make sure to always state that it is all speculation, etc., but you know how easy it is for someone to turn words against you if they really want to.

    Surely it'll not be a problem as long as you aren't "really big" and have "really made big cash" on what started out as a blog. But I wonder ... I can only wonder, since you never reply to any question we pose ... if you've had any thoughts in this respect.

    I'm not sure how I'll deal with it. So far I've replied to those who asked me, but other than that I have loads of topics to draw from before I get to the point where I'll become really tempted to bring this subject up in an article.
    I guess I'll have to take a deep look into laws on slander and all that. Hehe!...

  7. Hey M.E., I know I'm not up to any good here but I don't want to supply the space station nor do I want to see it supplied. What I would be into is building a home-made cannon that could launch a projectile well enough to knock it out of my sky.

  8. @zhawq You are covered under free speech as long as you maintain it is your personal opinion. You can say whatever you want as long as you aren't making a profit or doing it in some form of mass media. Side streets blogs aren't considered mass media. Really mass media is more about whats considered reputable. You say I know Bill Clinton fucks dogs on here or your blog it is just some random nut talking. You say I know Bill Clinton fucks dogs on NBC that is more along the lines of slander.

  9. shut up you faggot.

  10. Silvio Berlusconi, Bill Clinton, Gen. Patton and Rahm Emanuel.

    High-functioning types tend to do well in politics, military, business and law.

  11. Kesu:

    "Really mass media is more about whats considered reputable."

    Yes, strictly speaking you're right of course. But when is something considered a mass media? A blog could certainly be.

    But the real issue remains: Who has the best lawyer if tit comes to that. This is why I'm hesitant - at least for the time being. ;)

  12. I think you are being way overly paranoid. You are not Oprah. Everyone lost their slander cases against her anyway, I believe.

  13. if your blog is small then yeah you aren't going to be sued (libel, not slander) but there is always the risk that a blog will become big enough in the future to be considered a target for a lawsuit. there are always a few lawsuits going for libel against popular antagonistic bloggers such as p.z. myers.

    so if you are confident you will never have the 100 million pageviews that he gets then you don't really need to worry - how much narc is there in you? ;)

  14. Even if you did manage to get a million readers, it's very very unlikely a case would hold up in court. Unless you live in Libya and are talking shit about Gaddafi.

    You'd probably be shot before being sued in that case.

  15. I hardly think he'd mind being called a sociopath, anyway.

  16. If your blog ever got so big that you think someone would find out about a few particular posts you've made, you could always go back and delete them or make them private, and carry on.

  17. Silvio Berlusconi would be my hero if I had much of a sex drive. That man... Jeesh. You should see the Cracked article dedicated to him sometime. Un-effing-believable. He's like a popular Caligula with less violence and incest, and more hot naked white women.

    Popular Sociopaths.... or famous ones?

    It's sad, because even a diagnosis (formal) doesn't amount to much when Pop Psych bleeds into Professional Psych. Most wouldn't wants to label their patients Narcs and Sociopaths when they can call them Type A personalities and Aspies.

    I stand by my deceivingly simple logic.

    If they're an over confidant dick and know how to have fun* and take power, they're in my corner.

    *Fun may include but is not limited to murder, torture, bounce houses, jello shots, head shots, and appointing your parliamentary cabinet solely how how much you want to bang them.

  18. That was fucking hilarious Note.

  19. Yeah, that was actually one of the better Note posts.

  20. ResCo,

    P. Z. Myers is a good point.

    "so if you are confident you will never have the 100 million pageviews that he gets then you don't really need to worry - how much narc is there in you? ;)"

    Doesn't matter if I'm narcissistic or not in this regard. I can see the possibility, and it would be foolish to not take things up front if you know so.


    Taking things off the blog when it's too late wouldn't help me, I'm afriad. :)

  21. The question should be who is rich and power and its not a sociopath or at least sociopathic.

  22. Has anyone ever printed something on their blog that was/was not copyrighted? I am sure there are authors who would die to get their shit read on a popular blog. If something is copyrighted and used by people on a public blog, what would any of you care? I mean it could be a good thing or a bad thing, right?

  23. Like, who has access to free consultation?

  24. What is "rich" anyway? Any of you socios have longterm plans? Ha Ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa !

  25. What does it cost to maintain a "think tank" these days?

  26. Anon 11:03

    Do not get ideas. You are a wannabe loser. Make that "threat" one more time and you will have a smear campaign you will regret. Comprendez?

  27. Some people just want to shoot the breeze, Medusa. Don't let your paranoia get the best of you. You are loved. Hehhehheeeeee haw

  28. Have a gonorrhea test lately, anyone?

  29. Flaming chocolate milk fetish gay porn star!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. ^hey, that is our mascot. I know plenty.

  31. I like turtles.

    Hey, this game is fun! :D Can I play too, or do I have to use the Anon ID? :(

  32. Surprised at people that can't tell when my name is being hijacked.

  33. Anonymous 11:03:

    "Has anyone ever printed something on their blog that was/was not copyrighted? I am sure there are authors who would die to get their shit read on a popular blog. If something is copyrighted and used by people on a public blog, what would any of you care? I mean it could be a good thing or a bad thing, right?"

    I'm not so concerned about copyright. For as long as you don't publish articles and other texts in their entirety and make sure to credit the original author ... Unless otherwise stated by them ... There should be no problems.

    Still, some authors may not want their texts published on websites kept by known Sociopaths or, as in my case, a known Psychopath.

    I can easily imagine us being much more readily targeted by one of the many who might want to earn an easy extra few bucks on dragging one of us to court, knowing we'd not be the obvious choice for other people's - or judges' - sympathy.

  34. Bob Crow, transport union leader (RMT) in UK seems to display many signs of being a socialpath.
    Inflated self importance. Insensitivity to others, sees people just as objects - especially his own members.Twists the truth. Refuses to take responsibility - blames others. Very angry inside, known for aggressive language and threats. Lack of any remorse. No emotions. Impulsive.

  35. He sounds like an INTJ to me.

  36. Since when have sociopaths been interested in "saving the world"? I thought all they wanted is to make money and hurt people.


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