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War 3 ake me lea n se a 11 IU u I "The Explosion of Mines, Torpedoes, Mortars and Guns Develops Reactive Forces on the Ground Which Are Measured in Thousands of Tons and Make Themselves Felt all Over the Glohe. If the Concussions Happen to Be Properly Timed Their Combined Action Could Start Tectonic Adjustments in Any Part of the Earth and the Italian Calamity May Thus Have Been the Result of Explosions hi France," Mr. Testa Declares. By Mr. NiKola Tesla The Distinguished Scientist, Electrical Expert and Inventor. EVERT living being Is an engine geared to the wheelwork of the universe. Though seemingly affected only by its Immediate surrounding, the sphere of external inlluenco extends to Infinite distance. There 13 no con Btellatlon or nebula, no sun or planet. In all the depths of limitless space, no passing wan derer of the starry heavens, that does not exercise some control over Its destiny not in the vague and delusive senso of astrology, but in the rigid and positive meaning of physical science. More than this can be said. There is no thing endowed with life from man, who is en slaving the elements, to the numblest creature in all this world that doe3 not sway it in turn. Whenever action is born from force, inough it be infinitesimal, the cosmic balance is upset and universal motion results. Herbert Spencer has Interpreted life as a continuous adjustment to the environment, a definition of this inconceivably complex mani festation quite in accord with advanced scien tific thought, but, perhaps,, not broad enough to express our present views. With each step forward in the investigation of its laws and mysteries our conceptions of nature and its phases have been gaining in depth and breadth. In the early stages of intellectual develop ment man was conscious of but a small part of the macrocosm. lis knew nothing of the wonders of tT.e microscopic world, of the mole cules composing it, of the atoms making up the molecules and of the dwindllngly small world of electrons within the atoms. To him life was synonymous with voluntary motion and action. A plant did not suggest to him what it does to us that it lives and feels, fights for its existence, that It suffers and enjoys. Net only have we found this to be true, but we havo ascertained that even matter called inor ganic, believed to be dead, responds to Irritants and gives unmistakable evidence of the pres ence of a living principle within. Thus, everything that exists, organic or In organic, animated or inert, is susceptible to stimulus from the outside. There is no gap between, no break of continuity, no special and distinguishing vital agent The same law gov erns all matter, all the universe is alive. The momentous question of Spencer, "What is it that causes inorganic matter to run into organic forms?" ha3 been answered. It Is the sun's heat and light. Wherever they are there is life. Only In the boundless wastes of interstellar space, in the eternal darkness and cold, Is animation suspended, and, possibly, at the temperature of absolute zero all matter may die. Man as a Machine. This realistic aspect of the perceptible uni verse, as a clockwork wound up and running down, dispensing with the necessity of a hyper mechanical vital rrinclple, need not be in dis cord with our religious and artistic aspirations those undeflnable and beautiful efforts through which the human mind endeavors to free Itself from material bonds. On the con trary, the better understanding of nature, the consciousness that our knowledge is true, can only be all the more elevating and inspiring. It was Descartes, the great French philoso pher, who, in the seventeenth century, laid the first foundation to the mechanistic theory of life, not a little assisted by Harvey's epochal discovery of blood circulation. He held that animals were simply automata without con sciousness and recognized that man, though possessed of a higher and distinctive quality, is incapable of action other than those char acteristic of a machine. He also made the first attempt to explain the physical mechan ism of memory. Hut in his time many func tions of the human body were not as ye: under stood, and in this respect some of his assump tions were erroneous. Great strides havo since been made la the art of anatomy, physiology and all branches of science, and the workings of the man-machine are now perfectly clear. Yet the very fewest among us are able to trace their actions to primary external causes. It is indispensable to the arguments I shall advance to keep in mind the main facts which I have myself es tablished in years of close reasoning and ob servation and whicn may be summed up as follows: 1. The human being is a self-propelled autom aton entirely under the control of external influences. Willful and predetermined though they appear, his actions are governed not from within, but from without. He is like a float tossed about by the waves of a turbulent sea. 2. There is no memory or retentive faculty based on lasting impression. What we desig nate as memory is but increased responsive ness to repeated stimuli. 3. It Is not true, as Descartes taught, that the brain is an accumulator. There is no per manent record In the brain, there is no stored spor.s to disturbances directly received on tha knowledge. Knowledge is something akin to un echo that needs a disturbance to bo called into being. 4. All knowledge or form conception is evoked through the medium of the eye. either In retina or to their fainter secondary effects and reverberations. Other sense organs can only cell forth feelings which have no reality of exigence and of which no conception can bo forr-d. 5. Contrary to the most Important tenet of Cartesian philosophy that the perceptions of the mind are illusionary. the eye transmits to t the true and accurate likeness of external thir.es. . This is because light propagates In mlTLi'hi lines and the image east on the retln? !s an exact reproduction of the external form and one which, owing to the mechanism of the optic nerve, can not be distorted In the trans mission to the brain. What Is more, the pro cess must be reversible, that is to say, a form brought to consciousness can, by reflex action, reproduce the original image on the retina, just as an echo can reproduce the original dis turbance. If this view Is borne out by experi ment an immense revolution in all human rela tions and departments of activity will be the consequence. Natural Forces Influence Us. Accepting all this as true let us consider some of the forces and influences which act on such a wonderfully complex automatic engine with organs Inconceivably sensitive and delicate, as it Is carried by the spinning terrestrial globe In its lightning flight through space. For the sake of simplicity we may assume that the earth's axis is perpendicular to the ecliptic and that the human automaton is at the equator. Let his weight be one hundred and sixty pounds, then, at the rotational velocity of about 1,520 feet per second with which he is whirled around, the mechanical energy stored in his body will be nearly 5,780,000 foot pounds, which is about the energy of a hundred-pound cannon ball. This momentum is constant as well as the up ward centrifugal push, amounting to about fifty-five hundredth of a pound, and both will probably be without marked Influence on his life functions. The sun, having a mass 332,000 times that of the earth, but being 23,000 times farther, will attract the automaton with a force jf about one-tenth of one pound, alternately increasing and diminishing his normal weight by that amount. Though not conscious of these periodic changes, he is surely affected by them. The earth in its rotation around the sun carries him with the prodigious speed of nine teen miles per second and the mechanical energy Imparted to him is over 25,100,000,000 foot pounds. The largest gun ever made in Germany hurls a projectile weighing one ton with a muzzle velocity of 3,700 feet per second, the energy being 429,000,000 foot pounds. Hence the momentum of the automaton's body is nearly sixty times greater. It would be suf ficient to develop 762,400 horse-power for one minute, and If the motion were suddenly ar rested the body would be instantly exploded with a force sufficient to carry a projectile weighing over sixty tons to a distance of twenty-eight miles. This enormous energy Is, however, not con stant, but varies with the position of the autom aton in relation to the sun. The clrcumfer-' ence of the earth has a speed of 1,520 feet per second, which is either added to or subtract ed from the translatory velocity of nineteen miles through space. Owing to this the energy will vary from twelve to twelve hours by an amount approximately equal to 1,533,000,000 foot pounds, which means that energy, streams In some unknown way into and out of the body of the automaton at the rate of about sixty-four horse-power. But this is not all. The whole solar system Is urged towards the remote constellation of Hercules with a speed which some estimate at twenty miles per second, and owing to thi3 there should be similar annual changes in the flux of energy, which may reach the appalling figure of over one hundred billion foot pounds. All these varying and purely mechanical effects are rendered more complex through the in clination of the orbital planes and many other permanent or casual mass actions. Tl.-: automaton is, however, subjected to other forces and influences. His bddy Is at the electric potential of twe billion volts, which fluctuates violently and Incessantly. The whole earth is alive with electrical vibrations In which he takes part. The atmosphere crushes him with a pressure of from sixteen to twenty tons, according to barometric conditions. He receives the energy of the sun's rays in vary ing intervals at a mean rate of about forty foot pounds per second, and is subjected to periodic bombardment of the sun's particles, which pass through his body as if it were tissue paper. The airis rent with sounds which beat on hi' eardrums ,and he is shaken by the un ceasing tremors of the earth's crust. Ho Is exposed to great temperature changes, to rain and wind. What wonder then that In such a terrible tur moil, in which cast iron existence would seem impossible, this delicate human engine should act in an exceptional manner? If all automata were in every respect alike they would react In exactly the same way, but this Is not the case. There is concordance in response to tha disturbances only which are most frequently repeated, not to all. It Is quite easy to provide two electrical systems which, when subjected to the same influence, will behave in just the opposite way. So also two human beings, ' and what Is true of individuals also holds good for their large aggregations. We all sleep periodically. This is not an indispensable physiological necessity any more than stoppage at inter vals is a requirement for an engine. It is merely a condition gradually Imposed upon us by the diurnal revolution of the globe, and this Is one of the many evidences of the truth of the mechanistic theory. We note a rhythm, or ebb and tide, 'in Ideas and opin ions, in financial and political movements, In every department of our Intellectual activity. How Wars Are Started. It only shows that in all this a physical sys tem of mass inertia is involved which affords a further striking proof. If we accept the theory as a fundamental truth and, further more, extend the limits of our- sense per ceptions beyond those within which we be come conscious of the external impressions, then all the states in human life, however unusual, can be plausibly explained. A few examples may be given in illustration. The eye responds only to light vibrations through a certain rather narrow range, but the limits are not sharply defined. It 13 also affected by vibrations beyond, only in a lesser degree. A person may thus become aware of the presence of another In darkness, or through intervening obstacles, and" people laboring under illusions ascribe this to tele pathy. Such transmission of thought is ab surdly impossible. The trained observer notes without diffi culty that these phenomena are due to sug gestion or coincidence. The same may be said of oral impressions, to which musical and imitative people are especially susceptible. A person possessing these qualities will often respond to mechanical shocks or vibrations which are inaudible. To mention another Instance of momentary interest reference may be made to dancing, which comprises certain harmonious muscu lar contractions and contortions of the body in response to a rhythm. How they come to be in vogue- just now can be satisfactorily ex plained by supposing the existence of some new periodic disturbances in the environ ment, which are transmitted through the air or the ground and may be of mechanical, elec trical or other character. Exactly so it is with wars, revolutions and similar exceptional states of society. Though it may seem so, a war can never be caused by arbitrary acts of man. It is invariably the more or less direct re-' suit of cosmic disturbance in which the sun is chiefly concerned. In many international conflicts of historical record which were precipitated by famine, pestilence or terrestrial cataslrophies the direct dependence of the sun is unmistakable. But in most cases the underlying primary causes are numerous and hard to trace. In the present war it would be particularly difficult to show that the apparently wilful acts of a few individuals were not causative. Be it so. The mechanistic theory, being founded on truth demonstrated in everyday experience, absolutely precludes the possibil- . 1 J T.: -r - '-- - v ..--' - .... J - t ,- .v- . - -v ' r 1- lJi . i '-t'j; V -' . : 1 "1 - - mmv$$y: '....- MR. NIKOLA TESLA. lty of such a state being anything but the In evitable consequence of cosmic disturbance. The question naturally presents itself as to whether there Is some Intimate relation between wars and terrestrial upheavals. The latter are of decided influence on tempera ment and disposition, and might at times be instrumental in accelerating the clash, but aside from this there seems to be no mutual dependence, though both may be due to the sam primary cause. What can be asserted with perfect con fidence is that the earth may be thrown into convulsions through mechanical effects such as are produced in modern warfare. This statement may be startling, but it admits ol a simple explanation. Earthquakes are principally due to two causes subterranean explosions or struc tural adjustments. The former are called volcanic, involve Immense energy and aro hard to start. The latter are named tectonic; their energy is comparatively Insignificant and they can be caused by the slightest shock or tremor. The frequent slides in the Culebra are displacements of this kind- War and the Earthquake Theoretically, it may be said that one might think of a tectonic earthquake and cause It to occur as a result of the thought, .for Just preceding the release the mass may be 13 the most delicate balance. There is a popular error in regard to the. energy of such displace ments. In a case recently reported as quite, extraordinary, extending as it did over a vast ' territory, the energy was estimated r.t 65,000,000,000,000 foot tons. Assuming even that the whole work was performed in one minute it would only be equivalent to that of 7,500,000 horse-power during one year, which seems much, but is little for a terrestrial up heaval. The energy of the sun's rays falling on the same area is a thousand times greater. ' The explosions of mines, torpedoes, mortar3 and guns develop reactive forces en the ground which are measured in hundreds or even thousands of tons and make themselves felt all over the globe. Their effect, however, may be enormously magnified by resonance. The earth is a sphere of a rigidity slightly greater than that of steel and vibrates once in about one hour and forty-nine minutes. If, as might 'well - be possible, the concus sions happen to be properly timed their com bined action could start tectonic adjustments in any. part of the earth, ami the Italian ca lamity may thus have been the result of ex plosions in France. That man can produce such terrestrial convulsions Is beyond any doubt, and the time may be near when it will be done for purposes good or cviL t 1 1 Are Problem Plays More Moral-TIian French Farces By G. K. Chesterton A-r-fHE most dangerous thing In this world j . is a Puritan'who Is broadening his mind. He is just like a barbaiian who Is broadening his empire. More and more things do. Indeed, come under his consideration; but tills only means that more and more thlng3 come under his oppressing and depressing power. He sheds over the cities of the earth disastrous twilight, to quote one of the older and stronger Puritans, who had a broad cul ture and a narrow creed. Instead of having, like the Puritan popular preachers of to-day, a narrow culture and a broad creed. But "disastrous twilight" is the exact phrase for this hazy but sombre modernism, this odd, respectable combination of dulness with doubt Nowadays, the nicest Puritans are the nar rowest the humble, old-fashioned people one can still find snepherded into their separate little chapels among nshermen or miners. In side their little tin cnapels, each with its cos mos attached, one can still sometimes feel that elemental Are and freedom which is in all genuine authoritative religion. It is in the great halls and lecture-rooms that one feels stilled. One feels as if the whole universe had been turned into a lecture-room. The strongest case of this Is the Interfer ence of the modern "broad-minded" Puritans with the drama and the matter of the censor ship. Their fathers stopped away from the theatre altogether. I am not so malignant as to say that they improved, brightened and puri fied the theatre by stopping away from It; but 1 do say that did It no harm. And I do say that their ancestors, who smashed all the ' ieatr s and scourged and branded all actors andac tresses, did much less harm to the theatre than the modern Puritans may do now bv annlvine their peculiar morality to an institution which they have never understood, and never, when they were logical, tolerated. The Nation, of London, recently crd a Censorship Symposium of leading minister men who either hold, or at least have been trained to hold, all theatricals in horror. This seems to me what is called In the serioui drama "irrational," and, in our lighter drama, "a bit thick." I will respect a man's opinion when he comes forward as a teetotaller, but not when he also comes forward as a wine taster. The influence of a group which until quite lately at least hated the theatre as the theatre is an influence not difficult to predict. It must tend, not to making the theatre less immoral, but simply to making it less theatrical. And I like theatres theatrical, as I like poems poetical. But a much queerer thing has happened, which every one must have noticed just lately. Not only have the Puritans taken sides in the dramatic world, but they have taken the side of playwrights whose plays would have horri fied their consistent theological forefathers. If the old Puritans scourged and branded men for acting frivolous plays, they would have pretty well burned them alive for acting problem plays. But the Puritans, on coming out of their retreat, have joined hands with the "problem" playwrights, with all the earnest young aesthetes and atheists who devote five acts to trying to rind out if there is such a thing as morality. Nearly all the eminent min isters summoned to the council say a good word in passing for the modern drama of ear nest inquiry that is, for Ibsen, Granvillt Parker, Hauptmann or Shaw. Most of these plays not only ask the question, Ts Marriage a Failure?" but ask It (as we used to say in the Latin grammar) expecting the answer, Yes. The alliance of these ideas with those of the Puritan Is therefore, at first sight, a little startling. Put the two are allied, of course, In their common hatred of French farce. Now I must confess that thi3 position of the Puritan defending problem plays seems to me Intellectually indefensible. If the light and loose French farce is immoral, it must be violating some positive morality. There is no other mean-, lng In the word Immoral. But It Is the whole point of the problem play that It does not admit any positive morality at the beginning, but seeks to discover some original or unexpected morality at the end. If once it be granted that the morality is unrixed and doubtful, then there can be no objection to investigating it from any poiat of view. If the whole matter Is thrown open for dis cussion, why not for humorous discussion? If we do not yet know what marriage Is, doubt less it would be well to find out; though many generations of men seem to have been occu pied in the inquiry in Us most practical and scientific form. But if, for the sake of pos sible truth, we must admit the suggestion that marriage is a failure, that marriage Is a fable, that marriage is a bargain, that marriage is a crime, why not also admit the suggestion that marriage is a joke? If you have got the truth, tell us what it is; in that case at least ninety nine out of the hundred problem plays will be come worthless and the one with the right conclusion survive. If you have not got the truth, allow people to follow it with waat methods they please. mockery and tomfoolery included. But it is too much that you should ask us to fast and mourn in front of a morality that is not there. It is too much that you should a.ck us to re spect the shrine while your iconoclasts aro destroying the god. It is absurd that a black ring of Puritans in tall, black hats should be drawn up round the place, telling us all to bo 6ilent and solemn, while we hear within the brisk and cheerful pickaxes of Mr. Shaw or Mr. Barker breaking up every moral ideal which any sane man was ever silent or solemn about. I do not myself think it is wrong to laugh tvea at a morality in which I do believe. I most cer tainly think it right to laugh at a morality in which I don't believe. And 1 shall certainly laugh my longest and loudest about a morality that nobody has yet discovered. As to the censorship, I doubt whether any one particular sort of man, taken by himself, can be trusted to judge fairly of such an incessant and various stream of work as that of all the pub lished and unpublished plays. I think the cen sorship of some elected body would be better. I think the censorship of. a common jury would be better still. I think the censorship of dead .cat3 and rotten eggs, delivered instantly after the offense, would be best of alh But upon none of these principles can I And any defense for the people who persecute Im morality while they still pursue morality; a thing that eternally escapes them. I see no ex cuse for those who have no serious principle, but wish to retain a serious topic. There is no such thing as a serious topic; assertions alone are serious. The words that make them up are neither serious nor frivolous in themselves. Our modern Puritans must decide either to defend marriage and make war on the problem play, or else to repudiate marriage and permit tht French farce.