Elon Musk Explained How His Brain Works In A Viral Ted Talk
The 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO shared more about his experience with autism.
Elon Musk is one of the worlds most polarizing figures. But whether you envy his mind or moderately fear it, theres undeniable curiosity behind how the billionaires brain works. And the worlds richest man recently gave some much-desired insight into the inner workings of his mind.
On April 14, Musk sat down for an hour-long TED Talk interview, which was facilitated by the head of TED Chris Anderson. During the talk, Musk discussed everything from bidding on Twitter to Tesla technology to the meaning of life to, yes, his brain.
The 50-year-old Tesla and SpaceX CEO, who first publicly disclosed that he has Aspergers syndrome in his Saturday Night Live opening monologue in May 2021, further discussed his experience with autism during the TED Talk. Musk shared his personal experience growing up with Asperbergs syndrome, describing how he learned to work with his brain instead of against it.
Social cues were not intuitive, so I was just very bookish, Musk told Anderson. Others could intuitively understand what was meant by something. I would take something very literally as if the words that were spoken were exactly what they meant. But that turned out to be wrong. not simply saying exactly what they mean. There are all sorts of other things that are meant. It took me a while to figure that out.
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Musk Found Solace In Books And Computer Programming
“Everyone’s experience is going to be somewhat different, but I guess for me, the social cues were not intuitive. I was just very bookish and I didn’t understand these,” Musk, the father of seven children, including six boys, also recounted.
“I guess others could intuitively understand what is meant by something. I would just tend to take things very literally, just the words as spoken were exactly what they meant. But then, that turned out to be wrong, because they’re not simply saying exactly what they mean. There’s all sorts of other things that are meant. It took me a while to figure that out.”
Data Extraction And Classification
From the selected popular tweets, we extracted the post message and the number of comments, retweets, and likes. We extracted only the original tweets and no personal or identifiable data were collected.
We created a coding guideline, which was used to classify the tweets . Each post was classified by 2 independent coders who are experts in autism as to whether the post contained correct information , misinformation , or neutral information . Classification disagreements were discussed with the rest of the coauthors until a consensus was reached. We analyzed the number of posts and engagement from other media users with those posts. The engagement was assessed using the number of comments, retweets, and likes.
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Controversy Over Elon Musks Autism Revelation
Mainstream media and the online autism community have been examining tech billionaire Elon Musks May 8th announcement as host of Saturday Night Live that he is on theautism spectrum. Some sites praise Musk for bringing autism into the spotlight and being a potential role model. Other organizations are saying his announcement did more harm than good to the autism community.
Musk The Son Of A Mining Engineer From Whom He Stole Emeralds
Elon Musk was born in Pretoria on June 28, 1971. First-born son of Errol and Maye Musk, his father was a mining engineer who did really well, earning a fortune thanks to the construction of mines where emeralds were extracted. His mother Maye, on the other hand, was a model and dietician.
A pattern that Musk himself has repeated in the future as we have been able to observe in his sentimental life, with him being the multimillionaire and his partners, such as Heard or Talulah Riley, as female ‘trophies’.
After his parents’ divorce in 1980, Musk decided to move in with his father, a period during which, as he has confessed in an interview, he used to steal emeralds from him.
Elon Musk Does Not Suffer From Aspergers Syndrome
I actually make history tonight as the first person with Aspergers to host SNL or at least the first to admit it! Said businessman Elon Musk in known American TV show Saturday Night Live.
Whispers, that the founder of Space X has Aspergers syndrome, have however existed before the official announcement.
There is even a note in the biography by Ashlee Vance, that some people interpret his behaviour as autism. The author has however passed this, because it is too easy, and it shows the lack of information of these people.
Hints that Elon Musk may be on the autistic spectrum have been here before. Even in childhood has Elon shown signs of being different. He had very vivid imagination ever since childhood, and he was able to concentrate on a problem so much, that he has stopped paying attention to the rest of the world. That is actually the reason, why Elon has been through tonsil surgery as a child his doctor had thought, that was is slightly deaf.
Elons mother May remembers that often, when the family went shopping, Elon has disappeared. They knew where he has gone to and indeed as many times before he sat at the library and was in his world.
He got interested in computers even before puberty and at the age of twelve managed to programme a computer game called Blastar, which he subsequently sold to PC Magazine and Office Technology.
It is obvious that Elon Musk has several interesting personal traits, that can be explained by autism.
Neuralink Is More Likely To Create A Bionic Person Than Solve Any Memory Issues
Neuroscientists expect that instead of making us all faster computers, Neuralink might be a way to give paralyzed patients more mobility.
The man whos lost his arm, can we now give him an arm back that he can control in great detail? Bruno said.
A Neuralink implant could also help blind patients see.
Even though their eye doesnt work right, they have in their mind the image of something that Im trying to send to them, Bruno said.
Neurobiologist Andrew Hires and bionics bioengineer Rylie Green both previously told Business Insider giving disabled patients more refined controls over robotic limbs or bionic parts could be a benefit of the Neuralink system.
Giving somebody back full motor control after theyve had a spinal cord injury, is how Musk described this idea on the podcast.
By stimulating electrodes, Neuralink might enable better grasping, walking, or breathing.
The first application you can imagine is better mental control for a robotic arm for someone whos paralyzed, Hires said.
Musk mentioned earlier this year that Neuralink had already succeeded in getting a monkey to control a computer with its brain, which is not an entirely new feat, but speaks to how Neuralink might work.
Its bi-directional, Bruno said. There is a hope here of being able to send information out to machines, but also to take information in.
Social media lit up with comments about Musks two errors:
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What Do Autistic People Say About Musks Announcement
Musks announcement that he has Aspergers may have helped reduce the stigma associated with ASD. It may have also helped prove, once again, that autistic people are just as capable of contributing to society as neurotypical individuals, if not more so, in some cases.
For some autistic people, Musk gave them a renewed sense that having autism is not a limitation. It also helped increase self-esteem and a feeling of empowerment they may not have experienced before.
Sam, an autistic student at Lakeland STAR School/Academy in Wisconsin, says, Because of all the great things Elon Musk has done, finding out he has autism made me feel like I have a chance to succeed in life, too.
However, some autistic people view Musks revelation as merely a publicity stunt using Aspergers as a marketing tool to further his professional goals.
According to an article published in Slate and written by Sara Luterman, an openly autistic writer, Musks announcement was a poor attempt at laundering his image as a heartless billionaire.
Also, Luterman feels that Musk isnt accurately representing most autistic people, as many have difficulty with employment, financial disparities, and unstable housing situations.
What Does An Asd Diagnosis Look Like
ASD is considered a spectrum disorder because its said to exist on a spectrum, with each person having their own set of differences and needs.
Autism affects each person differently. Not all people will have every characteristic or behavior. But for a diagnosis, a number of behaviors will be present.
According to the , ASD is characterized by these behaviors:
- differences in social communication and interaction
- repetitive patterns, interests, or activities
- movement problems
Also, these behaviors are typically present early in the persons development, and based on the individual, they can cause challenges in daily life.
Diagnosis also involves determining whether the autistic person has intellectual or language delays.
Before the DSM-5 criteria changed in 2013, an autistic individual received a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome if their symptoms or behaviors required minimal support and they did not have a language delay or intellectual impairments compared with neurotypical individuals.
Now, instead of labeling a person with Aspergers or using stigmatizing terminology like high functioning or low functioning, the DSM-5 has identified three levels of autism defined by how much support the autistic person needs:
- Level 1: requires some support
- Level 2: requires more support
- Level 3: requires substantial support
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Elon Musk A Brilliant Mind On The Autism Spectrum
Written and verified bythe psychologist.
15 November, 2021
Elon Musk revealed on Saturday Night Live that he has Aspergers syndrome. For many, this was a surprise. It was also a cause for celebration for making this developmental disorder more visible. Nevertheless, his announcement was not so well received by everyone.
It didnt take long for social media to echo the news. In fact, in a matter of hours, a controversy was underway. It concerned the fact that, on the show, the celebrated physicist, entrepreneur, inventor, co-founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX had joked about having Aspergers. Furthermore, hed justified many of his strange and misplaced behaviors.
Musk also talked about many things that his particular brain had enabled him to do. For example, to reinvent electric cars and create a project to send people to Mars.
However, the truth is, that neither the terminology nor the vision that Elon Musk exposed to the media is correct. As a matter of fact, the term Aspergers syndrome is no longer in use. Indeed, the American Psychological Association removed Aspergers syndrome from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 2013.
Nowadays, we talk about autism spectrum disorder. This is important for many reasons, some of which well discuss in this article.
What Causes Autism
Exactly why autism happens isn’t clear. It could stem from problems in parts of your brain that interpret sensory input and process language.
Autism is four times more common in boys than in girls. It can happen in people of any race, ethnicity, or social background. Family income, lifestyle, or educational level doesnât affect a childâs risk of autism. But there are some risk factors:
- Autism runs in families, so certain combinations of genes may increase a childâs risk.
- A child with an older parent has a higher risk of autism.
- Pregnant women who are exposed to certain drugs or chemicals, like alcohol or anti-seizure medications, are more likely to have autistic children. Other risk factors include maternal metabolic conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Research has also linked autism to untreated phenylketonuria and rubella .
There is no evidence that vaccinations cause autism.
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Who Is Elon Musk
Elon Musk was born June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa. Biographies written about Musk say he was introverted and bullied in school.
Still, these childhood challenges did not deter his success. He created several high-profile companies, including SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company. He is also well-known for his involvement in Dogecoin, a meme-based digital currency.
During his SNL monologue, Musk said, Sometimes after I say something, I have to say, I mean that so people really know that I mean it. Thats because I dont always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak, which Im told makes for great comedy.
He continued: Im actually making history tonight as the first person with Aspergers to host SNL or at least the first to admit it. So, I wont make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight. But dont worry, Im pretty good at running human in emulation mode.
As the studio audience applauded, his words set off discussions across social media and news feeds about Aspergers syndrome.
How Is Autism Diagnosed
It can be hard to get a definite diagnosis of autism. Your doctor will focus on behavior and development.
For children, diagnosis usually takes two steps.
- A developmental screening will tell your doctor whether your child is on track with basic skills like learning, speaking, behavior, and moving. Experts suggest that children be screened for these developmental delays during their regular checkups at 9 months, 18 months, and 24 or 30 months of age. Children are routinely checked specifically for autism at their 18-month and 24-month checkups.
- If your child shows signs of a problem on these screenings, theyâll need a more complete evaluation. This might include hearing and vision tests or genetic tests. Your doctor might want to bring in someone who specializes in autism disorders, like a developmental pediatrician or a child psychologist. Some psychologists can also give a test called the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule .
If you werenât diagnosed with autism as a child but notice yourself showing signs or symptoms, talk to your doctor.
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Study Design And Sample
We designed a cross-sectional study to analyze the type of content, engagement, and perception of popular tweets related to Asperger. We defined popular tweets as those with more than 30 likes as this is slightly higher than the average of 25 likes reported in previous research . We focused on popular tweets because of their potential to reach more users.
Aspergers Or Autism Simple Etiquette Often Leads To Discrimination
Aspergers syndrome is often viewed more kindly and seen as a far more interesting disorder than autism. In fact, the person with aspies is usually viewed as someone brilliant and exceptional. However, the autistic person tends to be seen as a person with little expression as well as limited communication and functioning ability.
The truth is, that this type of social construction or deconstruction and the arbitrary use of labels does a lot of damage. For example, as we mentioned earlier, the American Psychological Association removed the term Aspergers in 2013. This action was celebrated by the entire autism community.
Goethe University conducted research that justified this decision. Indeed, the study confirmed that the time has come to end the clinical perspective that has brought so many errors and diagnostic difficulties in respect of this disorder. The reasons for this are as follows:
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Engagement And Sentiment Of Tweets Before And After Musk’s Announcement
When we compared the engagement and sentiment of tweets before and after Musk’s announcement, we found that tweets posted before the disclosure received significantly more engagement they received more comments , more retweets , and more likes than after the announcement . We did not find any statistically significant differences regarding the sentiment of tweets posted before and after Musks disclosure. Finally, the Kruskal-Wallis test did not show significant differences regarding engagement or sentiment according to the type of content provided by the tweet.
What Is Asperger’s Syndrome
- Asperger’s syndrome is a lifelong condition that affects people in many different ways
- Some may choose to keep using the term, while others may prefer to refer to themselves as autistic or on the autistic spectrum
- Those with the syndrome may have difficulties interpreting verbal and non-verbal language, and may need more time to process information
- They may also have trouble expressing their feelings in a conventional way. But they can be more empathetic or emotionally aware than non-autistic people
- Many people with Asperger’s syndrome have intense and highly focused interests – some channelling them towards a successful career
Elon Musk May 7, 2021
Mr Musk described the currency as “an unstoppable vehicle that’s going to take over the world” – but later said it was a “hustle” which prompted an almost immediate fall in value.
With no intrinsic value like gold or land, and no ability to generate an income, cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and can crash as fast as they rise. This makes them hard to value and makes their prices susceptible to tips from backers such as Mr Musk.
NBC, which airs SNL, said the episode was streamed live on YouTube to more than 100 countries.
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There Are A Lot Of Aspies Out There
In recent years, more and more adults in the general population have discovered that they have Asperger’s. This may be because the syndrome is growing more common or–more likely–because mental health professionals are learning to recognize it better. That second explanation makes sense because the other name for Asperger’s is autism spectrum disorder. Since the spectrum goes from very mild to very severe, it seems natural that the condition would be harder to recognize at the mild end. In fact, one of the world’s leading authorities on autism failed to recognize Asperger’s in his own son until that son was in his 30s. Some experts say it’s particularly likely to go unrecognized in girls and women since most autism research has focused on men and boys.
I know all this because of my husband, Bill. Just over a year ago, he was watching videos about mild autism when he realized they were describing him. Like many people who suspect that they have Asperger’s, Bill did not seek a medical diagnosis, which wouldn’t have served much practical purpose anyhow. Instead, he took several of the self-tests available online, all of which indicated that he was on the spectrum. He also sought advice from a friend who works with autistic teenagers. She not only agreed with his self-diagnosis, she told him she’d suspected it for a long time.