Just recently, Elon Musk was on Saturday Night Live and he revealed that he is autistic. Actually he said he had Asperger’s syndrome. He claimed he was the first person with AS to host SNL, which the entire world knows that is not true. He had been trying to develop a brain implant to try to cure autism and other neurodivergencies. He had even been sued by the developer of the Tesla electric car.
Elon Musk is 49 years old and he lives in Austin, Texas. He was born in South Africa on June 28, 1971. He often daydreamed and his parents had his hearing checked. His parents divorced when he was 10. Since then, he developed an interest in computers and taught himself how to program. He sold his first Game when he was 12 and called it Blastar. He sold it for $500. When he was in school, Musk was short and introverted. He was bullied until he was 15 and learned how to defend himself with karate and wrestling.
When he was 17, he moved to Canada to enroll in Queen’s University and to avoid the mandatory service in the South African military. Musk became a Canadian citizen that year because he thought it would be easier to obtain US citizenship.
In 1992, Musk left Canada in order to study business and physics at the University of Pennsylvania. He has graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelors of arts in economic and Science in physics. He was accepted to a phD in energy physics at Stanford University but he opted to defer his seat in order to start his first business, a software company called Zip2. He became an American citizen in 2002.
He is the current CEO and chairman of Tesla and owns Space X. . Musk co founded Tesla, is a lead designer and founder at SpaceX, CEO of Neuralink and launched the Boring Company. It is no secret that he has a lot of accomplishments.
How Musk Treats His Employee
When the COVID 19 outbreak started, Tesla Motors did not slow down. They built over 144,000 cars in 3 months. They intended to keep this momentum going. This type of momentum will break the employees, the people actually building the cars. These are the people making Musk the 2nd richest person in the world.
Tesla workers and advocates say that the company is risking the health and safety of the workers in persuit of their precious numbers. Tesla is pressuring the Chinese workers and American workers as well. Starting in August of 2020 the workers were working 60 hours per week, 6 days a week. 10 hour shifts. In addition to the long hours, Tesla continues to have significant worker turnover. With new people in and out of the factories, the risk of being infected with COVID 19 is greater.
One worker said,”Something’s gotta give, and soon.”
Musk is a COVID 19 skeptic. The reality of this pandemic and depression means workers are both economically vulnerable and less able to push back through organizing tactics.
The Tesla factory in Alameda County closed due to the health department’s orders.At this time, Musk questioned the virus’ mortality rate before defying the government and reopening this factory in May. If any attempt was made to push back with a legal or political method, Musk responded with a lawsuit.
Since this has happened, production has increased. Workers are being pushed past their limits. Working this long hours can cause heart disease, hypertension, anxiety, lack of sleep unhealthy habits. Musk is risking his workers lives.
A California judge ruled that Musk and other Tesla executives have been illegally sabotaging employees from forming a Union. They were cited on 12 company actions that violated US labor laws. This includes allowing security guards harass workers who were passing out union pamphlets in the parking lot, banning employees from wearing pro union shirts and buttons, interrogating union organizers and firing them.
There is no financial penalty for practicing unfair labor practices. The only place that would hurt this company is in the wallet. If they violate the judge’s order, the National Labor Relations Board will have to petition a federal appeals court to enforce this order.
Elon Musk developed Neuralink. It was supposed to be a brain implant to make connecting a brain to a computer to be as simplistic as LASIK surgery to “cure brain ailments and someday help humans compete with artificial intelligence.” Their goal is to have a computer chip, the size of a large coin, implanted into the human brain by a robot surgeon. This would be able to connect the brain to a smart phone VIA bluetooth. This chip was supposed to “fix” autism and schizophrenia. “Neuralink, I think at first, will solve a lot of brain-related diseases,” said Musk. “Could be anything from, like autism, schizophrenia, memory loss- like, everyone experiences memory loss at certain points in age. Parents can’t remember their kids names, and that kind of thing.”
Musk says that this device will record and stimulate brain activity. He expected that it would be ready before 2020, but it hasn’t happened yet. Thankfully.
A neuroscientist, Randy Bruno, who implants similar devices in mice says this is very unlikely. Dr. Bruno thinks Neuralink control system for bionic parts in paralyzed patients could be possible. (I cannot speak for people who are paralyzed. I am not sure their feelings on this.)
He also said,”If you talk to any neurosurgeon, they will tell you that that they would only undertake brain surgery of any kind if it was absolutely essential.” An actual brain surgeon said that no neurosurgeon would perform unnecessary brain surgery.
Bruno says,”The deficit is brain wide. Its not like adding information into the brain via some interface or monitoring what many neurons are going to do, alone, can cure a disease.”
Autism is not a disease.
Bruno does not believe that Neuralink can do much for schizophrenia or memory loss either. “Its not like there’s a small number of neurons sitting in this part of my cortex and if only we could route information around them or bypass them or turn them off, you’re going to fix the problem. Many brain diseases have a very specific genetic defect or multiple genetic defects. And there’s a very biological basis for the problem.”
Saturday Night Live
The autistic community and the world is talking about Saturday Night Live with Elon Musk. Musk stole Mother’s Day from autistic moms, myself included. We wanted to enjoy Mother’s Day but we had to process this announcement. Many autistics, including myself, had a feeling that he is autistic. He had the guff to say that he was the first “person with aspergers” to be on SNL. This is a bold faced lie. Dan Ackoyd appeared on SNL 18 years ago. He has been openly autistic for a long time.
There were many problems with his appearance. The first one is obvious. He used Aspergers syndrome to separate himself from the rest of the autistic community. He isn’t better than the rest of the autistic community because he is an “aspie.” This shows he will not let go of the Aspergers label, even when the history of Hans Asperger is deeply seeded in hate, eugenics, ableism and anti semitism. This is the essence of aspie supremacy.
Aspergers is also a functioning label. According to the National Centre for Mental Health in the UK, “These labels were typically added as descriptors suggesting the level of support an autistic person would need, but the reality is that they shed no light on the needs of an autistic person; the word ‘functioning’ is a misnomer.”
“High functioning is not how an autistic person experiences being autistic, its how society experiences the autistic person.”
Elon Musk holding up the white power sign with both hands.
During a segment of the show, he gestured the white power symbol which the Anti Defamation League declared a hate symbol in 2019. For those who don’t know, fun fact. The white power symbol is also asshole in American Sign Language.
There were people who disagree and call it a prank. This prank was targeting progressives into believe that everyday gestures including this one were secret symbols of white supremacy. The ADL maintains that the issue is that white supremacists later joined the trolling campaign, leading the organization to classify the symbol as a hate symbol.
The community isn’t denying that he is autistic. The autistic community is embarrassed to have such a member who disregards human rights as part of our community. He does not represent the community as a whole.