The Red Pill and Truth

Elon Musk is a visionary who makes a status car whilst running a company with a net worth greater than Ford and General Motors. He also has a child named X AE A-12. No word on pronunciation for that one. And his Tweets bring on the wrath of the SEC and frustration among the company’s lawyers.

Mr. Musk tweeted to his 34 million followers that they should take the red pill when it comes to the corona virus. The red pill advice, the red pill online groups, and the Silicon Valley red-pill movement come from the film, “The Matrix.” The Barometer knows nothing of the films or Neo, but research reveals that Neo (Keanu Reeves) is given the option of taking a red pill so that he can see society as it really is. Seems to be borrowed from Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass,” and Alice’s trip to wonderland.You can see a different world with pills. Alice saw a hookah-smoking caterpillar and the druggies of the sixties thought they could fly. Even Advil takes away a headache, but it cannot address the underlying cause of those headaches.

Seeking, finding, and then seeing truth is a tall order. Sometimes we do not know the truth. Analytics and models give information, but until events unfold, they are not truth. Predicting the future is not the stuff of truth. We know from politics that what is said on television is not the same as what is said when the same folks are under oath. Truth comes through vigilant study, healthy skepticism, and an open mind. You can spot a truth-seeker among those who challenge conventional wisdom. Views and opinions are not truth, even when Elon Musk is the one opining. Mr. Musk may be correct; he may be wrong. A truth-seeker does not attack Mr. Musk for his views but explores the source, foundation, and basis of those views.

‘Tis an odd position to be defending Elon Musk. The Barometer is still trying to figure out how Tesla can be worth billions and still be so cash-poor.

However, truth is vital despite the ongoing slog to find it. So, sally forth, drug-free, and pump those neurons in seeking the truth. No pill can do the work.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
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