Tesla's View of the Future
As stated on a previous occasion, when I was a student at college I conceived a flying machine quite unlike the present ones. The underlying principle was sound, but could not be carried into practice for want of a prime-mover of sufficiently great activity. In recent years, I have successfully solved this problem and am now planning aerial machines *devoid of sustaining planes, ailerons, propellers, and other external* attachments, which will be capable of immense speeds and are very likely to furnish powerful arguments for peace in the near future. Such a machine, sustained and propelled *entirely by reaction*, is shown on one of the pages of my lectures, and is supposed to be controlled either mechanically, or by wireless energy. By installing proper plants, it will be practicable to *project a missile of this kind into the air and drop it* almost on the very spot designated, which may be thousands of miles away.
But we are not going to stop at this. Telautomats will be
ultimately produced, capable of acting as if possessed of their own
intelligence, and their advent will create a revolution. As early as
1898, I proposed to representatives of a large manufacturing concern
the construction and public exhibition of an automobile carriage which,
left to itself, would perform a great variety of operations involving
something akin to judgment. But my proposal was deemed chimerical at
the time and nothing came of it.
At present, many of the ablest minds are trying to devise expedients for preventing a repetition of the awful conflict which is only theoretically ended and the duration and main issues of which I have correctly predicted in an article printed in the Sun of December 20, 1914. The proposed League is not a remedy but, on the contrary, in the opinion of a number of competent men, may bring about results just the opposite.It is particularly regrettable that a punitive policy was adopted in framing the terms of peace, because a few years hence, it will be possible for nations to fight without armies, ships or guns, by weapons far more terrible, to the destructive action and range of which there is virtually no limit. Any city, at a distance, whatsoever, from the enemy, can be destroyed by him and no power on earth can stop him from doing so. If we want to avert an impending calamity and a state of things which may transform the globe into an inferno, we should push the development of flying machines and wireless transmission of energy without an instant's delay and with all the power and resources of the nation.