Elon Musk

Industrial designer and engineer Elon Reeve Musk FRS once said he hates it when people confuse education with intelligence.

According to him, one can have a bachelor’s degree and still be an idiot.

The founder, CEO, CTO, and chief designer of SpaceX’s comment way back sparked a huge reaction.


A few intellectuals shared their opinions on Elon Musk’s post as shared below:

  • Musk is right. I just received a whatsapp from a retiree of the top local university with a UK degree. The message is about the very low covid19 case and death rates of Vietnam and it’s Vietnam’s top national secret, which is drinking green tea with lemon juice. It not only prevents covid19 but can kill the virus inside your body even if you already got infected. I first consider it’s a joke, but this degree holder seems to be serious, asking recipients to appeal to their conscience before deciding whether to forward the message. Although I barely finished high school, my intelligence tells me not to forward as it may mislead people not getting vaccination and also not going to the doctor even with some symptoms. Well just have one of two cups of green tea with lemon will do.
  • Intelligence is one’s ability to solve problems, learn information, and adapt to a changing environment. The problem with education is the quality. With some programs and methods of teaching, it doesn’t effectively require students to apply their intelligence in a productive manner. It could be because the bar is set too low allowing poor quality work to pass, or the material taught is not of sound quality and proper alignment with reality. Along with Elon Musk’s example of the idiot with a Bachelor’s degree, my main gripe with modern education is that it creates nerds who are book smart but street stupid. They have their heads crammed with the school curriculum, but aren’t able to generate any original thought outside that which they’ve been taught, and lack practical skills and general knowledge that could help them a lot with solving, learning and adapting.
  • Intelligence is abilities. Mostly the ability to use information, new and old to solve problems, create things and excel at all things for which you have an aptitude for. I fully agree with Elon because I never finished college and yet rose the the top of one of my professions worldwide. I had people with Masters degrees working under me in other professions. I was always amazed at the lack of intelligence of some of the college grads we hired. It is as if they memorize enough to pass tests and then promptly forgot about it. Some misguided people thought that just because they had a degree that they should make more money than their much more experienced and productive co-workers. I am now and have been in every company I worked for, the only senior corporate officer without a degree. I even was the president of one company. For me, dropping out of college due to my wife’s illness, turned out to be the best thing that happened to me. It lead me to a profession I did not know existed and found I was very good at.
  • Well, smartest guy I ever met had his “entrance.” That’s what people two generations before me called grade eight, because it gave them entrance to high school. He started farming with horses, learned to use a computer before he died. Did pretty much what he wanted for his entire life. Learned biology, chemistry, and mechanics along the way. Pretty big fan of Darwin. I think he would have liked Elon Musk. Wouldn’t have trusted him, but would have liked him. So that’s how I define intelligence.

See the screenshot below:

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What’s your take on that?

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