Elon Musk (left: Shutterstock), Mark Zuckerberg (right: Epoch Times).
Author Li Xiaogong has analyzed the challenge of digital hegemony between Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg on Epochtimes. Here is the article content:
On January 7, 2021, the “richest person in the world” title belonged to Tesla founder and CEO, Elon Musk. With Tesla’s stock price soaring, Musk has more than $ 185 billion in his hands, surpassing the $ 184 billion that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has.
On January 7, just a day after the protest in Washington on January 6, Musk was “promoted to the title” of richest man. He shared a picture of the dominoes on Twitter. Many analysts believe this alludes to the “domino effect” on social media that Facebook was the first trigger after the riots in Washington.
At the same time, shortly after Twitter and Facebook censored President Trump’s account, Musk encouraged everyone to use Signal-encrypted communications.
Many netizens believe this is the latest escalation in the nagging controversy between Musk and Zuckerberg. Some other residents also joked that the “two aliens” have started a war.
Musk and Zuckerberg: Don’t stop arguing
The controversy between Musk and Zuckerberg has started long ago and shows no signs of stopping.
In a 2017 live broadcast, Zuckerberg made a statement about Musk’s call that the world should think twice about artificial intelligence (IA). “I don’t understand AI optimists,” Zuckerberg said. Very negative. I think to a certain extent it’s very irresponsible ”. At the same time, Zuckerberg also said he himself is very optimistic about IA technology.
Musk then responded on Twitter: “I spoke to Zuckerberg, and his understanding of the matter [artificial intelligence] is very limited.”
In 2018, when it was revealed that Facebook might be selling user information, Musk deleted the Tesla and SpaceX Facebook pages.
In February 2020, Musk publicly stated on Twitter: “Facebook is too bad and should be deleted”. In May, Musk turned to Jerome Pesenti, Facebook’s vice president of Artificial Intelligence, and said: “Facebook is bad.”
And Musk’s “domino effect” earlier this month is the latest confrontation between the two.
Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla (Photo: Reuters).
But Musk’s decision clearly isn’t about so-called personal grievances. Then, on January 11, Musk tweeted again, expressing concerns about Big Tech’s increased voice control in the United States. “Many people will feel that the big West Bank tech companies have become controllers of free speech,” he said.
In fact, as Musk said, after Facebook and Twitter stormed Trump and other conservative voices; A large number of users have turned to Parler, Signal, Gab and other social networks. Within days, Gab MXH usage increased over 750%.
As Big Techs like Facebook and Twitter unscrupulously crack down on the right to free speech, Musk’s voice of criticism stands out. Of course, Musk’s popularity increased as well, some netizens speculated that if Musk created another social platform, he would overthrow other social networks.
The “Martians” plan of Mars
As a tech giant, Musk has two very interesting projects: the Mars 2030 plan and the Starlink project. .
Musk is also referred to by many media as “the man from Mars”, due to his plan to “settle on Mars and preserve the species of Earth.” Is Musk really from Mars?
Having become the richest man in the world, Musk wrote, “Almost half of my fortune will be used to help solve the earth’s problems and the other half will be used to build self-sufficient cities on Mars.”
Musk said this was to ensure the continued life of all species on earth, to prevent the earth from being hit by asteroids like dinosaurs or destroyed in the event of World War III. Musk actually has a “conspiracy” about Mars, as he previously said one of his goals was to spend as much money as possible on his plan to occupy Mars.
Does Musk seem very interested in Mars? (Artwork: Youtube / CNET Highlights).
For example, while people are busy choosing cars and mobility, Musk is interested in the species on earth and the invasion of distant planets. This really goes far beyond ordinary people’s concerns about life.
To the general public, who cannot lead but only follow in the footsteps of science and technology, many consider Musk’s idea to be fictional.
Of course, in most people’s eyes, those are not possible. However, some claims are likely to “explode” someday. On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed a bill requiring the Department of Defense and intelligence agencies to complete a report regarding an unidentified flying object (UFO) within 180 days and submit it to Congress.
It seems the Mars theme is still a bit far away, but another plan currently being implemented by this “Martian” is very practical. That is the Starlink Project.
Surely many people already know Starlink, a cluster of low-orbiting satellites built by SpaceX to cover high-speed Internet around the world.
So how big is the satellite group?
Elon Musk previously said that at least 800 Starlink satellites would orbit before they start providing Internet coverage to customers in the United States and Canada. To cover the world, the Starlink system is expected to need about 12,000 satellites and these satellites will wander at an altitude of only 550 to 1,200 km from the ground. Eventually, more than 12,000 satellites will surround the earth to provide high-speed Internet to all parts of the world. Individual user bandwidth will exceed 1Gb per second, allowing users to download movies in seconds.
The Starlink project is good news for Internet users all over the world, especially those who cannot access the Internet because of remote conditions and other reasons. According to the United Nations report, the number of beneficiaries exceeds 52% of the global population.
To help users connect directly to Starlink, SpaceX will also build a giant ground station system. One only needs to put up a pot-shaped satellite receiver less than half a meter in diameter and the network signal can be transmitted directly to the home, Musk said.
Starlink’s current goal is to provide service to the North of the United States and Canada by 2020, and to expand its reach to the world by 2021. Currently, SpaceX has launched a total of more than 800 satellites. sky in waves, and will maintain the launch frequency of 60 satellites every two weeks until all 12,000 small satellites have been launched.
When will Starlink come into operation?
As of June 19, 2020, the starlink.com website started inviting people to register. People only need to provide their nationality, email address, and local zip code to receive relevant updates.
So, can Musk’s Starlink project break the grid blockade in mainland China? If possible, that would be great news for the roughly 800 million internet users on the continent.
However, the news published by Musk is not so optimistic. Musk said he might not provide services to China without permission because the Chinese military might shoot down those communications satellites.
Either way, the current situation is changing and everyone is changing. Since Musk has voiced his opposition to Big Techs becoming digital dictators, he understands that technology shouldn’t be a tool for eliminating free voices. Maybe Musk will have some new ideas in the future.
A group of Starlink satellites as seen from the International Space Station (photo: Wikipedia).
The CCP is also very worried about Starlink. Global Times editor-in-chief Ho Tich Tien told Weibo that China’s “great firewall” will one day fail due to the leap in communications technology.
Currently, PCC’s Aerospace Science and Industry Team and Aerospace Science and Technology Group have proposed the Rainbow Cloud and Swans Constellation Project, respectively, in the hope that more private forces will participate in building the Internet network. Chinese space. In April 2020, the satellite internet was also cataloged by the CCP into a new infrastructure.
It is not known how many non-government forces are willing to help the CCP build this user-hostile satellite Internet. Moreover, given the current technology of the CCP, he is nowhere near being able to compete with Musk.
“A person can make money doesn’t mean he’s good.”
Musk’s Starlink and Mars plans are both awe-inspiring, which also shows that Musk’s talent is phenomenal. However, Musk’s current investment plan in China at least proves that his vision is limited when it comes to the CCP. Doesn’t it seem like Musk fully understands this dictatorship?
As the Sino-US trade war raged and the Trump administration called on US companies to return to domestic production, Musk invested heavily in the mainland Chinese market.
On July 10, 2018, Musk and the Shanghai municipal government signed an agreement that the Tesla China plant would be located in Shanghai. This super factory covers an area of 860,000 m2 and represents a total investment of over 2 billion USD.
So is Musk’s investment in China producing the expected return? At the end of 2020, US hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said in an interview that foreign companies investing in China cannot make money. Bass took Tesla as an example, Musk had to admit that Tesla’s technology was stolen in China, and then China made a car cheaper than Tesla. This is the CCP’s plan. Bass predicts that Musk will eventually stay away from China because of it.
Moreover, even when foreign companies make money in China, they cannot transfer money out of the country. China is the toughest country in the world for U.S. businesses looking to send money home, Bass said. Many U.S. multinationals have failed to transfer dollars out of China since the fourth quarter of 2016.
Earlier this year, Musk said Chinese officials care more about the people than the United States, after a factory at a Hunan tech company that produced batteries for Tesla caught fire. The interviewer rejected this idea, and Musk replied that if the CCP doesn’t care about human rights, how can there be fair competition. After the interview, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hoa Xuan Oanh immediately said she was happy Musk said this.
Famous democracy activist Wang Dan criticized Musk saying he was right even when he was ignorant. A person can make money, but that does not mean that he is elite. Wang Dan also took Jack Ma as an example and “advised” Musk to talk to Jack Ma.
Musk, an American citizen, may infiltrate the dictatorship of the American tech giants right now, but his understanding of CCP society is far too young for those of us. Although Musk despises Zuckerberg, he doesn’t seem to be more sober than Zuckerberg in the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s huge market.