By the age of 46, the man has built three multi-billion dollar companies, and this is his secret.
It’s easy to link Elon Musk’s rapid success, ability to solve
unsolvable problems, and genius-level creativity to his incredible work
But during a one-on-one interview with TED curator Chris Anderson,
Musk attributed to his genius-level creativity and success to a method
of reasoning called first principles.
First-principles thinking works like this: First, you identify and
define your assumptions; then, you break down the problem into its
fundamental principles; and, lastly, you create new solutions from
people talk about Socrates, they typically refer to the leading
character in Plato’s dialogues. This is because little is known about
the historical Socrates beyond the fact that he wandered barefoot around
Athens asking questions, an activity that got him executed for
religious invention and corrupting the youth in 399 BCE. The relation
between the historical figure and the Platonic character is debatable.
In any case, Plato’s Socrates is most commonly read as a staunch
anti-democrat. However, once one distinguishes between being opposed to
democracy from theorizing the ways democratic society can fail, the
relationship between Socrates and democracy grows more complicated.
We are all aware that from amongst the vast diversity of life forms that inhabit the earth, human beings are exceptional. But while human beings are capable of inexhaustible creativity and goodness, they also have the potential to commit the most heinous acts and demeaning of fellow human beings. Accounting for such a phenomenon in the human condition and the committing of abominable acts towards their own species, is an issue that perplexes many. Perhaps the answer to such a question can be found by studying the genes or analysing the brain functioning of the perpetrators, but that could involve investigating entire populations who knowingly condone or participate in such acts. A simpler answer could be that human beings have yet to evolve into a species that is incapable of acts of inhumanity. David Livingstone Smith’s book Less than Human: Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others offers us insight into the processes that lead to the designating of fellow human beings as ‘subhuman’ and makes possible the potential for human beings to perpetrate acts that can only be considered as evil.