My thoughts on Elon Musk
Mr Musk is currently working in a lot of different fields, all around the future.
Since i am also dedicated to that topic, i have my own opinion about the work he does.
I want to talk a bit about the different fields and then come to a general conclusion.
He is invested into energy, transportation, AI, space.
Solar roof is a concept to combine solarcells and basic tiles.
There are some advantages like the homogenic look and seamless integration in the building. I just know that solar energy has a low efficiency. With building seperate tiles this gets even worse because each tile has to carry the extra electronics and contacts which would be only be needed a single time on a big solar array.
This also applys to the construction of the accumulators that he is building in the gigafactory. they consist of a lot of small cells which individually carry their contacts and have a shell. this also increases their wheight, which is a major problem for mobile usage like electric vehicles. this problem was recently addressed by the Frauenhofer Institute and resulted in a new battery design. (link at bottom)
As Musk talks about the capacity of the gigafactory and the amount of battery-systems needed to support a sustainable energy-infrastructure he is right. About 100 gigafactories, not 10, not 1000.
He doesnt talk about the required resources to do so though. The amount of lithium and the other materials needed to build these are limited.
(Silicon for solarpower is farely common, but needs a lot of energy and a clean environment(factory) to be produced.)
Storing energy in batteries is also not the most efficient way, especially for large amounts. Though I really like the idea about smart grids and the intelligent management of energy production and use.
Thus we come to the whole tesla concept. i admit it was a good move to build a high class electric car for early adopters and get momentum with the hype and the new technology as well as the flashy extras. this really helped to build up a positive image and the estimated selling potential dominates teslas current stockmarket value.
Nonetheless the high speed of introducing revolunionary and new technology has left some place for errors to slip through into the wild.
The current driving assistent is far less capable than some people think. I truly believe that this will be fixed within some years, because Mr Musk is also aware of it. I wonder why this system is so hard to set up, but i can imagine that the field of AI is
this weird combination of psychology and computer science that is rarely chosen. Either you re good with the technical issues but hardly understand how brains and living beings work or excell at understanding but cant write a bit of code.
I know how exaggerated that sounds, but from my knowledge the interdisciplinary fields are still all new and count low participation. Which is rediculous as of itself, given their importance.
Just like the last example of Musks work: reuse of spacerockets should have been invented(or considered) earlier.
It shows that problems are mostly not faced, and improvements are only possible with someone from outside the field screaming in pain seeing how things are operated.
Musk is totally right that there is stagnation in building spacecrafts. Noone is considering to build such high end constly technology and pay the research just for fun.
He has ambitious plans of how much energy and resources(not money, again, real resources) he is planning to use to cultivate on mars.
To send humans to mars would also be my final goal, but i would send drones with artificial intelligence and some with remote controll first to prepare everything.
it is obvious that we cant send all the things we need but use the resources given on mars itself. Drones/Robots are more tolerant to their environment,
they need less protection and can work more than every human. the problems we face today are given by the facts that(again, somewhat rediculous) the development
of robots and ai is not that focused and supported. we could even build specialised robots that are designed to the mars surface(in fact we do, but on a really low level).
with all this criticism i showed, i dont want to end on this tone. i fact, i want myself proved wrong, this text was written for some fun.
i realised that i like the actions musk takes, i just wasnt given enough information before because i had prejudices when all he was talking about was mars and i wanted
our problems on earth to be solved(and all the points i mentioned above).
Musk though also operates at another level, just as i consider myself to do.
A lot of people admire him because he brings new technology to life and when others struggle tohave success in one field, he crushes several. That in itself is a good statement and shows that he is highly trained but driven by inner motivation.
The next level comes in when he talked about this motivation:
He wants to create a positive future. But he knows that he cant do it alone!
All people see him as the weird genius that can create all the things, but only some(at least himself and i) know that he cant.
He spoke about the possible directions that our actions are taking on a larger scale, such as inevitable renewable energy(tautologic due to the end of energy if its not renewable) and unclear(stagnating) state of interplanetary travel. He only wants to show what is possible, not do it all by himself. He really needs help and is super aware of it.
I might disagree with some minor decisions he takes but this overall view and logic i only can admire, i share it and support it.
He is not that different to what we are, he is not inventing everything by himself but he has the vision of a positive future. His motivation is really driving him towards action, again, he is highly trained and closer to his true potential than most of us.
you can also admire that, but i want to give you this:
We all could be like Musk. We all could improve the future and excell at the things we touch.
this capability is not given, but earned. you might be thinking about hard times full of extra work, but all it takes is a supportive environment and attitude. helping each other is the key.
its right in front of us: Musk had his millions from paypal, but his motivation was the key to gain all the extra investments, he is trusted.
stock markets trade the future value of things, the price of a company is bound to the selling potential it will have tomorrow.
but when it comes to education, we re still working with the past, best case scenario, the present.
Given a random child, how much would you invest into its future?
Would you use the cutting edge technology, hire dozens of people to do research what would be the best way to develop interests and skills,
plus recruiting highly trained experts to execute such plans?
We have millions of children, research would only be done once(unlike in the prior example), we have scaling technology. All kinds of new sciences can be applied
to improve learning(again, interdisciplinary..). And the results would be a benefit for decades if not centuries!
Seriously what are we waiting for?*
Used talks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIwLWfaAg-8
* I know that this is a giant change in mindset. working together is challenging, if you are not tolerant, resilient, and trusting others. this is the investment we will have to make, trust and follow the people which are already there and live in harmony.
PS: I missed something. Musk talked about warranty of the solar roof: infinity. He builds things that are made to stay for a long time.
The tesla powerwall: website says warranty of 10 years https://www.tesla.com/de_DE/powerwall . Incredible for such a technical device, not to mention battery.
he is not denying the future, but embracing it. he invests into it to gain from it later on.