Category: mechanistic theory of life

“Great strides have since been made in the art of anatomy, physiology and all branches of science,…

“Great strides have since been made in the art of anatomy, physiology and all branches of science, and the workings of the man-machine are now perfectly clear. Yet the very fewest among us are able to trace their actions to primary external causes. It is indispensable to the arguments I shall advance to keep in mind the main facts which I have myself established in years of close reasoning and observation and which may be summed up as follows:

  1. 1. 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.
  2. There is no memory or retentive faculty based on lasting impression. What we designate as memory is but increased responsiveness to repeated stimuli.
  3. It is not true, as Descartes taught, that the brain is an accumulator. There is no permanent record in the brain, there is no stored knowledge. Knowledge is something akin to an echo that needs a disturbance to be called into being.
  4. All knowledge or form conception is evoked through the medium of the eye, either in response to disturbances directly received on the retina or to their fainter secondary effects and reverberations. Other sense organs can only call forth feelings which have no reality of existence and of which no conception can be formed.
  5. Contrary to the most important tenet of Cartesian philosophy that the perceptions of the mind are illusionary, the eye transmits to it the true and accurate likeness of external things. This is because light propagates in straight lines and the image cast on the retina is an exact reproduction of the external form and one which, owing to the mechanism of the optic nerve, can not be distorted in the transmission to the brain. What is more, the process must be reversible, that in to say, a form brought to consciousness can, by reflex action, reproduce the original image on the retina just as an echo can reproduce the original disturbance If this view is borne out by experiment an immense revolution in all human relations and departments of activity will be the consequence.”

–Nikola Tesla

“How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines.” New York American, February 7, 1915

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“I gave a demonstration of one experiment, which I think is the…

“I gave a demonstration of one experiment, which I think is the most beautiful I have ever tried. I think if I live a long life and work all the time I shall never have a more beautiful experiment than that. I had a boat without crew or captain, which I controlled merely by the force of my intelligence. I would will ‘turn,’ and it would turn, ‘go to the right,’ and it would go to the right, ‘to the left,’ it would go to the left. The beautiful thing about it was that it seem to be instinct with life, and, as a dog obeys the commands of his master, so this machine obeyed mind. And yet, it was governed simply by the electrical waves striking upon a receiver. And so which any machine.

“Why I could make an automaton in the shape of a man that could walk, move, perform all the motions of a man, except wherein the fact of it not being an organic being would make a difference. All this theory is developed from my idea that the actions of all inanimate beings are governed by impressions from outside objects received upon the eye.

“My idea is that people are simply automata, governed by the transmission of circumstances surrounding them upon the eye. This is the greatest idea of the age. The relations of nations will be affected by it. It will revolutionize thought. It may take years, but it will gradually come about. Men of science find it difficult to accept this idea. They cannot comprehend it. It is stupendous, and yet it is very simple.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Nikola Tesla Experiments In The Mountains.” Mountain Sunshine, July-August, 1899.

Posted in ahead of his time, automata, automatons, demonstration, energy, engineering, experiment, history, humans, invention, mechanistic theory of life, nikola tesla, philosophy, power, remote control, robots, science, technology, wireless

“Three Famous Scientists’ Views On Thought Transmission.”…

“Three Famous Scientists’ Views On Thought Transmission.” Electrical Experimenter, May 1, 1919.

Posted in ahead of his time, anatomy, consciousness, external influences, free will, future, history, human being, life, mechanistic theory of life, nikola tesla, philosophy, science, technology, thought recorder, thoughts, universe

The conversation turned to the subject of the human brain. “We…

The conversation turned to the subject of the human brain.

We are all automatons,” he reflected, “obeying external influences. We are entirely under the control of agents that beat on our senses from all directions of the outside world. Being merely receivers from the outside, it is a very important question how good the receivers are – some are sensitive and receive accurately. Others are sluggish and their reception is blurred. The individual who is a better machine has so much greater chance of achieving success and happiness. An individual who is an offender of law is a machine in which one or another organ has been deranged, so that the responses are no longer accurate.

There is no chance in nature, although the modern theory of indeterminacy attempts to show scientifically that events are governed by chance. I positively deny that. The causes and effects, however complex, are intimately linked, and the result of all inferences must be inevitably fixed as by a mathematical formula.

I also absolutely deny the existence of individuality. It took me not less than twenty years to develop a faculty to trace every thought or act of mine to an external influence. We are just waves in time and space, changing continuously, and the illusion of individuality is produced through the concatenation of the rapidly succeeding phases of existence. What we define as likeness is merely the result of the symmetrical arrangement of molecules which compose our body.”

“How about the soul – the spirit?” he was asked.

Ah,” he exclaimed, “but there is no soul or spirit. These are merely expressions of the functions of the body. These life functions cease with death and so do soul and spirit.

What humanity needs is ideals. Idealism is the force that will free us from material fetters.”

–Nikola Tesla.

“Tesla Seeks to Send Power to Planets.” New York Times, July 11, 1931.

Posted in ahead is our time, ahead of his time, anatomy, brain, causation, cause and effect, consciousness, external influences, free will, history, humanity, idealism, individuality, life, mechanistic theory of life, nature, nikola tesla, philosophy, quantum physics, science, soul, spirit, universe

“There is no subject more captivating, more worthy of study, than nature. To understand this great…

“There is no subject more captivating, more worthy of study, than nature. To understand this great mechanism, to discover the forces which are active, and the laws which govern them, is the highest aim of the intellect of man.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Experiments With Alternating Currents of Very High Frequency and Their Application to Methods of Artificial Illumination.” A lecture delivered before the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, at Columbia College, N.Y., May 20, 1891.

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Tesla Philosophy

Tesla Philosophy

Posted in ahead of his time, automatons, determinism, external influences, free will, history, human beings, mechanistic theory of life, philosophy, science

“How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines.” “Accepting all this as…

“How Cosmic Forces Shape Our Destines.”

“Accepting all this as true let us consider some of the forces and influences which act on such a wonderfully complex automatic engine with organs inconceivably sensitive and delicate, as it is carried by the spinning terrestrial globe in lightning flight through space. For the sake of simplicity we may assume that the earth’s axis is perpendicular to the ecliptic and that the human automaton is at the equator. Let his weight be one hundred and sixty pounds then, at the rotational velocity of about 1,520 feet per second with which he is whirled around, the mechanical energy stored in his body will be nearly 5,780,000 foot pounds, which is about the energy of a hundred-pound cannon ball.

“This momentum is constant as well as upward centrifugal push, amounting to about fifty-five hundredth of a pound, and both will probably be without marked influence on his life functions. The sun, having a mass 332,000 times that of the earth, but being 23,000 times farther, will attract the automaton with a force of about one-tenth of one pound, alternately increasing and diminishing his normal weight by that amount.

“Though not conscious of these periodic changes, he is surely affected by them.

“The earth in its rotation around the sun carries him with the prodigious speed of nineteen miles per second and the mechanical energy imparted to him is over 25,160,000,000 foot pounds. The largest gun ever made in Germany hurls a projectile weighing one ton with a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second, the energy being 429,000,000 foot pounds. Hence the momentum of the automaton’s body is nearly sixty times greater. It would be sufficient to develop 762,400 horse-power for one minute, and if the motion were suddenly arrested the body would be instantly exploded with a force sufficient to carry a projectile weighing over sixty tons to a distance of twenty-eight miles.

“This enormous energy is, however, not constant, but varies with the position of the automaton in relation to the sun. The circumference of the earth has a speed of 1,520 feet per second, which is either added to or subtracted from the translatory velocity of nineteen miles through space. Owing to this the energy will vary from twelve to twelve hours by an amount approximately equal to 1,533,000,000 foot pounds, which means that energy streams in some unknown way into and out of the body of the automaton at the rate of about sixty-four horse-power.

“But this is not all. The whole`solar system is urged towards the remote constellation Hercules at a speed which some estimate at some twenty miles per second and owing to this there should be similar annual changes in the flux of energy, which may reach the appalling figure of over one hundred billion foot pounds. All these varying and purely mechanical effects are rendered more complex through the inclination of the orbital planes and many other permanent or casual mass actions.

“This automaton, is, however subjected to other forces and influences. His body is at the electric potential of two billion volts, which fluctuates violently and incessantly. The whole earth is alive with electrical vibrations in which he takes part. The atmosphere crushes him with a pressure of from sixteen to twenty tons, according, to barometric condition. He receives the energy of the sun’s rays in varying intervals at a mean rate of about forty foot pounds per second, and is subjected to periodic bombardment of the sun’s particles, which pass through his body as if it were tissue paper. The air is rent with sounds which beat on his eardrums, and he is shaken by the unceasing tremors of the earth’s crust. He is exposed to great temperature changes, to rain and wind.

“What wonder then that in such a terrible turmoil, in which cast iron existence would seem impossible, this delicate human engine should act in an exceptional manner? If all automata were in every respect alike they would react in exactly the same way, but this is not the case. There is concordance in response to those disturbances only which are most frequently repeated, not to all. It is quite easy to provide two electrical systems which, when subjected to the same influence, will behave in just the opposite way.

“So also two human beings, and what is true of individuals also holds good for their large aggregations. We all sleep periodically. This is not an indispensable physiological necessity any more than stoppage at intervals is a requirement for an engine. It is merely a condition gradually imposed upon us by the diurnal revolution of the globe, and this is one of the many evidences of the truth of the mechanistic theory. We note a rhythm or ebb and tide, in ideas and opinions, in financial and political movements, in every department of our intellectual activity.

“It only shows that in all this a physical system of mass inertia is involved which affords a further striking proof. If we accept the theory as a fundamental truth and, furthermore, extend the limits of our sense perceptions beyond those within which we become conscious of the external impressions, then all the states in human life, however unusual, can be plausibly explained.”

–Nikola Tesla

New York American, February 7, 1915.

Posted in ahead of his time, ahead of our time, automatons, causation, cause and effect, determinism, external influences, free will, history, human being, mechanistic theory of life, nikola tesla, philosophy, physics, science

The Mechanistic Theory of Life

The Mechanistic Theory of Life

Posted in automata, causation, determinism, external influences, free will, history, human beings, mechanistic theory of life, nikola tesla, philosophy, quotes, science

The Mechanistic Theory of Life

The Mechanistic Theory of Life

Posted in ahead of his time, automatons, determinism, external influences, free will, history, human beings, mechanistic theory of life, nikola tesla, philosophy, quotes, science

“The ambient medium is alive with movement and energy, in a state of unceasing agitation which is…

“The ambient medium is alive with movement and energy, in a state of unceasing agitation which is beyond comprehension. Strangely enough, to most of this terrible turmoil the human machine is insensible. The automaton does not feel the weight of the atmosphere crushing him with a force of 16 tons. He is unaffected by the shower of particles shooting through his body of cloud and the hurricane of finer substance rushing through him with the speed of light. He is unconscious that he is being whisked through space at the fearful rate of 70,000 miles an hour. But when gentle waves of light or sound strike him his eye and ear respond, his resonant nerve fibres transmit the vibrations and his muscles contract and relax. Thus, like a float on a turbulent sea, swayed by external influences, he moves and acts. The average person is not aware of this constant dependence on his environment; but a trained observer has no difficulty in locating the primary disturbance which prompts him into action, and continued exercise soon satisfies him that virtually all of his purely mechanical motions are caused by visual impressions, directly or indirectly received.”

–Nikola Tesla

“Tesla’s Tidal Wave to Make War Impossible.” New York World, April 21, 1907.

Posted in ahead of his time, automatons, external influences, free will, history, humans, mechanistic theory of life, nikola tesla, philosophy, physics, quotes, science