Where are we headed? Who will lead us there?

27 Jun
Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

I was recently introduced to the work of a great man, Nikola Tesla, through a TED talk given by Marco Tempest, a brilliant showman as well as a very insightful magician. Through engaging and enlightening multi-media storytelling, Tempest’s TED talk tells Tesla’s tale (aha…alliteration!) with a pop-up book and a tribute to classical Tenagra-Theater. Further research of Tesla had me fascinated with his work (alternating current, remote-controls, radio, x-rays, etc.), and also it got me thinking about the past, the present, and the future.

The Great Minds

da Vinci, Newton, Ben Franklin, Edison, Tesla, Howard Stark, Steve Jobs… all great men with greater minds whose imagination, ingenuity and understanding helped to change the way we interact with each other and the world around us.

Acme Corp.

ACME Corp.

(though Howard Stark is a comic book character, Stark Industries supplies the Marvel world with nearly everything imaginable-from Flesh-Repairing Serum to the technology for the Iron Man suit- much like the Acme Corporation does for Wile E. Coyote).

These men were thinkers, tinkerers and teachers, but were also students of the world, and the beneficiaries of new information at exciting times in human history. Throughout mankind’s time on earth, periods of increased availability and the spread of new information, ideas and ideals and the increased communication between cultures have yielded great expansions of knowledge and superior technology.

Time and Again

Vitruvian Man (Censored)

During a period of convivencia (Coexistence- a time when Jews, Muslims and Catholics lived together in relative peace) in 12th century Spain, increased interaction between Western Europe and Islamic and Byzantine/Hellenistic cultures brought about a lesser-known Renaissance, with advances in education, navigation, medicine and industry. During the Italian Renaissance, along with a greater interest in retaining and revitalizing classical knowledge, mankind focused on expanding human capability, as 15th century humanist and (hehe) “Renaissance Man” Leon Battista Alberti declared – “Men can do all things, if they will”. In the 18th century, there was the Enlightenment. After the Industrial Revolution, Edison and Tesla’s electrical inventions helped us understand, transmit and utilize energy, and illuminated our dark nights. Today, we can’t take a step without seeing Jobs’ Apple devices bringing us ever closer to each other no matter how far apart we are.

With almost complete globalization, an unprecedented amount of available information and the immediacy of our world today, its clear we are in another period of great knowledge, cultural exchange and brilliant ideas. Are we not the beneficiaries of a modern Renaissance? There are no limits to what we can know, problems we can fix, things we can do. Who will pick up where Steve Jobs left off? What’s next for mankind? How will we change not only the way we work, but, to quote Tupac: “Change the way we eat, change the way we live, and change the way we treat each other”?

(Also- if you enjoyed Marco Tempest’s TED talk about Nikola Tesla, check out another great one by the technology proficient magic man about the art of deception, the deception of art, and the magic and truth in each)

6 Responses to “Where are we headed? Who will lead us there?”

  1. clipboardplus June 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    Great post Andy! Really enjoyed the quote by Leon Battista Alberti. Keep it up.

  2. Patrick June 27, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Completely agree we are currently in a Modern Renaissance. Awesome read.

  3. Gal Zerah June 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    liked that, Andy!
    and about the people that leads the world, a very famous book that I find relevant more than ever: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.

    • andyclipboardplus June 27, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

      Thanks- I’ve never read that one, though I’ve heard great things, and now I’m putting it on my list! If I could only put down these Game of Thrones books- Can’t get enough… I was going to include one of the historical figures in the book, Aegon the Conqueror, in my list as well but left him out in the end.


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