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Brand New: New Logo for Dixie by Landor
I just love this comment:
"Ugh. That spot ad is so 'millennials and their cellphones; technology is evil; Thomas Edison was a witch; etc. etc.' which is a rhetoric that can just die."
dixie  brandnew  logos  design  thomasedison  millennials  2017 
february 2017 by handcoding
Thomas Edison's Hugely Ambitious "To-Do" List from 1888 | Open Culture
"Things doing and to be done:

Cotton Picker
New Standard Phonograph
Hand turning phonograph
New Slow speed cheap Dynamo
New Expansion Pyromagnetic Dynamo
Deaf Apparatus
Electrical Piano
Long distance standard Telephone Transmitter which employs devices of recording phonogh
Telephone Coil of Fe [iron] by tt in Parafine or other insulator
Platina Point Trans using new phono Recorder devices
Gred Battery for Telephones
“ “ “ “ Long Distance
“ “ “ — Phonoplex
“ “ “ Jump Telegraph
“ “ “ Voltmeter
Improved Magnetic Bridge for practical work
Motograph Mirror
“ Relay
“ Telephone practical
Artificial Cable
Phone motor to work on 100 volt ckts
Duplicating Phono Cylinders
Deposit in vacuo on lace, gold + silver also on cotton molten chemical compound of lustrous surfaces to imitate silk— also reg plating system
Vacuous Ore milling Large Machine
Magnetic Separator Large
Locking material for Iron sand
Artificial Silk
Artificial filiments [sic]
New [illeg.]
Uninflammable Insulating Material
Good wax for phonograph
Phonographic Clock
Large Phonograph for Novels, etc.
Pig Iron Expmts with Electricity + Magnetism
Malleablizing Cast now in Vacuo
Drawing fine wire
Joy phonograph for Dolls
Cable Motograph
Very Loud Motograph telephone with 1/3 siz phonogh motor.
Magneto telephone with actual contact end magnet compression of an adjustable rubber press as in new phones
Snow Compressor
Glass plate water ore repeator
Tinned faced [illeg.] for Stove Castings
Refining Copper Electrically
Quad neutral relay
Cheap low induct Cop Insulating material for Lead Cable people
Constant moved for nonfoundry
200 volt 20 cp lamp
Cheap [illeg.] Indicator
Recording Valt Indicator
Box balancing System
Alternating Machine + Transformer
Sifua Surface Switches
Vulcanizing [illeg.] African Rubber adullement
Platinum wire [illeg.] cutting Machine
Silver wire wood cutting system
Silvering or Coppering bathing cloth in Vac for durability
S Mater attend own with new devices for c speed
Expansion mirror plat… wire in vacuo
Photoghy by camping heat after central points
Boron fil.
Hg [mercury] out of Lamp
Phonaplex Repeater
Squirting glass sheet tube etc. Nickel [illeg.]
Artificial Mother Pearl
Red Lead pencils equal to graphite
India Ink
Tracing Cloth
Ink for blind
Fluffy Incandescent Burner for gas
Regenerative Kerosene Burner
Centralized arc in arc Lamp
Cai–[illeg.] Tesla arc lamp test
Strengthening alternating cli by sternt Dynamo
ERR Cont [illeg.] reducers
Electroplating Machines for Schenectady
Condenser Transformer
Sqr ft difraction gratings in silver by 5000 [illeg.] tool special [illeg.] lathe for ornamental purposes
Photo Scant–[illeg.]
Cheap plan produce Mimeograph surfaces
Miners battery + lamp
Sorting Coal from Slate Machine
Butter direct from Milk
Burning asphalt Candles by high chimney
Magnets RR signals
Soften [illeg.] of books transfer to Cop plate + plate to [illeg.] matrix
Telephone Repeater
Substitute for Hard rubber
Artificial Ivory
Soften Vegetable Ivory to press in sheets
Various batteries on [illeg.] Type
Revolving Thermo
Caller Indicator for Jump Telegh
Marine Telegraphy
Long distance speaking tube filled H20 2 dia pressure
Lend plate battery for modifying attending Current
Two revolving bands in battery Lead faced press in liquid close together + out into separate chambers to [illeg.]reduce by gas the other
Siren phonogh
Perm mag like an electromag of [illeg.] hand steel high polish separately magnetized + forced together powerfully[illeg.]
Telephone working more [illeg.]
Eartubes formed crescent [illeg.] wire
Long strip 50 cp carbon under stress [illeg.] for
Cheap Voltmeter
Chalk Battery
Dynamo or motor long tube in long magnetic field top + bottom contacts forcing water through generator current by – passage.
Thermo battery slick Copper oxidized then plated over surface oxide nailed to make good contact [illeg.]
Disk Phonogh"
thomasedison  todo 
december 2016 by gohai
crap futures — constraint no. 2: legacies of the past
"We are locked into paths determined by decisions or choices made in previous eras, when the world was a much different place. For various reasons these legacies stubbornly persist through time, constraining future possibilities and blinkering us from alternative ways of thinking.

Here, sketched as usual on a napkin over coffee and toast, are some thoughts on legacies of the past that exercise power over our future.

Infrastructure. Take energy, for example. Tesla’s invention of alternating current became the dominant system - rather than Edison’s direct current - essentially because it allowed electricity generated at power stations to be capable of travelling large distances. Tesla’s system has, for the most part, been adopted across the world - an enormous network of stations, cables, pylons, and transformers, with electrical power arriving in our homes through sockets in the wall. This pervasive system dictates or influences almost everything energy related, and in highly complex ways: from the development of new energy generation methods (and figuring out how to feed that energy into the grid) to the design of any electrical product.

Another example is transportation. As Crap Futures has discovered, it is hard to get around this volcanic and vertiginous island without a car. There are no trains, it is too hilly to ride a bike, buses are slow and infrequent, and meanwhile over the past few decades the regional government - one particular government with a 37-year reign - poured millions into building a complex network of roads and tunnels. People used to get to other parts of the island by boat; now (and for the foreseeable future) it is by private car. This is an example of recent infrastructure that a) perpetuated and was dictated by dominant ideas of how transportation infrastructure should be done, and b) will further constrain possibilities for the island into the future.

Laws and insurance. There is a problematic time-slip between the existence of laws and insurance and the real-life behaviour of humans. Laws and insurance are for the most part reactive: insurance policies, for example, are based on amassed data that informs the broker of risk levels, and this system therefore needs history to work. So when you try to insert a new product or concept - a self-driving car or delivery drone - into everyday life, the insurance system pushes back. Insurance companies don’t want to gamble on an unknown future; they want to look at the future through historical data, which is by nature a conservative lens.

Laws, insurance, and historical infrastructure often work together to curb radical change. This partly explains why many of the now technologically realisable dreams of the past, from jetpacks to flying cars, are unlikely to become an everyday reality in that imagined form - more likely they will adapt and conform to existing systems and rules.
"No great idea in its beginning can ever be within the law. How can it be within the law? The law is stationary. The law is fixed. The law is a chariot wheel which binds us all regardless of conditions or place or time." — Emma Goldman, Anarchism and Other Essays (1910)

It is true that laws sometimes outstay their welcome or impede progress. The slow pace at which laws change becomes more and more apparent as the pace of innovation increases. But there are positive as well as negative constraints, and laws often constrain us for good (which of course is their supposed function). At best, they check our impulses, give us a cooling off period, prevent us from tearing everything down at a whim.

So the law can be a force for good. But then of course - good, bad, or ineffectual - there are always those who find ways to circumvent the law. Jonathan Swift wrote: ‘Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.’ With their shock-and-awe tactics, companies like Uber manage to overcome traditional legal barriers by moving faster than local laws or simply being big enough to shrug off serious legal challenges.

Technology is evolutionary. (See Heilbroner’s quote in the future nudge post.) Comparisons between natural and technological evolution have been a regular phenomenon since as far back Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859). Darwin’s revolutionary work inspired philosophers, writers, and anthropologists - Marx and Engels, Samuel Butler, Augustus Pitt-Rivers - to suggest that technological artefacts evolve in a manner similar to natural organisms. This essentially means that technological development is unidirectional, and that radical new possibilities do not happen.

Viewing technology in evolutionary terms would appear to constrain us to only the possibilities that we could reasonably ‘evolve’ into. But this does not have to be the case: natural evolution works by random mutation and natural selection with no ‘plan’ as such, whereas technological innovation and product design are firmly teleologic (literally ‘end-directed’). In other words, the evolutionary model of technological change ignores basic human agency. While natural organisms can’t dip into the historical gene pool to bring back previous mutations, however useful they might be, innovators and designers are not locked into an irreversible evolutionary march and can look backward whenever they choose. So why don’t they? It is a case - circling back to constraint no. 1 - of thinking under the influence of progress dogma."
2015  crapfutures  constraints  darwin  evolution  innovation  future  progress  progressdogma  transportation  infrastructure  law  legal  time  pace  engels  friedrichengels  technology  californianideology  emmagoldman  anarchism  insurance  policy  electricity  nikolatesla  thomasedison  systems  systemsthinking  jonathanswift  samuelbutler  karlmarx  longnow  bighere  augustuspitt-rivers 
january 2016 by robertogreco
Thomas Edison and the Cult of Sleep Deprivation - The Atlantic
"Sleep loss is most common among older workers (ages 30 to 64), and among those who earn little and work multiple jobs. Still, about a quarter of people in the top income quintile report regularly being short on sleep, and sleep deprivation across all income groups has been rising over the years. A group of sleep researchers recently told the BBC that people are now getting one or two hours less shut-eye each night than they did 60 years ago, primarily because of the encroachment of work into downtime and the proliferation of blue-light emitting electronics.

"We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle,” Oxford University Professor Russell Foster said. "And long-term, acting against the clock can lead to serious health problems."

These problems include well-documented correlations with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and accidents. A March study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found that long-term sleep loss was associated with permanent brain damage in rats."
sleep  thomasedison  2014  health  insomnia 
october 2014 by robertogreco
The Oatmeal - I wrote a response to the Forbes article about my Tesla comic
Der Autor des Oatmeal-Comics zu Nikola Tesla kommentiert einen kritisierenden Forbes-Artikel.
nikolatesla  thomasedison  science  from instapaper
may 2012 by stoddnet
Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil - Forbes
Let me just close with this quick thought: Tesla wasn’t an ignored god-hero. Thomas Edison wasn’t the devil. They were both brilliant, strong-willed men who helped build our modern world. They both did great things and awful things. They were both brilliantly right about some things and just as brilliantly wrong about others. They had foibles, quirks, passions, misunderstandings and moments of wonder.

In other words, they were both human.
thomasedison  nikolatesla  science  xrays 
may 2012 by tommyogden
Forbes - Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil
Weitere Relativierung und noch mehr Korrektur des The Oatmeal-Comics zu Nikola Tesla und Thomas Edison
Let me just close with this quick thought: Tesla wasn’t an ignored god-hero. Thomas Edison wasn’t the devil. They were both brilliant, strong-willed men who helped build our modern world. They both did great things and awful things. They were both brilliantly right about some things and just as brilliantly wrong about others. They had foibles, quirks, passions, misunderstandings and moments of wonder.
nikolatesla  thomasedison  science 
may 2012 by stoddnet
The Abstracted Engineer - This Tesla Love-Fest Has Got To End
ine Relativierung und Korrektur des The Oatmeal-Comics zu Nikola Tesla und Thomas Edison.
The irony here is that the computer that the author used to draw this graphic runs on DC power. The author's cell phone also runs on DC power. In fact, if the author went around their house and looked at all the electronic devices (coffee maker, microwave oven, clock, television, laptop, stereo, etc.), they would notice that almost every single one requires a conversion from AC power to DC power before it can be used. This is because while alternating current is indeed great for long distance transmission of's shit for powering electronics. So perhaps I could suggest a compromise: if Tesla is the Father of the Electric Age, then Edison is the Father of the Electronic Age.
nikolatesla  thomasedison  science 
may 2012 by stoddnet

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