Tesla’s Despairing Life: How Open Source Could Have Saved the World, Earlier.
Nikola Tesla — the man who invented the 20th century, didn’t get much of a recognition until after death. Tesla was central to many inventions that have changed our lives as of today. You name it — electricity (AC to be particular), the TV remote, WiFi, the induction motor that brought magnetically-induced electricity — all of which we can’t imagine our lives without. He won against Thomas Edison in the “war of currents” as Edison’s DC needed to have electric substations installed every mile and required copper wires thicker than your arm for transmission. Tesla’s AC could be transmitted across hundreds of miles with the same amount of current. This made it suitable for transmitting electricity across a city from a single substation — the kind of arrangement you see even today.
Tesla’s life was chiefly mentioned in The Prestige, a 2006 movie by Christopher Nolan where a machine built by Nikola portrayed electric current as a major ingredient in the film’s defining trick.
There’s one more thing, now considered infamous, that Tesla was behind — the Wardenclyffe laboratory where he erected the “Tesla Tower” on receiving funds from J.P Morgan. Tesla’s vision behind this tower was to be able to use the tower to transmit signals and free, unlimited wireless electricity all over the world. If you can imagine, this is a revolutionary vision, and could have changed human life forever.
Morgan felt he couldn’t generate profit from his investment, when Tesla had to sell his assets to make up for dual foreclosures on Wardenclyffe.
The point — had Morgan not discontinued financial support for the Tower, Tesla might have reached very close towards providing free energy that too transmitted wirelessly to the entire world.
There could have been another scenario
Lack of funds are a grave problem to revolutionary ideas everywhere — clearly even today. We are not set out to solve that problem, because we simply can’t. There’s a brilliant alternative to such situations: Open Source. When an innovator or an inventor open sources his technology or idea, she opens it to capable people across the world who can readily contribute to her idea. In this, not only does the original innovator gets the required recognition, but the world also gets a complete technology that may be revolutionary enough to push the human race forward, unlike the Tesla Tower which just sounds revolutionary today, unable to impact the world in any substantial manner.
Let us take a look at leading technologies that were open sourced which went on to change the world:
- Linux — a family of free and open source software OSs.
- Android Open Source Project — the mobile OS that has over 70% of the smartphone market share.
- OpenChain — an open source DLT to issue and manage digital assets.
- Blockchain — an irrefutable public ledger technology.
- Arduino — an open source hardware project that manufactures single-board micro-controllers.
- Open Source Physics — open source code libraries that take care of a lot of heavy lifting for Physics.
- Firefox — an open source web browser with over 10% of market share.
- WordPress — a CMS with over 50% market share.
All of these technologies have mostly affected the world wide web in a revolutionary manner.
Had Open Source been a viable option during Tesla’s time, and if he would have open sourced his inventions, the world surely would have been a different place to live, today.
We, at Karachain, support Open Source with all our hearts. We are building revolutionary tech. We know that. But, we also know that such brilliant tech can be taken steps forward when fellow brilliant minds from across the world take development on such tech in their hands. That is why we are coming up with something we feel is an amazing step that we have decided to take — something that is going to put great tech with a greater approach in the hands of people like you and us — something called the Karachain Foundation.