Monkt on February 01, 2009, 12:54:09 pm
I have a theory that a lot of the technology in TPB was developed by Nikola Tesla around 124 A.L. Because in our timeline he developed a lot of inventions that were way ahead of their time that never were put into widespread use due to government and financial reasons. What do you think?

Sean Roach on February 01, 2009, 06:59:47 pm
I read a short article in a Lindsay Publications http://www.lindsaybks.com/prod/index.html catalog that would dispute that.

Basically, it said Tesla has been given far more credit for genius than he deserved.

Don't get me wrong, I'd love it if Tesla was some super-genius, but I have to figure the other great minds, starting from a less-straitjacketed legal position, and later from a higher vantage, were able to climb  higher faster.

I seem to recall the watches the simians wear were attributed to Bell...since he didn't need to take his time inventing the already existing telephone...

...personally, I believe he was trying for a hearing aid anyway, but didn't have the amp for it.

Rocketman on February 01, 2009, 08:24:42 pm
I think that whoever it was who said that Tesla was given too much credit doesn't know what the F*** that they're talking about.  Fact- Tesla invented Alternating current, if we were still using DC that would mean that because of power transmission line loss that we would have to have a power plant about a mile or two away from every home in America that had electricity.  Fact- Tesla invented radio.  I know that most people think that Marconi did and he was an incredibly smart man but there was a 1914 court case  to determine who came up with it first and the winner of it was Tesla.  I have a book right now on the computer stand where I'm currently typing this called "The complete patents of Nikola Tesla"  edited by Jim Glenn.  The book is 535 pages long and list officially 117 patents.  Sour grapes on the part of the author if you ask me. >:(
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 08:28:20 pm by Rocketman »

Leviathan on February 02, 2009, 04:29:14 am
AC current and AC motors.  It was the line loss on DC coupled with the AC motor that pretty much killed DC transmission, much to the chagrin of Edison.  And despite the fact that Edison managed to get the first electric chair run by AC so Westinghouse's "product line" would seem the more lethal, heh.

However, despite genius Tesla was something of a braggart.  His resonance engines were interesting ideas, but Mythbusters couldn't get his original design to work right.  And due to energy loss to heat and dissipation into the ground, it's unlikely that you could demolish a structure using one.  Much less use small, precisely timed explosions to significantly impact the planet.  No way that you'd be able to actually crack it like an egg.  The Tesla medical machines may or may not be his, but charging someone with static or running microcurrents through their body isn't particularly medically effective last I checked.

Maybe if there were more giants preceeding him, Tesla would've been an even greater giant on his own merits?  But he himself originated at least half the quackery attributed to him.  And did Tesla figure out amplitude/frequency modulation?  Or was he still trying to push spark gap transmitters?  The latter can transmit voice, but there's absolutely no frequency selectivity in the transmissions they produce so "stations" can't really co-exist with each other.

Do remember that it really does nothing to compliment a person when you falsely attribute greatness to them.  Nor to exhaggerate their greatness when they already had it.  It's unearned.  Tesla did a lot of interesting things, but he also had a lot of stupid ideas.  He was human.  Let him be human.

Sean Roach on February 03, 2009, 01:11:56 am
I think it likely Tesla was at least on the track toward AM or FM modulation.  His radio controlled boats would have involved an oscillator, and granted, my knowledge of radio theory is rather weak, it seems you could use that oscillator to tune the radio.

Yes, Tesla was an inventor, but how many of his inventions did he come up with exclusively?  The article I read basically said he was a talented engineer, but not the techno-god that he's been made out to be.  That his greatest intuitive leap, the AC motor, was the result of noticing a phenomenon and developing it into a useful tool.

Regrettably, I don't have the article handy, as I think the author said it far better than I can paraphrase.  His additude seemed to be not sour grapes but a desire to head off people continually asking him to publish Tesla books.

Rocketman on February 03, 2009, 10:18:34 am
Sean:  I never said anything about Tesla being a "techno God" but the fact is that he had an absolutely huge effect on the world that we live in today.  I know in that in the past many other people have tried to downplay his work either through jealously or ignorance but the fact is that this world would be very different if he hadn't come along.  I'm sure others would have come up with his patents eventually but no way can anyone say that he wasn't brilliant individual at least as great as Edison.

Leviathan on February 06, 2009, 02:34:21 am
I'd put him at being brighter than Edison, but Edison was somewhat puffed up himself.  Edison was primarily a manager.  He didn't invent a lot of what he's popularly credited with, he had the occasional idea then supervised the meticulous process of trial and error to make the idea halfway functional.  Or noticed some peculiar effect from one of the experiments and marked it down for further exploration.  Like the "edison effect" that eventually grew into the vacuum tube amplifier and cathode ray tube electron gun.  His insistence on trying to shove DC current down everyone's throats came damned close to retarding an entire industry, albeit with government assistance doing so.

Tesla strikes me as something of an opposite.  A maverick tinkerer, didn't work very well with others.  Pushed out a lot of individual ideas but didn't take most of them anywhere through his own agency.  A consummate braggart in many ways, in later years he had a tendency to make grandiose claims.  And the inspiration for the wireless current transmission he had has been traced down to a peculiar effect of the bedrock he happened to have his workshop on.  It acted sort of like a solid sheet of electrostatic conductor for lightning strikes to travel along from what I've seen.  Not practical to replace the bedrock of the planet, so using the effect for general transmission doesn't work so well.  The limited/nonexistent ability to reproduce many of his claims, though, didn't stop the claims rom coming.  Death rays, planet busting resonance explosions, electrostatic/electromagnetic disease cures...  Tesla was a pretty bright guy, but he was crazy as a loon.

wdg3rd on February 07, 2009, 04:49:44 am
But there was that little coincidence, the day he was scheduled to send his message to Peary.  And as fond as I am of Spider Robinson and F. Paul Wilson, I hope that's a technology no government has exclusive (or any) access to, so I hope that that theory is total fantasy or else we're all toast unless one of us is the genius Tesla was, as it wasn't submitted to the patent office so anybody can recreate it, and publish it if they do).

Tesla said he'd be able to write his name on Mars.  If you rediscover his tool,just make sure you can trace a DC street map and avoid most of the pedestrians.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@comcast.net        http://home.comcast.net/~wdg3rd/

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

Leviathan on February 08, 2009, 07:30:08 am
I don't think they'd be able to resist deploying a super-weapon, no.  Actually, looking it over, I don't think it would work all that well.  It's not a subatomic particle beam weapon.  From the specifications, it's basically an electrostatic version of a gauss gun that fires dust at hopefully extremely high speeds.  Only problem is, I don't think it would work.  You're free to try it, the patent description is public right now.  In order for it to remotely work, you'd have to somehow create a "guide" through the air in front of it.  Else it would just hit air, start interacting with those molecules, lose momentum, and shed its electrostatic charge.  The most innovative bit to the whole design was the vacuum nozzle that maintained a near vacuum while having essentially an open aperture for the "beam" to escape.

Emote Control on June 02, 2011, 07:14:39 am
When I was a physics minor in college my professor discussed Tesla, and said that Tesla's broadcast power program could never have had worked.  I wasn't a very good physics student, but he said that broadcast power in general is basically garbage -- you can broadcast short distances extremely inefficiently, or transmit by wire long distances with greater efficiency.  What would any competent engineer choose?  As for the death ray -- this was the point in Tesla's life when he was claiming to be in telepathic communication with Mars (not making this up).

Of course the NAC is art, not history, so we can use artistic license say that Tesla in the NAC was more financially and emotionally stable and invented a lot of cool stuff like the freezer that only works when the door is closed.