Who planted these questions in my head?
Climate change, poverty, the alarming rise in non-communicable disease morbidity: choose your battle. They seem to strike me all at once and they’re too huge of a burden for one person to think of.
I wonder how many more problems out there that haven’t been heard? And what will the future look like for us?
Is it fair for us to ‘encourage’ those who are able to give more to the needy? After all, they must have put in hard work to get to where they are, and should be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour. How much is enough? The people we aim to help – do they even care? For all we know they’re happily living their lives in ignorance and we’re worrying for nothing. Those who actually need help – will they come forward?
In the opinion of a layperson who knows nil about management of funds and taxes and policies and whatnot – I call for serious restructuring and transparency. What are our needs, our goals, and are our operations in line with them?
Although my current thoughts might seem a little pessimistic, but I have faith in the power of people. To rely on a governing body is not something I want to completely surrender myself to, but to see everyday individuals taking that first step, seizing their opportunities, propelling change in their communities – I know that’s where I want to be. I haven’t found a single cause to commit to, but let’s leave that topic for another time.
Interestingly, Elon Musk (if you know me, you’d know how much I’m in awe of him) was asked something similar of my concerns recently:
CA: Elon, it almost seems, listening to you and looking at the different things you’ve done, that you’ve got this unique double motivation on everything that I find so interesting. One is this desire to work for humanity’s long-term good. The other is the desire to do something exciting. And often it feels like you feel like you need the one to drive the other. With Tesla, you want to have sustainable energy, so you made these super sexy, exciting cars to do it. Solar energy, we need to get there, so we need to make these beautiful roofs. We haven’t even spoken about your newest thing, which we don’t have time to do,but you want to save humanity from bad AI, and so you’re going to create this really cool brain-machine interface to give us all infinite memory and telepathy and so forth. And on Mars, it feels like what you’re saying is, yeah, we need to save humanity and have a backup plan, but also we need to inspire humanity, and this is a way to inspire.
EM: I think the value of beauty and inspiration is very much underrated, no question. But I want to be clear. I’m not trying to be anyone’s savior. That is not the — I’m just trying to think about the future and not be sad.
CA: Beautiful statement. I think everyone here would agree that it is not — None of this is going to happen inevitably. The fact that in your mind, you dream this stuff, you dream stuff that no one else would dare dream, or no one else would be capable of dreaming at the level of complexity that you do. The fact that you do that, Elon Musk, is a really remarkable thing. Thank you for helping us all to dream a bit bigger.
EM: But you’ll tell me if it ever starts getting genuinely insane, right?
The last bit got me laughing. It’s what goes through my mind most of the time. But hey – if an idea isn’t insane at first, is it really worth pursuing?
Full TED interactive transcript and video here.
Okay got that off my chest. Back to paediatric diabetes mellitus!
T-11 days to finals.