Elon Musk's Hack Club AMA explored a number of thought-provoking points, but among the most poignant involved discussions on the hidden potential of humans to create things and how capitalism could address climate change for a much greener future. The questions Hack Club members asked during their AMA with Elon Musk were by far some of the most intriguing and entertaining when compared to other interviews the Tesla CEO has done.
Hack Club members are mostly teenagers—the founding members seem to be in college now—and Elon Musk noted that they asked more pertinent questions than most journalists from mainstream media. Based on Musk's reactions to some of the queries, it was refreshing for the CEO to answer questions that were thought-provoking and had substance.
For instance, one of the former leaders of the Hack Club asked about climate change and the role capitalism can play towards its prevention. Elon Musk was quite impressed by the question.
"I think this is an important discussion and debate that we should have because I actually think that capitalism is a good system provided that the rules are set correctly," Musk said, adding how there is currently an unpriced externality in the CO2 capacity of the oceans and the atmosphere. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO stated that he believes a good way to address this issue is through a carbon tax, which will likely encourage companies to cut down on their CO2 emissions.
Other poignant points in the AMA involved Elon Musk sharing his insights on the Maker Movement. When asked how he intends to improve the public representation of making things considering his reputation as a risk-taker and innovator, Musk explained that part of it is just a matter of trying.
"A lot of people, the thing that stops them from making things or doing things is actually that they're self-limiting. They don't realize that they're actually capable of much more. You've got to try. Believe in yourself and try. People can do way more than they think," he said.
Seemingly echoing his experience at Tesla and SpaceX, particularly during the Model 3 ramp and the Falcon 1's early days, Elon Musk also explained how manufacturing deserves a lot more credit than it is currently being given. Manufacturing is difficult, and it is an endeavor for the bold. Yet it is also one of the best ways to celebrate humans' capability to make things.
"We're getting disconnected from the physicality and the world of atoms. Manufacturing is underrated. There's a lot of potential for innovation, and it's just a good thing to do. I think we should put more weight on manufacturing and production and making physical things. It's making the machine that makes the machine, and it's really interesting, and it's a tremendous amount of innovation and creativity as possible," Musk noted.
I dug through legal filings to find an email for someone on Elon's team & sent a cold email over. 14 hours later, this started coming together: https://t.co/eREiF6tnTh— Theo Bleier (@theombl) April 22, 2020
Elon Musk's Hack Club AMA covered several more topics, from his views on the simulation theory to his opinions on neural interfaces. But in a way, it is quite nice to see Elon Musk having a great time throwing ideas at a group that is willing to listen. The members of Hack Club put a lot of effort into getting Musk's AMA set up, and for this, the group deserves recognition.
This is something emphasized by Theo, one of the Hack Club leaders who were instrumental in getting Elon Musk for the AMA. In a statement to Tesmanian, Theo stated that Musk and his approach to things is something that Hack Club members respect greatly.
"Hack Club students are so inspired to have the opportunity to talk to Elon while we are all quarantined. He's a hero hacker to us—someone who thinks big and executes big, and who uses technical mastery to solve major problems and push forward the boundaries of what's possible," said Theo.
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About the Author
Ma. Claribelle Deveza
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.