[lit-ideas] Re: Einstein

  • From: "Andy Amago" <aamago@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2005 14:36:17 -0400

> [Original Message]
> From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
> To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Date: 10/29/2005 1:50:38 PM
> Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Einstein
>
> MC: and the best ones, like Einstein, come up with ways of 
> looking at milennium-year-old problems from an entirely new viewpoint
>
> I had a similar reaction to Andy's posting that he was 
> disappointed in Einstein. True, Einstein had the Lorenz equations 
> to work from, expressing the relationship between mass and 
> speed-of-light. Yet Einstein's insight was something we can all 
> admire.
>


Of course we can admire it.  E=mc2 is the most elegant formula in history. 
He took Lavoisier and Farraday and many others and pulled them together
into one equation.  My point is that everyone thinks it just happened.  It
didn't just happen.  It was a long, difficult birth attended by many.



> My personal favorite is Archimedes. Without using zero, but using 
> Greek letters instead, Archimedes developed a system of 
> scientific notation. Less famously, Archimedes built the first 
> planetarium and the first ocean liner sized vessel (a gigantic 
> ship designed to bring the grain harvest from Egypt).
>
> Which is just to get to this point. Anyone can criticize, blame, 
> and find fault. It's more rare and more important to be able to 
> praise. It's so hard to do new things, and it's so easy to be 
> discouraged. Sometimes it seems like the natural course of 
> society is toward discouragement, so those attainments and 
> examples that pull away from discouragement are all the more to 
> be treasured.
>
>


Certainly not in Einstein's case.  He was inundated with accolades and has
been lifted to mythological heights.  I'm saying that his is the most
famous piece of a huge puzzle.

Regarding pure genius,  I'm going to think about that.  Off the top of my
head I'll offer the woman who first communicated with Hellen Keller, a
blind deaf child.  How does one communicate with someone who can't see you
and can't hear you and has no language to speak to you with?  Even today
that makes E=mc2 look simple.  To me anyway.


Andy 



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