Tapping the Zero-Point Field via Hammer and Anvil

The autobiography of Nikola Tesla, the original steampunk, is currently in rerelease. He may have been a little nutty, but I never get tired of reading Tesla’s nearly-metaphysical ramblings on wireless power. And as Bruce Sterling points out, his “World-System” sounds a hell of a lot like the Internet:

It makes possible not only the instantaneous and precise wireless transmission of any kind of signals, messages or characters, to all parts of the world, but also the inter-connection of the existing telegraph, telephone, and other signal stations without any change in their present equipment.

Okay, so he predicted packetized data, email, Napster and Vonage. But where’s my cordless blender?

2 thoughts on “Tapping the Zero-Point Field via Hammer and Anvil”

  1. It might be more accurate to say that he predicted Broadband over Power Line… where the power line is planet Earth!

  2. I believe the creative interpretation of Tesla is an exercise that falls somewhere in the continuum between contemporary application of the The Constitution (contentious but vitally necessary) and projecting Biblical prophecy into the modern era (you might as well just listen to Dan Brown). On the one hand you might say it’s mildly entertaining. On the other, we should be damned glad the Tesla Foundation doesn’t own patents on all this stuff under today’s intellectual property standards. In contrast to Clarke, who occasionally still half-jokingly bemoans his inability to collect royalties on the “invention” (at best, reification) of the communications satellite, Tesla actually attempted to render his ideas into substance.

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