Well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson gave his two cents on SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk over the weekend.
“Elon Musk is like a modern day Thomas Edison, right?” Tyson told TMZ in an interview published Sunday. “He dreams big. And I don’t think all of his dreams are realistic, but that doesn’t matter, because he’s dreaming big.”
People are finding it hard to appreciate the choice of words. For starters, Musk might actually not really like this comparison, mainly because of Edison’s inclination towards patents. Musk is an avid believer that “patents are for the weak,” while Edison, on the other hand, was a patent advocate. Average Edison’s patent applications out over the course of his life, and he applied for one roughly every 11 days, according to The New Yorker.
Also, Edison was allegedly called a jjerk. He’s been accused of stealing work from students and publishing it under his own name, and was also an occasional dog murderer or an elephant murderer!
Still, both the personalities have similarities. Both Musk and Edison are/were known for their hectic work schedules; both have/had enthusiastic, devoted followings.
There’s also the fact that both favoured a perfection model, rather than one of raw invention. Even though Edison is considered as the person who invented the lightbulb, he didn’t actually invent incandescence. He expanded on it and made it marketable. Similarly, Musk didn’t invent rocket science, nor did he build the world’s first electric car. But Musk has rebuilt technologies and arguably even industries in his image and sold them to the world.
“I’m all for progress. I’m all for people seeing a world that they can invent,” the astrophysicist continued. “A better world, where people are happier, safer… that’s what science brings you.”