Elon Musk and the pyramids of the mind by Owei Lakemfa

Elon Musk and the pyramids of the mind by Owei Lakemfa

Editor's note: Owei Lakemfa, a Nigerian analyst and writer, takes a critical look at a recent tweet by Elon Musk, one of the world's billionaire, concerning the pyramids in Egypt. He wonders how the globally-respected man could make such comment despite claiming to be intelligent.

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Read the full opinion below:

ELON Reeve Musk, 49, citizen of South Africa, Canada and the United States with a 2020 net worth of $70.6 billion is one of the richest persons in the world. In fact, he can literarily buy a country or two. He co-founded the electronic-payment firm PayPal which he sold, making a handsome $180 million, post-tax.

Musk is a leader in the race to universalise the electric car through Tesla in which he invested $70 million from his PayPal deal. He also dreams to make space travel as easy as normal air travel. For this, he established a rocket company, SpaceX which designs, manufactures and launches rockets and spacecraft. Its flagship spacecraft ‘The Dragon’ which is capable of carrying seven passengers was due back on earth on Sunday, August 2 from a two-month trip to International Space Station carrying NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley.

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So, by any standard, Musk is a successful man and should be contented. He must have been quite excited about the Dragon’s planned return which is just a step towards his bigger dream of landing humans in Mars. There are those who believe that aliens occupy one or more planets and that they visit the earth in spacecraft and sometimes abduct humans. There was panic in America in 1938 when 23-year-old Orson Wells during a broadcast on radio production, proclaimed: “The Martians (Aliens from Mars) are coming”. It fooled many Americans into believing aliens were invading the earth. There was widespread panic.

Elon Musk and the pyramids of the mind by Owei Lakemfa

Elon Musk receives criticism over his comment on Egyptian Pyramids Credit: CNBC
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Believing in the existence of aliens, Musk on Friday, August 31, tweeted: “Aliens built the pyramids obv (obviously)”. He was implying that the pyramids in Africa, some over 4,600 years old, could not have been built by humans. He was suggesting that Africans could not have had the knowledge, intelligence and skills to build such enduring architectural wonders.

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To admit that Africans built the pyramids, would have meant the claim of superiority over the Blackman is just crap. That would be too much for a Musk born into Apartheid South Africa, raised in a Whites-only suburb of Pretoria and attending the Pretoria Boys High School, a Whites-only racist school. His mother, Maye, a South African television personality was Canadian, while his father, Errol Musk was an Afrikaans engineer who during Apartheid, shot dead three persons and got away with it, claiming it was in self-defence.

In an interview in the November 2017 edition of the Rolling Stone Magazine, titled: ‘Elon Musk: The Architect of Tomorrow’ he said of his father: “He was such a terrible human being. You have no idea…My dad will have a carefully thought-out plan of evil. He will plan evil.

"He was such a terrible human being…You have no idea about how bad. Almost every crime you can possibly think of, he has done. Almost every evil thing you could possibly think of, he has done.”

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The Senior Musk writing in defence of himself said: “I’ve been accused of being a Gay, a Misogynist, a Paedophile, a Traitor, a Rat, a Shit (quite often), a Bastard (by many women whose attentions I did not return) and much more. My own (wonderful) mother told me I am ‘ruthless’ and should learn to be more ‘humane; (but) I love my children and would readily do whatever for them.”

But Musk disagrees with his father’s claims. He said even after he assisted his father financially, things did not change: “I’ve tried everything. I tried threats, rewards, intellectual arguments, emotional arguments, everything to try to change my father for the better, and he… no way, it just got worse.”

Musk believes that a human being’s personality might be 80 percent nature and 20 percent nurture. It is unclear what percentage of his father’s gene he has acquired. For example, he said: “I’m naturally good at engineering, that’s because I inherited it from my father.” But as evident from his views of his father, he has tried to fight off the negative aspects of his father’s personality.

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Musk suffers from autophobia or monophobia: fear of being lonely or alone even in a secured environment. This may be due to his childhood experience when he was left most of the time with an inattentive nanny. He also had a bad time in school: “The gangs at school would hunt me down - literally hunt me down!”

Musk’s claims about aliens building the pyramids are conditioned not by his knowledge but his background that makes it difficult to accept the reality that Africa led the world in knowledge production, and is the foundation of modern civilisation. There are verifiable archaeological findings on the lives of the pyramid builders, including their homes, family life, tools and tombs where they were buried. In some of the pyramids are paintings of the builders at work. The imaginary aliens Musk tweeted about cannot leave such human trail.

Musk must have been challenged by the marvel that the pyramids are such as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt which stands at over 450ft (137m). For thousands of years, the over 100 pyramids in Egypt and 123 in Sudan, were the tallest structures in the world. Going by Musk’s claim and since the pyramids were the tombs of the Black Pharaohs and their families, why would aliens come down periodically to build tombs for them? Is it to suggest that the so-called aliens were servants of the African kings who obeyed summons to fly to earth and build the pyramids? Does that suggest that Africans were a super-race who controlled aliens? Do all these make sense even to the unintelligent?

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The pyramids are an extraordinary human heritage which bear eloquent testimony to human knowledge and skill. So, to ascribe their construction to aliens is to do injury to human history. Why would a Musk who said: “I was raised by books. Books, and then my parents,” not read up on the pyramids before tweeting on them? It is a wonder that Musk who reads and thinks about space would not educate himself about the earthly pyramids; one of the seven wonders of the world that shows the vastness of human knowledge and how the ancients pushed science to the limits just as he is trying to do with space travel. Musk has built monumental structures or pyramids in his mind, choosing variously to stand at the pyramidal top when he wants to view the world, or in-between the pyramids when he chooses to limit his vision.

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Sometimes, the behaviour and utterances of Musk give the impression that you do not need to be intelligent to be a billionaire. That in some cases, like that of Donald Trump, means you actually require a load of stupidity to be a billionaire.

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