Twin brothers out of Venice, California have received acclaim for their surprisingly inspirational Tesla commercial from the company’s founder, Elon Musk, who says he “loves it.”
And it’s worth love. It’s a portrait of a Tesla future, replete with visual metaphors — a Tesla Model S literally, in every sense of the word, enlightens a godforsaken oil field, and the film jumps from black and white to full color — and a mashed-up, abridged, and slightly edited combination of excerpts from Nikola Tesla speeches and writings.
The speech is, therefore, not Nikola Tesla himself speaking, but it is no less apt, and, when paired with music that gradually builds in intensity and sentiment, almost actually makes you feel something. In the way that music paired with moving imagery tends to do.
Some of the excerpts seem like they could be spurious, and, again, they’re mashed up and not original, but here’s a rundown of at least most of the sources for the quotes:
Purportedly from Tesla’s Problem of Increasing Human Energy, 1900:
Humanity is not yet sufficiently advanced to be willingly led by the discoverer’s keen searching sense. But who knows? Perhaps it is better in this present world of ours that a revolutionary idea or invention instead of being helped and patted, be hampered and ill-treated in its adolescence — by want of means, by selfish interest, pedantry, stupidity and ignorance; that it be attacked and stifled; that it pass through bitter trials and tribulations, through the strife of commercial existence. So do we get our light. So all that was great in the past was ridiculed, condemned, combatted, suppressed — only to emerge all the more powerfully, all the more triumphantly from the struggle.
From “Radio Power Will Revolutionize the World,” 1934:
Today I repeat again what I said to contemporary scientists of those earlier pioneering days:
The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter — for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. He lives and labors and hopes.
The time will be when this will be accomplished, and the time has come when one may utter such words before an enlightened audience without being considered a visionary. We are whirling through endless space with an inconceivable speed, all around us everything is spinning, everything is moving, everywhere is energy.