A Chinese Elon Musk?

Pleased to have spied this small clip from CNN which has great relevance to my debut novel, Monkey Steals Plum. In the video clip, linked below, the host prods some talking heads to discuss whether or not there can be a Chinese Elon Musk…

If you are wearing a blank stare at that Screenshot of Elon Muskname then please search engine your way to a basic grasp on the Musk man…

So the ‘Musk pundit’ argues that China is not blessed with an abundance of Musk-like men. It will be a while yet, apparently, before China produces men of vision and, most significantly, applicable, scalable, innovation.

I have a wry smile in watching this clip because for my debut novel I created a kind of ‘Chinese Elon Musk’. At least, there are similarities that may amuse Mr Musk himself… my protagonist, “Feng”, is also a billionaire and he is intrigued by the potential of space exploration – in his case asteroid mining – to secure limitless, precious resources among other benefits. However, Mr Feng has had a very different life to Mr Musk and they are very different men with distinct skills, experience, pasts…

For one thing, I have listened to Elon Musk display his vast knowledge of the sci-tech-engineering triad needed to fully understand let alone innovate space travel. In stark contrast, the fictitious Mr Feng has nothing of this knowledge which, naturally, doubles as a device to bring in other characters to drive and twist the storyline. So it goes.

A man’s world…

Although the CNN employee is a female TV host/anchor, the notion of a woman being as successful and innovative as Mr Musk and other men appears to be way off this particular agenda.

In my debut novel I endeavoured to pen three-dimensional female characters who display intellect, status, credentials – and whom each in their own ways prove pivotal to the plot. The jury (readers, regardless of gender) is still out…

The zeitgeist

A timely cross-reference for the topical, world-wide, obsession with ‘all things China’ is a webcast that I caught live from Hong Kong. This was a decent, well balanced, (and, thankfully, well time-managed) debate… WhoseCentury_Capture

The recording of the debate is forthcoming according to the host: Asia Society, Hong Kong. So please consider bookmarking for a future listen… http://asiasociety.org/hong-kong/events/whose-century-it-anyway

Several intriguing arguments were aired and debated in some detail, and on both sides of the debate: for and against the motion that China’s rise will, by 2041*, ensure this century will go down in history as “the Chinese Century”. One of the points made, as with the CNN clip above, is a deeper discussion of China’s lack -or perhaps not- of innovation. Recommended listening once the recording becomes available online.


(*) Why “2041”?

As this Hong Kong debate’s chairperson proposes in his opening remarks, that date (2041) will mark 100 years since it was suggested (correctly I would argue) that the 20th Century would be remembered as ‘the American Century’.

The reference is made to a 1941 article published in Life magazine and penned by Time magazine’s Editor Henry Luce. Here’s some more on Mr Luce who appears to have been ‘a man of his time’, and one whose legacy is acknowledged by this US government webpage:

https://history.state.gov/milestones/1937-1945/internationalism


 

 

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