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Book Review: A glimpse into Elon Musk's 'world- saving' visions

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Jakarta  /  Fri, October 14, 2016  /  03:44 pm
Book Review: A glimpse into Elon Musk's 'world- saving' visions

Ashlee Vance’s extensively researched biography about Elon Musk is fascinating to say the least. (Shutterstock/File)

Think Elon Musk and a whole bunch of things comes to mind: self-driving cars, Hyperloop, SpaceX, commercial space travel. Constantly pushing the boundaries of technology, Musk might be as close as we can get to a real-life Tony Stark.

In a world of Snapchat, a million different apps and billions of software releases, Elon Musk remains one of the dudes that get down and dirty with hardware; the kind that gets intimate with the physical side of engineering.

Ashlee Vance’s extensively researched biography about Elon Musk is fascinating, to say the least. It starts with his childhood in Pretoria, South Africa, where his programming and computing talent shone through by the age of 12. By 24, he and his brother had founded Zip2. Four years later, he sold it to Compaq for more than US$300 million. But he didn’t retire with that money. He ploughed most of his assets into PayPal, and everybody knows what became of that.

The book is not just a regurgitation of events in Musk’s life that have been so widely publicized. It features quotes and anecdotes from his associates and admirers—about what they saw in him and his working style. Vance takes it a step further, by placing quotes and events side by side.

Vance reminds us of one thing: that Musk’s inventions and creations are all about saving the world. He might not be giving away billions to the poorest of the poor, or volunteering like Hollywood celebs, but his inventions are focused on making the world a better place. Like wanting to make Mars habitable when Earth finally burns out, or exploring space travel to push human frontiers and curiosity, or building cars that don’t rely on fossil fuel. This book is a look at Musk’s humanitarianism and a glimpse into his moral values and visions. (kes)

Click here to read the book.

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Title: Elon Musk: Inventing the Future

Author: Ashlee Vance

Published: 2015

Publisher: Ecco

ISBN: 062301233 

Pages:  392

Reviewed by: Natalie Pang

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.