Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Disentangling Facts From Fantasy In the World of Edison and Tesla

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-about-the-slash-fiction dept.

Science 386

dsinc writes "Forbes' Alex Knapp writes about the Tesla idolatry and confusing his genius for godhood: 'Tesla wasn't an ignored god-hero. Thomas Edison wasn't the devil. They were both brilliant, strong-willed men who helped build our modern world. They both did great things and awful things. They were both brilliantly right about some things and just as brilliantly wrong about others. They had foibles, quirks, passions, misunderstandings and moments of wonder.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Irrefutable fact (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062251)

Tesla > Edison.

Re:Irrefutable fact (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062313)

Dennis Ritchie > Steve Jobs too, but which one will be remembered?

Re:Irrefutable fact (5, Funny)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062415)

I sense an argument along the lines of Kirk > Picard coming up.

Re:Irrefutable fact (-1)

Rolman (120909) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062425)

Goku > Superman.

Re:Irrefutable fact (-1, Flamebait)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062907)

Chuck Norris > Anything not Chuck Norris

Re:Irrefutable fact (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062951)

Chuck Norris > Chuck Norris

Re:Irrefutable fact (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062991)

Bruce Lee > Chuck Norris

Re:Irrefutable fact (1)

HyperQuantum (1032422) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062605)

I guess that's why the GP was modded flamebait.

Re:Irrefutable fact (1, Funny)

Squiddie (1942230) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062643)

There is no argument. Kirk is obviously the superior one. All who claim otherwise are simply deluded.

Re:Irrefutable fact (0, Flamebait)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062659)

There is no argument. Kirk is obviously the superior one. All who claim otherwise are simply deluded.

But how do we feel about Archer vs. Janeway?

And does "greater than" in this case mean better, or worse in the sense that both sucked so much as to wrap around to cult-good?

Re:Irrefutable fact (0)

ixnaay (662250) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062943)

Archer > Janeway > Kirk > Picard. Somebody had to state the painful truth.

Re:Irrefutable fact (0)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063047)

Actually:

Sisko > Picard > Archer > Kirk > Janeway

Re:Irrefutable fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40063035)

What unimaginable nonsense. Picard is superior to Kirk in every way.

Re:Irrefutable fact (1, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062691)

Benjamin "Space-Jesus" Sisko actually was demigod-like. In this context, he is the only choice.

Only in this context, though.

Re:Irrefutable fact (3, Funny)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062687)

Steve Jobs of course, for inventing alternating current (to be copied later by Tesla).

Re:Irrefutable fact (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062763)

Steve Jobs of course, for inventing alternating current (to be copied later by Tesla).

And, apparently, Time Travel.

That must be what Time Capsules are for.

Re:Irrefutable fact (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062857)

Presuming that technology in the future may figure out how to travel through time, the Time Capsules that preserve detailed drawing for alternating current devices created by Steve Jobs might have them preserved for 10k+ years with instructions to be sent back in time 20k years and buried in Serbia at a place Tesla could find them. Yeah, I could see that working out.

Of course you knew that John Titor was a close personal friend of Steve Jobs as well.

wikipedia (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062977)

I presume you have wikipedia to back up this claim?

Only one truly matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062747)

Communism > Socialism > Capitalism

Sincerely,

Signed: The Rest of the World

Confusing political systems with economic ones. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062835)

Communism > Socialism > Capitalism

Sincerely,

Signed: The Rest of the World

Socialism and Capitalism are economic systems.

Communism is a political system - a rather brutish one.

And as far as Socialism > Captialism? In a dualistic World where you're only allowed to have one or the other I'd have to reverse that sign. OTOH, some of the Scandincian countries have interesting blends of the two systems and the thing that REALLY intrigues me is that they are ALWAYS on the top of the list when it comes to happiness and freedom.

I'll take being happy over rich anyday.

It's not your fault. We here in the US are pounded by propaganda like any other peoples living under an exploitive power elite.

Re:Confusing political systems with economic ones. (5, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063033)

It's a lot easier to be socialist when your defense and medical R&D are covered by other countries.

I wish the US would see this and stop doing so for the rest of the world. It's really annoying as a US citizen to be spending 4 times (as a percentage of GDP) on our military as Germany (I think we can trust them now). Yet we pretty much mandate it to be so.

Additionally we pay more for the same medicine because our government refuses to take a stand on this issue, while other governments do. I'd like to see a law that no medicine or medical devices can be sold in the US for over the average price in the rest of the G8.

Depends on how you measure (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062333)

Certainly not by the measure of business acumen, and, therefore, things he personally achieved. Tesla was undeniably greater in terms of "things he was wrong about", and "general insanity".

Re:Depends on how you measure (5, Insightful)

randalny (227878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062433)

What the article does not note is that Tesla didn't really claim to have invented alternating current, but he did claim (probably validly) to having invented the a working, practical AC induction motor (while a student in Europe), which made AC practical for industry. He also claimed to have invented a practical AC generator (at least he had a patent on it that he sold to Westinghouse). Additionally he did invent and patent a working system for radio and wireless signal transmission that was essentially copied by Marconi later. Add to that the Tesla coil and the working florescent light bulb, and you have a pretty impressive set of inventions. Compared to Edison (who I admire very much also) Tesla with just a couple of assistants revolutionized a great deal of the world. Edison's real claim to fame, on the other hand, was in inventing the modern invention research team system. His actual inventions were relatively few, but with teams of some dozens of inventors he spewed out patents that made him much richer and successful than Tesla (though not as rich as he wanted - he was essentially defeated in business by J.P. Morgan). Tesla unfortunately subsided into partial insanity after his attempt at power transmission in the teens, and almost every invention after that was essentially in his head.

Re:Depends on how you measure (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062459)

I think the point there isn't business acumen or personal built empire.

but that what edison did .. most of the things edison did someone else would have done anyways relatively close to the time edison did it, while teslas achievements might have taken considerably more time to come up for someone else.

Re:Depends on how you measure (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062571)

Edison himself wasn't a great inventor. He was a great businessman and head-of-R&D. Pioneer of inventing as a business - not as just a couple of lone experts, but a whole department of underlings systematically tackling potentially profitable issues with pooled resources. He dabbled, yes, but most of the actual inventing was done by his employees.

Re:Depends on how you measure (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062999)

Yes, I came here to say this.

Edison had more in common with Henry Ford and Bill Gates. They were obsessed with mass production, public recognition and wealth. They all grew fat on government contracts. They were all shown to have taken credit for other people's work and they all used underhanded methods to exploit their workers and sabotage their competition.

Tesla had more in common with Faraday and Heaviside who all turned their noses up at public recognition and wealth. Tesla and Faraday both refused government war contracts. The list goes on.

Re:Depends on how you measure (1, Informative)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062621)

Edison was a patent troll that prevented a movie industry to appear on the east coast. Favoring this kind of profiles is a way to prevent innovations from happening.

Re:Depends on how you measure (5, Informative)

eshefer (12336) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062997)

he was NOT a patent troll, since he BUILT the stuff he patented.

I'd would agree that he was a patent asshole, though.

Re:Irrefutable fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062769)

Tesla > Edison's Team

FTFY

Re:Irrefutable fact (-1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063015)

For that matter Hitler> Edison if we must recognize the animal abusing, sadistic , thieving, lying P.O.S. that gave us the modern headache of the telephone.
I mean if you're gonna look for the good past the crap, why not celebrate Hitler? After all his comission brought about much scientific invention,discovery and don't forget the Volkswagon. Why don't we just celebrate Caligula and the contributions of the Roman empire?
Come on, if you want apologists for crimes against humanity,let's celebrate the last century of American Politics.

Re:Irrefutable fact (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063037)

Ok so it wasn't the telephone, nor was it the espresso I needed to make sense of it all this early.
He wasn't a good man and I'd've prefered D.C. anyway.

Irrelevant. (2, Insightful)

Mannfred (2543170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062257)

All that's left of them now is what mattered the most to the rest of the world.

Go have a look at the Oatmeal's latest (-1, Redundant)

dwywit (1109409) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062269)

A somewhat partisan view http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla [theoatmeal.com] yet if I can believe it's all true, then there are some things there that I didn't know before.

Re:Go have a look at the Oatmeal's latest (5, Informative)

zmughal (1343549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062295)

Which is precisely what TFA is addressing.

Re:Go have a look at the Oatmeal's latest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062449)

In other words, both Tesla and Edison were human ...

It's not all true (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062443)

The wireless energy one would be a good example. Tesla was really big on the idea and did a lot of work on it but the reason it never happened wasn't because of some mean conspiracy against him, unless you count the laws of physics. It is because of the inverse-square law. Electromagnetic waves drop in power with the square of distance from the transmitter. Net effect is that to cover any distance you need a bigass transmitter and when you are talking powering something, it is just not feasible.

Tesla tried to solve the problem but couldn't, because it is just how EM propagation works. It would take some other method for wirelessly transmitting power to make it feasible, which nobody, including Tesla, has come up with.

The guy was an unmitigated genius, and also a complete nut, but he wasn't some god of all invention who created everything good.

Also there's a difference between contributing to things, and inventing them. Tesla contributed to the theories behind radar, but he didn't make it happen. If you want to go on the "who started it" thing you'd probably end up back with James Clerk Maxwell, given that it was his equations that formed the foundation for classical electrodynamics and thus the most basic theoretical foundation. Of course, there was a hell of a lot from that to functioning radar.

My bet is that comic spurred this article. The writer was annoyed by this deification of Tesla.

Re:It's not all true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062457)

My bet is that comic spurred this article. The writer was annoyed by this deification of Tesla.

No shit. Was your first clue the numerous times that the author specifically mentioned that he was responding to the comic, and quote much of it verbatim? Any other "insightful" bets you want to share with us?

Re:It's not all true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062473)

Yes, but there are ways around the inverse square law problem. Things that make full use of the way EM waves propagate, things like directional antenna.

Powering things wirelessly by transmitting in an onmidirectional manner quickly becomes impractical, but concentrate that into a beam.....

Re:It's not all true (3, Informative)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062567)

The inverse square law still applies with a directional antenna. You start out with more in the direction you want, but it still falls off according to an inverse square law.

Re:It's not all true (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062599)

While true, it's also misleading. The inverse square law isn't magic, it's follows naturally on from basic geometry. If you take a 2D beam with any angle of spread, then at distance 2n from the source, it will be twice as wide as at distance n. If the beam is in three dimensions, then the spread will be twice as wide in each dimension, so it will be covering four times the area. This applies just as much to flashlights as to lasers, but it's not nearly as important in the latter case as the former because going from a radius of, say, 1mm at one km to 2mm at 2km doesn't really make much difference to the brightness, while going from 10cm at 1m to 20cm at 2m does.

With things like phased array antenna, it's possible to get the beam spread quite low, with lasers you can get it very low. The problem is not the inverse square law, it's that at the kind of power and directionality you want for this kind of thing you end up with something that has no problem propagating the power efficiently to the destination and will happily burn a hole through anything that tries to prevent it from doing so.

Re:It's not all true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062891)

going from a radius of, say, 1mm at one km to 2mm at 2km doesn't really make much difference to the brightness, while going from 10cm at 1m to 20cm at 2m does.

That comparison makes exactly the same difference to the brightness.

However, going from 10cm at 1m to 200 m at 2km makes the flashlight beam a lot harder to collect at that distance than the 2mm laser beam.

Re:It's not all true (3, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062805)

Radar - Blumline.

Not sure if he invented the science behind it, but he was certainly the engineer that made it work properly. Also invented stereo sound recording and playback decades before it was thought of commercially. His (expired) patents ensured that one company couldn't stitch up the entire market.

The truth is... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062271)

This is all lies and propaganda brought to you by those crazy Edison supporters. DC current. As if.

You joke about DC (5, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062493)

But it was legitimately a problem back in the day. The reason was twofold:

1) There's no good way to generate DC using a mechanical system. So while something like a solar cell will generate you DC, a mechanical generator won't, at least not without some fiddling and then not as efficiently as AC. These days, not a big deal, we have good devices to convert from one to the other quite efficiently. However when the current wars were happening, DC generation wasn't as good as AC generation. You see it to this day: Cars use alternators (as in alternating current) to generate power, despite being DC devices. The alternator then has a rectifier bridge to turn it in to (pulsed) DC power, which the battery helps clean up.

2) There was no good way to convert DC voltage. AC is exceedingly easy to convert with simple technology: A transformer. You can step it up or down with some wraps of wire, and it is fairly efficient to boot. No such luck with DC. There just isn't a good way to step it up with the technology they had back then. As such you needed generators close to the home. You couldn't run massive voltages, far too dangerous (and as a practical matter difficult to generate directly) and you couldn't go for long runs because of impedance loss. These days thyristors can do the trick nicely but they are 1950s tech, and the ones that can do HVDC are more recent.

Were we to rebuild the grid these days, DC might well make sense (though it does have some other issues that need to be considered). However during the current wars, Tesla really did have it right. The technology was there to make AC work well, not DC.

Edison really was fighting for DC because of his invested infrastructure, not because it was a superior technology at the time.

Re:You joke about DC (5, Interesting)

silentcoder (1241496) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062559)

>1) There's no good way to generate DC using a mechanical system. So while something like a solar cell will generate you DC, a mechanical generator won't, at least not without some fiddling and then not as efficiently as AC. These days, not a big deal, we have good devices to convert from one to the other quite efficiently. However when the current wars were happening, DC generation wasn't as good as AC generation. You see it to this day: Cars use alternators (as in alternating current) to generate power, despite being DC devices. The alternator then has a rectifier bridge to turn it in to (pulsed) DC power, which the battery helps clean up.

There is actually an interesting twist to this however which comes into play with very long power lines. The Cahora Bassa hydro-electric dam powers much of South Africa's Gauteng industrial region despite being in another country. Gauteng runs on AC, Cahora Bassa generates AC - but the line between them is DC. It gets rectified at the dam site and then reconverted to AC when it gets to the local grid.
Obviously that equipment cost a pretty penny - but DC was still cheaper. The reason is that DC only requires as single cable - which can be supported by quite a thin little pole (the ground itself can be the return line).
So if the line is long enough - running the power over DC can be more economical, you just need enough distance for the cable savings to start to get bigger than the converter costs.

Re:You joke about DC (4, Informative)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062853)

Gauteng runs on AC, Cahora Bassa generates AC - but the line between them is DC. It gets rectified at the dam site and then reconverted to AC when it gets to the local grid.

There's another reason for doing that: you can't just stick two AC lines from non-synchronized generators together and expect it to work. They will actually work against each other, and you get a huge mess. This is a problem when combining two power sources from different countries. What's usually done in this case is to do an internal AC/DC/AC conversion to synchronize them.

Someone's just trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062277)

It's like asking about vi/emacs, macs/PC, etc.

Also, does anyone else notice the sudden flurry of Forbes articles?

Re:Someone's just trolling (4, Interesting)

burne (686114) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062317)

I have to say: it was a good article, a good argument, relevant to my geek interests and a worthwhile way to spend some time on the daily commute. Compliments to the submitter.

false equivalency (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062299)

It's the same kind of media attempt to put forth a "balanced" view, even when there's a clear bias in reality. It happens all the time in politics. Just because they want to claim that Tesla not marrying is the same as Edison strangling puppies for sexual pleasure, doesn't mean those two options are the same. Some times, there isn't any reason to search for a middle ground, if one side is simply wrong.

Re:false equivalency (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062327)

To be fair....

* Tesla never married
* Edison did kill puppies by electrocution

Re:false equivalency (2)

Sique (173459) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062347)

Yes, and Nikola Tesla was simply wrong in promoting alternating current for about any use. If you look at modern electrical or electronic gear, they all have circuitry to convert alternating current to direct current before powering anything. Thomas Alva Edison was right.
But where Nikola Tesla was right was that for transmitting current, alternating current beats direct current downhand. And that's why about any electrical system in the world transmits alternating current.

Re:false equivalency (5, Informative)

TummyX (84871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062379)

AC was much better for transmitting back then because transmitting high voltage is more efficient (less current means less copper and less resistive waste) and they had an efficient way of converting high voltage AC to low voltage AC (transformers). Efficient high voltage DC-DC voltage conversion was not something that was possible back in the day.

DC is actually more efficient for long distance high voltage transmission -- they just didn't have the technology to convert DC voltage. Now days HVDC transmission for new long distance lines is much more viable.

Re:false equivalency (2)

Corbets (169101) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062647)

AC was much better for transmitting back then because transmitting high voltage is more efficient (less current means less copper and less resistive waste) and they had an efficient way of converting high voltage AC to low voltage AC (transformers). Efficient high voltage DC-DC voltage conversion was not something that was possible back in the day.

DC is actually more efficient for long distance high voltage transmission -- they just didn't have the technology to convert DC voltage. Now days HVDC transmission for new long distance lines is much more viable.

I've seen a few ACs on this site that I would suggest converting to high voltage...!

Re:false equivalency (5, Informative)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062413)

For modern high-voltage transmission, capacitive losses matter even at 50/60Hz. HV transmission is best done as DC. The thing Tesla was right about was that with technology available back then, AC distribution was the only feasible one. It has only been in the last few decades that we have the semiconductor technology that would allow completely solid state, DC-to-DC power conversion all the way to the consumer. That would be, ultimately, the way to go. DC-to-DC converters can be quite compact compared to 50/60Hz transformers, especially when running at high frequencies. I've seen resonant converters taking in 10kV 3 phase and outputting 1.5kV DC at about 50kVA. It had PFC as well. Two people could very easily lift one up, it was probably less than 200lbs, just bulky, and the magnetics (cores) could fit in a breadbox. Try lifting up a 50kVA oil immersed transformer with same ratings -- it's half a ton, give or take.

Alas, circuit breakers for DC are significantly more complex and expensive than ones for AC, since you have an arc that needs to be quenched. They need to have a chamber that utilizes spatial gradients in pressure or temperature (due to asymmetry of the plasma chamber) to move some air around to blow the arc out. AC arcs are usually self-extinguishing, except at extreme short-circuit currents and voltages (high voltage substations and the like).

Re:false equivalency (5, Informative)

niteshifter (1252200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062877)

For modern high-voltage transmission, capacitive losses matter even at 50/60Hz. ....

That's an overly broad statement. Capacitive reactive losses really matter a lot on submarine or buried cable. Not much of a factor in overhead HV transmission. Think of it like the classic parallel plate capacitor - since that's what we have, just our "plates" are curved away from each other (which reduces capacitance, but let us consider them as flat here). The area (over the length of the lines) is large, yes. But what kills that off so to speak, is a product of two things: a poor dielectric medium (air) and a large distance (many meters) between the "plates".

For "plates" 3cm wide with a length of 1km and a separation of 10m: about 27pF. In other words: 27pf/km.

Formula: (where's my dang MathML slashdot?) C = k * E * A / S where:
C is capacitance in Farads
k is relative permittivity of the dielectric. Equals 1 (for air)
E is permittivity of space, a constant 8.85E-12 F/m
A is area in meters squared
S is separation distance in meters

For that 1km model above the impedance at 60 Hz is 100Mohm. For a 220KV line that is a loss of about 480W/km. Such a line would be conveying power in the few hundreds megawatt range. Not much of a reactive loss there. Different on sub/buried: k is much larger, and S is much smaller (mm - cm distances).

Re:false equivalency (5, Informative)

randalny (227878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062479)

Yes, and Nikola Tesla was simply wrong in promoting alternating current for about any use. If you look at modern electrical or electronic gear, they all have circuitry to convert alternating current to direct current before powering anything.

EXCEPT for the AC electric motor and the florescent light bulb -- two of the most common uses of power even today (and certainly before about 1960). In 1960 the refrigerator, the record player, the kitchen mixer and also various household pumps were powered by what was essentially a slightly improved version of Tesla's motor. The incandescent lights were also being run off his power too. Only really the radio needed a coil to convert to DC.

Re:false equivalency (2, Informative)

randalny (227878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062521)

Yes, and Nikola Tesla was simply wrong in promoting alternating current for about any use. If you look at modern electrical or electronic gear, they all have circuitry to convert alternating current to direct current before powering anything.

Except for just about all uses of power till home electronic equipment was invented in the 80's. In 1960 just about everything in the home was powered directly by AC (as in incandescent and florescent lights) or by an AC motor very similar to the one invented by Tesla. Only the radio needed a transformer to use AC power. Even today probably 90% of your actual power usage is of direct AC power (air conditioning and lights). So I would say that it is wrong to say Tesla was wrong.

Re:false equivalency (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062577)

AC is a lot safer around the home, at least at mains voltages (DC is ok once you get below about 40V). If you touch anything with live mains on it then it will tend to throw you off. If it were DC it could lock your muscles and you'd fry.

Re:false equivalency (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062945)

Nope. They lock muscles just the same. That's why the military and fire brigade teach you to feel walls with the back of your hand. Grip and biceps are stronger than extensors and triceps so it pulls your hand away.

Re:false equivalency (1)

digitig (1056110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40063005)

I said "touch", not "grip". I agree that if you grip AC you're still in trouble.

Re:false equivalency (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062937)

Modern electronics require a range of low-voltage DC to power the solid state components. High-voltage mains electricity still needs to be converted to the voltages required by the individual components, and this is hardly any easier than with AC.

Douche bag (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062329)

Actually, anyone who electrocutes animals *is* a douchebag.

Re:Douche bag (1, Flamebait)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062765)

Actually, anyone who electrocutes animals *is* a douchebag.

And anyone who slits their throats without stunning them is a double douchebag.

capitalist mouthpiece claims capitalists not evil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062373)

Capitalism is a practical attempt to combine social progress with physical restraint under the assumption that men are selfish, greedy beings.

To sell it to those who are not selfish and greedy - i.e. to prevent the conclusion that humans can cooperate to improve the lot of humanity but that you're perversely forcing them to compete - your propaganda will try to argue that capitalism has other purposes. It will argue, for example, that the rich make financial decisions which are better for everyone ("trickle down"), or that capitalism is God's will (vs "godless commies"), or something similar.

Sometimes, of course, the argument is limited to arguing that the basis for capitalism does not exist, without explaining why. This is the worst sort of pro-capitalist argument: "the winners of capitalism aren't as nasty as, err, that guy over there!" What is that argument trying to achieve? Rather than supporting practical capitalism - which is a compromise of human nature vs society's needs (it's not that Edison was a good man, but that he could have done so much more evil under other systems) - it appears to remove all justification for capitalism.

M=T(S^2-A) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062377)

Mass = MagneticFlux Particles measured in Teslas ( Rotational Frequency in seconds squared - Current)
“If you wish to understand the universe, think of energy, frequency and vibration.” - Nikola Tesla

And Put in M for Einsteins stuff and you actually have a unified theory that is workable with magnetic particles in it.
"“The day science begins to study non-physical phenomena, it will make more progress in one decade than in all the previous centuries of its existence.” - Nikola Tesla

And change out the speed of light in Einsteins equation for Planks constant.

Can anyone prove this wrong? This also backs up perhaps how Ed Leedskalnin made the Coral Castle if he coudl tune or change mass with magnetic particles like he claimed.

Re:M=T(S^2-A) (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062389)

Cats = chosen creatures of God.
"In the beginning, God created man, but seeing him so feeble, He gave him the cat." - Warren Eckstein

Dogs are the opposite of cats, and "dog" backwards = "god", thus cats are as gods.
"No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong." - Albert Einstein

Can anyone prove this wrong? This also backs up perhaps how cats will always get what they want, even from 4chan.

Re:M=T(S^2-A) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062447)

Can anyone prove this wrong?

Apparently not.

Re:M=T(S^2-A) (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062777)

Can anyone prove this wrong?

Apparently not.

In fact my cat has just told me that its positively correct.

Edison 'sold' lightbulbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062391)

Good job our current patent system wasn't around then or we would be living in the dark (ages).

Re:Edison 'sold' lightbulbs (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062589)

Our current patent system was around then, doofus, and the lightbulb was patents. Patents != Copyright.

Re:Edison 'sold' lightbulbs (4, Informative)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062709)

Oh, but it was. The U.S. film industry being based in Southern California is due in large part to that fact [wikipedia.org] .

Read post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062397)

Steve an Bill.

Tesla is revered as god here... (5, Interesting)

dejanc (1528235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062419)

I live in Belgrade, Serbia, and Tesla is revered as god here. For a person who only spent a night in Belgrade (he was born in what is now Croatia but was of Serbian ethnicity), it's a bit strange he got major boulevard and airport named after him. He is also on our money and has a number of monuments.

We also have a Nikola Tesla Museum in Belgrade, which I recommend everybody visit. It has working examples of some of his inventions, so you can see what the first radio controlled device [pbs.org] looked like.

I don't mind it though, he was a brilliant mind. Of course, sometimes he was out of touch with reality and had no sense of business, but geniuses often are like that...

If you can find this series subtitled and want to learn more about the life of Tesla, I strongly recommend watching this [imdb.com] .

Re:Tesla is revered as god here... (4, Insightful)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062501)

Of course, sometimes he was out of touch with reality and had no sense of business

If we had more of that sort, instead of the people who are firmly grounded and really good at business, the world would be a better place.

Re:Tesla is revered as god here... (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062953)

If we had more of that sort, instead of the people who are firmly grounded and really good at business, the world would be a better place.

Quoted for truth!

Re:Tesla is revered as god here... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062529)

I do wonder sometimes how history would have played out had he stayed in Europe or gravitated towards Russia. Imagine a Soviet Union with Tesla on its side.

Re:Tesla is revered as god here... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062595)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer:_Red_Alert No need to imagine it, go play it (it's been released for free).

AC/DC (5, Funny)

Cat_Herder_GoatRoper (2491400) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062421)

"Highway to Hell" may have not been possible without Telsa/Edison so they are both equally important.

Edison stank literally (did not wash). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062429)

Edison stank literally (did not wash).

Re: Edison stank literally (did not wash). (2)

randalny (227878) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062525)

Because he used to work 70 hours at a stretch -- like many computer programmers I know.

Re: Edison stank literally (did not wash). (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062653)

Edison stank literally (did not wash).

So all he'd need to do is move into his mother's basement and the /sheep will embrace him as a god, too?

Important facts missing from the post (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062465)

2 things:

1) Congratulations, /., on your new corporate partnership with Forbes. I'm sure it will bring synergistic benefits to both of you.
2) The article fails to determine the source of the ridiculous Tesla idolatory that has poisoned sensible discussion about his achievements for the last 30 years. In case you didn't know, it can be traced back to one single book: Tesla: Man Out of Time, by Margaret Cheney. That ridiculous hagiography - and its even more ridiculous follow-up, Tesla: Master of Lightning - has a hell of a lot to answer for.

Re:Important facts missing from the post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062477)

2) except that most people admire Tesla for his achievements (or, more appropriately, admire Tesla's achievements), uninfluenced by some pair of books they almost certainly haven't read and perhaps haven't even heard of.

Tesla (0, Troll)

horselight (2631869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062517)

Tesla was hundreds of years ahead of his time. He developed technology to transit power through the air itself (of course none of this technology would allow TV, radio, or satellite to function if it were in use today). He invented radio (and won a lawsuit against marconi in the US supreme Court finding he invented it and marconi ripped it off). There is enormous speculation about his death and his later work in dealing with bending space-time -- many claim he succeeded. He was however, considered somewhat of a showman, and by some ,a charlatan, but his achievements speak for themselves. Tesla was someone who existed in another reality of his own creation. He was born 100 years apart from me on the same day. I think I can understand how he felt.

Re:Tesla (1)

janimal (172428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062601)

I'm not sure his over the air power transmittion would eliminate TV or radio. It was supposed to be thorugh capacitance vibrations. Transmitting information via an electromagnetically vibrating atmosphere might hit the same hurdles as ethernet over power lines. Off the top of my head I don't see any reason other than business that his towers of power wouldn't work along side of radio communication. But then again, I almost failed electromagnetics.

Re:Tesla (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062797)

Yeah, no.

This is exactly what we're talking about. Clever fella, certainly. God who took with him to the grave secrets we haven't discovered even to this day? Not so much.

Oh wait, was this a troll?

"There is enormous speculation about his death and his later work in dealing with bending space-time"

He bent space time after his death?

Is that really Nikola Tesla? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062619)

...Or is it the Ron Mael from off of Sparks?
Tesla / Edison: This town ain't big enough for both of us.

Nope. (1, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062677)

Edison was pretty much the devil. He tortured puppies to make AC look dangerous. That makes him arguably a puppy killing terrorist. Also, the article claims that Edison solved "a very tough engineering problem", when it basically amounted to just changing the filament. That's a relatively minor step that resulted in a major change in commercial viability, sort of a straw that broke the horses back thing, and his choice of filament was replaced in the bulb we know today.

Grey fallacy (4, Insightful)

ZankerH (1401751) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062715)

The groundless assumption that since neither extreme can be true, the truth must be precisely in the middle.

Fro5t pi5t (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062727)

OF AMERICA irc Miles]tones, teeling

You bring Edison in here.... (1)

sciencejunky (2644277) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062783)

Ill raise you Newton, F=ma. Guess what's accelerating.......... Tesla accomplished more when he worked for edison, no, when he was contracted by edison, than Edison ever thought up in his lifetime. Edison made money, Tesla helped make our present world. Alex, you're an idiot. That's like saying Newton did it by himself. Newton was a genius, no doubt, but he adopted the capernican system, which in turn was Ptalumei. I its early and my spelling sucks while driving in traffic after logging in after 1.5 yrs, retrieving passwords etc, just to point out how much of an idiot Alex is. Tesla rules!

Often overlooked fact re Edison (4, Informative)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062795)

He had a huge staff who did the vast bulk of his R&D and a significant % (possibly the majoroty) of his achievements were actually made by his staff with Edison just facilitating their efforts and then claiming the kudos.

What about Charles Steinmetz? (3, Interesting)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062813)

A discussion of the development of electricity without mentioning Charles Proteus Steinmetz [edisontechcenter.org] is incomplete. You are pandering to the people with the big PR departments and an army of lawyers instead of the ones who really got things done.

Steinmetz understood how to build three-phase motors (the standard for big motors today) better than anyone in the early days.

Forbes (4, Insightful)

SteelCat (793238) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062839)

"Business magazine says businessman better than engineer" shocker.

The hipsters would like you to know (5, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062859)

Um... that's not different enough.

They teach us about Thomas Edison in schools. Everyone thinks he's great. Therefore, there must be another way.

To be hip, we talk about Tesla instead. You probably haven't heard of him.

Re:The hipsters would like you to know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062993)

They teach kids in US about Edison in schools.
In Russia they teach about Popov, in Italy about Marconi as inventors of radio. It was recognized at US court as Tesla's invention.
In Smitsonian museum in Washington D.C. there are big letters first American in space. Somewhere way below hidden in smallprint can be seen who was first human in space (Soviet Gagarin).

Tesla is supreme. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062861)

The fact that he dismantled his death ray after that unfortunate accident in Tunguska, instead of using it to wipe Edison's laboratory off the face of the planet, proves both the man's vision and magnanmity.

Tesla tech hidden? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40062929)

Some of those who feel Tesla really did make some breakthroughs he kept hidden, also feel the government has developed and used that tech secretly. Now I am skeptical, but open minded. Is there and evidence or informed belief such things have actually happened? The field of wireless power seems to have the most vague claims, likely because of Tesla's claims.

My reading of Tesla himself was he gave great credit to those who published before him, even using really old published reports to refute Edison's claims on relativity (wrongly).

My takeaway from that era was there were barons who owned and deployed all these major technologies such as oil, power distribution, rail, trucking, telegraph, telephone.

The areas we see that these days are more virtual than physical, such as Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, Facebook.

Probably the more physical examples are Nortel fiber, Worldcom internet, Apple devices, IBM big iron, Verizon networks, GE turbines.

But because of the capital shortage caused by government hoarding we do not see "big things" right now and lots of whining about infrastructure construction shortages. The solution is literally a stroke of the pen. No deficit, maybe a small surplus on FEDGOV.

That can actually easily be done with a single policy action inspired by the GM and Chrysler bondholder swipe-rip. Presidential order for a -10% COLA on all public sector unionized employees on salaries and pensions. Solves the budget problem federally, state, which is a real crisis, county, and local. All at once with pain a small fraction of what the non-union portion of the population has already experienced.

JJ

History repeats itself (1)

roger_pasky (1429241) | more than 2 years ago | (#40062979)

Edison = Jobs, Tesla = Ritchie
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?