Elon Musk’s Commencement Speech at Caltech
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The other day I linked to an article in the LA Times about Elon Musk’s aspirations to retire and die on Mars. In it, I came across Musk’s commencement speech at Caltech in June. It’s great to watch to get some background on why and how he started both Tesla and SpaceX. But it’s also really interesting to hear him talk about what he thinks are the two most important issues for our century:
1. Sustainable energy. Or the production and consumption of energy in a sustainable manner.
2. Making life multi-planetary.
For example, here are some of his comments on why it’s important to take steps in order to make life multi-planetary:
Yet, there’s more to happen for humanity to become a multi-planet species. It’s vitally important. And I hope that some you have will participate in that at SpaceX or other companies. It’s really one of the most important things for the preservation and extension of consciousness. It’s worth noting that Earth has been around for 4 billion years, but civilization in terms of having writing is only about 10,000 years, and that’s being generous.
So, it’s really somewhat of a tenuous existence that civilization and consciousness has been on earth. I’m actually fairly optimistic about the future earth. I don’t want to give the wrong impression like we’re all about to die. [Laughter] I think things will be okay for a long time on earth. Not for sure, but, most likely. But even if it’s 99% likely, a 1% chance is still worth the effort to back up the biosphere, and achieved planetary redundancy. And I think it’s really quite important.
Note: his speech starts around 31:25. And here’s the full text version.