Until the last decade or so, Nikola Tesla‘s place in history was paid lip service. Growing up around a motor rewinding shop, I was surrounded by the children of his works just about every day. When I found out that one man had come up with all these ideas, I had to know more about him – and there certainly is a lot to know. His grounding in science and technology was one thing – but a lot of people don’t know that he also translated poems, and that he also was a friend of Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain).
Grounded in science, he visualized things people couldn’t ‘see’ – magnetic fields, the flow of electricity. This is a man who created alternating current, something that many people can’t wrap their heads around. Increasingly, people can’t get their heads around any electrical thoughts, it seems, but…
Beyond his science, he was a visionary who consistently put his castles firmly in the sky and then managed to build solid foundations under them. He lived a solitary life, which to an extent I understand – how do you share the kind of thoughts you have with someone else? How could anyone truly be close to someone who worked so hard to make his visions real? A solid work ethic, a solid scientific background, and the willingness to do what it took to see his vision through.
And people have begun to realize that. I could write more, but why would I when The Oatmeal pretty much nails it?
To understand reality is the drive in science, to dream and build in that reality is engineering.