back to article Nikola Tesla's greatest challenge: He could measure electricity but not stupidity

There is a house in old Belgrade that has male and female private parts. If you were tempted to sing that last sentence, I suppose you could call it the House of the Rising Bum. Bum-bum tish. I thank you. You may not consider a building with gender junk to be so unusual. After all, there are Hitler houses and cat cottages, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: oh, very good!

    Oh, there is. Just search for the many tunes played on dot matrix printers, floppy disk drives and hard disks.

    I've sent the link to a friend of mine who is a total audiophile, just because I have an evil sense of humour :)

  2. Mycho Silver badge

    Re: oh, very good!

    Historically the best tesla coil music videos came from ArcAttack because they were the ones crazy enough to put on chainmail and dance through the electrical discharges.

    The floppotron also deserves an honourable mention for making good use of obsolete scrap.

  3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Re: oh, very good!

    Chain printers :-)

    Of course, the canonical tune for this sort of thing is always "Daisy" (aka "Bicycle Built for Two")

  4. AK565

    Re: Chain printers

    I guess this means I’m “of a certain age”. I’m old enough to know the song, but young enough that I’d never, ever think of it when encountering the words “daisy” and “chain” in the same paragraph.

  5. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Not the only scientist on a banknote

    When Germany still had its own currency, the 10 Mark note had Carl Friedrich Gauss together with his eponymous bell-curve distribution, both on a graph and a formula.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Friedrich_Gauss#/media/File:10_DM_Serie4_Vorderseite.jpg

    Which reminds me that when I worked in Germany a Japanese colleague from the same lab asked me if I remember the Gauss distribution formula. I told him to look at the 10 Mark note. He did but went to the library to double check. He was surprised the formula was correct.

  6. naive

    Re: Not the only scientist on a banknote

    Before toilet paper, a.k.a. Euro-Lires from Brussels came into use as currency, the Netherlands had the philosopher Baruch de Spinoza on its highest denomination, the famous green 1000 guilder banknote.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I initially read "male and female private parts" as meaning separate quarters. Only after more sentences and a picture did the anthropomorphic features slant become apparent.

    I will have to stop taking the pills.

  8. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    I will have to stop taking the pills.

    Or take more - that usually works for me.. (until the nausea kicks in).

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Or take more [...]"

    The beneficial effect of that would possibly be to grow more hair on my bald pate. The pills are anti-androgens to reduce testosterone in order to stop my prostate enlarging again.

    An interesting side effect is that I still know when I see something that is academically pleasing to my sexual aesthetics - but an emotional "kick" is gone. A rather detached feeling that is not actual asexuality.

    Trouble-shooting hardware and software has also become less aggravating. My already well-exercised patience and tenacity have become even more unflappable.

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Only after more sentences and a picture did the anthropomorphic features slant become apparent."

    It's by Dabbsy. Isn't that enough to tell you how to read it?

  11. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

    Summation

    " Lacking a clear profit motive, his north American investors evaporated..."

    Could there be a better description of capitalisms failure?

  12. Semtex451 Silver badge

    Re: Summation

    Further condensed - So long as a-holes exist, so must capitalism

  13. #define INFINITY -1

    Re: Summation

    "Could there be a better description of capitalisms failure?"

    Downvoters of this must've been paid.

  14. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    If they really wanted to wow the kids

    they could have added a Tesla coil on bank note or beside the statue as well, but I suppose some people are too easily shocked.

    I'll get me coat. The one with the book on electricity and magnetism in the pocket please.

  15. Franco Silver badge

    Here in God's Country where we have our own banknotes (a cunning ruse designed to spike the blood pressure of London cabbies when they are presented them), we have nice feats of engineering on them (Bank of Scotland) like the Forth Bridge, the Falkirk Wheel or the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the Harry Potter bridge for the under 10s in the audience). RBS favours castles, and the Clydesdale Bank has famous people like Robert Burns or Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

    On a side note, does "influencers" include the toolbags on LinkedIn who quote them constantly? If not, it should do IMO.

  16. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Trollface

    I heard you wanted to use the Euro

  17. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Here in God's Country

    Yorkshire has its own currency? Who knew?

  18. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    >Yorkshire has its own currency?

    Yes but for obvious reasons it doesn't circulate, so nobody has ever seen it

  19. defiler Silver badge

    Yorkshire has its own currency?

    Yep - it's the Muckle. It's worth 100 Mickles.

  20. Ken Hagan Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    "the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the Harry Potter bridge for the under 10s in the audience)."

    :)

  21. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Here in God's Country where we have our own banknotes (a cunning ruse designed to spike the blood pressure of London cabbies"

    When I lived in NI the local banknotes were useful for spiking the blood pressure of any Scottish businesses I had to deal with when in transit along the dreaded A75. In NI local, NoE, Scottish and (while the Punt was at parity) Irish notes were all accepted without comment.

  22. Franco Silver badge

    I remember it, when I was a student I worked in a supermarket and there were a lot of Irish and Northern Irish students there too, so lots of notes. Customers often refused to take the Irish notes, particularly the ones with the plastic window (can't remember which bank it was though).

  23. Bob Starling

    You have my vote

    Dabbsy, I have alway enjoyed your contributions and admired your use of English.

    Today with your comments on country and western singers you have soared in my estimation.

    Dabbsy for PM.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: You have my vote

    Dabbsy for PM

    And here I thought you actually liked his writing. What did he do to deserve that?

    :)

  25. Avatar of They
    Happy

    Re: You have my vote

    For me it was Agile developers and those that use the word Scrum with out rugby boots.

    Agile and its related evangelical sh*te is far worse than country and western singer in my opinion.

  26. E_Nigma

    Nice to Have almost Seen You

    You have visited my city, Mr Dabbs? I hope that you enjoyed your stay.

  27. Alistair Dabbs

    Re: Nice to Have almost Seen You

    It was so good, I wished I could have stayed another week or more.

  28. illuminatus

    Tesla related tuneage?

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2zwBRa0YhA

  29. chivo243 Silver badge
    Pint

    Well on my way

    To a very nice weekend, Thanks for this Dabsy:

    Apple's vice-president for Port Removal!

    Have a pint on me! Gotta keep those grey cells creating good stuff!

  30. Milton Silver badge

    Anti-intellectual?

    The article is messy and contrived and nowhere near some of Mr Dabbs' better efforts, but he does pick out a stinging point of concern: the appearance of rising anti-intellectualism and dismisal fo expertise in the "educated", "civilised" west. It's one thing for a bunch of religion-stoned goatshaggers to be hostile to science, but it is positively baffling to see the same thing in Britain, a home of the Enlightenment, and the US, the world's pre-eminent nation of scientific achievement.

    What's going on?

    We have cretins like Michael Gove saying "we've had enough of experts" (no, actually, we've had enough of you, Mr Gove, with your incessant lies and staggering incompetence), the vaccine-conspiracy idiots, and Dumb-as-a-stump-Trump bleating ignorant tosh about climate chnage, which he can barely even spell.

    Is it the internet, letting people imagine they understand a complex topic because they've read a Wiki article? Resentment by the less educated, left-behind? Exploitation of ignorance and fostering of bigotry by vile populist politicians? Air pollution giving us new generations with lukewarm IQs?

    We live in a world that exists only because of science, many of whose critics are alive only because of science, and yet this breathtaking ignorance and foolishness abounds.

    I ask again: what the hell is happening??

  31. Cuddles Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    "It's one thing for a bunch of religion-stoned goatshaggers to be hostile to science, but it is positively baffling to see the same thing in Britain"

    It's almost as though people are pretty much the same the world over, and trying to split them up into a nice neat "enlightened us" and "religion-stoned goatshagging them" doesn't do a particularly good job of representing reality.

  32. Justin Case
    Headmaster

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Oh the irony:

    >>Dumb-as-a-stump-Trump bleating ignorant tosh about climate chnage, which he can barely even spell.

  33. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Now that everyone has a voice, opinion is treated the same as fact, division is treated as news, and weight of numbers decides who's won. Even sockpuppet trolls working for a hostile power half-way round the world count.

    Also there's a religion-shaped hole left behind in the human soul, and that hole has been filled with popularism. Just like religion, it requires no real sacrifice apart from obedience, has easy answers to any problem, and has easily defined external evil things to blame.

    So that's my 2p (value not guaranteed due to plummeting exchange rates).

  34. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    It has happened before. Religious nutters destroyed the School of Euclid and the Library of Alexandria. Here's hoping the books of Euclid will still be in use when all the religious books are forgotten.

    I as a single man paying just about the maximum in British taxes feel that the education budget on STEM subjects is achieving nothing and is, unfortunately, a total waste of MY money.

    However, I suspect it is a cunning plan by our invisible galactic overlords to prevent us from reaching a point where we might challenge them.

  35. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    I ask again: what the hell is happening??

    Appropriate question from someone using the username of Milton..

    Paradise isn't so much lost as misplaced behind the sofa.

  36. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    At the risk of being fair to the slithy gove

    The 'experts' he had enough of were economists working for the world bank and friends who claimed that the financial crisis wasn't the banks fault, that the government always needed to bail banks out and austerity was a good idea to cut deficits.

    A bit different from denying physics

  37. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Not quite - watch the first 1 minute 30 seconds at least.

    He then went on to claim 33+ million people in the UK suffer from the UK's membership of the EU, peddled nonsense about his father's fishing business, set up some strawman elite vs. the people bollocks, ignored Faisal saying he's blaming the EU for the UK's austerity politics, said something about Juncker's private jet, and then went on to make unfounded claims about what was on the side of the red bus.

  38. Alistair Dabbs

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    >> Michael Gove saying "we've had enough of experts"

    To be fair, he was specifically referring to political pollsters when he said this. For once in his miserable existence, he was right about something.

  39. David Nash Silver badge
    Boffin

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Dunning-Kruger.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    ". It's one thing for a bunch of religion-stoned goatshaggers to be hostile to science, but it is positively baffling to see the same thing in Britain, a home of the Enlightenment, and the US, [...]"

    In both countries religion is still touted as a major cultural force - especially by politicians. When people don't have a reasonable understanding of science and technology then the human mind accepts simple "magic" answers.

    The Enlightenment was at least two centuries ago. Yet it was something that my UK 1960s non-denominational 11+ Secondary Technical School never mentioned - while they rigidly enforced religious assemblies. As well as the intended target scientists and engineers - it even produced a smattering of clerics including a bishop.

    Recently a neighbour's son wanted to be an engineer. His devout Catholic mother stopped his transition to a non-denominational secondary school that specialised in science and engineering. Instead she insisted he went to the local RCC school - which only specialises in Arts subjects. Together with Sunday morning mass he is being moulded to have a core identity of that religion. Other Catholic neighbours are making sure their sons are also following that religious path at church and in an RCC primary school.

    Neighbours who are Jehovah's Witnesses are doing the same with their daughters.

    The CofE parish church funds evangelical missions into local non-denominational schools.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Vote for goats

    I protest!

    Just because you're an intellectual doesn't mean you can't enjoy a bit of goat-shagging - see Museum of Naples Secret Cabinet, etc etc.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    "Just like religion, it requires no real sacrifice apart from obedience, has easy answers to any problem, and has easily defined external evil things to blame."

    Hence why those with long memories - or are readers of history - can see the rise of potentially Fascist regimes like the 1930s.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Vote for goats

    "[...] see Museum of Naples Secret Cabinet, [...]"

    The unearthed sculpture was reserved for viewing by the "incorruptible" Victorian elite. No doubt in its original time it had a Pagan religious significance for the plebs as well.

    In the 1970s Mary Whitehouse and Lord Longford said that pr0n must be suppressed as it corrupts the lower classes. Implying that their elite can handle it - even if it supposedly disgusts them.

    In 1971 Lord Longford organised a crusadesurvey to go round various pr0n outlets in London and Copenhagen. A young Gyles Brandreth and Cliff Richard were taken along as chosen representatives of the swinging generation. Here is an excerpt from Gyles's diary of the tour.

  44. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    "In both countries religion is still touted as a major cultural force - especially by politicians."

    Not in my experience. The only part of the UK where politicians can safely espouse particular religious beliefs is Arlene's bit. Trying to defend a policy on religious grounds anywhere else in the UK results in a torrent of derisive abuse about "your sky fairy" followed by losing the argument.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    "The only part of the UK where politicians can safely espouse particular religious beliefs is Arlene's bit"

    While Arlene's lot as a group are extreme - many at Westminster are saying their religion is a major factor in how they vote.

    As a sample. Jacob Rees-Mogg and my Tory MP both apparently take the Vatican's whip in opposing various civil rights equality issues. Theresa May has made public her Methodist faith in influencing her policies. Tim Farron, ex-leader of the Liberal Party, espoused his Christian Evangelical views that are at odds with LGBTQ+ civil rights. Even David Cameron touted himself as following the Christian faith - even if reception in the Chilterns was a bit variable.

  46. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Anti-intellectualism has a long history. Just look at the story of the Garden of Eden. Or going back further, Prometheus. In a more modern context one could point to Frankenstein as a famous example.

    And real-life scientists through the ages - most famously Galileo - have also suffered persecution for daring to contradict the Establishment in their time.

    Perhaps what's more remarkable in post-war Blighty (as in Stalin's Soviet Union) is that "elite" has become a dirty word - among the very elites who govern and otherwise influence us. Though only when it suits them: somehow we didn't hear them sneering at the festival of the ultra-elite known as the Olympics the way they do about intellectual or artistic excellence.

  47. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Some of us -- or me, at least -- suspect Mrs May was imposed on us as Conservative leader by the religious mafia. Same for the earlier man, Idiot Duncan Smith.

  48. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    "Religious nutters destroyed the School of Euclid and the Library of Alexandria. Here's hoping the books of Euclid will still be in use when all the religious books are forgotten."

    Can someone remind me of how the surviving books from antiquity were preserved?

  49. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    "There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

    - Isaac Asimov

  50. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Re: Anti-intellectual?

    Largely by the Islamic empires translating the Greek originals into Arabic (which were then translated into Latin after the fall of Islamic Spain).

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018