I listened to this Elon Musk TED talk today. The video is below, but you can also find it as a TED podcast too. First of all, my mind was blown about 800 times. So, it’s worth watching just to have a few mind-altering moments about technology and the future.
It’s about 40 mins long:
At the end of the video, Chris Anderson (TED’s Head Curator) asks him this question, and I found his answer fascinating and worth pondering:
Chris: “You recently presented this Interplanetary Transport System…Why, Elon? Why do we need to build a city on Mars with a million people on it in your lifetime – which is what you said you’d love to do?”
Elon: “I think it’s important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. There have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future?
If the future does not include being out there among the stars, and being a multi-planet species, I find that incredibly depressing.”
Chris: “You’ve got this unique double motivation on everything that I find so interesting. One is the desire to work for humanity’s long term good. The other is the desire to do something exciting. It feels like you need one to drive the other.”
Elon: “I think the value of beauty and inspiration is very much underrated. No question. But I want to be clear – I’m not trying to be anyone’s savior. I’m just trying to think about the future and not be sad.”
Chris: “The fact that in your mind, you dream this stuff – you dream stuff that no one else would dare dream – or be capable of dreaming at the level of complexity that you do – the fact that you do that, Elon Musk, is a really remarkable thing. Thank you for helping us all to dream a bit bigger.”
Galaxies of love,
P.S. I know what you might be thinking. Chris also asks him in the talk: “There are so many desperate things happening on the planet now. This feels like a distraction. Why think about this instead of solving what’s here and now? You’ve done a fair bit to actually do that with your work on sustainable energy. Why not just do that?” Listen to the talk for his answer.
Fascination on high.