Archive for March, 2011


Tesla and introspection.

I’m reading Nikola Tesla’s fascinating autobiography. Its a great insight into the mind of one of the greatest inventors the world has ever seen. The following quote caught my eye because of its timelessness.

The pressure of occupation and incessant stream of impressions pouring into our consciousness through all the gateways of knowledge make modern existence hazardous in many ways. Most persons are so absorbed in the contemplation of the outside world that they are wholly oblivious of what is passing on within themselves.

Its funny that people even in the early 1900’s suffered from an information deluge, something that definitely plagues the world today. I wonder what Tesla would have thought of Twitter and Facebook.

Every other autobiography I’ve read talks about the powers of introspection but Tesla takes it to a whole new level. He thoroughly understood himself and his brain with its quirks and problems. He suffered from a strong synesthesia (his brain involuntarily visualized words he heard or read and presented itself in his regular vision, which meant he couldn’t always differentiate the reality from the imaginary) which could debilitate normal life functions but he developed and controlled it to use it for his own gain. He writes that every machine or experiment he’s ever performed was first designed, prototyped and tested in his imagination before he actually built a working model in real life. And not once did the results or performance varied from what he imagined.

What an extraordinary man.


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"I rarely end up where I was intending to go, but often I end up somewhere that I needed to be." - Douglas Adams

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