This poster came across on Twitter – and surprise – the quote is authentic!
Surprisingly (for social media memes!) Tesla really did say this in an interview published in Colliers on January 30th, 1926.
This forecast for the future is intriguing and certainly his brilliance comes through.
But … the same interview had a number of other predictions – some correct and some not so correct:
- All railroads will be electric
- Wireless energy will be used to power flying machines carrying no fuel
- “static and all forms of interference will be eliminated, so that innumerable transmitters and receivers may be operated without interference.” (digital and CDMA basically does this)
- Cities will have parking towers (parking garages?)
- geothermal heat sources will be tapped for energy (true)
- Equality of the sexes will be achieved (more true than not, especially compared to 1926)
- “the average woman will be as well educated as the average man, and then better educated, for the dormant faculties of her brain will be stimulated to an activity that will be all the more intense and powerful because of centuries of repose” (In the U.S. women significantly outnumber mean in college attendance.)
- “marriage and motherhood will become abhorrent”
- He advocated eugenics (as did the Nazis)
- He believed in the “perfection of communism, of socialized cooperative life wherein all things, including the young, are the property and concern of all”
Tesla invented our modern day alternating current electrical system (versus the competing direct current system). He sold his patents to Westinghouse. More about that here.
Tesla, obviously, had many brilliant ideas – but he also promoted ideas that today we find abhorrent, such as eugenics, or failed, such as communism, which has declined from 24 countries to five.
By cherry picking the quotes – and censoring the quotes that make Tesla look out of step – the poster presents a white-washed view of Tesla. This is a typical approach in social media propaganda posters – simplify, leave out details, leave out conflicting information – and let the “All you see is all there is” phenomena take hold in the target’s brain.
For whatever reasons, myths about Tesla are popular on social media. I do not know why.