Cranky Scientists

The intelligence of Tesla was more of a practical nature that manifested itself in countless industrial applications
Cranky Scientists
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July 10, is the birthday of Nikola Tesla, the wizard of Industrial Revolution. It is internationally observed as Nikola Tesla Day to commemorate the achievements of Tesla as a brilliant mechanical engineer and an electrical engineer best known for his design of a.c current supply system. This day of science, peace and progress is now a reality around the world. As we are to celebrate Eid day tomorrow, let us recall Tesla, a day ahead of his 166th birth anniversary. The aim is not to do a Tesla biography. That is available from much more profound sources. The aim is to point out that Tesla had some terrific traits which are badly missing in the current protocol.

Born in a Serbian family, Tesla was the son of an Orthodox priest. His mother was also highly intelligent though unschooled. As Tesla grew up, he was found remarkably imaginative and creative and had a poetic touch. In his poem “Fragments of Olympian Gossip” composed for his friend, George Sylvester, Tesla was very critical of the scientists of his day. He specifically called out Einstein in this poem:

“Now a long haired crank, Einstein by name,
Puts on your high teaching all the blame.”

Further in some comments reported in The New York Times in 1935, Tesla was again critical of Einstein stating that his theory of relativity was “like a beggar clothed in purple, whom ignorant people take for a king.” There was an incompatibility between the two. The story often goes that when Einstein would be asked how it felt to be the smartest man on Earth, he replied, “I wouldn’t know. Ask Nikola Tesla”. He had obviously made these remarks sarcastically, rather than as a compliment. Einstein too would call himself a belching Vesuvius. So was Tesla, critical, besides curious. He would hint straight rather than being subtle. The intelligence of Tesla was more of a practical nature that manifested itself in countless industrial applications. On the other hand, Einstein was associated with a deep thought process. The point is not who was smarter? The point is we can differ on grounds and we should always. Heavens will not fall on earth. There was a similar controversy between Newton and Leibniz, very well known among the scientific cranks. What if we disagree to each other? What if we say it? What if we say it loudly? What if we mean it? What if we maintain it? What if our friends are distinct from our foes? The modern era, however, is that of fake and take. We have feeble structures. We have feeble stands. We have feeble strengths. We have soft attitudes. We take soft drinks, soft chicken and soft momos. We want to enjoy and entertain. We tend be care free. We don’t shout. We save the energy. We don’t care. We give a damn. We are only bothered about our outfit and attire. Those who debate each other on the screen can be found dining on the same table behind the curtains. They don’t mean their differences much. Debating is done to get an intellectual hype rather than having a dying concern. Praise is showered on each other and differences if any, are encrypted in coded words. The boundaries are kept flexible not rigid. We choose to be called well-mannered, polite and polished. We pose to be civilised, decent and elegant besides honest and humble. Nothing is more deceitful than the appearance of humility, is a well-known lesson of life though. We keep growing our personal profiles making ourselves increasingly eligible for job promotions. We can’t afford risks and rifts, therefore. We have killed all concerns, and buried all sincerity. We have learnt to celebrate the differences. But have we learnt it for good? The rise of individualism will make us all fall down and this is an authentic future prediction. Tesla died penniless but he said what he said. He did not have regrets. For the rest of us it is like

Mein karta gaya auron ki kahi

Meri baat mere mann hee mein rahi

Gungroo ki tarah bajhta hee raha hoon mein.

How well have we accepted the trends, in job, in business, in life and in relations. Are we really that helpless. Can someone give us hope or an advice. Cee Lo Green says, be free and express yourself. Do what comes naturally.

Life is so messy that it is better to be cranky about it than contended.

Dr. Qudsia Gani, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics,

Women’s College Srinagar

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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