Elon Musk was on Joe Rogan’s podcast last week talking about all the things we’ve come to expect from him…

  • Tesla and Space X
  • The existential threat Artificial Intelligence poses
  • The world as a simulation
  • (Not) Flame Throwers
  • A soon-to-be-announced Neuralink product with the possibility of making anyone superhuman

I found the talk fascinating, especially in regards to the last point. By making everyone else superhuman, Elon Musk is effectively leveling the playing field for himself. But being a superior human being has its drawbacks.

“I don’t think people would like it that much,” the enigmatic Tesla founder said when the idea of there being multiple Elon Musk’s in the world came up. “It’s very hard to turn it off. It might sound great if it’s turned on, but what if it doesn’t turn off?”

Musk was clearly talking about the way his brain works, and the point was salient, especially in a day and age when the technology we use on a minute-by-minute basis is programming our brains to be turned on all of the time.

“I thought I was insane,” Musk says, speaking of his experience as a young boy. “Because it was clear other peoples’ minds were not exploding with ideas all the time.”

Toward the end of the podcast Elon Musk makes a plea for everyone to try and recognize the good in others and give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s hard-won advice from someone who’s suffered and succeeded and recognizes that the struggle goes on.

I have a feeling many more people feel similar to Musk than he thinks. They might not build spaceships and electric cars, but they create inspirational art, write deeply moving stories, film YouTube vlogs and sell their crafts on Etsy. Creating is the only thing that gives them shelter from the explosions in their heads.

Many of these people are what society would deem “mentally ill.” I’m one of them. The term does a good job of calling attention to the suffering we feel as a result of the way our brains work, but it also brands us with a label that’s too often used to shame and speaks nothing of our gifts. The cape we wear might feel like an anchor, but if it catches the wind we can fly.

Watch the full episode here:

Listen to the full episode here:

The Joe Rogan Experience – Episode #1169 w/ Elon Musk