Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Some Creation of the Brain"

This poem is spillover from the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] mama_kestrel, [personal profile] chanter1944, and rix_scaedu. It also fills the "warning" square in my 8-2-19 card for the End of Summer Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth and [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

"Some Creation of the Brain"

[Monday, December 5, 1938]

It was 2 AM when Nikola Tesla
finished his current experiment and
went to browse his correspondences,
there being no point in lying down
when he was not the least bit sleepy.

The newspaper contained headlines
about yet another battle between
Japan and China, which caused
Nikola to pause and write a letter
to his representatives warning
them of the dire consequences
if the conflict should spread --
as it was no doubt bound to do.

A package in the post proved
to contain a sample of instant coffee
that a friend at Nestle had sent him.

The company had been puttering around
with that project for at least eight years
that Nikola knew of, and it had probably
been on and off someone's desk for
a great deal longer than that.

He abandoned his mail to go
make a cup, and soon determined
that it was nowhere near as good as
properly brewed coffee, but that coffee now
was infinitely preferable to coffee later
regardless of their respective qualities.

"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," Nikola said.

Cup in hand, he returned to his desk
where he found a long letter from
Earl Silas Tupper, who had recently left
the Du Pont company to start his own.

Tupper had figured out how to purify
polyethylene slag, a waste product from
oil refining, into a high-quality plastic that
he intended to turn into kitchenware. Most
of the letter concerned the many virtues
and uses of the resulting material.

Nikola thought about it for a moment,
then penned a reply. What will you do
if it becomes very popular? Plastic does not
degrade as wood or paper does, nor can it
be remade in the manner of glass or metal.
This might be a good thing for kitchens,
but perhaps not so good for the world

He doubted that Tupper would heed
his warning -- people almost never did --
but at least Nikola had pointed it out.

In the next letter, Konrad Zuse bragged of
creating a test model for a computer that
was not a clever girl but actually a machine.
He called it the Z1, and the Z2 was already
in production by way of improvement.

Nikola looked at Konrad's description
of what it could do -- and how fast --
and wished one would fit on his desk.

He quite liked the idea of a world
with computing machines available,
and hoped they would catch on.

Nikola went back to the newspaper,
where he found an article about
the work of Dr. Wilhelm Reich
regarding orgone energy.

It was likely the same thing
as the zero-point energy that
Nikola had explored himself,
with such frustrating results,
and he wished Dr. Reich
a more successful venture.

It was not, as some people
thought, any sort of magic
like what the faith-healers
purveyed, although Nikola had
seen some very interesting effects
from electromagnetic fields in
various medical applications.

He had quite enjoyed reading
Charles Fort's Wild Talents,
but took exception to the idea of
"...a performance that may some day
be considered understandable, but that,
in these primitive times, so transcends
what is said to be the known that
it is what I mean by magic."

Science was science
and magic was bunk
and that was that.

Then again, often
it all came down to
interpretations of self
and whether one identified
as a scientist or a magician.

Nikola of all people understood
that what people think is going on,
and what is actually going on,
could be very different things.

That gave him a whole new idea
about his experiment, and he
abandoned his desk to pursue it,
papers fluttering to the floor behind him.

* * *


“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.”
Nikola Tesla

In Terramagne, Nikola Tesla was a Super-Intellect and Super-Gizmologist. He had eidetic memory and reduced need for sleep. He made many great inventions, of which only some could be replicated by other people. Some performed as advertised when he made and operated them, but nobody else could ever get them to work, so people thought they were fake. He had functional migraines that provided solutions to problems in a blinding flash of light. This has caused some scientists to hypothesize that migraine disorder could actually be a superdisempower or malformed superpower, which tends to outrage migraine sufferers.

World War II technically lasted from 1939 to 1945, although it depends how you count. Some of the participants and conflicts were aflame long before then in somewhat separate conflicts that later merged.

1938 Jul 24, Instant coffee was invented. Nestle came up with the first instant coffee after 8 years of experiments.
(SFEC, 2/7/99, Z1 p.8)(MC, 7/24/02)

1938 Massachusetts inventor Earl Silas Tupper left the Du Pont company in 1938 to form the Tupper Plastics Company. The material called "Poly-T" used to create Tupperware was developed from a black, putrid, rock-hard oil refining waste product called polyethylene slag. He refined and purified the slag into a higher quality plastic. He then turned his attention to replacing the widely used glass and metal food containers with his waterproof and airtight seal introduced in 1947.
(HNQ, 2/13/99)

1938 Konrad Zuse (1910-1995), a German inventor, created a test model for the first functioning, freely programmable, fully automatic computer, the Z1. The Z2, a functioning electromechanical computer was completed in 1940. The Z3, freely programmable with binary arithmetic, was operational in 1941. He wrote an autobiography: "The Computer - My Life."
(Wired, 1/97, p.36)

The first computers were mostly women. So much for the idea that women aren't good at math. Back then it was considered secretarial work and men couldn't be arsed to do it.

Wild Talents, published in 1932, is the fourth and final non-fiction book by the author Charles Fort, known for his writing on the paranormal.
Like Fort's previous works, this book deals largely with a number of anomalous phenomena, as well as his ongoing attack on current scientific theories. The book deals for the most part with trying to fit the various phenomena described into Fort's new theory of psychic and mental power – the "Wild Talents" of the title – that are detailed below

Earlier examples of this sentiment may be found in Wild Talents (1932) by Charles Fort: "...a performance that may some day be considered understandable, but that, in these primitive times, so transcends what is said to be the known that it is what I mean by magic,"

JUL 14
Dr. Wilhelm Reich MD And Nicolas Tesla Discovered Positive Life Force (Inner Light) Energy Known As Orgone Energy, Chi, Ki, Free Energy, Zero Point Energy - Compared To Anti Life Force Death Energy Known As DOR, Nuclear Heavy Metal Radioactive Poisons Destroying Humanity

The "Bee Machine", or Electrotherapy Teslatron
This is one of the rare places where I've seen mention of entropy's countervailing force.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, history, poem, poetry, reading, science, weblit, writing
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