Why The Internet Might Be Wrong About Nikola Tesla

There are two sides to every story. Inventor, pioneer and Internet darling Nikola Tesla is no different.

The Serbian-American lived from 1856 to 1943 and is widely regarded as a thinker who was far ahead of his time. Between creating the blueprint for or outright inventing things such as the remote control, the radio and X-rays, Tesla has grown in popularity since his death as these innovations have been integrated into modern life.

There's no place where Tesla's posthumous fame is more apparent than the Internet, where insanely viral comics and admiration for his contributions to humanity run unabated. His feud with Thomas Edison has also been boiled down to a black-and-white battle: Edison as the unruly capitalist and Tesla as a selfless creator for the people.

But a video this week by Ideas Channel over at PBS raises an important question in light of Tesla's legend online: Were there two Nikola Teslas? That is, the one that actually existed and one that's been molded from his most ideal characteristics online? The commentary eventually turns to our selective memory of history and how we may merely internalize and remember what we want to about certain events or people as opposed to the whole truth.

What do you think of the video's argument? Let us know in the comments.



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