If you’re anything like me, you’re sick of hearing 2020 referred to as “unprecedented.” I legitimately cannot stand it anymore. There’s a nugget of truth in there, but between scientists predicting that we’re about due for a pandemic and the world being precariously balanced on the needlepoint of capitalism, disaster was inevitable. So, that’s why I’m asking you to make some predictions for 2021.
It seems counterintuitive, but you know what? I don’t really care. Predictions can tell you a lot about the people making them, and I want to get to know you all. Are you optimistic for 2021's prospects? Are things looking dismal? Will a new presidential administration change things for the better, or are we all headed up shit creek? I want to know.
My prediction is either a positive or negative one, depending on where you currently stand. 2021 is finally going to be the year society collectively challenges the Elon Musk myth.
Yes, people have been doing that for a while (and if you’re a reader of Jalopnik, you most certainly know we don’t believe Tesla is infallible). But there are still these lingering remnants of the belief that Musk is some sort of exotic genius.
That was the belief of plenty of folks on my Formula SAE team in college, which seemed like the pinnacle of Musk worship among the general public. Here was this guy driving the EV charge and developing space programs and rocketships and trying to re-envision transportation. I still remember watching the launch of the Falcon 9 in February, 2017 from a hospital bed. I’d gotten hit by a car walking across the street, but my doctor didn’t want to miss it.
But the reality of the situation is that Elon Musk is just a human. He’s done some cool stuff. He’s also kind of a mess. He’s had good ideas, but he’s also not really a visionary. And I think 2021 is going to be the year we finally all get on the same page about that one.