What is 'deep time' that Elon Musk is thinking about
- Elon Musk recently tweeted about "deep time"
- The term was introduced and applied by John McPhee
- Musk was astounded by how much time lies ahead
The term was introduced and applied by John McPhee in 'Basin and Range' which came out in 1981. It refers to the time scale of geological events and which is largely and unimaginably greater than the time scale of human lives and plans.
Musk's ruminations about a larger time frame and events going beyond the time scale of human plans are not new. The entrepreneur has long been concerned with space exploration and sustainable earth as two events which will ensure the continuity of human life. His recent post, where he shared Dr Manhattan - the DC character's image - seems to indicate Musk is looking at the even larger picture.
One Twitter user quoted 'Blade Runner' to Musk, saying in time we will all be forgotten like "tears in the rain", but added the hope that life and consciousness would persist in some form even after the heat death of the universe.
Heat death, known as the Big Freeze or Big Chill, is a hypothesis about the ultimate fate of the universe. It posits that the universe will evolve to a state of no thermodynamic free energy, thus making it impossible to sustain entropy increasing processes.
Musk replied to this user's theory saying, that if the universe does end in a heat death then the journey is all that really matters, reorienting the focus to the present.
However, Musk's contemplation of time left the billionaire in a somewhat philosophical mood as his subsequent tweets indicate.
The 50-year-old noted that happiness is a choice, and ended on a note of hope, saying "Tomorrow will be the first sunrise of the rest of ur life – make it what u want".