Carson 1-2
map for Tesla's youth

embroidered bag made by Tesla's motherrural tinkering--farmers who made the things they needed
channel a powerful imagination--thought experiments
childhood and youth interrupted by illnesses both physical and mental

Tesla's thought experiments allowed him to imagine machines in their ideal form
tension between the ideal and the practical
Carson attributes this to the Orthodox Christian emphasis on Jesus as the word (or logos--order) of God, existing before his incarnation
Tesla may not have been religious but his way of understanding the world was shaped by growing up in the church

Tesla was able to go to study at the Joanneum Polytechnic School in Graz, a university specializing in science and engineering
one of four in the Austrian Empire that gave engineering degrees--learning engineering in school was a relatively new idea

generating electricity:

relationship between electricity and magnetism--induction

Around 1876, Tesla's university acquired a Gramme dynamo (generator), invented by Belgian inventor Zenobe Gramme in 1871
Tesla imagined it would be so much more efficient if it could be designed without a commutator
to do that you need a different generator and motor, both running on alternating current

Tesla then makes a mess of his life for several years before resuming study at the Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague
when his family runs out of money to send him there he moves to Budapest
works for a telegraph office and then decides to concentrate on invention but falls into depression

walking in a park reciting Faust he has a flash of insight to solve a problem with the motor design he had been thinking about
he could use induced currents in the rotating part of his motor, creating a rotating magnetic field
but this story may be a later elaboration (p. 52)

first level explanation:

Level two explanation

incremental vs. disruptive

objective vs. subjective rationality
incremental vs. disruptive innovation