Elon Musk told his audience during his speech about his social media campaign

Elon Musk told his audience during his speech about his social media campaign ...

Elon Musk has been dominating the headlines for weeks, as his company begins its commercial space flights and his electric vehicle juggernaut debuts new facilities and gadgets.

Beyond each of these, there is a more recent buy up of Twitter, which includes 9% of social media sites.

Musk has transitioned from being a passive investor to an active investor, tout easing his interest in the company, trolling its board, and proposing alternate purpose for its headquarters, platform, and mission.

The most recent chapter was perhaps the most straightforward to read.

Musk offered to buy Twitter in a hostile move on April 14, generating $53 billion.

While at least one significant Saudi investor immediately rejected the offer as a low-ball proposition, Elon might say that anything coming up on the market would be interesting, especially when he spoke shortly after a TED chat with Chris Anderson.

The entire transcript of his speeches on stage is below.

Pool/Getty Images by Christian Marquardt

Interview with TED Talk

Interviewer:

Thank you. Elon, welcome. a few hours ago, you made an offer to purchase Twitter. Why?

Elon Musk:

What you know?

Interviewer:

Little bird sparked me in my ear or something. I don't know.

Elon Musk:

Is there any connection to Ted on the bear, anyway?

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Interviewer:

I have. I am using it.

Elon Musk:

It's a wonderful movie.

Interviewer:

It's not here.

Elon Musk:

Yeah, yeah. Yes, there is a question.

Interviewer:

Why does it help?

Elon Musk:

I believe it's very important for there to be a free speech-inclusive environment whereIt's not that important.

Audience member:

Whoo!

Elon Musk:

So, yeah. Twitter has evolved into a de facto town square. It's just really important that individuals have both the reality and the possibility that they may be freely available within the framework of the law. So I believe that Facebook should open source the algorithm and make any changes to people's tweets, if they're stressed or de-emphasized, that action should be made evident so anyone can see that action is taken.

Interviewer:

Elon said that you were contemplating taking on Facebook last week. You said, "No way." You said, "I do not want to own Twitter. It is a recipe for disgrace. Everyone will blame me for everything." What has changed in the world?

Elon Musk:

Yeah, I think everyone will still blame me for everything. Yeah. If I acquire Twitter and something goes wrong, it's my fault. A hundred percent. I think there will be a few hours, yes.

Interviewer:

It will be difficult, but you still want to do it. Why?

Elon Musk:

I hope it's not too depressing, but I'm just delaying democracy's function. It's crucial to the United States' ability as a liberated country and many other nations to effectively support freedom in the world and most importantly in the United States.

Elon Musk:

I'm convinced that the civilization probability would decrease as much as possible. I should also state that I will be able to acquire Twitter as a public platform. I'm not sure how I will be aware of it until the end of the year, but I'm confident that I will actually be able to. This is why I think I should also say that I will continue to be permitted to keep as many shareholders as possible. It's certainly not from the standpoint of allowed me to monopolize or maximize my ownership of Twitter

Interviewer:

You don't necessarily want to pay out 40 billion dollars in cash. You'd like them to come with you in the company.

Elon Musk

I'm assuming that I could afford it technically.

Interviewer:

I've heard that.I've heard that.

Elon Musk:

I'm saying that this is not a way to make money. It's just that my strong, intuitive sense is that having a public platform that is maximally trusted and broadly inclusive is very vital to civilization's future.

Interviewer:

You've never known yourself how things work.

Elon Musk:

I'm completely indebted to the economics.

Interviewer:

Okay, this is really cool to hear. It's for the economic good that you think it will be successful. Elon, you have described yourself as a free speech adamant, but does that mean that there's literally nothing that people can't say, and it's okay?

Elon Musk

I think maybe Twitter or any other internet is bound by the laws of the country it operates in. So obviously there are some limitations on free speech in the United States, and, of course, Twitter would need to follow these rules.

Interviewer:

So you can't incite people to violence like a direct incitement to violence. You can't do the same thing as crying fire in a cinema, for example.

Elon Musk:

No, this would be a crime.

Interviewer:

Yes, it's not.

Elon Musk:

It should be a crime.

Interviewer:

There's a lot of variation between different things, but there's also incitement to violence. This is a no, it's illegal. There's hate speech, which some forms of hate speech are fine. I hate spinach.

Elon Musk:

So, even if it's sourdened in a cream sauce?

Interviewer:

So let's say someone says, okay, here's one tweet, "I hate politician X," the next tweet is, "I wish politician X wasn't alive," with a picture of their head on the screen, or that plus their address. At some point someone has to make a decision as to which of those is okay. Perhaps it is best to know that person is in charge.

Elon Musk:

I think, like I said, Twitter should conform to the country's laws, and that, in theory, there's [unaudible 00:06:35] to do that. However, going beyond that and having it be unclear who's making what changes to where, having tweets mysteriously be promoted and demoted with no clue on what's going on, having a black box algorithm promote some things and not other things, I think this can be quite dangerous.

Interviewer:

So the idea of opening the algorithm is a huge deal. I think many people would benefit from that, because they can understand exactly how it is making the decision.

Elon Musk:

Recalibrate it.

Interviewer:

And criticize it.

Elon Musk:

I think the code should be on GitHub, so when you read [inaudible 00:07:18] it can look into it and say, "I see a problem here. I don't agree with this." They can identify issues, suggest modifications, in the same way that you modify Linux or Signal or something similar.

Interviewer:

As I understand it, at some point right now what the algorithm will do is it would look at, for example, how many people have flagged a tweet as obnoxious, and how soon might a person decide as to "Does this cross the line or not?" I mean, which people use it, and they've hired thousands of people to help make wise choices, but the problem is that no one can agree on that. How do you solve this?

Elon Musk

I believe that if there is a problem, let the speech exist. I doubt that if it is a gray area, you might not want to necessarily promote the tweet. However, I am not saying that I have all the answers here. I am not saying that we will be very reluctant to delete things, but rather very cautious with permanent bans. Timeouts I think are better than permanent bans.

Elon Musk

It will not be perfect, but I believe that it should have the perception and reality that speaking is as liber as possible. And if that is true, then we have freedom. And it's pretty annoying when someone you don't like says something you don't like. That is, for example, a healthy, functioning free speech situation.

Interviewer:

I think many people would agree with this. But, as you look at the reactions on social media, many people are confused about coming in and your suggestions. Some of us are horrified. Here's how you would see it. "We know that Twitter is a huge town square. It is where the world exchanges opinions about life and death, and that's not right." So what's the reaction there? Is there any way you can distance yourself from the actual decision making that matters on content in a very straightforward manner?

Elon Musk:

I think it's very important that the algorithm be open sourced and that any manual adjustments be identified. If somebody made something to a tweet, there's information that it was taken. I wouldn't personally be involved in producing tweets. It's also important to know if something was promoted, demoted, or otherwise affect a tweet.

Elon Musk:

Mark Zuckerberg is still controlling Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and he has a share ownership structure that will enable Mark Zuckerberg to be the 14th still controlling those entities. Literally.

Interviewer:

As for the sake of the things, it's a matter of fact.

Elon Musk

Twitter will not have any of these opportunities.

Interviewer:

If you commit to opening up the algorithm, then you get some sense of confidence. Talk about some of the other changes that you've proposed. So the edit button, which you can hope will be beneficial if you have a chance.

Elon Musk

Yes.

Interviewer:

How do you do it?

Elon Musk

I mean, frankly, a top priority I would have is eliminating the spam and scam bots and the bot armies on Twitter. I believe these influence... They make the product much worse. If I had a Dogecoin for every cryptocurrency scam I saw, I would have a hundred billion Dogecoin.

Interviewer:

Are you surprised by the excitement surrounding DOGE and where it is going, or do you regret it?

Elon Musk:

I mean, I think DOGE is fun. I always said don't bet the farm on Dogecoin. FYI. But I like dogs and memes, and it's got both.

Interviewer:

So what happens when you click on the edit button, how do you help with this problem? Someone tweets, "Elon rocks," and it is tweeted by 2 million people, and then they click it to, "Elon sucks," and then all those retweets are all embroiled. How do you prevent that type of change in meaning? So that retweeters are [inaudible 00:13:25]

Elon Musk

I think you'd only have the edit capability for a short period of time. So the best option to consider when it comes to the edit would be to zero out all retweets and favorites.

Interviewer:

Okay.

Elon Musk

However, I'm open to ideas.

Interviewer:

So the algorithm works quite well for you right now. I wanted to give you this. So this is a typical mine tweet. Kind of unworthy, and whatever. And the astonishing response it gets is this, Oh my God, 97 likes. And then I tried another one, and 29,000 likes. So the algorithm at least appears to be "If Elon Musk, expand to the world immediately." Not bad, right?

Elon Musk:

Yeah, I believe it. I mean, it was cool.

Interviewer:

So help us understand how it is. When some of you love you look at some of the tweets, you'll get to know how it works. It's also possible to get involved in this incredible following on Twitter too.

Elon Musk:

I mean, it is a bit.

Interviewer:

And some of it is amazing. And yes, why is it actually true? Or what? Why is it so successful?

Elon Musk:

I mean, I'm debating a more or less stream of consciousness. It's not like, "Let me consider a major line about my Twitter," or otherwise. I'm literally on the toilet or something like, "Ha-ha, this is funny," and then tweet that out. That's all about sharing.

Interviewer:

You are ok with getting the most out of every minute of your day. So, wow.

Elon Musk:

I don't know. I try to tweet out things that are interesting or funny. But then people seem to like it.

Interviewer:

If you are successful, then let me know beforehand. So how can I say it? Is funding secured?

Elon Musk:

I have enough funds to complete the... It's not a forward looking statement, blah, blah, etc. I mean, I can do it once or twice as quickly as possible.

Interviewer:

Correct.

Elon Musk:

I should say that originally with Tesla back in the day, funding was actually secured. I want to clarify that. In fact, this might be a good opportunity to clarify that. If funding was indeed secured, and why does it not, I should say, to everyone at the SEC, but certainly the San Francisco office? Because the SEC knew that the funding was secured, but they pursued an active public investigation nonetheless.

Elon Musk

Tesla was in a complicated financial situation when asked by the banks that if I did not accept the SEC, they would [inaudible 00:16:54] working capital. So it makes it look like I lied when I did not in fact lie. I was forced to admit that I lied to save Tesla's life. And that's the only reason.

Interviewer:

Aren't you glad that you didn't take Tesla privat due to the fact that it was happening?

Elon Musk:

Yeah. It's difficult to get yourself in the position at the time. Tesla was the most extreme short seller attack in the history of stock markets. There's something called "short and distort," where the barrage of negative feedback that Tesla was experiencing from short sellers and Wall Street was beyond all belief. So this was affecting our ability to hire people. It was causing us to die so bad, and they could taste it.

Interviewer:

Certainly, a lot of people [crosstalk 00:00:09] believed that you have so much to offer the world on the upside, on the other hand. Don't waste your time being distracted by these confrontations that spark fear and reinforce your self-defense. People prefer to fight with powerful government authorities. They'd rather buy into your dream. Aren't you encouraged by people to tweak that temptation out and go with the larger story?

Elon Musk:

Well, I'd say I'm somewhat of a mixed bag.

Interviewer:

You're a fighter. You don't want to lose. You're determined that you don't.

Elon Musk:

Sure, I don't want to lose. I'm not sure many people do, but truth matters to me a lot, actually. It's very important to me.

Interviewer:

You don't want to lose. If you are not successful in this situation, and the board does not accept your offer, and you told the board that you won't go higher. Is there a strategy B?

Elon Musk:

There is.

Interviewer:

I believe that we may want to hear more about plan B.

Elon Musk

I think it will be another time for me.

Interviewer:

All right. It's a good tease. I'd love to try to understand this brain of yours more, Elon. Before we do that, here was one of the thousands of questions that people answered. I thought this was really a good one. If you could go back in time and make one decision you made along the way, do your own editing button, and why?

Elon Musk:

Is it a career decision [inaudible 00:02:19]?

Interviewer:

Is your decision to invest in Twitter over the last several years different, and how do you think it?

Elon Musk:

The worst business decision I ever made was not starting Tesla with just JB Straubel. By far the worst decision I've ever made is not only starting Tesla with JB. That's impressive by far.

Interviewer:

JB Straubel, the brilliant co-founder, was obsessed with, and knew so much about battery making. Your choice to go with Tesla, the company as it was, meant that you got locked into what you concluded. It was a strange structure.

Elon Musk:

When I invested in a [inaudible 00:03:27] company, Martin Eberhard made a false narrative. Unfortunately, there's someone else, a co-founder, who made in his life's work to make it all of his.

Interviewer:

Wasn't there another problem right at the core of Tesla Model 3, where Tesla almost went bankrupt? I think you have claimed that part of the reason for that was that you underestimated the extent to which it was possible at that time to automate a factory. A substantial amount was spent over automating, and it didn't work, and it nearly took the company down.

Elon Musk:

First, it's important to know what Tesla has actually accomplished that is most noteworthy. It is not the creation of an electric vehicle or the creation of an electric vehicle prototype or the low-volume production of a vehicle. There have been hundreds of car startups over the years, but millions. At one point, Bloomberg increased the number of electric vehicle startups. I think they have reached almost 500.

Elon Musk:

The hardest part is not developing a prototype or entering limited production. The whole process, which has not been accomplished by an American automobile company in over 100 years, is achieving volume production without going bankrupt. That is the actual process. Chrysler in the 20s was the last company to reach volume production.

Interviewer:

Tesla is experiencing a similar situation.

Elon Musk:

[inaudible 00:05:27], cars, body lines, and other components of the Model 3 production line, all of which I was stuck together. I stood up and felt the pain that happened to them, even if I had to be in some ivory tower. I was pleased to hear from everybody who worked with me.

Interviewer:

Some people who knew you were making an [inaudible 00:06:34] humbling, implying that you were driving yourself far away from sanity.

Elon Musk:

Yes, it's true.

Interviewer:

Because of Tesla's enormous value now and the significance of every minute that you spend, you are in danger of obsessing over spending all this time to the edge of sanity. That doesn't sound super wise. Your completely sane and centered, rested time and decision making is more powerful and compelling than that, "I can barely hold my eyes open." That is, however, you should have an absolute strategic priority to look after yourself.

Elon Musk:

There was no other method to do it during three years of hell. 2017, '18, and 19 were three years, the longest period of pain in my life. It's not like I'm getting rid of it. It's not like I am having a complete pain, but it's not like I was suffering it. If Tesla was dead, you might be surprised.

Interviewer:

If you look at the Gigafactories that we saw earlier last week, and just see where the company has grown, do you feel that this challenge of finding the new way of manufacturing, that you really have an advantage now that it's different, that you have learned how to do this. And those three years will not be repeated. You've actually figured out a new way of manufacturing.

Elon Musk:

I think I am at this point more aware than anyone else on earth about manufacturing.

Interviewer:

[Unaudible 00:08:49]

Elon Musk:

I can tell you how every single individual part in the car is made, and therefore, if you were to live in the factory for three years. That was good. It was a poignant note or something.

Interviewer:

Someone wants to compose a symphony for that sense of confidence, but there is something like that. I have no clue what that means.

Elon Musk:

I know everything about a car [inaudible 00:09:14] i know.

Interviewer:

Right now, talk about scale. You're in the middle of your new master plan. You've said that scale is at the core of it. Why does it matter? Why do you want to be obsessed with it? What are you thinking?

Elon Musk:

Well, see, there must be a scale, because we've got to transform a vast economy that is currently overly dependent on fossil fuels to a sustainable energy economy, where energy is... We must do it. I'm also a fan of nuclear energy.

Elon Musk:

Since solar and wind are intermittent, you have to have stationary batteries before committing to electric power. If we do those things, we have a sustainable energy future. The sooner we do those things, the less risk we may put on the environment. Scale is very important. It's about tonnage. What was the tonnage of batteries produced, and obviously done in a sustainable manner.

Speaker 3:

Is it possible to wait for me to do it? Yes, you'll be grateful, Sir David.

Elon Musk

There may be quite a few different estimates out there, but our projection is 300 terawatt hours?

Interviewer:

In the interview that we recorded last week, we talked about this quite extensively. People may go in and hear that more. The context is that I think about 1,000 times the current installation battery capacity. The scale up required is spectacular.

Elon Musk

Yes, I think it's true.

Interviewer:

Tesla's goal is to sift for a meaningful percentage of what is needed, and to engage others to do the rest.

Elon Musk

Yes.

Interviewer:

This is the need for humanity to broaden our interventions and change the energy grid.

Elon Musk:

Yes, it's like how quickly can we scale and encourage others to scale to reach the 300 terawatt hour in installed batteries. That's why people shouldn't think, "There'll be this huge pile of batteries," says the author. This is what we'll be doing for a sustainable energy future. We'll take a set of actions that will speed the day of and bring the future sooner.

Interviewer:

If you publish your master plan, there will be a lot of interest in it. I'd like to hear more about the topic of yours, because it's a quite striking one. I want to play with your permission this very funny opening from SNL, Saturday Night Live. Can we have the volume [inaudible 00:12:50].

Recording:

I'm gonna give up Saturday Night Live every night. I mean that sometimes after saying something, I have to say [inaudible 00:13:00], meaning people really know that I mean it. That's because I don't always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak, which I'm told makes for great comedy. I'm actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger's to host SNL."

Interviewer:

I suspect you've followed up the following steps:

Elon Musk

At least the first person to admit it.

Interviewer:

The first person to admit it was a brave thing to say. I'd love to hear about how you think of Asperger's, whether you can give us any sense of even you as a child, what the experience was, or how you now understand with the benefit of hindsight. Can you talk about it a bit?

Elon Musk:

Well, I think everyone's experiences will be somewhat different, but I think my social cues were not intuitive. I was just very bookish and I wasn't aware of these. I guess others might just understand what they meant by something, because they're not simply saying exactly what they mean. There are also quite a number of other things that are meant. [inaudible 00:14:43]

Elon Musk

It was quite rough to get honest. But I read a slew of books. Gradually I learned more from those books that I was reading and watched a lot of movies. It took me a while to comprehend what most people intuitively understood.

Interviewer:

I've wondered whether it's possible that that was in a strange way, an extraordinary gift to you and indirectly to many other people, in as long as [inaudible 00:15:36] and they go where the action is. If for some reason, the external world and social cues, which many people spend so much time and energy and mental energy obsessing over, aren't it possible that that is partly what gave you the ability to understand inside the world at a far greater level

Elon Musk:

I believe it's certainly possible. I think there's maybe some benefit from both from a technological perspective. I found it challenging to spend all day on computers by myself. I think it was not fun, but I really thought it was. I would just program all night by myself and I found that being quite enjoyable. However, I think it isn't normal.

Interviewer:

I've thought a lot about it, and it's a way to inform a lot of people about how you've done this, how you've repeatedly innovated in these diverse industries. Every entrepreneur notices possibility in the future and then acts to make it real. It feels to me that you see scientific possibility just more broadly than almost anyone. You see scientific possibility based on a deep understanding of physics, what the fundamental equations, and where they may go.

Interviewer:

So, in a manner that you combine that with the economic possibility of what it actually would cost. Is there a system you can imagine that you might affordably make that thing? Sometimes you become convinced that there is an opportunity here, put those pieces together, and you may do something amazing.

Elon Musk:

I think that regardless of how fortunate I had been, I was simply totally obsessed with truth. Because physics attempts to understand the truth of the universe. Physics is just what are the provable truths of the universe and truths that have predictive power.

Elon Musk

For me, physics was a very natural thing to study, [inaudible 00:18:23] it. It was intrinsically interesting to realize the nature of the universe, and then computer science or information theory also to just understand logic. There's a compelling argument that information theory is effective at a more fundamental level than even physics. Physics and information, really interesting to me.

Speaker 3:

What are we doing here as well?

Interviewer:

When you say truth, what you're talking about is the truth of the universe, the fundamental truth that drives the universe. It's a deep understanding of what this universe is, why we're here, simulation. We don't have time to get into it. You are just profoundly curious about what this is for, what this is, and this whole thing.

Elon Musk:

Yes. I think the why of things is extremely important. Actually, when I was young, I was quite depressed about the meaning of life. I was also researching religious texts and reading books on philosophy. I got into the German philosophers, which is certainly not appropriate if you're a teenager, and I must say it is quite dark and much better read as an adult.

Elon Musk:

I ended up reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is actually a philosophy book, but not a silly humor book. Adams makes the point that [inaudible 00:20:33]. That number does pop up a lot. [inaudible 00:20:33].

Interviewer:

The number of people who have died is 10 times higher than 42.

Elon Musk:

You construct a triangle with 42 degrees and two 69s. There is no such thing as a perfect triangle. Or is it there?

Interviewer:

And even more important than the answer, is the question. That's the reason why this book was written.

Elon Musk:

Yes.

Interviewer:

Is it actually your perception of meaning then, then, that's the pursuit of doubts?

Elon Musk:

Yeah. I have a suggestion for a world view or a motivating philosophy, which is to understand what questions to ask about the answer that is the universe, and to agree that we will broaden the scope and scale of consciousness, both biological and digital, and to better understand why we're here, how we got here, and what's going on. That's my driving philosophy, which is to expand the scope and scale of consciousness, so that we may better understand the nature of the universe.

Interviewer:

Last week's highlight was seeing you hang out with your children. If you can, here's how to do it.

Elon Musk:

It appears to be a dummy in the sky. How do you know that's true?

Interviewer:

X: It was just a pleasure seeing him hang out with you.

Elon Musk

Sure.

Interviewer:

What will his future be? I don't mean him personally, but the world he's going to grow up in. What future do you think he will grow up in?

Elon Musk:

Well, a very digital future, a different world than I grew up in, that's for sure. I believe we must certainly do our best to ensure that everybody's safety is assured, and that the future is something you can look forward to and not feel sad about. We should try to keep our teeth on the ground when we get to the morning out and prepare for the inevitable.

Elon Musk

The future cannot be a single bleak thing after another, putting an end to one of these bleak problems. There are certain things that get you excited like you wish to live. These are really important and you should have more of it.

Interviewer:

It's not as if it's a done deal. It's all to play for. The future may be painful. However, there are situations where it is frightening, and you notice that you can, for example, witness a path to an exciting future, both on Earth and on Mars, through artificial intelligence, and so forth. Do you really believe that you are assisting with this exciting future, for X and others?

Elon Musk:

I'm putting my hardest to do so. I love humanity and believe that we should fight for a good future for humanity. I believe that we should be optimistic about the future and focused on achieving that optimistic future.

Interviewer:

I think this is a good location to finish this campaign. Thank you so much for coming here, and for all of the work you're doing. Good luck with finding a wise course through, on Twitter and other things.

Elon Musk:

All right.

Interviewer:

[Unaudible 00:24:27].

Elon Musk:

Vielen Dank.

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