mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Fable: The Man Who Did The World Some Good

There was once a Marquis who won the Nobel Prize.  Helped by his butler he built, at the age of 20, a device which could ring a bell by pushing a button on the other side of  a room without connecting wires.

When he showed the experiment to his father, his father was so impressed that he handed over his wallet to his son and told him to take all the money in it to buy materials for new experiments.

Later, wanting more funding, he wrote to the Ministry of Post and Telegraphs but never got a reply. The Minister had written “to the Longara” on the letter – the name of the lunatic asylum.

He founded a great and enduring company and his technology was credited with saving the survivors of the Titanic.

“Have I done the world good, or have I added a menace?” he asked towards the end of his life.

Moral: Technology is amoral

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4 Comments

  1. david manners
    April 21, 2014 00:24

    Oh did he, zeitghost? I didn’t know that. That takes some of the gilt off the gingerbread, but techies can be awfully naive.

  2. zeitghost
    April 20, 2014 16:05

    You left out the bit about him admiring dear old Musso though.

  3. david manners
    April 17, 2014 20:37

    Ah yes you’re right Mike. I wasn’t intending the story to be in chronological order just that he was a Marquis, did win the Nobel Prize and did invent radio but not in that order.

  4. Mike Bryant
    April 17, 2014 14:52

    I think you have the events in the wrong order – he invented radio, then won the Nobel prize but it was another 15 tears before he was ennobled.

    Fortunately we’re a lot quicker off the mark nowadays and Sir Andre Geim managed the whole lot in about 8 years.

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