Sunday, December 19, 2021

TIME's Person Of The Year: Elon Musk

TIME's Person Of The Year:
Elon Musk

2021 Person of the Year Elon Musk - Time Magazine

Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society. Despite shattering records this year with a net worth above $300 billion, Elon Musk demurs at being described as the richest person in the history of the world. “Excluding sovereigns,” Musk says wryly, adding that Russia’s Vladimir Putin is likely richer than he. “I can’t invade countries and stuff.”

The differences begin to fade a bit as one drives down Texas Highway 4, between the Gulf of Mexico and the Rio Grande, toward one of the southernmost points in the U.S., where Musk is preparing to launch the world’s largest rocket. Gleaming spacecraft rise stories above the sparse terrain. His company is gobbling up local housing and encouraging employees to move there. “Creating the city of Starbase, Texas,” Musk announced on Twitter earlier this year, to the evident surprise of the residents of Boca Chica, where his facility is located. (A county official noted that “Sending a tweet does not make it so,” and that a petition must first be filed.)

For nearly a century, TIME has named a Person of the Year—the individual or group who most shaped the previous 12 months, for better or for worse. Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society.

From Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Facebook turned Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, the year brought home the extent to which, at a time of rising protest over ever deepening inequality, our lives and many of the basic structures around them are now shaped by the pursuits, products and priorities of the world’s wealthiest people. Even in that rarefied crowd, Musk is in a class of his own. He sees his mission as solving the globe’s most intractable challenges, along the way disrupting multiple industries across two decades. These include what was once the core American creation, combustion-engine automobiles, and what was once the core American aspiration, spaceflight, as well as a litany of other manifestations of our present and future: infrastructure construction, artificial intelligence, neurotechnology, payment systems and increasingly money itself through his dalliances with cryptocurrencies. 

As provocative as his vision is his persona, a blunt instrument that often seems to revel in division and aggressive mockery as he gives the world access to his id through social media. Musk’s largest terrestrial impact so far has been with Tesla. 2021 was the year that electric vehicles finally came into the mainstream and that Tesla became a trillion-dollar company, one of only a handful in the world. It’s a market that Musk almost single-handedly created, seeing long before others the demand for clean-energy transportation that the world’s climate crisis would eventually propel. From Detroit to Milan, announcements of EV commitments poured in all year as automakers that once fiercely resisted emissions restrictions are now scrambling to catch up.

Should we fall short with Earth, Musk’s answer is space, where he envisions “a futuristic Noah’s ark.” His SpaceX is the global commercial leader in building and flying rockets and crews, chosen by NASA to build the ship that aims to place astronauts back on the moon for the first time in more than 50 years. Musk’s rough timeline for that is three years, with two more years to land on Mars. The key, he says as matter-of-factly as the rest of us might say the time of day, is making spacefaring rockets as reusable as airplanes.

Musk’s rise coincides with broader trends of which he and his fellow technology magnates are part cause and part effect: the continuing decline of traditional institutions in favor of individuals; government dysfunction that has delivered more power and responsibility to business; and chasms of wealth and opportunity. In an earlier era, ambitions on the scale of interplanetary travel were the ultimate collective undertaking, around which Presidents rallied nations. Today they are increasingly the province of private companies. To Musk, that is progress, steering capital allocation away from the government to those who will be good stewards of it. To others, it is testament to capitalism’s failings as staggeringly wealthy, mostly white men play by their own rules while much of society gets left behind.

In deciding each December who should be Person of the Year, we look back but also aim to look forward. Bezos was the choice in 1999 when e-commerce was just beginning to take off. Zuckerberg was selected in 2010, well before it was clear what Facebook’s full effect on society and democracy would be. We don’t yet know how fully Tesla, SpaceX and the ventures Musk has yet to think up will change our lives. At 50, he has plenty of time to write the future, his own and ours. Like it or not, we are now in Musk’s world.

For creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society’s most daring and disruptive transformations, Elon Musk is TIME’s 2021 Person of the Year.


Tuesday, October 5, 2021



New York Times bestselling author and journalist Anderson Cooper teams with New York Times bestselling historian and novelist Katherine Howe to chronicle the rise and fall of a legendary American dynasty—his mother’s family, the Vanderbilts.

When eleven-year-old Cornelius Vanderbilt began to work on his father’s small boat ferrying supplies in New York Harbor at the beginning of the nineteenth century, no one could have imagined that one day he would, through ruthlessness, cunning, and a pathological desire for money, build two empires—one in shipping and another in railroads—that would make him the richest man in America. His staggering fortune was fought over by his heirs after his death in 1877, sowing familial discord that would never fully heal. Though his son Billy doubled the money left by “the Commodore,” subsequent generations competed to find new and ever more extraordinary ways of spending it. By 2018, when the last Vanderbilt was forced out of The Breakers—the seventy-room summer estate in Newport, Rhode Island, that Cornelius’s grandson and namesake had built—the family would have been unrecognizable to the tycoon who started it all.

Now, the Commodore’s great-great-great-grandson Anderson Cooper, joins with historian Katherine Howe to explore the story of his legendary family and their outsized influence. Cooper and Howe breathe life into the ancestors who built the family’s empire, basked in the Commodore’s wealth, hosted lavish galas, and became synonymous with unfettered American capitalism and high society. Moving from the hardscrabble wharves of old Manhattan to the lavish drawing rooms of Gilded Age Fifth Avenue, from the ornate summer palaces of Newport to the courts of Europe, and all the way to modern-day New York, Cooper and Howe wryly recount the triumphs and tragedies of an American dynasty unlike any other.

Written with a unique insider’s viewpoint, this is a rollicking, quintessentially American history as remarkable as the family it so vividly captures.

In his new book, CNN anchor and "60 Minutes" correspondent Anderson Cooper tells the story of the Vanderbilt family dynasty – from his great-great-great-grandfather, Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, once the richest man in America who built his fortune through steamships and railroads, to his mother, socialite Gloria Vanderbilt.

Cooper talks with correspondent Mo Rocca about how the wealth and privilege in his family tree marked succeeding generations. CBS Sunday Morning 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

The Buffer Brothers: Crazy True Life Story Of Bruce And Michael Buffer

In case you fight fans didn't know, Michael Buffer is a famous boxing & wrestling ring announcer who is 'world-renowned' for his trademarked catchphrase, "Let's get ready to rumble!"

What makes this story even more intriguing is that his younger half-brother — Bruce Buffer — is a popular mixed martial arts octagon announcer who also has a signature catchphrase, "It's time!"



Soledad O'Brien sits down with the enterprising duo to learn more about their inspiring story, and how it led to the birth of the Buffer Partnership. Real Sports debuts Tues., May 20 at 10pm ET/PT on HBO. 


“The feeling that overtook me was (A) I’m a big fan of his work and a fan of what he does, but (B) this is my blood. This is my brother. I’m hit by a kind of double whammy. It was a wonderful night. I was just so happy we all got along.”

For much of their lives, Michael Buffer and Bruce Buffer led separate existences -- Michael with his foster parents, Bruce with his birth parents -- connected and unconnected, as intertwined and radically different as boxing and UFC.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...