Weird Musk’s weird obsession with X

Twitter owner Elon Musk has abruptly renamed the company as simply X. He had earlier named his first company Jill Lepore writes that Musk has long had a fascination with this particular letter, that can be traced back to his father and grandfather who were leaders of a so-called Technocracy movement and called themselves Technocrats and “believed that only engineers and scientists could save the world from a looming catastrophe.”

Technocrats objected to politicians and economists, democracy, and socialism. They wanted an end to all banks. In the future that Technocrats including Musk’s grandfather were planning for,“There will be no place for Politics or Politicians, Finance or Financiers, Rackets or Racketeers. There would also be no place for personal names. One technocrat, for instance, renamed himself 1x1809x56. Musk named one of his sons X Æ A-12—X, for short.

Why name a baby X Æ A-12, something that is going to result in the child being tormented by their peers and likely require years of therapy as an adult? This whole business of parents trying to give their children weird names to make some ideological point seems to be sheer vanity, seeing the child as a vehicle for their own obsessions and ignoring their needs. I am really glad that my parents gave me an utterly common name. As least it is common in Sri Lanka though, because it is simple enough, it is only a little exotic now that I am in the US.

But Musk has big plans for the company that he now has renamed X, seeing it as the precursor to an ‘everything app’, whatever the hell that is.

X, Musk promises, will be the “everything app.” X is the Technocrats’ dream deferred, a way to engineer society, the economy, and politics. Extreme capitalism—Muskism—as the answer to existential risk. With any luck, it will be a disaster.

I hope so too.


  1. says

    I remember “my very own X” from Sesame Street some time ago. This seems to be the level #QElon is “functioning” on these days.

  2. says

    X, Musk promises, will be the “everything app.”

    Sounds like standard Musk: Propose an extreme future-tech scenario and then hope that someone else figures out how to actually make it work. If yes, take credit; if no, pretend it never happened. Repeat as needed until success.

  3. Jörg says

    X is also a representation of the Greek letter Chi. Next, Elon might change his last name to ‘Christ’.

  4. antaresrichard says

    Suddenly, Wings Over the World comes to mind, and John Cabal’s brief, technocratic speech introducing himself and World Communications’ mission.

    From the 1936 film ‘Things to Come’:

    “But we, who are all that are left of the old engineers and mechanics, have pledged ourselves to salvage the world.

    We have the airways, all that’s left of them. We have the seas. And we have ideas in common.

    The brotherhood of efficiency, the freemasonry of science!

    We’re the last trustees of civilization, when everything else has failed.”


    -Wings over my wits-

  5. antaresrichard says

    Just a follow-up, if I may.
    In watching ‘Things to Come’ and its 1936 technocratic vision, there is a brief, but telling reveal about what sort of world it is, that is meant to be.

    One of Cedric Hardwicke lines, playing the disgruntled artist Theotocopulous, and listing in a Monty Pythonish way, the advancements of the progress he disdains, clealy states:

    (emphasis mine)

    “What has this progress, this world civilization done to us?

    Machines and marvels…

    They built these great cities of theirs -- yes!
    They prolonged life- yes!
    They’ve conquered nature, they say, and made a great, WHITE, world!”

  6. sonofrojblake says

    @Intransitive, 4:

    Good luck to him trying to claim copyrights on it.

    This reminds me of that bit in “Tenet” where the Protagonist is talking with Sator’s wife Kat, who tells him their last holiday cost nine million dollars. He says “Where’d you go? Mars?”, to which she replies “you’re a little out of your depth”. You seem to be a little out of your depth with Musk. Copyright is a thing you can buy, and Musk (even after driving Twitter off a cliff) still has hundreds of billions at his disposal.

  7. billseymour says

    sonofrojblake, I’m guessing that Intransitive’s point is that nobody can copyright a single letter, although it wouldn’t be a surprise if Musk tried to do it.

    OTOH, I vaguely remember, from The Tonight Show back in the Johnny Carson days, some comedian claiming to have a copyright on a piece of music that had a single note, middle C.

  8. Robert Estrada says

    I am amazed that Elon, another member of the stable genius club, did not make his X black on a white circle bordered in red. The man is a narcissistic sociopath on a par with T-rump.

  9. Steve Morrison says

    No, you can’t copyright a letter, but you might be able to trademark it.

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