Musk goes off

Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File

Gizmodo reports that Elon Musk is showing his true colours over the rescuers of the Thai football team rejecting his submarine. Quote:

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk accused one of the British divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach from the flooded Tham Luang cave complex of being a pedophile on Saturday in retaliation for questioning Musk?s contributions to the rescue effort.

Yeah. End quote.

This is ugly. The rescue was a painstaking, highly technical exercise, with those involved in both the planning and the rescue being the very best in the world. If they said Musk’s submarine was not suitable, you can bet your bottom dollar that they were right. Quote:

CNN reported?that the diver in question, Chiang Rai resident Vern Unsworth, played a critical role in not only finding the 13 members of the trapped soccer team but spent 17 days in the complex helping extract them alongside other specialist cave divers. Unsworth?told CNN?in an interview that the custom-made ?submarine??really more of an air-filled tube?Musk?personally delivered?to the cave complex was worthless and could play no role in a rescue attempt. (Thai authorities had already?called the device??not practical with our mission.?) End quote.

Lots of ideas were floated, no doubt, but the biggest issues to be dealt with were the very narrow and winding passageways and, of course, the flooding water. If the experts thought his submarine wouldn’t work (valuable idea that it was) then they should be respected. Quote:

?He can stick his submarine where it hurts,? Unsworth said. ?It just had absolutely no chance of working. He had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about five-foot-six long, rigid, so it wouldn?t have gone round corners or round any obstacles.? End quote.

Slightly unfortunate choice of words by Unsworth, but you get the drift. Musk had not been into the caves and therefore had no real idea of the issues the rescuers faced. Even though his intentions were obviously well-meant. Quote:

?It wouldn?t have made it the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point,? Unsworth concluded. ?Just a PR stunt… He was asked to leave very quickly, and so he should have […]? End quote.

I would back Unsworth on this. He knew the caves, and he understood the extent and the challenges of the rescue. Eion Musk clearly did not. Quote:

In a series of tweets responding to Unsworth?s criticism, Musk referred to Unsworth?s ?British expat guy who lives in Thailand? as ?sus? (suspicious) and said he had never seen him at the cave complex. Musk challenged Unsworth?s accounting of the water levels in the cave, then got even angrier, explicitly calling Unsworth a ?pedo guy? and saying he would prove the device?s utility by, uh, sending more people into the cave with it. End quote.

It does make you ask questions about Eion Musk. This is seriously strange and erratic behaviour. Surely a successful business magnate would understand that not every idea works. Did the very first Tesla design go smoothly? What about his SpaceX programmes? There would have to be a lot of redesigns and revisions on a programme like that.

I can’t help but wonder if there is a special disease that only infects millionaires. Think Gareth Morgan, Colin Craig, Kim Dotcom and now Eion Musk. They have made a lot of money, so they must know everything. People must bow to their superiority. If they don’t, even if the reasoning is valid, then they are to be treated with disdain, even insults?

To call the man who masterminded a major rescue operation over two weeks, and who then successfully brought out all 13 boys safely, a “pedo” is a new low for anyone. He definitely didn’t deserve that. Shame on you, Eion Musk. All the money in the world does not give you the right to behave like that.