In 2015, Wait, But Why creator, Tim Urban, did a long-form series called Elon Musk: The World’s Raddest Man. Already a fan of Mr. Urban and his blog at waitbutwhy.com, his series increased my admiration for Elon Musk.
In the almost seven intervening years, the shine has worn off.
Here’s why. It’s taken me that long to change my idea about what it means to be a successful human being. By my new metric, Elon Musk is one of the worst humans ever.
Dr. Mehmet Yildiz, a writer on medium.com, recently published an article titled, I Don’t Understand Dislikes Against Elon Musk.
I can summarize his argument in a few sentences:
•We should appreciate great people for the greatness of their contributions to society, not for their character.
•All people have flaws, all of which are negligible or irrelevant when evaluating their achievements.
•Elon Musk has a work ethic, has taught himself rocket science, and works hard to solve problems.
•He is also a philanthropist who has given away almost 2 billion dollars to charities.
These assertions, posited by Yildiz, are the evidence he offers we shouldn’t dislike Musk for his character flaws. He is far more beneficial to society than detrimental. We shouldn’t kill our golden gooses. He thinks jealousy is the root cause of people not liking Elon Musk.
Those are the article’s main points in a nutshell.
Yildiz seems to buy his argument that Musk is a “problem solver”. I’m curious what problem it is that Musk’s most well-known companies, Tesla, and SpaceX are trying to solve.
On its face, he’s trying to make humans an “interplanetary species” because he foresees a day when Earth—humanity’s home base for as far back as our collective memories allow—becomes uninhabitable due to calamitous climate change.
He sees the need for humans to escape the confines of Earth as the most important problem.