Is Elon Musk malingering?

He’s been talking about lack of sleep and overwork lately. It seems since his “funding secured” tweet, which has drawn SEC scruitiny. Is he going to claim “temporary insanity” from sleep deprivation? Or “non-insane automatism” like Peter Buck, guitarist of the band REM? (I prefer the more succinct “sane automatism”, but hey that is how most articles I’ve seen state it.)

Well, I’m shocked there have been no replies yet. I would think many posters couldn’t resist jumping in when they read the term “noninsane automatism”. I just realized something: Roseanne Barr blamed Ambien for her Jarrett tweet that got her fired from her show. Note that Peter Buck successfully used the noninsane automatism defense in court, blaming Ambien and alcohol. Maybe as more and more people get in hot water for tweets, there will be an explosion in use of the “sane automatism” defense? Do you think the SEC will charge Musk for his “funding secured” tweet? Do you think he might claim “sane automatism” as a defense?

No idea what you’re talking about, got a link maybe?

Public figure posts regrettable tweet, then backpedals with lame excuse, that about it?

How is this news? Seems pretty routine for the world we’re currently living in. Isn’t Elon just joining a large crowd of others who managed to pull it off? How is this different or remarkable?

He was high on acid apparently.

I’m more curious about this Peter Buck thing now.

How long till Musk goes completely off the rails?

As requested, supporting links:
Peter Buck (successfully declared a sane automaton):

Roseanne Barr Ambien blame:

Elon Musk lack of sleep (he even mentions Ambien):

Elon Musk tweet trouble:

Is “Ambien Automaton” going to be a thing going forward?

“Malingering” means “to feign illness in order to shirk or avoid work.” Now, Musk may well be trying to blame some poor decisions on lack of sleep (or on Ambien), but that doesn’t sound like malingering, per se. The guy is a major-league workaholic, and I don’t think that’s changed.

Musk is a brilliant man, but he’s also a seriously weird dude, even outside of the recent tweets. He’s occasionally said odd, off-the-cuff things for a long while; it just so happens that this one got him into trouble, because it affected Tesla’s stock price.

Get an unabridged dictionary. It is also used for feigning illness to avoid criminal punishment.

Until the SEC charges him with anything, this whole discussion is moot.

Besides it sounds like **he does **have his financing set up with the Saudis, and other PE funds. Just because JPMorgan, doesn’t believe it doesn’t make it true.

It sounds like Elon Musk being Elon Musk. He’s an odd duck, but this behavior isn’t a departure from the norm.

Rolling Stone did a lengthy article on Musk last year. For those who aren’t as familiar with him, the breadth of his interests and projects, and his odd nature, it’s an interesting read.

Because people lost real money on his regrettable tweet. There’s a reason the SEC has an entire set of incredibly elaborate rules over corporate disclosure.

It seems like he already has.

Indeed. Although Tesla has been ridiculously overvalued in comparison to any realistic profit they might actually make in the foreseeable future, investors still have a right to protection against malicious, manipulative, or self-destructive statements made by the CEO and corporate leadership, especially if done for personal benefit.

But this idea that Musk is “malingering”, trying to manufacture the appearance of instability as some kind of legal defense doesn’t make much sense. For one, “the insanity defense” is rarely successfully invoked even in criminal trials; for another, it has no bearing on SEC regulation. And frankly, this is not new behavior for Musk, who has always been mercurial, spurious, and demanding to extremes. And while I know this type of behavior is taken by some people as a sign of genius, it also makes it difficult to stick to a plan and manage expectations when the top leader makes absurd predictions and wholly unrealistic timelines. Elon Musk really needs to give someone else his Twitter password and run statements through a filter, even if he isn’t posting while high on LSD.


The sane automaton defense, if successful gets you off criminal liabilty AND you aren’t places in a mental hospital. Maybe it is more dangerous: they might say we agree you were acting as an automaton, but an insane automaton. And you’d rather just go to regular jail. Yes an insanity plea is rare, and sane automaton is even rarer. And is Peter Buck the only successful sane automaton claimer? Does it sit well with you that someone should be jailed for an “Ambien tweet”? Do you believe you can ever blame Ambien?

For what it’s worth, the alleged assailant of Mollie Tibbets is floating this exact defense in his statement to police (just not calling it ‘sane automaton’):

Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I saw earphones in my lap and was reminded I had a body in the trunk…

I really dislike the guy, but I don’t think he’s faking his problems to get out of doing work.

Now he says that the public will get free rides in the tunnel under Hawthorne–on December 11.

Really? Free rides on what? I’m sure there won’t be a huge cavern of vehicles effortlessly zipping around under Hawthorne like in that video.

I can be sure because there isn’t anywhere to go in Hawthorne.

He’s a guy with a load of money and big ideas, whose success has gone to his head a bit, and sometimes his mouth runs faster than his brain. One of the problems with Twitter is its immediacy and how we tend to use it for those odd little thoughts that zip through our half-awake mind at 1am.

There’s been a bit of a Musk backlash recently, and I don’t think it’s fair, even if they do have a point about some specifics. He’s just a guy, no need to hold him up to unrealistic standards.