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How Elon Musk Thinks

Reason things out from “first principles” rather than by analogy:

The benefit of “first principles” thinking? It allows you to innovate in clear leaps, rather than building small improvements onto something that already exists. Musk gives an example of the first automobile. While everyone else was trying to improve horse-drawn carriages, someone looked at the fundamentals of transportation and the combustion engine in order to create a car.

There’s a video of an extended interview.  Even if you can never get back to first principles – even Musk’s work has assumptions built into it – this is almost certainly how wildly creative, disruptive technologies are invented.  That said, I think it works better for technology than for law or society.

Posted in SciTech.