The 3rd part of the release is somewhat interesting as it's about flying saucers (from a news letter). It has the statement(s):
> This letter will not reach you in time to sight a flying saucer over New York on the night of June 10, from 10pm to 1am
It then goes on to discuss "space people".
Honestly, I'm wondering what exactly they released, as this was just a letter sent to Nikola Tesla... So it's not all that interesting, besides getting insight(s) into some tabloids of the time. Nothing really all that juicy, unless I'm missing something.
Part 1: https://vault.fbi.gov/nikola-tesla/Nikola%20Tesla%20Part%200...
Part 2: https://vault.fbi.gov/nikola tesla/Nikola%20Tesla%20Part%2002%20of%2003/view
Part 3: https://vault.fbi.gov/nikola-tesla/Nikola%20Tesla%20Part%200...
It's a sad end to a brilliant mind.
But then, when you're the FBI and WW2 is ongoing, you pay attention when a famous and brilliant inventor claims to have death rays and super weapons.
when Leonardo da vinci sketched out a parachute or a helicopter-looking self propelling device prototypes that took 500 years to actually build - what did contemporaries think of him?
who are we to judge a great mind? we simply cant. yes he might have gone mad, but there is a very fine line between madness and brilliance and its often blurred. all we can do is take these ideas and test/iterate/test. id rather bet on a horse that is capable of running than on a just born foal.
A lot; he was widely recognized as a genius in his own time. Sadly, his helicopter wouldn't have worked, and he never sketched an ICE.
helicopter prototype was off (just needed different shape propeller, additional stabilizing propeller and proper weight distribution), but it was on a correct development path. parachute design was correct as was demonstrated in 2000. (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bgE0_zA9lEU/U29iF1bk9QI/AAAAAAAAEu...)
what if tesla's highly speculated work is even 50% close?
we had thousands of electric cars manufactured and sold in USA 100 years ago (stop and think about it for a second: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/80/34/c5/8034...). wireless transmission of electricity/energy could put us on a completely different path as a humanity (as well as completely change political and business landscape worldwide).
And an ENGINE!
>At the 1932 occasion, Tesla claimed he had invented a motor that would run on cosmic rays. In 1933, at age 77, Tesla told reporters that, after thirty-five years of work, he was on the verge of producing proof of a new form of energy. He claimed it was a theory of energy that was “violently opposed” to Einsteinian physics, and could be tapped with an apparatus that would be cheap to run and last 500 years. He also told reporters he was working on a way to transmit individualized private radio wavelengths, working on breakthroughs in metallurgy, and developing a way to photograph the retina to record thought.
We know that cosmic rays aren't prevalent enough to produce energy. It should be obvious that you can't record thought through a retina because the majority of thought in the brain occurs in areas obstructed by the retina. He was just an already-eccentric old man whose brain was breaking down, and in trying to cling onto his success from the past he might have developed delusions that to him seem perfectly logical. I don't see why we can't accept that the death ray idea was just as nonexistent/nonsensical as these other ones. Additionally, also from wikipedia:
>In a box purported to contain a part of Tesla's "death ray", Trump found a 45-year-old multidecade resistance box.
Scary thing? Delusional behavior can just happen to anyone. It's a mental illness and like any illness there may be no way to see it coming. One day, you suddenly think your 'Real Girl' doll is a real person that you love.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lars_and_the_Real_Girl - Fantastic, true acting by an actor known mostly for his good looks.
FBI clearly stated in that FIA disclosed dossier that there was an outside entity trying to get access to his lab prototypes, papers, information. We do not know if and what was taken,
It's not like these "great minds" are alien superintelligences. How much smarter do you think they were than the average person, in terms of IQ? Maybe 2x maximum? Seems quite possible to judge. Tesla was not a Singularity.
IQ is definitely not the end all-be-all of intelligence because you can train yourself to become better at taking IQ tests by taking IQ tests: that's what all those people with >180 IQ who are "the smartest people in the world" did. And of course intelligence is only part of the equation: people could be much smarter than Tesla but simply never become interested in electricity, and even very smart people can make mistakes and arrive at incorrect conclusions (perhaps due to ego as well - we are all human). There are also different forms of intelligence, as some people are much better than others at verbal/spatial/logical reasoning but perform averagely in other categories.
So in general I'd say IQ is not a good way to look at this. We should look more at the fact that mental illness can affect everyone, and if someone starts suddenly making provably false outlandish claims, that doesn't mean they weren't once a great scientist or very intelligent person.
I disagree, I define a truly great mind as one that thinks very differently from others, and solves problems others can't. Not someone who can just solve problems more quickly.
Why do you think it matters what his IQ is? You can't measure someone's ability to think about new things with a test that asks you to solve relatively simple brainteasers. I am sure his IQ was quite high, but that doesn't mean someone with an equivalently high IQ could do what he did.
Edit: missed a word.
In terms of understanding of electric phenomena, its difficult to point at another with a similar level of understanding (or at least productive understanding).
With that in mind, it would seem he's quite a bit "smarter" than even very intelligent people, with the same life long pursuit.
Maxwell? Faraday? Heaviside? etc. Or are we explicitly talking circuits?
When you try to map some trends 'genius' people have that others dont, it comes to have some form of free/ilimited thinking, like kids often do, persistence and even stuborness based on faith that something others dont get it its actually possible, criativity, a good environment and in the end choose that path that im sure can become a big burden, that will require a lot of spirit, persistence and good will.
So i guess IQ tests alone will never be able to frame or to detect real geniuses in a objective automated manner.
Of course that more brainpower give you more chances to become a genius, but there are some traces of the personality that must also be there.
For instance, the majority of the smart people in the world, will not go through this route, giving they can just use their brains to get rich, famous, powerful and use it in a more egotistical and self-fulfilling manner.
this is not about not being appreciated at the given time. unless you think in 500 years it will be fashionable "to love that pigeon as a man loves a woman, and she loved me. As long as I had her, there was a purpose to my life."
we are all the same, all part of one. if you love yourself and you love "one" you automatically love pigeons and all the other living creatures.
perhaps its our next evolutionary step and he was many years ahead of all of us...
Not just towards the end of his life, he likely had mental issues throughout his entire life. He himself reported experiencing incidents of hallucinations/strange visions of light, and had a number of very strange and exact habits that sound like some kind of OCD (including an extreme aversion to women wearing pearl jewelry of any kind).
if one person is more receptive to certain things than the other .. it does not make him or her crazy...
"The mathematics of string theory suggests that the world we know is not complete. In addition to our four familiar dimensions - three-dimensional space and time - string theory predicts the existence of six extra spatial dimensions, "hidden" dimensions curled in tiny geometric shapes at every single point in our universe. "
"Don't worry if you can't picture a 10-dimensional world. Our minds are accustomed to only three spatial dimensions and lack a frame of reference for the other six, says UW-Madison physicist Gary Shiu, who led the new study. Though scientists use computers to visualize what these six-dimensional geometries could look like (see image), no one really knows for sure what shape they take."
"According to string theory mathematics, the extra dimensions could adopt any of tens of thousands of possible shapes, each shape theoretically corresponding to its own universe with its own set of physical laws. "
The new work was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Research Corp.
Unless you're positing that anyone experiencing these types of symptoms are in fact viewing extra-dimensional objects. In which case, good luck with that.
its easy to throw out a baby with the bathwater..
I mean, I don't think Tesla was some kind of super-wizard or anything; extremely intelligent and precient on certain things, lacking in other areas (it's interesting to compare and contrast Tesla and Edison, for instance - but that's OT).
But how often have we heard of, or read about, people able to come up with solutions to, say, complex mathematical problems, seemingly in their head - where they claim to "see" the patterns or formulae or whatever - and it just "comes together" for them correctly?
A kind of "synesthesia" for mathematics, you might call it?
So would it be any less possible that someone could "see" higher-order dimensional visualization and understand them, without need intermediary constructs or simulations?
Also - at least according to his closest biographer (so some bias there, I grant) - Tesla could supposedly "see" how something was supposed to be constructed; it's dimensions, it's workings, it's weight, etc - exactly. It was described as if he could visualize it existing in front of him, before it actually existed, and see everything about it. He could then build it - without needing engineering drawings or such.
Not sure where the truth lies with that, but it was fascinating to read about, if true.
No further details are given, or the exhibit itself, but interesting nonetheless.
> Early on he seemed to borrow from the ideas of Mahlon Loomis, proposing a system composed of balloons to suspend transmitting and receiving electrodes in the air above 30,000 feet (9,100 m) in altitude, where he thought the pressure would allow him to send high voltages (millions of volts) long distances. [...] Experiments he conducted [at Colorado Springs in 1899] with a large coil operating in the megavolts range, as well as observations he made of the electronic noise of lightning strikes, led him to conclude incorrectly that he could use the entire globe of the Earth to conduct electrical energy.
> His observations also led him to believe a high voltage used in a coil at an elevation of a few hundred feet would "break the air stratum down", eliminating the need for miles of cable hanging on balloons to create his atmospheric return circuit. Tesla would go on the next year to propose a "World Wireless System" that was to broadcast both information and power worldwide. In 1901, at Shoreham, New York he attempted to construct a large high-voltage wireless power station, now called Wardenclyffe Tower, but by 1904 investment dried up and the facility was never completed.
i've heard a claim that the idea described in the latter quote would effectively involve "igniting the ionosphere" which would permanently change the color of the sky, but i can't speak to the accuracy of that.
Kidding aside, what would people like him achieve if they had resources of today, computers and internet...
Yikes, got a less biased source? It's 2017, it's sad the emotional feud between Tesla and Edison continues like this.
> Interestingly enough one of the largest sources of exaggerated Tesla history in the last few years was a cartoonist (Mr. Inman) who runs the website "The Oatmeal". A cartoonist (a guy with no engineering, legal or historian background) born in 1982 on the wrong side of the continent felt the liberty of making passionate statements about New York's electrical history based on crap he read on the internet. After a Forbes article by Alex Knapp about the myths of Tesla inspired by this Edison Tech Center article came out, the cartoonist attacks Knapp in the arrogant and cynical style typically demonstrated by the worst of US-born Millennials. Mr. Inman, like many comedians seems to be fundamentally unhappy and finds an outlet through humor. Oddly enough his behavior is similar to Tesla's in that he reacts in a nasty fashion if someone challenges his ideas, even when they mean well.
I do feel they gloss over the elephant electrocution and even by standards of that time was a bit shocking, even if there were almost no animal welfare laws. To be fair to Edison's group, this PR stunt was tasteless, but the elephant was already sentenced to death. My understanding is the alternative would have been a grisly shooting with an elephant gun which is far less humane than electrocution.
Again, the Oatmeal comic is pretty poor representation of the period. I understand its popular and ties in with Tesla fandom and an over-represented demographic on the web, but I think those honest about knowing what these men did should dismiss it and dig into more academic sources. This period is so exciting and interesting, its a shame a lot of youngsters grow up with a simple minded 'Tesla vs Edison' narrative which is such a stupid oversimplification of an amazing and progressive period in US history.
> cynical style typically demonstrated by the worst of US-born Millennials
> Disclaimer: The works below are the opinion of the author and not the official viewpoint of the Edison Tech Center
That's enough for me to forget this whole article. I'm not buying all the "facts" in The Oatmeal's comic either, but wow, when you have to lash out at someone for being a young cartoonist living in Seattle...
The ability to publish misinformation on the internet far outscales the ability of anybody to refute it. At some point you have to filter out the noise by appraising the source. If that means dismissing inflammatory history lessons from young cartoonists in Seattle, or dismissing medical advice from has-been Playboy models on the basis that neither group knows what the hell they're talking about, then so be it.
This guy, whoever he is, goes on about "crap on the Internet" then cites a 3rd of his sources from the Internet, four of those being Wikipedia. Even better, half his non-Internet based sources are museums -- no further information provided. His sources are mostly unverifiable crap, then he stoops to an ad hominem. It's garbage.
>His sources are mostly unverifiable crap
There is a source list at the end of the article.
-Electrification in Western Society 1880-1930. by Thomas Parke Hughes.1993 (book)
-Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany
-Historisches Museum, Frankfurt Germany
-The General Electric Story - A Hall of Electrical History Publication.1999 (book)
-Archives of the Schenectady Museum: William Stanley files, E.W. Rice Jr. Files
-Great Barrington Historical Society
-Hawkins Electrical Guides (book series)
-Men and Volts. by John Winthrop Hammond. 1941(book)
-Folsom Powerhouse Museum. Folsom, California
-Biography of Elihu Thomson, prepared by E.W. Rice Jr.
-Archives of the Edison Tech Center: Rice Family Archives
-Almost Edison: How William Sawyer and Others Lost the Race to Electrification. by Donald Scott McPartland. 2006
-MIT website: Inventor of the Week" William Stanley
-IEEE Global History Network: Milestones: Alternating Current Electrification 1886
-wikipedia: Nikola Tesla
-wikipedia: Hippolyte Pixii
-wikipedia: Mikhail Dolivo-Dobrovsky
No. I'm not saying anyone should "just" believe either party over the other.
For all of Inman's bold assertions, he cites no sources whatsoever-- not even random crap on the internet-- and ends his comic with an appeal to vandalize Wikipedia to support his argument.
Without knowing anything about ETC, from an objective standpoint, I agree with ETC's assertion that Inman isn't qualified to be publishing unsubstantiated claims about anything related to a dead man's character or accomplishments.
He's an entertainer and comedian, not a bastion for everlasting factual histories of the world...
I seriously feel that a large percentage of commenters on HN need to step back a bit and be less rigid in their assessment of society around them.
It reminds me of the saying attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, "Smart people talk about ideas. Mediocre people talk about things or events. Stupid people talk about people." Speaking about specific people denigrates a conversation. A discussion will always be more interesting and enlightening and overall useful if instead aimed at ideas or even slightly abstracted.
In short - read everything you can about both individuals - their life, their history, their accomplishments, and their rivalry thru the years.
At one time, I was more on the "fanboy" side of things with Tesla; for years, from about 1992 or so (long before the Oatmeal piece, and certainly before "The Prestige" was published), I collected many books and anything else I could get my hands on about Tesla. Prior to that, as a teenager, I had heard about him thru histories of Edison - mainly in connection to the "Tesla Coil" as well.
But I had neglected Edison. At some point, many years later I decided that having only a one-sided view of things wasn't right, and started collecting and reading things on and about Edison.
What I discovered was ultimately, neither man could be claimed to be "all that" and both were products of their times. Both had their greatnesses, and both had their lows. I consider both men to have made many contributions, but they also had plenty of faults. I also consider it one of those "historical tragedies" that the two men became bitter rivals, rather than working together. I believe that Edison could have gone so much further with Tesla's guidance and temperament as an engineer and scientist (Tesla being more of a theoretical scientist before an engineer, and Edison being more an experimentalist engineer before a scientist). I often wonder what would have happened if Edison and Tesla had explored the "Edison Effect" - the world would probably not be the same today, certainly.
That article is much worse than anything The Oatmeal has ever written or done, and seems mostly fueled by spite
Not all of the family success was boosted by nepotism, there seems to be some talent in the bloodline, his sister was also a senior US circuit judge and was quite successful on her own.
Regardless I was talking about talent and achievements here not personality, and I don't think there's much use of discussing that here. It's been discussed to death elsewhere.
First, billionaires represent an extremely small minority of the human population. And second, notable people also represent a small minority of the human population.
So it seems reasonable that there are few notable children of billionaires, and this alone doesn't imply that billionaire offspring are less likely to be notable than the person. It only suggests that being the offspring of billionaires doesn't radically skew the probability of being notable.
If you like anime, Steins;Gate uses John Titor as a plot device (http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?show=anime&aid=7729)
I can see it normally when I access through Tor.
Im sure there are literally millions of documents that have been "unclassified" due to time, but have never seen the light of day since then. Its not like they broadcast when something is unclassified
Sorry for being picky about it, but I always think that we should respect people enough to spell their names correctly!
The FBI 'released' these documents to the public over a year ago.