Growing up, I never really had heroes. When someone asked, people usually gave a family member or an athlete. These never really inspired me in the way I thought a hero should.
As I learned more about history, especially in mathematics, science and computers, I found that there were people whose achievements were insanely awesome. Moreover, I found heroes that contributed in huge ways to their fields in their lifetimes while being persecuted, challenged or mocked. These were people who accomplished things I can scarcely imagine even in a world that made their lives exceedingly difficult, even impossible.
Serbian-American inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, and futurist.
Why was he badass?
- Inventor of the Alternating Current electrical distribution system, which powers nearly all of the planet, making him father of the electric age
- Laid most of the groundwork for the invention of radio
- Came up with radar, x-ray technology and early concepts of cryogenics years ahead of their time (receiving little to none of the credit)
- the remote control, neon lighting, hydroelectric power generation, the electric motor, wireless communication, wireless fucking power distribution
- Oh, I am only scratching the surface. Read this.
I don’t call the man a genius, because it would skew the curve of planetary intelligence so much that almost everyone would be an idiot.
Nikola Tesla was a motherfucking phenomenon.
He must have been rich, right?
Thanks to douchebags like Thomas Edison and a world that cared only about money-making and nothing about the kind of revolutionary ideas that still shape our planet, Tesla spent most of his career broke. He died alone in a New York hotel room where he lived on milk, crackers and vivid hallucinations.
Edison was a dickhead and a talentless hack.
For your benefit, some of my heroes. I’ve posted a bit about each a while ago and a bit more today. It helps to put them in one place, though.
People who, due to their position, nationality, gender or sex had every reason to tell the world to go to hell, but who instead advanced science, mathematics, society and, in the case of one, contributed to the defeat of fascists hell-bent on the destruction of our way of life.
Two of my three personal scientific heroes…
died while still being shunned by the scientific communities and nations to which they contributed so much.
One, a penniless “mad scientist” in a NYC hotel. The other, a suicide of a broken man, chemically castrated as a sentence for the crime of homosexuality.
The accomplishments of both men continue to far outweigh those of their accusers.
Let the future tell the truth and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.
The scientists from Franklin to Morse were clear thinkers and did not produce erroneous theories. The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
A single ray of light from a distant star falling upon the eye of a tyrant in bygone times may have altered the course of his life, may have changed the destiny of nations, may have transformed the surface of the globe, so intricate, so inconceivably complex are the processes in Nature.