Elon Musk Still Obsessed With Mars, Advocates Direct Democracy

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Tesla Motors and SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk has been repeatedly quoted as saying that he’d like to die on Mars, “just not on impact,” and his passion for the Red Planet hasn’t waned since he spoke those words about three years ago. His ideas about what to do about Mars have certainly developed over the year, although they’re not any less radical now than they were in the past. He previously said that he wanted to nuke the planet, not to destroy it but to heat it up so that it becomes habitable.

Now he has some ideas about how the government should work after we colonize it.

Humans on Mars in 10 years?

Elon Musk believes humans will land on Mars by the year 2025, and his own spaceflight company SpaceX currently plans to begin sending people into space by 2024. As Newsmax notes, it takes months to get to Mars from Planet Earth. Musk shared his views on Mars and a plethora of other topics at Re/code’s Code Conference this week. His thoughts on what life on Mars should be like are quite detailed, as it turns out.

Before setting up a colony on Mars, the billionaire entrepreneur plans to set up cargo flights to the Red Planet with the first delivery arriving by 2018 on one of SpaceX’s Red Dragon spaceships. Musk said that by sending a rocket every other year after that, they could prepare the planet for the first arrival of humans, thus enabling the first colonists to survive after they get there.

Elon Musk, King of Mars

He also weighed the gravity (pun intended) of being the leader of the company that’s the first to arrive on Mars and said he felt like he would be in the best position to decide how the government there should work, reports The Guardian. Although he referred to himself as “King of Mars” if he is successful in getting SpaceX there first before any other company, he also said that he felt democracy would be the best government there.

Specifically, he advocated for direct instead of representative democracy because he said it would help the early Mars colonists get what they wanted while also preventing corruption. He said direct democracy greatly reduces the potential for corruption compared to representative democracy. Direct democracy allows people to vote for their leaders and laws or government policies themselves instead of voting on representatives who then vote on laws for them, which is the structure used in the U.S.

Elon Musk also believes that it should be more difficult to create laws than it should be to get rid of them, which, as Gizmodo notes, is a common way of thinking among Silicon Valley libertarians.

NASA has ideas about Mars too

Gizmodo adds that Musk isn’t the only one with grand ideas about how to make Mars habitable for humans. NASA is looking into building a deep-sleep chamber for astronauts who go to the Red Planet, and author Andy Weir has told Congress that he thinks the space agency should focus on technology to create artificial gravity.

In fact, people have been thinking about going to Mars for decades, and the website reports that the Outer Space Treaty, which was signed in 1966, actually states that nations can’t claim the Red Planet. Many researchers argue that the planet should be independent from Earth starting from the moment the first human sets foot on it.

Elon Musk on other topics

In addition to Mars, Elon Musk also shared thoughts on numerous other topics, like Tesla’s Model X, which has been delayed for years. He emphasized that it’s not always the automaker’s fault when cars are late. For example, he said one carpet shipment for the cars’ trunks got caught in a shoot-out on the border with Mexico, reports The Guardian. He explained that the border patrol wouldn’t give them the truck because there were bullet holes in it.

The Tesla CEO also philosophized about the likelihood that we’re all living in a simulation rather than actual reality, saying that odds are that the world we live in isn’t real because if there could be one simulation, there could be billions. Since billions of simulations vastly outnumber the one single reality, he thinks it’s likely that we’re in a simulation.

Elon Musk also said that there’s only one artificial intelligence firm that frightens him, although he wouldn’t give its name. Most websites are speculating that it’s Google, however. He also sees only one tech company as competing with Tesla, but it’s not Google. Rather, it’s Apple, and he again repeated his comments that the iPhone maker’s car is the worst-kept secret in Silicon Valley.

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