back to article Breaking virus lockdown rules, suing officials, threatening staff, raging on Twitter. Just Elon Musk things

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk dared the authorities in Alameda, where his factory is based, to arrest him for breaking coronavirus lockdown edicts by restarting production in the California county. We're still waiting for the cuffs to come out. “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules,” he tweeted. “ …

  1. anonymous noel coward~

    So Musk is saying he'll going to be on the production line 'with everyone else' during a pandemic, with his days-old baby at home? The word I'm thinking of rhymes well with 'PR stunt'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As Mrs Merton would have asked: which part of being a multi-billionaire industrialist makes you so selfless in wanting to see the US economy up and running again?

    2. beast666

      Plandemic. You missed the 'l'

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Plandemic? Oh well, another portmanteau that marks out the person using the word as holding the odd belief that an idea is true because they've invented a word for it. File with 'sheeple', 'feminazi', 'remoaner' etc

      2. John Gamble

        Seriously? You're referencing a "documentary" that was debunked within a week of it's release?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Within a week? Probably more like a minute or so.

          Sadly, John, that kind of useless reference is used all the time. Even here in the hallowed halls of ElReg. You'd think that with the wide-spread availability of information online people would be able to figure out the truth ... but for some reason, folks are drawn to fantasy, rumo(u)r and inuendo with a little myth, legend and fable thrown in for spice. Especially if it supports their own pet conspiracy theories.

          The widespread existence of confirmation bias may be proof that the human brain has (nearly) stopped evolving ... in fact, it might also be the reason the human brain has (nearly) stopped evolving.

          Thrown in a little circular reasoning and Bob's yer Auntie.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The word I'm thinking of rhymes well with 'PR stunt'

      Yes, as in 'lucid shellfish stunt'...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Silly bunt.

  2. beast666

    Bill Gates is Evil

    Musk is a hero. He knows all about scams and can see the Emperor has no clothes.

    1. GerryMC

      Re: Bill Gates is Evil

      I think you are missing the joke or troll icon. At least I hope you are.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Happy mothers day Maye Musk!

      Age 72.

      Indeed happy mothers day to all the workers moms at Elons factory. Hope you like the present your sons are bringing. Please try to forgive them, their boss is a dick who smokes too much weed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Two thumbs down for Maye Musk?

        If all you had to do was wear a mask to save Maye's life, would you do it? I mean she's old, she'll die of Covid19 if she catches it. She goes shopping, someone in the shop is asymptomatic and infections. That person wears the mask, they breath near her, Maye gets only a 30% dose and survives, or they don't wear a mask and she gets 100% dose and dies.

        If you were that person, would you wear the mask to save Musk's mum?

        Would Musk wear the mask to save your mum?

        You're a fucking dick Musk, do a 180 now. Your factory workers have families.

        "The Alameda County Public Health Department explained it was waiting on a plan that the electric car company had promised to provide on Monday that would walk through how it would protect workers’ health during the coronavirus pandemic. "

        Yeh they want a plan, get an infectious disease expert to walk through your factory and prep it, and write the damn fooking plan so you don't kill your workers families, then don't just write it and submit it, IMPLEMENT IT. Implement it, like your mothers life depends on it working.

        Quit smoking the weed if it makes you think everyone is trying to attack you. They're not, they're trying to protect your workers from your selfish fuckwittery!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

          Staff start dying, 1,2,3...7 in one plant alone, probably a lot more by now, they find they have hundreds of Covid infections at the meat processing plant. They get ordered by the County to close, test and quarantine the infected staff and disinfect before re-opening. They start testing, realize they have hundreds of cases, then stop testing.

          Instead they visit Trump, claim "the food supply chain is under threat" and Trump issues an order over-ruling the County.

          So now they can stay open even as their staff die, without doing anything to prevent the virus, or the deaths, or even releasing the numbers showing how bad it is in there. County rules no longer apply to them.

          But what to do about bodies?

          In the UK, Findus makes a frozen 'beef' lasangne that was found to have horse meat in it.

          Hey if you're prepared to keep a meat factory open riddled with Corona Virus and just pretend it doesn't exist and don't even test if meat can carry the virus and for how long, you just keeping shipping the beef carcassed to the supermarkets and the employee carcasses to the morgue. Or you could hire a Findus 'efficiency' expert.

          I'm 100% confident Trump would back you, as long as the quid-pro-quo is in it for him.

          Same for you Musk, those crash test dummies don't come free!

          (sarc).

          1. Kane Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

            "But what to do about bodies?"

            Introducing our latest product, Soylent Green!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              How about *Trumplent* Green

              But you need Trump to buy-in to that plan. Trump, needs some of that quid-pro-quo. How do you give him some QPQ in a way that the Republicans can turn a blind eye to???

              Why Trump brand name licensing of course! That's what "Trump Tower Moscow" was, after-all, a straight "pay Trump $$$$$$$ for the use of the name 'Trump'! Republicans were totally happy with that.

              License the Trump brand! Trump Steaks, Trumplent Green, Trump Sausages....

              Use the fat ones with diabetes, that die from Covid19, for "Trump Steaks", now more juicy and sweeter with a richer fattier layer. Taste the sweet sweet meat, and see the fat marbling through it!

              Grind up the Covid 19 dead pensioners for mince: "Trumplent Green" the technically Vegan meat substitute. No farm or wild animals were killed to make Trumplent Green. Each batch is made with a mothers love.

              Maybe put the Trumplent Green rendering plant in Mitch McConnells Kentucky district to keep him on board.

              To get Bill Barr to declare murder laws won't be enforced, give him the burger franchise. Bill Barr's Burger Patties! Now made with 100% 'Patty'!

              Grandma's carcass can be blasted with high pressure water to scrape the last of that meat off her bones. To churn out those "Susan Sausages". Fancy something a bit spicy? How about Fatima Frankfurters! Yum yum!

              Run the ads on Fox News to keep them on board: "The cure was worse than the disease we said, but now our CURED meat is Making America Delicious Again!"

              What does it matter? Republican's are never gonna let an election happen every again, so they don't care.

              Prediction: Brett Kavanaugh will 'boof' with a sausage made from Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Fox New will show the event live as their hate merchants applaud.

            2. skeptical i
              Devil

              Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

              I was thinking Sweeney Todd on industrial scale -- the best meat-pies in Quarantine Land -- but soylent green would pro'ly require less adjusting to current processing machinery.

          2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

            There is no reported transmission via food, so more misreporting from the same AC who seems to have a vested interest in spreading the most restrictive practices. S/he he will only be happy with complete quarantine and the social distancing forever in case s/he gets a bug sometime.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Typhoid Mary

              "There is no *reported* transmission via food,"

              You haven't looked. Not looking is not the same as not transmitting. I'm asking you to test it. How long does it live on meat? Up to 18 days on hard surfaces, yeh, but how long on meat?

              This is a weird situation, normally, you get an infectious disease in food production and the plant would be immediately closed, cleaned and fixed. People would walk around muttering "Typhoid Mary" CDC would move in, do their job and it would be fixed. People would have confidence in the food production because they have confidence in the CDC.

              But now we have Trump and its all uncharted, contaminated meat production plants remain open because they quid-pro-quo'd Trump.

              Typhoid Mary lessons all forgotten.

              https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2020/05/04/covid-19-detected-at-meat-processing-plants-in-19-us-states-infographic/#475d7add362b

              "COVID-19 Detected At Meat Processing Plants In 19 U.S. States [Infographic]"

              "A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that COVID-19 has now been detected at 115 meat processing plants in 19 U.S. states.

              Over 130,000 people are working in affected plants and 4,913 (3%) of them tested positive for COVID-19 between April 20 and 27, 2020. "

              Lets take an infectious virus we already know about, hepatitis A. It IS transmissible via food:

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9282391

              "AC who seems to have a vested interest in spreading the most restrictive practices"

              YES THIS. Wear the mask, do the full quarantine, it takes about 4-5 weeks of PROPER enforced quarantine and then the virus is gone. Why prolong it with half assed quarantine?

              Why keep undermining it? Why all the needless deaths and internet bullshit? Why?

              Why does grandma have to die needlessly because Fox News doesn't want you to wear masks? Why? Why? Why?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

              "There is no reported transmission via food, so more misreporting from the same AC who seems to have a vested interest in spreading the most restrictive practices."

              Alternatively, you could have read it how I did, which was that there were a large number of cases at several places of work, and maybe the staff needed protecting..?

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

              There is no reported transmission via food

              Correct, it's carried on the packaging unless precautions are taken - if I recall correctly plastic can carry it for 72 hours and refrigerating it also extends the life of the virus. Maybe something to keep in mind the next time you visit a supermarket?

              1. Mahhn

                Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

                do you sniff the packaging? lol

                1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

                  Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

                  No, you TOUCH it, that's why it's called packaging, and that's why the incessant hand washing is so essential.

            4. Mahhn

              Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

              I'm thinking some people here inhale meet. Because even idiots should know by now that someone must inhale the virus to get sick from it.

              1. Mark Exclamation

                Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

                I'm thinking some people shouldn't inhale at all (and it's MEAT). Because even idiots should know by now that if the virus is on the packaging and you touch the packaging and the virus gets on your finger/hand and you rub your eye or nose or lips or mouth, then the virus....... really, I can't be bothered. Some people are not worth the effort.

          3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

            Hey if you're prepared to keep a meat factory open riddled with Corona Virus

            At least in terms of food safety this unlikely to be an issue: the virus cannot multiply in dead cells. The real issue are the working and living conditions of the people who work there.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Dead cells

              Hep A spreads on dead cells, it doesn't need to multiply, it just needs last long enough to infect a host.

              If the workers had Hepatitis A, the plant would immediately be closed and cleaned. This is what needs to happen here. Trump needs to remove his executive order and let that happen.

              Test the meat from those plants for Corona Virus, if you detect it, reject the meat. You'll be amazed how quickly they stop their Trump shit and fix their contaminated factories if they can't sell their meat till they do.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

            In the UK, Findus makes a frozen 'beef' lasangne that was found to have horse meat in it.

            In the interests of balance Findus were far from being the only suppliers of mis-labeled horsemeat. The bulk seems to have been in "own brand" products supplied via large manufacturing companies. Here's a decent run-down.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

              Horse meat isn't inherently bad for humans. It's the bute that'll get you.

              1. Jaybus

                Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

                I can assure you that the people selling these horses at auction for meat production most certainly do not spend money on any drug. Any bute found in horse meat was from stolen horses. The real danger is in the failure to disclose the contents. I wonder what else is in there.

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

            FFS!

            just a list of infected plants, please.

            then we know were not to buy from,

            an ozzy thing vote with your feet.

    3. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge
      Alien

      Re: Musk is a hero?

      > Musk: Isaac Newton was “better” than Albert Einstein “by a small margin. Both obviously extremely smart for a human,” he mused.

      Clearly Musk is not human so he is either an alien or and out of control AI over which human laws have no jurisdiction.

  3. HildyJ Silver badge
    Devil

    Please, dear goddess please

    A perp walk and a mug shot would make my isolation so much more bearable.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Please, dear goddess please

      I'm hoping the Judge hauls the ass into court just to issue the following iconic order:

      Bailiff, whack his pee pee!

  4. Don Jefe

    Elon Musk Is An Ass

    I bought two Tesla’s in the last year. I won’t buy another after all this garbage. Elon Musk is a selfish child and deserves to be smacked with a glove.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

      Is that the nice soft velvet one? The one with the iron fist inside?

      1. Woza
        Joke

        Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

        I think a smack with a fish would be a better option!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8XeDvKqI4E ?

    2. fishman

      Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

      Just don't read up on the antics of other automakers - you will end up walking everywhere!

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

        Tesla isn’t an “Other” automaker. They’re a fringe boutique automaker. They don’t have the history, weight or funds to act like a giant faceless corporation.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

      "Elon Musk is a selfish child and deserves to be smacked with a glove."

      Maybe... but like a broken clock that is right twice a day, THIS TIME ELON MUSK IS RIGHT!

      These RIDICULOUS SHUTDOWNS are NOTHING MORE than a POWER GRAB OPPORTUNITY for LEFTISTS, COMMUNISTS, SOCIALISTS, and CONTROL FREAK POLITICIANS that are COMPELLED (probably by psychological disorders) to MICRO-MANAGE OUR LIVES. "THEY" get to decide what is "essential" and what is "non-essential", and MAKE PROTESTS ILLEGAL while they're at it!!! So, if *THEY* get their way, and WE DO NOT REBEL AGAINST THEM, the SHUTDOWNS WILL *NEVER* *EVER* *END* !!!

      So, we must simply lay down and "take it" and THANK THEM AFTERWARDS? I DON'T THINK SO! *REBELLION* is necessary when ALL OTHER MEANS HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED.

      MUSK is DOING THE RIGHT THING. You can NOT control a people who will NOT LAY DOWN AND TAKE IT.

      (I'll be the one wearing a GUY FAWKES mask to practice "social distancing" screwy requirements - V is for Vendetta!!!)

      [yeah downvotes expected. thank you in advance, my howling fans]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

        It's almost as if your keyboard has Covid19. The contents of your post suggests you will at least not have to worried about anything affecting your brain due to its absence.

      2. ICL1900-G3

        Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

        What a gibbon.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

          Someone apparently from Gibbons Anonymous Support Group on line one. They seem to be threatening a defamation lawsuit.

      3. Steve Knox

        Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

        Once again, BOMBASTIC BOB, YOU have hit the nail on the head! We ARE at war here! A clear conspiracy, and the sheeple need a wakeup BELL! I'm behind you to the END!

        1. Stratman
          Thumb Up

          Re: Elon Musk Is An Ass

          ^^^^A somewhat under appreciated post.

  5. IGotOut Silver badge

    Suprise

    Rich Brat throws toys out off pram when he doesn't get his own way.

    He's in good company on Twitter. Ironically, another Rich Brat also says he is above the law.

    1. Blank Reg

      Re: Suprise

      maybe they could be cell mates

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Suprise

      This is just a PR stunt to keep to grab the headlines.

      1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Suprise

        Headlines to die for, this time literally :(

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

    I have bipolar depression. Apparently becoming a parent is a well known mania trigger.

    I know this now because when my wife gave birth to our first child, it triggered the worst manic attack of my life.

    I was seriously off the deep end. I'm still ashamed of the things I did on that bender. Luckily I didn't have 34 million twitter followers.

    I've been on mood stabilisers since then, and they've decreased my code output, but saved my life. A good tradeoff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

      But, it isn't really a _change_ as such, as much as an exacerbation, yes?

      No, while it is a mania, it is egomania that explains it all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

        For me, a manic attack removes my inhibitions, amplifying the preexisting urges that I usually keep to myself.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

      We wish you luck in continuing to tune the best work life balance for you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

        Thanks.

        There's times I really miss the manic night after night furiously coding until dawn, but in the long run I'd rather be a stable Dad.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

          Spent my youth on the receiving end of an unstabilised one, so kudos to you.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

      > A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

      That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure that there is a behaviour change (sudden or otherwise) here to be explained.

      Musk has got himself in trouble with tweets for a few years now - with the SEC for tweets about Tesla stock, or accusing a British of being a paedophile (a baseless accusation that came from a scam private investigator that Musk hired).

      Still, I can't put him into either the hero or villain role... it seems that his impulses that make him do ill-advised things are likely the same impulses that lead to his successes.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. bonkers

        Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

        Many thanks to Anon, for throwing light on the topic. I'm not sure where to place £lon Musk, (lucky typo there, I'll keep it...) - he's very clever, yes manic, a born maverick, but has a downside also.

        I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt - and allow some "artistic license" - as we allow great artists, performers, inventors to be a bit different in their habits, because they are valuable outliers. Talent, is the word, it's rare and never perfect in all regards.

        He has a condition, we understand that, and is given to outbursts and petty disputes. I can see that the stress of fatherhood presses against that, it is an open and undefined set of new constraints.

        Just coming up with the "name?" has obviously done him in, somewhat.

        In another form of judgement, the fact that the balance of genius and maverick has made him very successful puts him on the right side, the market has judged in his favour.

        I think it is more contrast, than compare, with Toddler-in-Chief, TICOTUS - who has made millions only by virtue of starting with billions. The market judges that one to be neither use nor ornament.

        There is no genius there.

        Is there an "understatement of the week" prize?

      3. rg287

        Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

        Musk has got himself in trouble with tweets for a few years now - with the SEC for tweets about Tesla stock, or accusing a British of being a paedophile (a baseless accusation that came from a scam private investigator that Musk hired).

        I'd attribute those to throwaway comments when under pressure. Musk has always been a bit edgy and anti-social. I think it goes with the territory. Uncompromising geniuses (and objectively, he's an extremely high-performing polymath) tend to have compromised social skills and Musk has never been any different. His performances on Twitter only show that more acutely.

        His detractors will say "Oh, it's just Musk being a dick", but that's lazy. The latest hissy-fit over lockdown seems... different. It's not based on a rational analysis of the available data - and that's unusual for Musk. On the one hand you can forgive him being annoyed - Alameda County are the only ones in California maintaining lockdown and every other car manufacturer is going back in their respective states too. But on the other hand, we all know that everybody else is wrong. Trump is wrong, the walts protesting outside state capitols with AR15s across their chests are wrong (and an embarrassment to the 100million respectable and responsible US gun owners to boot). For someone who has always been happy to buck the trend and challenge the received wisdom... it's a change. Is that the fog of new fatherhood, or is this an early indication he's going the way of Cloudflare founder Lee Holloway?

        Or maybe he's just being an arrogant dick and he hasn't realised that his enviable ability to integrate new skills and domains of expertise has run out at epidemiology.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

          Musk has been questioning the severity of the pandamic and the responses to it since the beginning, so again, it's not new enough to be attributable to new fatherhood - though I doubt it's helped.

          Didn't he allude to his mental health in 2019, something about having taken too much on? I can't remember now.

          As a businessman, his approach to the factory could perhaps be smarter - it's not good PR. Good PR would have been to go above and beyond reasonable precautions for staff - working distances, protective equipment etc - and then point it and request it be allowed to reopen in consultation with his staff.

          Anyway, for a bit more context of his current state than can be gleaned from Tweets, he was on the Seth Rogan podcast last week.

        2. Insert sadsack pun here

          Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

          "It's not based on a rational analysis of the available data - and that's unusual for Musk."

          There wasn't any rational analysis of the available data when he went on either Twitter tantrum to call a totally innocent person a "pedo guy".

        3. RedneckMother

          Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

          "Uncompromising geniuses (and objectively, he's an extremely high-performing polymath) tend to have compromised social skills... "

          Okay, I can accept that reasoning.

          Now, would you please explain the behaviour of der Drumpfenscheisser?

        4. jake Silver badge

          Re: A possible explanation for sudden behaviour change.

          "Alameda County are the only ones in California maintaining lockdown"

          Bullshit.

  7. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Boffin

    Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

    Perhaps he was recalling that Newton invented the cat-flap?

    Keeps me in a job, I suppose...

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

      Certainly Newton was more business orientated, aggressively pursuing the death penalty for a forger. I don't know enough about Newton's time to judge him for his belief in alchemy. It's fair to say he wasn't a particularly nice individual, but definitely very smart and self made. Perhaps not a person I would have on my company logo (See: Apple Computers' first logo).

      Einstein comes across a nicer chap, but the popular image of him isn't accurate. For starters, the genius Einstein wasn't the white haired old boy as he is often portrayed, but the younger man.

      Both men come across as fairly well socially adjusted compared to some mathematicians and physicists though!

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

        Neal Stephenson's System of the World trilogy has Newton as one of the main characters, and presents him in a less than flattering light. Mind you, few of the characters in that tale are ones to whom you might choose to look after your kitten when you went on holiday...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

          This started with the observation that Newton invented the cat-flap. He would seem to have been just the sort of person you would ask to keep an eye on your kitten.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

            Newton (1642 - 1726/27) undoubtedly read some Chaucer[0], but he did not invent the cat door. Cat doors were in use in ancient Egypt. They are useful for helping to keep rodents out of your grain stash.

            [0] The Milleres Tale, line 254 & 255, late 1300s ... "An hole he fond, ful lowe up-on a bord, Ther as the cat was wont in for to crepe;"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

        At the time, when England was slowly recovering from civil war, revolution and plague, the death penalty was applied for all kinds of offences. Because people were struggling financially, forgery was a particularly serious offence - accepting forged money and it then being detected meant you might starve. They were interesting times. Halifax, for instance, used to execute beggars. Newton, as a civil servant, was doing a necessary job.

        As for alchemy, it's what preceded chemistry. Dalton didn't come up with the atomic theory till the early 1800s and the formula of water was wrong until, IIRC, 1844. In Newton's time there was no known technical reason why lead should not be turned into gold, On the other hand there was a lot of money in coal mining, and the idea that academics should contribute to the useful arts (and leave their universities a nice big donation) was getting under way.

        Chemistry is much harder than physics, just as biology turned out to be much harder than chemistry.

        I don't think anybody would accuse Newton of being a nice man and his behaviour towards Leibniz was dire, but he has to be seen in the context of his times.

        1. Insert sadsack pun here

          Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

          "his behaviour towards Leibniz was dire..."

          Seems like a harsh way to treat a beloved biscuit baker.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

            Another side effect of coronavirus pandemics seems to be that people focus on food rather than, say, history of science.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

          "In Newton's time there was no known technical reason why lead should not be turned into gold,"

          There still is no technical reason why it can't be done. In fact, using a nuclear reactor, it CAN be done. The thing is, the yield is poor and so expensive, it's much cheaper to mine for it like we always have.

    2. DemeterLast

      Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

      Where did it come from? It's Twitter. Somebody asked and Elon answered. Including it in the story is strange, but if you want to make Elon look like a nut it works. But if we're going to persecute people for random divergence, all of Twitter will be sent to the gulags, and what a great idea that is.

      I have to say, I'm kinda with him on this. Einstein did a great thing, but Newton did a half dozen great things when all he had to work with was a feather dipped in ink and his brain. And he did it in Latin.

      1. Scene it all

        Re: Einstein vs Newton? Where the hell did that come from?

        Newton did a lot of his best work while quarantined at home because Cambridge was closed due to the Plague.

  8. steviebuk Silver badge

    Is it me or

    Is he becoming a cunt more and more each day. He, sadly, won the pedo case which he really should of lost and now this.

  9. Dave 126 Silver badge

    No alien spaceship factory

    His original plan was to have his factory far more automated than is the norm in the car industry, so full of automatic machines that there would hardly be any space between them for an (unrequired) human worker - hence 'alien spaceship'. That plan didn't work out.

    Curiously, the German auto industry has gone the other way - spaces between production lines have been made wider to facilitate more ergonomic working conditions for its aging workforce. Not 'alien spaceship' but still a but sci-fi, with some workers wearing exoskeletons to reduce fatigue and strain injuries

    https://www.ft.com/content/f1b294b8-9cbe-11e8-88de-49c908b1f264

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No alien spaceship factory

      It's very noticeable from videos of US* versus German factories that the US workers wear protective equipment while the German factories are designed to make it unnecessary. Even safety glasses have been designed out.

      *Probably others too, and I haven't seen a video of a German-owned factory in the US so I don't know what happens there.

  10. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Dear Elon ...

    One day he'll trump Trump.

    1. hoola Bronze badge

      Re: Dear Elon ...

      However unlikely that may be, it is not inconceivable that Musk could buy the US presidency, just as others have.

      What the hell do we do then?

      1. Aleph0

        Re: Dear Elon ...

        Musk was born abroad, so he's uneligible to become president, according to article 2 of the US constitution.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Dear Elon ...

          Possibly the sole reason they haven't had President Schwartzenegger. And who would have thought that time would come when people might think President Arnie would have been a vast improvement?

          But if Musk wanted to be President, he'd probably just arrange for the US to annex South Africa and make it retrospective.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: Dear Elon ...

            Yep, even when eating vegetarian food and hugging two tiny horses in his kitchen, Arnie seemed sane and caring.

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Dear Elon ...

        -The Schwarzenegger Presidential Library?!

        -Yes. Even though he was not born in this country, his popularity at the time caused the 61st Amendment...

        Demolition Man, 1993.

        Elon, like Arnie, wasn't born in the USA. You can be a governor of a state but not Potus.

        Hmm, I wonder what Jessie Ventura is up to now... was in Predator, check, been a governor, check, born in the USA, check

  11. mihares
    Trollface

    The nerd.

    Musk looks more and more like Trump's nerd brother. And the nerd bit doesn't make him less of a pernicious piece of s**t.

  12. Mr Dogshit

    Ugh

    Who'd buy a car from this nut job?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ugh

      The cars are not designed by Musk or made by Musk. They are designed and built by much more ordinary people, many of them probably very nice, kind and uninterested in Twitter.

      Henry Ford was a grade A asshole who more than flirted with the Nazis, but he improved the lives of millions of people. Wernher von Braun was a grade A actual Nazi on whose watch many thousands of slave labourers died building his missiles, but he has a significant role in the space program that itself, arguably, led to technical advances that enabled many people in the Third World to escape poverty.

      There are reasons I wouldn't buy a Tesla but the main one is simply that it is much bigger and more expensive than I need. The company now seems to be big enough to survive its CEO (not its founder by the way), but it wouldn't be where it is without him.

  13. Harry Stottle

    Fine the Bastards for Excess Deaths

    Given that the negative effects of premature exposure cannot be accurately predicted, I suggest that the appropriate judgement for ANY corporate entity putting its workers at risk in the current crisis should be along the following lines:

    Until firther notice, you are required to report all Covid related infections and fatalities amongst workers you require to attend your premises. Your reports will be cross referenced against public records and any under-reporting will be a criminal offence unless a court is persuaded that the failure was a genuine accident or oversight and does not form part of a pattern of failure to disclose.

    In 12 months time (and, if necessary, every 12 months thereafter), your cases will be analysed and compared to the State records. If your statistics reveal a Covid related death rate more than 1% in excess of the rate for the State in which your activities take place, you will be fined $10 million per excess death. The total fines will be shared out amongst all the families of your employees who died during the period and were required to work at your premises.

    That should concentrate their minds

    I have specified the State as the comparison target, rather than the Nation, given the colossal disparity in the way States are responding and the likely effects of that disparity on their local death rates. I accept that this means employees in the most reckless of States will be more exposed and less compensated by this arrangement than in the more cautious States because the aberrant employer will be more "normalised" by what is going on in their State. I also accept that some States (eg Florida) are already trying to hide their Covid related death rate. But these factors can be partially mitigated by reference to Excess Deaths generally and, in any case, are not directly the fault of the employer. These political issues require a parallel but different policy to deal with the aberrant States' political leadership; the most obvious of which is the rather weak but reasonably effective recall of such politicians and their subsequent, preferably permanent, exclusion from power through action at the ballot box, by the survivors.

    For commercial offenders, however, a court ruling such as the one outlined above would certainly deal with the likes of the Muskrat going out on a limb within one of the more cautious States and could form a template for similar reckless behaviour around the world. The description above is US centric but the principle could be adapted fairly easily for any country with a reasonably independent judiciary.

    Just a thought...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fine the Bastards for Excess Deaths

      Or, just use the Tunisian model - break the rules relating to COVID, and get an automatic, strict liability, manslaughter charge (change "break" to "inducing others to break" and done).

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Fine the Bastards for Excess Deaths

      The problem is that it is hard to prove any employee caught coronavirus and died only because they were forced into work.

      I'm all for protecting employees and redressing failures but it has to be justice, not revenge, not driven by any hatred or dislike for those accused.

  14. DryBones

    Elon really should count his blessings. If they tried this in China he and multiple others would have been arrested before he had TIME to dare them to.

    And they have a much bigger population. And (supposedly) an order of magnitude fewer deaths from COVID and are much further in reopening than our current incompetents. And (according to what the WaPo let me see in a peek) hand the US its ass almost every time they wargame. So... yeah.

  15. Demosthenes Locke

    We keep telling you that we are NOT SUBJECTS. We're CITIZENS. We don't live at the pleasure of the Crown. We have sovereign rights in America. Please change your books and stuff, because our government does NOT RULE us, they do jobs we HIRE them to do. That's why he's fighting back, because they've clearly mistaken him for either a serf or a slave, at the behest of some sort of Crown, and NO AMERICAN is!

    Sheesh, you'd think you'd remember a war back in 1776 about this!

    1. DryBones

      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/16/1937928/-Dear-right-wing-protesters-your-liberty-to-swing-your-fist-ends-just-where-my-nose-begins

      Sit down, shut up, and think.

    2. Kernel

      "We keep telling you that we are NOT SUBJECTS. We're CITIZENS. "

      You're also citizens who are dying from CV-19 at the 7th highest per capita rate in the world - you're even managing to die from this cause at a higher per capita rate than India; and from documentaries I've seen of the living conditions forced upon the lower levels of Indian society, that's likely to be quite an achievement!

      You're having to keep bodies in refrigerated trucks because there's not even enough morgue capacity in some parts of the country.

      FFS, you've lost more "CITIZENS" to CV-19 in the last three months than all the US troops that died in Vietnam (58,209 + 1597 MIA) and at the current rate of progress you'll be past the WW I total (116,516) in the very near future - like less than two weeks!

      You've currently had 82,246 deaths, with 1,426 of those occurring in the last 24 hours (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html) - what sort of Federal action would be demanded if the cause of those deaths (at the same rate) was something else, such as contaminated food/drink, or military casualties?

      Taking the steps needed to keep a highly infectious and dangerous disease under control is not Communism, Socialism, serfdom or slavery, it's just common sense.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        how many people died of:

        a) traffic accidents

        b) drug overdoses

        c) suicide

        d) old age

        e) cancer

        f) INFLUENZA

        etc.

        track these, too, to put things into perspective. And keep in mind that many of the Wuhan virus deaths were in NYC and New York (the state), quite possibly due to a bad policy caused by the governor (Cuomo), who deliberately sent infected patients BACK INTO NURSING HOMES when there were empty beds available in the temporary hospital in NYC and also on the Mercy (hospital ship) waiting for such patients, but left empty, unused... and so the elderly residents at those nursing homes had about 25% die from the Wuhan virus [as I recall]. It was grossly irresponsible.

        Compare THAT to how Sweden has done it.

        (no more lies, damn lies, and tainted statistics, please)

        1. Kernel

          "(no more lies, damn lies, and tainted statistics, please)

          "

          You can add another 1701 CV-19 deaths in the US to the total since I posted yesterday - are you seriously suggesting that that many people die in the US from any of the other causes you list, in a 24 hour period? Remember, deaths from those causes are still occurring - the CV-19 deaths are in addition to, not instead of, any deaths from 'normal' causes.

          Unlike a war where, when you get sick of people dying, a truce is agreed and everyone goes home to their loved ones, with this disease the decision to take the necessary steps is just the beginning and you still have several weeks of deaths ahead of you at that point. It took NZ seven weeks to get CV-19 more or less under control - and we have a much smaller population, very little in the way of truly high-density housing, easily closed borders and easily controlled travel routes around the country.

          Sweden is a very different country to the US in many ways and what works there (and that's still under discussion) is unlikely to work in the US.

  16. Mahhn

    Herd mentalty

    Just noticing how everyone is happy join the media hype and throw rocks.

    However, he isn't wrong that other places are allowed to operate and his isn't.

    I've read so many Hit articles on Tesla over the years, it's amazing he made any cars.

    Yet, he does make cars, has a space ship, and works "with" this workers.

    I'm not going to bash him. He is angry for good reason.

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Herd mentalty

      >However, he isn't wrong that other places are allowed to operate and his isn't.

      The decisions about who opens what have been devolved to states and counties so there is going to be some variablilty. But that's the way it should be; there are parts of California that haven't seen any sign of Covid while other parts -- including, unforutnately, where Tesla is located --- that have seen significant clusters.

      I'd guess its the same situation in the UK. There will be areas where the virus is rampant and other areas where life is going on as normal. This doesn't mean that the quiet areas have no risk, its just that so long as nobdy spready contagion into those areas they're going to remain quiet.

      BTW -- SpaceX seems to be operating normally.

  17. Reg Reader 1

    It's entirely possible that he was pandering to Trump for Political favour and maybe a Federal purchase of Tesla's or a favourable view of SpaceX and Starship, who knows. I have little doubt that he'd like the factory opened for production, but his wording was right off the Trump sound bite list it seems to me.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares

    Elon fan boy here. This is all noise. You’ll all forget about this in a year from now. As a longtime TSLA shareholder I’m holding for life or at least as long as Elon is running the show.

    California has brilliant people but toxic politics, challenging regulations and high costs of operations. Moving manufacturing to a lower cost state only makes sense. Heck they’re already building cars in Shanghai. However they should definitely maintain their R&D in Silicon Valley.

    Wherever they call HQ is just ceremonial. I vote for Mars.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who cares

      >> Who cares

      >> Elon fan boy here

      It's called 'cost' when the accountants can't fiddle it into the profits, so 'lower cost' as you use it is an accounting term.

      The non-accounting term, in the real world, for lower cost workers is better described as 'labour exploitation'.

      The moment the world has equal labour protection and rights globally, and end this sort of geo-exploitation, this idea of 'low cost' will take on a very different form and be about labour quality and productivity.

      None of are innocent of this, but FFS don't celebrate this as some fucked up sense of 'genius'..

      You talk like a fat cat, proud of being the shareholder of a corporation that cares nothing for the safety of their employees, calling it 'challenging regulation', and celebrating the arrogant megalomaniac attention whore billionaire who can barely ecke out a profit on a company that will need to achieve 18,000% increase in profits to compare to its peers. He is in California not for the 'gifted talent' but for the tax and R&D subsidies for renewables, which is the highest in California. Almost all his businesses are in tax subsidy 'havens' (SpaceX is for eg another)

      PS: IMHO anyone who worships another flawed human or institution, regardless of what they do, is an idiot. He's doing this to be in the news cycle and prop up his share price - TSLA is a hype stock any which way you look at it. It's the fan worship that makes this strategy work. But I am grateful. Please put more money into TSLA and keep less money flowing to other worthy shares.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who cares

        WOW the one company in the world that’s actually transitioning everyone off oil and you consider them evil. Goes to show you how morally lost some people on the extreme left can be

        Also engineering quality is more relevant than labour quality when you’re trying to build an alien dreadnought of a car assembly plant!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who cares

          >> WOW the one company in the world that’s actually transitioning everyone off oil

          One company??? Everyone??? WTF are you smoking??

          >> Also engineering quality is more relevant than labour quality when you’re trying to build an alien dreadnought of a car assembly plant!

          FFS engineering quality comes out of a high quality of labour. They already use robots for the dumb stuff... - again WTF are you smoking??

          >> and you consider them evil.

          No I consider Musk evil, not tesla inc, but I can see how you don't get it. Hero worship always is blinding ..

          >> people on the extreme left

          FFS, the how matters.. the ends don't justify any means.

          Falling back to labels like 'extreme left' show group think and convenience 'compartmentalising' for quick disposal of inconvenient truths.

          "We should test our new tesla car seat on human babies - it's the fastest way to improve the technology and wean new families off oil... we will get accurate data unlike those other legacy companis using test dummies.

          Nothing beats the real thing. There are so many of them up for adoption in them oher countries. We can set up an innovative supply chain.. It will lower testing costs dramtically of our Tesla baby car seat and save <subscript>rich</subscript> babies' lives.

          We owe it to the shareholders to maximise profits - it's our fiduciary duty. We owe it to babies in America.

          What that's not allowed??

          Damn - fucking lefties, hiippes, freedon snatchers, liberals, etc etc.

          regulation standing in the way of innovation. Unfair increase in costs!

          we should offshore to a carrier ship on international waters.

          America is land of the free and if I want to test on babies I get to test on babies!!

          MAGA!!!! MAGAAAAAAA!!!!!!

          I need to tweet this - Let's use kittens from the shelter till then..

          "

          This is how idiotic your reponse is to me.

          If Elon is willing to flout the law like this, wonder how far he'll go. Are these tesla cars another 737 max in the making?? "Safety testing.. who needs that.. that's for the liberals. Mistakes are made in the path of innovation, some lives are needed"

          On every metric as a CEO he is failing - TESLA is his first job as sole CEO of a public company and he is not handling the pressure at all, let alone doing a good job. He has consistently over-promised and under-delivered - the problem IMO is that he is an ego stroking addict. The pedo comment made me lose all respect for him as an individual - he is not apologised even if this was a flash of ill judgement.. an ugly person.

          But these are facts and are too inconvenient to matter..

          Go back to your mug shot of Musk and kneel and pray. I hear your god wants you to buy more shares.

          Take TSLA to $2000.. coz you know like tsla is the only company in the whole world ever that will make electric cars, and can only do it under one ceo...

  19. martinusher Silver badge

    I'd like to see him try this stunt with his other factories

    Mr. Musk can more or less get away with this type of tantrum in the US because of the way that we organize our society.

    I'd like to see him try it on in China or Germany.

  20. Scene it all

    Here is the way to position this to employees. "Ok, would you go back to work if there was a gunman standing outside the factory who is going to shoot every 20th person walking out the door? Each day? Because those are the odds your boss is gambling with. Enjoy your bonus."

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    musk for..

    president in 2040.

    Being obnoxious on Twitter is a pre requisite - soon for all leadership positions.

    He's just looking way ahead..

  22. Emma25

    Company Leader

    Is it irresponsible and selfish? Definitely. But, I still commend that tiny bit of claim that he’ll be with his people at the company. Other political leaders (not dropping any names) would advocate to open up their cities. When the journalist ask whether they’ll be there with their people, they’d say “They don’t need me there” and “I have a family”. Hahaha, man. What must it feel like to be a leader of a company? I’ll never know.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020