Column: Elon Musk is breaking his new toy. Will it cost us our democracy?
Will Elon Musk build a giant steel cage to house the entire population of New York? If it is in the works, we have the means to stop it. And, if it is successful, we might even make it profitable for us, and other people around the world, to do the same.
But, it’s not our job, not yet, and maybe not ever.
I’m not going to let go of the New York Times article about Musk’s plans for a mega-city in New York. At first, I didn’t understand where the article is about. But later, it became clear to me. The New York Times, apparently, is promoting Elon Musk’s brainchild: a giant steel cage to be built in New York. If there’s enough demand for such a structure, such a thing could be built.
The New York Times writes that “Mr. Musk plans to use his company’s profits from future projects to fund construction of a high-definition underground network linking up his planned city.”
It makes sense that the company’s profits would be used for the construction of a giant cage and maybe even a “network linking up his planned city.” But will there be enough demand in the long term to cover the costs?
It turns out that the Times article is false. While the New York Times doesn’t say so exactly, it doesn’t know of any “projects” Mr. Musk is planning. In spite of Mr. Musk making his case for this giant city on the need to save Earth from overpopulation and climate change, the article doesn’t indicate any particular reason why there is a demand for such a thing. The New York Times seems to have missed the boat on this particular technology.
As I wrote at the time, “It is important to establish whether there is a demand for this cage. Then it becomes important to see if the Times understands that such a city would need some kind of infrastructure.”
If there is enough demand for such a thing and it costs $30 billion and could be built