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Sometimes the RNG of the Universe creates people with intelligence, innovation and insight that are one in a billion that make the world better than it was before in immense ways, Stephen Hawking is one of those mountain movers.

People like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Nikola Tesla and even Elon Musk today, that make us look up, innovate and think way out there, bring us together and remind us we are all on this planet together and can do amazing things if we choose to put our energy towards it.




Serious question, why is Elon Musk lumped in with Tesla, Hawking, and Sagan? Musk's achievements are assisted by the fact that he has tens of thousands of engineers at his companies and he gets credit for every one of their ideas, all their work, and all the life they give up for his dreams. He didn't found Paypal (his company merged with it), he didn't found Tesla (kicked out one of the original founders), and he didn't come up with the idea for the Hyperloop either. So, why is a CEO who benefits and takes credit for the effort of others lumped in with individuals?


Because Musk is a self-made man who gathered a huge amount of wealth, and then multiple times risked it all in attempts to further the species, instead of just continuing to hoard wealth at the expense of the rest of us.

Tesla, Hawking, and Sagan are lumped together because they were brilliant scientists who's work furthered humanity. Those are attributes that we wish for others to emulate, so we put them on a pedestal.

Over the last few decades our society (usa) has been shifting slowly slightly further towards an everyone-for-themselves (and unequal) type of culture. So Elon's story, as described above, is another example of intelligence used in pursuit of human furtherment, that many would want similarly put on a pedestal for emulation.


For what it's worth Musk doesn't seem to claim that he knows or does anything. He talks about his companies and what awesome things they will do, large teams of motivated and inspired scientists and engineers that share the dreams he does and for once have the money and mandate to go and make them happen.

He may not be a scientist, engineer or inventor but he inspires and empowers scientists and inventors so that counts for something.

Even if his ego should potentially have cosmic objects orbiting it.


Maybe I should have said Feynman but Musk definitely has done great things and is making people think that Mars travel might be a reality. He is making us look up, making people dream and working to make it a reality.

The booster rockets returning to Earth in unison and on the barge originally, both were amazing moments that were almost as impactful as the space race accomplishments during the Apollo program. Definitely exciting that it is a reality that is happening not just hope, Musk has amazing teams and funding but he is using all that to accomplish these things instead of just getting richer, risking his personal wealth many times over for these goals.

Sagan would probably be thrilled with SpaceX.

Then you have Tesla electric cards rocking the electric car / battery industry and making it business ready today.

Nikola Tesla would be thrilled with Tesla and battery power to lessen reliance on the electric grid.

Then you got solar homes and batteries along with the SpaceX accomplishments in rocketry, that you can start to put together and see the uses for interstellar travel and harsh planet settlement.

Hawking would be thrilled at the interstellar travel part as he has been warning humans to look for other places for years and thinks we must be interstellar within hundreds of years to survive.

Musk is more of a business focused guy but he is making people look up and is accomplishing these tasks by challenging big competitors and ultimately his products will be good for Earth. That is amazing in my book.

Feynman liked making everyone interested in science and talked to people with the aims of understanding not just being smart, he'd be thrilled that Musk is bringing amazing scientific achievement to regular people's lives.


Musk is an incredible self-promoter. He talks about how he is going to save the world, critics just don’t understand or just want to see him fail, and his words bounce around an ideological echo chamber where the facts of his claims don’t matter.

IMO, the google founders have had a far larger impact on the world than Elon, however, they don’t promote themselves endlessly.


Without Elon Musk, do you think humanity would currently be in possession of reusable rocket boosters? (Regardless of Page and Brin's accomplishments.)


Yes. The space shuttle had reusable boosters. Retro rockets for landings were used in th Apollo and Viking programs.


Can you link to a specific rocket booster that was reused? Doesn't count if it's a retrorocket helping slow down some capsule that also has a parachute.


People who "make us look up, innovate and think way out there, bring us together and remind us we are all on this planet together and can do amazing things if we choose to put our energy towards it."

Musk is definitely one of those, just in a different way.


Sounds kinda like Edison.


I also don't think Musk should be lumped in with those other luminaries, but Musk isn't the one doing that categorization, so nothing against him. It's just people and their penchant for hero worship


Hyperloop is a really, really dumb idea. It's funny you bring it up like it's a positive.


> People like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Nikola Tesla and even Elon Musk

One of these is certainly not like the others.


>One of these is certainly not like the others.

May he rest in peace.


Musk is more like Thomas Edison.


AFAIK Musk never claimed to be an inventor.


I was scared no one would mention Elon Musk. I actually came to this thread, did cmd-f and typed Musk just to check.


One in a billion iS usually an overly generous assertion. In this case, it might be under-generous.




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