Friday, April 27, 2007

Small history

After finishing a biography on Никола Тесла (Nikola Tesla), I really did feel like a completely worthless and imbecilic human being. The book, by the way, was Man out of Time by Margaret Cheney; a very quick and entertaining in-between-studying-for-finals read. As is typical for truly fascinating and great minds, poor Nikola barely has any name recognition aside from a certain coil of his. It seems like all the recognition from that era goes to his arch-nemesis Thomas Edison, who becomes increasingly hard to admire once one learns more about him. Perhaps Edison and his surprisingly sinister nature (going around killing stray dogs and one elephant with AC power, stealing the ideas of others and patenting them first) would be good for another blog. Tesla seems to be at the next level up of genius from Edison, ranking up there with the likes of Archimedes and da Vinci. Not only did these men invent things, but they used concepts that seemed to be ahead of their time. I guess you would call them Geniuses out of Time. While Tesla didn't invent something as basic as a screw or plans for a very early flier or tank hundreds of year before they existed, he is stated as being "the man who invented the 20th Century" by some. And this may not be as absurd a claim as it may seem.

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