How to Understand a Great Man's Actions

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How to Explain Why You haven't Put Someone in Your Comic Strip (rerun) »

Reader Comments (13)

Wow, I could be the first to comment. Too bad I don´t have anything witty to say. Shame, really.

March 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Also, DC is impractical for long distance transmission.

Edison actually succeeded to some extent: the US compromised by picking a lower voltage that was less dangerous (though more expensive to transmit). Most of the rest of the world runs at 200V or above, which is much more likely to kill you.

On the other hand, because 110V isn't automatically fatal, the US has wimped out on wiring standards and plug design to save money.

March 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

Also, don't forget about Edison touring the US electrocuting dogs and horses and apparently once even an elephant to demonstrate the dangers of AC.

March 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterResuna

There was an effort to brand rubber-soled shoes as "sneak-thieves" because people thought only criminals would want to wear shoes that don't announce the wearer from a block away.
Then they found out they were comfortable, and shortened the name to "sneakers"

March 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDee

Edison used DC power to electrocute Topsy the elephant, proving for all time that he was a giant douchebag.

March 1, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPhilster

As it turns out, AC is actually less dangerous than DC; if you accidentally grab something electrified with AC, the muscle spasms will tend to force you to let go (limiting the length of exposure), whereas with DC the current will force your muscles to lock in place and hold onto it while it electrocutes you.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterExasperation

So that's why the "dermatologists hate this mom" works

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterRaestloz

The theory of compensating differentials teaches that people do put a price on their own safety regardless of nationality. If they didn't, then employers couldn't attract the workers that they need to do their riskier jobs with relatively higher wages. Employers empirically do attract people to riskier jobs with comparatively higher wages. If you can put a price on your own safety in the work place then it seems logical to infer that you can put a price on your own safety everywhere. Dieing at work has the same effects as dieing at any other time or in any other place. So if you believe in neo-classical labor economics, then all people of every culture will give up their own safety for enough money, not necessarily a dollar, but still for some finite quantity.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGregory Bogosian

That, and the electric chair that used AC was actually not very effective. When it comes to murderously electrocuting someone, you just can't beat DC.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHorizon

You know Edison didn't actually invent much? He was just good at stealing other people's inventions and claiming them as his own.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterand Njmst

Along the same lines, the Ford Pinto was a last ditch marketing ploy by the buggy whip manufacturers.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered Commentertimbob

DC was also wasteful, meaning that it wanted microgeneration, putting up with lots of energy loss or having expensive DC transformers. AC transformers are easy and cheap.

NOW, however, DC switching is easy and cheap and renewables are easily set out as microgeneration sites.

Things change.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterWow

Uh, AC is notably safer than DC...

Note from Scott: But, as I say in the comic, Edison claimed otherwise.

March 2, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Steel

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