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The Almighty Buck Science

$900,000 Raised For Buying Tesla's Lab 123

icebraining writes "As Slashdot reported earlier, The Oatmeal's Matthew Inman launched a funding campaign to help the Tesla Science Center, a 503(c) non-profit, buy the place of Tesla's final laboratory, the Wardenclyffe Tower in Shoreham, New York. Well, thanks to 21511 contributors, it has already raised $912,080, well above the original $850,000 goal. But it's not too late to help: any money raised above the goal will be used by the organization to build a museum dedicated to Tesla."
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$900,000 Raised For Buying Tesla's Lab

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  • by belgianguy ( 1954708 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:40PM (#41082669)
    While I'm aware that'll probably be the last of their worries, it would complete the location and make it more 'monumental'.
  • Museum? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tanujt ( 1909206 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:44PM (#41082727)
    Why not use the extra money to fund some actual research in electrical engineering? I don't think there's a better way to "honor the memory" of a great scientist/engineer.
  • Re:Museum? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:49PM (#41082795)

    I'd rather see them make a museum that's actually awesome. Not just "this is what he did and how he did it". I want Tesla coil demonstrations (the kind he used to do with electricity arcing all around the room). I want "build you own X" areas for kids to build cool things. I want smart, exciting people giving smart, exciting presentations about what engineering and technology makes possible. In short, I want a museum that will inspire some small number of kids to follow in Tesla's footsteps.

  • Re:Museum? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fiordhraoi ( 1097731 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:52PM (#41082839)
    Or you make a museum showcasing Tesla and his dedication, make it fun and interesting, and you snag the interest of hundreds of young kids every year, of whom dozens may become researchers themselves.

    As important as dollars are to research, so are minds.

  • Re:Museum? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cachimaster ( 127194 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @12:56PM (#41082911)

    Research in electrical engineering in 2050 will be done by kids visiting this museum now and realising how awesome it is.

  • It's important. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:09PM (#41083071) Journal

    In my view, building a museum to Tesla is important, so the actual genius, vision and true importance for humankind (Tesla) is highlighted, versus the treachery and deviousness that gets you riches (Edison).

    The way I see it, this museum is not only going to educate people about what Tesla did for us all, how he enabled the modern society of the West, how he made life easier, what kind of thinker and innovator he was. No, for me this museum will also be a big "Fuck you Edison".

  • by belgianguy ( 1954708 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:12PM (#41083119)
    Oh I know, there's probably a whole slew of objections against reinstating the tower with all its original functionality. Not being able to meter it would be one of the least worrisome IMO. While it would be uber-cool, it's probably not possible as the location itself is turning into a museum, not a 'bleeding-edge' lab and it therefore can't be doing dangerous experiments. Not to speak of building code violations, possible negative effects on nearby (modern) electric equipment, additional effects on local fauna/flora etc.

    I'd be very happy already if they could rebuild the tower in looks only, as it looks so otherworldly and adds some uniqueness to the location. Furthermore it'd be visible from pretty far away, giving Tesla that visibility and validation that he had to miss out on for so long.
  • by frosty_tsm ( 933163 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:47PM (#41083653)
    Right, because government never spent money on a museum before.

    Government does spend money on efforts to increase tourism, which brings money to the local economy. A Tesla museum in theory would bring more visitors to spend money (if nothing else, on food, gas, hotel, shopping, etc). There's nothing new here. Requiring the $850k to be raised is a test to confirm this is something people would want to come see.
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @01:53PM (#41083721) Homepage

    That's simply the cult of Tesla. He was very bright and had a lot of good ideas but to say things like "Modern physics has nothing on Nikola Tesla" or "Tesla grokked physics like no one else before or (perhaps) since" simply isn't accurate. If we want to go with the celebrity route, Feynman would be the obvious counterexample to the second statement, especially since Tesla did absolutely no work in many fields of physics at all. But more to the point, Tesla couldn't have grokked things that well since the knowledge simply wasn't there, and because it is very hard for a single human to do everything. Thus for example Tesla never worked with superconductors (although they were known in his lifetime). Similarly, Tesla had as far as we can tell, no overarching ideas about theory that were at all helpful.

    And of course, Tesla came out against special and general relativity. While it is conceivable that GR might have issues, SR is pretty damn well one of the best established theories there is. Tesla was just wrong.

    Tesla was a man. A brilliant man, but a nevertheless, a man and not a god.

  • by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Wednesday August 22, 2012 @03:28PM (#41085193)
    And it was built on public land and has been maintained and renovated with public money. The really big difference between 1886 and today is that corporations and their executives felt an obligation to society (even the robber barons) so actually contributed to the effort. Good luck financing anything like that today, as modern business ethics classes teach that if it doesn't increase shareholder value then the executive class is pretty much forbidden to do it. This is what we get for letting a bunch of MBAs and lawyers who have never done an honest day's work run our society.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?