9.4 ELon Musk 读书笔记

2017.09.04 16:39* 字数 820


1.The doctor-cum-politician had long railed against government interference in the lives of individuals and had come to see the Canadian bureaucracy as too meddlesome.

Elon gained attention for railing against fossil fuels in favor of solar power—an almost sacrilegious stance in a country devoted to mining the earth’s natural resources.

Rail: (v.) 1. to enclose or separate an area with rails, rail sth off/in = cordon off

The police railed off the area where the accident happened.

2.Rail against/ at:formal to complain angrily about something, especially something that you think is very unfair

Consumers rail against the way companies fix prices.

Go off the rails: informal, to start behaving in a strange or socially unacceptable way

At 17 he suddenly went off the rails and started stealing.

2.The Haldemans had a laissez-faire approach to raising their children, which would extend over the generations to Musk. Their kids were never punished, as Joshua believed they would intuit they way to proper behavior.

[les-ey fair; French le-sey fer] /ˌlɛs eɪ ˈfɛər; French lɛ seɪ ˈfɛr/

Noun, literally, allow to act

1. the theory or system of government that upholds the autonomous character of the economic order, believing that government should intervene as little as possible in the direction of economic affairs.

2. the practice or doctrine of noninterference in the affairs of others, especially with reference to individual conduct or freedom of action.

Eg.The second reason the government has adopted such alaissez-faire聽attitude toward drug producers is an economic one.

3.The perplexing thing was that Elon seemed to drift off into a  trance at times.

1. a state in which you behave as if you were asleep but are still able to hear and understand what is said to you

Go/ fall into a trance: eg, She went into a deep hypnotic(催眠的) trance.

2. a state in which you are thinking about something so much that you do not notice what is happening around you.

In a trance

What’s the matter with you? You’ve been in a trance all day.

4.Its coverage in the magazine netted Musk five hundred dollars and provided some early hints about his character.

Net: (v.)

1.informal, to earn a particular amount of money as a profit after tax has been paid

I was netting around $60,000 a year.

2.to succeed to getting something, especially by using your skill

The company has recently netted several large contracts.

Net: (a.)

Thenet amountis the final amount that remains after all the other amounts have been taken away.

Thenet profit(=after taxes, costs etc) was up 16.3% last month.

The United States is a net importer of beef(= it imports more than it exports).

Net result/ effect: the final result or effect of something

The net result will be higher costs to the costumers.

5.Elon exhibited all the traits of a curious, energetic tot. He picked things up easily, and Maye, like many mothers do,pegged her son as brilliant and precocious.

Peg: (n.) 螺钉;标度钉;(烈酒的)计量;度量


Peg sb as: to believe or say that someone has a particular type of character, or that a situation has particular qualities

Eg. I’d had him pegged as a troublemaker.


The Chapter Africa deals with Elon Musk’s formative period in South Africa, chronicling the events from being a tot to a University undergraduate. Musk’s gifts in science and his spirits for adventure descended partly from his maternal grandfather Joshua Haldeman, an avant-garde pilot and adventure explorer. When Musk was a young boy, he absorbed himself in the books, especially the science fiction books and encyclopedias. He also had a deep thirst for adventure and spearheaded his siblings and cousins in some audacious trips. In his schooldays, Musk lacked interest in the work prescribed by the school. Although Musk was not an A-straight student and unspectacular to his peers and teachers, he exceeded in maths, physics and computers. He also attended an experimental program in that period. Musk attended the University of Pretoria for only five months before he left for Canada to avoid military service and most importantly, to pursue his dreams in Silicon Valley.

As for Elon’s character, the divorce of his parents, thepsychological torture聽from his father andthe distressing memories of school bullying shaped Elon into a tough person but also left him emotional traumas that made him a socially awkward person。

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