• Elon Musk to receive Stephen Hawking award for promoting science
    13 replies, posted
Elon Musk's constant chatter and tweets about everything from "the simulation" to renewable energy have earned him high praise. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO, praised for his "astounding accomplishments in space travel," won this year's Stephen Hawking Science Medal for science communication. The other winners are musician Brian Eno and Apollo 11, the recently released documentary about the first moon landing.  ... The medal recognizes people who have brought science into popular culture, whether that's through film, music, television, or other means. Hawking used to select the winners, and apparently had invited Musk to the festival before his death. Elon Musk to receive Stephen Hawking award for promoting science
Deserved.
I don't like a lot of what Elongated Muskrat is doing here on earth, but he definitely deserves to be acknowledged for lighting another possible space race.
All of his more... eccentric qualities aside, the man has given us some immense technological progress.
Devils advocate, Musk didn't give the world anything, his company and the scientists and engineers behind it did. Lets not pull an Edison here.
you're seriously underestimating just how smart Elon is. He's not just a random investor. He knows very well how the tech in his companies works. That's not to say he hasn't made bad decisions (lol pedophile claim) but to underplay his achievements as him just being an investor is insane.
he has literally hundreds of scientists and engineers on his payroll, sure he has learned a lot but its farfetched to say that he's actually invented any of the patents. that's exactly what Edison did, taking credit for his entire staff's work as his own. There's even accounts that Musk flat out is wrong a lot of the time and people still go along with it rather than challenge him like the massive automation at tesla that went nowhere, or how they had to build an app to do exactly the same organizing that the experienced auto workers were already doing just so musk could think he invented it, or how he's essentially hoodwinked half of the US metropolises with his useless tunnels-that-aren't-subways-but-are. Musk is a tech disruptor, when its worked its been fantastic, but don't pretend that he's some 4th dimensional genius, he's just super stupid rich and cocky enough to spend it on new ventures instead of just shoveling it into a tax haven somewhere.
Here's the problem I have with this argument. I'm not trying to bash you for it, I've heard it plenty before and I think it's a good starting point for an important conversation. Edison was in it to make money. Make money he did. Edison also went out of his way to crush and stifle any type of competition or innovation that would threaten the economy of his businesses. (See: the AC versus DC fear mongering) Musk on the other hand is finally pushing the button on a series of technological innovations that have been ignored or outright shafted since the 70's. You know why speculative fiction in the 50's and 60's foresaw a world of flying cars, jetpacks, atomic televisions and the like? Because all science pointed towards an inevitable, near-future shift in power and electricity. Some got it very wrong for unpredictable reasons, like the Nuclear craze, while things like Lithium batteries have been very accurately predicted for a long time. However, companies like Exxon and Ford understood what the old companies of the 19th century understood. A technological revolution will inevitably create winners and losers, ones that have to compete from square 0. In same cases it could mean total obsolescence. So absolute meme technology like Hydrogen Cell cars became the "forefront" of design and engineering, while proven leads on scientific engineering languished and were passed over by financiers - at best - some were even discredited or buried. Musk took a massive gamble - on that is still fraught with risks if you pay attention to the Short Selling drama that always follows Tesla - to kickstart the energy revolution that the entire globe has consciously been putting off for profit driven reasons for nearly 50 years. This isn't 1905 anymore. One engineer in his backyard can't shit out a world changing invention and become a millionaire overnight. No single engineer, designer, programmer or genius working under Musk could have done that on their own. Musk had the unique capability, capacity and drive to deliver that. So he is. He did. Hopefully he did it soon enough that we can avert the imminent disasters we've seen coming since the 80's.
Science is a team effort nowadays and musk is doing his part. We live in a world where the "solitary inventor!" cliche doesn't work anymore (I'd argue it never existed but i don't want to split hairs on the internet) because of how difficult problems have become. Why do you think there's such a strong push for AI? because technology is starting to stagnate under how difficult it is to create new ideas that solve our modern problems and in order to speed up this process you either have to use people on top of STEM Academia or an AI must be used. And AI is less expensive.
This comes across as praising the guy just because he has money. Musk is an example of a good capitalist and industrialist, but he's not at all the one doing the actual research. He deserves an award for promoting science because that's exactly what he does, promotion. For most things like electric cars, solar power, and SpaceX I think he's doing good. The Boring company is a joke to sell subways. Also his push for batteries in energy production is fucking awful and I hate how people have jumped behind him on it, power production needs stable baseload capacity and variable support load capacity, which nuclear and renewables provide respectively. Batteries are important but not in the way he promotes them, and the production of the lithium needed for all those batteries is horrible for the environment. Generally promotes good shit, he deserves the award. He could stand to be a lot less up his own arse though.
what does his list of companies have to do with his job at promoting science? or his actual intelligence? Sure his work ethic might be bad, but that again in no way disproves how smart he is.
My problem with this is that Musk may end up undermining all of this good shit because of his atrocious behavior as of late. It also feels really odd for him to essentially be getting an award for his PR, when he is currently preparing to go to court for his bullshit pedo accuastions that he still hasn't apologized for. (His twitter non-apology doesn't count. He only did it cause of the financial consequences. He's shown no sign whatsoever that he is actually sorry.)
No he'll end up fine. If you want precedence he's a lot like Howard Hughes but a bit less eccentric. One could even say Elon is quite dull compared to Howard.
Clearly his companies have achieved a lot, and even if you dismiss the fact that he's doing the engineering as well clearly he's a good manager. It takes a lot of good management and direction, not just money to achieve what Tesla and SpaceX have done. I think a lot of people think I’m kind of a business person or something, which is fine. Business is fine. But really, like at SpaceX Gwynne Shotwell is Chief Operating Officer and she manages legal, finance, sales, and general business activity. And my time is almost entirely with the engineering team working on improving the Falcon 9, and our dragon spacecraft, and developing the Mars colonial architecture.
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