Condé Nast Traveller Middle East - - Tastemaker - – SK

Most of us har­bour one or two mod­est am­bi­tions. De­clut­ter the spare room. Learn a lan­guage. Drink less. Or, if you’re Musk, fig­ure out a way to es­tab­lish hu­man life on Mars to save civil­i­sa­tion. Ac­tu­ally, that’s just one of sev­eral side projects on which the South African-born tech bil­lion­aire fo­cuses his laser-beam in­tel­li­gence. Musk runs com­pa­nies that spe­cialise in elec­tric and self-driv­ing cars, so­lar en­ergy, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence and brain-com­puter in­ter­faces. Should it ever come to fruition, his much-hyped Hyper­loop – a su­per-high-speed elec­tro­mag­netic tran­sit tun­nel – would be an en­tirely new means of lo­co­mo­tion. Such re­lent­less en­ergy might be a lit­tle weari­some to mere mor­tals. While per­haps his tech­ni­cal ad­vances are still to be felt in our lives, his near su­per-hu­man pres­ence has al­ready been in­grained in pop­u­lar cul­ture. Fa­mously, he was the in­spi­ra­tion for Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man and ap­peared as him­self in an episode of The Simpsons, blast­ing off into space from the fam­ily’s back­yard. Right down to his im­prob­a­ble name, Musk has be­come the ul­ti­mate fig­ure­head for the fu­ture of travel and how we will live not just to­mor­row but in the decades to come.

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