Talk:Edwin H. Land
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As I recall, he was once in Guiness Book of World Records as the richest scientist in the world. Later, as the person who lost the most money in the preceding year (as a result of decline in stock prices following introduction of instant movie process). Anyone recall this? If true, it could be interesting addition to page.
Also, his nickname was "Din".
The nickname came from his mispronunciation of his own name as a child. He insisted that people call him "Din", but many refused to, simply because they felt uncomfortable addressing someone so important and accomplished in such a familiar way.
The SX-70 was originally called the "Alladin" camera, but Land changed the name, because he didn't want the obvious play on words -- "a la Din".
I changed the description of his principal invention to recognize the facts that it wasn't the first system of instant photography (the daguerreotype was!), nor the only system (tintype, Ambrotype), and that there has been previous systems of in-camera processing, all of which were "wet". Land's genius lay in figuring out how to make it all work in way where the "mechanism" was invisible to the user.
It strikes me that there are a lot of statements in this article that need citations. I'll go through and tag them. --ChrisWinter 22:35, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
After I saw the question of "what year?" for the Guinness cite, I checked through old editions of the Guinness book (pre-1980) and there was never a category for "richest scientist". I wouldn't have been surprised if the McWhorter brothers had set aside a category for "richest set of twins", but richest scientist? One person's suggestion that it might be interesting "if true" was picked up by someone who didn't worry about whether it was true.
What's scary is that if you google "richest scientist", you come up with 22 references, all of them to Edwin Land, all of them seem to be drawn straight from this article! It reminds me of Mencken's history of the bathtub. Maybe a new category can be established "Wikimythia" for urban legends that originated with Wiki? Mandsford 02:27, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
The centennial of Land's birth is May 2009. Many interesting people were born in 1909, but Land is among the most fascinating. His name appears in the most remarkable places. How can we improve this article in time for the anniversary? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 08:27, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
the passing of Steve Jobs
This is about the subject, not the article, so it's verboten. But it's difficult not to comment on the relative "merits" of these two men, especially as there was no widespread appreciation for Land when he passed on -- as opposed to the excessive and unwarranted praise lavished on Steve Jobs. (In case you're wondering -- I'm no fan of Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer.)
Land was a true genius. Until recently, only Edison exceeded him in the number of patents granted, and Land made two signficant contributions to technology -- inexpensive sheet polarizing material (which made possible the plethora of LCDs that surround us), and a simple "dry" system of instant photography. And though the SX-70 system was not wholly his invention, 40 years after its introduction, it remains one of the most-remarkable inventions ever, of any sort. For sheer techno-chutzpah, it is unlikely to ever be matched.
Steve Jobs invented nothing. The success of Apple was due to Jobs' recognition that how the public interacts with your company's products is more important than anything else. He wasn't a genius for knowing this; everyone who doesn't is fool for not recognizing it. Broadly speaking, he changed exactly nothing, because Apple produced very little that was original. The world is not significantly different in any way because of Steve Jobs.
In my view, his sole great contribution was the Apple ][ (of which he was not the principal designer). It was the first well-thought-out personal computer. In particular, it had a row of slots that let you plug in various first- and third-party boards to customize it -- to make it personal. The Macintosh was a major step backwards from that, a largely closed system that works against what makes personal computing personal. The move toward cloud computing will further move users away from "personal" computing.
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