(Roughly) Daily

Cultural diplomacy…

From Abstruse Goose, a reminder that we are what we watch…

As we reach for our remotes, we might spare a thought for a master of the electromagnetic spectrum:  this is the birth date (1856) of Serbian-American electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla.(Tesla’s birth certificate says “June 28” in the Orthodox system– most scholars convert this to July 9; some, to July 10.)  In his extraordinary career, Tesla patented over 110 innovations, ranging from the first AC motor and generator (c,f,: Niagara Falls; in the long run, Tesla was right; Edison– proponent of DC, and vicious opponent of Tesla– wrong) to the first wireless remote control.  Tesla designed and began planning a “worldwide wireless communications system” that was backed by JP Morgan…  until Morgan lost confidence and pulled out.  “Cyberspace,” as described by the likes of Bill Gibson and Neal Stephenson, is largely prefigured in Tesla’s plan.  Often mis-remembered (as a fringe figure, almost a looney), if at all, Tesla was a remarkable genius, whose talent ran far, far ahead of his luck.  He died penniless in 1943.

Nikola Tesla

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