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Nikola Tesla Quotes - Page 4

Profound words from the world's greatest inventor
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...With these developments we have every reason to anticipate that in a time not very distant most telegraphic messages across the oceans will be transmitted without cables. For short distances we need a 'wireless' telephone, which requires no expert operators...


Of all the frictional resistances, the one that most retards human movement is ignorance, what Buddha called 'the greatest evil in the world.' The friction which results from ignorance can be reduced only by the spread of knowledge and the unification of the heterogeneous elements of humanity. No effort could be better spent.

I do not believe in laziness, and I should like to see the loafer wiped from the face or the earth; but I want that those who are willing to work should accomplish their results with the least labor and in the best way.

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Following up these promising revelations I demonstrated conclusively by experiments that great amounts of electrical energy can be transmitted to any distance through upper air strata which are easily accessible, and since this truth has been recognized every fiber has been strained to realize such a transmission on a large scale.


Power can be, and at no distant date will be, transmitted without wires, for all commercial uses, such as the lighting of homes and the driving of aeroplanes. I have discovered the essential principles, and it only remains to develop them commercially. When this is done, you will be able to go anywhere in the world — to the mountain top overlooking your farm, to the arctic, or to the desert — and set up a little equipment that will give you heat to cook with, and light to read by. This equipment will be carried in a satchel not as big as the ordinary suit case. In years to come wireless lights will be as common on the farms as ordinary electric lights are nowadays in our cities.

One of the great events in my life was my first meeting with Edison. This wonderful man, who had received no scientific training, yet had accomplished so much, filled me with amazement. I felt that the time I had spent studying languages, literature and art was wasted; though later, of course, I learned this was not so.


Up to the age of eight years, my character was weak and vacillating. I had neither courage or strength to form a firm resolve. My feelings came in waves and surges and vibrated unceasingly between extremes. My wishes were of consuming force and like the heads of the hydra, they multiplied. I was oppressed by thoughts of pain in life and death and religious fear. I was swayed by superstitious belief and lived in constant dread of the spirit of evil, of ghosts, and ogres and other unholy monsters of the dark. Then, all at once, there came a tremendous change which altered the course of my whole existence.


Not only for the physical achievement of your researches on high frequencies which laid the basic foundation of the great industry of radio transmission in which I have labored, but for the incessant inspiration of your early writings and your example, do l owe you an especial debt of gratitude.

Now, I must tell you of a strange experience which bore fruit in my later life. We had a cold [snap] drier than even observed before. People walking in the snow left a luminous trail. [As I stroked] Mačak's back, [it became] a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of sparks. My father remarked, this is nothing but electricity, the same thing you see on the trees in a storm. My mother seemed alarmed. Stop playing with the cat, she said, he might start a fire. I was thinking abstractly. Is nature a cat? If so, who strokes its back? It can only be God, I concluded.
I cannot exaggerate the effect of this marvelous sight on my childish imagination. Day after day I asked myself what is electricity and found no answer. Eighty years have gone by since and I still ask the same question, unable to answer it.


...the papers, which thirty years ago conferred upon me the honor of American citizenship, are always kept in a safe, while my orders, diplomas, degrees, gold medals and other distinctions are packed away in old trunks.

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