By late 2018, I was one of those people who had cut the cord from facebook. When it's nothing boast-worthy; it has been quite a relief really. It obviously follows that Twitter is the only social media space that I still consistently frequent.
I'm rather choosy on people to follow on Twitter; a typical attitude by those of us with INTP-T personality. Little of my interests would be considered mainstream.
A friend of mine once looked at my twitter profile and expressed their shock that I had a pretty small following. They, however, didn't seem to notice that I follow roughly a mere dozen people and I hardly tweet myself. If they had, it would have been a no-brainer.
One of the people I have followed for a fairly long period of time is Elon Musk. Why Elon? Well, I heard that he was once a web developer, he's a billionaire, and heads several companies (SpaceX, Tesla, SolarCity). Suffice to say, I can't possibly list all his accomplishments, at least I'm not going to try it here.
Of all his efforts, the one that is most fascinating to me is his quest to revolutionize rockets. In my mind he follows in the steps of the following individuals:
- Nikola Tesla who made it possible for the common man to enjoy the joys of alternating current.
- Henry Ford whose efforts made it possible for regular people to own automobiles
- Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss who brought flight travel to the planet.
- Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates who made the computer personal.
- Sir Tim Berners-Lee who gave us the gift of the internet.
These are just but a handful of men who revolutionized society. Certainly, they didn't do so in isolation nor were they the only ones. Their work benefited from the works of Newton, Michael Faraday, Charles Babbage, Gary Kildall, Dennis Ritchie, Linus Torvalds, Nikolaus Otto …
That said, it's their ingenuity and resolve that created paths where none existed or where others thought impossible. Where other men said it was too expensive, dangerous, or unfeasible, these men cared not for such cynicism.
Through their ceaseless quest for previously unknown experiences, they became the benefactors of our civilization as it stands.
The next frontier
Fast forward to our time, Elon's efforts to make space travel a possibility perhaps for the next generation seem to attract the attention of just a few. This way, it seems that we're neither immune to the cynicism nor the indifference of those who came before us. In the context of collective ignorance, this reaction is only natural.
It is true that in spite of the progress that companies like SpaceX and Blue Origin are making in rockets engineering, the concept is somewhat infantile. That said, we would be very well may be underestimating our ability to quickly crack obstacles.
After all, creativity is not a linear process. That is to say, decades of research may ultimately yield massive breakthroughs sooner than our current frustrations would have us believe.
There was a time that electricity would have been regarded as magic, telephone calls witchcraft, planes flying over as godly. In other words, most of the aspects that constitute life today, is the product of madmen of the past. Men who would have been considered as deluded wishful thinkers.
Now virtually a third of the human population walks around with at least one computer in their pockets. Computers that double as telephones, internet endpoints …
Things that once only endeared nerds and geeks now play as a core part of mankind's status of living standards. Huh, now that everyone wants these things, they are no longer weird, contrived, delusional, nor unfeasible.
I hereby join the list of individuals who have contemplated the possibilities that rocket engineering holds.
If the past is anything to go by, what the future holds is utterly mind-blowing. If rockets take the path of computers, our grandkids or great grandkids will live in unimaginable times.