Daily Bafflements

The BafflerMay 15, 2015
SpaceX: soaring to new  heights of megalomania. / Steve Jurvetson

SpaceX: soaring to new heights of megalomania. / Steve Jurvetson

•  In an exhaustively reported story, Bloomberg Business details how Elon Musk’s SpaceX ambitions nearly cost him his terrestrial company, Tesla. As one fellow executive recalls, “Elon showed up . . . and started telling us it was his destiny to launch things into space at lower costs and to help us become spacefaring people.” For more insight into the mind of the space-bound billionaire, check out Gene Seymour’s Baffler salvo on the libertarian readings of sci-fi literature that point the wealthy toward “moonshot” projects like SpaceX.

• The newly launched bitCharities aims to bring nonprofits into the world of digital currency, and to allow users to make “microdonations” as low as 1/500 of a cent. Microphilanthropists rejoice! Now you can be stingy with fake money, too.

• Speaking of philanthropists, Michael Bloomberg’s foundation is bringing its $45 million “innovation delivery program” to fourteen new cities this year, awarding grants to tackle longstanding urban problems with buzzwords like “innovation lab,” “risk capital,” and “scaling up.” With an expert in social good like Bloomberg at the helm, what could go wrong?