Tesla was Right!

Wireless chargers -- TESLA was right!

is possible to broadcast electrical power wirelessly.

Hmm...What else was he right about? How many other technologies have not been deployed, simply because they wouldn’t be in the short-term best interests of the powers that be?
WIMAX comes to mind. The technology has existed for nearly ten years. But they can't figure a way to fit it into the telecom model -- or rather, to prevent it from trashing the telecom model and establishing the possibility of wireless peer to peer networking.

Somebody should write a book about the ways technology has been channeled by the pursuit of profits. It could begin with the dumping of the
Minneapolis streetcars into Lake Minnetonka.

A lot of reading to keep track of...

So I’ve been thinking. Being an old guy, I hate wasting time, doing things that don’t support my own agenda. I’ve already had a career full of doing that. This one’s for me. So I’m thinking about how to make this field reading as useful as possible for my program, which is establishing rural history as a field that addresses the issues I think are central to it. The best way to do this is probably to write a textbook that hits all these areas. I got the idea from Clark and Kulikoff, I suppose. The comprehensive exam should be a relatively minor thing, if I can integrate everything I read in the next year into a book...

To keep track of what I’ve read, what I need to read, and how these things are all connected, I’m using a single Tinderbox map as a master list. I was making individual maps of the lineages of particular books, which I still think is interesting. But I think I need to be able to see the whole thing at once. After a first pass, it looks like this (click on it to see a big view):

The horizontal color bars are thematic: green is agriculture, red is the capitalist transition, tan is business history, etc. The vertical bars are decades. There’s a historiographical (what stories did historians prefer?) element to this as well as a historical (what happened?) element. Zooming in, I can see the books (blue) and articles (gray) that I’ve read (light) and still need to read (dark). The links are mostly just citations at this point. I got most of these titles by mining the bibliographies of about a dozen core books. As I find more titles, I can add them; and I can always delete ones that turn out to be less useful than I’d hoped. After time, the links will be more about influence, agreement, argument, themes, etc.

The point of all this is to help me understand the history and the historiography, and to form an outline from which I can easily assemble arguments and narrative. Each entry, after I read the book, has my notes and responses, as well as the link information describing where the book or article fits into the big picture. In the next week or so, I’m going to be finished reading about the “market revolution.” At that point, I’ll be able to test out the system, and see if I can assemble a “chapter” from these notes and this map.