During the course of my work duties today, I learned about two people about whom I had heard only a little before: the South African engineer Elon Musk and the Canadian artist Claire Boucher, known best for her pop persona “Grimes”. The couple have recently had a baby together, and even more recently a rocket ship designed by Musk’s company SpaceX made a successful trip. Thus, they are both in the news.
Studying two such talented and successful people was a humbling experience. Musk designed and sold a video game when he was only twelve and turned a profit at pay-for-entrance parties he hosted at university, without leaving his desk. He dropped out mere days into a PhD program so as not to be left out of the internet revolution. He co-founded Tesla, designing electric cars, batteries and solar energy generators, and he founded SpaceX, designing recyclable rocket ships and other space gear. He also cofounded OpenAI, apparently because he is worried that Artificial Intelligence will ultimately be bad for humanity.
Musk is not at all religious. Even when he was very sick with malaria, he did not pray. He believes only in the laws of physics and the value of human civilisation. Interestingly, he is very concerned about the human race going extinct, and this is what drives his interest in space exploration and colonisation. Because fossil fuels are finite, he is also interested in conserving their use and switching to solar.