I was reading about a jet pack inventor in Wired (UK edition, Nov, 2020). That’s right, it’s still a thing apparently.
What struck me most was not only the guy’s dedication to something nobody is quite sure we will ever need, but the story of his father who invented an innovative sort of bike suspension. He then went and sank the family into financial trouble as the world ripped him off and apart. He eventually killed himself.
Yet the inventors, the lone wolves, the entrepreneurs eaten alive are lauded more than anyone. They jump into the breach with zeal ready for self sacrifice. Our current economic system demands this sort of thing. You take immense risk to yourself personally, and sure, it will be hard, but then after enough hard work you will have heaps of glory. Fact is, this almost never happens, but we’re fed the tale just like children were fed the tale of battlefield glory because the system needs willing sacrifices to keep on chugging along.
One nice note on the jet pack guy is how he wants it used. For sport and for fun. Racing. That sort of thing. Fun. It isn’t a replacement for scooters of cars or bikes, it just might fit there somewhere in some cases for fun. That’s it. Fun. That I can get behind.
Photo: Shamil Tanna, Wired UK, Nov 2020