Elon Musk is an influential person whose speeches on the expected future are inspirational. In this Ted Talk essay on “The Future We’re Building – and Boring” by Elon Musk, the author explores the expected future developments, makes relatable comments about reducing waste, shows why it is important to know such things, shares knowledge that people can apply to improve their lives, and surprises his audience by ranging over the sophistication of some of his inventions.
The Main Theme
The main point of the video is the expected developments in the future. Musk says, “I am just trying to think about the future and not be sad” (39:58-40:02). The statement shows that he is focused on a brighter future for humanity. The video covers issues about how to deal with traffic congestion, make space travel more manageable, and rely more on renewable energy, among other developments that should be expected in the future.
Musk makes relatable comments about reducing waste by dealing with traffic congestion, which people can resonate with this information with their experiences. Research shows that commuters waste an average of 54 hours every year due to traffic congestion (Willingham par. 2). This study shows that people can save a lot in terms of time as a nation, and they can deal with traffic congestion. Therefore, since the video covers solutions to traffic congestion, people can relate it to their experiences with wasting a lot of time in traffic.
The video shows why it is important to learn about the challenges people currently face and the ones they might face in the future, while this knowledge can help them to develop solutions. Musk says, “The sustainable energy future I think is largely inevitable (37:36-37:38). Here, people can learn that they will be forced to turn to renewable energy as non-renewable energy becomes scarce. In this case, it is wise to start preparing for this situation early enough. Consequently, the topics covered in the video are important because they explore the challenges and offer solutions.
Implementing the Information
In the video, Musk shares invaluable information that people can apply to help them to be better equipped for the future, such as building houses that can harvest solar energy. Research shows that the interest in using photovoltaic cells in roof tiles, which can harvest solar energy, is growing (Alim et al. 1308). This study means that more people realize the benefits of using solar energy and are building houses with the presence of solar energy cells. Consequently, it is not only one piece of information from the video that people can apply when building their houses in the future.
Building Modern Houses
Building a house that can harvest solar energy can enable one to go off-grid. Research shows that solar photovoltaic systems require less repair and maintenance costs (Okedu 4). This information means that they are cheaper when compared to using grid power. Moreover, renewable energy is affordable and can be entirely relied upon to run a house, enabling one to go off-grid.
Concisely, the video covers some informative topics about what the future might look like. The information is relatable regarding the challenges Musk aims to solve, and it is important because he offers solutions. The solutions offered are applicable, and it is surprising how easy one can apply them. Hence, Musk should be supported as much as possible to make those aspirations come true.
Alim, Mohammad A., et al. “Improving Performance of Solar Roof Tiles by Incorporating Phase Change Material.” Solar Energy, vol. 207, 2020, pp. 1308-1320, doi:10.1016/j.solener.2020.07.053.
Musk, Elon. “The Future We’re Building — and Boring.” Ted, 2017, www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_future_we_re_building_and_boring.
Okedu, Kenneth E. Stability Control and Reliable Performance of Wind Turbines. BoD – Books on Demand, 2018.
Willingham, AJ. “Commuters Waste an Average of 54 Hours a Year Stalled in Traffic, Study Says.” CNN, 22 Aug. 2019, edition.cnn.com/2019/08/22/us/traffic-commute-gridlock-transportation-study-trnd/index.html.