John Lanchester reviews ‘The Wright Brothers’ by David McCullough and ‘Elon Musk’ by Ashlee Vance · LRB 10 September 2015: "However, Musk’s innovations could all come to pass, with SpaceX heading for Mars by the end of the next decade, and electric cars increasingly popular in the first world, and solar energy increasingly practical, and yet how different would the world really be for most of its seven billion inhabitants? His businesses employ 15,000 people, which is quite a few, but on the other hand is also less than half as many as work in a single Hyundai factory in South Korea. Also, the sheer scale of the capital and resources deployed in Musk’s businesses shows just how hard it is to innovate fundamentally in these industries. Two tinkerers changed the world with an invention they knocked up in their spare time in a workshop. Musk deploys tens of billion dollars in capital and a huge amount of brainpower and gives a lot of pleasure and entertainment in the process, but the upshot is still disputable."
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