Future Bond Villain and all-around enigmatic visionary Elon Musk sure knows how to keep his name in the headlines. I mean, he’s only spearheading one of the most ambitious space programs in the history of the world, redefining the impossible in public transportation, and pushing the boundaries of human imagination. Why wouldn’t we all be paying attention to him? Dude shot a freakin' car into space.
Musk has also been known to make some chilling predictions and warnings about the future, particularly concerning the age-of-humanity-ending direction AI and robots are most certainly headed in. Remember what Orwell said about a boot stamping on a face forever? He only got it slightly wrong: it’ll be a cloven robot hoof forged from metals harvested from asteroids, not a boot. Close enough, though. While Musk isn’t alone in warning against trusting the intentions of our soon-to-be synthetic replacements, he recently made a separate chilling warning about an impending devastating third world war that could have some of the mega-rich scrambling to buy seats aboard Musk’s first manned Mars missions. Does he know something we don’t know?
Musk made the comments at this year’s SXSW in Austin, where he appeared for an unannounced interview conducted by director and writer Jonathan Nolan. In the surprise appearance, Musk announced that he plans to test SpaceX's massive BFR rocket capable of reaching Mars as early as next year, while his ultimate goal is to begin sending cargo to Mars in 2022 for use by a future colony (of which he will no doubt be named Supreme Ruler). Why is Elon speeding up his Mars timeline? Because, Musk says, humanity is almost certainly headed very soon for a cataclysmic third World War, one he does not believe humanity will survive - on Earth, anyway:
I think a moon base and a Mars base that could help regenerate life back here on Earth would be really important and to get that done before a possible World War Three. We want to make sure that there’s enough of a seed of human civilization somewhere else to bring civilization back, and perhaps shorten the length of the dark ages.
Dark ages? Yikes. Invest in analog media while you can. Some may see this simply as planning for the worst, while others like me are carpe-ing the hell out of the diem while we can. Again, given Musk’s ties to the military industrial complex, though, is it possible he has insider information about an impending world-ending conflict brewing? It’s possible, sure, but probable is another thing. Of course, this could simply be yet another attention-grabbing headline to boost awareness of (and funding for) SpaceX’s Mars plans. As with all things Musk, there are likely slivers of truth from all of these possible scenarios.