Never underestimate the potential of a good Twitter snark war -- especially where Elon Musk is involved. In recent tweets, Musk said his tunneling company the Boring Company would be using "dirt from tunnel digging to create bricks for low cost housing."
The Boring Company will be using dirt from tunnel digging to create bricks for low cost housing— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 7, 2018
The tweet reiterated a statement Musk made months ago, hinting the company could contribute the excess dirt to housing projects. This time around, Musk was challenged by content creator Cody Johnston, who tweeted a few screenshots of Musk's less-than-world-saving contributions to the internet.
[email protected] out there really engaging with the important ideas. pic.twitter.com/1rRCKEpsQX— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) May 6, 2018
Those comments and screenshots prompted the Boring Company CEO to fire back. However, Johnston wasn't done.
"Your solution for affordable housing is selling dirt to poor people?" Johnston said.
Your solution for affordable housing is selling dirt to poor people?— Cody Johnston (@drmistercody) May 7, 2018
But in the case of Elon Musk and his dirt-brick idea, the answer is yes. The Boring Co.'s brick plan was originally released by Musk in March through (what else) a few tweets.
"New Boring Company merch soon. Lifesize LEGO-like interlocking bricks made from tunneling rock that you can use to create sculptures & buildings. Rated for California seismic loads, so super strong, but bored in the middle, like an aircraft wing spar, so not heavy," he tweeted in late March.
However, Musk initially said life-sized LEGO bricks made from Boring Co. dirt would be for sale on its website. As those suffering a housing crises probably could not afford Musk-approved bricks, could the Boring Co. CEO change his strategy? If sold online, those massive bricks would join the Boring Co. hats and (Not A) Flamethrower flamethrowers that sold out.
During those initial tweets, Twitter followers quickly asked Musk if he'd ever think about using those bricks to create more sustainable housing or to offset the housing crises in various parts of the United States.
The idea of using the excess dirt from a dig in some form of recycled product has been in the works for a while. The Boring Co.'s FAQ page notes a way to recycle the dirt.
“The Boring Company is investigating technologies that will recycle the earth into useful bricks to be used to build structures," the company noted. "This is not a new concept, as buildings have been constructed from Earth for thousands of years including, according to recent evidence, the Pyramids. These bricks can potentially be used as a portion of the tunnel lining itself, which is typically built from concrete.”
There's still no word from the company as to when the bricks would be made available. The company has already completed 305 feet of tunnel with an entrance at the SpaceX parking lot in Hawthorne, California, so they might already have plenty of dirt to spare.