jm + progress + thomas-edison   1

Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil
Correcting some egregious misconceptions about an Oatmeal comic regarding Tesla and Edison -- explaining some realities about invention, scientific progress, and the history of electricity. "I’d contend that nearly every invention in the engineering or sciences is an improvement on what has come before – such as Tesla’s improvements to alternating current. That’s what innovation is. It’s a social process that occurs in a social context. As Robert Heinlein once said, “When railroading time comes you can railroad -- but not before.” In other words, inventions are made in the context of scientific and engineering understanding. Individuals move things forward – some faster than others – but in the end, the most intelligent person in the world can’t invent the light bulb if the foundation isn’t there."
nikola-tesla  history  electricity  innovation  invention  progress  science  thomas-edison  the-oatmeal 
may 2012 by jm

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