With its $1.5 billion investment in Bitcoin, analysts estimate that Tesla is “on a trajectory to make more from its Bitcoin investments than profits from selling its EV (electric vehicle) cars in all of 2020.” However it is ironic that Tesla, whose mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, is benefiting from a cryptocurrency that has a carbon footprint comparable to that of New Zealand.
But the association worked anyway.
On the surface, a digital currency like Bitcoin seems like a natural progression for the brand that is pioneering the digital transformation of the automobile industry. Matt Levine echoed this perceptual correlation in his newsletter. “My rough sense is that Tesla is pretty correlated to Bitcoin anyway, in that a future where Bitcoin is valuable is also likely a future where Tesla is valuable, though my model for that correlation is vague, some sort of electricity-plus-being-extremely-online connection.”
The marriage between Bitcoin and Tesla seems to create such a plausible narrative that the environmental inconsistency appears like a jarring glitch that also requires expensing some cognitive energy.
When it comes to cognitive energy, we’re in need of some conservation ourselves.
We are Experiencing a Collective Rupture in Meaning-Making
According to David Trickey, a psychologist and representative of the UK Trauma Council, the events surrounding the pandemic have created a rupture in meaning-making. When “the way you see yourself, the way you see the world, and the way you see other people” are shocked and a gap arises between your “orienting systems” and that event — simple stress cascades into trauma, often-mediated through sustained and severe feelings of helplessness.
Our habits and established cycles that had cued our automated behaviors broke, and we became more receptive to new signals in our disturbed state of organized chaos. As we grappled to deal with our world turning upside down, we inevitably opened the window to new narratives around us.