You guys know who Philo Farnsworth was?
He invented television. I don't mean, he invented television like Uncle Miltie - I mean, he invented the television. In a little house in Provo, Utah. At a time when the idea of transmitting moving pictures through the air, would be like me saying I figured out a way to beam us aboard the Starship Enterprise.
He was a visionary. He died broke, and without fanfare. The guy I really like, though? Was his brother-in-law, Cliff Gardner. He said, "Philo, I know everyone thinks you're crazy, but I want to be a part of this. Now, I don't have your head for science, so I'm not going to be able to help much with the design and the mechanics of the invention, but it sounds like, you're gonna need glass tubes."
You see, Philo was inventing the cathode receptor. And even though, Cliff didn't know what that meant, or how it worked, he'd seen Philo's drawing, and he knew he was gonna need glass tubes. And since television hadn't been invented yet, it's not like you could get 'em at the local TV repair shop. "I want to be a part of this," Cliff said. "I don't have your head for science. How would it be, if I were to teach myself to be a glass-blower, and I could set up a little shop, in the back yard? And I could make all the tubes you'll need for testing."
There ought to be Congressional medals for people like that.
I've looked over the notes you've been giving over the last year or so, and I have to say, they exhibit an almost total lack of understanding of how to get the best from talented people.
You said before, that, for whatever reason, I seem to be able to exert some authority around here? I assure you: it's not 'cause they like me. It's cause they knew, two minutes after I walked in the door: I'm someone who knows how to do something. I can help. I can make glass tubes.
That's what they need.
- Sam Donovan (William H. Macy), Sports Night Episode 26, "Cliff Gardner"
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