Does Elon Musk Really Understand the Books He Says Inspired Him?

He was repeating a point already made in 2002 to the Scottish Socialist Voice (a publication with which Musk and Bezos are potentially unfamiliar). “Nothing and no one is exploited, and the possibilities for entertainment are pretty much limitless,” Banks said of the culture. “I like to think that this is a society in which everyone could be happy.”

Those responsible for his legacy may have felt the same way. In 2018, plans for an Amazonian adaptation of Consider Phlebas were suddenly dropped. The “timing wasn’t quite right,” the author’s reps said. “At the end of the day, I just think the estate didn’t want to go through with it,” said Dennis Kelly, the Utopia writer who was working on the script for Amazon. “They hadn’t seen anything [Kelly had written], it was just because I think they weren’t ready to do it, for some reason. I’m a little confused, to be honest.

For Banks, the Culture was an ideal scenario for humanity – provided we could overcome our most toxic instincts. “Culture,” he tells Roberts, “represents where we might hope to arrive after all our stupidities are settled. Perhaps.

“I’ve said before, and I’ll probably say it again, that maybe we – that is, homo sapiens – are just too stupid and aggressive to have any hope of becoming like the Culture, unless we find and somehow isolate/destroy the genes that code for xenophobia, if they exist .

As he prepares to bend Twitter to his will, Musk will no doubt see himself, like the Culture, as siding with the cyber angels. His critics, however, fear he is on the verge of turning the platform into a libertarian cesspool and a melting pot of hate speech. However this online drama plays out, it seems obvious that Banks’ idea of ​​a peaceful future in which technology and humanity live in harmony is still a long way off.

What would Iain M Banks have thought? Most likely, Musk’s social media empire-building has nothing to do with his vision of an egalitarian future — and may in fact militate against it.

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