November 7, 2016
What will you do about the extinction dilemma?
Entrepreneurs are wired differently; there’s no question about that. Most people see problems and feel some level of fear; their instinctive reaction is to move the other direction. Fire? Run the other way. Market uncertainty? Put the money under the mattress. A friend in crisis? Don’t answer the phone.
Forbes magazine has an annual report that gets widespread attention: the Forbes 400 is regarded as the authoritative roster of high-net-worth people, no matter the means by which they became rich. If they were to create a new annual all-star list – based on entrepreneurship – Elon Musk would probably be listed in the upper quartile of practitioners. He turns (perceived) problems into opportunities…
Known today for Tesla cars, SolarCity collectors, and – soon – the battery factory that will put Reno on the map, before those consumer-targeted efforts made him famous, his first significant venture launch was SpaceX, in 2002. Why space?
Musk – 45 years old – was born and raised in South Africa, moved to his mother’s Canada in his teens, and became an American in 2002. He calls himself “nauseatingly pro-American,” and believes that his adopted country is the savior of democracy.
He lives in Bel Air, California… but he sees a problem on the horizon that he’s running toward: human extinction.
Next week, Ron Howard is putting Musk’s business pursuit on your home screen: it’s time for a National Geographic miniseries to give us the good news of interplanetary space travel, with Mars as the most likely outpost for humans to escape the coming Apocalypse (www.makemarshome.com).
Six installments, over six weeks (leading up to Christmas), it’s one-part fictional drama and one-part talking-head documentary, designed to open our minds to the need for a chance to ensure the survival of the species through space colonization. Director Ron Howard (Andy Griffith’s Opie; Happy Days’ Richie) doesn’t plan to go there, but Musk would like to retire there (interview with the Guardian, 2010).
Competition for the tourism space business is not small: Richard Branson (Virgin Galactic) only wants to orbit passengers, returning them to earth; Musk wants to sell one-way tickets to the Red Planet, and compete with Florida and Arizona as the preferred last-address.
Whether your legal address is Miami or Mars, there’s a problem with even higher probability than a human extinction event: every one of Musk and Branson’s target customers are rocketing toward a personal extinction event. A comet strike that destroys earth’s environment is a long-shot: mortality is the sure-thing problem that warrants something more than a six-part miniseries to ponder…
Elon Musk is both scientist and entrepreneur; when asked his view of the invisible dimension – the possibility of destiny and a higher power – his answer frames his spiritual formations: “Do I think that there’s some sort of master intelligence architecting all of this stuff? I think probably not because then you have to say: ‘Where does the master intelligence come from?’ So it sort of begs the question. So I think really you can explain this with the fundamental laws of physics. You know its complex phenomenon from simple elements…”
Here’s some crucial information about the certain future: “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Hebrews 9:27-28) Mars: the Mini-Series doesn’t hold a candle to Christmas: the Solution.
Musk is watching for an asteroid; the followers of Jesus Christ are watching for his Second Coming. They don’t plan to move to Mars; instead, they’re relocating to God’s abode – Heaven – where their horizon is not a natural lifetime, but the promise of eternal life…