THURSDAY PRO // A character who unleashes passions, Elon Musk is currently leading many projects that could bring science into a new dimension. Journalist Olivier Lascar set out to decipher his approach in his book Investigation of Elon Musk, the man who defies science.
It fascinates as much as it worries. With his projects that constantly push the limits of science, Elon Musk is today the entrepreneur who arouses the most curiosity in the world. And for good reason, the American billionaire is carrying out several projects likely to upset the future of humanity. Build electric cars with Tesla, go into space and colonize Mars with SpaceX, develop a global internet network thanks to a mega-constellation of satellites with Starlink, connect the human brain to computers with Neuralink, or eradicate urban traffic jams and revolutionizing the global financial system with a decentralized approach… here is a jumble of projects that gave rise to a kind of 21st century myth around Elon Musk.
However, if this character is now well known to the general public, his ambitions remain rather vague. In this context, journalist Olivier Lascar, editor-in-chief of the digital division of Science and Future – Research, decided to look into the various scientific projects carried out by Elon Musk to decipher them. From this reflection, a book was born: Investigation of Elon Musk, the man who defies science (Alisio editions). “I realized that Elon Musk had moved into another universe. He had gone from a universe of science and technology to that of people. He had become known to everyone, without knowing precisely what there was behind this name”he explains, highlighting the “artistic blur around him” which required, in his eyes, a “exercise of scientific popularization and pedagogy”.
By looking into the vision of Elon Musk, Olivier Lascar notably realized the weight of science fiction in his scientific thought. “If there is a link between all of Elon Musk’s projects, it is first and foremost science fiction. He suckled the milk of science fiction, he read the comics that we know everyone and we love, he read science fiction literature, like Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, he says. Before adding: “He has built an imaginary world, he has made a mental universe with his science fiction codes. And today that he is able to do so, he would like his dreams and his visions to come true. .” All this with a simple conviction: “Elon Musk truly believes that technology is the answer to all our problems.”
With this approach, the American billionaire obviously leaves no one indifferent. “He is a game-changer for better and for worse. His technique is to shoot first and give the warnings afterwards”, analyzes Olivier Lascar. Nevertheless, thanks to the narrative he has developed, he manages to make many people around the world dream and to embark them on his quests, including the most eccentric. “Elon Musk constructs a story in which he speaks of the end of the century, of Martian cities on the horizon of 2050… Paradoxically, it’s a breath of fresh air, while these projects are eminently questionable. ‘we need to go to Mars for example?asks the journalist. “What is at the heart of SpaceX is to go to Mars to make the human species an extra-planetary species. He wants us to spread elsewhere in the solar system”he adds.
However, should we be afraid of such a visionary entrepreneur, who seems to have no limits? If Olivier Lascar is not so categorical, he nevertheless believes that we should no longer make fun of Elon Musk, as many specialists were able to do at the time when he assured that he would succeed in creating reusable rockets. with SpaceX. “Elon Musk finds it easier to advance his story and his business because the people in front of him don’t take him seriously”, he explains. Before warning: “In 2022, you shouldn’t do that anymore. When you’re a politician, industrialist or player in space, health or the automobile, you have to take Elon Musk really seriously to be able to possibly provide the right answer, the good against -fire and make sure that he does not impose his vision on the community. He really believes that his vision is positive and goes in the direction of improving humanity. But does he right? Nothing is less certain.” One thing is certain, however, the American billionaire has not finished talking about him.