It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.
With ideas it is like with dizzy heights you climb: At first they cause you discomfort and you are anxious to get down, distrustful of your own powers; but soon the remoteness of the turmoil of life and the inspiring influence of the altitude calm your blood; your step gets firm and sure and you begin to look - for dizzier heights.
The human being is a self-propelled automaton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea.
I myself eschew all stimulants. I also practically abstain from meat.
Modern science says: 'The sun is the past, the earth is the present, the moon is the future.' From an incandescent mass we have originated, and into a frozen mass we shall turn. Merciless is the law of nature, and rapidly and irresistibly we are drawn to our doom.
In a time not distant, it will be possible to flash any image formed in thought on a screen and render it visible at any place desired. The perfection of this means of reading thought will create a revolution for the better in all our social relations.
We have soon to have everywhere smoke annihilators, dust absorbers, ozonizers, sterilizers of water, air, food and clothing, and accident preventers on streets, elevated roads and in subways. It will become next to impossible to contract disease germs or get hurt in the city, and country folk will got to town to rest and get well.
I do not think you can name many great inventions that have been made by married men.
The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere 'stick' in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis.
I have already demonstrated, by crucial tests, the practicability of signaling by my system from one to any other point of the globe, no matter how remote, and I shall soon convert the disbelievers.
The history of science shows that theories are perishable. With every new truth that is revealed we get a better understanding of Nature and our conceptions and views are modified.
The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man's new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. As a result, we continue to keep alive and to breed the unfit.
Electrical science has revealed to us the true nature of light, has provided us with innumerable appliances and instruments of precision, and has thereby vastly added to the exactness of our knowledge.
The universal utilization of water power and its long-distance transmission will supply every household with cheap power and will dispense with the necessity of burning fuel. The struggle for existence being lessened, there should be development along ideal rather than material lines.
There is no conflict between the ideal of religion and the ideal of science, but science is opposed to theological dogmas because science is founded on fact. To me, the universe is simply a great machine which never came into being and never will end. The human being is no exception to the natural order. Man, like the universe, is a machine.
The Secretary of Hygiene or Physical Culture will be far more important in the cabinet of the President of the United States who holds office in the year 2035 than the Secretary of War.
The earth is bountiful, and where her bounty fails, nitrogen drawn from the air will refertilize her womb. I developed a process for this purpose in 1900. It was perfected fourteen years later under the stress of war by German chemists.
As in nature, all is ebb and tide, all is wave motion, so it seems that in all branches of industry, alternating currents - electric wave motion - will have the sway.
I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.
From my childhood I had been intended for the clergy. This prospect hung like a dark cloud on my mind.
Archimedes was my ideal. I admired the works of artists, but to my mind, they were only shadows and semblances. The inventor, I thought, gives to the world creations which are palpable, which live and work.
In the twenty-first century, the robot will take the place which slave labor occupied in ancient civilization.
Of the various branches of electrical investigation, perhaps the most interesting and immediately the most promising is that dealing with alternating currents.
The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter - for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way.
Electrical science has disclosed to us the more intimate relation existing between widely different forces and phenomena and has thus led us to a more complete comprehension of Nature and its many manifestations to our senses.
Though we may never be able to comprehend human life, we know certainly that it is a movement, of whatever nature it be. The existence of movement unavoidably implies a body which is being moved and a force which is moving it. Hence, wherever there is life, there is a mass moved by a force. All mass possesses inertia; all force tends to persist.
I constructed a laboratory in the neighborhood of Pike's Peak. The conditions in the pure air of the Colorado Mountains proved extremely favorable for my experiments, and the results were most gratifying to me.
Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.
The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane.
By an irony of fate, my first employment was as a draughtsman. I hated drawing; it was for me the very worst of annoyances. Fortunately, it was not long before I secured the position I sought, that of chief electrician to the telephone company.