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Anyone who’s read the first three posts in this series is aware that I’ve not only been buried in the things Musk is doing, I’ve been drinking a tall glass of the Elon Musk Kool-Aid throughout. After emerging from the 1990s dotcom party with 0 million, instead of sitting back in his investor chair listening to pitches from groveling young entrepreneurs, he decided to start a brawl with a .

And all of this, it really seems, for the purpose of giving our species a better future. But someone being exceptionally rad isn’t Kool-Aid worthy enough to warrant 90,000 words over a string of months on a blog that’s supposed to be about a wide range of topics.

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Three quick notes: 1) PDF and ebook options: We made a fancy PDF of this post for printing and offline viewing (see a preview here), and an ebook containing the whole four-part Elon Musk series: 2) Here’s a G-rated version of the post, appropriate for all ages (with its own URL, so safe to share too).

3) Extra big thanks to our Patreon supporters for making WBW sustainable and for being immensely patient during the long wait.

I’m fascinated by those rare people in history who manage to dramatically change the world during their short time here, and I’ve always liked to study those people and read their biographies.

Those people know something the rest of us don’t, and we can learn something valuable from them.

What for a while was a large pile of facts, observations, and sound bites eventually began to congeal into a common theme—a trait in Musk that I believe he shares with many of the most dynamic icons in history and that separates him from almost everybody else.

As I worked through the Tesla and Space X posts, this concept kept surfacing, and it became clear to me that this series couldn’t end without a deep dive into exactly what it is that Musk and a few others do so unusually well.

___________ In 1681, English theologian Thomas Burnet published Sacred Theory of the Earth, in which he explained how geology worked.

What happened was, around 6,000 years ago, the Earth was formed as a perfect sphere with a surface of idyllic land and a watery interior.

Once things settled down, the Earth was no longer a perfect sphere—all the commotion had distorted the surface, bringing about mountains and valleys and caves down below, and the whole thing was littered with the fossils of the flood’s victims. For theologians of the time, it was their version of the general relativity vs.

quantum mechanics quandary, and Burnet had come up with a viable string theory to unify it all under one roof. There were enough theories kicking around reconciling geology with the verses of the Bible to today warrant a 15,000-word “Flood Geology” Wikipedia page.

___________ If the website analytics stats on Chartbeat included a “Type of Geologist” demographic metric, I imagine that for Wait But Why readers, the breakdown would look something like this: It makes sense.

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