Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is worth approximately $131 billion.
Recently, he gave an interview in which he said two things that show he is one of the smartest idiots walking around today.
“The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” Bezos said.
He added that he wanted to see a solar system with a trillion humans living in it.
“And if we had a trillion humans, we would have a thousand Einsteins and a thousand Mozarts…”
I’m pretty sure you can see the problem with the first thought.
First of all, while I have zero objections to space travel, there’s also a near-infinite amount of other good works you could also spend $131 billion accomplishing.
• provide clean water for millions of people
• fund the final eradication of polio
• throw billions into malaria prevention
• improve education around the world.
You could honestly work on all of those things and still have a few billion left for rockets!
But it’s the second quote that irks me the most.
Bezos implies that the quantity of genius in the world is bound by population. Only one person in a million will be an Einstein, a Mozart, so to get more geniuses, we need more people.
False premise. You want more Mozarts? Provide clean water, vaccinations, and public education for the world.
How many Marie Curies and Rosalind Franklins are lost when girls are denied an education?
How many Isaac Newtons and Nikola Teslas die every year of preventable childhood diseases?
How many artists, scientists, philosphers and humanitarians do we lose because they spend their lives toiling in subsistence agriculture, or are killed in local wars fueled by conflict oil, diamonds, or minerals?
You want to go to space? Sure. But there’s still a lot of potential to unlock right here on Earth.