Thursday, June 19, 2014

An Ode to Hedy Lamarr

I am of the the opinion that reason is Man’s primary means of survival. Our ability to reason and to think is the one characteristic that separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.

In a previous post about my journey to find happiness, I talked about the iPhone. I said that we take its existence for granted. What many of us neglect to recognize is that the iPhone we’re looking at is the end result of a rational mind.

I saw a post on Facebook about Hedy Lamarr, an actress and pin-up model whose greatest contribution to the world, along with her co-inventor, George Antheil, was spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, which paved the way for today’s wireless communications.

Image Source

Though Lamarr’s story has been public knowledge for many years now, her story bears repeating. Her story can be found here.

It is individuals like Lamarr whose intellect and reason, and above all else, her choice to engage rational mind rather than ignore it, that has helped to pull Man out of the Dark Ages into the world that we are living in now. It is to those thinking individuals whom the rest of humanity owes a great deal of gratitude.


  1. I agree about your praise for Hedy. However, I wrote a book about her ( and my research did show that before the patent was granted there were plenty of papers and patents that described frequency hopping. As usual, a chain of 'thinking individuals' led up to its first commercial use in the cordless phone. And we do owe a debt of gratitude to them all, as you write.