1067: "Pressures"

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JimsMaher
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby JimsMaher » Mon Jun 11, 2012 3:10 pm UTC

Regarding Edison ...
It is common practice for businesses today to have employees in R&D sign over the potential of patent rights while working for them. The expectation of a company to own the ideas generated under its employ is not unreasonable, if you accept the premise of a company owning intellectual property.

For those who call Edison a thief ...
Of the 1084 utility patents in his name, how many did he "steal" exactly?

Regarding Tesla ...
He was the archetypical mad-scientist, and mad-scientists are cool. His part is well taught in public schools in the United States, and the war between him and Edison makes for interesting learning in both history and science classes.

AC/DC

Ranking the worth of scientists and inventors is akin to a popularity contest. Yes, institutional value can be quantified within any system, but let's be honest ... saying "Tesla's great and Edison's not", is subjectively judging their actions in life and not their technical contributions that have lasted well beyond their lifetimes.

They are both legends, and stories we tell our children.

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Tophe
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Tophe » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:27 pm UTC

drewder wrote:He claims tesla invented radar in 1917 and tried to sell it to the navy for use in WWI and was blocked by Edison, mentions that it would have been useful for submarine warfare and says that he hopes Edison gets hit by a Nazi torpedo. Problem is the Nazis didn't exist in 1917 and radar doesn't work under water.


Yeah, someone from Forbes wrote a SIWOTI article about the comic, including the underwater radar complaint, and the Oatmeal author addressed it.
http://theoatmeal.com/blog/tesla_response

The tl;dr is that he knew radar doesn't work underwater but he wanted to make the joke about Nazi bombs and Edison's grandkids and that his comic is hyperbole.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby blowfishhootie » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:30 pm UTC

perakojot wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:Well nothing I said put either one above the other. I think that's a pretty stupid question to ask, frankly. Who really cares? But congratulations, I guess. I'm content with thinking we're better off for having both of them in our history.

well, ask any scientist, it's pretty unanimous and obvious who is above the other, and i don't think it's a stupid question to ask, we should know our scientists and important contributions they made to the world.

and this guy (the Oatmeal) cares because he is sick of people praising Edison, while most of the (US) population is not even aware that Tesla existed.. and i guess this is his attempt at educating..


Your argument is stupid because in your two posts replying to me, you've done nothing but use Tesla as a way to take some stupid thinly veiled jab at the U.S.

Please substantiate your generalization that Americans don't know Tesla. I'm American, I know Tesla. I know many of my friends know Tesla. We learned about him in middle school and beyond. Please, give me some data here. EDIT: Let me put it another way: Give me some data to show that people in the U.S. know Tesla at a lesser rate than "the rest of the world" (your words).

"Know our scientists and important contributions they made to the world" and "Telsa is a genius and Edison is a fraud!" are not at all the same thing. You are, amazingly, trying to belittle Edison to make yourself feel smarter. Nothing else.
Last edited by blowfishhootie on Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:41 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Kristopher » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:37 pm UTC

Amusingly wrong criteria.

They should be bothering University drop outs with over 190 IQs.

Most Universities are very good at flunking out extremely gifted people.

wumpus
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby wumpus » Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:19 pm UTC

Are there any good biographies of Tesla out there? I recently saw a mention about someone reading a biography without checking the glowing reviews it had to see if any of them had the slightest understanding of the Maxwell Equations. A book taking Tesla's insane (literal) rantings at face value, writing them up and dropping on people who can't evaluate them does the issue little good.

Other notes: Edison started out at least with strong geek credentials. He was a legendary telegraph operator (see "The Victorian Internet for such importance and geektitude) and I'm pretty sure he needed to invent somethings (the phonograph?) by himself before he could finance his eventual lab. This puts Edison as the CEO in a similar position to Jobs and Gates, both of which needed the early skills to launch their careers.

Finally, back on topic. While Einstein might be the most famous patent clerk ever, I've heard that during the early Washington administration, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson reviewed a few of the early US patents. No idea how to confirm this, the patents themselves are lost to fire.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby keithl » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:04 pm UTC

jpk wrote:
keithl wrote:Ah, yes. The fellow who shared the patent with Leo Szilard for the absorption refrigerator. It operated at constant pressure. Herr Einstein also patented a hearing aid with Rudolf Goldschmidt, as well as a gyrocompass and a camera. I can imagine that would set a high standard for other inventive patent clerks.

Uh, did this famous inventor (also known as "The Edison of the Alps") ever do anything else?


He played the fiddle a little.


How could I forget? Einstein played violin for the Swiss pop-rock band Image, named after his initials and the nickname.

As for Mr. Tesla, they named the M.K.S. unit of magnetic flux density after him (one of my favorites!). The "einstein" is a mole of photons, rarely used. The "edison" is 100 amps, never used. When these characters disappear into ancient history, we will still be using the Tesla. Besides, the Tesla (which uses hundreds of amps) is also a spiffy and highly impractical electric car.

Now, can we get back to arguing about operating systems?

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby queueingtheory » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:47 pm UTC

keithl wrote:Besides, the Tesla (which uses hundreds of amps) is also a spiffy and highly impractical electric car.


Actually it's now the manufacturer of two spiffy cars, with the first couple of Model S having already been produced and in the possession of Steve Jurvetson and Elon Musk. June 22nd is the first delivery date to other rich people.

But, you do raise an important point. If things work out instead of people not knowing about Tesla, they'll be thinking he's the guy who makes cool electric cars and cheap space rockets.

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da Doctah
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby da Doctah » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

suso wrote:There is a saying "Even Philip Glass had to drive a cab". :shock:


I shudder to imagine what it would be like to hail Philip Glass's cab for a ride to the airport:

Cab stops, driver shuts off engine, gets out.
Driver opens trunk, places luggage inside, closes trunk, gestures for you to get into back seat.
Driver gets back behind wheel, starts engine, pulls forward three feet.
Cab stops, driver shuts off engine, gets out.
Driver opens trunk, removes luggage and places it on curb, drags you out of back seat.
Driver gets back behind wheel, starts engine, backs up three feet.
Repeat above sequence fifty-six times.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby endolith » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:11 pm UTC

Monika wrote:http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

Is this stuff true?


A: No.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby esjay » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:19 pm UTC

Is the "sound technician" a possible reference to Swizz Beatz (i.e. "Swizz [Beatz]... patent [leather]... Clerks [II]")?

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby endolith » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:34 pm UTC

wumpus wrote:Finally, back on topic. While Einstein might be the most famous patent clerk ever, I've heard that during the early Washington administration, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson reviewed a few of the early US patents. No idea how to confirm this, the patents themselves are lost to fire.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1790_Patent_Act

"The first board members included Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph."

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby blowfishhootie » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:38 pm UTC

endolith wrote:
Monika wrote:http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

Is this stuff true?


A: No.


This was already mentioned previously and the Oatmeal author provided a rebuttal (though I am inclined to agree with you and the Forbes columnist in general).

Anyway, I think it really should be plainly obvious that a huge majority of major scientific and technological achievements throughout the history of humanity have been developed by multiple people independently, collaboratively, in competition with one another, and so on. That's the problem with the Oatmeal comic: It literally tries to attribute almost every major electrical engineering and telecommunications development of the past 120 years to one guy, and that's just so obviously absurd no matter who the person in question is that I can't believe there's anyone who reads this and doesn't laugh it off the screen.

The problem is not anything with Edison or Tesla, but rather some peoples' sick sports fandom-like obsession with attributing particular feats to single people when reality is almost never that way.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby blowfishhootie » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

After reading the author's response to the Forbe's article, I want to point out one more laughable bit of nonsense. In the original comic, the author tries to marginalize Edison by saying he didn't invent the incandescent light bulb, but "just" made previous designs more practical and useful. When the Forbes columnist says the exact same thing regarding Tesla and alternating current, what does the author say in response? "It seems like you are just debating semantics here. Did he invent AC? No... Did he make the AC system practical enough to light up the whole world? Yes."

What...? Is inventing something the same as improving existing designs or isn't it?

This guy is just so full of it.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Whys » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:14 pm UTC

Oh okay, I finally get it! Ever since Einstein, everyone expects patent clerks to be another Einstein.

Sorry, I guess you have to be a patent clerk to get it right away.
Last edited by Whys on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

chenille
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby chenille » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:42 pm UTC

blowfishhootie wrote:This was already mentioned previously and the Oatmeal author provided a rebuttal (though I am inclined to agree with you and the Forbes columnist in general).

The Forbes columnist takes apart the exaggerated praise of Tesla, but he's really generous to Edison. I mean, complimenting his humanity for not working on weapons without mentioning the chair he had developed? Excusing the electrocution of cats and an elephant as anti-AC propaganda by the suggestion he might have really thought it was dangerous? Those are pretty thin apologies.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby ijuin » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:06 am UTC

Monika wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:I had no idea radar didn't work under water. What have I seen in movies and stuff tracking submarines then? Is that sonar? Is there an easy-to-explain description of the difference?

It's sonar. Sonar uses sound waves. Radar uses electro-magnetic waves.

As for why radar does not work under water, it is because the water absorbs the radio waves just like how the water in food absorbs the waves in a microwave oven. There's a reason why microwave ovens were once also known as "radar ranges", and in fact this water-heating effect was first recognized by radar technicians who would exploit it by placing their food and drinks near the microwave emitters to warm them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microwave_oven

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Ronfar » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:48 am UTC

Edison's greatest invention was the industrial research laboratory. I've made many jokes to the effect that the Singularity actually occurred in 1876, when Edison set up his facility in Menlo Park. Nothing has ever been the same since.
- Doug

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby pkcommando » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:21 am UTC

keithl wrote:
jpk wrote:
keithl wrote:Ah, yes. The fellow who shared the patent with Leo Szilard for the absorption refrigerator. It operated at constant pressure. Herr Einstein also patented a hearing aid with Rudolf Goldschmidt, as well as a gyrocompass and a camera. I can imagine that would set a high standard for other inventive patent clerks.

Uh, did this famous inventor (also known as "The Edison of the Alps") ever do anything else?


He played the fiddle a little.


How could I forget? Einstein played violin for the Swiss pop-rock band Image, named after his initials and the nickname.

As for Mr. Tesla, they named the M.K.S. unit of magnetic flux density after him (one of my favorites!). The "einstein" is a mole of photons, rarely used. The "edison" is 100 amps, never used. When these characters disappear into ancient history, we will still be using the Tesla. Besides, the Tesla (which uses hundreds of amps) is also a spiffy and highly impractical electric car.

Now, can we get back to arguing about operating systems?

And because of Tesla we also got awesome weapons in Command & Conquer. Never forget. :D

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Monika » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:25 am UTC

pkcommando wrote:And because of Tesla we also got awesome weapons in Command & Conquer. Never forget. :D

Finally someone mentions it! Mammoth tanks + tesla coils => always play for the Russians, not for the puny Allies! :D brrrrzzzzzzzzt!
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby eculc » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:00 pm UTC

Monika wrote:
pkcommando wrote:And because of Tesla we also got awesome weapons in Command & Conquer. Never forget. :D

Finally someone mentions it! Mammoth tanks + tesla coils => always play for the Russians, not for the puny Allies! :D brrrrzzzzzzzzt!


I was wondering how long it would be until someone mentioned this. I didn't want to be the one who looked like I misclicked on the comic threads subforum instead of games so...yeah.

also, russians FTW.

in other news, I had no idea until today that einstein was once a patent clerk. the more you know!
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby aejoubert » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

Title Text: Everyone's caught by surprise when a theory of quantum gravity is developed by a sound technician wearing patent leather shoes while editing Clerks II.

Ok, the patent leather shoes and Clerks II are obvious references, but is there some relationship between sound technicians and the Swiss that I don't know about?

(I don't know much about either sound technicians or the Swiss, so it wouldn't surprise me)

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Monika » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:12 pm UTC

I think sound technicians were picked just because they are one of the few groups/jobs that would edit Clerks II.
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:32 pm UTC

Kristopher wrote:They should be bothering University drop outs with over 190 IQs.

Most Universities are very good at flunking out extremely gifted people.
Care to provide a single example? I mean of course flunking, rather than dropping out, which among smart people is more common because they know they can make loads of money anyway than because they aren't able to succeed.
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Felstaff » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:25 pm UTC

Oh, why hello there.

Don't mind me.

I'm just destroying the thread from this point onwards.

Should I find any posts that are relevant to the actual comic (or just ones that have nothing to do with relativity, cartesian coordinates, or some Galileo guy)

Basically, I just spent 2½ goddamn hours weeding out any posts that aren't Stevecentric and to my dismay, the forum can't handle shifting 4,083 posts, rendering my efforts useless. So I just cut the topic from here onwards. Should I find the time, I'll handpick out any posts that are to do with the comic/non relativity-based, and restore to their former, if rather dubious, glory.

(As you can see, I'm re-adding non-relativity posts by author, so I've done the 'A's, the 'B's, and a few 'C's--and you can bet there were quite a few 'C's in this thread)
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby eran_rathan » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:57 pm UTC

*bows, grovelling, at the feet of the Mighty Felstaff, the Wielder of the Vorpal Modsword of Death Very small Particle of Death travelling at large relativistic speeds*
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Felstaff » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:59 pm UTC

steve waterman wrote:please take pity on me.

Image

Don't worry, your posts are still in one piece. Or, 1063 pieces to be more specific.
Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby addams » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:15 am UTC

What? No more poetry?

Oh, Dear; Someone compared time to a shadow.

The post decribed the shadow from the perspective of a blind person.

It was a darn good explaination. Good poetry, too.

Is it true? That is the funny part.

That Greek guy and his friend had a some math and a post.
Some tree fell in the woods.

Time is not always linear.

The question is not, Where are you from.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby addams » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:41 am UTC

When are we?
When am I?

This is the early 21st century. This is amazing. It is also the same old stuff.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby eran_rathan » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:22 pm UTC

Reading back through, and its like stumbling, drunk, into a half-way over Monty Python sketch involving lamb, limericks, and entirely silly random stuff like "I am now eating my shoe."

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Radical_Initiator » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:06 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:I understand you may not have seen me pinch together my thumb and forefinger ...


I was hoping you were going to end this sentence by informing us that all our heads had been crushed.
I looked out across the river today …

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Katsuray » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:37 pm UTC

In a blatant act of self-thread-reference, in the spirit of Halloween, I salute you ghost of Pressures past. You would have surpassed umwelt in views had your time not been cut short.

As you towered above other Individual XKCD Comic Thread discussions, I watched from your shadow.

May the memory of our clay-like presences--here today, to be washed away tomorrow--not be forgotten while we wade in the internetsweb.

And so, to further the dream of Pressures, here goes nothing:

ON TOPIC: I worry, occasionally, about the few occupational pressures that will become pre-occupational. What jobs might you fellows think cause suffering of strange pressures well before an individual has been admitted into the career in question?

The first careers that came to mind, for me, would be those that were political.

Edit: Phrasing.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby VectorZero » Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:58 am UTC

Doctors.

Both prior to med school and prior to specialising.

I imagine the same could be said of any profession with competitive entry.
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby mathmannix » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:00 pm UTC

[Okay! To try to reconstitute my post several weeks ago when I tried to get the thread back on topic...
Spoiler:
tongue fully in cheek of course!]


My take on this comic is thus:
It appears to me that it refers to the Kuhn Rikon company, which has been making swiss pressure cookers for nearly seventy years.

On the other hand, according to Wikipedia, the Swiss Army knife was patented on 12 June 1897, and this comic appeared one day before the 115th anniversary of this momentous occasion. (I think their spring-mechanism could be considered pressurized.) Coincidence???
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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Fri Nov 02, 2012 2:42 am UTC

Excellent! Now we have two threads for the relativity madness.

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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:09 pm UTC

FOR THOSE LOOKING FOR THE THREAD:

IT's gone over here (clicky!)


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Re: 1067: "Pressures"

Postby snowyowl » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:07 pm UTC

Pity that small subset of Swiss patent clerks who actually joined the profession because they want to develop groundbreaking thought experiments.
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