Our imaginations are an incredibly powerful thing. Humans have proven throughout history how powerful they are. It has been our imaginations that have taken us from one technological leap to the next. From the dawn of civilization and the invention of agriculture to the social networks of today, it has been our imaginations that have allowed us to get where we are.
Nikola Tesla is a great example of the power of imagination. With over 700 patents registered to him worldwide, it is hard to argue his genius and outstanding imagination. A unique thing about Tesla was how his imagination worked. Magician Marco Tempest explains this to us in his TED presentation The Electric Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla.
Merriam-Webster defines imagination as the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses or never before wholly perceived in reality. However, Tesla was able to actually see the objects in his mind. He was able to use a physical sense, his vision, to interact with his imaginations. Tempest illustrates how Tesla could, in essence, invent, modify and test his inventions before physically constructing them.
Tesla had a unique ability (or possibly a mental illness), but technology has now made it possible for the masses to experience this as well. Powerful computer processors and software have now enabled us to construct our imaginings virtually. We can design, modify, test and re-test nearly anything we can imagine before we build it. And what’s more, with the connectivity of the internet and cyberspace, we can share these ideas and imaginations with others. Crowd-sourcing as it has been known to be called has given us the opportunity to build on the imaginations of others to invent things that one person’s imagination might not ever conceive.
It’s hard to imagine where that will take us, but it will be fun to find out.
“The Electric Rise and Fall of Nikola Tesla.” Marco Tempest:. N.p., n.d. Web.