Diminishing​ Degrees

Updated: May 28

As it stands at this point in history, the degree may be the quickest way of validating somebodies expertise credentials. It's vital that the validity of the degree stay intact for that reason. Unfortunately, some individuals show themselves to have forgotten entirely about lessons learned in undergraduate classes. We can probably blame the weight of importance being placed on standardized testing for that. The example presented here is one that is controversial because of his massive fan base. Someone who appears as a true visionary and who only plays by their rules in the entrepreneurial market, to the joy of many. Regardless, one adventure to the YouTube channel by the name of "Thunderf00t" run by the chemist Phil Mason and its quickly revealed how little originality and care for his degrees is found with this individual.


Elon Musk has both a physics degree and an economics degree. Tho by trade, he's a software designer, the undergraduate degrees should stand. Now take a gander at Phil's videos dissecting the ideas of the Monorail, Hyperloop & BFR and watch the physics and economic practicality of them fall apart with ease. The part that makes the situation infuriating is how every mainstream news outlet paints Elon as an innovative tech deity and never failing to report massively on these "new projects" every time they are released. Another infuriating part is thinking of all the good intenioned people who get excited thinking about a bright future with these ideas in them because after all, Elon Musk must know what he's doing since he's a tech company owning billionaire right? That false hope is doing a disservice. Nonetheless, that hope exists because everytime one of these ideas are presented they come with a beautiful rendering and well-designed concept from someone who is seen as a tech mogul. Turns out they're completely unoriginal and their physics and economics are impractical. The main point is, that diminishes the value of what an economics and or physics degree means, which is a massive disservice.


A reminder is needed here that wealth doesn't inherently describe expertise in anything. Elon Musk achieved his wealth from selling PayPal. Which he used to start an electric car company that happens to hold the vast majority of the electric car market today as well as a mostly rocket manufacturing space company. Merely starting and owning those companies with the income generated from selling a payment software don't describe expertise in economics or physics. I invite anybody who understands the difference between commerce and economics to find me an example of Elon showing his expertise in Economics. The science behind the Hyperloop alone deflates his possible expertise in physics.


On the other hand, perhaps owning these companies has given him expertise in finance. Although now there even is skepticism surrounding that because of the recent tweet about taking Tesla private at 420$ per share. From reading mainstream articles about the situation, it appears as tho this idea strikes of something he presented to his analysts after he tweeted it, rather than the opposite. If the criticisms of the idea hold true, it will validate the argument that economists aren't financing experts and vice versa. Now, it's fair to say we all venture outside our expertise by accident sometimes. However, Elon should have expertise in physics and economics because he has a degree in physics and economics.


What is most striking to me as far as the connection between Elon and economics goes is the time he was criticized on Twitter for hoarding wealth. Rather than respond by informing the person he planned to give away all of his wealth by his life's end, he responded by referring to himself as a job creator. Therefore, the wealth hoarding is justified. That's somewhat pompous seeing as the real job creators in an economy are the consumers. It's not as if the Tesla employees wouldn’t have jobs if Elon didn’t exist, its that they wouldn’t have jobs if nobody bought a Teslas. If Tesla folded tomorrow, the people working for the company might be out of work, but only temporarily. They would find other jobs sooner or later. Such a subject matter is a philosophical debate in the economic concept of supply and demand. The argument here is that it’s far easier to create supply than to create demand when talking about manufactured objects that people buy. A concept that should have already dawned in the mind of anybody with an economics degree.


One of the main reasons the invisible criticism shield seemed to have disappeared from Elon for the public is from his brash and obnoxious tweet calling one of the children rescuers in Thailand "pedo guy." That was simply ridiculous. However, I hold the fact that he diminishes the value of his degrees to greater importance. As well as the fact that he is taken more seriously and his ideas valued more merely because of his vast wealth. Not because of his proven expertise.