Musk’s Multiplanetary Species

I’ve watched most of Elon Musk’s Mars video, it’s almost 90 minutes. It’s profoundly inspirational considering that all claims are either true or rational and achievable. Granted, the timescale is rather optimistic, but that optimism and positivism defines Elon Musk.  Musk’s visions are what most of his (my) generation grew up with, believing that Mars would be the next objective after the moon. We grew up in the 70s and 80s with Apollo as a fait accompli. Mars obviously was next, it was human destiny to go there, it’s what we were told and taught. What a disillusionment it was that governments spent money on weapons and wars and short term goals while the world became increasingly polluted. Elon Musk not only caters to this desire for a destiny in space most expertly, he genuinely embodies that desire and has full faith in our engineering ability to reach it. And he’s right, at some point an extinction event will happen even if it is billions of years in the future. It’s a worthy endeavour to, that now that we have the opportunity, become an interplanetary lifeform. If that doesn’t appeal one either is a nihilist or incapable of grasping that the opportuninity is a technological challenge that is actually coming within reach.  Elon Musk is so good at sales that he can get consumers to give him money for a product that is still in an early development phase (Model 3). He also can sell something and ship it many months later (Model X) or that blows up (his rockets). Jobs had a reality distortion field that Musk has taken and improved substantially. And that’s largely because other than Jobs, Musk sells an ideology rather than just cool products. He sells a future that a great many in my generation had been promised when we were children. As an engineer and social scientist myself I share his assessment that now is the time.