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Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics by Paul Halpern
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, clockwork universe, cosmological constant, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lone genius, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Solar eclipse in 1919, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics
Barbour (Boston: Birkhäuser, 1994), 218. 250 Notes 8. Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger, January 22, 1946, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, Princeton, NJ, 22-093. 9. Erwin Schrödinger to Albert Einstein, February 19, 1946, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-094. 10. Erwin Schrödinger to Albert Einstein, March 24, 1946, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-102. 11. Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger, April 7, 1946, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-103. 12. Erwin Schrödinger to Albert Einstein, June 13, 1946, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-107. 13. Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger, July 16, 1946, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-109. 14. Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger, January 27, 1947, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-136. 15. William Rowan Hamilton, quoted in Robert Percival Graves, Life of Sir William Rowan Hamilton (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1882). 16.
George Prior Woollard, “Transcontinental Gravitational and Magnetic Profile of North America and Its Relation to Geologic 249 Notes Structure,” Geological Society of America Bulletin 54, no. 6 (June 1, 1943): 747–789. 29. “Schroedinger’s New Theory Confirmed,” Irish Press, June 28, 1943, 1. 30. Erwin Schrödinger to Albert Einstein, August 13, 1943, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-075. 31. Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger, September 10, 1943, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-076. 32. Erwin Schrödinger to Albert Einstein, October 31, 1943, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-088. 33. Albert Einstein to Erwin Schrödinger, December 14, 1943, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-090. 34. Reported in Walter Moore, Schrödinger: Life and Thought (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1982), 418. Moore has speculated that because Schrödinger always wanted a son, he hoped that she would get pregnant on the chance she would have a boy. 35.
Erwin Schrödinger, Space-Time Structure (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1963), 1. 5. Albert Einstein, speech given in Kyoto, Japan, on December 14, 1922, quoted in Engelbert L. Schücking and Eugene J. Surowitz, “Einstein’s Apple,” unpublished manuscript, 2013. 6. Albert Einstein to Arnold Sommerfeld, October 29, 1912, in Albert Einstein, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, vol. 5, The Swiss Years: Correspondence, 1902–1914, English translation supplement, ed. Don Howard, trans. Anna Beck (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1995), Doc. 421. 7. Carl Seelig, Albert Einstein: A Documentary Biography, trans. Mervyn Savill (London: Staples Press, 1956), 108. 8. Albert Einstein to Paul Ehrenfest, January 1916, in Seelig, Albert Einstein, 156. 9. Richard Feynman, “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character (New York: Norton, 2010), 58. 10.
E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, British Empire, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mercator projection, Nelson Mandela, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Thorstein Veblen
., p. xx. 5 “Your presence in the class . . .”: Philipp Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, trans. George Rosen (New York: Knopf, 1947, revised 1953), p. 17. 5 “displayed some quite good achievements”: Albrecht Fölsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography (London: Viking Penguin, 1997), pp. 115-16. 7 . . . jokingly called his department of theoretical physics . . . : The phrasing is recalled by a visitor, Rudolf Ladenburg; in Folsing, Albert Einstein, p. 222; see also Anton Reiser, Albert Einstein, a Biographical Portrait (New York: A. and C. Boni, 1930), p. 68. 7 “I like him a great deal . . .”: Folsing, Albert Einstein, p. 73. 7 . . . feeling “the greatest excitement”: Reiser, Einstein, p. 70. 7 “The idea is amusing . . . that I cannot know.” Collected Papers, vol. 5, doc. 28. The friend was Conrad Habicht. 8 E=mc2 had arrived in the world: Einstein did not write E=mc2 in 1905.
Yet this higher-order nature of the law is why the “m” in E=mc2 is so general, applying to every substance in the universe—from the carbon in your hand, to plutonium in a bomb, or the hydrogen inside the sun. 87 “a temptation to superﬁciality . . . : Albrecht Fölsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography (London: Viking Penguin, 1997), p. 102. 87 . . . this gently self-teasing tone: In the letters of many artists of the time there’s often a similar tone; a similarly bemused acceptance that there is a less than rational world 265 notes of received rules within which we have to live. The fact that an entire knowledge-admiring academic system was mixed in with a society that had totally different standards—of Junker superiority; of Kaiserlich grandeur—roused intelligent cynicism among many of the young. 87 “This should sufﬁce to show . . . Albert Einstein never did attain.”: The quotes are from his sister Maja’s delightful short memoir, “Albert Einstein—A Biographical Sketch,” in Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, Vol. 1. The Early Years: 1879–1902, trans.
Von Laue was directed from the patent ofﬁce reception room and along a corridor; a young man came out whom von Laue ignored; von Laue waited. Later the young man returned. It was Einstein; ﬁnally the two said hello. From von Laue’s account in a 1952 letter in Carl Seelig, Albert Einstein: A Documentary Biography (trans. Mervyn Savill (London: Staples Press, 1956), p. 78. 89 “I have to tell you . . .”: Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, vol. 1. I’ve rearranged material from the letters given in documents 39, 72, 76, and 70. 90 The myth that she had been responsible for . . . : The story was ﬁrst promoted in In the Shadow of Albert Einstein, published in Serbo-Croat in 1969 by the retired schoolteacher Desanka Trbuhović-Gjurić. It was developed in Andrea Gabor’s Einstein’s Wife (New York: Viking, 1995), and received a great public boost when Jill Ker Conway, onetime Smith College president, reviewed Gabor’s book most favorably in The New York Times.
The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever by Christopher Hitchens
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Ayatollah Khomeini, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, cosmic microwave background, cuban missile crisis, David Attenborough, Edmond Halley, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, index card, Isaac Newton, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, phenotype, risk tolerance, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics
I believe that we have to content ourselves with our imperfect knowledge and understanding and treat values and moral obligations as a purely human problem—the most important of all human problems.” —Albert Einstein, 1947; from Banesh Hoffmann, Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel, New York: New American Library, 1972, Chapter 11. “I am a deeply religious nonbeliever…. This is a somewhat new kind of religion.” —Albert Einstein, in a letter to Hans Muehsam, March 30, 1954; Einstein Archive 38–434; from The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Chapter 29. “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with fates and actions of human beings.” —Albert Einstein, upon being asked if he believed in God by Rabbi Herbert Goldstein of the Institutional Synagogue, New York, April 24, 1921, published in The New York Times, April 25, 1929; from Einstein: The Life and Times, Ronald W.
“I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.” —Albert Einstein, letter to a Baptist pastor in 1953; from Albert Einstein the Human Side, Chapter 5. “Why do you write to me ‘God should punish the English’? I have no close connection to either one or the other. I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.” —Albert Einstein, letter to Edgar Meyer, a Swiss colleague, January 2, 1915; from The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Chapter 26. “It is quite possible that we can do greater things than Jesus, for what is written in the Bible about him is poetically embellished.” —Albert Einstein, quoted in W. I. Hermanns, “A Talk with Einstein,” October 1943, Einstein Archive 55–285; from The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Chapter 28.
There is in this neither a will nor a goal, nor a must, but only sheer being. For this reason, people of our type see in morality a purely human matter, albeit the most important in the human sphere.” —Albert Einstein, letter to a Rabbi in Chicago; from Albert Einstein, the Human Side, pp. 69–70. “I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility. This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.” —Albert Einstein, replying to a letter in 1954 or 1955; from Albert Einstein, the Human Side, Chapter 5. “I do not believe that a man should be restrained in his daily actions by being afraid of punishment after death or that he should do things only because in this way he will be rewarded after he dies.
Surfaces and Essences by Douglas Hofstadter, Emmanuel Sander
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, computer age, computer vision, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Flynn Effect, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Golden Gate Park, haute couture, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, l'esprit de l'escalier, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Norbert Wiener, place-making, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, yellow journalism, zero-sum game
Moreover, using the word “dude” strongly resonates with using the word “one”, and vice versa — indeed, when used together, these two words paint a vivid portrait not only of Albert Einstein but of a certain brand of English speakers who are prone to use this kind of phrase. To put it more explicitly, probably most native speakers of American English have developed a category in their minds that could be labeled “the kind of person who goes around saying ‘one smart dude’ ”. However, the category is not as narrow as this label suggests. To be sure, it would be instantly evoked if one were to hear the above remark about Albert Einstein’s intelligence, but its evocation doesn’t depend on having heard the specific words “smart” and “dude”; it would also be evoked by remarks like “Doris Day was one cute cookie” or “That’s one bright lamp!”
It is very plausible that your mental images of these two men might start to mix and blur, thus resulting, in the end, in a new mental entity that we might baptize “Twain/Grieg” — the name not of a person but of a category. Analogy-making and Categorization: Two Sides of the Same Coin If you were now to run across some photos of Albert Einstein, you might well think, “An excellent example of the category Twain/Grieg!” As a result, your mental entity Twain/Grieg would slightly change, taking into account this third member. The outcome would be a more general category, and as such it would deserve a new label, just as when a small company grows large, it no longer belongs solely to the two people who founded it many years earlier. As a matter of fact, your category initially based on the facial resemblances of Mark Twain and Edvard Grieg (and then Albert Einstein), as it came to include more similar-looking people, could, in view of its growing generality, change its name, perhaps adopting the acronymic label “TGE”, or it could even lose its label completely.
Low-level and High-level Einsteinian Analogies Before we step aboard the train of grand Einsteinian analogies, we wish to make it clear that it was not solely in the highest and most exalted flights of his scientific imagination that Albert Einstein resorted to making analogies. Just like every human being, Einstein perceived the world around him by making analogies on many levels, all the way down to the tiniest mental connections. A rather obvious example of an Einsteinian analogy comes from a reminiscence he wrote, late in life, about why he choose, as a teen-ager, not to become a mathematician: “I saw that mathematics was split up into numerous specialties, each of which could absorb the short lifetime granted to us. Consequently I saw myself in the position of Buridan’s ass, which was unable to decide upon any specific bundle of hay.” The image is amusing, especially when one notes that Albert Einstein is comparing himself to a ravenous but confused donkey that is utterly immobilized because it is surrounded by a number of tempting things to eat, and which, in the end, perishes because it can’t bring itself to make a choice.
Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution by John Gribbin
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, Brownian motion, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Solar eclipse in 1919, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, trade route, upwardly mobile
But there was much more to Schrödinger than the reluctant revolutionary of quantum physics. One of the most intriguing aspects of Schrödinger the physicist, and one that lies at the heart of his antipathy to the revolution he participated in, is that although he made a major contribution to the new science of the twentieth century, he was brought up in the scientific tradition of the nineteenth. He graduated from high school and started at university in 1906, the year after Albert Einstein published his classic papers on the special theory of relativity and quantum physics. But Einstein, of course, was an exception; his ideas on quantum physics, in particular, were not taken seriously for at least another ten years, and the real quantum revolution took place at the hands of Young Turks such as Werner Heisenberg (born in 1901) and Paul Dirac (born in 1902), who, along with the likes of Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, and Einstein, all come into the story of Schrödinger’s life and work.
After these experiences, one of his main concerns was to secure his own and his wife’s financial future; he worried about pensions until his death. His first attempt to get away from Nazi-influenced Europe came to nothing when he turned up in Oxford with both his wife and his mistress, offending the academic establishment there by making no attempt to conceal their living arrangements, with which his wife, who had her own lovers, was quite happy. The possibility of a post in Princeton alongside Albert Einstein fell through for the same reason. Schrödinger eventually landed up in more tolerant Dublin, where at the behest of Éamon de Valera, the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister), the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies was set up to provide him with a base. Schrödinger was also unconventional in other respects. As a university lecturer in the last days of Prussian formality, he neglected to wear a tie, and dressed so casually that he was often mistaken for a student and sometimes for a tramp.
The five-storey building was divided into five separate apartments, and in 1890 “our” Schrödinger and his parents moved in to the spacious fifth-floor accommodation, with views overlooking St. Stephan’s Cathedral. Most of what we know about Erwin’s early life comes from the recollections of his aunt Minnie, which should be taken with the same pinch of proverbial salt as similar recollections made (much later in life) by relatives of Albert Einstein about his precocious childhood. But in both cases the reminiscences surely contain seeds of truth. From an early age, Erwin was interested in astronomy: he would persuade Minnie to stand representing the Earth while he ran round her to be the Moon, and then make her walk in a circle around a light representing the Sun while he continued to run round her. He also kept a kind of daily diary even before he could write, dictating his insights to Minnie.
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Wiles, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, Ben Horowitz, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, dark matter, delayed gratification, different worldview, discovery of DNA, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, functional fixedness, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Inbox Zero, index fund, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, late fees, lateral thinking, lone genius, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marc Andreessen, Mars Rover, meta analysis, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, multiplanetary species, obamacare, Occam's razor, out of africa, Peter Thiel, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra
Alfred North Whitehead, The Concept of Nature: Tarner Lectures Delivered in Trinity College (Cambridge: University Press, 1920), 163. Chapter 3: A Mind at Play 1. The opening section on Albert Einstein’s thought experiments is based on the following sources: Walter Isaacson, “The Light-Beam Rider,” New York Times, October 30, 2015; Albert Einstein, “Albert Einstein: Notes for an Autobiography,” Saturday Review, November 26, 1949, https://archive.org/details/EinsteinAutobiography; Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007); Albert Einstein, The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, vol. 7, The Berlin Years: Writings, 1918–1921 (English translation supplement), trans. Alfred Engel (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2002), https://einsteinpapers.press.princeton.edu/vol7-trans/152; Kent A.
Visit ozanvarol.com/rocket to find worksheets, challenges, and exercises to help you implement the strategies discussed in this chapter. 3 A MIND AT PLAY How to Ignite Breakthroughs with Thought Experiments When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge. —ALBERT EINSTEIN WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if I chased after a beam of light?1 A sixteen-year-old Albert Einstein pondered this question after he had run away from his unimaginative German school that emphasized rote memorization at the expense of creative thinking. His destination was a reformist Swiss school founded on the principles of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, who championed learning through visualization. While there, Einstein put Pestalozzi’s principles into action and visualized himself chasing after a beam of light.
,” Space.com, May 1, 2013, www.space.com/20929-dark-energy.html. 24. NASA, “Dark Energy, Dark Matter,” NASA Science, updated July 21, 2019, https://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy. 25. James Clerk Maxwell, The Scientific Letters and Papers of James Clerk Maxwell, vol. 3, 1874–1879 (New York: Cambridge University Press 2002), 485. 26. George Bernard Shaw, toast to Albert Einstein, October 28, 1930. 27. Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions: Based on Mein Weltbild (New York: Crown, 1954), 11. 28. Alan Lightman, A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and the Human Spirit (New York: Pantheon Books, 2005). 29. The discussion on Steve Squyres is based on the following sources: Squyres, Roving Mars; University of California Television, “Roving Mars with Steve Squyres: Conversations with History,” video, YouTube, uploaded August 18, 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?
The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era by Craig Nelson
Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Charles Lindbergh, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, éminence grise
At the dawn of the Atomic Age, physicists were elevated in the public mind to the role of secular priests, their study of subatomic particles appearing to lead them, simultaneously, to spiritual and moral truths. Notably, Albert Einstein and Marie Curie became heroes to millions around the world, role models for a new era. Along with many civilians, E. O. Lawrence, Enrico Fermi, and both generations of Curies believed that their scientific discoveries would inexorably lead to benefits for all humankind. Instead, that sweet hope, along with their current reputations, has been battered by a history of thermonuclear-winter terrors and run-amok power plants. Following the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the great pacifist Albert Einstein, who had nothing to do with fission beyond his letters to Roosevelt, was depicted on the cover of Time magazine against a mushroom cloud and his most beloved equation, E = mc2, while Mme.
“I built it from its very”: Letter to Gerta von Ubisch, July 1, 1947, Meitner Collection. “After these three laws were read”: Rittenmeyer and Skundrick. “The Jewess endangers the institute”; “nothing more could be done”; “The great misfortune has happened”: Sime. “It is considered undesirable”: Rife. “is like a sensitive child”: Letter to Ehrenfest, May 4, 1920, in Albrecht Fölsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography (London: Viking, 1997). “appeared to me like a miracle”: Paul A. Schilpp, ed., Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist (New York: MJF Books, 1969). “Bohr loved paradoxes”: Teller. “I wanted her to be provided for”; “The danger consisted in the SS’s”: Hahn. “You have made yourself as famous”: Rife. “No, but I was told”: Segrè, From X-Rays to Quarks. “Perhaps you cannot fully appreciate”: Meitner to Hahn, September 25, October 15, and December 5, 1938, in Krafft.
Under the Thrall of a Two-Faced God Photographs Heartfelt Thanks About Craig Nelson Notes Sources Photo Credits Index For Stuart—You are the best in the world at what you do. The most beautiful and deepest experience a man can have is the sense of the mysterious. It is the underlying principle of religion as well as of all serious endeavor in art and science. He who never had this experience seems to me, if not dead, then at least blind. —ALBERT EINSTEIN Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we fear less. —MARIE CURIE 1 Radiation: What’s in It for Me? YESTERDAY you dashed your breakfast eggs with dried spices that had been irradiated against bacteria, germination, and spoilage. The secret ingredient in the microwave oven reheating that morning’s to-go coffee was radioactive thorium, first isolated from hearty Scandinavian minerals and named for their tempestuous lord.
Einstein's Unfinished Revolution: The Search for What Lies Beyond the Quantum by Lee Smolin
Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Turing machine
Chapter 1: Nature Loves to Hide Epigraph Albert Einstein, “A Reply to Criticisms,” Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P. A. Schillp, 3rd ed. (Peru, IL: Open Court Publishing, 1988). 1. Einstein to Max Born, December 4, 1926, in The Born-Einstein Letters: The Correspondence Between Albert Einstein and Max and Hedwig Born, 1916–1955, with Commentaries by Max Born, trans. Irene Born (New York: Walker and Co., 1971) 88. Chapter 2: Quanta 1. Tom Stoppard, Arcadia: A Play, first performance, Royal National Theatre, London, April 13, 1993; act 1, scene 1 (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), 9. Chapter 4: How Quanta Share Epigraph John Archibald Wheeler, Quantum Theory and Measurement, ed. J. A. Wheeler and W. H. Zurek (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983): 194. 1. Albert Einstein, Boris Podolsky, and Nathan Rosen, “Can Quantum-Mechanical Description of Physical Reality Be Considered Complete?
Chapter 8: Bohm: Realism Tries Again Epigraph Roderich Tumulka, “On Bohmian Mechanics, Particle Creation, and Relativistic Space-Time: Happy 100th Birthday, David Bohm!,” Entropy 20, no. 6 (June 2018): 462, arXiv:1804.08853v3. 1. David Bohm, “A Suggested Interpretation of Quantum Theory in Terms of ‘Hidden’ Variables, 1,” Physical Review 85, no. 2 (January 1952): 166–79. 2. Albert Einstein, quoted in Wayne Myrvold, “On Some Early Objections to Bohm’s Theory,” International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17, no. 1 (March 2003): 7–24. 3. Albert Einstein, quoted in E. David Peat, Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm (New York: Basic Books, 1997), 132. 4. Albert Einstein, “Elementäre Überlegungen zur Interpretation der Grundlagen der Quanten-Mechanik,” in Scientific Papers Presented to Max Born (New York: Hafner, 1953), 33–40; quoted in Myrvold. 5. Benyamin Cohen, “4 Things Einstein Said to Cheer Up His Sad Friend,” From the Grapevine, June 13, 2017, https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/lifestyle/einstein-bohm-letters-winner-auction-israel. 6.
New York: Basic Books, 2009. Gribbin, John. Erwin Schrödinger and the Quantum Revolution. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, 2013. Hoffmann, Banesh, with Helen Dukas. Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel. New York: Viking Press, 1973. Klein, Martin J. Paul Ehrenfest. Vol. 1: The Making of a Theoretical Physicist. New York: American Elsevier, 1970. Overbye, Dennis. Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance. New York: Penguin, 2000. Pais, Abraham. Niels Bohr’s Times: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity. Oxford, UK, and New York: Clarendon Press / Oxford University Press, 1991. Pais, Abraham. Subtle is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein. Oxford, UK, and New York: Oxford University Press, 1982. Reprint ed., with a new foreword by Roger Penrose, 2005. Peat, F. David. Infinite Potential: The Life and Times of David Bohm.
Big Bang by Simon Singh
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Kickstarter, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam
JAMES JEANS The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. STEVEN WEINBERG In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. PAUL DIRAC The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. ALBERT EINSTEIN Table of Contents Cover Title Page Dedication Epigraph Chapter 1 IN THE BEGINNING Chapter 2 THEORIES OF THE UNIVERSE Chapter 3 THE GREAT DEBATE Chapter 4 MAVERICKS OF THE COSMOS Chapter 5 THE PARADIGM SHIFT Epilogue What is Science? Glossary Further Reading Index P.S. About the author About the book Read on Acknowledgements About the Author From the reviews of Big Bang: By the same author Copyright About the Publisher Chapter 1 IN THE BEGINNING Science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths.
Egocentric attitudes may have been a contributory factor behind the dominance of the geocentric world-view, but there were other reasons for preferring an Earth-centred universe to Aristarchus’ Sun-centred universe. One basic problem with the Sun-centred world-view was that it appeared to be simply ridiculous. It just seemed so utterly obvious that the Sun revolved round a static Earth, and not the other way round. In short, a Sun-centred universe ran counter to. Good scientists, however, should not be swayed by common sense, because it sometimes has little to do with the underlying scientific truth. Albert Einstein condemned common sense, declaring it to be ‘the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen’. Another reason why the Greeks rejected Aristarchus’ Solar System was its apparent failure to stand up to scientific scrutiny. Aristarchus had built a model of the universe that was supposed to match reality, but it was not clear that his model was accurate. Did the Earth really orbit the Sun?
Wider expanses and greater depths are now exposed to the searching eye of knowledge, regions of which we had not even a presentiment. It has brought us much nearer to grasping that plan that underlies all physical happening. HERMANN WEYL But the years of anxious searching in the dark for a truth that one feels but cannot express, the intense desire and the alternations of confidence and misgiving, and the final emergence into light – only those who have experienced it can appreciate it. ALBERT EINSTEIN It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one’s hat keeps blowing off. WOODY ALLEN During the course of the early twentieth century, cosmologists would develop and test a whole variety of models of the universe. These candidate models emerged as physicists gained a clearer understanding of the universe and the scientific laws that underpin it.
Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, Brownian motion, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, Danny Hillis, dark matter, double helix, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, housing crisis, IFF: identification friend or foe, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, SETI@home, social graph, speech recognition, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture
A staff of thirty-six individuals, from eight countries, remained encamped for almost five years, despite Veblen, among others, advocating “a firm refusal to let the other work of the Institute be further hampered by our hospitality to the league.”37 World government, advocated by Albert Einstein and Edward Teller alike, was spilling out into the halls. “Until the nations of the world can combine into some kind of effective political organization, sacrificing some part of their national sovereignty and delegating to this supra-national organization the power to enforce peace and to settle international controversies by political and judicial processes, the world will continue to live in danger of war,” Aydelotte had warned in February of 1941.38 When the war ended, the debate over the next one had already begun. In adjacent offices two floors below those of the League, von Neumann was arguing for preventive war against the Soviet Union to be followed by a Pax Americana, while Albert Einstein was contributing his call to global disarmament, “One Way Out,” to the Federation of American Scientists’ manifesto One World or None.
Abraham Flexner, I Remember (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1940), p. 13; Abraham Flexner, “The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge,” Harper’s Magazine, October 1939, p. 548. 11. Klára von Neumann, Two New Worlds. 12. Oswald Veblen to Frank Aydelotte, n.d., IAS. 13. Oswald Veblen to Abraham Flexner, March 19, 1935, IAS. 14. Science, New Series 74, no. 1922 (Oct. 30, 1931): 433; Herman Goldstine, interview with Albert Tucker and Frederik Nebeker. 15. Oswald Veblen to Albert Einstein, April 17, 1930, IAS-BS. 16. Albert Einstein to Oswald Veblen, April 30, 1930, IAS-BS. 17. Herbert H. Maass, Report on the Founding and Early History of the Institute, n.d., ca. 1955, IAS; Abraham Flexner, “The American University,” Atlantic Monthly, vol. 136, October 1925, pp. 530–41; Maass, Report on the Founding and Early History of the Institute. 18. Flexner, I Remember, p. 356. 19. Abraham Flexner, Universities: American, English, German (New York: Oxford University Press, 1930), p. 217. 20.
There were two separate classes of membership at the IAS: permanent members, who were appointed for life by a decision of the faculty as a whole, and visiting members, who were invited by the individual schools, usually for one year or less. Metropolis and Frankel did not belong to either group and mysteriously just showed up. “All I was told was that what Metropolis came out for was to calculate the feasibility of a fusion bomb,” remembers Jack Rosenberg, an engineer who had designed, built, and installed a hi-fi audio system in Albert Einstein’s house for his seventieth birthday in 1949, using some of the computer project’s spare vacuum tubes and other parts. “That’s all I knew. And then I felt dirty. And Einstein said ‘that’s exactly what I thought they were going to use it for.’ He was way ahead.”10 The new machine was christened MANIAC (Mathematical and Numerical Integrator and Computer) and put to its first test, during the summer of 1951, with a thermonuclear calculation that ran for sixty days nonstop.
Crucible: The Long End of the Great War and the Birth of a New World, 1917-1924 by Charles Emmerson
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, continuation of politics by other means, currency peg, Etonian, European colonialism, ghettoisation, Isaac Newton, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Solar eclipse in 1919, strikebreaker, trade route
‘poem by Wordsworth’: Cooper, Wilson, 421. Winter 1918 Rosa Luxemburg quotation from ‘Der Anfang’, Die Rote Fahne, 18 November 1918. BREST: ‘tense voyage’: Badger, Life in Ragtime, 162. ‘do not recognise’: Sammons and Morrow, 190. • STOCKHOLM: for Einstein’s life see Philipp Frank, Einstein: His Life and Times, 1948; Albrecht Fölsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography, 1997 (trans. Ewald Osers); and Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, 2007. ‘milk and sugar’: to Hans Albert Einstein, 25 January 1918, CPAE VIII, 615, note 4. ‘torment me’: from Mileva Einstein-Marić, 9 February 1918, CPAE X, 141–143. • KANSAS CITY: ‘get into aviation’: to the Hemingway family, 2 January 1918, LEH I, 71. ‘still a Christian’: to Grace Hemingway, 16 January 1918, LEH I, 76–77. ‘more terrestrial matters’ to ‘sans use of the eyes’: to Marcelline Hemingway, 30 January 1918 and 12 February 1918, LEH I, 79–80 and 82–83. • WASHINGTON DC: ‘10.30 on a Saturday morning’: diary of Colonel House, 9 January 1917, WW XLV, 550–559.
This is a conflict that no earthly peace deal can resolve. STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN: The Nobel Prize Committee receives a letter from an Austrian physicist recommending a former patent clerk in Switzerland, now working at one of the German Kaiser’s most prestigious scientific institutes in Berlin, for the award of the Nobel Prize in Physics. Over the next few days, several more letters pile up suggesting the young Albert Einstein, still only in his mid-thirties, for the award. PLESS CASTLE, SILESIA, THE GERMAN REICH: The German Kaiser is in no mood for compromise. ‘The war’, he explains, ‘is a struggle between two Weltanschauungen, the Teutonic-German for decency, justice, loyalty and faith, genuine humanity, truth and real freedom; against the worship of mammon, the power of money, pleasure, land-hunger, lies, betrayal, deceit.’
VIENNA: The following morning, at 9 a.m. precisely, a spectacle of quite a different kind gets under way in Vienna’s central criminal court: a sensational murder trial involving the assassination of the Austrian Premier in one of the city’s finest restaurants last year by Friedrich Adler, the son of the leader of the Austrian Social Democrats, Victor Adler. All Vienna’s attention is riveted on proceedings. Albert Einstein writes a personal letter to Emperor Charles pleading for the actions of his friend Friedrich–who is a physicist as well as a revolutionary–to be treated as a tragic accident rather than a crime. Freud writes to a friend: ‘our inner conflict here is perhaps nowhere so plainly revealed as it is by the extremely notable trial of Fr. Adler’. Victor Adler defends his son by describing the stifling atmosphere in Vienna since 1914 with political debate curtailed by war conditions and state censorship.
Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Cepheid variable, Commentariolus, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, delayed gratification, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Karl Jansky, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, planetary scale, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Solar eclipse in 1919, source of truth, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers
The Domain of Natural Science. New York: Dover, 1968. Hodge, Paul W. Galaxies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1986. Hodson, F.R., ed. The Place of Astronomy in the Ancient World. London: Oxford University Press, 1974. Hoffmann, Banesh. Albert Einstein, Creator and Rebel. New York: Viking, 1972. Nontechnical study of Einstein’s life and work, by his former collaborator. —————. Relativity and Its Roots. San Francisco: Freeman, 1983. Einstein and the aether. Holton, Gerald, and Yehuda Elkana, eds. Albert Einstein, Historical and Cultural Perspectives. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982. —————. The Scientific Imagination. London: Cambridge University Press, 1979. —————. Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought, Kepler to Einstein. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1974.
MIND AND MATTER 20. THE PERSISTENCE OF MYSTERY ADDENDUM TO THE PERENNIAL EDITION GLOSSARY A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY INDEX About the Author Books by Timothy Ferris Copyright About the Publisher One thing I have learned in a long life: that all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike—and yet it is the most precious thing we have. —Albert Einstein The wind was flapping a temple flag, and two monks were having an argument about it. One said the flag was moving, the other that the wind was moving; and they could come to no agreement on the matter. They argued back and forth. Eno the Patriarch said, “It is not that the wind is moving; it is not that the flag is moving; it is that your honorable minds are moving.” —Platform Sutra PART ONE SPACE The self shines in space through knowing.
More important were his “thought experiments,” the careful thinking through of procedures that he could not actually carry out. To be sure, Galileo recognized, as he put it, that “reason must step in” only “where the senses fail us.” But since he lived in a time when the senses were aided by none but the most rudimentary experimental apparatus—he had, for instance, no timepiece more accurate than his pulse—Galileo found that reason had to step in rather often. In the words of Albert Einstein, the greatest all-time master of the thought experiment, “The experimental methods of Galileo’s disposal were so imperfect that only the boldest speculation could possibly bridge the gaps between empirical data.”12 Consequently it was more by thinking than by experimentation that Galileo arrived at new insights into the law of falling bodies. His reasoning went something like this: Suppose that a cannonball takes a given time—say, two pulse beats—to fall from the top of a tower to the ground.
Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Ray Jayawardhana
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Magellanic Cloud, New Journalism, race to the bottom, random walk, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Skype, Solar eclipse in 1919, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, undersea cable, uranium enrichment
More recently, neutrinos were blamed for heating the Earth’s core, triggering ferocious earthquakes and floods, in the Hollywood disaster flick 2012 directed by Roland Emmerich. Despite neutrinos’ quirky appeal as cultural icons, few people outside the physics community paid much attention to the science of real-life neutrinos until they made headlines recently for possibly breaking the cosmic speed limit set by Albert Einstein back in 1905. A large international collaboration of physicists known as OPERA (acronym for the unwieldy title Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tRacking Apparatus) made the startling announcement in a research paper posted online and at a press conference in late September of 2011. The particles appeared to travel faster than light between CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research and its Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva, Switzerland, and an underground detector 454 miles away in Gran Sasso, Italy, arriving 60 nanoseconds sooner than expected.
Not one, but two sweeping revolutions were under way. On the cosmic scale, the special and general theories of relativity altered our understanding of space, time, motion, and gravity in truly fundamental ways. On the subatomic scale, the newfangled theory of quantum mechanics revealed a weird world full of strange phenomena where uncertainty rules the day and paradoxes run free. The iconic Albert Einstein proposed the special theory at the tender age of twenty-six, while working as a clerk in the Swiss patent office, in 1905. The idea behind it was not entirely new: Galileo had pointed out three centuries earlier that all motion is relative and that there is no absolute state of rest. (That is why objects on a ship sailing at a uniform speed behave the same way as they do when the ship is docked at harbor.
The two became friends, and continued to try to one-up each other’s quips. Pauli’s outspoken manner did not endear him to everyone, but he earned the respect of many of his colleagues not just for his brilliance but also for his honesty and forthrightness. Many of them saw him as the “conscience of physics,” and often asked, “What does Pauli think?” when they were presented with a new idea. Albert Einstein and Wolfgang Pauli (Pauli Archive, CERN) After extended visits to Göttingen and Copenhagen to work with prominent physicists, Pauli took up a research assistant position in Hamburg. While there, at the age of twenty-five, he formulated what is now known as the “Pauli exclusion principle” in quantum mechanics, a key insight for understanding not only the behavior of a class of subatomic particles known as fermions (which includes electrons, protons, and neutrons) but also the inner workings of stars.
Thinking in Pictures: And Other Reports From My Life With Autism by Temple Grandin
Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, factory automation, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, source of truth, theory of mind, twin studies
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 11: 365–371. J. Gleick 1993 Genius: Richard Feynman and modern physics. New York., Little, Brown A. Grant 1885 Charles Darwin. New York., Appleton Grant V. W. 1968 Great abnormals. New York., Hawthorn B. Hermelin 2001 Bright Splinters of the Mind. London., Jessica Kingsley R. Highfield, P. Garter 1993 The private lives of Albert Einstein. New York., St. Martin' Jamison K. R. 1993 The private lives of Albert Einstein. New York., St. Martin' G. Kevin 1967 Inspired amateurs. Freeport, New York., Books for Libraries Press J. Kincheloe L. S. Steinberg R. D. Tippins J. 1992 The stigma of genius. Durango, Colorado., Hollowbrook Landa R., Piven J., Wzorek M. M. Gayle J. O. Chase G. A. Folstein S. E. 1992 Social language use in parents of autistic individuals. Psychological Medicine, 22: 245–254.
., Harvey T. 1999 The exceptional brain of Albert Einstein. Lancet, 353: 2149–2153. Wheelwright S., Baron-Cohen S. 2001 The link between autism and skills such as engineering, math, physics, and computing: A reply to Jarrold and Routh. Autism, 5: 223–227. Chapter 11 Stairway to Heaven: Religion and Belief REFERENCES Appenzeller T. 1994 Recreating the universe' fateful flaws. Science, 263: 921. D. Brinkley 1994 Saved by the light. New York., Villard Budiasky S. 1989 The ancient contract. U.S. News & World Report, pp. 75–79. March 20, Dixon R. 1981 The mathematical daisy. New Scientist, pp. 791–795. December 17, B. J. Eadie 1992 Embraced by the light. Placerville, California., Old Leaf Press Einstein A. 1940 Science and religion. Nature, 146: 605. A. Einstein 1949 Albert Einstein, philosopher-scientist.
Teachers need to speak slowly to accommodate a nervous system that processes information slowly. And sudden movements that will cause sensory confusion should also be avoided. Children who are echolalic—who repeat what they hear— may be at a midpoint on the sensory processing continuum. Enough recognizable speech gets through for them to be able to repeat the words. Dr. Doris Allen, at the Albert Einstein Hospital in New York, emphasizes that echolalia should not be discouraged, so as not to inhibit speech. The child repeats what has been said to verify that he heard it correctly. Research by Laura Berk, at Illinois State University, has shown that normal children talk to themselves to help them control their behavior and learn new skills. Since autism is caused by immature brain development, it is likely that echolalia and self-talking, which occur in older autistic children, are the result of immature speech patterns.
Under the Knife: A History of Surgery in 28 Remarkable Operations by Arnold van de Laar Laproscopic Surgeon
How does the human body respond to being attacked by a knife, a bacterium, a cancer cell or a bullet? What are the principles of shock, cancer, infection and the healing of wounds and fractures? What can be repaired by an operation and what cannot? Why did the most common operations arise and who thought of them? Most of the chapters describe operations on famous figures and contain interesting details. Did you know, for example, that Albert Einstein lived much longer than was actually possible, Houdini gave his final performance while suffering from acute appendicitis, Empress Sisi was stabbed at the age of sixty, John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald were operated on by the same surgeon, or that a man from Amsterdam cut a stone out of his own bladder? Did you know that you have an electrical current passing through your body during an operation, and that surgeons did not start washing their hands before an operation until 150 years ago?
In this chapter it is assumed that Pliny meant that it was the son of Consul Apronius Senior who underwent the operation. As the son bore the same name, however, and was also a consul before Pliny wrote his anecdote about the operation, it is possible that it refers to an unknown son of Apronius Junior. That would, of course, have made the story much less fascinating … 16 Aneurysm The Relativity of Surgery: Albert Einstein MODERN SURGERY IS not absolute. It is a science of probabilities and calculating chances. It is probable, for example, that an inflammation of the gall bladder will be accompanied by fever, but it is far less likely that someone with a fever is suffering from an inflamed gall bladder. After all, in general, fever occurs more often than gall-bladder inflammations. The probability increases if another symptom or sign occurs alongside the fever that is typical of an inflamed gall bladder.
That literature can be consulted on the Internet, for example on the website www.pubmed.com, where – with well-chosen keywords – you can find everything ever published in medical journals about a certain medical problem. In modern surgery, therefore, it is not about a clear yes or no, but a greater or lesser degree of probability, with a greater or lesser chance of success. Of course there are exceptions. Patients who prove that the improbable can occur, by displaying a surprising diagnosis or by surviving against all expectations, are incontestable proof of the relativity of surgery. Albert Einstein, the father of relativity, was one such patient. He had a life-threatening disease of the aorta, but his symptoms resembled those of an inflammation of the gall bladder and he lived longer with the disease than was actually considered possible. The aorta is the largest blood vessel in our bodies. It runs vertically downwards through the thoracic (chest) cavity and the section of it that passes through the abdomen, the abdominal aorta, is normally some two centimetres in diameter.
Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand: Fifty Wonders That Reveal an Extraordinary Universe by Marcus Chown
Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, Carrington event, dark matter, Donald Trump, double helix, Edmond Halley, gravity well, horn antenna, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, microbiome, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine
In recognition of this fact, physicists talk of space-time, a seamless amalgam of four space-time dimensions. 2. The exchange particles that give rise to nature’s fundamental forces are not quite like the kind with which we are familiar. They are known as virtual particles. See QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter by Richard Feynman (Penguin, 1990). 34. No Time Like the Present 1. Letter written by Albert Einstein to the bereaved family of Michele Besso when his long-standing friend died in 1955. 2. “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” by Albert Einstein (Annalen der Physik, Vol. 17, p. 891, 1905). 35. How to Build a Time Machine 1. See Chapter 26: “Bungalow Benefits.” 2. A black hole is a region of space where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape—not even light, hence its blackness. Part Six: Extraterrestial Things 36. Ocean Worlds 1. 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C.
” —EDWARD WITTEN ISAAC NEWTON WAS FIRST to realize that, at a fundamental level, all there is to the universe is particles of matter and the forces that bind them together. We now know of four fundamental forces, of which gravity and the electromagnetic force that glues together the atoms in your body and powers our electrical world are the most familiar. As discussed in Chapter 26, it was Albert Einstein who in 1915 realized something unexpected about one of these forces. As we saw in the previous chapter, the force of gravity does not actually exist. As previously mentioned, according to Newton, the force of gravity between the sun and the earth is like an invisible tether between the bodies that keeps the earth forever trapped around the sun. Einstein begged to differ. He showed that, actually, a mass like the sun warps the space-time around it, creating a valley, and the earth rolls around the upper slopes of this valley.1 According to Einstein, gravity is a force we have invented to explain our motion through the landscape of four-dimensional space-time because, as three-dimensional creatures, we are completely unaware of this landscape.
So, although children are still taught at school that gravity sucks, we now know that isn’t the case. In most of the universe, gravity actually blows. 47. THE VOICE OF SPACE The black-hole merger detected by its gravitational waves on September 14, 2015, pumped out fifty times more power than all the stars in the universe combined “If you ask me whether there are gravitational waves or not, I must answer that I do not know. But it is a highly interesting problem.” —ALBERT EINSTEIN, 1936 “Ladies and gentlemen, we did it. We have detected gravitational waves.” —DAVID REITZE, FEBRUARY 11, 2016 NEAR THE TOWN OF Livingston, Louisiana is a four-kilometer-long ruler made of laser light. Three thousand kilometers away in Hanford, Washington State is an identical four-kilometer-long ruler made of laser light. At 5:51 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time on September 14, 2015, a shudder went through the Livingston ruler; 6.9 milliseconds later—less than a hundredth of a second afterwards—an identical shudder went through the Hanford ruler.
The Clock Mirage: Our Myth of Measured Time by Joseph Mazur
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, computer age, Credit Default Swap, Danny Hillis, Drosophila, Eratosthenes, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Pepto Bismol, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, twin studies
Henri Poincaré, “La mesure du temps,” Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 6 (1898): 1–13. 2. Albert Einstein correspondence with Michele Besso, March 6, 1952. 3. Peter Galison, Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time (New York: W. W. Norton, 2003), 37, 40. 4. Albert Einstein and Hermann Minkowski, On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, translated by M. N. Saha and S. N. Bose (Calcutta: University of Calcutta, 1920), 3. 5. Ibid., 5. 6. Since velocity is distance divided by time, we know that time is distance divided by velocity. 7. Albert Einstein, “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (1905), 2, available at https://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/einstein/specrel/specrel.pdf. 8. Albert Einstein and Michele Besso, Correspondance avec Michele Besso, 1903–1955 (Paris: Harmann, 1979), 537–38. 9.
Some current thinkers suggest that the speed of light at the time of the big bang was far faster than it is now. See Andreas Albrecht and João Magueijo, “Time varying speed of light as a solution to cosmological puzzles,” Physical Review D 59 (1999): 043516. 10. The Born-Einstein Letters: Correspondence between Albert Einstein and Max and Hedwig Born from 1916 to 1955 with Commentaries by Max Born, translated Irene Born (London: Macmillan, 1971), 159. 10. Braced Unification 1. Albert Einstein and Hermann Minkowski, The Principle of Relativity, translated by Meghnad Saha and S. N. Bose (Calcutta: University of Calcutta Press, 1920), 70. 2. Ibid., 71. 3. Ibid., 71–72. 4. Lorentz’s formula for contraction in the direction of motion that contributes to time’s dependence on space by the enforced ratio . 5.
By Newton’s rules, two objects leaving the same place at time A, wandering in different directions and returning to that same place at time B, will have each traveled for the same amount of time, which should turn out to be B − A time units. That was a reasonable rule until the dawn of the twentieth century, when time changed from being absolute to being relative. Newton’s rule about duration was no longer valid after Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity. For Einstein, objects leaving the same place at time A, wandering in different directions, to different locations, and returning to the same place at time B might not have each traveled for B − A units of time. It’s a hard notion to absorb completely, given how much influence our language of time has on our thoughts. The seventeenth-century philosopher and mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz felt that time depends on events and relations between events with a tight bonding of space and time.
From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp
A copy of the English-language edition was seen on display in the window of a bookstore in Bangkok by a student from Indonesia, was purchased, and taken back home. There, it was translated into Indonesian, and published in 1997 by a major Indonesian publisher with an introduction by Abdurrahman Wahid. He was then head of Nadhlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organization in the world, with thirty-five million members, and later President of Indonesia. During this time, at my office at the Albert Einstein Institution we only had a handful of photocopies from the Bangkok English language booklet. For a few years we had to make copies of it when we had enquiries for which it was relevant. Later, Marek Zelaskiewz, from California, took one of those copies to Belgrade during Milošević’s time and gave it to the organization Civic Initiatives. They translated it into Serbian and published it. When we visited Serbia after the collapse of the Milošević regime we were told that the booklet had been quite influential in the opposition movement.
Several others are in preparation. Between 1993 and 2002 there were six translations. Between 2003 and 2008 there have been twenty-two. The great diversity of the societies and languages into which translations have spread support the provisional conclusion that the persons who initially encounter this document have seen its analysis to be relevant to their society. Gene Sharp January 2008 Albert Einstein Institution Boston, Massachusetts Preface ONE OF MY MAJOR CONCERNS for many years has been how people could prevent and destroy dictatorships. This has been nurtured in part because of a belief that human beings should not be dominated and destroyed by such regimes. That belief has been strengthened by readings on the importance of human freedom, on the nature of dictatorships (from Aristotle to analysts of totalitarianism), and histories of dictatorships (especially the Nazi and Stalinist systems).
The fall of one regime does not bring in a utopia. Rather, it opens the way for hard work and long efforts to build more just social, economic, and political relationships and the eradication of other forms of injustices and oppression. It is my hope that this brief examination of how a dictatorship can be disintegrated may be found useful wherever people live under domination and desire to be free. Gene Sharp 6 October 1993 Albert Einstein Institution Boston, Massachusetts 1 Facing Dictatorships Realistically IN RECENT YEARS VARIOUS DICTATORSHIPS – of both internal and external origin – have collapsed or stumbled when confronted by defiant, mobilized people. Often seen as firmly entrenched and impregnable, some of these dictatorships proved unable to withstand the concerted political, economic, and social defiance of the people.
Massive: The Missing Particle That Sparked the Greatest Hunt in Science by Ian Sample
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Donald Trump, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra
Whichever way you look at it, this story is massive. 1 Long Road to Princeton The drive up to Princeton could take the better part of a day, and that was if you were lucky. The route followed the coastline up the eastern seaboard, looped around the broad expanse of the Chesapeake Bay, and went on to Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia before finally arriving in the town that was once home to the greatest physicist of all, Albert Einstein. Peter Higgs packed some clothes and a folder full of research notes and went out to the car with his wife, Jody, and their six-month-old son, Christopher. He swung the suitcase in the back and had a long look at the road map. Satisfied with the directions, he pulled away, working north and east through the tree-lined streets and out toward the highway as the town eased itself to life beneath the spring morning sun.
The same thing happens with the neutron, which contains one up quark and two down quarks. If Newton had had the last word on mass—that it was simply a measure of matter—then adding up the masses of the individual quarks should give the right answers. But Newton knew only part of the story. The missing mass came from somewhere else. There is more to mass than meets the eye. How much more became clearer in 1905, when a twenty-six-year-old Albert Einstein, while holding down a day job at a patent office in Bern, Switzerland, published a paper entitled “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on Its Energy Content?” To cut to the chase, the answer is yes. Einstein showed that mass and energy are interchangeable, that mass can be considered a measure of how much energy an object contains. For the scientific establishment, the idea was a bolt from the blue, but it is an unavoidable consequence of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. 16 The equation Einstein derived was m = E/c2, where an object’s mass equals its energy divided by the speed of light squared.
Dyson’s enthusiasm for Higgs’s work didn’t mean he was in for an easy time at the Institute for Advanced Study. The institute was home to some of the brightest physicists in the world, and some of them were certain to disagree with Higgs’s theory. Renowned scientists had flocked to the institute since Louis Bamberger, an American philanthropist, had established it in the 1930s. Its most famous resident, Albert Einstein, who had died in 1955, had spent the last twenty-five years of his life there, trying to explain how the forces of nature were born. The Austrian-American logician Kurt Gödel was still there, redefining the limits of human knowledge. He and Einstein had been friends, though he had vexed Einstein by pointing out that his famous theories allowed time travel to be possible.21 The father of modern computing, John von Neumann, was also at the institute, turning the mathematics of poker into a political strategy to win the Cold War.22 Robert Oppenheimer, the towering figure who had led the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb, had become head of the institute in 1946, only adding to the intimidating aura of the place.
The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson
Albert Einstein, Asilomar, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, dark matter, double helix, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, undersea cable
Broecker, “Thermohaline Circulation, the Achilles Heel of Our Climate System: Will Man-Made CO2 Upset the Current Balance?,” Science, Vol. 278 (1997), pp. 1582–1588, cited by Smil. 6 WITNESS TO A TRAGEDY THOMAS LEVENSON IS a filmmaker who produces documentary films for public television. He has a sharp eye for the dramatic events and personal details that bring history to life. His book Einstein in Berlin1 is a social history of Germany covering the twenty years from 1914 to 1933, the years when Albert Einstein lived in Berlin. The picture of the city’s troubles comes into a clearer focus when it is viewed through Einstein’s eyes. Einstein was a good witness, observing the life of the city in which he played an active role but remained always emotionally detached. He wrote frequent letters to his old friends in Switzerland and his new friends in Germany, recording events as they happened and describing his hopes and fears.
After 1918 he extended his revolutionary rhetoric from mathematics to physics, solemnly proclaiming the breakdown of the established order in both disciplines. In 1922 Schrödinger joined him in calling for radical reconstruction of the laws of physics. Weyl and Schrödinger agreed with Spengler that the coming revolution would sweep away the principle of physical causality. The erstwhile revolutionaries David Hilbert and Albert Einstein found themselves in the unaccustomed role of defenders of the status quo, Hilbert defending the primacy of formal logic in the foundations of mathematics, Einstein defending the primacy of causality in physics. In the short run, Hilbert and Einstein were defeated and the Spenglerian ideology of revolution triumphed, both in physics and in mathematics. Heisenberg discovered the true limits of causality in atomic processes, and Gödel discovered the limits of formal deduction and proof in mathematics.
But in the nineteenth century, after two hundred years of amateur leadership, science became increasingly professional. Among the leading scientists of the nineteenth century, professionals such as Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell were the rule and amateurs Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel were the exceptions. In the twentieth century the ascendancy of the professionals became even more complete. No twentieth-century amateur could stand like Darwin in the front rank with Edwin Hubble and Albert Einstein. If Ferris is right, astronomy is now moving into a new era of youthful exuberance in which amateurs will again have an important share of the action. It appears that each science goes through three phases of development. The first phase is Baconian, with scientists exploring the world to find out what is there. In this phase, amateurs and butterfly collectors are in the ascendant. The second phase is Cartesian, with scientists making precise measurements and building quantitative theories.
Day We Found the Universe by Marcia Bartusiak
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, Copley Medal, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, horn antenna, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, Occam's razor, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Pluto: dwarf planet, Solar eclipse in 1919, William of Occam
No longer was our cosmic birth a matter of metaphysical speculation or a biased whim; it had become a scientific principle that could be tested and probed. This new cosmic outlook came about through a unique convergence—the perfect storm—of sweeping developments. Not only did a burgeoning economy provide the money—and new technologies the instruments—to make these discoveries, but newly introduced ideas in theoretical physics supplied some answers. No less a scientific figure than Albert Einstein had arrived on the scene with a novel theory of gravity that provided a unique explanation for the universe's bewildering behavior. A dynamism entered into the universe's workings. Einstein's equations introduced the idea that space and time are woven into a distinct object, whose shape and movement are determined by the matter within it. His general theory of relativity anticipated the universe's expansion and turned its study into an intellectual and theoretical adventure.
Using Newton's laws of gravity and motion, scientists arrived at one answer, but upon applying James Clerk Maxwell's laws of electromagnetism, they obtained a differing result. It took a rebel—a cocky kid who spurned rote learning throughout his schooling, always questioned conventional wisdom, and had an unshakable faith in his own abilities—to blaze a trail through this baffling territory, one that involved an entirely new take on space, time, gravity, and the behavior of the universe at large. Before anyone else, Albert Einstein discerned that a drastic change was needed, “the discovery of a universal formal principle,” as he put it. This was not the iconic Einstein—the sockless, rumpled character with baggy sweater and fright-wig coiffure—but a younger, more romantic figure with alluring brown eyes and wavy dark hair. While in his twenties and thirties, he was at the height of his prowess. Among his gifts was a powerful physical instinct, almost a sixth sense for knowing how nature should work.
Before the publication of his bizarre yet fascinating solution, de Sitter exchanged a number of letters with Einstein arguing over its details. Einstein was clearly flummoxed by de Sitter's quirky take on the universe. It “does not make sense to me,” he wrote. Where was the “world material” in his cosmos, where were the stars? It didn't seem based in reality. In Einstein's eyes, de Sitter's solution was physically impossible. The properties of space could not be determined, he believed, without the presence of matter. Albert Einstein and Willem de Sitter working out a problem at the Mount Wilson Observatory's Pasadena headquarters in 1932 (Associated Press) De Sitter was certainly making a huge assumption by considering a cosmic density so low that the universe could be regarded as devoid of matter. But what was exciting about his model was that it was testable. If distances to the spiral nebulae could be measured precisely, then astronomers would be able to see if the redshifts truly increased “systematically,” as de Sitter noted in his paper.
The Intelligence Trap: Revolutionise Your Thinking and Make Wiser Decisions by David Robson
active measures, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, cognitive bias, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, deliberate practice, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fundamental attribution error, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, lone genius, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, obamacare, pattern recognition, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Y2K, Yom Kippur War
See also Mackie, G. (2015), ‘Einstein’s Folly: How the Search for a Unified Theory Stumped Him until His Dying Day’, The Conversation, http://theconversation.com/einsteins-folly-how-the-search-for-a-unified-theory-stumped-him-to-his-dying-day-49646. 49 Isaacson, W. (2007), Einstein: His Life and Universe, London: Simon & Schuster, pp. 341?7. 50 Schweber, S.S. (2008), Einstein and Oppenheimer: The Meaning of Genius, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, p. 282. See also Oppenheimer, R. (17 March 1966), ‘On Albert Einstein’, New York Review of Books, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1966/03/17/on-albert-einstein/. 51 Hook, S. (1987), Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century. London: Harper & Row. See also Riniolo, T. and Nisbet, L. (2007), ‘The Myth of Consistent Skepticism: The Cautionary Case of Albert Einstein’, Skeptical Inquirer, 31(1), http://www.csicop.org/si/show/myth_of_consistent_skepticism_the_cautionary_case_of_albert_einstein. 52 Eysenck, H. (1957), Sense and Nonsense in Psychology, Harmondsworth: Penguin, p. 108. 53 These are exceptional cases. But the issue of bias in the day-to-day workings of science has come to increasing prominence in recent years, with concerns that many scientists may engage in the wishful thinking that had plagued Conan Doyle.
Available at Public Domain Review, https://publicdomainreview.org/collections/sir-arthur-conan-doyle-interview-1927/. 45 As his biographer, Russell Miller, describes: ‘Once Conan Doyle made up his mind, he was unstoppable, impervious to argument, blind to contradictory evidence, untroubled by self-doubt.’ Miller, The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle, chapter 20. 46 Bechtel, S. and Stains, L.R. (2017), Through a Glass Darkly: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All, New York: St Martin’s Press, p. 147. 47 Panek, R. (2005), ‘The Year of Albert Einstein’, Smithsonian Magazine, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-year-of-albert-einstein-75841381/. 48 Further examples can be found in the following interview with the physicist John Moffat, including the fact that Einstein denied strong evidence for the existence of black holes: Folger, T. (September 2004), ‘Einstein’s Grand Quest for a Unified Theory’, Discover, http://discovermagazine.com/2004/sep/einsteins-grand-quest. See also Mackie, G. (2015), ‘Einstein’s Folly: How the Search for a Unified Theory Stumped Him until His Dying Day’, The Conversation, http://theconversation.com/einsteins-folly-how-the-search-for-a-unified-theory-stumped-him-to-his-dying-day-49646. 49 Isaacson, W. (2007), Einstein: His Life and Universe, London: Simon & Schuster, pp. 341?
I hope I don’t have to tell you that Kary is wrong. The web is full of people with groundless opinions, of course – but we don’t expect astrologers and AIDS denialists to represent the pinnacle of intellectual achievement. Yet Kary’s full name is Kary Mullis, and far from being your stereotypically ill-informed conspiracy theorist, he is a Nobel Prize-winning scientist – placing him alongside the likes of Marie Curie, Albert Einstein and Francis Crick. Mullis was awarded the prize for his invention of the polymerase chain reaction – a tool that allows scientists to clone DNA in large quantities. The idea apparently came to him during a flash of inspiration on the road in Mendocino County, California, and many of the greatest achievements of the last few decades – including the Human Genome Project – hinged on that one moment of pure brilliance.
The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene
airport security, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, clockwork universe, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, dematerialisation, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, urban renewal
It is not hard to show that these equations imply a speed for electromagnetic waves given by 1/√ε0μ , which when evaluated is in fact the speed of light. 2. There is some controversy as to the role such experiments played in Einstein’s development of special relativity. In his biography of Einstein, Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982), pp. 115–19, Abraham Pais has argued, using Einstein’s own statements from his later years, that Einstein was aware of the Michelson-Morley results. Albrecht Fölsing in Albert Einstein: A Biography (New York: Viking, 1997), pp. 217–20, also argues that Einstein was aware of the Michelson-Morley result, as well as earlier experimental null results in searching for evidence of the aether, such as the work of Armand Fizeau. But Fölsing and many other historians of science have also argued that such experiments played, at best, a secondary role in Einstein’s thinking.
Such developments have also shown that space and time top the list of age-old scientific constructs that are being fantastically revised by cutting-edge research. To Isaac Newton, space and time simply were—they formed an inert, universal cosmic stage on which the events of the universe played themselves out. To his contemporary and frequent rival Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, “space” and “time” were merely the vocabulary of relations between where objects were and when events took place. Nothing more. But to Albert Einstein, space and time were the raw material underlying reality. Through his theories of relativity, Einstein jolted our thinking about space and time and revealed the principal part they play in the evolution of the universe. Ever since, space and time have been the sparkling jewels of physics. They are at once familiar and mystifying; fully understanding space and time has become physics’ most daunting challenge and sought-after prize.
As anticipated, the two problems Kelvin had raised were promptly addressed, but they proved anything but minor. Each ignited a revolution, and each required a fundamental rewriting of nature’s laws. The classical conceptions of space, time, and reality—the ones that for hundreds of years had not only worked but also concisely expressed our intuitive sense of the world— were overthrown. The relativity revolution, which addressed the first of Kelvin’s “clouds,” dates from 1905 and 1915, when Albert Einstein completed his special and general theories of relativity (Chapter 3). While struggling with puzzles involving electricity, magnetism, and light’s motion, Einstein realized that Newton’s conception of space and time, the corner-stone of classical physics, was flawed. Over the course of a few intense weeks in the spring of 1905, he determined that space and time are not independent and absolute, as Newton had thought, but are enmeshed and relative in a manner that flies in the face of common experience.
Wonders of the Universe by Brian Cox, Andrew Cohen
a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, Karl Jansky, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route
Chesterton * * * Care is in order, because the very beginning – by which we mean the events that happened during the Planck epoch – the time period before a million million million million million million millionths of a second after the Big Bang, is currently beyond our understanding. This is because we lack a theory of space and time before this point, and consequently have very little to say about it. Such a theory, known as quantum gravity, is the holy grail of modern theoretical physics and is being energetically searched for by hundreds of scientists across the world. (Albert Einstein spent the last decades of his life searching in vain for it.) Conventional thinking holds that both time and space began at time zero, the beginning of the Planck era. The Big Bang can therefore be regarded as the beginning of time itself, and as such it was the beginning of the Universe. There are alternatives, however. In one theory, what we see as the Big Bang and the beginning of the Universe was caused by the collision of two pieces of space and time, known as ‘branes’, that had been floating forever in an infinite, pre-existing space.
The breakthrough was made by the Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who, in a series of papers in 1861 and 1862, developed a single theory of electricity and magnetism that was able to explain all of the experimental work of Faraday, Ampère and others. But Maxwell’s crowning glory came in 1864, when he published a paper that is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in the history of science. Albert Einstein later described Maxwell’s 1860s papers as ‘the most profound and the most fruitful that physics has experienced since the time of Newton.’ Maxwell discovered that by unifying electrical and magnetic phenomena together into a single mathematical theory, a startling prediction emerges. Electricity and magnetism can be unified by introducing two new concepts: electric and magnetic fields. The idea of a field is central to modern physics; a simple example of something that can be represented by a field is the temperature in a room.
Why shouldn’t a sufficiently powerful aircraft or spacecraft be able to fly faster than a wave in electric and magnetic fields? The answer is that the ‘light barrier’ is of a totally different character and cannot be smashed through, even in principle. The reason for this is that light speed plays a much deeper role in the Universe than just being the speed at which light travels. A true understanding of the role of this speed, 299,792,458 metres (983,571,503 feet) per second, was achieved in 1905 by Albert Einstein in his special theory of relativity. Einstein, inspired by Maxwell’s work, wrote down a theory in which space and time are merged into a single entity known as ‘spacetime’. Einstein suggested we should not see our world as having only three directions – north/south, east/west and up/down, as he added a fourth direction – past/future. Hence spacetime is referred to as four-dimensional, with time being the fourth dimension.
Bomb Scare by Joseph Cirincione
Albert Einstein, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, uranium enrichment, Yogi Berra
They are in great part responsible for the optimism the reader will find in the final chapters. Joseph Cirincione Washington, D.C. March 2008 THE ATOM Figure from the Department of Energy FISSION Figure from Ohio State University, Department of Physics CENTRIFUGE Figure from Cirincione, Wolfsthal, and Rajkumar, Deadly Arsenals: Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Threats (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2005) CHAPTER ONE BUILDING THE BOMB Albert Einstein signed the letter. Years later he would regret it, calling it the one mistake he had made in his life. But in August 1939, Adolf Hitler’s armies already occupied Czechoslovakia and Austria and his fascist thugs were arresting Jews and political opponents throughout the Third Reich. Signing the letter seemed vital. His friends and fellow physicists, Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner, had drafted the note he would now send to President Franklin D.
They believed it to be a weapon of genocide: “The use of this weapon would bring about the destruction of innumerable human lives; it is not a weapon which can be used exclusively for the destruction of material installations of military or semi-military purposes. Its use therefore carries much further than the atomic bomb itself the policy of extermination of civilian populations.”3 Even if the Soviets developed the H-bomb, they argued, the United States could deter its use with atomic weapons. The scientists’ views did not prevail. Albert Einstein wrote in March 1950, “The idea of achieving security through national armaments is, at the present state of military technique, a disastrous illusion. . . . The armament race between the USA and the USSR, originally supposed to be a preventive measure, assumes hysterical character.”4 The Super project inaugurated the design and testing of the advanced weapon that now composes the large majority of modern arsenals.
In the middle of the last century, when the United Kingdom, France, and China were developing nuclear arsenals, there was a pervasive view among political elites in many nations that nuclear weapons were acceptable, desirable, even necessary. The increasing size of nuclear arsenals and alarm over the spread of deadly radioactive fallout from nuclear tests, however, stoked fears of nuclear dangers. Distinguished philosopher Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein (in one of his last acts before his death) issued the Russell-Einstein Manifesto in July 1955. “We have to learn to think in a new way,” they wrote. “We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?”
Time Travel: A History by James Gleick
Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, butterfly effect, crowdsourcing, Doomsday Book, index card, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Marshall McLuhan, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, wikimedia commons
.*1 A proud member of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, he rides up and down the Thames valley on a forty-pounder with tubular frame and pneumatic tires, savoring the thrill of riding his machine: “A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go.” At some point he sees a printed advertisement for a contraption called Hacker’s Home Bicycle: a stationary stand with rubber wheels to let a person pedal for exercise without going anywhere. Anywhere through space, that is. The wheels go round and time goes by. The turn of the twentieth century loomed—a calendar date with apocalyptic resonance. Albert Einstein was a boy at gymnasium in Munich. Not till 1908 would the Polish-German mathematician Hermann Minkowski announce his radical idea: “Henceforth space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality.” H. G. Wells was there first, but unlike Minkowski, Wells was not trying to explain the universe.
If he has passed through a hundred thousand generations, why isn’t he a hundred thousand generations old?” Here is an obvious contradiction: “the first contradiction in the whole proceeding.” • Time goes at a certain rate, and this rate must be the same for everyone, everywhere. “Two objects or systems” cannot have “different rates of displacement or change in time”—obviously. Pitkin scarcely knew what devilishness Albert Einstein was conjuring in Berlin. • Traveling through time must obey rules of arithmetic, just like traveling through space. Do the math: “To traverse a million years in a few days is exactly like traveling a thousand miles in one inch.” A thousand miles does not equal one inch; ergo, a million years cannot equal a few days. “Now is not this a pure self-contradiction, on a par with the proposition that you or I can go from New York to Pekin without moving farther than our own front door?”
Radio had begun as a glorious dream—the finest fruits of the culture, the wisest thoughts and best music, transmitted into homes across the land. “Chaliapin and Melba would sing to us, President Coolidge and Mr. Baldwin would talk to us simply, earnestly, directly; the most august in the world would wish us good evening and pass a friendly word; should a fire or shipwreck happen, we were to get the roar of the flames and the cries for help.” A. A. Milne would tell stories to children and Albert Einstein would bring science to the masses. “All sporting results before we went to bed would be included, the weather forecast, advice about our gardens, the treatment of influenza, and the exact time.” Yet for Wells the dream had turned sour. Asked by the New York Times to assess the state of radio for its readers, he ranted bitterly, disillusioned as a child finding lumps of coal in the Christmas stocking.
Geek Wisdom by Stephen H. Segal
Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, battle of ideas, biofilm, fear of failure, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, Mark Zuckerberg, mutually assured destruction, nuclear paranoia, Saturday Night Live, Vernor Vinge
This is why science fiction and role-playing games make up the enduring popular image of modern-day geekdom, mind you, because those are the places where math and myth intersect: literature built on the infinite possibilities of science, improv sword and sorcery shaped by the numerical output of 20-sided dice. Hence Geek Wisdom: the first compendium of sacred teachings from the wide-ranging “holy scriptures” of geekdom, that weird mass of pop culture and high art ranging from blockbuster movies to esoteric novels to cult-classic T-shirt slogans. Star Wars. The Princess Bride. Albert Einstein. Stan Lee. From such sources we’ve gathered (and mused thoughtfully upon) the deepest, purest, most profound ideas and sayings to be found. The ones that cut right to the heart of life in the twenty-first century. The ones we quote as if they’d come from the Bible, or from Shakespeare. The ones that, increasingly, have emerged from the underground to form the cellular structure of a true new culture canon.
George Washington realized it, too, and that’s why he decided eight years was long enough for anyone to be president of the United States. Tim Allen tried to dodge around it, and that’s why his dishwasher exploded. King David said to hell with it and had his lover’s husband killed, and that’s why he had epic family problems for the rest of his life. Paris Hilton seems oblivious to the very concept, and that’s why animal lovers have long been inclined to worry about her poor, poor dog. And Albert Einstein realized the full, inhuman horror of it—that’s why he wrote to Franklin Roosevelt to explain the possibility of an atomic bomb. Sure, the seed of the truism can be found in Luke 12:48 (“To whom much is given, much is expected”). But although the word of that uppity young Jewish carpenter from Nazareth may be eternal, it took an uppity young Jewish comic-book writer from New York City to put it in terms that ring true to the modern ear.
“YOU’RE TRAVELING THROUGH ANOTHER DIMENSION, A DIMENSION NOT ONLY OF SIGHT AND SOUND, BUT OF MIND.” —ROD SERLING, THE TWILIGHT ZONE “I WAS BOLD IN THE PURSUIT OF KNOWLEDGE, NEVER FEARING TO FOLLOW TRUTH AND REASON TO WHATEVER RESULTS THEY LED, AND BEARDING EVERY AUTHORITY WHICH STOOD IN THEIR WAY.” —THOMAS JEFFERSON THE WORLD is most often changed by ideas rather than by guns, bombs, and fists. Albert Einstein. Karl Marx. Thomas Jefferson. Carl Sagan. Men like these have sparked revolutions and given us new ways to see and understand our world. This is no surprise; geeks throughout history have long known the power of the mind. It wasn’t until the twentieth century, however, that we developed a robust subculture that embraced the kind of flights of fancy that have come to define us. Jefferson correctly saw a need to fuel the mind, a cultural desire for speculation that gave people insight into the human condition.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, clean water, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, desegregation, Donald Trump, global pandemic, Gunnar Myrdal, mass incarceration, Milgram experiment, obamacare, out of africa, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, strikebreaker, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game
Epilogue: A World Without Caste “The worst disease is”: Jerome and Taylor, Einstein on Race, pp. 144–45. “bowing and scraping”: Ibid., p. 32. Einstein, learning of this: Matthew Francis, “How Albert Einstein Used His Fame to Denounce American Racism,” Smithsonian Magazine, March 3, 2017, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/how-celebrity-scientist-albert-einstein-used-fame-denounce-american-racism-180962356/. “Being a Jew myself, perhaps”: Einstein to Peter Bucky, quoted in Jerome and Taylor, Einstein on Race, p. 151. children of black faculty: Ken Gewertz, “Albert Einstein, Civil Rights Activist,” Harvard Gazette, April 12, 2007, https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2007/04/albert-einstein-civil-rights-activist/. “The separation of the races”: Jerome and Taylor, Einstein on Race, p. 88. “He hates race prejudice”: Ibid., p. 9. 228 years to amass the wealth: Dedrick Asante-Muhammad et al., “The Ever Growing Gap,” Institute for Policy Studies, August 2016, https://ips-dc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/The-Ever-Growing-Gap-CFED_IPS-Final-1.pdf.
Classification: LCC HT725.U6 W55 2020 (print) | LCC HT725.U6 (ebook) | DDC 305.5/122—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020012794 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020012795 Ebook ISBN 9780593230268 randomhousebooks.com Title-page art by Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos Cover design: Greg Mollica Cover photograph: Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos ep_prh_5.5.0_c0_r0 Contents Cover Title Page Copyright Epigraph The Man in the Crowd Part One: Toxins in the Permafrost and Heat Rising All Around Chapter One: The Afterlife of Pathogens The Vitals of History Chapter Two: An Old House and an Infrared Light Chapter Three: An American Untouchable An Invisible Program Part Two: The Arbitrary Construction of Human Divisions Chapter Four: A Long-Running Play and the Emergence of Caste in America Chapter Five: “The Container We Have Built for You” Chapter Six: The Measure of Humanity Chapter Seven: Through the Fog of Delhi to the Parallels in India and America Chapter Eight: The Nazis and the Acceleration of Caste Chapter Nine: The Evil of Silence Part Three: The Eight Pillars of Caste The Foundations of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents Pillar Number One: Divine Will and the Laws of Nature Pillar Number Two: Heritability Pillar Number Three: Endogamy and the Control of Marriage and Mating Pillar Number Four: Purity Versus Pollution Pillar Number Five: Occupational Hierarchy: The Jatis and the Mudsill Pillar Number Six: Dehumanization and Stigma Pillar Number Seven: Terror as Enforcement, Cruelty as a Means of Control Pillar Number Eight: Inherent Superiority Versus Inherent Inferiority Part Four: The Tentacles of Caste Brown Eyes Versus Blue Eyes Chapter Ten: Central Miscasting Chapter Eleven: Dominant Group Status Threat and the Precarity of the Highest Rung Chapter Twelve: A Scapegoat to Bear the Sins of the World Chapter Thirteen: The Insecure Alpha and the Purpose of an Underdog Chapter Fourteen: The Intrusion of Caste in Everyday Life Chapter Fifteen: The Urgent Necessity of a Bottom Rung Chapter Sixteen: Last Place Anxiety: Packed in a Flooding Basement Chapter Seventeen: On the Early Front Lines of Caste Chapter Eighteen: Satchel Paige and the Illogic of Caste Part Five: The Consequences of Caste Chapter Nineteen: The Euphoria of Hate Chapter Twenty: The Inevitable Narcissism of Caste Chapter Twenty-one: The German Girl with the Dark, Wavy Hair Chapter Twenty-two: The Stockholm Syndrome and the Survival of the Subordinate Caste Chapter Twenty-three: Shock Troops on the Borders of Hierarchy Chapter Twenty-four: Cortisol, Telomeres, and the Lethality of Caste Part Six: Backlash Chapter Twenty-five: A Change in the Script Chapter Twenty-six: Turning Point and the Resurgence of Caste Chapter Twenty-seven: The Symbols of Caste Chapter Twenty-eight: Democracy on the Ballot Chapter Twenty-nine: The Price We Pay for a Caste System Part Seven: Awakening Chapter Thirty: Shedding the Sacred Thread The Radicalization of the Dominant Caste Chapter Thirty-one: The Heart Is the Last Frontier Epilogue: A World Without Caste Dedication Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography By Isabel Wilkerson About the Author Because even if I should speak, no one would believe me. And they would not believe me precisely because they would know that what I said was true. —JAMES BALDWIN If the majority knew of the root of this evil, then the road to its cure would not be long. —ALBERT EINSTEIN The Man in the Crowd There is a famous black-and-white photograph from the era of the Third Reich. It is a picture taken in Hamburg, Germany, in 1936, of shipyard workers, a hundred or more, facing the same direction in the light of the sun. They are heiling in unison, their right arms rigid in outstretched allegiance to the Führer. If you look closely, you can see a man in the upper right who is different from the others.
Where would the planet be had the putative beneficiaries been freed of the illusions that imprisoned them, too, had they directed their energies toward solutions for all of humanity, cures for cancer and hunger and the existential threat of climate change, rather than division? * * * —— In December 1932, one of the smartest men who ever lived landed in America on a steamship with his wife and their thirty pieces of luggage as the Nazis bore down on their homeland of Germany. Albert Einstein, the physicist and Nobel laureate, had managed to escape the Nazis just in time. The month after Einstein left, Hitler was appointed chancellor. In America, Einstein was astonished to discover that he had landed in yet another caste system, one with a different scapegoat caste and different methods, but with embedded hatreds that were not so unlike the one he had just fled. “The worst disease is the treatment of the Negro,” he wrote in 1946.
The End of My Addiction by Olivier Ameisen
In memory of my parents It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom. —ALBERT EINSTEIN Miracles only happen in the soul of one who looks for them. —STEFAN ZWEIG Contents Foreword by Jeffrey S. Borer, M.D. Note to the Reader 1. Moment of Truth 2. A Remedy Gone Wrong 3. Under Treatment and “In Recovery” 4. Doing Great and Feeling Awful 5. Falling Down 6. Against Medical Advice, or, The Life of Afterward 7. Cutting Through Craving 8. The End of Addiction? 9. How Baclofen Works: What We Know, and Need to Know Appendix Baclofen and Complete Suppression of Alcoholism Case Report 1: Ameisen, O. “Complete and prolonged suppression of symptoms and consequences of alcohol-dependence using high-dose baclofen: a self-case report of a physician.” Case Report 2: Bucknam, W.
People with addiction don’t like themselves, they think they are worthless losers, and they avoid looking in the mirror as much as possible. A counselor at Marworth spoke about this issue and told us, “Look at yourself in the mirror. Look, and like yourself. Do as they say in AA, ‘Fake it till you make it.’ You hate what you see in the mirror, but fake that you like it. Smile at yourself and say, ‘I’m an attractive person.’” The counselor looked like Albert Einstein on a bad hair day with no sleep. When he said, “I look at myself in the mirror and I love what I see,” we all laughed. But I took his advice, and even though I thought I was ugly, I wound up liking what I saw in the mirror. Marworth’s life lessons also included writing daily gratitude and next-day planning lists. The gratitude list was everything good that happened during the day. The idea was to appreciate simple things that people normally take for granted, like being alive and breathing, eating good food and having a roof over your head, seeing something beautiful in nature, having a pleasant conversation with someone, and so on.
Revealing my identity would also make the point that those who suffer from addiction deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as sufferers from other diseases. One thing missing from the baclofen-related research I had found so far was support for baclofen’s safety at high doses. But then one day, searching for articles on “oral high-dose baclofen,” I hit something promising. In 1991 C. R. Smith et al., of the Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, had published a paper in Neurology entitled “High-dose oral baclofen: experience in patients with multiple sclerosis.” The abstract referred to MS patients taking more than 80 milligrams of baclofen a day and said that “taking a high dose was not associated with discontinuing treatment.”1 I checked around Paris for the article, but could not find a library that carried Neurology.
The Greatest Story Ever Told—So Far by Lawrence M. Krauss
Albert Einstein, complexity theory, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, the scientific method
Maxwell showed that the speed of an electromagnetic disturbance that emanates from an oscillating charge can be rendered precisely in terms of the measured strength of electricity and the measured strength of magnetism, which are determined by measuring the constants A and B in the laboratory. When he used the data then available for the measured strength of electricity and the measured strength of magnetism and plugged in the numbers, he derived: Speed of electromagnetic waves ≈ 311,000,000 meters per second A famous story claims that when Albert Einstein finished his General Theory of Relativity and compared its predictions for the orbit of Mercury to the measured numbers, he had heart palpitations. One can only imagine, then, the excitement that Maxwell must have had when he performed his calculation. For this number, which may seem arbitrary, was well known to him as the speed of light. In 1849, the French physicist Fizeau had measured the speed of light, an extremely difficult measurement back then, and had obtained: Speed of light ≈ 313,000,000 meters per second Given the accuracy available at the time, these two numbers are identical.
Any experiment that you perform at rest, such as throwing a ball up in the air and catching it, will have an identical result if performed while moving at a constant speed, as, say, might happen while riding on an airplane in the absence of turbulence. No experiment you can perform on the plane, if its windows are closed, will tell you whether the plane is moving or standing still. While Galileo started the ball rolling, both literally and metaphorically, in 1632, it took another 273 years to fully lay to rest this issue (issues, unlike objects, can be laid to rest). It would take Albert Einstein to do so. Einstein was not a revolutionary in the same sense as Galileo, if by this term one describes those who tear down the dictates of the authorities who came before, as Galileo had done for Aristotle. Einstein did just the opposite. He knew that rules that had been established on the basis of experiment could not easily be tossed aside, and it was a mark of his genius that he didn’t.
This is so important I want to repeat it for the benefit of those people who write to me every week or so telling me that they have discovered a new theory that demonstrates everything we now think we know about the universe is wrong—and using Einstein as their exemplar to justify this possibility. Not only is your theory wrong, but you are doing Einstein a huge disservice: rules that have been established on the basis of experiment cannot easily be tossed aside. • • • Albert Einstein was born in 1879, the same year that James Clerk Maxwell died. It is tempting to suggest that their combined brilliance was too much for one simple planet to house at the same time. But it was just a coincidence, albeit a fortuitous one. If Maxwell hadn’t preceded him, Einstein couldn’t have been Einstein. He came from the first generation of young scientists who grew up wrestling with the new knowledge about light and electromagnetism that Faraday and Maxwell had generated.
Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, discrete time, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, Paul Erdős, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, scientific worldview, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Turing machine
After publishing their complementary proofs in the 1930s, Turing and Gödel took rather different paths, though, like everyone else at that time, their lives were deeply affected by the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich. Gödel, in spite of suffering from on-and-off mental health problems, continued his work on the foundations of mathematics in Vienna until 1940, when he moved to the United States to avoid serving in the German army. (According to his biographer Hao Wang, while preparing for American citizenship Gödel found a logical inconsistency in the U.S. Constitution, and his friend Albert Einstein had to talk him out of discussing it at length during his official citizenship interview.) Gödel, like Einstein, was made a member of the prestigious Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and continued to make important contributions to mathematical logic. However, in the 1960s and 1970s, his mental health deteriorated further. Toward the end of his life he became seriously paranoid and was convinced that he was being poisoned.
Axelrod began studying the Dilemma during the Cold War as a result of his own concern over escalating arms races. His question was, “Under what conditions will cooperation emerge in a world of egoists without central authority?” Axelrod noted that the most famous historical answer to this question was given by the seventeenth-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who concluded that cooperation could develop only under the aegis of a central authority. Three hundred years (and countless wars) later, Albert Einstein similarly proposed that the only way to ensure peace in the nuclear age was to form an effective world government. The League of Nations, and later, the United Nations, were formed expressly for this purpose, but neither has been very successful in either establishing a world government or instilling peace between and within nations. Robert Axelrod. (Photograph courtesy of the Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan.)
Physicists Jim Crutchfield, Doyne Farmer, Norman Packard, and Robert Shaw voiced this view very well: “[T]he hope that physics could be complete with an increasingly detailed understanding of fundamental physical forces and constituents is unfounded. The interaction of components on one scale can lead to complex global behavior on a larger scale that in general cannot be deduced from knowledge of the individual components.” Or, as Albert Einstein supposedly quipped, “Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” So if fundamendal physics is not to be a unified theory for complex systems, what, if anything, is? Most complex systems researchers would probably say that a unified theory of complexity is not a meaningful goal at this point. The science of physics, being over two thousand years old, is conceptually way ahead in that it has identified two main kinds of “stuff”—mass and energy—which Einstein unified with E = mc2.
Infinite Ascent: A Short History of Mathematics by David Berlinski
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Douglas Hofstadter, Eratosthenes, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine, William of Occam
In 1846, the French mathematician Joseph Liouville published an edited version of Galois’ last work in the Journal de mathématiques, homage deferred and so homage denied. It was only in 1870—almost forty years after Galois’ duel!—that Camille Jourdan published a reasonably accurate and complete account of Galois’ theories in his treatise on algebra, Traité des substitutions et des équations algébriques. Galois’ work entered fully into scientific consciousness at what is virtually the beginning of the modern era, just ten years before the birth of Albert Einstein. When in 1907 Hermann Minkowski recast Einstein’s theory of special relativity so that it made mathematical sense, he expressed the fusion of space and time that Einstein had foreseen in the language of groups. The publication of Galois’ ideas allowed mathematicians to see that a system of architecture lay exposed beneath the shifting surface of the numbers themselves—not only groups, but semi-groups, simple groups, semisimple groups, Abelian groups, Lie groups, and beyond the groups, rings, fields, lattices, and ideals.
Isolated and alone and immured in his own immature fury, it was Évariste Galois who brought this magnificent structure into being. FEW MATHEMATICAL SUBJECTS SEEM quite so irresistibly lurid, the very words non-Euclidean suggesting an exotic universe in which embarrassing extra dimensions pop up in space and things by curving manage simultaneously to turn themselves inside out and upside down. When in 1915 Albert Einstein advanced a theory of gravity in which old-fashioned Newtonian forces vanished in favor of curved space and time, the impression was widespread that things were far weirder than anyone might have imagined. These impressions are not so much mistaken as misconceived. There is weirdness in non-Euclidean geometry, but not because of anything that geometers might say about the ordinary fond familiar world in which space is flat, angles sharp, and only curves are curved.
If there is one abstract space, and that one capable of incarnating itself in various ways, then the question of whether the space in which we live is Euclidean, elliptical, or hyperbolic, or even some unsuspected monstrosity in between, is no longer mathematical. We must seek, Riemann wrote, “the grounds of various metrical relationships outside the manifold itself, in the various binding forces which act upon it.…” Not yet born, it was Albert Einstein who heard this remark in the spirit world in which he was waiting as Riemann spoke. The debate between those who take non-Euclidean geometry in stride and those who find it the source of inexpugnable weirdness may now safely be subordinated, at least in so far as mathematics is concerned. Weirdness? That remains. It remains somewhere. But not in space. And not in mathematics. It is the physicists who have inherited the weird.
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
"Robert Solow", Al Roth, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Brownian motion, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, experimental economics, fear of failure, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, linear programming, lone genius, longitudinal study, market design, medical residency, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, Ronald Coase, second-price auction, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, spectrum auction, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, upwardly mobile, zero-sum game
Donald Newman, a mathematician who knew Nash at MIT in the 1950s, used to say about him that “everyone else would climb a peak by looking for a path somewhere on the mountain. Nash would climb another mountain altogether and from that distant peak would shine a searchlight back onto the first peak.”5 No one was more obsessed with originality, more disdainful of authority, or more jealous of his independence. As a young man he was surrounded by the high priests of twentieth-century science — Albert Einstein, John von Neumann, and Norbert Wiener — but he joined no school, became no one’s disciple, got along largely without guides or followers. In almost everything he did — from game theory to geometry — he thumbed his nose at the received wisdom, current fashions, established methods. He almost always worked alone, in his head, usually walking, often whistling Bach. Nash acquired his knowledge of mathematics not mainly from studying what other mathematicians had discovered, but by rediscovering their truths for himself.
He had carved out a brilliant career at the apex of the mathematics profession, traveled, lectured, taught, met the most famous mathematicians of his day, and become famous himself. His genius also won him love. He had married a beautiful young physics student who adored him, and fathered a child. It was a brilliant strategy, this genius, this life. A seemingly perfect adaptation. Many great scientists and philosophers, among them René Descartes, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Immanuel Kant, Thorstein Veblen, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein, have had similarly strange and solitary personalities.20 An emotionally detached, inward-looking temperament can be especially conducive to scientific creativity, psychiatrists and biographers have long observed, just as fiery fluctuations in mood may sometimes be linked to artistic expression. In The Dynamics of Creation, Anthony Storr, the British psychiatrist, contends that an individual who “fears love almost as much as he fears hatred” may turn to creative activity not only out of an impulse to experience aesthetic pleasure, or the delight of exercising an active mind, but also to defend himself against anxiety stimulated by conflicting demands for detachment and human contact.21 In the same vein, Jean-Paul Sartre, the French philosopher and writer, called genius “the brilliant invention of someone who is looking for a way out.”
Princeton was full of purists — topologists, algebraists, number theorists — and Duffin especially regarded Nash as someone obviously suited, by interest and temperament, for a career in the most abstract mathematics. “I thought he would be a completely pure mathematician,” Duffin recalled. “Princeton was first in topology. That’s why I wanted to send him to Princeton.”57 The only thing Nash really knew about Princeton was that Albert Einstein and John von Neumann were there, along with a bunch of other European émigrés. But the polyglot Princeton mathematical milieu — foreign, Jewish, left-leaning — still seemed to him a distinctly inferior alternative. Sensing Nash’s hesitation, Solomon Lefschetz, the chairman of the Princeton department, had already written to him urging him to choose Princeton.58 He finally dangled a John S.
The Clockwork Universe: Saac Newto, Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldI by Edward Dolnick
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, complexity theory, double helix, Edmond Halley, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, lone genius, music of the spheres, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, scientific worldview, Simon Singh, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
Microscopes and telescopes were the glamorous innovations that drew all eyes—Gulliver’s Travels testifies to Swift’s fascination with their power to reveal new worlds—but new instruments were only part of the story of the age. The insights that would soon transform the world required no tools more sophisticated than a fountain pen. For it was the mathematicians who invented the engine that powered the scientific revolution. Centuries later, the story would find an echo. In 1931, with great hoopla, Albert Einstein and his wife, Elsa, were toured around the observatory at California’s Mount Wilson, home to the world’s biggest telescope. Someone told Elsa that astronomers had used this magnificent telescope to determine the shape of the universe. “Well,” she said, “my husband does that on the back of an old envelope.” Those outsiders who did take science seriously tended to dislike what they saw. The scientists themselves viewed their work as a way of paying homage to God, but their critics were not so sure.
Thus began one of the most intense investigations in the history of thought. Since his early years at Cambridge, Newton had largely abandoned mathematics. Now his mathematical fever surged up again. For seventeen months Newton focused all his powers on the question of gravity. He worked almost without let-up, with the same ferocious concentration that had marked his miracle years two decades before. Albert Einstein kept a picture of Newton above his bed, like a teenage boy with a poster of LeBron James. Though he knew better, Einstein talked of how easily Newton made his discoveries. “Nature to him was an open book, whose letters he could read without effort.” But the real mark of Newton’s style was not ease but power. Newton focused his gaze on whatever problem had newly obsessed him, and then he refused to look away until he had seen to its heart.
He would stick to what he could know, even though Leibniz talked “as if it were a Crime to content himself with Certainties and let Uncertainties alone.” Newton opted for caution. “Ye cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know,” he wrote in 1693, “& therefore would take more time to consider of it.” Twenty years later, he had made no progress. “I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity,” Newton wrote in 1713, “and I frame no hypotheses.” Another two centuries would pass before Albert Einstein framed a new hypothesis. In the meantime, Newton declared his peace with his own considerable achievement. “And to us it is enough that gravity does really exist, and act according to the laws which we have explained,” he wrote, in a kind of grand farewell to his theory, “and abundantly serves to account for all the motions of the celestial bodies, and of our sea.” Chapter Fifty-Two In Search of God A different feature of Newton’s theory of gravitation raised the most troubling question of all: where did God fit into Newton’s universe?
Nonviolence: The History of a Dangerous Idea by Mark Kurlansky
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, desegregation, European colonialism, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, polynesian navigation, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, working poor
He wrote of the average soldier: “He only hands a shell or pulls a string. And a Beethoven or a baby dies six miles off.” According to conservative estimates, ten million had been killed and another twenty million wounded. IX The kind of pacifism that does not actively combat the war preparations of the governments is powerless and will always stay powerless. Would that the conscience and common sense of the people awaken! —ALBERT EINSTEIN, speech in New York, December 14, 1930 World War I had given war such a bad reputation that, for a moment, most people turned against it. Both youth and veterans groups had large numbers campaigning for peace. Quakers and other antiwar religious groups were expanding in Britain and the United States. The works of European writers and artists, as well as Americans such as Ernest Hemingway and John Dos Passos, had strong antiwar overtones as did many of the painters such as the German war veteran Otto Dix.
How could young men ever again be cowered into killing the way the German boys in Remarque's book were? But four years after All Quiet on the Western Front was published, Hitler came to power and ordered the novel burned while its author fled to Switzerland. Still, antiwar sentiment was running high, especially in the United States. The peace movement was becoming mainstream. Leading scientists such as Albert Einstein were outspoken pacifists. Christian clergy were coming forward to vow that they would never again commit the sin of backing war. In 1935 the Central Conference of American Rabbis mailed a questionnaire asking its membership of Reform rabbis if they would in the future refuse to support any war. Ninety-one said they would, thirty-two agreed with certain qualifications, and only thirty-two said no.
Clive Bell had written during World War I: “If we were sure that we could ‘smash' the Germans only by smashing everyone else, ourselves included, I suppose we should desist from our endeavor.” And that was exactly what war had become in the nuclear age. Leading scientists, writers, political activists, and the general population around the world agreed on their opposition to nuclear weapons. The so-called “father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb,” So-viet physicist Andrei Sakharov, and Albert Einstein, the Western “nuclear father,” were in agreement. Sakharov took on Clausewitz's famous dictum that war was “a continuation of politics by other means,” saying, “A thermonuclear war cannot be considered a continuation of politics by other means. It would be a means of universal suicide.” While governments were playing out their Cold War, young people in both blocs were having their ideas shaped as they were being taught to crouch under their school desks, which someone somewhere had decided would be the one safe place for them in the event of a nuclear World War III.
Beyond Weird by Philip Ball
Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, dematerialisation, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes
Here was the man who had just been anointed one of the foremost experts on the topic, declaring his ignorance of it. What hope was there, then, for the rest of us? Feynman’s much-quoted words help to seal the reputation of quantum mechanics as one of the most obscure and difficult subjects in all of science. Quantum mechanics has become symbolic of ‘impenetrable science’, in the same way that the name of Albert Einstein (who played a key role in its inception) acts as shorthand for scientific genius. Feynman clearly didn’t mean that he couldn’t do quantum theory. He meant that this was all he could do. He could work through the maths just fine – he invented some of it, after all. That wasn’t the problem. Sure, there’s no point in pretending that the maths is easy, and if you never got on with numbers then a career in quantum mechanics isn’t for you.
Or worse: only a few decades ago, professing a serious interest in the topic could be tantamount to career suicide for a young physicist. Only a handful of scientists and philosophers, idiosyncratically if not plain crankily, insisted on caring about the answer. Many researchers would shrug or roll their eyes when the ‘meaning’ of quantum mechanics came up; some still do. ‘Ah, nobody understands it anyway!’ How different this is from the attitude of Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and their contemporaries, for whom grappling with the apparent oddness of the theory became almost an obsession. For them, the meaning mattered intensely. In 1998 the American physicist John Wheeler, a pioneer of modern quantum theory, lamented the loss of the ‘desperate puzzlement’ that was in the air in the 1930s. ‘I want to recapture that feeling for all10, even if it is my last act on Earth’, Wheeler said.
How, at the beginning of the twentieth century, physicists began to realize that the world is constructed quite differently from how they had supposed. How this ‘new physics’ began to disclose increasingly odd implications. How the founders puzzled, argued, improvised, guessed, in their efforts to come up with a theory to explain it all. How knowledge once deemed precise and objective now seemed uncertain, contingent and observer-dependent. And the cast! Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Erwin Schrödinger, and other colourful intellectual giants like John von Neumann, Richard Feynman and John Wheeler. Best of all for its narrative value is the largely good-natured but trenchant dispute that rumbled on for decades between Einstein and Bohr about what it all meant – about the nature of reality. This is indeed a superb story, and if you haven’t heard it before then you should.fn1 Yet most popular descriptions of quantum theory have been too wedded to its historical evolution.
Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman by James Gleick
Albert Einstein, American ideology, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Ernest Rutherford, gravity well, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sand Hill Road, Schrödinger's Cat, sexual politics, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, uranium enrichment
He was the meeting’s nominal chairman, but more accomplished physicists were scattered about the room: Niels Bohr, the father of the quantum theory, on hand from his institute in Denmark; Enrico Fermi, creator of the nuclear chain reaction, from his laboratory in Chicago; Paul A. M. Dirac, the British theorist whose famous equation for the electron had helped set the stage for the present crisis. It went without saying that they were Nobel laureates; apart from Oppenheimer almost everyone in the room either had won or would win this honor. A few Europeans were absent, as was Albert Einstein, settling into his statesmanlike retirement, but with these exceptions the Pocono conclave represented the whole priesthood of modern physics. Night fell and Feynman spoke. Chairs shifted. The priesthood had trouble following this brash young man. They had spent most of the day listening to an extraordinary virtuoso presentation by Feynman’s exact contemporary, Julian Schwinger of Harvard University.
Richard spent fifteen dollars on a special entrance examination for Columbia University, and after he was turned down he long resented the loss of the fifteen dollars. MIT accepted him. MIT A seventeen-year-old freshman, Theodore Welton, helped some of the older students operate the wind-tunnel display at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Spring Open House in 1936. Like so many of his classmates he had arrived at the Tech knowing all about airplanes, electricity, and chemicals and revering Albert Einstein. He was from a small town, Saratoga Springs, New York. With most of his first year behind him, he had lost none of his confidence. When his duties ended, he walked around and looked at the other exhibits. A miniature science fair of current projects made the open house a showcase for parents and visitors from Boston. He wandered over to the mathematics exhibit, and there, amid a crowd, his ears sticking out noticeably from a very fresh face, was what looked like another first-year boy, inappropriately taking charge of a complex, suitcase-size mechanical-mathematical device called a harmonic analyzer.
As the day approached, Wigner, who ran the colloquiums, stopped Feynman in the hall. Wigner said he had heard enough from Wheeler about the absorber theory to think it was important. Because of its implications for cosmology he had invited the great astrophysicist Henry Norris Russell. John von Neumann, the mathematician, was also going to come. The formidable Wolfgang Pauli happened to be visiting from Zurich; he would be there. And though Albert Einstein rarely bestirred himself to the colloquiums, he had expressed interest in attending this one. Wheeler tried to calm Feynman by promising to field questions from the audience. Wigner tried to brief him. If Professor Russell appears to fall asleep during your talk, Wigner said, don’t worry—Professor Russell always falls asleep. If Pauli appears to be nodding, don’t assume he agrees—he nods from palsy.
The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom
This book, and the volumes which will follow, are the books I wish had existed years ago when I started learning about mental models. These are my homage to the idea that we can benefit from understanding how the world works and applying that understanding to keep us out of trouble. The ideas in these volumes are not my own, nor do I deserve any credit for them. They come from the likes of Charlie Munger, Nassim Taleb, Charles Darwin, Peter Kaufman, Peter Bevelin, Richard Feynman, Albert Einstein, and so many others. As the Roman poet Publius Terentius wrote: “Nothing has yet been said that’s not been said before.” I’ve only curated, edited, and shaped the work of others before me. The timeless, broad ideas in these volumes are for my children and their children and their children’s children. In creating them, I hope to allow others to approach problems with clarity and confidence, helping to make their journey through life more successful and rewarding
If the value of a map or model is related to its ability to predict or explain, then it needs to represent reality. If reality has changed the map must change. Take Newtonian physics. For hundreds of years it served as an extremely useful model for understanding the workings of our world. From gravity to celestial motion, Newtonian physics was a wide-ranging map. _ Would you be able to use this map to get to Egypt? Then in 1905 Albert Einstein, with his theory of Special Relativity, changed our understanding of the universe in a huge way. He replaced the understanding handed down by Isaac Newton hundreds of years earlier. He created a new map. Newtonian physics is still a very useful model. One can use it very reliably to predict the movement of objects large and small, with some limitations as pointed out by Einstein. And, on the flip side, Einstein’s physics are still not totally complete: With every year that goes by, physicists become increasingly frustrated with their inability to tie it into small-scale quantum physics.
Out of 100,000 game scenarios, Allen probably only wins in the few where LeBron starts the game by having a deadly heart attack. Experimenting to discover the full spectrum of possible outcomes gives you a better appreciation for what you can influence and what you can reasonably expect to happen. Let’s now explore few areas in which thought experiments are tremendously useful. Imagining physical impossibilities Re-imagining history Intuiting the non-intuitive Imagining physical impossibilities: Albert Einstein was a great user of the thought experiment because it is a way to logically carry out a test in one’s own head that would be very difficult or impossible to perform in real life. With this tool, we can solve problems with intuition and logic that cannot be demonstrated physically. One of his notable thought experiments involved an elevator.2 Imagine you were in a closed elevator, feet glued to the floor.
The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, period drama, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia
What Dirac did notice was that Heisenberg had not constructed his theory to be consistent with special relativity so, true to form, Dirac played his favourite game of trying to produce a version of Heisenberg’s theory that was consistent with relativity, but he soon gave up.36 At the end of September, Dirac prepared to return to Cambridge, convinced that the non-commuting quantities in the theory were the key to the mystery. To make progress, he needed to find the lock – a way of interpreting these quantities, a way of linking them to experimentally observed reality. One person who, unknown to Dirac, shared his excitement about the theory was Albert Einstein, who wrote to a friend: ‘Heisenberg has laid a big quantum egg.’37 At the beginning of October, Dirac began his final year as a postgraduate student. With Fowler’s encouragement, he set aside his books of intricate calculations based on the Bohr theory, well aware that – if Heisenberg’s theory was right – those calculations were all but worthless. It was during a Sunday walk in the countryside, soon after term began, that Dirac had his first great epiphany.
The application was advertised in the Times Higher Education Supplement, his mother says. 31 This proof copy is in Dirac Papers, 2/14/1 (FSU). 32 An English translation of this paper, together with other key papers in the early history of quantum mechanics, are reprinted in Van der Waerden (1967). 33 Dirac (1977: 119). 34 Interview with Flo Dirac, Stockholms Dagblad, 10 December 1933. 35 Darrigol (1992: 291–7). 36 Dirac (1977: 121). 37 Letter from Albert Einstein to Paul Ehrenfest, 20 September 1925, in Mehra and Rechenberg (1982: 276). 38 Dirac (1977: 121–5). 39 Dirac (1977: 122). 40 Here, X and Y are mathematical expressions of a type known as partial differentials. What is important is the superficial similarity between the form of the Poisson bracket and the difference AB – BA. 41 Eddington (1928: 210). 42 Elsasser (1978: 41). 43 Reference for Dirac, written by Fowler in April 1925, for the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851, 1851COMM. 44 Dalitz and Peierls (1986: 147).
Although Dirac’s approach and presentation were more elegant and easier to use, the two papers covered substantially the same ground and featured much the same conclusions. So although Dirac had made another distinguished contribution to quantum mechanics – his second within a year – he had yet to beat all his colleagues to a key innovation in the theory. He had, however, acquired some distinguished admirers, though most of them were struggling to understand his peculiar combination of logic and intuition. One of them was Albert Einstein, who told a friend: ‘I have trouble with Dirac. This balancing on the dizzying path between genius and madness is awful.’26 One evening in Dirac’s lodgings shortly before Christmas, the telephone rang. It was Professor Bohr, Dirac’s landlady told him, as she passed the receiver to him. This was a new experience for him – he had never before used a telephone.27 Knowing that Dirac was about to spend the holiday alone, Bohr was calling to ask if he would like to spend Christmas with him and his family.
Is God a Mathematician? by Mario Livio
Albert Einstein, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Brownian motion, cellular automata, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Georg Cantor, Gerolamo Cardano, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, music of the spheres, Myron Scholes, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Russell's paradox, Thales of Miletus, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, traveling salesman
The famous mathematician John von Neumann (1903–57), who was lecturing on Hilbert’s work at the time, canceled the rest of his planned course and devoted the remaining time to Gödel’s findings. Gödel the man was every bit as complex as his theorems. In 1940, he and his wife Adele fled Nazi Austria so he could take up a position at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. There he became a good friend and walking partner of Albert Einstein. When Gödel applied for naturalization as an American citizen in 1948, it was Einstein who, together with Princeton University mathematician and economist Oskar Morgenstern (1902–77), accompanied Gödel to his interview at the Immigration and Naturalization Service office. The events surrounding this interview are generally known, but they are so revealing about Gödel’s personality that I will give them now in full, precisely as they were recorded from memory by Oskar Morgenstern on September 13, 1971.
The events surrounding this interview are generally known, but they are so revealing about Gödel’s personality that I will give them now in full, precisely as they were recorded from memory by Oskar Morgenstern on September 13, 1971. I am grateful to Ms. Dorothy Morgenstern Thomas, Morgenstern’s widow, and to the Institute for Advanced Study for providing me with a copy of the document: It was in 1946 that Gödel was to become an American citizen. He asked me to be his witness and as the other witness, he proposed Albert Einstein who also gladly consented. Einstein and I occasionally met and were full of anticipation as to what would happen during this time prior to the naturalization proceedings themselves and even during those. Gödel whom I have seen of course time and again in the months before this event began to go in a thorough manner to prepare himself properly. Since he is a very thorough man, he started informing himself about the history of the settlement of North America by human beings.
This is certain, that it must proceed from a cause that penetrates to the very centres of the Sun and planets…and propagates its virtue on all sides to immense distances, decreasing always as the inverse square of the distances…But hitherto I have not been able to discover the cause of those properties of gravity from phenomena, and I frame no hypotheses. The person who decided to meet the challenge posed by Newton’s omission was Albert Einstein (1879–1955). In 1907 in particular, Einstein had a very strong reason to be interested in gravity—his new theory of special relativity appeared to be in direct conflict with Newton’s law of gravitation. Newton believed that gravity’s action was instantaneous. He assumed that it took no time at all for planets to feel the Sun’s gravitational force, or for an apple to feel the Earth’s attraction.
Paradox: The Nine Greatest Enigmas in Physics by Jim Al-Khalili
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, butterfly effect, clockwork universe, complexity theory, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Ernest Rutherford, Henri Poincaré, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Laplace demon, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Olbers’ paradox, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, Wilhelm Olbers
This will cause it to accelerate—to alter its state from being at rest to being in motion. But once it is moving, the same argument applies: namely, that, as time goes by, the distances covered are based on the moving object’s speed, which need not be constant. The Dichotomy argument is then an abstract irrelevance that has nothing to say about true motion in the physical world. I should make one final remark before moving on. Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity teaches us that maybe we should not dismiss the Dichotomy Paradox so confidently. According to Einstein, time can be regarded in a similar way to space—indeed, he refers to time as the fourth axis, or fourth dimension, of what is called space–time. This suggests that maybe the flow of time is just an illusion after all—and, if it is, then so is motion. But I would argue that, despite the success of relativity theory, this conclusion takes us away from physics and into the murky waters of metaphysics—abstract ideas that don’t have the solid backing of empirical science.
I certainly do not plan to use any algebra or draw any technical graphs in order to teach you the basics of relativity, and I could in principle just jump to the resolution of the paradox in the hope that you are happy to trust me on this business of lengths getting shorter at ultra-high speeds. But then again, I could just be making this stuff up. So you have a choice: you can skip to the end of the chapter where I explain away the paradox if you (a) know something about the Special Theory of Relativity already or (b) trust that if Albert Einstein says so then that is good enough for you; or you can allow me to lead you through the arguments carefully and gently. If you go for the latter option it will be worth it in the long run, since the next two chapters, on paradoxes involving the nature of time rather than space, will also depend on what I explain here. And I promise I shall do my very best to make it not only painless, but possibly even fun.
The Michelson-Morley result was the equivalent of both you on board the moving train and the observer watching the train go by agreeing on how fast the passenger was moving! It sounds ridiculous, right? Surely, as I explained before, you see the passenger moving at walking pace while the platform observer sees him whizz past at train speed, plus a little more. Just eight years before Michelson and Morley achieved their disturbing finding, Albert Einstein had been born in Ulm in Germany. That same year, 1879, Albert Michelson, working at a U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, had measured the speed of light to an accuracy of about one part in ten thousand. He wasn’t the first to do this and would not be the last, but it would stand him in good stead when he and Morley conducted their famous experiment. As for the young Einstein, although of course he was completely unaware of the astonishing result that Michelson and Morley announced to the world, he was nevertheless soon pondering the unusual properties of light himself by devising imaginary experiments.
The Zionist Ideas: Visions for the Jewish Homeland—Then, Now, Tomorrow by Gil Troy
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, demand response, different worldview, European colonialism, financial independence, ghettoisation, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, one-state solution, Silicon Valley, union organizing, urban planning, Yom Kippur War, young professional, zero-sum game
Silently, the two approach and stand immobile at attention, giving no sign of living or dying. Then, enveloped in tears and wonder, the nation will ask: “Who are you?” And the two reply quietly, “We are the silver platter on which the Jewish state was given.” This they will say and fall back encased in shadows And the rest will be told in Israel’s chronicles. Albert Einstein (1879–1955) Jewish nationalism as necessary nationalism. Albert Einstein was a most reluctant Zionist. Born in Germany in 1879 to a secular family, Einstein wanted to live in a world without borders—and in some ways intellectually he did. But his internationalism and discomfort with nationalism were no match for German antisemitism. By 1919 a decade and a half before Adolf Hitler and the Nazis dismissed Einstein’s groundbreaking scientific work as “Jewish Physics” and a “Jewish perversion,” the already legendary physicist would proclaim: “I am as a human being, an opponent of nationalism.
Jerusalem: Institute for Zionist Strategies and the Menachem Begin Heritage Center, 2016. Einstein, Albert, with Erich Kahler. “Palestine, Setting of Sacred History of the Jewish Race.” Princeton Herald, April 14, 1944. “I am as”: Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007). “person of the century”: Frederic Golden, “Person of the Century: Albert Einstein,” Time, December 31, 1999. “a pitiable attempt”: “The American Council for Judaism,” Albert Einstein Collection no. 42, Philosophical Library (2016). “The Jews of Palestine”: David Rowe and Robert Schulman, eds., Einstein on Politics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007). Eisen, Arnold. “What Does It Mean to Be a Zionist in 2015?: Speech to the 37th Zionist Congress in Jerusalem.” October 20, 2015. http://www.jtsa.edu/About_JTS/Administration/Office_of_the_Chancellor/Eisen_in_the_News/What_does_it_mean_to_be_a_Zionist_in_2015.xml; “Conservative Judaism Today and Tomorrow.”
Kleinbart, in memory of my beloved parents, David and Dora Kleinbart, z”l. Contents Foreword by Natan Sharansky Acknowledgments Introduction: How Zionism’s Six Traditional Schools of Thought Shape Today’s Conversation Part 1. Pioneers: Founding the Jewish State 1. Political Zionism Peretz Smolenskin Leon Pinsker Theodor Herzl Max Nordau Jacob Klatzkin Chaim Weizmann Natan Alterman Albert Einstein 2. Labor Zionism Moses Hess BILU Joseph Hayyim Brenner Nahman Syrkin Ber Borochov Aaron David Gordon Rachel Bluwstein Berl Katznelson Rahel Yanait Ben-Zvi 3. Revisionist Zionism The Union of Zionists-Revisionists Ze’ev Jabotinsky Saul Tchernichovsky The Irgun Avraham (Yair) Stern Haim Hazaz 4. Religious Zionism Yehudah Alkalai Samuel Mohilever Isaac Jacob Reines Abraham Isaac Kook Moshe “Kalphon” HaCohen Meir Bar-Ilan (Berlin) 5.
The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence by Benoit Mandelbrot, Richard L. Hudson
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black-Scholes formula, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, carbon-based life, discounted cash flows, diversification, double helix, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Elliott wave, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, implied volatility, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market microstructure, Myron Scholes, new economy, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, random walk, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, stochastic volatility, transfer pricing, value at risk, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile
Also, as fate would have it, very different motivations had sent other scientists on this trail. Long before, the invention of the microscope led to observations of the erratic way that tiny pollen grains jiggled about in a sample of water. A Scottish botanist, Robert Brown, studied this motion, observed that it is not a manifestation of life but a physical phenomenon, and received (possibly inflated) credit for the discovery through the term “Brownian motion.” In 1905, Albert Einstein developed for it equations very similar to Bachelier’s own equations of bond-price probability—though Einstein never knew that. Regardless, one cannot help but marvel that the movement of security prices, the motion of molecules, and the diffusion of heat could all be of the same mathematical species. As will be seen, it is one of many such strange liaisons in nature. Bachelier did not stop at theory: He also tested his equations against real prices for options and futures contracts.
It is one of the little miracles of animal neurology with which we are all familiar. But even more miraculous: If the cat happens to brush against an obstacle on the way down, the edge of a table, for instance, its body in mid-air will spontaneously adjust course, to avoid a collision. How does it do it? That was the subject of one of my stranger research collaborations, when I was for a year a visiting professor of physiology at Albert Einstein School of Medicine, in New York. My host, Professor Vahe Amassian, wanted to get to the bottom of this mystery, wiring a cat’s brain to observe the pattern of neuronal firing in mid-flight. (Yes, it is a bit scary to see all those electrodes coming out of its head.) But I urged him to take it easy and first go back to basics: What does the cat’s brain activity look like when nothing is happening?
But for the curious reader, in these Notes we provide a brief elaboration—mathematical and historical. Further detail can be found in this book’s bibliography and http://www.misbehaviorofmarkets.com and in many cases more directly in http://classes.yale.edu/fractals/index.html. Prelude Introducing a Maverick in Science xiv “Paul H. Cootner…” From Cootner 1964. xv “The grand aim of all science…” An oft-repeated quotation of Albert Einstein, from Life magazine, January 9, 1950. xvii “Mandelbrot’s life story…” All accounts of Mandelbrot’s life in this book are based primarily on conversations between the authors, supplemented by Mandelbrot’s own writings. A summary of his life and work may be found in Gleick 1987. An autobiographical essay plus additional biographical and bibliographical information is available at Mandelbrot’s web site, http://www.math.yale.edu/mandelbrot.
How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed by Ray Kurzweil
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, brain emulation, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, computer age, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, George Gilder, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, linear programming, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Norbert Wiener, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize
There is controversy as to whether or not she would have shared in that prize had she been alive in 1962. 7. Albert Einstein, “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” (1905). This paper established the special theory of relativity. See Robert Bruce Lindsay and Henry Margenau, Foundations of Physics (Woodbridge, CT: Ox Bow Press, 1981), 330. 8. “Crookes radiometer,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crookes_radiometer. 9. Note that some of the momentum of the photons is transferred to the air molecules in the bulb (since it is not a perfect vacuum) and then transferred from the heated air molecules to the vane. 10. Albert Einstein, “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?” (1905). This paper established Einstein’s famous formula E = mc2. 11. “Albert Einstein’s Letters to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt,” http://hypertextbook.com/eworld/einstein.shtml.
Indeed, that would have to be what observers on Earth would see. But we know that the speed of light is a constant, as the Michelson-Morley experiment had shown. Thus he would necessarily see the light beam traveling ahead of him at the full speed of light. This seemed like a contradiction—how could it be possible? The answer became evident to the German boy, whose name, incidentally, was Albert Einstein (1879–1955), by the time he turned twenty-six. Obviously—to young Master Einstein—time itself must have slowed down for him. He explains his reasoning in a paper published in 1905.7 If observers on Earth were to look at the young man’s watch they would see it ticking ten times slower. Indeed, when he got back to Earth, his watch would show that only 10 percent as much time had passed (ignoring, for the moment, acceleration and deceleration).
After we construct a model of how thinking works through this process of self-reflection, we’ll examine to what extent we can confirm it through the latest observations of actual brains and the state of the art in re-creating these processes in machines. CHAPTER 2 THOUGHT EXPERIMENTS ON THINKING I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterwards. —Albert Einstein The brain is a three-pound mass you can hold in your hand that can conceive of a universe a hundred billion light years across. —Marian Diamond What seems astonishing is that a mere three-pound object, made of the same atoms that constitute everything else under the sun, is capable of directing virtually everything that humans have done: flying to the moon and hitting seventy home runs, writing Hamlet and building the Taj Mahal—even unlocking the secrets of the brain itself.
The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life. by Robin Sharma
Albert Einstein, dematerialisation, epigenetics, Grace Hopper, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, index card, invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, large denomination, Mahatma Gandhi, Menlo Park, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Rosa Parks, telemarketer, white picket fence
“Your luggage will follow shortly. Not to worry—it shall be delivered to your guest rooms at Mr. Riley’s seaside estate. Spasiba,” she added in a graceful tone and with an earnest wave. “This is so A-list,” observed the entrepreneur as she happily snapped some selfies, uncharacteristically pouting like a fashionista. “Def,” replied the artist, as he photobombed her, sticking out his tongue like Albert Einstein did in that famous photo that betrayed his seriousness as a scientist and revealed his undiminished childlike sense of wonder. As the Range Rover rolled along the highway, tall stalks of sugar cane swayed in the fragrant breezes blown by the Indian Ocean. The quiet chauffeur wore a white cap, the kind you see bellmen at five-star hotels wearing, and a well-pressed dark gray uniform that hinted at an understated yet refined professionalism.
She’s found that people are far less productive when they are constantly interrupting themselves by shifting from one task to another throughout the day because they leave valuable pieces of their attention on too many different pursuits. The solution is exactly what I’m suggesting: work on one high-value activity at a time instead of relentlessly multitasking—and do so in a quiet environment. Albert Einstein made the point exquisitely when he wrote, ‘Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason, mastery demands all of a person.’ This really is one of the most closely guarded secrets of the virtuosos and history-makers. They don’t diffuse their cognitive bandwidth. They don’t dilute their creative gifts chasing every shiny diversion and every attractive opportunity that comes their way.
‘Grit’ is her word to describe these traits.” “Cool, brother,” said the artist. “That inspires me not to give up on a painting when I hit a wall of self-doubt. Or when I get frustrated by my lack of progress. Or when I get scared others in my field will laugh because I’m producing art that is fresh and original instead of copied and derivative.” “Good,” responded the billionaire as he rubbed his muscular abs. “Albert Einstein wrote ‘Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.’” “Love that,” spoke the artist exuberantly, displaying an expression that showed his growing pride in trusting his personal vision when it came to his craft.
Collider by Paul Halpern
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Gary Taubes, gravity well, horn antenna, index card, Isaac Newton, Magellanic Cloud, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Solar eclipse in 1919, statistical model, Stephen Hawking
Its prominently displayed CERN logo reminded me that this cozy village and its pastoral surroundings play a role in one of the leading scientific endeavors of the twenty-first century. Back on the Meyrin campus of CERN, I noted a similar juxtaposition of old and new. CERN is a laboratory keenly aware of its history. Its streets are named after a wide range of people who have spent their careers trying to discover the fundamental components of nature—from Democritus to Marie Curie and from James Clerk Maxwell to Albert Einstein. Scattered around its museum area are an assortment of accelerators and detectors of various shapes, sizes, and vintage. Comparing the small early detectors to ATLAS served to highlight the unbelievable progress made in particle physics during the last seventy-five years. CERN makes good use of many of its historical devices. Particles entering the LHC will first be boosted by several different older accelerators—the earliest built in the 1950s.
However, as temperatures lower, the roulette wheel freezes, and the marker points to a random direction. The Higgs field’s initial symmetry, with all angles being equal, has spontaneously broken to favor a single angle. Because the Higgs field sets the baseline for the vacuum (lowest energy) state of the universe, this transforms during the symmetry breaking from a situation called the true vacuum, in which the lowest energy is zero, to a false vacuum, in which it is nonzero. Following Albert Einstein’s famous dictum E = mc2 (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared), the acquired energy becomes mass and is shared among many elementary particles, including the carriers of the weak interaction. In short, the halting of the Higgs field’s “roulette wheel” channels mass into the weak exchange (and other) particles and explains why they are bulky while the photons remain massless. With its phenomenal ability to bestow mass on other particles, the Higgs has acquired the nickname the “God particle.”
A famous 1887 experiment by American researchers Albert Michelson and Edward Morley disproved the ether hypothesis by showing that the speed of light is the same in all directions. Still, given the compelling analogy to material waves, it was hard for the scientific community to accept that light is able to move through sheer emptiness. The constancy of the speed of light in a vacuum raised another critical question. In a scenario pondered by the young Albert Einstein, what would happen if someone managed to chase and catch up with a light wave? Would it appear static, like a deer frozen in a car’s headlights? In other words, in that case would the measured speed of light be zero? That’s what Newtonian mechanics predicts, because if two things are at the same speed, they should seem to each other not to be moving. However, Maxwell’s equations make no provision for the velocity of the observer.
100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison
23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize
“This underscores the power of researchers being able to scan the whole genome, and not just limit their searches to their own best hunches.”84 This power also translates into discovering weaknesses in cancer cells, thereby making possible personalized treatment, as well as looking at the genomes of people who live a very long time to see if they possess certain protector genes that regular people do not. There are at least two well-known groups studying centenarians (people who are older than one hundred). One is the Boston University New England Centenarian Study, run by Dr. Thomas Perls, and the other is the Longevity Genes Project at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, run by Dr. Nir Barzilai. According to Dr. Perls’s research, even though lifestyle and habits are important for health, it is clear that “exceptional longevity runs very strongly in families.”85 Dr. Nir Barzilai agrees. The “super agers,” as he calls them, appear to have a heritable genetic makeup that allows them to better avoid cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.86 The key, of course, is to find out exactly what parts of their genetic code keep them so healthy.
At this point, we should also note that any savings invested at a younger age would be earning interest over a longer period of time than ever before. Because compounding works by adding accumulated interest back to the principal, interest is continually earned on whatever principal there was plus the interest that the individual has already made. This means that money grows at a much faster rate when saved in this manner than if stuffed in the mattress. Indeed, compounding works so well that Albert Einstein called it the “eighth wonder of the world.” For example, if a person saved $100,000 at age 30, the value at age 65 would be $551,602 and the value at age 130 would be $13,150,126 (assuming, for simplicity, compound interest of 5 percent and no additional savings). This can be contrasted with a person who saves the same amount under the same conditions but doesn’t begin until age 50. That person would have only $207,893 at age 65 and $4,956,144 at age 130.
pid=newsarchive&refer=home&sid=aEUlnq6ltPpQ. 83 “Your Genome in Minutes: New Technology Could Slash Sequencing Time,” ScienceDaily, December 31, 2010, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101220121111.htm. 84 Francis Collins, “A Genome Story: 10th Anniversary Commentary,” Scientific American, June 25, 2010, www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=a-genome-story-10th-anniversary-com-2010-06-25. 85 Boston University School of Medicine, New England Centenarian Study, “Why Study Centenarians? An Overview,” www.bumc.bu.edu/centenarian/overview/. 86 Albert Einstein College of Medicine, “Einstein Launches SuperAgers.com to Spotlight Aging Research,” November 1, 2010, www.einstein.yu.edu/home/news.asp?ID=582. 87 J. Craig Venter Institute, “First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell,” www.jcvi.org/cms/research/projects/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell/overview/. 88 Katie Drummond, “Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,’ Molecular Kill-Switch Included,” Wired News, February 5, 2010, www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/02/pentagon-looks-to-breed-immortal-synthetic-organisms-molecular-kill-switch-included/. 89 Aubrey de Grey with Michael Rae, Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime (New York: St.
Exoplanets by Donald Goldsmith
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Carrington event, Colonization of Mars, cosmic abundance, dark matter, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, megastructure, Pluto: dwarf planet, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking
T hese directly imaged planets, modest though their numbers may be, already tend to confirm the hypothesis that many young stars possess equally young planets much more massive than Jupiter that orbit at distances significantly greater—in many cases far greater—than Jupiter’s distance from the sun. 73 7 • DETECTING PLANETS WITH EINSTEIN’S LENS P erhaps the sweetest, the cleverest, and in some ways the most frustrating technique for finding exoplanets arises from the theory of general relativity, the leap forward in our understanding of the physical universe that made Albert Einstein famous in 1919. This method, which we may call “Einstein’s lens,” allows astronomers to perceive the existence of exoplanets not by observing the planets’ own light, or their stars’ light, but instead by detecting the effect that their gravitational forces have upon light from far more distant stars. General relativity theory, which scientists call general relativity, describes the effect of gravity as a bending of space.
But wait a minute—didn’t Einstein say that all motion is relative? Why c an’t the twin on Earth say that she does the traveling? After all, she certainly moves with respect to the twin on the spaceship. What privileges one motion over another? Why doesn’t each twin see the other as aging more slowly? This “traveling twin paradox” has a resolution—and it’s a good thing too, if we hope to continue to respect Albert Einstein as the genius that he was. The situation may seem symmetrical so far as the two twins are concerned, but on closer inspection, a ctual symmetry does not exist. The crucial difference resides in the fact that the traveling twin (as we may reasonably identify her) turns around in her journey. T hose who find this statement insufficient may enjoy the next few paragraphs, which provide a ctual numbers in an example meant to demonstrate the facts that discriminate between the two twins.
., “Simultaneous Detection of Water, Methane, and Carbon Monoxide in the Atmosphere of Exoplanet HR8799b,” 231 Notes to Pages 73–90 Astrophysical Journal 804 (2015): 61; Patrick Ingraham et al., “Gemini Planet Imager Spectroscopy of the HR 8799 Planets c and d,” Astrophysical Journal Letters 794 (2014): L15. 12. G. Chauvin et al., “Discovery of a Warm, Dusty Giant Planet Around HIP 65426,” Astronomy and Astrophysics 605 (2017): L9–17. 7. Detecting Planets with Einstein’s Lens 1. Albert Einstein, “Die Grundlage der Allgemeinen Relativitätstheorie,” Annals of Physics 354 (1916): 769–822. 2. John Asher Johnson, How Do You Find an Exoplanet? (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016). 3. Scott Gaudi interview, May 3, 2017. 4. Calen Henderson statement at Kepler & K2 Science Conference IV, NASA / Ames Research Center, June 20, 2017; see also Calen Henderson et al., “Candidate Gravitational Microlensing Events for F uture Direct Lens Imaging,” Astrophysical Journal 794 (2014): 71. 5.
Cosmos by Carl Sagan
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, clockwork universe, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, planetary scale, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, spice trade, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, Tunguska event
The light by which we see it now has spent seventy-five years traversing the dark of interstellar space on its long journey to Earth. In the unlikely event that Beta Andromedae blew itself up last Tuesday, we would not know it for another seventy-five years, as this interesting information, traveling at the speed of light, would require seventy-five years to cross the enormous interstellar distances. When the light by which we now see this star set out on its long voyage, the young Albert Einstein, working as a Swiss patent clerk, had just published his epochal special theory of relativity here on Earth. Space and time are interwoven. We cannot look out into space without looking back into time. Light travels very fast. But space is very empty, and the stars are far apart. Distances of seventy-five light-years or less are very small compared to other distances in astronomy. From the Sun to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is 30,000 light-years.
If you had walked through the pleasant Tuscan countryside in the 1890’s, you might have come upon a somewhat long-haired teenage high school dropout on the road to Pavia. His teachers in Germany had told him that he would never amount to anything, that his questions destroyed classroom discipline, that he would be better off out of school. So he left and wandered, delighting in the freedom of Northern Italy, where he could ruminate on matters remote from the subjects he had been force-fed in his highly disciplined Prussian schoolroom. His name was Albert Einstein, and his ruminations changed the world. Einstein had been fascinated by Bernstein’s People’s Book of Natural Science, a popularization of science that described on its very first page the astonishing speed of electricity through wires and light through space. He wondered what the world would look like if you could travel on a wave of light. To travel at the speed of light? What an engaging and magical thought for a boy on the road in a countryside dappled and rippling in sunlight.
When you returned from your relativistic journey, what a difference there would be between your friends and you, they having aged decades, say, and you having aged hardly at all! Traveling close to the speed of light is a kind of elixir of life. Because time slows down close to the speed of light, special relativity provides us with a means of going to the stars. But is it possible, in terms of practical engineering, to travel close to the speed of light? Is a starship feasible? Tuscany was not only the caldron of some of the thinking of the young Albert Einstein; it was also the home of another great genius who lived 400 years earlier, Leonardo da Vinci, who delighted in climbing the Tuscan hills and viewing the ground from a great height, as if he were soaring like a bird. He drew the first aerial perspectives of landscapes, towns and fortifications. Among Leonardo’s many interests and accomplishments—in painting, sculpture, anatomy, geology, natural history, military and civil engineering—he had a great passion: to devise and fabricate a machine that could fly.
Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, different worldview, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor, yellow journalism, zero-sum game
America was entering a golden age of science, propelled in no small part by the massive philanthropic investments of two Republican men: steel magnate Andrew Carnegie,10 who funded public libraries across the nation, helped found what is now Carnegie Mellon University, and funded basic scientific research through the Carnegie Institution of Washington (since renamed the Carnegie Institution for Science); and John D. Rockefeller Sr.,11 who endowed the University of Chicago as well as Rockefeller University and Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health. As Hubble began secretly studying astronomy,12 what had captured the imagination of the American public was the growing fame of the former Swiss patent officer with wild hair and a playful face, Albert Einstein. THE HOAX OF RELATIVITY Einstein’s general theory of relativity had made the striking prediction that gravity could bend space and so disrupt the straight-line flow of light. On May 29, 1919, scientists set out to test the theory by carefully observing the way starlight behaved during a solar eclipse. If Einstein was right, the sun’s gravity would bend the light of stars that were in line with it, making them appear to be slightly offset.
Presiding over the American science war effort was Edwin Hubble’s boss Vannevar Bush, an engineer and the president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. There had been a certain lack of cooperation between the Europe-friendly science enterprise and the military during World War I, and certain administrative barriers to the military’s adoption of new technologies,4 that Bush was anxious to prevent the United States from repeating, particularly with the vast influx of talent the country was reaping as a result of growing Nazi intolerance. Albert Einstein was the most famous of these immigrants, but there were many others—most of them Jewish. Bush was strongly of the opinion that science and technology would lead to military superiority for whichever country best exploited them. After the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, Bush became convinced of the need to establish a federal agency that would coordinate US research efforts. He was able to schedule a hasty meeting in June 1940 with President Franklin D.
We have made a thing that by all [the] standards of the world we grew up in is an evil thing. And by so doing, by our participation in making it possible to make these things, we have raised again the question of whether science is good for man, of whether it is good to learn about the world, to try to understand it, to try to control it, to help give to the world of men increased insight, increased power.10 Albert Einstein, who had played a key role in alerting President Roosevelt to the possibility of making such a bomb, shared Oppenheimer’s feelings. He sent a telegram to hundreds of prominent Americans in May of 1946, asking for $200,000 to fund a national campaign “to let the people know that a new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward higher levels…. This appeal is sent to you only after long consideration of the immense crisis we face.”
The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable by James Owen Weatherall
Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Asian financial crisis, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, dark matter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, George Akerlof, Gerolamo Cardano, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Rogoff, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, martingale, Myron Scholes, new economy, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, prediction markets, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic process, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, tulip mania, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile
“Osborne Family History: Recollections of M.F.M. Osborne.” Courtesy of the Osborne family. Osborne, M.F.M., and Albert Einstein. 1946. Unpublished correspondence. Courtesy of the Osborne family. Packard, N. H. 1988. “Adaptation Toward the Edge of Chaos.” Dynamic Patterns in Complex Systems, ed. J.A.S. Kelso, A. J. Mandell, and M. F. Shlesinger. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing. — — — . 1990. “A Genetic Learning Algorithm for the Analysis of Complex Data.” Complex Systems 4 (5): 543–72. Packard, N. H., J. P. Crutchfield, J. D. Farmer, and R. S. Shaw. 1980. “Geometry From a Time Series.” Physical Review Letters 45 (9): 712–16. Pais, Abraham. 1982. Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and Life of Albert Einstein. Oxford: Oxford University Press. — — — . 2006. J. Robert Oppenheimer: A Life. New York: Oxford University Press.
If you were able to look closely enough, with a microscope, say, you would be able to see that the particles were constantly jittering. This seemingly random motion, according to the Roman poet Titus Lucretius (writing in about 60 B.C.), shows that there must be tiny, invisible particles — he called them “primordial bits” — buffeting the specks of dust from all directions and pushing them first in one direction and then another. Two thousand years later, Albert Einstein made a similar argument in favor of the existence of atoms. Only he did Lucretius one better: he developed a mathematical framework that allowed him to precisely describe the trajectories a particle would take if its twitches and jitters were really caused by collisions with still-smaller particles. Over the course of the next six years, French physicist Jean-Baptiste Perrin developed an experimental method to track particles suspended in a fluid with enough precision to show that they indeed followed paths of the sort Einstein predicted.
ETH Zürich had a fine reputation, but it was quite new: it was only in 1911 that ETH was restructured to become a real university, with graduate students, shedding its past as an engineering-oriented teaching school. The other university in the city, the University of Zürich, was the largest in Switzerland. But it was no Göttingen. Weyl wasn’t ETH’s only recent hire, however. As part of the restructuring, the school had made a number of appointments to the physics department. One of these was a prominent young physicist, an undergraduate alumnus of ETH named Albert Einstein. Einstein had gone on to do a PhD in physics at the University of Zürich, graduating in 1905 — the same year that he published a mathematical treatment of Brownian motion (anticipated, of course, by Bachelier), came up with a theory of the photoelectric effect (for which he would win the Nobel Prize in 1921), and discovered the special theory of relativity, including his famous equation e = mc2.
The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Atul Gawande, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, correlation coefficient, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Donald Trump, feminist movement, forensic accounting, Gerolamo Cardano, Henri Poincaré, index fund, Isaac Newton, law of one price, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pepto Bismol, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
.: Harvard University Press, 1998), p. 123. 32. Abraham Pais, The Science and Life of Albert Einstein (London: Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 17; see also the discussion on p. 89. 33. On Brown and the history of Brownian motion, see D. J. Mabberley, Jupiter Botanicus: Robert Brown of the British Museum (Braunschweig, Germany, and London: Verlag von J. Cramer / Natural History Museum, 1985); Brian J. Ford, “Brownian Movement in Clarkia Pollen: A Reprise of the First Observations,” Microscope 40, no. 4 (1992): 235–41; and Stephen Brush, “A History of Random Processes. I. Brownian Movement from Brown to Perrin,” Archive for History of Exact Sciences 5, no. 34 (1968). 34. Pais, Albert Einstein, pp. 88–100. 35. Albert Einstein, quoted in Ronald William Clark, Einstein: The Life and Times (New York: HarperCollins, 1984), p. 77.
After all, if the chests of 5,738 Scottish soldiers distribute themselves nicely along the curve of the normal distribution and the average yearly mileage of 200 million drivers can vary by as little as 100 miles from year to year, it doesn’t take an Einstein to guess that the 10 septillion or so molecules in a liter of gas might exhibit some interesting regularities. But actually it did take an Einstein to finally convince the scientific world of the need for that new approach to physics. Albert Einstein did it in 1905, the same year in which he published his first work on relativity. And though hardly known in popular culture, Einstein’s 1905 paper on statistical physics proved equally revolutionary. In the scientific literature, in fact, it would become his most cited work.32 EINSTEIN’S 1905 WORK on statistical physics was aimed at explaining a phenomenon called Brownian motion. The process was named for Robert Brown, botanist, world expert in microscopy, and the person credited with writing the first clear description of the cell nucleus.
The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honore
Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Broken windows theory, call centre, Checklist Manifesto, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, drone strike, Enrique Peñalosa, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Exxon Valdez, fundamental attribution error, game design, income inequality, index card, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, medical malpractice, microcredit, Netflix Prize, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, ultimatum game, urban renewal, War on Poverty
DEVOLVE: Self-Help (in a Good Way) 12. FEEL: Twiddling the Emotional Thermostat 13. PLAY: Solving Problems One Game at a Time 14. EVOLVE: Are We There Yet? CONCLUSION: Slow Fixing the Future Notes Resource List Acknowledgements To Miranda, Benjamin and Susannah You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew. Albert Einstein INTRODUCTION Pulling the Andon Rope How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees? William Shakespeare In a small, windowless room, in a busy clinic in south London, a familiar ritual is about to begin. Let’s call it Man with Back Pain Visits Specialist. You may recognise the scene: the white walls are bare apart from an anatomical poster and a few smudged fingerprints.
“To identify what is really going wrong, you first have to get a full picture of a company in slow motion, you have to do like Toyota and ask why, why and why, you have to slow down long enough to analyze and understand.” That is a neat summary of the next ingredient of the Slow Fix: taking the time to think hard about the problem to arrive at the right diagnosis. When asked what he would do if given one hour to save the world, Albert Einstein answered: “I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.” Most of us do the exact opposite. Think of your last visit to the GP. Chances are the appointment lasted no more than a few minutes and you struggled to say everything you wanted to. One study found that doctors let patients explain their complaint for 23 seconds before interrupting.
In science, too, a playful testing of the boundaries is often the first step towards the lightning bolts of genius that win Nobel prizes. Sir Isaac Newton once wrote that “to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” Albert Einstein put it more pithily: “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the child-like inclination for play.” Steve Jobs’s personal motto was: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” This makes neurological sense. The dopamine released during games not only makes us feel good, it also helps us concentrate and learn and fires up parts of the brain that govern creative thinking and problem-solving. In a physiological sense, McGonigal is right: gaming puts us in a Slow Fix frame of mind.
The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number by Mario Livio
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, cosmological constant, Elliott wave, Eratosthenes, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, mandelbrot fractal, music of the spheres, Nash equilibrium, Ralph Nelson Elliott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method
Who could have guessed that this innocent-looking line division, which Euclid defined for some purely geometrical purposes, would have consequences in topics ranging from leaf arrangements in botany to the structure of galaxies containing billions of stars, and from mathematics to the arts? The Golden Ratio therefore provides us with a wonderful example of that feeling of utter amazement that the famous physicist Albert Einstein (1879–1955) valued so much. In Einstein's own words: “The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle.” As we shall see calculated in this book, the precise value of the Golden Ratio (the ratio of AC to CB in Figure 2) is the never-ending, never-repeating number 1.6180339887…, and such never-ending numbers have intrigued humans since antiquity.
What was it that led Euclid even to bother to define such a line division? My aim is to help you glean some insights into the true roots of what we might call Golden Numberism. To this goal, we will now take a brief exploratory tour through the very dawn of mathematics. As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality. —ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879–1955) I see a certain order in the universe and math is one way of making it visible. —MAY SARTON (1912–1995) No one knows for sure when humans started to count, that is, to measure multitude in a quantitative way. In fact, we do not even know with certainty whether numbers like “one,” “two,” “three” (the cardinal numbers) preceded numbers like “first,” “second,” “third” (the ordinal numbers), or vice versa.
.): “The so-called Pythagoreans applied themselves to mathematics, and were the first to develop this science; and through penetrating it, they came to fancy that its principles are the principles of all things.” Today, while we may be amused by some of the Pythagorean fanciful ideas, we have to recognize that the fundamental thought behind them is really not very different from that expressed by Albert Einstein (in Letters to Solovine): “Mathematics is only a means for expressing the laws that govern phenomena.” Indeed, the laws of physics, sometimes referred to as the “laws of nature,” simply represent mathematical formulations of the behavior that we observe all natural phenomena to obey. For example, the central idea in Einstein's theory of general relativity is that gravity is not some mysterious, attractive force that acts across space but rather a manifestation of the geometry of the inextricably linked space and time.
Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries by Safi Bahcall
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Apple II, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Astronomia nova, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cognitive bias, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Gary Taubes, hypertext link, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Jony Ive, knowledge economy, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Murray Gell-Mann, PageRank, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, side project, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tim Cook: Apple, tulip mania, Wall-E, wikimedia commons, yield management
The castle was a semisecret, private research lab, brimming with equipment built or purchased to satisfy the curiosity of its owner. In the mid-1930s, guests visiting Loomis’s castle might be guided into a comfortable chair as an assistant materialized with small scissors, snipped some hair, swabbed alcohol onto their scalp, affixed electrodes, and encouraged them to relax. They had just become subjects of his research. (Loomis was an early pioneer of electroencephalography—EEG.) From Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and other European scientists who visited his lab, Loomis learned disturbing news of advanced German science applied to weapons of war as well as hints of a terrifying German discovery in nuclear physics. Like Bush and Conant, Loomis had worked with the US military during the First World War. Also like them, he had concluded that the Army and Navy were incapable of catching up to the German lead on their own.
In 1964, Konrad Bloch and Feodor Lynen received the Nobel Prize for explaining how cholesterol is created and processed inside cells. And in 1966, a 33-year-old farmer’s son, raised in a small mountain town in northern Japan, arrived in the United States determined to learn more about this new science. Akira Endo, a scientist from the food-processing division at the Japanese conglomerate Sankyo, joined a lab at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine that specialized in cholesterol research. Endo arrived in the US just as the idea that diet could affect heart disease was taking off. A Time cover story described results from a new study by “the man most firmly at grips with the problem” of diet and health, Ancel Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. His famous study of 10,000 people across seven countries confirmed that elevated blood cholesterol correlated with heart disease.
(His theory of general relativity explained those forces by showing how matter curves the space around it.) Einstein saw in Kepler a “kindred spirit” who overcame religious persecution, poverty, personal tragedies, disbelieving audiences, and a heritage of mystical thinking. “Kepler’s lifework was possible,” Einstein wrote, “only once he succeeded in freeing himself to a great extent of the intellectual traditions into which he was born.” Kindred spirits: Albert Einstein and Johannes Kepler Unlike Kepler, Einstein benefited from a large and well-established scientific community. As mentioned earlier, the eclipse of 1919 confirmed Einstein’s theory of gravity four years after he published it. Confirmation of Kepler’s ideas proceeded much more gradually. In the decades after Kepler published his “War on Mars,” astronomers and astrologers and navigators slowly realized Kepler’s system worked far better than any earth-centric theory.
The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything by John Gribbin
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, complexity theory, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking
.… Here he introduces the ‘quarky’ zoo of subatomic particles and their mediating forces, Gribbin himself mediating for generalists the theories advanced to explain and unify them.… In these mind-bending realms, Gribbin's seasoned skills wonderfully simplify matters (and forces) without ‘dumbifying’ them.” —Gilbert Taylor, Booklist BY THE SAME AUTHOR In Search of the Edge of Time Hothouse Earth Being Human In Search of the Big Bang In Search of Schrödinger's Cat The Hole in the Sky Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science (WITH MICHAEL WHITE) Albert Einstein: A Life in Science The Matter Myth (WITH PAUL DAVIES) In the Beginning Schrödinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality Companion to the Cosmos The Case of the Missing Neutrinos Almost Everyone's Guide to Science Thanks to Benjamin Gribbin for editorial assistance Copyright Copyright © 1998 by John and Mary Gribbin Illustrations copyright © 1998 by John Gribbin All rights reserved.
Scarcely had physicists started to acknowledge this cosy possibility, however, than the house of cards they had so painstakingly constructed came tumbling down. It turned out that the behaviour of light could sometimes only be explained in terms of particles (photons) while the wave explanation, or model, remained the only valid one in other circumstances. A little later, physicists realized that, as if waves that sometimes behave as particles were not enough to worry about, particles could sometimes behave like waves. And meanwhile Albert Einstein was overturning established wisdom about the nature of space, time and gravity with his theories of relativity. When the dust began to settle at the end of the 1920s, physicists had a new picture of the world which was very different from the old one. This is still the basis of the picture we have today. It tells us that there are no pure particles or waves, but only, at the fundamental level, things best described as a mixture of wave and particle, occasionally referred to as ‘wavicles’.
Every time subatomic particles are involved in interactions the outcome depends on chance. The odds may be very heavily stacked in favour of one particular outcome, or they may be no better than tossing a coin on a 50:50 basis. But they are clearly and precisely laid down by the laws of quantum physics, and there is no such thing as certainty in the quantum world. This is the point about quantum theory which made Albert Einstein reject the whole thing, with his famous remark about God, ‘that He would choose to play dice with the world… is something that I cannot believe for a single moment’ (often paraphrased as ‘I cannot believe that God does play dice’). But all the evidence is that God does play dice. Every experiment confirms the accuracy of the quantum interpretation. When we carry out an experiment, which might involve measuring the position of an electron, for example, we cannot know for certain how things are going to develop later.
I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter
Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Conway, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, place-making, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, publish or perish, random walk, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, Turing machine
The one–two punch of the Norwegian “Pig” and the Sardinian piglet resulted in my following my sister’s lead in completely giving up meat-eating. I also refused to buy leather shoes or belts. Soon I became a fervent proselytizer for my new credo, and I remember how gratified I was that I managed to sway a couple of my friends for a few months, although to my disappointment, they gradually gave up on it. In those days, I often wondered how some of my personal idols — Albert Einstein, for instance — could have been meat-eaters. I found no explanation, although recently, to my great pleasure, a Web search yielded hints that Einstein’s sympathies were, in fact, toward vegetarianism, and not for health reasons but out of compassion towards living beings. But I didn’t know that fact back then, and in any case many other heroes of mine were certainly carnivores who knew exactly what they were doing.
In fact, if colloidal particles are added to a glass of water, then it becomes a locus of Brownian motion, which is an incessant random jiggling of the colloidal particles, due to a myriad of imperceptible collisions with the water molecules, which are far tinier. (The colloidal particles here play the role of simmballs, and the water molecules play the role of simms.) The effect, which is visible under a microscope, was explained in great detail in 1905 by Albert Einstein using the theory of molecules, which at the time were only hypothetical entities, but Einstein’s explanation was so far-reaching (and, most crucially, consistent with experimental data) that it became one of the most important confirmations that molecules do exist. Who Shoves Whom Around inside the Careenium? And so we finally have come to the crux of the matter: Which of these two views of the careenium is the truth?
This is not the meaning I have in mind, either. The idea I want to convey by the phrase “a symbol in the brain” is that some specific structure inside your cranium (or your careenium, depending on what species you belong to) gets activated whenever you think of, say, the Eiffel Tower. That brain structure, whatever it might be, is what I would call your “Eiffel Tower symbol”. You also have an “Albert Einstein” symbol, an “Antarctica” symbol, and a “penguin” symbol, the latter being some kind of structure inside your brain that gets triggered when you perceive one or more penguins, or even when you are just thinking about penguins without perceiving any. There are also, in your brain, symbols for action concepts like “kick”, “kiss”, and “kill”, for relational concepts like “before”, “behind”, and “between”, and so on.
The World According to Physics by Jim Al-Khalili
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, butterfly effect, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, gravity well, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, supercomputer in your pocket, the scientific method
COSMOLOGY AND RELATIVITY Sean Carroll, The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself (New York: Dutton, 2016; London: OneWorld, 2017). Albert Einstein, Relativity: The Special and the General Theory, 100th Anniversary Edition (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015). Brian Greene, The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos (London; Allen Lane; New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011). Michio Kaku, Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). Abraham Pais, ‘Subtle is the Lord …’: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 1982). Christopher Ray, Time, Space and Philosophy (London and New York: Routledge, 1991).
CHAPTER 3 SPACE AND TIME In such a short book I am unable to cover all areas of physics, fascinating though so many of them are. Instead, I have distilled our current understanding of the physical universe down to three central pillars: three pictures of reality that come from very different directions. The first of these, introduced in this chapter and the next, is built on the work of Albert Einstein in the early twentieth century. It lays out our present understanding of the way matter and energy behave within space and time on the very largest scales due to the influence of gravity—an understanding that is encompassed in his famous general theory of relativity. In order to paint Einstein’s picture of the world, we must start with the canvas itself. Space and time are the substrates in which all events take place.
Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking by Charles Seife
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Macrae, Project Plowshare, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, Yom Kippur War
http://us.penguingroup.com INTRODUCTION Circe warned me to shun the island of the blessed sun-god, for it was here, she said, that our worst danger would lie. —THE ODYSSEY, TRANSLATED BY SAMUEL BUTLER The dream is as ancient as humanity: unlimited power. It has driven generation after generation of scientists to the brink of insanity. In 1905, after centuries of attempts to build perpetual motion machines, scientists discovered an essentially limitless source of energy. With his famous equation, E = mc2, Albert Einstein discovered that a minuscule chunk of mass could, theoretically, be converted into an enormous amount of energy. Indeed, E = mc 2 is the equation that describes why the sun shines; at its core, the sun is constantly converting matter to energy in a reaction known as fusion. If scientists could do the same thing on Earth—if they could convert matter into energy with a controlled fusion reaction—scientists could satisfy humanity’s energy needs until the end of time.
Indeed, the radium would always be hotter than its surroundings, even though there were no external sources of heat. Marie Curie herself was baffled. She suspected that some sort of change was happening at the center of the radium atom, but she didn’t know what it could be—or how such a tiny chunk of matter could produce so much energy. The answer would come a few years later when the young Albert Einstein formulated his theory of relativity. The theory revolutionized the way scientists perceive space, time, and motion. One of the equations that came out of the theory was E = mc2, the most famous scientific equation of all time. E = mc2 showed that matter, m, could be converted into energy, E. This was the secret to the seemingly endless fountain of energy coming from radium. If you put a gram of radium in a sealed ampule, over many, many years the radium (a whitish metal) will gradually disappear.
Physicists soon joined the chemists in their support of atomic theory; they began to provide evidence for the existence of tiny atomic particles. Theorists like Ludwig Boltzmann realized that you could explain the properties of gases simply by imagining matter as a collection of atoms madly bouncing around. Observers even saw the random motion of atoms indirectly: the jostling of water molecules makes a tiny pollen grain swim erratically about. (Albert Einstein helped explain this phenomenon—Brownian motion—in 1905.) Though a few stubborn holdouts absolutely refused to believe in atomic theory,14 by the beginning of the twentieth century the scientific community was convinced. Matter was made of invisible atoms of various kinds: hydrogen atoms, oxygen atoms, carbon atoms, iron atoms, gold atoms, uranium atoms, and a few dozen others. But, as scientists were soon to find out, atoms are not quite as uncuttable as the ancient Greeks thought.
You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves by Hiawatha Bray
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, digital map, don't be evil, Edmond Halley, Edward Snowden, Firefox, game design, Google Earth, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, license plate recognition, lone genius, openstreetmap, polynesian navigation, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thales of Miletus, trade route, turn-by-turn navigation, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Zipcar
Anschütz was certain that the Sperry product violated his own company’s German and British patents. He filed suit against Sperry in both countries. The suits dragged well beyond the start of World War I, with predictable results. Sperry was victorious in Britain, but beaten in Germany. If local nationalism wasn’t enough of an edge for Anschütz, he also benefited from the testimony of his expert witness, a veteran Swiss patent inspector named Albert Einstein.10 Ultimately, it did not matter. With the British wartime blockade, Sperry couldn’t sell in Germany. The British and Americans were eager to buy, and after the war the victorious Allies seized all German patents, ensuring that the judgment against Sperry was never enforced. Sperry also pioneered the use of the same technology in airplanes. Once again, Sperry began with the idea of a gyrostabilizer, a machine that would enable aircraft to fly straight and level even when buffeted by unpredictable gusts of wind.
And not because of a lack of suitable technology. One of the world’s leading theoretical physicists insisted that the very laws of nature made inertial navigation impossible. George Gamow, a Ukrainian scientist who had fled life under Joseph Stalin and emigrated to the United States, would play a major role in developing the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe and a minor role in the history of navigation. Gamow asserted that Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity ensured that an inertial navigator would never work. One of the curious consequences of Einstein’s theory was the equivalence of acceleration and gravity. The force of acceleration that pushes you back against your car seat when you step on the gas is indistinguishable from the force of gravity that presses your body downward, toward the center of the earth. Being inside an inertial navigation device would be like being strapped into a seat inside a box with no windows.
Three years later Navigation Technology Satellite II, the last of the TIMATION family, flew into orbit with a pair of cesium atomic clocks, the most accurate timepieces flown so far. NTS II was arguably the first true GPS satellite, though it was far from capable of real-world use. Instead, its precise radio signals provided the essential data needed to build an operational system. Among the most crucial observations was confirmation of one of Albert Einstein’s odder predictions. Einstein’s theories of general and special relativity held that although time might seem relentless and inexorable to humans, it is actually quite variable. For instance, time passes more slowly for someone on a moving train than it does for a person sitting on a park bench, watching the train roll by. Moreover, Einstein argued that time would move faster for a person floating in space than it would for a person on earth, because as you draw closer to a planet’s gravity field, time slows down.
Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age by Brad Smith, Carol Ann Browne
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Boeing 737 MAX, business process, call centre, Celtic Tiger, chief data officer, cloud computing, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, immigration reform, income inequality, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the telephone, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, national security letter, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, pattern recognition, precision agriculture, race to the bottom, ransomware, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, school vouchers, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, speech recognition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Tim Cook: Apple, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce
Governments from thirty-one nations came together in the building to seek to constrain arms buildups in a series of meetings that spanned more than five years. But the United States balked at providing the leadership needed for what it perceived were mostly European issues, and Hitler pulled Germany out of the negotiations and then the League of Nations itself, sounding the death knell for the effort toward global peace. Before the diplomatic conference convened in 1932, Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist of his age, proffered a warning that fell on deaf ears. Technology advances, he cautioned, “could have made human life carefree and happy if the development of the organizing power of man had been able to keep step with his technical advances.”35 Instead, “the hardly bought achievements of the machine age in the hands of our generation are as dangerous as a razor in the hands of a three-year-old child.”
There is simply no way the United States would be the global leader in information technology if it had not attracted many of the best and brightest people in the world to come work at leading universities or live in technology centers around the country. Immigration’s role in innovation was important to the United States when the country’s West Coast economy was still dominated by agriculture, and silicon was associated only with sand. The country’s ability to attract Albert Einstein from Germany at the height of the Great Depression played a vital role in awakening President Franklin Roosevelt to the need to create the Manhattan Project.2 Its open door to German rocket scientists after World War II was critical to sending the first man to the moon. With the help of federal investments in basic research at the country’s great universities and President Eisenhower’s support of math and sciences in the nation’s public schools,3 the United States developed an approach to research, education, and immigration that led to decades of global economic and intellectual leadership.
As with inventions like the printing press and the telescope, it’s impossible to imagine that AI will leave these fields untouched. The question is how to promote a thoughtful, respectful, and inclusive global conversation. It was a topic we discussed in a meeting with Pope Francis and Monsignor Paglia. We talked about the development of technology against the backdrop of nations increasingly turning inward, sometimes turning their backs on their neighbors and others in need. I mentioned Albert Einstein’s dire warnings about the dangers of technology in the 1930s. The Pope then reminded me of what Einstein had said after the Second World War: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”32 Einstein’s point was that technology, specifically nuclear technology, had progressed to the point where it could annihilate everything else.
Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra
When these three parts act together, a robot gains the functionality of an artificial organism. If a machine lacks any of these three parts, it is not a robot. For example, the difference between a computer and a robot is the former’s lack of effectors to change the world around it. Interestingly, a machine’s sophistication has nothing to do with whether it is a robot. Just like biologic life might range in intelligence from bacteria and Paris Hilton to Homo sapiens and Albert Einstein, man’s artificial creations too show wide levels of complexity. Despite the seeming simplicity of this definition, it is still subject to some debate. For example, some scientists say that in order to be a robot, the machine has to be mobile. Yet this forgets that movement is just one way to change the world around you (as the world now has you in a different location). Defining only mobile systems as robots would not only exclude robots that work on factory lines, but would also be akin to defining paraplegics out of the human race.
The brilliant physicist Andrei Sakharov was the designer of their first hydrogen bomb. He went on to become an advocate for nuclear disarmament, for which the dissident won the Nobel Peace Prize and was put in prison. Ultimately, nuclear scientists from around the world banded together to form an organization to work against the weapons they had once developed. Spurred on by a letter from Albert Einstein (who, ironically, had also sent the letter that initially convinced President Roosevelt to fund the atomic bomb’s research), it had its first meeting in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, in 1957. While what became known as the “Pugwash movement for nuclear disarmament” ultimately won a Nobel Peace Prize, the nuclear refuseniks’ efforts were more than a decade too late. The nuclear genie was already out of the bottle.
No military is better at this than the American, in large part because no culture is better at it than the American.” Many feel this makes America a unique sort of great power. Technology was not just America’s pathway to power, but has entered into American cultural consciousness like no other great power in history. Only in American history did inventors, scientists, and technologic entrepreneurs like Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Bill Gates become cultural icons, while the whole system of industrialized technology found its origin in the United States. The result, argue such optimists as George and Meredith Friedman in The Future of War: Power, Technology and American World Dominance in the Twenty-first Century, is that “America is by its nature a technological nation.” The U.S. Army report similarly concurred, “Technology is part of how Americans see themselves, to reach for it is instinctive.
A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, bet made by Stephen Hawking and Kip Thorne, Brownian motion, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking
v3.1 CONTENTS Cover Other Books by This Author Title Page Copyright FOREWORD Chapter One Our Picture of the Universe Chapter Two Space and Time Chapter Three The Expanding Universe Chapter Four The Uncertainty Principle Chapter Five Elementary Particles and the Forces of Nature Chapter Six Black Holes Chapter Seven Black Holes Ain’t So Black Chapter Eight The Origin and Fate of the Universe Chapter Nine The Arrow of Time Chapter Ten Wormholes and Time Travel Chapter Eleven The Unification of Physics Chapter Twelve Conclusion ALBERT EINSTEIN GALILEO GALILEI ISAAC NEWTON GLOSSARY ACKNOWLEDGMENTS About the Author FOREWORD I didn’t write a foreword to the original edition of A Brief History of Time. That was done by Carl Sagan. Instead, I wrote a short piece titled “Acknowledgments” in which I was advised to thank everyone. Some of the foundations that had given me support weren’t too pleased to have been mentioned, however, because it led to a great increase in applications.
To their great surprise, they found they were exactly the same! Between 1887 and 1905 there were several attempts, most notably by the Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz, to explain the result of the Michelson-Morley experiment in terms of objects contracting and clocks slowing down when they moved through the ether. However, in a famous paper in 1905, a hitherto unknown clerk in the Swiss patent office, Albert Einstein, pointed out that the whole idea of an ether was unnecessary, providing one was willing to abandon the idea of absolute time. A similar point was made a few weeks later by a leading French mathematician, Henri Poincaré. Einstein’s arguments were closer to physics than those of Poincaré, who regarded this problem as mathematical. Einstein is usually given the credit for the new theory, but Poincaré is remembered by having his name attached to an important part of it.
However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason—for then we would know the mind of God. ALBERT EINSTEIN Einstein’s connection with the politics of the nuclear bomb is well known: he signed the famous letter to President Franklin Roosevelt that persuaded the United States to take the idea seriously, and he engaged in postwar efforts to prevent nuclear war. But these were not just the isolated actions of a scientist dragged into the world of politics. Einstein’s life was, in fact, to use his own words, “divided between politics and equations.”
The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal
Psychology had emerged as an academic discipline in the second half of the 19th century, part of an explosion of scientific and intellectual growth as the disruptive phase of the Industrial Revolution gave way to social transformation. But Maslow was the first psychologist to focus on what made human beings successful. Prior to this, the discipline had been preoccupied with dysfunction and how to treat it. Maslow interviewed a hundred highly successful people, including Albert Einstein and Eleanor Roosevelt, and started to build a model of what he found they had in common (he was not considering merely material success, but people he saw as having a profound sense of satisfaction, achievement and fulfilment). What he realised was that we have a stack of needs as human beings, starting at the bottom with the most basic physiological needs (food, water, shelter, sex), and rising to what he called ‘self-actualisation’ – what could be called our spiritual needs.
Morning Star is organised around one clear defining purpose: “to produce tomato products and services which consistently achieve the quality and service expectations of our customers…” Now clear as this is, it’s fair to say that sexy it is not. No disrespect to Morning Star, but this is not the kind of inspirational line that people will be posting on Facebook alongside quotes from Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, and Gandhi. And it doesn’t have the noble calling that a cause like Alcoholics Anonymous has. They are just tomatoes, for God’s sake! But for Morning Star colleagues, this is a heroic endeavour – one they participate in with an incredible amount of passion, intensity, and commitment. A visit to the company’s processing plant in Los Banos, in the heart of California’s tomato country, is an unsettling experience.
A lot of things have changed. The market is totally a different place than it was a decade ago. “But values and core values – those things should not change. “The things that Apple believed in at the beginning are the same things that Apple stands for today.” And with that he started to show imagery and quotes from leaders and people who had been at the source of profound change: Albert Einstein, Miles Davis, the civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. There was not one product or mention of technology. It was all about the big why. What he didn’t talk about – not once – was the one thing that had brought him into the company: revenue. Apple had just shed a third of its workforce. It had sold the factory that Jobs had put a lot of effort into creating and used to talk about with great affection.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jeff Bezos, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loss aversion, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, microcredit, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, North Sea oil, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, sovereign wealth fund, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, Vilfredo Pareto
First, play broadens the range of options available to us. It helps us to see possibilities we otherwise wouldn’t have seen and make connections we would otherwise not have made. It opens our minds and broadens our perspective. It helps us challenge old assumptions and makes us more receptive to untested ideas. It gives us permission to expand our own stream of consciousness and come up with new stories. Or as Albert Einstein once said: “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”6 Second, play is an antidote to stress, and this is key because stress, in addition to being an enemy of productivity, can actually shut down the creative, inquisitive, exploratory parts of our brain. You know how it feels: you’re stressed about work and suddenly everything starts going wrong.
He intentionally never held a political position of any kind, yet he became, officially within India, the “Father of the Nation.” But his contribution extended well beyond India. As General George C. Marshall, the American secretary of state, said on the occasion of Gandhi’s passing: “Mahatma Gandhi had become the spokesman for the conscience of mankind, a man who made humility and simple truth more powerful than empires.”3 And Albert Einstein added: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”4 It is impossible to argue with the statement that Gandhi lived a life that really mattered. Of course, we don’t have to try to replicate Gandhi to benefit from his example as someone who lived, fully and completely, as an Essentialist. We can all purge our lives of the nonessential and embrace the way of the Essentialist—in our own ways, and in our own time, and on our own scale.
Eknath Easwaran, preface to The Essential Gandhi: An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas, ed. Louis Fischer (1962; repr., New York: Vintage, 1990), xx. 2. “Gandhiji’s Philosophy: Diet and Diet Programme,” n.d., Mahatma Gandhi Information Website, www.gandhi-manibhavan.org/gandhiphilosophy/philosophy_health_dietprogramme.htm. 3. library.thinkquest.org/26523/mainfiles/quotes.htm. 4. Albert Einstein, “Mahatma Gandhi,” in Out of My Later Years: Essays (New York: Philosophical Library, 1950). 5. Henry David Thoreau to H. G. O. Blake, March 27, 1848, in The Portable Thoreau, ed. Jeffrey S. Cramer (London: Penguin, 2012). 6. Proverbs 23:7. APPENDIX: LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS 1. Guy Kawasaki, “From the Desk of Management Changes at Apple,” MacUser, December 1991, and then a follow-up piece, “How to Prevent a Bozo Explosion,” How to Change the World, February 26, 2006, http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/02/how_to_prevent_.html. 2.
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick
Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce
Whatever I can understand, I must completely understand.♦ Gödel’s retort took care of them both. “Russell evidently misinterprets my result; however, he does so in a very interesting manner,” he wrote. “In contradistinction Wittgenstein … advances a completely trivial and uninteresting misinterpretation.”♦ In 1933 the newly formed Institute for Advanced Study, with John von Neumann and Albert Einstein among its first faculty members, invited Gödel to Princeton for the year. He crossed the Atlantic several more times that decade, as fascism rose and the brief glory of Vienna began to fade. Gödel, ignorant of politics and naïve about history, suffered depressive breakdowns and bouts of hypochondria that forced him into sanatoria. Princeton beckoned but Gödel vacillated. He stayed in Vienna in 1938, through the Anschluss, as the Vienna Circle ceased to be, its members murdered or exiled, and even in 1939, when Hitler’s army occupied his native Czechoslovakia.
.… The night was noisier than the day, and at the ghostly hour of midnight, for what strange reasons no one knows, the babel was at its height.♦ But engineers could now see the noise on their oscilloscopes, interfering with and degrading their clean waveforms, and naturally they wanted to measure it, even if there was something quixotic about measuring a nuisance so random and ghostly. There was a way, in fact, and Albert Einstein had shown what it was. In 1905, his finest year, Einstein published a paper on Brownian motion, the random, jittery motion of tiny particles suspended in a fluid. Antony van Leeuwenhoek had discovered it with his early microscope, and the phenomenon was named after Robert Brown, the Scottish botanist who studied it carefully in 1827: first pollen in water, then soot and powdered rock. Brown convinced himself that these particles were not alive—they were not animalcules—yet they would not sit still.
.”♦ Is it not strange that while we see that most of our human effort is that of directing natural agencies and energies into paths which they would not otherwise take, we should yet have failed to think of primitive organisms, or even of the tissue elements in the bodies of the higher organisms, as possessing also the power of directing physico-chemical processes? When life remained so mysterious, maybe Maxwell’s demon was not just a cartoon. Then the demon began to haunt Leó Szilárd, a very young Hungarian physicist with a productive imagination who would later conceive the electron microscope and, not incidentally, the nuclear chain reaction. One of his more famous teachers, Albert Einstein, advised him out of avuncular protectiveness to take a paying job with the patent office, but Szilárd ignored the advice. He was thinking in the 1920s about how thermodynamics should deal with incessant molecular fluctuations. By definition, fluctuations ran counter to averages, like fish swimming momentarily upstream, and people naturally wondered: what if you could harness them? This irresistible idea led to a version of the perpetual motion machine, perpetuum mobile, holy grail of cranks and hucksters.
Women Leaders at Work: Untold Tales of Women Achieving Their Ambitions by Elizabeth Ghaffari
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, business cycle, business process, cloud computing, Columbine, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, follow your passion, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, high net worth, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, performance metric, pink-collar, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trickle-down economics, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional
They showed an ability to understand complementary disciplines and what those other perspectives might add to their own development or career. They were intrigued by the different ways their profession might grow and benefit through contact with other similar or dissimilar professional interests. That describes Dr. Sandra Witelson—professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, Inaugural Albert Einstein/Irving Zucker Chair in Neuroscience at the DeGroote School of Medicine, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario)—who developed “The Brain Bank” for comparative analysis of the brain's structure. It also describes Dr. Jennifer Tour Chayes, distinguished scientist, mathematician, co-founder, and managing director of Microsoft's NERD Center (New England Research & Development). Those among them who chose to have children are extremely proud of their families and their individuality.
Several of our Springboard alumnae are now active investors and find that Springboard companies are a great source of lucrative investment opportunities. Sandra F. Witelson Professor, Department of Psychiatry, McMaster University Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Dr. Sandra Freedman Witelson is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is the inaugural recipient of the Albert Einstein/Irving Zucker Chair in Neuroscience at the university's Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Her current research is focused on the relationship between brain structure and function using postmortem neuroanatomical study of the brains banked in her brain collection at McMaster University—currently an international public resource for neuroscience, neuroimaging, and molecular biology. She earned a bachelor's of science, a master's of science, and a PhD in psychology from McGill University in Montreal.
Witelson concentrated on expanding the brain bank at McMaster University, as well as her research in cognitive neuroanatomy to understand the relationship between the structure of the brain and the behavior of human beings. In 1995, Dr. Witelson's discovery of significant differences between men's and women's brains, specifically in the density of brain cells in the language region, was reported extensively in the media. She was then invited to study the brain of the late Dr. Albert Einstein, and with her associates, published the research findings in the June 1999 issue of Lancet, a prominent British medical journal. Dr. Witelson has been honored with numerous awards, including the Morton Prince Award of the American Psychopathological Association (1976); the John Dewan Prize, awarded by the Ontario Mental Health Foundation (1978), recognizing an outstanding researcher for contribution to significant new knowledge or concepts bearing upon mental health; and the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry Research Fund Award (1978), awarded for outstanding research in the field of mental health conducted in Canada.
To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science by Steven Weinberg
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, Commentariolus, cosmological constant, dark matter, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, fudge factor, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, music of the spheres, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Pierre-Simon Laplace, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, retrograde motion, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
For instance, leading physicists at the turn of the twentieth century, including Hendrik Lorentz and Max Abraham, devoted themselves to understanding the structure of the recently discovered electron. It was hopeless; no one could have made progress in understanding the nature of the electron before the advent of quantum mechanics some two decades later. The development of the special theory of relativity by Albert Einstein was made possible by Einstein’s refusal to worry about what electrons are. Instead he worried about how observations of anything (including electrons) depend on the motion of the observer. Then Einstein himself in his later years addressed the problem of the unification of the forces of nature, and made no progress because no one at the time knew enough about these forces. Another important difference between Hellenistic scientists and their Classical predecessors is that the Hellenistic era was less afflicted by a snobbish distinction between knowledge for its own sake and knowledge for use—in Greek, episteme versus techne (or in Latin, scientia versus ars).
The 1920s saw the advent of quantum mechanics, a radically new framework for physical theory. Instead of calculating the trajectories of a planet or a particle, one calculates the evolution of waves of probability, whose intensity at any position and time tells us the probability of finding the planet or particle then and there. The abandonment of determinism so appalled some of the founders of quantum mechanics, including Max Planck, Erwin Schrödinger, Louis de Broglie, and Albert Einstein, that they did no further work on quantum mechanical theories, except to point out the unacceptable consequences of these theories. Some of the criticisms of quantum mechanics by Schrödinger and Einstein were troubling, and continue to worry us today, but by the end of the 1920s quantum mechanics had already been so successful in accounting for the properties of atoms, molecules, and photons that it had to be taken seriously.
Small discrepancies between theory and observation remained, in the motion of the Moon and of Halley’s and Encke’s comets, and in a precession of the perihelia of the orbit of Mercury that was observed to be 43" (seconds of arc) per century greater than could be accounted for by gravitational forces produced by the other planets. The discrepancies in the motion of the Moon and comets were eventually traced to nongravitational forces, but the excess precession of Mercury was not explained until the advent in 1915 of the general theory of relativity of Albert Einstein. In Newton’s theory the gravitational force at a given point and a given time depends on the positions of all masses at the same time, so a sudden change of any of these positions (such as a flare on the surface of the Sun) produces an instantaneous change in gravitational forces everywhere. This was in conflict with the principle of Einstein’s 1905 special theory of relativity, that no influence can travel faster than light.
Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller
23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, twin studies, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture
It’s extremely unlikely that the chaotic forces of evolution just happened to stumble on the best possible recipe for intelligence when they created our brains, especially since our brains have many constraints imposed on them by biology: they must run on energy obtained from mere food, must fit in a small space, and can’t use useful materials, such as metals and plastics, that engineers employ all the time. We share about 98 percent of our genes with some primates, but that 2 percent difference was enough to produce creatures that can assemble spaceships, sequence genes, and build hydrogen bombs.10 What happens when mankind takes its next step, and births life-forms who have a 2 percent genetic distance from us? But even if people such as Albert Einstein and his almost-as-theoretically-brilliant contemporary John von Neumann had close to the highest possible level of intelligence allowed by the laws of physics, creating a few million people or machines possessing these men’s brainpower would still change the world far more than the Industrial Revolution did. To understand why, let me tell you a bit about von Neumann. Although a fantastic scientist, a pathbreaking economist, and one of the best mathematicians of the twentieth century, von Neumann also possessed fierce practical skills.
If Clark’s conjecture is correct, evolutionary selection pressures changed mankind enough to give us the Industrial Revolution. The next chapter considers what could happen if we push evolution aside by using high-tech genetic manipulation to shape our children’s genes. Might we bring about a Singularity? The present state of the art in rationality training is not sufficient to turn an arbitrarily selected mortal into Albert Einstein, which shows the power of a few minor genetic quirks of brain design compared to all the self-help books ever written in the 20th century. —Eliezer Yudkowsky190 CHAPTER 9 INCREASING IQ THROUGH GENETIC MANIPULATION191 You’re in church, about to marry Pat, when your parents come up to you with a look of horror on their faces. They begin explaining that you must postpone the wedding because Pat’s brother has cystic fibrosis, a debilitating disease that clogs its victim’s lungs with mucus, making the person prone to deadly infections.
The stronger the correlation between bathroom and dining room quality, the better the dining room you will get if you succeed in getting a home with fantastic bathrooms. SELECTING AGAINST CERTAIN TYPES OF INTELLIGENCE Embryo selection against autism would likely reduce the number of geniuses. High-functioning autistics often excel at pattern recognition, a skill vital to success in science and mathematics. Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Socrates have all been linked to Asperger syndrome, a disorder (or at least a difference) on the autism spectrum.206 Parents with strong math backgrounds are far more likely to have autistic children, perhaps an indication that having lots of “math genes” makes one susceptible to autism.207 Magnetic resonance imaging has shown that on average, autistic two-year-olds have larger brains than their non-autistic peers do.208 A Korean study found the percentage of autistics who had a superior IQ was greater than that found in the general population.209 Some autistics have an ability called “hyperlexia,” characterized by having average or above-average IQs and word-reading ability well above what would be expected given their ages.
Robots Will Steal Your Job, But That's OK: How to Survive the Economic Collapse and Be Happy by Pistono, Federico
3D printing, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, bioinformatics, Buckminster Fuller, cloud computing, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Firefox, future of work, George Santayana, global village, Google Chrome, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, illegal immigration, income inequality, information retrieval, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, longitudinal study, means of production, Narrative Science, natural language processing, new economy, Occupy movement, patent troll, pattern recognition, peak oil, post scarcity, QR code, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Rodney Brooks, selection bias, self-driving car, slashdot, smart cities, software as a service, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, strong AI, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, women in the workforce
If you think you have a better argument, and you stand by it, then please present it and enlighten us. I asked many economists, and I am still waiting for such arguments to be brought up to me. The refusal to explain is probably because they feel like this is basic economic theory, things that I should have learned in academia, and there is no point in wasting time explaining it. But whenever I hear this kind of reasoning, I am reminded of what the great Albert Einstein said118: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” With years of experience in spreading scientific education and debunking climate change deniers, creationists, and all sorts of nonsense, I can see how Einstein’s quote could not be truer. If mainstream economists see me as I see proponents of “intelligent design”, it should be pretty easy to refute what I say.
I travelled to twenty countries, spent thousands of dollars on seminars, dug deep into the abyss of happiness, so that you did not have to. So here is the moment you have all been waiting for, the very reason you bought this book. I am going to give you the definitive and final secret to happiness. A secret that has been kept for millennia, passed on from genius to genius, from Leonardo Da Vinci to Albert Einstein, now finally to be revealed. Ready? Here it is. If something is going wrong with your life, it is because you are sending out negative vibrations, which then come back to you amplified. So you should force yourself to think positively all the time. Change your thoughts, change your life, change the Universe. Changing your habits. Eat better, get more exercise. All these things will have a snowball effect and your life will take a dramatic shift in the positive direction.
Very few enlightened companies value people over profits. 116 Facebook faces EU curbs on selling users’ interests to advertisers, Jason Lewis, 2011. The Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/8917836/Facebook-faces-EU-curbs-on-selling-users-interests-to-advertisers.html 117 Does Facebook sell my information?. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=152637448140583 118 Albert Einstein quotes. ThinkExist. http://thinkexist.com/quotation/if_you_can-t_explain_it_simply-you_don-t/186838.html 119 Neuroplasticity refers to the susceptibility to physiological changes of the nervous system, due to changes in behaviour, environment, neural processes, or parts of the body other than the nervous system. It occurs on a variety of levels, ranging from cellular changes due to learning, to large-scale changes involved in cortical remapping in response to injury.
Symmetry and the Monster by Ronan, Mark
Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, conceptual framework, Everything should be made as simple as possible, G4S, Henri Poincaré, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, New Journalism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, V2 rocket
They too soon had to stop, and Lie died in February 1899. 1 The reason I have not listed C1, D1, D2, or D3 is that either they are not ‘simple’ or they are included in those already listed. For example, D3 is the same as A3. 6 Lie Groups and Physics How can it be that mathematics, being after all a product of human thought independent of experience, is so admirably adapted to the objects of reality? Albert Einstein While Lie was engaged on his research, the structure of classical physics still seemed fairly secure, but this did not last. When Lie died, shortly before the end of the nineteenth century, the edifice of classical physics was starting to crack. New observations at the microscopic scale, within atoms, and at the cosmic scale eventually led to the development of quantum theory and general relativity, and Lie’s work found a ready audience among some young physicists, as we shall see.
The Nazi government soon destroyed intellectual life, and when a Nazi minister visited Göttingen in the 1930s, and asked David Hilbert – a famous mathematician with a chair at the university there – how mathematics was doing now they had rid the place of the Jewish influence, Hilbert’s response was ‘There is no longer any mathematics in Göttingen.’ Indeed, it was the end of first-rate mathematics in Germany for a long time. The Institute for Advanced Study had just been founded in Princeton, and several of the best minds went there: Albert Einstein and Hermann Weyl, for example, had both spent time in Göttingen. Weyl was a great proponent of Lie’s groups and their use in physics. The centre of gravity in mathematics was shifting, but even before this shift occurred, an important new development in our story had occurred in America. 7 Going Finite The infinite we shall do right away. The finite may take a little longer. Stanislav Ulam (1909–1984) Lie’s groups of transformations, in Chapters 5 and 6, form the prototypes for most of the finite symmetry atoms.
The point was to discuss the strange connection between the Monster and the j-functions, but the underlying reason for this connection remained – and still remains – elusive. We shall come back to this later. In the meantime, at the end of the 1970s, the existence of the Monster was still an open question. No one had yet constructed it, so let us turn to the problems involved. 16 Construction Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein In early 1977, when Sims and Leon had constructed the Baby Monster on a computer, as a group of permutations, it was natural to ask whether the Monster could be constructed in a similar way. Unfortunately this seemed out of sight, as I mentioned earlier, so an alternative method was needed. Perhaps one could use multidimensional space. Similar methods had been applied to other exceptional groups, such as Janko’s first group J1.
Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Stanford prison experiment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Whole Earth Review
My particular teachers (and students who have become my teachers) have been, in addition to Jay: Ed Roberts, Jack Pugh, Dennis Meadows, Hartmut Bossel, Barry Richmond, Peter Senge, John Sterman, and Peter Allen, but I have drawn here from the language, ideas, examples, quotes, books, and lore of a large intellectual community. I express my admiration and gratitude to all its members. I also have drawn from thinkers in a variety of disciplines, who, as far as I know, never used a computer to simulate a system, but who are natural systems thinkers. They include Gregory Bateson, Kenneth Boulding, Herman Daly, Albert Einstein, Garrett Hardin, Václav Havel, Lewis Mumford, Gunnar Myrdal, E.F. Schumacher, a number of modern corporate executives, and many anonymous sources of ancient wisdom, from Native Americans to the Sufis of the Middle East. Strange bedfellows, but systems thinking transcends disciplines and cultures and, when it is done right, it overarches history as well. Having spoken of transcendence, I need to acknowledge factionalism as well.
As a result, complex systems do much more than stay steady or explode exponentially or approach goals smoothly—as we shall see. * Definitions of words in bold face can be found in the Glossary. — TWO— A Brief Visit to the Systems Zoo _____________ The . . . goal of all theory is to make the . . . basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of . . . experience. —Albert Einstein,1 physicist One good way to learn something new is through specific examples rather than abstractions and generalities, so here are several common, simple but important examples of systems that are useful to understand in their own right and that will illustrate many general principles of complex systems. This collection has some of the same strengths and weaknesses as a zoo.2 It gives you an idea of the large variety of systems that exist in the world, but it is far from a complete representation of that variety.
Ramon Margalef, “Perspectives in Ecological Theory,” Co-Evolution Quarterly (Summer 1975), 49. 3. Jay W. Forrester, Industrial Dynamics (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1961), 15. 4. Honoré Balzac, quoted in George P. Richardson, Feedback Thought in Social Science and Systems Theory (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), 54. 5. Jan Tinbergen, quoted in ibid, 44. Chapter Two 1. Albert Einstein, “On the Method of Theoretical Physics,” The Herbert Spencer Lecture, delivered at Oxford (10 June 1933); also published in Philosophy of Science 1, no. 2 (April 1934): 163–69. 2. The concept of a “systems zoo” was invented by Prof. Hartmut Bossel of the University of Kassel in Germany. His three recent “System Zoo” books contain system descriptions and simulation-model documentations of more than 100 “animals,” some of which are included in modified form here.
This Will Make You Smarter: 150 New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking by John Brockman
23andMe, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, biofilm, Black Swan, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, cloud computing, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, data acquisition, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, Exxon Valdez, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, hive mind, impulse control, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, mandelbrot fractal, market design, Mars Rover, Marshall McLuhan, microbiome, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, open economy, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, placebo effect, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, randomized controlled trial, rent control, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, Satyajit Das, Schrödinger's Cat, security theater, selection bias, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game
It involves setting up an imagined piece of apparatus and running a simple experiment with it in your mind, for the purpose of proving or disproving a hypothesis. In many cases, a gedankenexperiment is the only approach. An actual experiment to examine retrieval of information falling into a black hole cannot be carried out. The notion was particularly important during the development of quantum mechanics, when legendary gedankenexperiments were conducted by the likes of Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein to test such novel ideas as the uncertainty principle and wave-particle duality. Examples, like that of “Schrödinger’s cat,” have even come into the popular lexicon. Is the cat simultaneously dead and alive? Others, particularly the classic double slit through which a particle/wave passes, were part of the first attempt to understand quantum mechanics and have remained as tools for understanding its meaning.
In one study, a group of participants was asked to play a simple five-finger exercise on the piano while another group of participants was asked to think about playing the same tune in their heads using the same finger movements, one note at a time. Both groups showed a change in their motor cortex, with differences among the group who mentally rehearsed the tune as great as those who did so physically. Losing retention? Decide how far you want to apply Albert Einstein’s law of memory. When asked why he went to the phone book to get his number, he replied that he memorized only those things he couldn’t look up. There’s a lot to remember these days. Between the dawn of civilization and 2003, there were five exabytes of data collected (an exabyte equals 1 quintillion bytes). Today five exabytes of data gets collected every two days! Soon there will be five exabytes every few minutes.
Thus, a simple glance at the dark night sky reveals that the universe must be dynamic: expanding, or evolving. Astronomers grappled with this paradox for several centuries, devising unworkable schemes for its resolution. Despite at least one correct view (by Edgar Allan Poe!), the implications never really permeated even the small community of people thinking about the fundamental structure of the universe. And so it was that Albert Einstein, when he went to apply his new theory to the universe, sought an eternal and static model that could never make sense, introduced a term into his equations which he later called his greatest blunder, and failed to invent the Big Bang theory of cosmology. Nature appears to contradict itself with the utmost rarity, and so a paradox can be an opportunity for us to lay bare our cherished assumptions and discover which of them we must let go.
From eternity to here: the quest for the ultimate theory of time by Sean M. Carroll
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, Columbine, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, gravity well, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Lao Tzu, Laplace demon, lone genius, low earth orbit, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Schrödinger's Cat, Slavoj Žižek, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, the scientific method, wikimedia commons
Turning this vague scenario into an honest cosmological model will require that we actually take advantage of the mysterious vacuum energy that dominates our universe. Getting there from here requires a deeper understanding of curved spacetime and relativity, to which we now turn. PART TWO TIME IN EINSTEIN’S UNIVERSE 4 TIME IS PERSONAL Time travels in divers paces with divers persons. —William Shakespeare, As You Like It When most people hear “scientist,” they think “Einstein.” Albert Einstein is an iconic figure; not many theoretical physicists attain a level of celebrity in which their likeness appears regularly on T-shirts. But it’s an intimidating, distant celebrity. Unlike, say, Tiger Woods, the precise achievements Einstein is actually famous for remain somewhat mysterious to many people who would easily recognize his name.53 His image as the rumpled, absentminded professor, with unruly hair and baggy sweaters, contributes to the impression of someone who embodied the life of the mind, disdainful of the mundane realities around him.
For one thing, the rumpled look with the Don King hair attained in his later years bore little resemblance to the sharply dressed, well-groomed young man with the penetrating stare who was responsible for overturning physics more than once in the early decades of the twentieth century.54 For another, the origins of the theory of relativity go beyond armchair speculations about the nature of space and time; they can be traced to resolutely practical concerns of getting persons and cargo to the right place at the right time. Figure 10: Albert Einstein in 1912. His “miraculous year” was 1905, while his work on general relativity came to fruition in 1915. Special relativity, which explains how the speed of light can have the same value for all observers, was put together by a number of researchers over the early years of the twentieth century. (Its successor, general relativity, which interpreted gravity as an effect of the curvature of spacetime, was due almost exclusively to Einstein.)
This was problematic, as the Temperance movement was strong in America at the time, and Berkeley in particular was completely dry; a recurring theme in Boltzmann’s account is his attempts to smuggle wine into various forbidden places.193 We will probably never know what mixture of failing health, depression, and scientific controversy contributed to his ultimate act. On the question of the existence of atoms and their utility in understanding the properties of macroscopic objects, any lingering doubts that Boltzmann was right were rapidly dissipating when he died. One of Albert Einstein’s papers in his “miraculous year” of 1905 was an explanation of Brownian motion (the seemingly random motion of small particles suspended in air) in terms of collisions with individual atoms; most remaining skepticism on the part of physicists was soon swept away. Questions about the nature of entropy and the Second Law remain with us, of course. When it comes to explaining the low entropy of our early universe, we won’t ever be able to say, “Boltzmann was right,” because he suggested a number of different possibilities without ever settling on one in particular.
Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America by Annie Jacobsen
Robertson spoke German fluently and was respected by Germany’s academic elite not just for his scientific accomplishments but because he had studied, in 1925, in Göttingen and Munich. Before the war, Dr. Robertson counted many leading German scientists as his friends. World War II changed his perspective, notably regarding any German scientist who stayed and worked for Hitler. While at Princeton, Dr. Robertson had become friendly with Albert Einstein. The two men worked on theoretical projects together and spent time discussing Hitler, National Socialism, and the war. Einstein, born in Germany, had worked there until 1933, becoming director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics and professor at the University of Berlin. But when Hitler came to power, Einstein immediately renounced his citizenship in defiance of the Nazi Party and immigrated to the United States.
Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress, penned a scathing letter to Secretary of War Patterson that was made public. “As long as we reward former servants of Hitler, while leaving his victims in D. P. [displaced-persons] camps, we cannot even pretend that we are making any real effort to achieve the aims we fought for.” Eleanor Roosevelt became personally involved in protesting Operation Paperclip, organizing a conference at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel with Albert Einstein as honored guest. The former First Lady urged the United States government to suspend visas for all Germans for twelve years. When professors at Syracuse University learned that a new colleague, Dr. Heinz Fischer, an expert in infrared technology and a former member of the Nazi Party, had been sent by the army to work in one of their university laboratories under a secret military contract, they wrote an editorial for the New York Times.
“Certainly not wishing to jeopardize the legitimate needs of the national defense, and not advocating the policy of hatred and vengeance toward our former enemies, we nevertheless believe that a large-scale importation of German scientists… is not in keeping with the best objectives of American domestic and foreign policy,” the members of FAS wrote. One American scientist was more forthright. “Certainly any person who can transfer loyalties from one idealology [sic] to another upon the shifting of a meal ticket is not better than Judas!” he said. Albert Einstein was the most esteemed figure to publicly denounce Operation Paperclip. In an impassioned letter, written on behalf of his FAS colleagues, Einstein appealed directly to President Truman. “We hold these individuals to be potentially dangerous.… Their former eminence as Nazi Party members and supporters raises the issue of their fitness to become American citizens and hold key positions in American industrial, scientific and educational institutions.”
The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity by Toby Ord
3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, availability heuristic, Columbian Exchange, computer vision, cosmological constant, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ernest Rutherford, global pandemic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, p-value, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, survivorship bias, the scientific method, uranium enrichment
“The Bomb and Civilisation.” Forward. —(March 1951). “The Future of Man.” The Atlantic. —(2002). “1955 address to the world’s press assembled in London: The Russell-Einstein Manifesto,” in K. Coates, J. Rotblat, and N. Chomsky (eds.), The Russell-Einstein Manifesto: Fifty Years On (Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Manifesto 50). Spokesman Books. —(2009). Autobiography. Taylor and Francis. —(2012). “Letter to Einstein, 11 February 1955,” in K. Coates, J. Rotblat, and N. Chomsky (eds.), The Russell-Einstein Manifesto: Fifty Years On (Albert Einstein, Bertrand Russell, Manifesto 50) (pp. 29–30). Spokesman Books. Russell, S. (2014). Of Myths And Moonshine. https://www.edge.org/conversation/the-myth-of-ai#26015. —(2015). Will They Make Us Better People? https://www.edge.org/response-detail/26157. —(2019). Human Compatible: AI and the Problem of Control.
But there appears to have been very little careful thought about the possibility and importance of human extinction until very recently.64 It wasn’t until the mid-twentieth century, with the creation of nuclear weapons, that human extinction moved from a remote possibility (or a certainty remote in time) to an imminent danger. Just three days after the devastation of Hiroshima, Bertrand Russell began writing his first essay on the implications for the future of humanity.65 And not long after, many of the scientists who created these weapons formed the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to lead the conversation about how to prevent global destruction.66 Albert Einstein soon became a leading voice and his final public act was to sign a Manifesto with Russell arguing against nuclear war on the explicit grounds that it could spell the end for humanity.67 Cold War leaders, such as Eisenhower, Kennedy and Brezhnev, became aware of the possibility of extinction and some of its implications.68 The early 1980s saw a new wave of thought, with Jonathan Schell, Carl Sagan and Derek Parfit making great progress in understanding what is at stake—all three realizing that the loss of uncounted future generations may overshadow the immediate consequences.69 The discovery that atomic weapons may trigger a nuclear winter influenced both Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev to reduce their country’s arms and avoid war.70 And the public reacted too.
And it is an open question which of these approaches is more effective. Beckstead suggests that longtermists in past centuries would have done better to focus on broad interventions rather than narrow interventions. I think Beckstead may be right about past centuries, but mostly because existential risk was so low until we became powerful enough to threaten ourselves in the twentieth century. From that point, early longtermists such as Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein were right to devote so much attention to the targeted intervention of reducing the threat of nuclear war. EARLY ACTION Some of the biggest risks we face are still on the horizon. Can we really do useful work to eliminate a threat so far in advance? How can we act now, when we are not fully aware of the form the risks may take, the nature of the technologies, or the shape of the strategic landscape at the moment they strike?
Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium by Carl Sagan
addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, clean water, cosmic abundance, dark matter, demographic transition, Exxon Valdez, F. W. de Klerk, germ theory of disease, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of radio, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, zero-sum game
That evening, in his small room in the Strand Palace Hotel, he calculated that only a few pounds of matter, if it could be made to undergo a controlled neutron chain reaction, might liberate enough energy to run a small city for a year ... or, if the energy were released suddenly, enough to destroy that city utterly. Szilard eventually emigrated to the United States, and began a systematic search through all the chemical elements to see if any produced more neutrons than collided with them. Uranium seemed a promising candidate. Szilard convinced Albert Einstein to write his famous letter to President Roosevelt urging the United States to build an atomic bomb. Szilard played a major role in the first uranium chain reaction in Chicago in 1942, which in fact led to the atomic bomb. He spent the rest of his life warning about the dangers' of the weapon he had been the first to conceive. He had found, in yet another way, the awesome power of the exponential.
While I do not think that, if there is a god, his plan for me will be altered by prayer, I'm more grateful than I can say to those— including so many whom I've never met—who have pulled for me during my illness. 266 • Billions and Billions Many of them have asked me how it is possible to face death without the certainty of an afterlife. I can only say it hasn't been a problem. With reservations about "feeble souls," I share the view of a hero of mine, Albert Einstein: I cannot conceive of a god who rewards and punishes his creatures or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egotism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.
.: Catholics for a Free Choice, 1989). Carl Sagan, The Dragons of Eden (New York: Random House, 1977). Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: A Search for Who We Are (New York: Random House, 1992). Chapter 17, Gettysburg and Now Lawrence J. Korb, "Military Metamorphosis," Issues in Science and Technology, Winter 1995/6, pp. 75-77. Chapter 19, In the Valley of the Shadow Albert Einstein, The World as I See It (New York: Covici Friede Publishers, 1934).
Life at the Speed of Light: From the Double Helix to the Dawn of Digital Life by J. Craig Venter
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bioinformatics, borderless world, Brownian motion, clean water, discovery of DNA, double helix, epigenetics, experimental subject, global pandemic, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Mars Rover, Mikhail Gorbachev, phenotype, Richard Feynman, stem cell, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing machine
What puzzled Brown was that this microscopic motion did not arise from currents in the fluid, or from evaporation, or from any other obvious cause. At first he thought that he had glimpsed “the secret of life,” but after observing the same kind of motion in mineral grains he discarded that belief. The first key step in our current understanding of what Brown had witnessed came more than seventy-five years after his discoveries, when Albert Einstein [1879–1955] demonstrated how the tiny particles were being shoved about by the invisible molecules that made up the water around them. Until Einstein’s 1905 paper, a minority of physicists (notably Ernst Mach [1838–1916]) still doubted the physical reality of atoms and molecules. Einstein’s notion was eventually confirmed with careful experiments conducted in Paris by Jean Baptiste Perrin (1870–1942), who was rewarded for this and other work with the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1926.
This would be the ultimate proof by synthesis. 8 Synthesis of the M. mycoides Genome If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar. —Richard Feynman, 19881 Many believe that the most important innovations of human creativity are the result of some kind of visionary gift, a gift associated with such extraordinary and singular geniuses as Isaac Newton, Michelangelo, Marie Curie, and Albert Einstein. I don’t doubt the incredible impact of individuals who can make great intellectual leaps, who can see further than anyone before them, and who discern patterns where others see only noise. However, there is also a less dramatic kind of creativity that drives science, a humble variety that is no less important: problem-solving.2 Vaulting a single hurdle to achieve one very particular goal can sometimes result in a technology that can prove to have an extraordinary range of other uses.
While these presentations of teleportation are purely fictional, the concept of “quantum teleportation” is very much a reality and was introduced to a wider audience by Michael Crichton in his 1999 novel Timeline, which was later turned into a movie. The origins of quantum teleportation date back much earlier and rest, in part, on an intellectual disagreement between two of Schrödinger’s most impressive peers in the development of the theory of the atomic world (quantum theory): Albert Einstein, who disliked the theory’s strange take on reality, and Niels Bohr (1885–1962), the Danish father of atomic physics. In 1935, in the course of this dispute, Einstein highlighted one perplexing feature of quantum theory with the help of a thought experiment that he devised with his colleagues Boris Podolsky (1896–1966) and Nathan Rosen (1909–1995). They first noted that quantum theory applied not only to single atoms but also to molecules made of groups of atoms.
Big Three in Economics: Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes by Mark Skousen
"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business climate, business cycle, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, experimental economics, financial independence, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, inflation targeting, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, liberation theology, liquidity trap, means of production, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, money market fund, open economy, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, pushing on a string, rent control, Richard Thaler, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game
His teaching at Harvard was interrupted when he joined the Office of Strategic Services (the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency) in 1942. After the war, Sweezy came up for tenure at Harvard, but despite vigorous backing by Schumpeter, was rejected, never to have a permanent academic position again. In 1949, he co-founded Monthly Review, "an independent socialist magazine," whose first issue made a major splash by publishing "Why Socialism?" by Albert Einstein. (Einstein's essay is remarkably Marxist in tone.) Sweezy has been associated with Monthly Review ever since, in addition to collaborating with Paul Baran on writing Monopoly£apital (1966). Yet throughout his career, Sweezy was known for taking "far-fetched and unreal" positions (his words), such as his arch defense of Fidel Castro's Cuba (a nation currently ranked by the UN as the world's worst human rights violator) and his constant anticipation of capitalism's imminent collapse (1942,363).
Some Keynesians, such as Charles Hession and John Kenneth Galbraith, emphatically insist that the correct title is The General Theory of Employment Interest and Money, without the comma. True, no commas were used on the cover of the original, but in the preface, Keynes added a comma after "employment." Keynes identified with the great scientists of the past. Adam Smith and Roger Babson compared their analytical systems to those of Sir Isaac Newton, and Keynes emulated Albert Einstein. Keynes's book title refers to Einstein's general theory of relativity. His book, he said, created a "general" theory of economic behavior while he relegated the classical model to a "special" case and treated classical economists as "Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world" (Skidelsky 1992, 487). Like Marx, Keynes had high hopes that his magnum opus would be read by students and the general public and convinced Macmillan to price the 400-page treatise at only five shillings.
He has made innumerable contributions to pure mathematical economics, for which he has been both honored and blamed—honored for making economics a pure logical science, and blamed for carrying the Ricardian vice and Walrasian equilibrium analysis to an extreme, devoid of any empirical work. (See chapters 2 and 4.) For his popular and scientific works, the academic community has awarded Samuelson virtually every honor it confers. He was the first American to win the Nobel Prize in economics, in 1970. He was awarded the first John Bates Clark Medal for the brightest economist under forty, and beyond economics, he received the Albert Einstein Medal in 1971. There's even an annual award named after him, the Paul A. Samuelson Award, given for published works in finance. His articles have appeared in all the major (and many minor) journals. He was elected president of the American Economic Association (AEA), has received innumerable honorary degrees from various universities, and has been the subject of many Festschrifts, gatherings at which scholars honor a fellow colleague with essays about his work.
The Genius Within: Unlocking Your Brain's Potential by David Adam
Albert Einstein, business intelligence, cognitive bias, Flynn Effect, job automation, John Conway, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Skype, Stephen Hawking, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray
We don’t have a way to make our heads and brains bigger and nor are we likely to in the future. To find ways to boost the workings of the brain, we need to be more sophisticated and look inside. Could the shape and structure of the brain perhaps offer an insight to the source of intelligence? If so, then it should show up in the brain of a man whose name has become shorthand for genius. The strange story of what happened to Albert Einstein’s brain after his death has been told many times. But it’s still worth recording here some highlights, if only to demonstrate the continuing allure the secrets of intelligence have for modern scientists; secrets that Albert has been reluctant to reveal. Einstein knew his brain would be targeted. And unlike the members of the Mutual Autopsy Society, he had no wish for it to become a laboratory exhibit.
.’‡ A dislike of political correctness is today a common stamp of conservatism, so perhaps deciding who is a clever silly just comes down to one’s politics. Or maybe the desire to attribute a lack of common sense to intelligent people is just another version of the scorn they receive from some quarters, which may itself be a reaction to the historical superiority claimed by those esteemed men of the Mutual Autopsy Society and their eugenic friends. It’s certainly an impression that some go out of their way to promote. Albert Einstein is often said to have had little common sense. The evidence? He didn’t like to wear socks and he sometimes got lost when walking around Princeton (where he lived well into his seventies) and had to ask for directions to his house. This was a man, it barely needs to be said, who was acutely aware of the impact of his own decision making, and in one case – urging US President Roosevelt to build an atomic bomb – was tortured by the consequences for years afterwards.
‘Czolgosz’, MacDonald C. and Spitzka E. (1902), ‘The trial, execution, necropsy and mental status of Leon F. Czolgosz’, The Lancet, 8 February, pp. 352–356. ‘disclaim it’, Spitzka E. (1901), ‘Report of autopsy on assassin disclaimed’, JAMA 19, p. 1262. ‘father died’, Unknown (1914), ‘Dr Spitzka’s Brain Weighs 1,400 Grams’, New York Times , 15 January. ‘Robert the Bruce’, Deary I. et al. (2007), ‘Skull size and intelligence, and King Robert Bruce’s IQ’, Intelligence 35, pp. 519–525. ‘Albert Einstein’s Brain’, for example, Hines T. (2014), ‘Neuromythology of Einstein’s brain’, Brain and Cognition 88, pp. 21–25. ‘P-FIT,’ Jung R. and Haler R. (2007), ‘The Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) of intelligence: converging neuroimaging evidence’, Behavioural and Brain Sciences 30, pp. 135–187. ‘P300’ Amin H. et al. (2015), ‘P300 correlates with learning and memory abilities and fluid intelligence,’ Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, 12 (1)87.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight
I was my own first client. * Answer key: exercise: extroverts; commit adultery: extroverts; function well without sleep: introverts; learn from our mistakes: introverts; place big bets: extroverts; delay gratification: introverts; be a good leader: in some cases introverts, in other cases extroverts, depending on the type of leadership called for; ask “what if”: introverts. * Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, W. B. Yeats, Frédéric Chopin, Marcel Proust, J. M. Barrie, George Orwell, Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss), Charles Schulz, Steven Spielberg, Larry Page, J. K. Rowling. * This is an informal quiz, not a scientifically validated personality test. The questions were formulated based on characteristics of introversion often accepted by contemporary researchers. Part One THE EXTROVERT IDEAL 1 THE RISE OF THE “MIGHTY LIKEABLE FELLOW” How Extroversion Became the Cultural Ideal Strangers’ eyes, keen and critical.
Just as Tony Robbins’s aggressive upselling is OK with his fans because spreading helpful ideas is part of being a good person, and just as HBS expects its students to be talkers because this is seen as a prerequisite of leadership, so have many evangelicals come to associate godliness with sociability. 3 WHEN COLLABORATION KILLS CREATIVITY The Rise of the New Groupthink and the Power of Working Alone I am a horse for a single harness, not cut out for tandem or teamwork … for well I know that in order to attain any definite goal, it is imperative that one person do the thinking and the commanding. —ALBERT EINSTEIN March 5, 1975. A cold and drizzly evening in Menlo Park, California. Thirty unprepossessing-looking engineers gather in the garage of an unemployed colleague named Gordon French. They call themselves the Homebrew Computer Club, and this is their first meeting. Their mission: to make computers accessible to regular people—no small task at a time when most computers are temperamental SUV-sized machines that only universities and corporations can afford.
—WILLIAM JAMES Meet Professor Brian Little, former Harvard University psychology lecturer and winner of the 3M Teaching Fellowship, sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of university teaching. Short, sturdy, bespectacled, and endearing, Professor Little has a booming baritone, a habit of breaking into song and twirling about onstage, and an old-school actor’s way of emphasizing consonants and elongating vowels. He’s been described as a cross between Robin Williams and Albert Einstein, and when he makes a joke that pleases his audience, which happens a lot, he looks even more delighted than they do. His classes at Harvard were always oversubscribed and often ended with standing ovations. In contrast, the man I’m about to describe seems a very different breed: he lives with his wife in a tucked-away house on more than two acres of remote Canadian woods, visited occasionally by his children and grandchildren, but otherwise keeping to himself.
Legacy of Empire by Gardner Thompson
Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, European colonialism, facts on the ground, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, lateral thinking, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, Ronald Reagan, zero-sum game
Recalling his great-grandfather’s journey in the steamship Oxus to Palestine in 1897, Ari Shavit writes: ‘The worst catastrophe in the history of the Jewish people is about to occur… So, as the Oxus approaches the shores of the Holy Land, the need to give Palestine to the Jews feels almost palpable.’ Shavit continues: ‘The Zionism that emerges in 1897 is a stroke of genius… The Herzl Zionists see what is coming… In their own way they act in the 1890s in order to pre-empt the 1940s’.25 But this is self-serving anachronism; myth, not history. A glance at the life and thought of Albert Einstein is instructive here. He was born in Germany in 1879. Before the First World War, his experience of discrimination was limited. He rejected German citizenship not because of Germany’s anti-Semitism but because of his contempt for its authoritarianism and militarism. Though he was disturbed by rising anti-Semitism in the 1920s, his support of Zionism was limited and conditional. He despised all narrow nationalisms, including Jewish.
Weizmann’s expertise lay in a fermentation process that could produce large quantities of acetone (essential in the manufacture of cordite, the propellant used by British forces). The Admiralty promoted its large-scale manufacture. Weizmann’s process was a huge success; and Weizmann made the process available to the British for the duration of the war, without payment.43 Chaim Weizmann (1874–1952) Zionist leader and first President of Israel, photographed in New York, 1921, with Albert Einstein and two fellow Zionists, Nehemia Mossessohn (far left) and Menachem Ussishkin (far right). To this extent, chance and circumstances brought Weizmann to London. There, partly through his contribution to the British war effort, he earned the confidence of British leaders. Weizmann took full advantage of his connections and engaged in more than two years of lobbying. He tirelessly confronted British Jewish opposition while at the same time courting the Cabinet, the Foreign Office and Lord Rothschild.
David Ben-Gurion: 1886, born in Poland; 1906, visited Palestine, engaged in agricultural labour and activism; 1919, head of Labour Zionist movement; 1921–35, General Secretary of Histadrut (Zionist Labour Federation); 1936, head of Jewish Agency; 1937, accepted ‘partition’; 1948, first Prime Minister of Israel. 6. Notice once more the British colonial formula. For reasons covered elsewhere, no such legislative council came into being during the mandate years. Chapter Six 1. Albert Einstein, 1929, quoted in Walter Isaacson, Einstein: His Life and Universe, London, New York, Pocket Books, 2007, p. 381. 2. Quoted in Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, p. 88. 3. Quoted in Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, pp. 78, 79. 4. Quoted in Segev, p. 192. 5. Stein, p. 213. Italics added. 6. Jeffries, p. 605. 7. Quoted in Wasserstein, The British in Palestine, p. 124. 8. 1937 Peel Report. 9.
The Oil Age Is Over: What to Expect as the World Runs Out of Cheap Oil, 2005-2050 by Matt Savinar
Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K
It sure would. You didn't see the Marines flushing Uday and Qusay out of that house with anything non-lethal, did you? You think the Marines are going to bust into Osama's cave with non-lethal weapons? No way, they're saving that stuff for you. 83 Part VII: Peak Oil and Global War "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." -Albert Einstein "Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events." -Winston Churchill "Class, in the case of a nuclear attack, get under your desks, put your hands over your head, and kiss your asses goodbye."
But most assume that this day of reckoning is still years away. They too might also be too optimistic. My analysis is leaning me more by the month, the worry that peaking is at hand; not years away. If you think discussing Peak Oil and its likely ramifications are too "pessimistic" ask yourself: 1. Was Winston Churchill being a "pessimist" in 1940 when he told Britain, "I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and sweat"? 2. Was Albert Einstein being a "pessimist" in 1939 when he told FDR that Nazi Germany was in the process of developing an atomic bomb? There is a difference between an "optimist" and a fool. An optimist is somebody who looks at bleak facts and decides to make the best of the situation they can. A fool is somebody who looks at bleak facts and decides to ignore them because they are too upsetting. If you want to ignore the harsh reality of Peak Oil, feel free. 95.
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
airport security, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Buckminster Fuller, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, fudge factor, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Mercator projection, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Turing machine
We will see that, like a particle, the universe doesn’t have just a single history, but every possible history, each with its own probability; and our observations of its current state affect its past and determine the different histories of the universe, just as the observations of the particles in the double-slit experiment affect the particles’ past. That analysis will show how the laws of nature in our universe arose from the big bang. But before we examine how the laws arose, we’ll talk a little bit about what those laws are, and some of the mysteries that they provoke. The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible. —ALBERT EINSTEIN HE UNIVERSE IS COMPREHENSIBLE because it is governed by scientific laws; that is to say, its behavior can be modeled. But what are these laws or models? The first force to be described in mathematical language was gravity. Newton’s law of gravity, published in 1687, said that every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force proportional to its mass. It made a great impression on the intellectual life of its era because it showed for the first time that at least one aspect of the universe could be accurately modeled, and it established the mathematical machinery to do so.
Dutch physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz and Irish physicist George Francis FitzGerald suggested that in a frame that was moving with respect to the ether, probably due to some yet-unknown mechanical effect, clocks would slow down and distances would shrink, so one would still measure light to have the same speed. Such efforts to save the aether concept continued for nearly twenty years until a remarkable paper by a young and unknown clerk in the patent office in Berne, Albert Einstein. Einstein was twenty-six in 1905 when he published his paper “Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper” (“On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”). In it he made the simple assumption that the laws of physics and in particular the speed of light should appear to be the same to all uniformly moving observers. This idea, it turns out, demands a revolution in our concept of space and time. To see why, imagine two events that take place at the same spot but at different times, in a jet aircraft.
The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K
Raul654 was well known in the community as the large, cheery, and bombastic computer science graduate student who never shied away from cleaning Trolls,_Vandals,_and_Sock_Puppets,_Oh_My_181 up messes around Wikipedia. He had taken on obnoxious users in the past and wanted a more systematic way to deal with them. In 2004, he was on the case of a prickly user named Plautus Satire, who had vandalized the articles on [[Albert Einstein]], [[Hubble Space Telescope]], and [[Black Hole]] with nonsensical claims. In the Einstein article, he insisted on pushing the idea that the scientist was a fraud: Einstein performed no experiments and claimed his ideas came to him in dreams. His poor grasp of mathemetics, as evidenced by his failure to pass admissions examinations to engineering schools, prevented him from doing mathematical analyses of the hypotheses he presented, and his method of pure deductive reasoning has been roundly dismissed as unscientific, unproductive and prone to deviate far and wide from reality.70 Raul654 was not amused.
TROLLS, VANDALS, AND SOCK PUPPETS, OH MY 65. http://curezone.com/forums/troll.asp. 66. http://nostalgia .wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Cunctator/How _to_destroy_ Wikipedia& oldid=49164. 67. From “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” p. 65. 68. http://www.firstmonday.org/Issues/issue8_12/ciffolilli/. 69. http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/13.03/wiki.html. 234_Notes 70. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml ?title=Albert_Einstein& diff=2380047& oldid= 2380036 . 71. http://wikimania2006.wikimedia.org/wiki/Proceedings:MP1. Chapter 8. CRISIS OF COMMUNITY 72. http://wwwtcsdaily.com/article .aspx?id=111504A. 73. http://ascii.textfiles.com/archives/000060.html. 74. http://www.news.com/In-search -of-the-Wikipedia-prankster—page-2/2008-1029_3 -5995977-2 .html ?tag=st.next. 75. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Semi-protection_policy#Semi -protection. 76. http://chronicle.com/wiredcampus/index.php?
sid=05/04/19/1746205& tid=95 . 100. http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/california/la-me-briefs31-2008may31, 0 ,6581366.story. 101. http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:FlaggedRevs. Index Adams, Clifford, 59, 62, 66–67, 73, Atlantic Monthly, 47, 171 140–41 “Atonality” article, 40 Adobe Systems, 52 Attribution ShareAlike, 212 advertising, 22, 31, 33 “Autaugaville” article, 102–3 Wikipedia and, 9, 11, 136–38, 215, 226 Afghanistan, 159 African languages, 157–58 Bambara language, 158 Alabama, 17–18 barn raising, 187–88 “Albert Einstein” article, 181 Beck, Kent, 47 Alexa, 183 “Beer goggles” article, 92 Alexander, Christopher, 46 Beesley, Angela, 184, 196 ALIWEB, 34 Bell, Andrew, 16 “All your base are belong to us” article, 118 Bengali language, 160 Alt, Gary, 204 Benkler, Yochai, 108, 111 Altavista, 22 Berners-Lee, Tim, 51–55, 59 Anthony, Seth (Sethilys), 106–11 Bomis, Inc., 21–23, 31–35, 41, 45, 66, “Anti-tank dog” article, 118 72, 79, 88–89, 136, 137, 171, 174, ants, 81–82, 83 183–84 Apache, 140 Bomis Browser, 22 “Apex” article, 106 “Boston molasses disaster” article, 118 Aphaia, 146–47 Brandt, Daniel, 192–94, 200, 210 Apple Computer, 27, 52, 222 Brief History of Hackerdom, A (Raymond), HyperCard, 47–51, 54–56 85 Arabic language, 144, 156, 157 Britannica, see Encyclopedia Britannica ArbCom (Arbitration Committee), 180–81, browsers, 51–55 184, 197, 223 Bryce, 139 ARPANET, 85–86 bulletin board systems, 83–84, 121, 170 Asian languages, 139–42, 144, 159–60 Bumm13, 109–11 Chinese, 141–44, 146, 150–55 Bush, Vannevar, 47 Japanese, 139, 140, 141–42, 144, “Bushism” article, 117 145–47 “Buttered cat paradox” article, 117 astroturfing, 121 “As We May Think” (Bush), 47 AtisWiki, 62 Calacanis, Jason, 215 Atkinson, Bill, 48, 51 CamelCase, 58, 62–64, 66–67, 73, 221 238_Index Cancelbots, 87, 88 wiki concept created by, 2, 4, 56–60, Canter & Siegel, 87 62, 65–66, 90 “Carmine DeSapio” article, 189 WikiWikiWeb created by, 44–45, 58–60 Catalan language, 152 Cunningham & Cunningham, 56 “Cathedral and the Bazaar, The” CvWiki, 62 (Raymond), 172–73, 175 Cyrillic script, 155–57 Cauz, Jorge, 209, 210 census data, 100–104, 106 Chase, Brian, 193 D’Alembert, Jean le Rond, 15 “Chewbacca Defense” article, 118 Danzig/Gdansk war, 122–30, 146 Chicago Options Associates, 20, 21, 22 Davis, Michael, 20, 184 “Chicken or the egg” article, 92 Death and Life of Great American Cities, China: The (Jacobs), 96–97 proverb from, 183 DejaNews, 86 Wikipedia in, 10, 141–44, 146, 150–55 Denker, Markus, 62 Yongle encyclopedia in, 15 DeSapio, Carmine, 189 Chris 73, 128–29 design patterns, 55, 59 Churchill, Winston, 81 Devouard, Florence, 3, 157, 184 CIA World Fact Book, The, 100 Diderot, Denis, 15, 115 Ciffolilli, Andrea, 175–76 Digg, 86 Citizendium, 190, 211–12 Digital Equipment Corporation, 27 CNN, 219 Digital Universe Foundation, 210–11 “Coase’s Penguin” (Benkler), 108 Digital World Africa 2006 Conference, 157 Cohen, Sacha Baron, 156 directory services, 22 Colbert, Stephen, 201–2 DMOZ, 23, 30, 223 Coleridge, Herbert, 70 Open Directory Project, 30–31, 33, 35 Collier’s Encyclopedia, 17 Discover, 126 Communications Decency Act, 191 discussion forums, 86 communities, 12, 81–83 Disney Corporation, 26–27 peer production in, 108–9 Distributed Proofreaders, 35 sidewalks and, 96–97 DMOZ, 23, 30, 223 Usenet, 83–88, 114, 170, 190, 223 “Dog” article, 90, 140, 212 Wikipedia, see Wikipedia community Dr.
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman, Jeffrey Robbins
Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, impulse control, index card, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, scientific worldview, the scientific method
Ultimately, for fun again and intellectual pleasure, we could imagine machines as tiny as a few microns across, with wheels and cables all interconnected by wires, silicon connections, so that the thing as a whole, a very large device, moves not like the awkward motions of our present stiff machines but in the smooth way of the neck of a swan, which after all is a lot of little machines, the cells all interconnected and all controlled in a smooth way. Why can’t we do that ourselves? ______ *John von Neumann (1903–1957), a Hungarian-American mathematician who is credited as being one of the fathers of the computer. Ed. *The jerky movements of particles caused by the constant random collisions of molecules, first noted in print in 1928 by botanist Robert Brown, and explained by Albert Einstein in a 1905 paper in Annalen der Physik. Ed. *Sci. Am. July 1985; Japanese Transl.–SAIENSU, Sept. 1985. Ed. 3 LOS ALAMOS FROM BELOW And now a little something on the lighter side—gems about wisecracker (not to mention safecracker) Feynman getting in and out of trouble at Los Alamos: getting his own private room by seeming to break the no-women-in-the-men’s-dormitory rule; outwitting the camp’s censors; rubbing shoulders with great men like Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr, and Hans Bethe; and the awesome distinction of being the only man to stare straight at the first atomic blast without protective goggles, an experience that changed Feynman forever.
So this was the first technical talk that I ever gave. I started to prepare the thing. Then Wigner came to me and said that he thought the work was important enough that he’d made special invitations to the seminar to Professor Pauli, who was a great professor of physics visiting from Zurich; to Professor von Neumann, the world’s greatest mathematician; to Henry Norris Russell, the famous astronomer; and to Albert Einstein, who was living near there. I must have turned absolutely white or something because he said to me, “Now don’t get nervous about it, don’t be worried about it. First of all, if Professor Russell falls asleep, don’t feel bad, because he always falls asleep at lectures. When Professor Pauli nods as you go along, don’t feel good, because he always nods, he has palsy,” and so on. That kind of calmed me down a bit, but I was still worried.
I enjoyed that and I took his car and every night I went to Hollywood and the Sunset Strip and hung around there and had a good time, and that mixture of good weather and a wider horizon than is available in a small town in upper New York State is what finally convinced me to come here. It wasn’t very hard. It wasn’t a mistake. There was another decision that wasn’t a mistake. NARRATOR: On the California Institute of Technology faculty, Dr. Feynman serves as Richard Chace Tolman Professor of Theoretical Physics. In 1954 he received the Albert Einstein Award, and in 1962 the Atomic Energy Commission gave him the E. O. Laurence Award for “especially meritorious contributions to the development, use or control of atomic energy.” Finally, in 1965, he received the greatest scientific award of all, the Nobel Prize. He shared it with Sin-Itiro Tomonaga of Japan and Julian Schwinger of Harvard. For Dr. Feynman, the Nobel Prize was a rude awakening.
Frequently Asked Questions in Quantitative Finance by Paul Wilmott
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delta neutral, discrete time, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, fixed income, fudge factor, implied volatility, incomplete markets, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, iterative process, lateral thinking, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, martingale, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, Paul Samuelson, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, random walk, regulatory arbitrage, risk/return, Sharpe ratio, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, transaction costs, urban planning, value at risk, volatility arbitrage, volatility smile, Wiener process, yield curve, zero-coupon bond
He developed a mathematical theory for random walks, a theory rediscovered later by Einstein. He proposed a model for equity prices, a simple normal distribution, and built on it a model for pricing the almost unheard of options. His model contained many of the seeds for later work, but lay ‘dormant’ for many, many years. It is told that his thesis was not a great success and, naturally, Bachelier’s work was not appreciated in his lifetime. See Bachelier (1995). 1905 Einstein Albert Einstein proposed a scientific foundation for Brownian motion in 1905. He did some other clever stuff as well. See Stachel (1990). 1911 Richardson Most option models result in diffusion-type equations. And often these have to be solved numerically. The two main ways of doing this are Monte Carlo and finite differences (a sophisticated version of the binomial model). The very first use of the finite-difference method, in which a differential equation is discretized into a difference equation, was by Lewis Fry Richardson in 1911, and used to solve the diffusion equation associated with weather forecasting.
John Wiley & Sons Sharpe, WF 1985 Investments. Prentice-Hall Sloan, IH & Walsh, L 1990 A computer search of rank two lattice rules for multidimensional quadrature. Mathematics of Computation 54 281-302 Sobol’, IM 1967 On the distribution of points in cube and the approximate evaluation of integrals. USSR Comp. Maths and Math. Phys. 7 86-112 Stachel, J (ed.) 1990 The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Princeton University Press Thorp, EO 1962 Beat the Dealer. Vintage Thorp, EO & Kassouf, S 1967 Beat the Market. Random House Thorp, EO 2002 Wilmott magazine, various papers Traub, JF & Wozniakowski, H 1994 Breaking intractability. Scientific American Jan 102-107 Vasicek, OA 1977 An equilibrium characterization of the term structure. Journal of Financial Economics 5 177-188 Wiener, N 1923 Differential space.
There is even some evidence that the distribution of returns have infinite second moment. Despite this, and the existence of financial theories that do incorporate such fat tails, BM motion is easily the most common model used to represent random walks in finance. References and Further Reading Bachelier, L 1995 Théorie de la Spéculation. Jacques Gabay Brown, R 1827 A Brief Account of Microscopical Observations. London Stachel, J (ed.) 1990 The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. Princeton University Press Wiener, N 1923 Differential space. J. Math. and Phys. 58 131-74 What is Jensen’s Inequality and What is its Role in Finance? Short Answer Jensen’s Inequality states2 that if f (·) is a convex function and x is a random variable thenE [f (x)] ≥ f (E [x]). This justifies why non-linear instruments, options, have inherent value. Example You roll a die, square the number of spots you get, you win that many dollars.
The No Need to Diet Book: Become a Diet Rebel and Make Friends With Food by Plantbased Pixie
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 5(1):18–24. Levinovitz, A. (2015). The Gluten Lie: and other myths about what you eat. Simon and Schuster. Gough, B. (2007). ‘“Real men don’t diet”: An analysis of contemporary newspaper representations of men, food and health’. Social Science & Medicine, 64(2):326–37. 2 WEIGHT AND HEALTH ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ NOT ALBERT EINSTEIN* The public health ‘war on obesity’ has, let’s face it, not exactly been successful. Despite the nation going on diet after diet, obesity levels have continued to rise. Why is this? The campaigns to prevent and tackle obesity have placed a huge focus on individual responsibility. Surely it makes sense to focus on weight if you’re trying to get people to not be obese? Well, no, not quite. This is what we’ve been led to believe.
Quiz: Check your weight bias Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each of the following statements: STRONGLY DISAGREE DISAGREE NEITHER AGREE NOR DISAGREE AGREE STRONGLY AGREE Fat people are less physically attractive than thin people. 1 2 3 4 5 I would never date a fat person. 1 2 3 4 5 On average, fat people are lazier than thin people. 1 2 3 4 5 Fat people only have themselves to blame for their weight. 1 2 3 4 5 It is disgusting when a fat person wears a bathing suit at the beach. 1 2 3 4 5 The higher your total score, the stronger your negative attitudes are towards fat people. Ideally you want this score to be as low as possible, so if you have a high score maybe this is something you can work on. * Although this quote is always attributed to Albert Einstein, there is no record of him saying this and it has been thoroughly debunked. But there’s no denying it’s a great quote. † The Foresight obesity model is a map which looks at all the factors that can affect body weight, ranging from biological and medical to food and psychological factors. ‡ NICE is an independent public body that provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care in England, with some services to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 3 EMOTIONAL EATING ‘When people turn to food and they’re not physically hungry, it means that they’re using food for something else besides satisfying the needs of the body.
People are far more likely to make upward social comparisons on social media compared with real life. Upward social comparisons are when we compare ourselves with other people who we perceive as being slightly better than us or who we look up to in terms of certain characteristics, whether it’s appearance, fitness or academic grades. For example, although you likely won’t compare yourself to Albert Einstein, you will compare your grades with those of others in your class, especially those who you perceive to be on a similar or slightly higher level to you. Although upward comparison can be beneficial when it encourages ambition and inspires people to become more like the people they admire, more often than not it has a negative effect. How does this relate back to self-esteem? Online, you can take your time to strategically construct a persona that emphasises your most desirable traits and hides any flaws, whereas face-to-face interactions do not allow for the same degree of contemplation or flexibility.
The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman, Anthony Brandt
active measures, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Burning Man, cloud computing, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Google Glasses, haute couture, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Dyson, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, lone genius, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, microbiome, Netflix Prize, new economy, New Journalism, pets.com, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, self-driving car, Simon Singh, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons, X Prize
The scouts fan out in all directions from the nest, flying to different distances. Similarly, humans have the capacity to generate options at different distances from current standards. For instance, we know Albert Einstein as the scientist whose imaginative leaps remade our understanding of space and time. But he also occupied himself with more practical concerns, contributing novel designs for a refrigerator, a gyrocompass, a microphone, airplane parts, waterproof outerwear, and a new kind of camera. The man who contemplated what happens when you approach the speed of light also patented this blouse: Figure from Albert Einstein’s blouse patent Thomas Edison’s creative mind also flew different distances from the hive. Among Edison’s first patents were modest ones that tinkered with prior art, including upgrades to Graham Bell’s telephone.
This toy consists of plastic sheets that have been preheated and stretched so that they are big enough for a child to drawn on. When the sheets are reheated, they shrink back to their original size, turning the child’s artwork into a miniature. Using a laser jet printer and a toaster, Khine’s team found that they could inscribe channels into the Shrinky Dink, heat the plastic, and shrink it into a functional microfluidic dish. At a cost of pennies per sheet, they had turned a toy into a blood test. When Albert Einstein was working on his Theory of General Relativity, he thought about what it would be like to be in an elevator. If the elevator were sitting on the Earth, then gravity would cause a dropped ball to hit the floor. But what if he were in zero-gravity outer space, in an elevator rocketing upward? A released ball would also seem to drop in exactly the same way – in this case because the floor would be racing to it.
The Strange Order of Things: The Biological Roots of Culture by Antonio Damasio
Albert Einstein, biofilm, business process, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double helix, Gordon Gekko, invention of the wheel, invention of writing, invisible hand, job automation, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, profit motive, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Thomas Malthus
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016); Nussbaum, Political Emotions; Peter Singer, The Expanding Circle: Ethics, Evolution, and Moral Progress (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2011); Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (New York: Penguin Books, 2011). 7. See Haidt, Righteous Mind. 8. Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents: The Standard Edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010). 9. Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, Why War? The Correspondence Between Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud, trans. Fritz Moellenhoff and Anna Moellenhoff (Chicago: Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, 1933). 10. Janet L. Lauritsen, Karen Heimer, and James P. Lynch, “Trends in the Gender Gap in Violent Offending: New Evidence from the National Crime Victimization Survey,” Criminology 47, no. 2 (2009): 361–99; Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson, Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996); Sell, Tooby, and Cosmides, “Formidability and the Logic of Human Anger.” 11.
In the last years of his life, Sigmund Freud saw the bestiality of Nazism as confirming his doubts that culture could ever tame the nefarious death wish that he believed was present within each of us. Freud had earlier begun to articulate his reasons in the collection of texts known as Civilization and Its Discontents (published in 1930 and revised in 1931),8 but nowhere are his arguments better expressed than in his correspondence with Albert Einstein. Einstein wrote to Freud in 1932 seeking his advice on how to prevent the deadly conflagration he saw coming, following fast on the heels of World War I. In his reply, Freud described the human condition with merciless clarity and lamented to Einstein that given the forces at play he had no good advice to offer, no help, no solution, I’m so sorry.9 The main reason for his pessimism, it should be noted, was the internally flawed condition of the human.
Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda by John Mueller
airport security, Albert Einstein, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, Doomsday Clock, energy security, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, long peace, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shock, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, side project, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War
Thus, in the wake of the atomic bombings, notes historian Paul Boyer, “atomic scientists, world-government advocates, and international-control advocates played upon the profound uneasiness pervading the nation.” As a result, “America’s airwaves, pulpits, and lecture halls were full of such frightening fare … as the nation’s atomic fears were manipulated and exacerbated by the media and by political activists.”22 Consequently, atomic scientist Phillip Morrison mused, “We have a chance to build a working peace on the novelty and terror of the atomic bomb,” and Albert Einstein expressed the hope that the bomb “would intimidate the human race into bringing order into its international affairs,” even as another scientist insisted that “only one tactic is dependable—the preaching of doom.” Meanwhile, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists editor Eugene Rabinowitch indicated that a purpose of his publication was “to preserve civilization by scaring men into rationality,” and J.
It soon sported its “doomsday clock” on the cover, suggesting that there was hope of preventing Armageddon, but only if we were quick about it. The clock has remained poised at a few minutes before midnight ever since, from time to time nudged slightly one way or the other by various events. (Amazingly, in 2006 the Bulletin launched a subscription campaign boldly and unapologetically built around the slogan “Dispensing facts instead of fear for over sixty years.”) Led by the legendary Albert Einstein, many atomic scientists quickly came to conclusions expressed with an evangelical certainty they would never have used in discussing the physical world. “As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power,” Einstein declaimed, “war is inevitable.”3 Nuclear fears continued to be pronounced over the next decade and a half. And in the process, truly massive numbers of people—indeed, the entire population of the earth—several times lost their lives to nuclear explosions, but only in novels, on television, and in the movies.
The most likely path to World War III, as most analysts envisioned it, arose from a process in which the weapons designed to prevent and deter it were inadvertently deployed in a manner that caused it to happen.40 Fortunately, as argued in chapter 3, stability has been greatly overdetermined, and therefore the mutual bluffmanship has ultimately had little consequence. Accordingly, the theatrical form the foreign policy posturing most nearly resembles has been farce. Nuclear weapons did add a new element to international politics: new pieces for the players to move around the board, new terrors to contemplate and to anguish over, new ways to dole out the public treasury. But in counter to Albert Einstein’s famous remark that “the atom has changed everything save our way of thinking,” it seems rather that nuclear weapons changed little except our way of talking, posturing, and spending money.41 That is, although the weapons altered history little, they have very substantially influenced, mostly in a detrimental manner, the way people have gesticulated, scurried about, and expended funds. PART II The Spread of Nuclear Weapons 6 Arms Races Positive and Negative The technological fixation on nuclear weapons and the concomitant assumption, or assertion, that weapons are a crucial cause of war have led to decades of focused anguish over nuclear arms control and disarmament issues.
The Spinoza Problem by Irvin D. Yalom
Are your teachers all Jews?” “Certainly not Jung or Bleuler.” “But, Friedrich, why involve yourself in a Jewish field?” “It will be a Jewish field unless we Germans step in. Or put it another way: It’s too good to be left to the Jews.” “But why contaminate yourself? Why become the student of Jews?” “It’s a field of science. Look, Alfred, consider the example of another scientist, the German Jew Albert Einstein. All of Europe is buzzing about him—his work will forever change the face of physics. You can’t speak of modern physics as Jewish physics. Science is science. In medical school one of my instructors in anatomy was a Swiss Jew—he didn’t teach me Jewish anatomy. And if the great William Harvey were Jewish, you’d still believe in the circulation of the blood, right? If Kepler were Jewish, you’d still believe in the earth revolving about the sun?
Each edition was opened to the title page, and as the legend explained in Dutch, French, English, and German, the publishers adjudged this book so incendiary that neither the author nor the publishing company was identified. Moreover, each of the five editions claimed to be published in a different city. The guard beckoned Alfred to come to the desk and sign the guest register. After signing, Alfred flipped through the pages scanning the names of other guests. The guard reached over, turned back a few pages, pointed to the signature of Albert Einstein (dated November 2, 1920), and, tapping the page, proudly said, “Nobel laureate for physics. A famous scientist. He spent almost a whole day reading in this library and writing a poem to Spinoza. Look there,” he pointed to a small framed page of paper hanging on the wall behind him. “It’s his handwriting—he made us a copy. It’s the first stanza of his poem.” Alfred stepped over and read:How I love this noble man More than I can say with words.
Give him the time he deserves.” “You always defend the Jews.” “He doesn’t represent the Jews. He espouses pure reason. The Jews cast him out.” “I warned you about studying with Jews long ago. I warned you of entering this Jewish field. I warned you of your great danger.” “You may rest at ease. The danger is past. All the Jews in the psychoanalytic institute have left the country. As has Albert Einstein. As have the other great Jewish German scientists. And the great German non-Jewish writers—like Thomas Mann and two hundred fifty of our finest writers. Do you really believe this strengthens our country?” “Germany grows stronger and more pure every time a Jew or a lover of Jews leaves the country.” “Do you believe such hatred—” “It’s not a matter of hatred. It’s a matter of preserving the race.
The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin
"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War
Chapter 29: Alchemy of Shining Light 1 Walter Isaacson, Einstein: The Life of a Genius (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2009), ch. 4 (“lazy dog”); Albrecht Folsing, Albert Einstein: A Biography, tr. Ewald Osers (New York: Penguin, 1997), pp. 77, 95 (“exceedingly thorough,” “depressed”). 2 John Stachel, ed., Einstein’s Miraculous Year: Five Papers That Changed the Face of Physics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998), pp. 177–98; Isaacson, Einstein, pp. 94–101. 3 Interview with Jean Posbic (“explained it all”). 4 Interview with Ernest Moniz. 5 John Perlin, From Space to Earth: The Story of Solar Electricity (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 18 (Siemens). 6 Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1921, at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1921/. 7 Perlin, From Space to Earth, pp. 4, 25–26, 31, 202; New York Times, April 26, 1954 (“almost limitless”); Time, October 17, 1955. 8 Stephen E.
To Goldfine’s surprise, von Neumann, despite his towering reputation, was quite friendly. But when Goldfine told von Neumann that he was helping develop “an electronic computer capable of 333 multiplications per second,” the conversation abruptly changed “from one of relaxed good humor to one more like the oral examination for the doctor’s degree in mathematics.”25 John von Neumann—born János Neumann in Budapest—had emigrated to the United States in 1930 to become, along with Albert Einstein, one of the first faculty members at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study. Von Neumann would prove to be one of the most extraordinary and creative figures of the twentieth century, not only one of the century’s greatest mathematicians but also an outstanding physicist and, almost as a sideline, one of the most influential figures in modern economics (he invented game theory and is said to have “changed the very way economic analysis is done”).
This experiment is definitely not something just for the future. It has already begun. It takes a variety of forms today—among them, capturing the wind, harnessing the energy that is being created by the giant nuclear fusion furnace of the sun, harvesting energy from the richness of the soil, improving efficiency wherever we use energy, and remaking the vehicles that carry us all about. 29 ALCHEMY OF SHINING LIGHT Albert Einstein possessed a power of mind that would do nothing less than forge a new understanding of the universe. In the summer of 1900, he had a more immediate problem. Diploma in hand, he really needed to find a job. He had hoped for a university position, but it was not to be. None of Einstein’s professors would give him a positive recommendation, in part due to a mediocre diploma essay as well as his reputation for being, as one of his professors put it, a “lazy dog.”
Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut's Story by Michael Collins
I love those names, and I didn’t mind memorizing where each one was in the sky. They are always there; they never change position; and they are very far distant. The star closest to us is called Alpha Centauri, and it is over four light-years away. In other words, if we could travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), it would take us over four years to reach the nearest star. According to Albert Einstein, the speed of light is the fastest it is possible to go, so if he is correct, we will never be able to visit any star (except our sun, which is a star) unless we are willing to spend many years traveling. It gives me a strange feeling to think about how big our universe is. For example, let’s say you go out into your back yard on a clear night and find the star Betelgeuse (I pronounce it Beetle Juice).
If this is true, is it reasonable to suppose that our one little peanut of a planet (a character in one of Mark Twain’s stories referred to it as The Wart) is the only one which has produced intelligent life? I don’t think so. I think it’s the height of conceit for us Wartians to decide that our planet is better than all the other 999,999,999,999. A more reasonable assumption might be that we are in the middle, which would make us stupid indeed, compared to life on some of the more advanced planets out there. A man who may have been the most intelligent Wartian who ever lived, Albert Einstein, developed a Theory of Relativity which says (among other things) that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. If this theory is correct, and we have discovered no reason so far to doubt it, then visiting other planets with intelligent life won’t be an easy thing to do. The nearest star, Alpha Centauri, is over four light-years away, meaning that it would take over eight years to make a round trip, traveling the entire time at the speed of light, which is not something we know how to do yet.
The Myth of the Rational Market: A History of Risk, Reward, and Delusion on Wall Street by Justin Fox
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, beat the dealer, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, Edward Thorp, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, Myron Scholes, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile, Yogi Berra
From this beginning, Bachelier realized, “it is possible to study mathematically the static state of the market at a given instant, i.e., to establish the law of probability of price changes consistent with the market at that instant.”5 It was a view of the market as a game of chance, like roulette or dice. And just as games of chance can be described mathematically (and had been since the 1500s), Bachelier sketched the probabilities of the exchange. His work was so innovative that when Albert Einstein employed similar mathematical tools five years later to describe the random motion of tiny particles suspended in a fluid or a gas—called “Brownian motion,” after the botanist who first noted it—he helped lay the foundations of nuclear physics. But while physicists, building upon Einstein’s work, were putting together atomic bombs by the 1940s, practical application of Bachelier’s insights would not emerge until the 1970s.
The developments of the late 1930s, in which young Keynesians grafted a few kludgy imperfect-foresight formulas onto the body of perfect-foresight mathematical economics, aggravated him. He began consorting with the scientists and mathematicians of Vienna, one of whom steered him toward a 1928 paper about poker written by Hungarian mathematician John von Neumann.4 After emigrating to the United States in 1930, von Neumann became the brightest intellectual light at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, a place that also employed Albert Einstein. He helped plan the Battle of the Atlantic, design the atomic bomb, and invent the computer. In the late 1950s, dying of bone cancer likely brought on by witnessing one too many atomic test blasts, he peddled his doctrine of nuclear brinksmanship while rolling his wheelchair down the halls of power in Washington—providing at least part of the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.
Had any of them, Savage wondered, heard of the guy or the book? Samuelson set to searching the libraries of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for the book. He found something far more interesting: Bachelier’s 1900 doctoral dissertation, the Théorie de la spéculation. Samuelson recognized almost immediately that Bachelier’s densely mathematical description of market behavior was almost identical to Albert Einstein’s description of Brownian motion—the random movement of microscopic particles suspended in a liquid or gas. The significance of this discovery to the subsequent development of quantitative finance cannot be overstated. Economists and finance professors could claim that one of their own—and they embraced the deceased French mathematician as such—had beaten the great Einstein to a major discovery.
The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius(tm) by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen
Albert Einstein, fear of failure, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, out of africa, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, urban sprawl, Walter Mischel
In this culture, though it may seem otherwise, to achieve beyond the norm is much harder than people imagine. Excellence is about authenticity, and living authentically is always a process that is fraught with risk, setbacks, and self-doubt. Nevertheless, Everyday Geniuses are specially equipped to defy the limits of the ordinary and break the mold. All of them—from the person who invented the electric drill (whose name we may not know) to Madame Curie and Albert Einstein—share one overarching trait: the ability and the drive to push progress forward. HOW CAN I KNOW THIS ABOUT MYSELF? Until now, Everyday Geniuses have had no guidebook to assist them in identifying themselves, accepting their traits and abilities, nurturing their creative spirits, and navigating the real world. Liberating Everyday Genius is intended to be that guidebook, a source of essential realities that will bring the concept of giftedness out of the dark ages and liberate the twenty million Everyday Geniuses among us.
As might be expected, we are constantly faced with the dilemma of making a splash with our expanded perspectives or swimming silent laps in the norm pool. This paradoxical “inability” to blend in while standing out must be acknowledged. We are incapable of always successfully approximating “normal.” Just as it is for anyone who is obviously different, we are apt to become targets for discrimination. Peter Bucky, author of The Private Albert Einstein, addressed this question of difference in his conversations with Einstein. In response to Bucky’s inquiry about how the great scientist managed “judgments of the outside world,” Einstein answered: Well, I have considered myself to be very fortunate in that I have been able to do mostly only that which my inner self told me to do.… I am also aware that I do receive much criticism from the outside world for what I do and some people actually get angry at me.
Calmly assess whether it’s really imperative that you turn around before you allow yourself to be dissuaded from your direction. Remind yourself daily that apprehension and unknowns are intrinsic to progress. Learn to wear ambiguity like a comfortable old sweater. Try new things with less fear of appearing foolish, mindful that no matter how brilliant your action, someone will disapprove. Intelligently persist in your efforts the way Albert Einstein did. When asked how he worked, Einstein replied, “How do I work? I grope.” Reward yourself for initiating and staying with boring tasks. Mundane duties are rarely enjoyable but often necessary if there is to be joy in other domains. Value the good feelings and positive gains that come from being a finisher. Remember that a large percentage of success comes from attending to the mundane aspects of a job.
The Simulation Hypothesis by Rizwan Virk
3D printing, Albert Einstein, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, butterfly effect, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, game design, Google Glasses, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, Minecraft, natural language processing, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technological singularity, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Zeno's paradox
Some Unexplained Areas: God, Angels, NDEs, and UFOs 218 God and The Creation of the Physical World God and the Afterlife Angels AI: Gods and Angels and the Simulation Hypothesis Near-Death Experiences UFOs The Fermi Paradox Jung and Synchronicity OBEs, Remote Viewing, Telepathy and Other “Unexplained” Phenomenon Part IV: Putting it All Together 245 Skeptics and Believers: Evidence of Computation 246 The Categories of Arguments/Experiments A Quick Note About Metaphysical Experiments and Consciousness The Skeptics: The Resource Argument Evidence of Conditional Rendering Experiments for Evidence of Pixels Evidence of Computation: Error-Correcting Codes Quantum Computers, Error Codes, and Quantum Entanglement Quantum Entanglement and Simulation Fractals and Evidence of Computation in Nature Simple Programs and A New Kind of Science Conclusion—the Search for Evidence of Computation The Great Simulation and Its Implications 269 Plato’s Allegory of the Cave and the Simulation Hypothesis What is the Great Simulation and Who Runs It? What Are the Main Elements of the Great Simulation? Conscious Beings or Unconscious Simulations—PCs vs. NPCs The Big Picture: Computation Underlies the Other Sciences Parting Thoughts: Bridging the Great Divide Acknowledgements 292 Index 293 About the Author 308 Part 0 Overview Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. —Albert Einstein Know that all phenomena Are like reflections appearing In a very clear mirror; Devoid of inherent existence —Buddha Introduction The Simulation Hypothesis We are living in a computer-programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed, and some alteration in our reality occurs. —Philip K. Dick, Metz Sci-Fi Convention, 1977 As a kid growing up in the Midwest in the early 1980s, I loved video games.
The Old Physics Before we jump into the crux of this chapter’s point about quantum indeterminacy and how it relates to the simulation hypothesis, some background information will be needed. Let’s take a quick look at what’s often called the old (“classical”) physics models, which were built on the works of Sir Isaac Newton, and the new (“relativistic and quantum”) physics, which began with Albert Einstein but was really fleshed out by a number of eminent physicists in the early 20th century, including Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Erwin Schrödinger, and others. In the classical view of physics, the universe operates independently of people like us (or observers) and does so in a purely mechanistic way. Newton’s laws of motion could be used to describe the movements of heavenly bodies simply based on their mass and position using basic physics equations.
It turns out that the whole idea of quantum physics comes from a similar idea: that there is no such thing as continuous motion or continuous transitions but that things happen in discrete quantities at the subatomic level. These discrete quantities are called quanta. This idea of discrete amounts, or packets, of energy, rather than a continuous world-view, is one that took shape in physics over the course of the early 20th century through the work of scientists like Albert Einstein, Max Born, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and many others. This idea was first proposed by theoretical physicist Max Planck and then validated by Einstein in his experiments on the photoelectric effect. Planck first postulated in 1900 that any energy-radiating system could be divided into discrete amounts of energy (quanta) and defined the quantum equation that related this amount to a frequency.
The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger
Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra
Such was the state of science for centuries; when observation and logic failed, myth and magic filled in the gaps. Still, the idea that nature could be known solely through simple observation and the application of logic became central to European scientific thought and persisted as late as the 1600s. As recently as the early 1900s, Aristotle’s decidedly vague “fifth element”—aether—was still a cause for debate among serious scientists of the day, including Albert Einstein. The more stubborn myths persisted, echoing through the texts, lending credence to unsubstantiated, often incredible claims. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, the master compiler of nature, included myths and fables alongside his own firsthand observations. In his immense Historia Naturalis, the unicorn is given the same credible treatment as the lion. Without a reliable way to verify the stories that came to him, he dutifully recorded folktales and legends that seem outrageous by modern standards.
Although divided by an ocean and thousands of miles, Henry and Faraday led strangely parallel lives. Born within just a few years of each other—Henry in 1797 and Faraday in 1791—the two scientists saw their most productive years as well as their research overlap. That Henry did not attain the same historic stature as Faraday does not diminish his contributions. Few scientists appear in history books alongside inventors such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, or Samuel F. B. Morse. Names like Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Isaac Newton are among the handful of exceptions that attest to the rule. One reason is the basic fact that to a large degree, the most enduring legacy of science is knowledge. Scientific experimentation, abstractions, and discovery of underlying principles hold little popular appeal today compared to products that transform everyday life or create vast fortunes. Successful inventors leave behind foundations and museums while successive, evolving versions of their original devices carry their name forward.
Radios were portable only in the sense that they were fitted into a sturdy case that included a handle. 14 Distance Dies in the Parlor “I am often asked how radio works. Well, you see, wire telegraphy is like a very long cat. You yank his tail in New York and he meows in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? Now, radio is exactly the same, except that there is no cat.” —attributed to Albert Einstein Just a few years after World War I, vacuum tube technology, if not perfected, was in a significantly better state than it had been before the hostilities. What’s more, companies such as General Electric, Westinghouse, and RCA were investing in research programs and joint marketing agreements. Amateurs were still broadcasting from attics and garages, making up programming as they went along.
Ten Billion Tomorrows: How Science Fiction Technology Became Reality and Shapes the Future by Brian Clegg
Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Brownian motion, call centre, Carrington event, combinatorial explosion, don't be evil, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, game design, gravity well, hive mind, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, silicon-based life, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Turing test
One concept that stretched credibility to its extreme was the holodeck. This provided a bridge between computing and the real world, combining virtual reality with a physical environment, using force fields to simulate real objects and giving the “player” a unique experience that could take them to the African veldt or a nineteenth-century saloon—or, as the character Data famously did, put them in a poker game with Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking—played by the actual scientist and Star Trek fan. Like much science fiction, Star Trek had, ever since the original series, taken shields and tractor beams for granted. We’ll come back to the difficulties with creating a holodeck a little later, but let’s make a start with the basics that would be needed to make it work. Force fields, shields, and tractor beams are all common fictional ways to manipulate objects around us without using matter.
The researchers at the Australian National Laboratory in Canberra made small hollow glass spheres heat up at particular points around their surface with the laser. Where the surface was heated, air molecules that come into contact with the glass gain extra energy. As air molecules push away from the surface, the recoil moves the sphere in the opposite direction. In effect, this is controlled Brownian motion. This is the mechanism that causes small particles like pollen grains to dance around in water, as if they are alive. Albert Einstein explained the effect as being caused by impact from the unseen water molecules on the tiny grains. The interesting aspect of the laser “tractor beam” is that the position heated on the surface of the glass spheres can be modified by changing the polarization of the laser light, so that the effect can be used to move the spheres in any desired direction. The possibilities for using lasers with metamaterials or glass spheres in air are interesting, but useless as an attempt to recreate the tractor beams that we see in science fiction, grabbing hold of a ship in the vacuum of space and pulling it in, because these laser methods require either a special environment (at the very least, air) or that the object to be pulled be made of a special material.
And it was when Einstein did the calculations to accommodate this that some weird stuff dropped out. Particularly of interest here is the discovery that time on a moving spaceship (or anything else) will run slow, when seen from somewhere else not moving at the same velocity. We are used to thinking of relativity as being difficult, involving complicated equations—and this is true of general relativity, the aspect that explains gravity. Even Albert Einstein had to get help with the math in that case. But for special relativity it really is surprisingly simple. For example, the way time slows down on a moving ship is a relatively simple calculation. When we observe from Earth the time on a spaceship, an elapsed period of time (t) just becomes t/(1-v2/c2)½—where v is the velocity of the ship and c is the speed of light. The higher the velocity, the closer the number that t is divided by is to zero, so the longer the time elapsed is.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. Kuhn, Ian Hacking
.; London, 1847), II, 220–21. 4. For the speed of sound, see T. S. Kuhn, “The Caloric Theory of Adiabatic Compression,” Isis, XLIV (1958), 136–37. For the secular shift in Mercury’s perihelion, see E. T. Whittaker, A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, II (London, 1953), 151, 179. 5. Quoted in T. S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (Cambridge, Mass., 1957), p. 138. 6. Albert Einstein, “Autobiographical Note,” in Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist, ed. P. A. Schilpp (Evanston, Ill., 1949), p. 45. 7. Ralph Kronig, “The Turning Point,” in Theoretical Physics in the Twentieth Century: A Memorial Volume to Wolfgang Pauli, ed. M. Fierz and V. F. Weisskopf (New York, 1960), pp. 22, 25–26. Much of this article describes the crisis in quantum mechanics in the years immediately before 1925. 8. Herbert Butterfield, The Origins of Modern Science, 1300–1800 (London, 1949), pp. 1–7. 9.
For the other examples in this paragraph, see the earlier references in this section. 12. Kuhn, op. cit., pp. 219–25. 13. E. T. Whittaker, A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, I (2d ed.; London, 1951), 108. 14. See ibid., II (1953), 151–80, for the development of general relativity. For Einstein’s reaction to the precise agreement of the theory with the observed motion of Mercury’s perihelion, see the letter quoted in P. A. Schilpp (ed.), Albert Einstein, Philosopher-Scientist (Evanston, Ill., 1949), p. 101. 15. For Brahe’s system, which was geometrically entirely equivalent to Copernicus’, see J. L. E. Dreyer, A History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler (2d ed.; New York, 1953), pp. 359–71. For the last versions of the phlogiston theory and their success, see J. R. Partington and D. McKie, “Historical Studies of the Phlogiston Theory,” Annals of Science, IV (1939), 113–49. 16.
Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything by Peter Morville
A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, augmented reality, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business process, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, disruptive innovation, index card, information retrieval, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Lean Startup, Lyft, minimum viable product, Mother of all demos, Nelson Mandela, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Schrödinger's Cat, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, source of truth, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, zero-sum game
We don’t know our limits. Francis Crick speculated that the claustrum, a thin layer of tissue beneath the insular neocortex that has two-way links to nearly all regions of the brain, may be responsible for integrating myriad sensations – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell – into the single, unifying experience of consciousness.lxi Of course, whenever we unify, we also divide. We invent self-other as one in what Albert Einstein famously called the “optical delusion of consciousness.” To make sense of an infinite universe, we create categories to reduce complexity. And we use tools and language to spread the load across mind-body-environment. Despite these devices, our search for the truth is limited by a very small flashlight. So we must spin our categories like tetrominos. We must turn our ontologies downside-in and upside-out.
Einstein believed instant information transfer across infinite distance or “spooky action at a distance” to be impossible, but its effects have been shown experimentally. Researchers are exploring the use of entanglement for communication and computation. Recently, Dutch physicists were able to teleport quantum data over a ten foot distance with a replication rate of 100 percent.cxlvi It appears that Albert Einstein was wrong. Figure 5-12. The consequence of quantum entanglement. In his book, Yanofsky explains the philosophical consequences of the nonlocal effects of entanglement. One consequence of entanglement is to end the philosophical position of reductionism. This position says that if you want to understand some type of closed system, look at all the parts of the system. To understand how a radio works, one must take it apart and look at all its components, because “the whole is the sum of its parts.”
Six Not-So-Easy Pieces: Einstein’s Relativity, Symmetry, and Space-Time by Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton, Matthew Sands
The present series of six lectures was carefully chosen to be of a level a little above the six that formed the earlier set of Feynman lectures entitled Six Easy Pieces (published by Addison Wesley Longman in 1995). Moreover, they go well together and constitute a superb and compelling account of one of the most important general areas of modern theoretical physics. This area is relativity, which first burst forth into human awareness in the early years of this century. The name of Einstein figures preeminently in the public conception of this field. It was, indeed, Albert Einstein who, in 1905, first clearly enunciated the profound principles which underlie this new realm of physical endeavor. But there were others before him, most notably Hendrik Antoon Lorentz and Henri Poincaré, who had already appreciated most of the basics of the (then) new physics. Moreover, the great scientists Galileo Galilei and Isaac Newton, centuries before Einstein, had already pointed out that in the dynamical theories that they themselves were developing, the physics as perceived by an observer in uniform motion would be identical with that perceived by an observer at rest.
ROGER PENROSE December 1996 SPECIAL PREFACE (from The Feynman Lectures on Physics) Toward the end of his life, Richard Feynman’s fame had transcended the confines of the scientific community. His exploits as a member of the commission investigating the space shuttle Challenger disaster gave him widespread exposure; similarly, a best-selling book about his picaresque adventures made him a folk hero almost of the proportions of Albert Einstein. But back in 1961, even before his Nobel Prize increased his visibility to the general public, Feynman was more than merely famous among members of the scientific community—he was legendary. Undoubtedly, the extraordinary power of his teaching helped spread and enrich the legend of Richard Feynman. He was a truly great teacher, perhaps the greatest of his era and ours. For Feynman, the lecture hall was a theater, and the lecturer a performer, responsible for providing drama and fireworks as well as facts and figures.
The Populist Explosion: How the Great Recession Transformed American and European Politics by John B. Judis
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, eurozone crisis, financial deregulation, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, mass immigration, means of production, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, Winter of Discontent
In 1990, he won Vermont’s seat in the House of Representatives, and in 2006, when Republican Jim Jeffords retired, Sanders won one of the Senate seats. In his Liberty Union campaigns, Sanders advocated for socialism. In the diary he kept of his Senate campaign in 1972, he wrote of a campaign stop, “I even mentioned the horrible word ‘socialism’—and nobody in the audience fainted.” He would recommend Albert Einstein’s essay, “Why Socialism,” to anyone interested. In that essay, Einstein wrote that the only way to remove the “evils” of capitalism was “through the establishment of a socialist economy. . . . In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion.” As mayor, Sanders fretted that he couldn’t bring socialism to Vermont. “If you ask me if the banks should be nationalized, I would say yes,” Sanders told the Baltimore Sun.
Judis, “The Bern Supremacy,” National Journal, November 19, 2015; Harry Jaffe, Why Bernie Sanders Matters, Regan Arts, 2015; Tim Murphy, “How Bernie Sanders Learned to Be a Real Politician,” Mother Jones, May 26, 2015; and Simon van Zuylen-Wood, “I’m Right and Everybody Else Is Wrong,” National Journal, June 2014. 79“nobody in the audience fainted”: Sanders, “Fragments of a Campaign Diary,” Seven Days, December 1, 1972. 79“Why Socialism”: Albert Einstein, “Why Socialism,” Monthly Review, May 1949. 79“I don’t have the power to nationalize the banks”: Baltimore Sun, December 23, 1981. 79“I’m a democratic socialist”: Sanders with Huck Gutman, Outsider in the House, Verso, 1997, p. 29. 80higher standard of living: Michael Powell, “Exceedingly Social, but Doesn’t Like Parties,” Washington Post, November 5, 2006. 80“two percent of the people”: Saint Albans Daily Messenger, December 23, 1971. 81“buy the United States Congress”: “The Rachel Maddow Show,” MSNBC, April 15, 2015. 81“What Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Understand About American Politics:” Jonathan Chait, “What Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Understand About American Politics,” New York, January 27, 2016. 81“facile calls for revolution:” “It Was Better to Bern Out,” The New York Times, June 10, 2016. 82“eat out the heart of the republic”: George E.
Elemental: How the Periodic Table Can Now Explain Everything by Tim James
If atoms were real they would need to be so small that even waves of visible light would be too big to bounce off them. It wouldn’t matter how powerful your microscope was, atoms would be impossible to discern by their very nature. Scientists are in the business of testing theories once they’ve been established, but how could you test this one? How could you see the unseeable? EINSTEIN WAS HERE Albert Einstein was a legend in his own lifetime. What’s more impressive is that he deserved the reputation. Publishing over three hundred scientific papers and essentially inventing the landscape of modern physics, Einstein was the epitome of genius. It would be foolish to summarize his many achievements in a few paragraphs, so we’ll focus on the one most relevant to chemistry: a paper he published on July 18, 1905, in which he made the atomic hypothesis testable rather than speculative.
The phenomenon was known as Brownian motion and, although unexplained, it was nothing more than a curiosity. Einstein decided to model the pollen’s trajectory through the water and found it could only be explained as the result of bombardment from water particles. To accurately describe how the pollen moved, you had to factor in the friction of pollen against water, which meant you had to accept the existence of “water atoms.” Despite the persistent rumors that he failed math in school, Albert Einstein was a mathematician par excellence and drew up an equation that related water temperature to the pollen grain’s likely movement. By introducing an equation with a measurable outcome, Einstein changed the game completely. An idea can be debated but a number cannot, so if you can predict a specific value from your hypothesis you have something to search for directly. He finished his paper with the phrase, “It is to be hoped that some enquirer may succeed shortly in solving the problem suggested here.”9 As was usually the case with Einstein, his equation was soon tested and confirmed.
Physics in Mind: A Quantum View of the Brain by Werner Loewenstein
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, complexity theory, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, informal economy, information trail, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Norbert Wiener, Richard Feynman, stem cell, trade route, Turing machine
Oxford: Oxford University Press. Watson, J. D., and Crick, F. H. C. 1953. Genetical implications of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid. Nature 171:964–967. Weinberg, S. 1992. Dreams of a Final Theory. New York: Pantheon. 13. Expanded Reality A Fine Bouquet Einstein, A. 1956. Autobiographische Skizze. In Helle Zeit—Dunkle Zeit: In Memoriam Albert Einstein, edited by Seelig, C. Zurich: Europa. Főising, A. 1998. Albert Einstein. London and New York: Penguin Books. The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein. 1987. Edited by Johan Stachel et al. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Mathematics and Reality Greene, B. 1999. The Elegant Universe. New York: Vintage Books, Random House. Greene, B. 2004. The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality. New York: Alfred Knopf. Holland, J. H., Holyoak, K.
Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (And What We Can Do About It) by William Poundstone
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, business cycle, Debian, desegregation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, global village, guest worker program, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, invisible hand, jimmy wales, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, manufacturing employment, Nash equilibrium, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, slashdot, the map is not the territory, Thomas Bayes, transcontinental railway, Unsafe at Any Speed, Y2K
L Title, jK1976,P682008 324.9n-dc22 2007036770 Designed by Maggie Goodman w\vwJsgbooks.eom 3579108642 Frontispkce; Clifford Beny",ans /9 J 2 cartoon exposes the dark lide ofwting. Despite the smiling faces, presidenti,,1 comenders Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow lNilson, and William Howard Taft well kne'F that electionl can be lmfair when there are three Or more candidates. (U.S. Senate Collection. Center for Legislative Archives) To Scott Contents Prologue: The Wizard and the Lizard 3 THE PROBLEM 25 I. Game Theory Kurt Code! • Adolf Hitler· Albert Einstein· Oskar Morgenstern· Bambi· the u.s. Constitution· Joseph Goebbels • God· Kaiser Wilhelm II • John von Neumann" Kenneth Arrow" J\'larxism • Alfred Tarski • intransitivity· Harold Hotelling· ice cream· John Hicks· "Scissors, Paper. Stone" • Duncan Black· the "forty-seven-year-old wife of a machinist liVing in Dayton. Ohio" • the RAND Corporation· Condoleezzrl Rice· Olaf Helmer· Harry Truman· Joseph Stalin· Abram Bergson 2.
Codel had a visa and an open invitation to work at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. As things worked out, he and Porkert would spend the rest of their lives in Princeton. GAMING THE VOTE The years rolled by. In 1947 G6del decided it was time to apply for American citizenship. He needed two American citizens as witnesses. Two of his best Friends volunteered. They were Albert Einstein and Oskar Morgenstern (an economist). Like all immigrants, GodeJ was supposed to study up on the American system of government. He threw himself into the task. Apparently for the first time in his life, he became interested in the political process. The day before the exam, he informed Morgenstern that he had uncovered a logical contradiction in the u.s. Constitution. Morgenstern thought this was amusing-until he realized how serious Godel was about it.
Some like the psychic satisfaction of casting a negative vote for Wintergreen. eBay lets online buyers and sellers rate one another after each transaction. The three allowed choices are called positive, negative, and neutral. (This is not quite evaluative voting, as eBay ignores the neutral votes in computing the ratings. It's really approval voting with an option to abstain.) Smith quotes Albert Einstein: "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler:' The choices we make in every election are important. They deserve a little extra effort, if that's what it takes. You may now have noticed something extremely odd. It took Nobel Prize-level work to devise the impossibility theorem. Yet James Hong and Jim Young (re)invented range voting while tossing back a few drinks. Range voting is an omnipresent part of pop culture, as familiar as perfect tens and five-star restaurants.
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, availability heuristic, barriers to entry, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, double helix, Elon Musk, fear of failure, Firefox, George Santayana, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Wisdom of Crowds, women in the workforce
In 2013 alone, over three hundred thousand patents were granted in the United States. The chances that any one of these inventions will change the world are tiny. Individual creators have far better odds over a lifetime of ideas. When we judge their greatness, we focus not on their averages, but on their peaks. 3 Out on a Limb Speaking Truth to Power “Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds.” Albert Einstein In the early 1990s, a high-flying CIA analyst named Carmen Medina went to Western Europe on a three-year assignment. When she returned to the United States, she found that leaving the country had set her career back. After getting stuck with one job after another that didn’t fit her skills and aspirations, she searched for another way to contribute. She began attending working groups about the future of intelligence.
Over the course of a person’s lifetime, is there a risk of waiting too long to act? The Two Life Cycles of Creativity: Young Geniuses and Old Masters It’s commonly believed that originality flows from the fountain of youth. In the words of famed venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, “People under 35 are the people who make change happen. People over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas.” After publishing his first revolutionary paper on relativity in his midtwenties, Albert Einstein made a similar observation: “A person who has not made his great contribution to science before the age of 30 will never do so.” Tragically, innovators often do lose their originality over time. After Einstein transformed physics with two papers on relativity, he opposed quantum mechanics, which became the next major revolution in the field. “To punish me for my contempt for authority, fate made me an authority myself,” Einstein lamented.
As a social scientist, my bet is that, on average, groups that make decisions based on experiments will outperform those guided by debate between experts. But only the data will tell. Movers and Shapers To his credit, Dalio has been running an investigation of his own. Fascinated with understanding people who shape the world and eager to discern what they have in common, he’s been interviewing many of the most influential originals of our time, and studying historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Albert Einstein to Steve Jobs. Of course, all of them were driven and imaginative, but I was intrigued by three other qualities on Dalio’s list. “Shapers” are independent thinkers: curious, non-conforming, and rebellious. They practice brutal, nonhierarchical honesty. And they act in the face of risk, because their fear of not succeeding exceeds their fear of failing. Dalio himself fits this description, and the hurdle facing him now is to find another shaper to fill his shoes.
A Short History of Progress by Ronald Wright
Albert Einstein, Atahualpa, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, invention of agriculture, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, nuclear winter, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Malthus, urban sprawl
And just when high explosives were reaching a state of perfection, progress found the infinitely bigger bang in the atom. But when the bang we can make can blow up our world, we have made rather too much progress. Several of the scientists who created the atomic bomb recognized this in the 1940s, telling politicians and others that the new weapons had to be destroyed. “The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking,” Albert Einstein wrote, “and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophes.” And a few years later, President Kennedy said, “If mankind does not put an end to war, war will put an end to mankind.” When I was a boy, in the 1950s, the shadow of too much progress in weaponry— of Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and vaporized Pacific islands — had already fallen over the world. It has now darkened our lives for about sixty years, and so much has been said on the subject that I needn’t add more.7 My point here is that weapons technology was merely the first area of human progress to reach an impasse by threatening to destroy the planet on which it developed.
In 1800, the cities had been small, the air and water relatively clean — which is to say that it would give you cholera, not cancer. Nothing moved faster than by wind or limb. The sound of machinery was almost unknown. A person from 1600 transported to 1800 could have made his way around quite easily. But by 1900, there were motor cars on the streets and electric trains beneath them; movies were flickering on screens; earth’s age was reckoned in millions of years, and Albert Einstein was writing his Special Theory of Relativity. Early in the century, Mary Shelley pondered the new science with her Frankenstein. And Charles Dickens gave the social costs of industry a scalding and prescient critique in Hard Times, asking whether “the Good Samaritan was a Bad Economist,” and foreseeing the new religion of the bottom line: “Every inch of the existence of mankind, from birth to death,” he wrote in 1854, “was to be a bargain across a counter.”39 In his 1872 novel, Erewhon (an anagram of “nowhere”), Samuel Butler created a remote civilization that had industrialized long before Europe, but where the effects of progress had sparked a Luddite revolution.
Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik
airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Donald Davies, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, white flight
Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff” (Amherst: University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Political Economy Research Institute, April 15, 2013). 20. R. E. Peierls, “Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, 1900–1958,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 5 (February 1960): 186. 21. Albert Einstein, “Physics and Reality,” in Ideas and Opinions of Albert Einstein, trans. Sonja Bargmann (New York: Crown, 1954), 290, cited in Susan Haack, “Science, Economics, ‘Vision,’ ” Social Research 71, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 225. CHAPTER 3: Navigating among Models 1. David Colander and Roland Kupers, Complexity and the Art of Public Policy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2014), 8. 2. Dani Rodrik, “Goodbye Washington Consensus, Hello Washington Confusion?
The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle Laporte
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, Frank Gehry, index card, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak
What do you wish I were less of, for my sake? 6. When have you seen me really shine? 7. What do you think I could give myself more credit for or celebrate more? In the name of the Fire, The Flame And the Light; Praise the pure presence of fire That burns from within Without thought of time. —John O’Donohue, poet The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. —Albert Einstein TIME DIETS + STARVING SPIRITS I’ve tried many a time management system: Focus days, buffer days. An emptied in-box, flagged emails. Restrained meandering. Timed phone calls. No phone calls. Quadrants. Categories. Categorizing my life into quadrants of ambition and lists of goals divided by the square root of how many productive milliseconds I could squeeze out of any given day—at least five days a week, but with time off for religious holidays.
Once you’ve created a baseline for entry then you can mix and contrast skills and ambitions with one another’s strengths and weaknesses. And that’s when the party really starts. YOU DESERVE YOUR TRIBE Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people. —Albert Einstein As Seth Godin defines it, “a tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea…you can’t have a tribe without a leader—and you can’t be a leader without a tribe.” You may be the leader of the productive, eco-friendly guys in their thirties with kids tribe; or the tribe of beauty and old-fashioned manners; or yoga and self-expression; glamorous self-love; satisfaction for singles; fashion that cares; art that heals; business with heart; or punk rock illumination.
Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Atul Gawande, Checklist Manifesto, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Exxon Valdez, Flynn Effect, Freestyle chess, functional fixedness, game design, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Netflix Prize, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, precision agriculture, prediction markets, premature optimization, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, Walter Mischel, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Y Combinator, young professional
“When the original signal began, life on Earth was unicellular, and in that time humanity manages to build two interferometers and measure it. I mean, what an accomplishment that is.” He is also an MD-PhD and a star in his own domains, microbiology and immunology. He has studied AIDS and anthrax, and has illuminated important aspects of how fungal diseases work. His “h-index,” a measure of a scientist’s productivity and how often they are cited, recently surpassed Albert Einstein’s.* So his peers took it seriously when he arrived at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2015, as chair of molecular microbiology and immunology, and warned that scientific research is in crisis. In a lecture to his new colleagues, Casadevall declared that the pace of progress had slowed, while the rate of retractions in scientific literature had accelerated, proportionally outpacing the publication of new studies.
“If this continues unabated,” he said, “the entire literature will be retracted in a few years.” It was science gallows humor, but grounded in data. Part of the problem, he argued, is that young scientists are rushed to specialize before they learn how to think; they end up unable to produce good work themselves and unequipped to spot bad (or fraudulent) work by their colleagues. The reason Casadevall came to Hopkins, from a comfy post at New York City’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is that the new gig offered him the chance to create a prototype of what he thinks graduate science education, and eventually all education, should be. Counter to the prevailing trend, Casadevall—with Gundula Bosch, a professor of both biology and education—is despecializing training, even for students who plan to become the most specialized of specialists. The program, known as the R3 Initiative (Rigor, Responsibility, Reproducibility), starts with interdisciplinary classes that include philosophy, history, logic, ethics, statistics, communication, and leadership.
Einstein was a hedgehog: For one of many references to Einstein’s hedgehoginess, see Morson and Schapiro, Cents and Sensibility. “A consensus seems to exist”: G. Mackie, “Einstein’s Folly,” The Conversation, November 29, 2015. Niels Bohr . . . replied: C. P. Snow, The Physicists, (London: Little, Brown and Co., 1981). Einstein also expresses this idea in: H. Dukas and B. Hoffmann eds., Albert Einstein, The Human Side: Glimpses from His Archives (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), 68. In four straight years: W. Chang et al., “Developing Expert Political Judgment: The Impact of Training and Practice on Judgmental Accuracy in Geopolitical Forecasting Tournaments,” Judgment and Decision Making 11, no. 5 (2016): 509–26. CHAPTER 11: LEARNING TO DROP YOUR FAMILIAR TOOLS It was early afternoon in fall: Professor Max Bazerman kindly allowed me to observe the Carter Racing case study at the Harvard Business School over the course of two days in October 2016.
Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire by Bruce Nussbaum
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, declining real wages, demographic dividend, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, follow your passion, game design, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, industrial robot, invisible hand, James Dyson, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Gruber, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, longitudinal study, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, new economy, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, QR code, race to the bottom, reshoring, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, Tesla Model S, The Chicago School, The Design of Experiments, the High Line, The Myth of the Rational Market, thinkpad, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, tulip mania, We are the 99%, Y Combinator, young professional, Zipcar
Gregory, Lenin’s Brain and Other Tales from the Secret Soviet Archives (California: Hoover Institution Press, 2008), 25–26. 8 He played violin, originally: Brian Foster, “Einstein and His Love of Music,” PhysicsWorld, January 2005, accessed September 13, 2012, http://www.pha.jhu.edu/einstein/stuff/einstein&music.pdf. 8 He struggled in school: Barbara Wolff and Hananya Goodman, “The Legend of the Dull-Witted Child Who Grew Up to Be a Genius,” accessed September 13, 2012, http://www.albert-einstein.org/article_handicap.html. 8 We also know Einstein drew: John S. Rigden, Einstein 1905: The Standard of Greatness. (Boston: Harvard University Press, 2006); Albert Einstein; John Stachel, ed.: Einstein’s Miraculous Year: Five Papers That Changed the Face of Physics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005). 8 While Einstein was a patent clerk: “Einstein in the World Wide Web: Akademie Olympia,” accessed September 13, 2012. http://www.einstein-website.de/z_biography/olympia-e.html. 8 Einstein acknowledged the effect: Carl Seelig, ed.; Sonja Bargmann, tr.; Albert Einstein: Ideas and Opinions (New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1954). 8 And we know that Keith Richards: Richards and Fox, Life, 142–43. 8 Oldham, who’d worked for Mary Quant: Ibid., 127–30; Andrew Loog Oldham with Simon Dudfield and Ron Ross, ed., Stoned: A Memoir of London in the 1960s (New York: St.
A World Without Work: Technology, Automation, and How We Should Respond by Daniel Susskind
3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, blue-collar work, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, computerized trading, creative destruction, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, future of work, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Metcalfe’s law, natural language processing, Network effects, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, precariat, purchasing power parity, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social intelligence, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We are the 99%, wealth creators, working poor, working-age population, Y Combinator
President Barack Obama, in his 2016 farewell address, described automation as “the next wave of economic dislocation.” But so did President John F. Kennedy, about sixty years earlier, when, using almost identical words, he said that automation carried with it “the dark menace of industrial dislocation.”17 Similarly, in 2016 Stephen Hawking described how automation has “decimated” blue-collar work and predicted that this would soon “extend … deep into the middle classes.”18 Yet Albert Einstein had made a similar threat in 1931, warning that “man-made machines,” which were meant to liberate human beings from drudgery and toil, were instead poised to “overwhelm” their creators.19 In fact, in almost every decade since 1920, it is possible to find a piece in the New York Times engaging in some way with the threat of technological unemployment.20 UPHEAVAL AND CHANGE Most of these anxieties about the economic harm caused by new technology have turned out to be misplaced.
For President Obama’s farewell speech, see Claire Cain Miller, “A Darker Theme in Obama’s Farewell: Automation Can Divide Us,” New York Times, 12 January 2017. President Kennedy gave his speech at the AFL-CIO Convention, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 7 June 1960; see https://www.jfklibrary.org/. 18. Stephen Hawking, “This Is the Most Dangerous Time for Our Planet,” Guardian, 1 December 2016. 19. See “World Ills Laid to Machine by Einstein in Berlin Speech,” New York Times, 22 October 1931. In David Reichinstein, Albert Einstein: A Picture of His Life and His Conception of the World (Prague: Stella Publishing House, 1934), p. 96, the account of that speech reveals that Einstein was worrying, in part, about technological unemployment. 20. For instance: “March of the Machine Makes Idle Hands,” 26 February 1928; “Technological Unemployment,” 12 August 1930; “Does Man Displace Men in the Long Run?,” 25 February 1940; “‘Revolution’ Is Seen in ‘Thinking Machines’,” 17 November 1950; “Newer and Newer and Newer Technology, with Little Unemployment,” 6 March 1979; “A Robot Is After Your Job,” 3 September 1980; “If Productivity’s Rising, Why Are Jobs Paying Less?
The Open Society and Its Enemies, vol. 1: The Age of Plato. London: Routledge, 1945. Putnam, Hilary. “Much Ado About Not Very Much.” Daedalus 117, no. 1 (1988): 269–81. PwC. “Global Top 100 Companies by Market Capitalisation.” 2018. ________. “Workforce of the Future: The Competing Forces Shaping 2030.” 2018. Rawls, John. A Theory of Justice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999. Reichinstein, David. Albert Einstein: A Picture of His Life and His Conception of the World. Prague: Stella Publishing House, 1934. Remus, Dana, and Frank Levy. “Can Robots Be Lawyers? Computers, Lawyers, and the Practice of Law.” Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 30, no. 3 (2017): 501–58. Renshaw, James. In Search of the Greeks. 2nd edition. London: Bloomsbury, 2015. Ricardo, David. Principles of Political Economy and Taxation.
Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris
addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery
Zheng 2005. 604 “great drain robbery”: cited from Kynge 2006, p. xiii. 605 “a threat to world peace”: Ipsos-Reid poll (April 2005), cited from “Balancing Act: A Survey of China,” The Economist, Special Report, March 25, 2006, p. 20 (available at http://www.economist.com/specialreports). 605 threat to global stability: Gallup poll (October 2007), cited from “After Bush: A Special Report on America and the World,” The Economist, March 29, 2008, p. 9 (available at http://www.economist.com/specialreports). 605 “PEOPLE AGONIZED”: China Daily headline (May 1999), cited from Hessler 2006, p. 20. 605 “strategic conspiracy”: Chinese Communist Party resolution (2004), cited from “Balancing Act: A Survey of China,” The Economist, Special Report, March 25, 2006, p. 15 (available at http://www.economist.com/specialreports). 605 “it is more likely”: Graham and Talent 2008, p. xv. 606 “No physical force”: Norman Angell, The Great Illusion (1910), cited from Ferguson 1998, p. 190. 606 “international movement of capital”: Jean Jaurès, cited from Ferguson 1998, p. 190. 606 “must involve the expenditure”: Prime Minister Edward Grey in conversation with the Austrian ambassador to Britain, July 1914, cited from Ferguson 1998, p. 191. 606 “total exhaustion”: Grey, letter to the German ambassador to Britain, July 24, 1914, cited from Ferguson 1998, p. 191. 607 “I do not know”: Albert Einstein, interview with Alfred Werner, Liberal Judaism (April—May 1949), cited from Isaacson 2007, p. 494. 608–609 estimates: Richardson 1960; Smil 2008, p. 245, http://www.thebulletin.org/content/doomsday-clock/overview. 609 “guys with gross obesity”: Anonymous official in the Indian Foreign Ministry, cited from “Melting Asia,” The Economist, June 7, 2008, p. 30 (available at http://www.economist.com). 609 “The first era”: T. Friedman 1999, p. xix. 609 “Globalization 3.0”: T. Friedman 2005, p. 10. 610 “The only salvation”: Albert Einstein, New York Times, September 15, 1945, cited from Isaacson 2007, pp. 487–88. 610 “If the idea”: Albert Einstein, comment on the film Where Will You Hide? (May 1948), Albert Einstein Archives (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) 28–817, cited from Isaacson 2007, p. 494. 612 David Douglas, International Energy Agency: statistics in this and the following paragraph cited from T.
I will argue later in this chapter that measuring social development shows us what we need to explain if we are to answer the why-the-West-rules question; in fact, I will propose that unless we come up with a way to measure social development we will never be able to answer this question. First, though, we need establish some principles to guide our index-making. I can think of nowhere better to start than with Albert Einstein, the most respected scientist of modern times. Einstein is supposed to have said that “in science, things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler”: that is, scientists should boil their ideas down to the core point that can be checked against reality, figure out the simplest possible way to perform the check, then do just that—nothing more, but nothing less either. Einstein’s own theory of relativity provides a famous example.
Perhaps it was the most important thing Einstein never said (but should have). 145 “I’m just wondering”: Arthur Eddington, quoted in Isaacson 2007, p. 262. 146 Norway and Sierra Leone scores: United Nations Development Programme 2009, Table H, pp. 171, 174 (available at http://hdr.undp.org/en/). 148 E x T → C: L. White 1949, p. 368. 149 “Every Communist”: taken from Mao Zedong’s essay “On Protracted War,” written in May 1937, quoted in Short 1999, p. 368. 151 “because no”: Naroll 1956, p. 691. 157 “conjectures and refutations”: Popper 1963, p. 43. 157 “There could be”: Albert Einstein, quoted in ibid., p. 42. 163 “There are three”: attributed to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain (Twain 1924, p. 246). 170 “Are these” etc.: Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol in Prose (1843), stave 4. 4. THE EAST CATCHES UP 186 “How can a man”: Plutarch, Life of Alexander 64. 191 “And they gained”: Genesis 47.27, as translated in The New Oxford Annotated Bible (1994), p. 63 OT. 193 “Who then”: Sumerian King List, translated in Kramer 1963, p. 330. 194 “Hunger filled”: The Lamentation over Ur, lines 390–94, translated in Michalowski 1989. 197 “the kings who”: treaty between the Hittites and Amurru, late thirteenth century BCE, translated in Beckman 1999, p. 107. 199 “His Majesty [Ramses] slew”: Ramses II’s victory inscription, translated in Lichtheim 1973–80, vol.
The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets by Alan Boss
Albert Einstein, Dava Sobel, diversified portfolio, full employment, if you build it, they will come, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, Pluto: dwarf planet, Silicon Valley, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game
A group of Polish astronomers from Warsaw University had built a 52-inch (1.3-meter) telescope at Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile and were using it to study the myriad of stars toward the center of our Galaxy, in the so-called Galactic bulge. They were searching for microlensing events, where an unseen foreground star would pass in front of a visible Galactic bulge star. As predicted by Albert Einstein in 1936, the foreground star’s gravity could bend the light coming from the visible star, causing the light rays to be concentrated in the direction of the Earth. The visible star would thus brighten for a few weeks and then return to normal as if nothing had happened. Einstein had predicted this gravitational lensing effect but did not believe that it could ever be observed. The Polish astronomers decided to prove him wrong.
Keppler CoRoT Mission conference (Paris, France, 2009) CoRoT-Exo-1 b CoRoT-Exo-2 b CoRoT-Exo-4 b CoRoT-Exo-5 b Cosmic Vision Crafoord Prize Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event Crew Exploration Vehicle Cygnus Darwin Emma x-array Darwin free-flyer Darwin Mission Dawn Mission Deep and Ultra Deep Field images (Hubble Space Telescope) Delaney, Jeremy Delfosse, Xavier Deming, Drake Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (Carnegie Institution of Washington) Deuterium Diaz, Alphonso Direct imaging Discovery Mission (NASA) and Principal Investigator Disk instability and gas giant planets and gas giant protoplanets Doppler, Christian Johann (photo) Doppler effect and 51 Pegasi b and Gliese and Gliese 436 b Doppler effect (continued) and Gliese and Gliese 876 b and HD 209458 b and laser comb technique number of planets discovered by See also Doppler spectroscopy; Microlensing; Pulsar timing; Transits Doppler spectroscopy . See also Doppler effect Doppler-Fizeau effect Double planet system Draper, Henry Dressler, Alan Dwarf planets Dwarf stars . See also G dwarf stars; M dwarf stars; Red dwarf stars Dysnomia(photo) Earth-like planets formation of See also Terrestrial planets Ebel, Denton Eccentric orbits and M dwarf stars Ehrenreich, David Einstein, Albert Einstein ring Elachi, Charles Epsilon Eridani Epsilon Tauri Eris(photo) ESA. See European Space Agency Eta Carina Nebula Europe European Southern Observatory (Chile) European Space Agency (ESA; Frascati, Italy) budget for Cosmic Vision Darwin Mission European Union ExExP (Exoplanet Exploration Program) ExNPS (Exploration of Neighboring Planetary Systems) Exoplanet Exploration Program.
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, Cepheid variable, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Georg Cantor, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking
Even though physicists quickly realized that Planck’s equation was right, they did not accept the quantum hypothesis. It was too bizarre to accept. An unlikely candidate would turn the quantum hypothesis from a pecularity to an accepted fact. Albert Einstein, a twenty-six-year-old patent clerk, showed the physics world that nature worked in quanta rather than in smooth increments. He would later become the chief opponent of the theory he helped create. Einstein didn’t seem like a revolutionary. When Max Planck was turning the physics world on its head, Albert Einstein was scrambling for a job. Out of money, he took a temporary position at the Swiss patent office, a far cry from the assistantship at a university that he wanted. By 1904 he was married, had a newborn son, and was laboring in the patent office—hardly the path to greatness.
The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris
Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Bayesian statistics, cognitive bias, end world poverty, endowment effect, energy security, experimental subject, framing effect, hindsight bias, impulse control, John Nash: game theory, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, out of africa, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, scientific worldview, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, ultimatum game, World Values Survey
While I’m not at all sure that it exhausts this mystery, I think there is something to be said for Craik’s idea (Craik, 1943) that an isomorphism between brain processes and the processes in the world that they represent might account for the utility of numbers and certain mathematical operations. Is it really so surprising that certain patterns of brain activity (i.e., numbers) can map reliably onto the world? 77. Collins also has a terrible tendency of cherry-picking and misrepresenting the views of famous scientists like Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. For instance he writes: Even Albert Einstein saw the poverty of a purely naturalistic worldview. Choosing his words carefully, he wrote, “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” The one choosing words carefully here is Collins. As we saw above, when read in context (Einstein, 1954, pp. 41–49), this quote reveals that Einstein did not in the least endorse theism and that his use of the word “God” was a poetical way of referring to the laws of nature.
Has the medical community’s insistence that people should not smoke led to “fascism”? Many people’s reflexive response to the notion of moral expertise is to say, “I don’t want anyone telling me how to live my life.” To which I can only respond, “If there were a way for you and those you care about to be much happier than you now are, would you want to know about it?” 18. This is the subject of that now infamous quotation from Albert Einstein, endlessly recycled by religious apologists, claiming that “science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Far from indicating his belief in God, or his respect for unjustified belief, Einstein was speaking about the primitive urge to understand the universe, along with the “faith” that such understanding is possible: Though religion may be that which determines the goal, it has, nevertheless, learned from science, in the broadest sense, what means will contribute to the attainment of the goals it has set up.
Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier by Neil Degrasse Tyson, Avis Lang
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, asset allocation, Berlin Wall, carbon-based life, centralized clearinghouse, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, dark matter, Gordon Gekko, informal economy, invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Karl Jansky, Kuiper Belt, Louis Blériot, low earth orbit, Mars Rover, mutually assured destruction, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Pluto: dwarf planet, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, space pen, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, trade route
At the end of the nineteenth century, investigating high-energy radiation, Wilhelm Röntgen explored the properties of X-rays and Marie Curie explored the properties of radium. Both died of cancer. The three crew members of Apollo 1 burned to death on the launchpad in 1967. The space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after launch in 1986, while space shuttle Columbia broke up on reentry in 2003, in both cases killing all seven crew members. Sometimes the risks extend far beyond the discoverers. In 1905 Albert Einstein introduced the equation E = mc 2, the unprecedented recipe that interchanged matter with energy and ultimately begat the atomic bomb. Coincidentally, just two years before the first appearance of Einstein’s famous equation, Orville Wright made the first successful flight in an airplane, the vehicle that would one day deliver the first atomic bombs in warfare. Shortly after the invention of the airplane, there appeared in one of the widely distributed magazines of the day a letter to the editor expressing concern over possible misuse of the new flying machine, noting that if an evil person took command of a plane, he might fly it over villages filled with innocent, defenseless people and toss canisters of nitroglycerin on them.
Shortly after the invention of the airplane, there appeared in one of the widely distributed magazines of the day a letter to the editor expressing concern over possible misuse of the new flying machine, noting that if an evil person took command of a plane, he might fly it over villages filled with innocent, defenseless people and toss canisters of nitroglycerin on them. Wilbur and Orville Wright are, of course, no more to blame for the deaths resulting from military application of the airplane than Albert Einstein is to blame for deaths resulting from atomic bombs. For better or for worse, discoveries take their place in the public domain and are thus subject to patterns of human behavior that seem deeply embedded and quite ancient. Discovery and the Human Ego The history of human ideas about our place in the universe has been a long series of letdowns for everybody who likes to believe we’re special.
By 1925, a mere half decade later, Edwin Hubble had discovered that nearly all galaxies recede from the Milky Way at speeds in direct proportion to their distances. But it was self-evident that our galaxy, the Milky Way, was in the center of the expansion of the universe. Having been an attorney before becoming an astronomer, Hubble probably would have won any debate he might have had with other scientists, no matter what he argued, but he clearly could muster the evidence for an expanding universe with us at the center. In the context of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, however, the appearance of being at the center was a natural consequence of a universe that expands in four dimensions, with time as number four. Given that description of the universe, every galaxy would observe all other galaxies to be receding, leading inescapably to the conclusion that we are not alone, and we are not special. And the onward momentum toward insignificance continued with a vengeance.
Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson
Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, Donald Davies, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, zero-sum game
Its founders, in 1930, envisioned their educational utopia as a refuge from the mind-numbing bureaucracy of U.S. universities; they did not imagine the international upheaval from which their enclave would shortly offer an escape. “The Institute was a beacon in the descending darkness,” wrote Director Harry Woolf in 1980, reflecting on the first fifty years, “a gateway to a new life, and for a very few a final place within which to continue to work and transmit to others the style and the techniques of great learning from the other shore.”2 After the war the Institute became a permanent home to Albert Einstein, Kurt Gödel, John von Neumann, George Kennan, and other scholars equally distinguished if less well known. J. Robert Oppenheimer reigned as director from 1947 to 1966, presiding over what he described as an “intellectual hotel.” He maintained the Institute’s lead in mathematical physics while hosting transient scholars as diverse as child psychologist Jean Piaget and poet T. S. Eliot, a visiting member for the fall term of 1948 who listed The Cocktail Party (1950) as his only “publication related to IAS residence.”3 The Institute woods, bordered by the meandering bends of Stony Brook, offered sanctuary to indigenous wildlife as well, a refuge against the suburban fringe that was metastasizing up and down the eastern seaboard as inexorably as Dutch elm disease, consuming farmland as well as forest and leaving two-car garages in its wake.
“Universities . . . are overorganized,” was his main complaint. The Institute’s goal was to avoid “dull and increasingly frequent meetings of committees, groups, or the faculty itself. Once started, this tendency toward organization and formal consultation could never be stopped.”9 The Institute for Advanced Study was incorporated on 20 May 1930, with Flexner as first director, followed by Frank Aydelotte in 1939 and J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1947. Albert Einstein and Oswald Veblen were appointed to the first professorships at the end of 1932, joined by John von Neumann, Hermann Weyl, and James Alexander in 1933. The School of Mathematics opened in 1933, followed by Humanistic Studies and Economics in 1935, Historical Studies in 1948, Natural Sciences in 1966, and Social Science in 1973. Theoretical Biology is rumored to be next. “The Institute is, from the standpoint of organization, the simplest and least formal thing imaginable,” explained Flexner.
., Letters of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy from 1833–1847 (London, 1864), 23–24. 29.John Wilkins, Mercury; or, the Secret and Swift messenger: Shewing, How a Man may with Privacy and Speed communicate his Thoughts to a Friend at any distance (London: John Maynard, 1641), 141, 143. 30.J. B. S. Haldane, “Man’s Destiny,” Possible Worlds (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1928), 303. 31.Garrett, Ouroboros, 19. 32.Ibid., 24. 33.Ibid., 100. 34.Ibid., 92. 35.Ibid., 51. 36.Isaac Newton, Opticks; or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light. The Fourth Edition, Corrected (London: William Innys, 1730); reprinted, with a foreword by Albert Einstein (London: G. Bell, 1931; New York, Dover Publications, 1952), 370 (page citation is to the 1952 edition). 37.Henry David Thoreau, “Walking,” Atlantic Monthly 9, no. 56 (June 1862): 665. INDEX A Aberdeen (Md.) proving ground, 79–80 absolute addressing, 114 Accidents and Emergencies; A Guide for their Treatment before the arrival of Medical Aid (Smee), 45 adaptation, 6, 113, 114 and evolution of software, 57, 185 without natural selection, 176–77 addition, modulo, 66 Adleman, Leonard, 165 AEC (Atomic Energy Commission), 77, 91, 102, 118 Agamemnon (Aeschylus), 131–32 agents (software), 182, 185, 189 Air Force, U.S., 76, 144–45, 152, 178–80, 183. see also nuclear weapons; RAND; SAGE air pump (Boyle), 3, 134 Alamogordo (New Mexico) bomb test, 78 alchemy, 214 Alexander I (Czar), 141 Alexander, James, 96 algae, 112, 129 algebra, 43. see also Boolean algebra; philosophical algebra algorithms, 54, 58, 158 for binary arithmetic, of Leibniz, 37 packet switching, 12, 42, 151 and punched-card data processing, 83–84 alphabet, 49, 62, 132, 137–38, 140, 225 binary coding of, 61, 132–33, 143 genetic, 27, 118 of ideas, and Leibniz, 36–38 of machine instructions, 118, 121 and Turing machine, 55 Ampère, André-Marie (1775–1836) and cybernétique, 6, 141, 161–162 and game theory, 6, 153–54 on telegraphy and electrodynamics, 141 “Analogy Between Mental Images and Sparks” (Richardson), 87 analytical engine (Babbage), 38–43, 59, 68, 103 AN-FSQ-7 computer (Army-Navy Fixed Special eQuipment), 179–81. see also SAGE architecture, computer.
The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime by Mj Demarco
8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, back-to-the-land, Bernie Madoff, bounce rate, business process, butterfly effect, buy and hold, cloud computing, commoditize, dark matter, delayed gratification, demand response, Donald Trump, fear of failure, financial independence, fixed income, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Lao Tzu, Mark Zuckerberg, passive income, passive investing, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, wealth creators, white picket fence, World Values Survey, zero day
Your time should not be an expendable resource for wealth because wealth itself is composed of time. Your mortality makes time mathematically retarded for wealth creation. If you don't control the variables inherent in your wealth universe, you don't control your financial plan. * * * CHAPTER 13: THE FUTILE FIGHT: EDUCATION The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education. ~ Albert Einstein The Fight Against Uncontrollable Limited Leverage: Education The Slowlaner's natural reaction to the Uncontrollable Limited Leverage (ULL) inherent in their wealth equation is to wage war with intrinsic value by deploying the education weapon. Since ULL defines the Slowlane, the Slowlaner rationalizes that the only variable worthy of escalation is their rate of pay. I need to make six figures!
Fastlaners (the rich) don't use compound interest or the markets to get wealthy but to create income and preserve liquidity. A saved dollar is a freedom fighter added to your army. The rich leverage compound interest at its crest, applied against large sums of money. Fastlaners eventually become net lenders. * * * CHAPTER 21: THE REAL LAW OF WEALTH Try not to become a man of success, but a man of value. ~ Albert Einstein Effection, Not Attraction The Law of Effection. Nope, not a misprint. Mathematics is the transcendent language of the universe. It cannot be controverted nor debated. Two plus two equals four. The number 10 million will always be greater than 24. These statements are facts and not subject to interpretation by some mystical theory of philosophy. Math is law. “Secrets” and mystical philosophies are not.
Fastlaners seek to transform indentured time into free time. Parasitic debt eats free time and excretes it as indentured time. Lifestyle extravagances have two costs: the cost itself and the cost to free time. Parasitic debt has to be stopped at the source: instant gratification. * * * CHAPTER 27: CHANGE THAT DIRTY, STALE OIL Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school. ~ Albert Einstein Change the Oil Every 3,000 Miles The first lesson of car ownership: Change the oil every 3,000 miles. Neglect the lesson and your car dies well before its useful life. Frequent oil changes keep your car running efficiently; unchanged oil goes stale and turns the ride rough. Rough rides stall to the shoulder of the road. The Fastlane road trip demands fresh oil changes. But what is oil?
Chasing the Moon: The People, the Politics, and the Promise That Launched America Into the Space Age by Robert Stone, Alan Andres
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, feminist movement, invention of the telephone, low earth orbit, more computing power than Apollo, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, out of africa, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Works Progress Administration
Not long after the society’s founding, the noted Austrian-German filmmaker Fritz Lang approached it for technical assistance in connection with his forthcoming science-fiction space epic, Frau im Mond (Woman in the Moon), a follow-up to his international hit Metropolis. Lang hired Oberth, the society’s figurehead president, to be the film’s technical adviser. The film’s studio also engaged Oberth to build a functioning liquid-fuel rocket to promote the movie’s premiere, a project that, despite providing the society needed research-and-development money, was unsuccessful. Albert Einstein and other scientists were among the celebrities who attended the film’s opening, but the only rocket to be seen that night was the one that appeared on the screen, created by the studio’s special-effects department. Although Frau im Mond wasn’t a critical hit, it was historically important for introducing the world’s first rocket countdown. Fritz Lang created it as a dramatic device to instill suspense in the final moments before the blastoff.
A strong believer in furthering intellectual inquiry through the free exchange of ideas, Ley was deeply bothered by what was happening in Germany. He watched as scientists and researchers in many disciplines were purged from German academic institutions—primarily for racial reasons—and learned that selected scientific publications were being removed from library shelves. On university campuses, the Nazis conducted public book burnings. Besides scientific works by Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud and literature by Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann, the Nazis had also consigned many classic works of science fiction to the bonfires. As he read the news and talked with acquaintances, Ley was alarmed as things he had long opposed were gradually accepted as part of everyday life: a cult of loyalty and blind patriotism, militarism, anti-globalism, superstition, and pseudoscience.
The Conquest of Space author David Lasser (center) and a fellow labor organizer meet with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt in Washington. Not long afterward, Lasser was ridiculed on the floor of the House of Representatives as “a crackpot with mental delusions that we can travel to the Moon!” The War Department’s decision to bring scientists and engineers from Hitler’s Third Reich to work for the U.S. government did not go unopposed. Prominent physicists such as Albert Einstein and Hans Bethe as well as former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt criticized Operation Paperclip. But the larger looming reality of the Soviet Union’s brutal domination of Eastern Europe, legitimate fears of domestic espionage, and reports of a possible Russian nuclear-weapons program silenced most public resistance to the program. No congressmen delivered speeches questioning whether the German scientists posed a security risk or held contrary political views.
Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe by Steven Strogatz
Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Astronomia nova, Bernie Sanders, clockwork universe, complexity theory, cosmological principle, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, four colour theorem, fudge factor, Henri Poincaré, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Khan Academy, Laplace demon, lone genius, music of the spheres, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precision agriculture, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, Socratic dialogue, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the rule of 72, the scientific method
Can calculus be used to describe how electrical signals propagate along nerves or to predict the flow of traffic on a highway? By pursuing this ambitious agenda, always in cooperation with other parts of science and technology, calculus has helped make the world modern. Using observation and experiment, scientists worked out the laws of change and then used calculus to solve them and make predictions. For example, in 1917 Albert Einstein applied calculus to a simple model of atomic transitions to predict a remarkable effect called stimulated emission (which is what the s and e stand for in laser, an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). He theorized that under certain circumstances, light passing through matter could stimulate the production of more light at the same wavelength and moving in the same direction, creating a cascade of light through a kind of chain reaction that would result in an intense, coherent beam.
Logic and beauty demanded it. But not on their own—they had to align with known facts and mesh with known theories. When all of that was stirred into the pot, it was almost as if the symbols themselves brought the positron into existence. The Mystery of a Comprehensible Universe For our third example of the eerie effectiveness of calculus, it seems appropriate to end our journey in the company of Albert Einstein. He embodied so many of the themes we’ve touched on: a reverence for the harmony of nature, a conviction that mathematics is a triumph of the imagination, a sense of wonder at the comprehensibility of the universe. Nowhere are these themes more clearly visible than in his general theory of relativity. In this theory, his magnum opus, Einstein overturned Newton’s conceptions of space and time and redefined the relationship between matter and gravity.
For background, see http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2011/05/05/the-most-precisely-tested-theo/. 297 Paul Dirac: For Dirac’s life and work, see Farmelo, The Strangest Man. The 1928 paper that introduced the Dirac equation is Dirac, “The Quantum Theory.” 298 In 1931 he published a paper: Dirac, “Quantised Singularities.” 298 “one would be surprised”: Ibid., 71. 298 PET scans: Kevles, Naked to the Bone, 201–27, and Higham et al., The Princeton Companion, 816–23. For positrons in PET scanning, see Farmelo, The Strangest Man, and Rich, “Brief History.” 299 Albert Einstein: Isaacson, Einstein, and Pais, Subtle Is the Lord. 299 general relativity: Ferreira, Perfect Theory, and Greene, The Elegant Universe. 299 strange effect on time: For more on GPS and relativistic effects on timekeeping, see Stewart, In Pursuit of the Unknown, and http://www.astronomy.ohio-state.edu/~pogge/Ast162/Unit5/gps.html. 300 gravitational waves: Levin, Black Hole Blues, is a lyrical book about the search for gravitational waves.
What’s Your Type? by Merve Emre
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, card file, correlation does not imply causation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, God and Mammon, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, index card, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, late capitalism, means of production, Menlo Park, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, p-value, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Socratic dialogue, Stanford prison experiment, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce
Once a reader had located her “primary function” in the personality paint box, then she could identify her “childish function” in the box directly opposite, the function that was “sometimes useful, sometimes a liability, sometimes a revolting anarchist.” Of all the shades in the personality paint box, one appeared brighter to Katharine than all the others: intuition. It was a wholly abstract concept to her. One could not touch or taste or see intuition at work, she thought, and yet one often heard people declare with great certainty that intuition was the key to genius. “A new idea comes suddenly and in a rather intuitive way,” proclaimed Albert Einstein in 1926, the same year Katharine gathered her courage and wrote the first of many letters she would send to Jung. The letter did not read like a conventional fan letter. It was serious, probing. She asked him to clarify what precisely intuition was and why, on page 547 of Psychological Types, he had referred to it as “the noblest gift of man.” His partiality to intuition had struck her as a moment of unrestrained passion in his writing, a rare slip in his persona as a clinician.
As a family, the Briggses were also involved with the war effort, although not through the politicization of personality type that Katharine’s unpublished writings on Hitler suggested. In 1939, Lyman, who had served as director of the Bureau of Standards for the past five years, had been asked by President Roosevelt to head the Advisory Committee on Uranium. At about the same time the United States entered the war, three of the world’s leading physicists—Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and Leo Szilard—had concluded that an enriched element called “uranium-235” was a fissile isotope: a material capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction. “This phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable—though much less certain—that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed,” Einstein warned Roosevelt. “In view of this situation you may think it desirable to have some permanent contact maintained between the Administration and the group of physicists working on chain reactions in America.
“If one is willing to lean”: Murray, Explorations in Personality, 282. “How, then, can a psychologist foretell”: Henry Murray, Assessment of Men: Part 1 (New York: Rinehart and Co., 1948). “Between now and the cessation of hostilities”: Murray, “Analysis of the Personality of Adolph Hitler.” Instead, it preserved: “Newspaper Clippings,” Folder 14, Box 4331, KCB. “Whatever his peacetime sins”: Saunders, Katharine and Isabel, 100. “This phenomenon”: Albert Einstein to Theodore Roosevelt, August 2, 1939, Atomic Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C. It promised to be an era: Henry Murray, “World Concord as a Goal for Social Sciences,” International Congress of Psychology, Stockholm, Sweden, 1951. “Nothing in the modern scene”: “Type Moralities.” “In the darkest days of World War Two”: Mary McCaulley, “Person Behind the MBTI 1988,” PGP. “Do you know someone”: Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1981), 12.
The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began by Stephen Greenblatt
Hirsch, David A. Hedrich. “Donne’s Atomies and Anatomies: Deconstructed Bodies and the Resurrection of Atomic Theory,” Studies in English Literature, 1500–1900 31 (1991), pp. 69–94. Hobbes, Thomas. Leviathan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991. ———. The Elements of Law Natural and Politic: Human Nature, De Corpore Politico, Three Lives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994. Hoffman, Banesh. Albert Einstein, Creator and Rebel. New York: Viking Press, 1972. Holzherr, George. The Rule of Benedict: A Guide to Christian Living, with Commentary by George Holzherr, Abbot of Einsiedeln. Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1994. Horne, Herbert. Alessandro Filipepi, Commonly Called Sandro Botticelli, Painter of Florence. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980. Hubbard, Elbert. Journeys to Homes of Eminent Artists.
“How to Be Dead and Not Care,” American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (1986). ———. “Epicurus and Annihilation,” Philosophical Quarterly 39 (1989), pp. 81–90. ———. “The Symmetry Argument: Lucretius Against the Fear of Death,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (1989), pp. 353–73. ———. “Epicurus on Pleasure and the Complete Life,” The Monist, 73 (1990). Rosler, Wolfgang. “Hermann Diels und Albert Einstein: Die Lukrez-Ausgabe Von 1923/24,” Hermann Diels (1848–1922) et la Science de l’Antique. Geneva: Entretiens sur l’Antique Classique, 1998. Rowland, Ingrid D. Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008. Ruggiero, Guido, ed. A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002. Ryan, Lawrence V. “Review of On Pleasure by Lorenzo Valla,” Renaissance Quarterly 34 (1981), pp. 91–93.
“Lucretius Among the Victorians,” Victorian Studies 16 (1973), pp. 329–48. Turner, Paul. “Shelley and Lucretius,” Review of English Studies 10 (1959), pp. 269–82. Tyndall, John. “The Belfast Address,” Fragments of Science: A Series of Detached Essays, Addresses and Reviews. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1880, pp. 472–523. Ullman, B. L. Studies in the Italian Renaissance. Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1955. Vail, Amy, ed. “Albert Einstein’s Introduction to Diels’ Translation of Lucretius,” The Classical World 82 (1989), pp. 435–36. Valla, Lorenzo. De vero falsoque bono, trans. and ed., Maristella de Panizza Lorch. Bari: Adriatica, 1970. ———. On Pleasure, trans. A. Kent Hieatt and Maristella Lorch. New York: Abaris Books, 1977, pp. 48–325. Vasari, Giorgio. Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects. London: Philip Lee Warner, 1912. ———.
The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler
Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize
Ada Lovelace wrote the world’s first published computer program—our first algorithm. Unfortunately, maybe it was the strain of her discoveries, maybe it was just bad luck, but not long after she finished the translation, Ada fell ill. The world’s first computer programmer and one of the most interesting minds in history was dead by age thirty-six. And this raises a second question: How many of us die before we’re done? What might Ada Lovelace or Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs have accomplished with an additional thirty years of healthy life? It’s ironic that as we reach our later years, when we have the most knowledge, the sharpest skills, and the greatest number of fruitful relationships, old age takes us out of the game. This brings us to our final accelerating force, which is an attempt to solve this problem: the extended healthy human lifespan.
Tens of thousands lost their jobs: firefighters, cops, teachers, and, most important for this discussion, academics. Only two months after Hitler became chancellor, the writing was on the wall. Over the next decade, more than 133,000 German Jews fled for America. In context, it’s as if every living soul in Charleston, South Carolina, relocated to Texas or, it would be, if the population of South Carolina also included Albert Einstein and five other Nobel Laureates. To measure the impact of this influx, Petra Moser started with chemistry patents. Then, she expanded into nearly every technical field, measuring the number of patents applied for and received from 1920 to 1970, tracking the impact of migration through the records of more than a half-a-million inventions. What did she find? That migration is an innovation accelerant on par with nearly every force we’ve so far discussed.
Science and Technology, Stanford Economist Says,” Stanford, August 11, 2014. For an overview of this research, see: https://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/august/german-jewish-inventors-081114.html. “More than half of my colleagues at Stanford are immigrants”: Ibid. outpouring began in April of 1933: Petra Moser, “German Jewish Émigrés and US Invention,” American Economic Review, October, 2014. Albert Einstein and five other Nobel Laureates: Andrew Grant, “The Scientific Exodus from Nazi Germany,” Physics Today, September 26, 2018. See: https://physicstoday.scitation.org/do/10.1063/PT.6.4.20180926a/full/. A 2012 study by the Partnership for a New American Economy: Partnership for a New American Economy, “Patent Pending: How Immigrants Are Reinventing the American Economy,” June 2012. See: https://www.newamericaneconomy.org/sites/all/themes/pnae/patent-pending.pdf.
You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier
1960s counterculture, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Albert Einstein, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, different worldview, digital Maoism, Douglas Hofstadter, Extropian, follow your passion, hive mind, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, John Conway, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Long Term Capital Management, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, social graph, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog
Let’s say that everything stays 99 percent the same, that people watch 99 percent as much television as they used to, but 1 percent of that is carved out for producing and for sharing. The Internet-connected population watches roughly a trillion hours of TV a year … One percent of that is 98 Wikipedia projects per year worth of participation. So how many seconds of salvaged erstwhile television time would need to be harnessed to replicate the achievements of, say, Albert Einstein? It seems to me that even if we could network all the potential aliens in the galaxy—quadrillions of them, perhaps—and get each of them to contribute some seconds to a physics wiki, we would not replicate the achievements of even one mediocre physicist, much less a great one. Absent Intellectual Modesty There are at least two ways to believe in the idea of quality. You can believe there’s something ineffable going on within the human mind, or you can believe we just don’t understand what quality in a mind is yet, even though we might someday.
Whether they are cordial or not, Wikipedians always act out the idea that the collective is closer to the truth and the individual voice is dispensable. To understand the problem, let’s focus on hard science, the area aside from pop culture where Wikipedia seems to be the most reliable. In fact, let’s consider the hardest of the hard: math. Math as Expression For many people math is hard to learn, and yet to those who love it, doing math is a great joy that goes beyond its obvious utility and puts it in an aesthetic realm. Albert Einstein called it “the poetry of logical ideas.” Math is an arena in which it’s appropriate to have high hopes for the future of digital media. A superb development—which might take place in decades or centuries to come—would be for some new channel of communication to come along that makes a deep appreciation of math more widely available. Then the fundamental patterning of reality, which only math can describe, would become part of a wider human conversation.
The Secret War Between Downloading and Uploading: Tales of the Computer as Culture Machine by Peter Lunenfeld
Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, anti-globalists, Apple II, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, butterfly effect, computer age, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, East Village, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Grace Hopper, gravity well, Guggenheim Bilbao, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Rheingold, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, Mother of all demos, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, Potemkin village, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, social software, spaced repetition, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, walkable city, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
How meaning manifests itself via the culture machine often links directly back into the speciﬁc histories of the individual media being simulated, and their traditions of authorship and reception. What follows here catalogs some of the strategies that these media have followed in this new era. T SIDEBAR The Soviet Man Who Fell to Earth Of all the delightful thought experiments that theoretical physics has given birth to, from Erwin Schrödinger’s cat to Richard Feynman’s Brownian ratchet, my favorite is Albert Einstein’s “twins paradox.”4 This story of two brothers explains the 49 CHAPTER 3 relativity of space and time. The ﬁrst brother travels into space, while the other stays on Earth. The space farer is on a fast rocket and goes on a ten-year journey. When he returns home, though, he ﬁnds out that his brother has aged twenty years during his trip. This seeming paradox can be explained because of the way that traveling close to light speed shifts the vantage point for time.
It is also important to see Bush’s promotion of the Memex as a way to transform the death-dealing technologies of World War II into something beneﬁcial to all of humankind, and something that expanded the power of these ideas beyond the tiny technical and military communities that were then using them. Like J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Manhattan Project, Bush was part of a generation of scientists who were more heavily involved in the development of weapons of mass destruction than any other previous one to them. Albert Einstein, a generation older, stood at an Olympian distance from the destruction caused by atomic energy, becoming a secular saint of genius, while Oppenheimer, who had been one of the architects of the bomb, became increasingly despondent about the human capacity for self-destruction. Bush, like Oppenheimer, had been actively involved in the war effort. He had been instrumental in the strategic planning for the ﬁrebombing of Japan and the overall architecture of the assault on Axis industrial sites.
Isaac Newton by James Gleick
Albert Einstein, Astronomia nova, complexity theory, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Richard Feynman, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999. Sir Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and His System of the World. Translated by Andrew Motte (1729), revised by Florian Cajori. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1947. Newton’s Principia: The Central Argument: Translation, Notes, and Expanded Proofs. Dana Densmore and William H. Donahue. Santa Fe: Green Lion Press, 1995. Opticks. Foreword by Albert Einstein. New York: Dover, 1952. The Background to Newton’s Principia: A Study of Newton’s Dynamical Researches in the Years 1664–1684. John Herivel. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965. Certain Philosophical Questions: Newton’s Trinity Notebook. J. E. McGuire and Martin Tamny. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Isaac Newton’s Papers & Letters on Natural Philosophy. Edited by I. Bernard Cohen.
“Sir Isaac Newton’s Family.” Reports and Papers of the Architectural & Archeological Society of the County of Lincoln 39 (1928). Galileo Galilei. The Controversy on the Comets of 1618. Translated by Stillman Drake and C. D. O’Malley. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960. ———. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems—Ptolemaic & Copernican. Translated by Stillman Drake, foreword by Albert Einstein. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967. ———. Discoveries and Opinions of Galileo. Translated by Stillman Drake. New York: Anchor Books, 1957. Garber, Daniel; and Ayers, Michael. The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Gaule, John. Pys-mantia the Mag-Astromancer, or the Magicall-Astrologicall-Diviner, Posed, and Puzzled.
Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr
"Robert Solow", 23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!
The schism between scientific and “literary intellectuals,” he warned, threatened to stymie economic and social progress, if those in the humanities remained ignorant of the advances in science and their implications. The lecture was widely read in America, and among those influenced were two professors at Dartmouth College, John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz. Kemeny, a mathematician and a former research assistant to Albert Einstein, would go on to become the president of Dartmouth. Kurtz was a young math professor in the early 1960s when he approached Kemeny with the idea of giving nearly all students at Dartmouth a taste of programming on a computer. Kemeny and Kurtz saw the rise of computing as a major technological force that would sweep across the economy and society. But only a quarter of Dartmouth students majored in science or engineering, the group most likely to be interested in computing.
For this one, there appear to be twin claims of attribution, either W. Edwards Deming, the statistician and quality control expert, or Peter Drucker, the management consultant. Who said it first doesn’t matter so much. It’s a mantra in business and it has the ring of commonsense truth. The second quote is not as well known, but there is a lot of truth in it as well: “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” Albert Einstein usually gets credit for this one, but the stronger claim of origin belongs to the sociologist William Bruce Cameron—though again, who said it first matters far less than what it says. Big data represents the next frontier in management by measurement. The technologies of data science are here, they are improving, and they will be used. And that’s a good thing, in general. Still, the enthusiasm for big-data decision making would surely benefit from a healthy dose of the humility found in that second quote.
Think Like an Engineer: Use Systematic Thinking to Solve Everyday Challenges & Unlock the Inherent Values in Them by Mushtak Al-Atabi
3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Black Swan, business climate, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, corporate social responsibility, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, follow your passion, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, invention of the wheel, iterative process, James Dyson, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Lean Startup, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, remote working, shareholder value, six sigma, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker
This time I didn't get to explain because she had fallen asleep, but will do it tomorrow. I was happy that I could talk to my husband about this, without still feeling angry and without snapping and yelling!” Chapter 4 Conceive Conceive /k n si v/ v. Create (an embryo) by fertilising an egg Form or devise (a plan or idea) in the mind Form a mental representation of; imagine Oxford Dictionary “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Albert Einstein “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” W. Clement Stone As mentioned earlier in the book, every human-made artefact somehow starts in the brain. This is true whether we are talking about a consumer product, a mobile phone app, a bridge, or an airplane. This is also true for other less tangible products such as songs, jokes, symphonies and novels. As a matter of fact, the number one thing that differentiates humans from other beings is our ability to imagine and create in our minds, things that are not present at the moment or even yet exist.
Think of the athlete who breaks an Olympic record or the scientist who finds a cure for a serious disease. Analysing the success of these master performers in different fields reveal that prior to achieving mastery, producing masterpieces, and high level of performance, these masters have failed again and again, learning from their every failure and using failures as stepping-stones towards success. This is true if we study Albert Einstein, Henry Ford or Michael Jordan. Many people use WD40 spray to loosen rusted metal parts, but very few know why the product is named WD40. The reason behind the name is that the manufacturer tried 39 failed formulas before reaching the successful 40th one. The Wrights brothers tried more than 200 wing designs and crashed their plane 7 times before being able to fly, and Dyson tried more than 2,000 failing models before he managed to get his revolutionary vacuum cleaner to work, earning him millions in the process.
Hyperfocus: How to Be More Productive in a World of Distraction by Chris Bailey
"side hustle", Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Cal Newport, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Clayton Christensen, correlation does not imply causation, deliberate practice, functional fixedness, game design, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Parkinson's law, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Skype, twin studies, Zipcar
During times like this, the likeliness of being overwhelmed is higher, and you will benefit from the perspective scatterfocus provides. This chapter is one of the shortest in the book, because the main idea is simple: scatterfocus mode helps us to recharge our ability to hyperfocus, in addition to letting us plan for the future and become more creative. CHAPTER 8 CONNECTING DOTS It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer. —Albert Einstein BECOMING MORE CREATIVE As well as enabling you to plan for the future and replenish your supply of mental energy, scatterfocus allows you to become more creative. You can use scatterfocus mode to become more creative in two ways: first, by connecting more dots; and second, by collecting more valuable dots—a topic that will be covered in the next chapter. Hyperfocus is about focusing on a single thing.
Like a magician’s, the methods of a genius are mysterious—until you untangle the web of connections that leads to them. These individuals usually have more experience, have put in more hours of deliberate practice, and, most important, have connected more dots than anyone else. As author Malcolm Gladwell wrote: “Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” Albert Einstein was undoubtedly a genius—he connected more dots, in more unique ways, than almost any other human. At the same time, he was bound by the same mental limits that we all are. To conceive of an idea like the general theory of relativity, he had to collect and connect an incredible number of dots so he could bridge ideas from nature and mathematical concepts, forming connections others hadn’t. To let his mind wander habitually, he played the violin for hours on end.* Einstein worked to attain his genius.
Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer
a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Albert Einstein, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, elephant in my pajamas, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Jane Jacobs, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, non-fiction novel, Norman Mailer, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities
To cite one majestically apposite instance: In July 2017, the writer Colin Dickey stumbled upon a 2013 tweet from the elder daughter of the person who would, eventually, assume the presidency of the United States: “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” —ALBERT EINSTEIN As Dickey then himself tweeted, “That Einstein never said any such thing only makes this tweet that much more perfect.” And indeed and in fact, and no matter the hundreds of Google hits suggesting otherwise, the quip had not ever emerged from the mouth or pen of Albert Einstein. It’s simply a bit of unattributable pseudo-cleverness assigned, presumably to lend it weightiness and importance, to someone who, particularly in this case, would never have said it. Einstein is only one of the pin-the-wisdom-on-the-maven targets.
Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen
Lorraine Mace Introduction P eople like you and I, though mortal of course like everyone else, do not grow old no matter how long we live . . . [We] never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born. Albert Einstein Since I am the only female coauthor on this title, Jack and Mark agreed it was appropriate for me to pen the introduction. Smart men! Creating this book has been different from the other titles I have produced with Jack and Mark, and for one primary reason: In reading the hundreds of stories submitted by people like you for this book, I had an epiphany—I was in menopause! Prior to starting this book project, I was experiencing a great mystery in my life, just like the one Albert Einstein (one of my all-time favorites, next to Mark Twain) refers to in his quote above. Granted, you can interpret his quote in many ways, but I like to think that, as adults, we have the ability to retain a child-like exploration and curiosity about life.
The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles by Bruce H. Lipton
Albert Einstein, Benoit Mandelbrot, correlation does not imply causation, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Mars Rover, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, phenotype, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell
Long before cell biology and studies of children in orphanages, conscious parents and seers like Rumi knew that for human babies and adults the best growth promoter is love. A lifetime without Love is of no account Love is the Water of Life Drink it down with heart and soul Epilogue SPIRIT AND SCIENCE The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the power of all true science. — Albert Einstein We’ve come a long way since Chapter 1, when I faced my panicked medical students and started my journey to the New Biology. But throughout the book I have not strayed far from the theme I introduced in the first chapter—that smart cells can teach us how to live. Now that we’re at the end of the book, I’d like to explain how my study of cells turned me into a spiritual person. I also want to explain why I am optimistic about the fate of our planet, though I concede that optimism is sometimes hard to maintain if you read the daily newspaper.
During this time of great personal transformation, I was blessed and guided by both spiritual and incarnate muses—the inspiring spirits of the arts. I am particularly indebted to the following muses who have helped make this book a reality. The Muses of Science: I am indebted to the spirits of science, for I am fully aware that forces outside of myself have guided me in bringing this message to the world. Special blessings to my heroes, Jean-Baptiste de Monet de Lamarck and Albert Einstein, for their world-changing spiritual and scientific contributions. The Muses of Literature: The intention to write a book on the New Biology was spawned in 1985, though it was not until Patricia A. King came into my life in 2003 that this book could come into reality. Patricia is a Bay Area freelance writer and former Newsweek reporter who worked for a decade as the magazine’s San Francisco Bureau Chief.
Strange New Worlds: The Search for Alien Planets and Life Beyond Our Solar System by Ray Jayawardhana
Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, cosmic abundance, dark matter, Donald Davies, Edmond Halley, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Kuiper Belt, Louis Pasteur, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Pluto: dwarf planet, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Solar eclipse in 1919
The Doppler technique—using spectral line shifts to trace the subtle dance of stars as planets tug on them—has been the most successful in the frst ffteen years. But two other methods have also reached maturity—and are paying off handsomely. Both depend on fnding chance alignments of celestial objects through brightness changes of stars. The frst technique exploits a remarkable property of gravity that Albert Einstein discovered: its ability to bend light, thus to magnify the brightness of a distant star temporarily when a nearer star happens to cross our line of sight to the former. If the nearby star harbors a planet, the planet’s gravity causes an extra blip, betraying its presence. The second method relies on a phenomenon scientists have known about for nearly four centuries. Every once in a while, we see Venus and Mercury cross the Sun, appearing as a little black dot against the bright solar disk.
Her e-mail inbox contained a message from someone at Ohio State University—probably a graduate student, she assumed—requesting observations of a “microlens-ing event.” McCormick had no idea what that meant, but the target was in the direction of the Milky Way’s bulge, high in the sky above Auckland, and easy to acquire. She decided to give it a try. Little did McCormick know that she, a Kiwi mother with no formal scientifc training, was treading on the legacy of Albert Einstein, possibly the most celebrated scientist of all time. In his general theory of relativity, completed in 1915, Einstein proposed a whole new theory of gravity. Instead of the Newtonian idea of gravity as an attractive force, he conceptualized gravity as geometry: a massive object warps the fabric of space-time around it. That means light, instead of traveling in a straight line, takes a curved path in its vicinity.
Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Albert Einstein, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, Barry Marshall: ulcers, call centre, Cass Sunstein, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, Everything should be made as simple as possible, food miles, Gary Taubes, income inequality, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, medical residency, Metcalfe’s law, microbiome, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Tony Hsieh, transatlantic slave trade, éminence grise
If you are willing to confront the obvious, you will end up asking a lot of questions that others don’t. Why does that fourth-grader seem plenty smart in conversation but can’t answer a single question when it’s written on the blackboard? Sure, driving drunk is dangerous, but what about drunk walking? If an ulcer is caused by stress and spicy foods, why do some people with low stress and bland diets still get ulcers? As Albert Einstein liked to say, everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. This is a beautiful way to address the frictions that bedevil modern society: as grateful as we are for the complex processes that have produced so much technology and progress, we are also dizzied by their sprawl. It is easy to get seduced by complexity; but there is virtue in simplicity too. Let’s return briefly to Barry Marshall, our bacteria-gulping Aussie hero who cracked the ulcer code.
This report was based primarily on author interviews with Paul Glewwe and Albert Park and drew on their paper “Visualizing Development: Eyeglasses and Academic Performance in Rural Primary Schools in China,” University of Minnesota Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy, working paper WP12-2 (2012), coauthored with Meng Zhao. See also: Douglas Heingartner, “Better Vision for the World, on a Budget,” New York Times, January 2, 2010; and “Comprehensive Eye Exams Particularly Important for Classroom Success,” American Optometric Association (2008). For the “four-eyes” stigma and “planos” (in footnote), see Dubner, “Playing the Nerd Card,” Freakonomics Radio, May 31, 2012. 93 AS ALBERT EINSTEIN LIKED TO SAY . . . : Thanks again to Garson O’Toole at QuoteInvestigator.com. 94 LET’S RETURN BRIEFLY TO BARRY MARSHALL: Once again, we drew heavily from the excellent interview of Marshall conducted by Norman Swan, “Interviews with Australian Scientists: Professor Barry Marshall,” Australian Academy of Science, 2008. 96 EXPERT PERFORMANCE: See, for starters, Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D.
The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age by Paul J. Nahin
Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, New Journalism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, V2 rocket
One could calculate, if one wanted to … the kind of population you would have after a number of generations.”10 Both Burks and Bush strongly urged Shannon to publish, but he had lost interest in the topic, and, besides, he had other, more urgent matters that demanded his attention. With his PhD in hand, and after spending the summer of 1940 back at Bell Labs, Shannon used a National Research Council Fellowship for a year’s stay at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where he worked under the great mathematician Hermann Weyl. Also there were such luminaries as John von Neumann and Albert Einstein. He might even have bumped into Richard Feynman, who was working on his PhD in physics at Princeton. Also there with Shannon was his first wife, Norma Levor (born 1920), whom he had married in 1939. Theirs was an intense, passionate, but ultimately doomed brief marriage, and Norma left him in June 1941. With all that going on in his life, it isn’t surprising that writing up his doctoral dissertation wasn’t high on Shannon’s list of things to do.
The original title of Shannon’s 1956 paper was “Reliable Circuits Using Crummy Relays,” but that was changed at the request of the Bell Labs Public Relations Department. Shannon’s sense of humor was not to be denied, though, and he managed to keep crummy in the text. Speaking of Shannon’s sense of humor, there is a very funny story that Shannon himself was fond of telling that further illuminates his own lack of self-importance. When once giving a talk at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Albert Einstein came into the room and stayed at the back. After listening to Shannon speak for a few minutes, he leaned over to whisper into the ear of a nearby man; the man whispered a reply and then Einstein quickly left. After the talk Shannon hastened over to the man to ask what the Great Man had said. “He wanted to know,” Shannon was told, “which way to the nearest men’s room.” 7. We could, of course, have written directly from Figure 6.4.3 that P(S3) = P(AB + CD + AED + CEB), and then used a Karnaugh map to get an expression for P(S3) that would let us directly write P(S3) in terms of p.
The Rise of the Quants: Marschak, Sharpe, Black, Scholes and Merton by Colin Read
"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, collateralized debt obligation, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of penicillin, discrete time, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Henri Poincaré, implied volatility, index fund, Isaac Newton, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market clearing, martingale, means of production, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Paul Samuelson, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, RAND corporation, random walk, risk tolerance, risk/return, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, stochastic process, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, tulip mania, Works Progress Administration, yield curve
Much later, however, we discovered that he was not the first to offer a measure of the cost of volatility of financial instruments. At the turn of the twentieth century, the French mathematician Louis Bachelier (1870–1946) produced a PhD thesis with the title “The Theory of Speculation.” In this revolutionary thesis, Bachelier was the first to apply the mathematical model of Brownian motion to the movement of security prices. He did so five years before Albert Einstein applied the same model to the movement of small particles. Einstein and Bachelier both noted that, beyond a common drift element, the movement of a particle or a stock from one period to the next is uncorrelated. We now know this phenomenon as the random walk. We return to Bachelier’s model later in our discussion of options pricing theory, and more fully in the next volume of our series on Applications 33 the random walk and the efficient market hypothesis.
A month after presenting the paper co-authored with Samuelson to the faculty seminar, he presented his own paper to the Harvard/MIT graduate student seminar. This paper was published the following summer as the other bookend to a paper that Samuelson had written on the life cycle of portfolio risk tolerance. In fact, Merton later admitted that his strategy was to learn the mathematics he needed rather than the economics his professors taught, much like Albert Einstein had done as a graduate physics 144 The Rise of the Quants student. He agreed that this was not the best strategy to secure superior grades. However, the proof is in the pudding. He produced five essays for his PhD thesis, three of which were published by refereed finance and economics journals even before his dissertation team could witness his PhD defense. A fourth paper was presented at the Second World Congress of the Econometric Society in the summer he graduated and also appeared in print within a year.
Thinking in Numbers by Daniel Tammet
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, computer age, dematerialisation, Edmond Halley, Georg Cantor, index card, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Paul Erdős, Searching for Interstellar Communications, Vilfredo Pareto
The third steps briskly forward and introduces himself as the main organiser. I shake hands with the museum’s curator and his assistant. Their faces show mild puzzlement, curiosity and nerves. Shortly afterwards, reporters arrive to hold the microphones and man the television cameras. They film the display cases containing astrolabes, compasses and mathematical manuscripts. Someone asks about the blackboard that hangs high on the wall opposite us. Albert Einstein used it during a lecture, the curator explains, on 16 May 1931. What about the chalky equations? They show the physicist’s calculations for the age of the universe, replies the curator. According to Einstein, the universe is about ten, or perhaps one hundred, thousand million years old. Footfalls increase on the museum’s stone steps as the hour approaches. The mathematicians duly arrive, seven strong, and take their seats.
And then, minutes later, I say, ‘Six, seven, six, five, seven, four, eight, six, nine, five, three, five, eight, seven,’ and it is over. There is nothing more to say. I have finished recounting my solitude. It is enough. Palms come together; hands clap. Someone lets out a cheer. ‘A new record,’ someone else says: 22,514 decimal places. ‘Congratulations.’ I take a bow. For five hours and nine minutes, eternity visited a museum in Oxford. Einstein’s Equations Speaking about his father, Hans Albert Einstein once said, ‘He had a character more like that of an artist than of a scientist as we usually think of them. For instance, the highest praise for a good theory or a good piece of work was not that it was correct nor that it was exact but that it was beautiful.’ Numerous other acquaintances also remarked on Einstein’s belief in the primacy of the aesthetic, including the physicist Hermann Bondi, who once showed him some of his work in unified field theory.
The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return by Mihir Desai
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, assortative mating, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, Charles Lindbergh, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate raider, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, follow your passion, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, housing crisis, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jony Ive, Kenneth Rogoff, longitudinal study, Louis Bachelier, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, new economy, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, principal–agent problem, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, zero-sum game
As he watched pollen emit particles in water, these particles seemed to move about randomly. Why and how were they moving? Soot particles did the same thing, making it clear that the pollen particles weren’t autonomously doing something. The conventional history of subsequent intellectual developments goes like this: in his annus mirabilis of 1905, when he produced four remarkable breakthroughs, Albert Einstein provided the first understanding of the mechanisms of so-called Brownian motion. He demonstrated that many processes that seem continuous (like the motion of dust or pollen) are in fact the product of many discrete particles moving about. In other words, the pollen particles were moving around in a continuous way because they were reacting to tiny water molecules that were bumping them at random.
Finance and economics, forever envious of the rigor and stature of physics, adopted these findings and began aping the physical sciences—thereby marking the beginning of the end. This narrative concludes that finance lost its way by promoting precision and models over human reality by trying to describe inherently social phenomena with physics and quantum mechanics. This is a convenient narrative that suits those who are dissatisfied with the rise of finance—but it is shoddy intellectual history. In fact, the person who beat Albert Einstein to the punch by five years was Louis Bachelier, a doctoral student in Paris. Rather than studying the movement of particles, he studied the movement of stocks and derived the mathematics to describe all kinds of motion, including the motion of pollen particles observed by Robert Brown. How did he do it? He realized that he could employ and generalize the magical distribution created by the quincunx into settings where outcomes weren’t the locations of falling balls, but rather processes of motion that were the result of lots of molecules behaving as if they were going through a quincunx.
Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else by Chrystia Freeland
activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, assortative mating, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business climate, call centre, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, commoditize, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, double helix, energy security, estate planning, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, global village, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, high net worth, income inequality, invention of the steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, liberation theology, light touch regulation, linear programming, London Whale, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, NetJets, new economy, Occupy movement, open economy, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, short selling, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Solar eclipse in 1919, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, the new new thing, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, wage slave, Washington Consensus, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game
Progress and Poverty, George’s most important book, sold three million copies and was translated into German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Spanish, Russian, Hungarian, Hebrew, and Mandarin. During his lifetime, George was probably the third best-known American, eclipsed only by Thomas Edison and Mark Twain. He was admired by foreign luminaries of the age, too—Leo Tolstoy, Sun Yat-sen, and Albert Einstein, who wrote that “men like Henry George are rare, unfortunately. One cannot imagine a more beautiful combination of intellectual keenness, artistic form and fervent love of justice.” George Bernard Shaw described his own thinking about the political economy as a continuation of the ideas of George, whom he had once heard deliver a speech. In 1886, the year the Statue of Liberty was erected, George came second in the New York mayoral race, attracting an official tally of 68,110 votes and beating the Republican candidate, a rambunctious young patrician named Theodore Roosevelt.
Another physics laureate went so far as to worry he was getting kudos for discoveries made by others: “I’m probably getting credit now, if I don’t watch myself, for things other people figured out. Because I’m notorious and when I say [something], people say: ‘Well, he’s the one that thought this out.’ Well, I may just be saying things that other people have thought out before.” The scientist who best exemplifies the self-fulfilling power of fame is, ironically, the one most of us would immediately name as the twentieth century’s brightest example of pure intellectual genius: Albert Einstein. Einstein was indeed a groundbreaking physicist, whose theory of relativity ushered in the nuclear age and transformed the way we think about the material world. But why is he a household name, while Niels Bohr, who made important contributions to quantum mechanics and developed a model of atomic structure that remains valid today, or James Watson, one of the discoverers of the double helix structure of DNA, is not?
“Although comparable data on the past are sparse” “Global Wealth Report 2011,” Credit Suisse Research Institute, October 2011. 93 percent of the gains Saez, “Striking It Richer.” “Probably if you had looked at the situation” CF interview with Emmanuel Saez, February 24, 2011. CHAPTER 2: CULTURE OF THE PLUTOCRATS “Somebody ought to sit down” Scott Turow, Pleading Guilty (Grand Central Publishing, 1994), p. 174. “men like Henry George” Albert Einstein, letter to Anna George de Mille, 1934. http://www.cooperativeindividualism.org/einstein-albert_letters-to-anna-george-demille-1934.html. “the battle cry for all” Joanne Reitano, The Restless City: A Short History of New York from Colonial Times to the Present (Taylor & Francis, 2006), p. 101. “Not even Lincoln had a more glorious death” “Expressions of Regret: The Comments of Many Prominent Persons in New York Upon the Death of Henry George,” New York Times, October 30, 1987.
The Burning Answer: The Solar Revolution: A Quest for Sustainable Power by Keith Barnham
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, carbon footprint, credit crunch, decarbonisation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Naomi Klein, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, wikimedia commons
I hope to explain enough about the application and the physics of both equations to demonstrate an amazing coincidence about humankind. Our civilisation is on the cusp. We are possibly the only civilisation in the universe that did not discover one or other of these crucial equations first. In our civilisation, the equation E = mc2 was discovered and the equation E = hf was explained in the same year by the same man – Albert Einstein. A century later, our civilisation could still go either way; destroying ourselves with E = mc2 like all alien civilisations as Hawking speculates, or achieving sustainability with E = hf like civilisations that may have survived. I want to show you how the equation that can save our civilisation works. In fact, few popular science books have much to say about E = hf, though there are many that explain E = mc2.
It is one of the most important numbers in physics, on a par with the speed of light. But the equation E = hf is not usually named after Planck alone. It took Einstein’s genius to explain the revolutionary nature of this equation. Meanwhile, in a patent office in Berne … Was E = hf just a mathematical trick? What was needed was a physical picture of what the equation meant. As so often in physics history, Albert Einstein provided the physical picture. In 1905 Einstein was not a practising academic physicist. He was a young patent officer in Berne, Switzerland. But in that one year, in his spare moments, he found time to publish a number of groundbreaking papers. His interpretation of E = hf was but one. He also published his first papers on his theory of relativity and on E = mc2. Clearly patent work must have been quiet in Berne in 1905.
I wandered the CERN corridors aimlessly, until I found myself outside the library. In the past, I had spent many happy hours there. I decided I could do worse than look at some papers. Perhaps I might find some guidance on a new research field? Browsing the racks of preprints and the latest journals, I came across a collection of papers from a conference held that year, 1979, to commemorate the works of Albert Einstein. Had he lived, the great man would have been 100. That meant Einstein was only 26 when he started both quantum theory and relativity in the same year. I was then 36. I realised I had better get started if I was serious about a new research career. Standing at the racks, I skimmed through the list of contents marvelling yet again at the unique breadth of Einstein’s contributions to physics.
Enriching the Earth: Fritz Haber, Carl Bosch, and the Transformation of World Food Production by Vaclav Smil
agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Haber-Bosch Process, invention of gunpowder, Louis Pasteur, Pearl River Delta, precision agriculture, recommendation engine, The Design of Experiments
Where once similar backgrounds and similar interests had fostered deep attachment, a lethargic tolerance developed, and the marriage slowly began to disintegrate.’’ A similar case, which has only recently become better known, comes immediately to mind: the disintegration of the marriage between Albert Einstein and Mileva Maric. She was Einstein’s fellow physics student (the only woman) at the Eidgenösische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, and their illegitimate daughter was given away for adoption (they finally married in 1903). Although no solid evidence supports such a claim, Mileva may have collaborated on some of Einstein key ideas before she transformed herself into a housewife. A great love affair ended in a bitter separation. See Renn, J., and Schulmann, R., eds. 1992. Albert Einstein, Mileva Maric: The Love Letters. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 34. We do not know why the brothers chose Haber; Szöllösi-Janze (14), p. 166, speculates that they may had been his father’s business associates. 35.
Creating an Industry 103 Ammonia Synthesis for War On August 4, 1914, all Reichstag parties voted for war credits.65 In October Ludwig Fulda’s manifesto To the Civilized World—which made an astonishing claim that ‘‘[w]ere it not for German militarism, German civilization would long since have been extirpated. . . . The German army and the German people are one’’—was signed by 93 scientists.66 Among the prominent names were three past (Paul Ehrlich, Emil Fischer, and Wilhelm Ostwald) and three future (Richard Willstätter, Fritz Haber, and Walther Nerst) Nobel Prize winners, who were convinced that Germany bore no responsibility for the war and that it simply had to defend itself.67 Albert Einstein’s pacifist proclamation attracted four signatures, including his own! But the blind enthusiasm for war was shortlived as it became obvious that Germany would not achieve a lightning victory on the Western front. After the horrendous loss of life brought by an enormous expenditure of munitions during the first Battle of the Marne (September 6–9, 1914) it was realized that trench warfare would require more explosives than foreseen before the war.
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein
"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Bayesian statistics, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, cognitive dissonance, computerized trading, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, endowment effect, experimental economics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fermat's Last Theorem, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mental accounting, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Norman Macrae, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, spectrum auction, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game
Never again would economists insist that fluctuations in the economy were a theoretical impossibility. Never again would science appear so unreservedly benign, nor would religion and family institutions be so unthinkingly accepted in the western world. World War I put an end to all that. Radical transformations in art, literature, and music produced abstract and often shocking forms that stood in disturbing contrast to the comfortable modes of the nineteenth century. When Albert Einstein demonstrated that an imperfection lurked below the surface of Euclidean geometry, and when Sigmund Freud declared that irrationality is the natural condition of humanity, both men became celebrities overnight. Up to this point, the classical economists had defined economics as a riskless system that always produced optimal results. Stability, they promised, was guaranteed. If people decided to save more and spend less, the interest rate would fall, thereby encouraging investment or discouraging saving enough to bring matters back into balance.
He believed that there is too much going on for us to figure it all out by studying a set of finite experiments, but, like most of his contemporaries, he was convinced that there was an underlying order to the whole process, ordained by the Almighty. The missing part to which he alluded with "only for the most part" was not random but an invisible element of the whole structure. Three hundred years later, Albert Einstein struck the same note. In a famous comment that appeared in a letter to his fellow-physicist Max Born, Einstein declared, "You believe in a God who plays with dice, and I in complete law and order in a world which objectively exists."2 Bernoulli and Einstein may be correct that God does not play with dice, but, for better or for worse and in spite of all our efforts, human beings do not enjoy complete knowledge of the laws that define the order of the objectively existing world.
Morningstar Mutual Funds. Chicago, Illinois. Bi-weekly. Muir, Jane, 1961. Of Men and Numbers: The Story of the Great Mathematicians. New York: Dodd, Mead.* Nasar, Sylvia, 1994. "The Lost Years of a Nobel Laureate." The New York Times, November 13, 1994, Section 3, p. 1. Newman, James R., 1988a. The World of Mathematics: A Small Library of the Literature of Mathematics from A'h-mose the Scribe to Albert Einstein. Redmond, Washington: Tempus Press.* Newman, James R., 1988b. "Commentary on an Absent-Minded Genius and the Laws of Chance." In Newman, 1988a, pp. 1353-1358. Newman, James R., 1988c. "Commentary on Lord Keynes." In Newman, 1988a, pp. 1333-1338. Newman, James R., 1988d. "Commentary on Pierre Simon De Laplace." In Newman, 1988a, pp. 1291-1299. Newman, James R., 1988e. "Commentary on Sir Francis Galton."
The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution by Jonathan Eig
Now her time was running out, which was why she had come to an apartment high above Park Avenue to meet a man who was possibly her last hope. The woman was Margaret Sanger, one of the legendary crusaders of the twentieth century. The man was Gregory Goodwin Pincus, a scientist with a genius IQ and a dubious reputation. Pincus was forty-seven years old, five feet ten and a half inches tall, with a bristly mustache and graying hair that shot from his head in every direction. He looked like a cross between Albert Einstein and Groucho Marx. He would speed into a room, working a Viceroy between his yellowed fingers, and people would huddle close to hear what he had to say. He wasn’t famous. He owned no scientific prizes. No world-changing inventions were filed under his name. In fact, for a long stretch of his career he had been an outcast from the scientific establishment, rejected as a radical by Harvard, humiliated in the press, and left with no choice but to conduct his varied and oftentimes controversial experiments in a converted garage.
It would take nothing less than a sexual revolution—a term of Reich’s creation—to create a truly free society. Reich was the prophet of the orgasm. He even devised a special box—the Orgone Energy Accumulator—to help harness orgasmic energy, which he believed circulated in the atmosphere and in the human bloodstream. Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, William Steig, and many other intellectuals later sat in the box (Albert Einstein considered it but politely declined). Eventually the federal government labeled Reich a fraud, but by then it didn’t matter. He had already inspired a generation of believers who would become central players in the sexual revolution. After Reich came Alfred Kinsey. At first glance, Kinsey did not look like a radical. He wore a bow tie and crew cut as he lectured students at the University of Indiana, and he liked to invite his colleagues to his home to drink tea and listen to classical music from his impressive record collection.
He was on the cusp of what promised to be a brilliant career teaching and conducting research at one of the wealthiest and most prestigious universities in the world. Just like that, it was gone. Pincus may have been the victim of small-mindedness and anti-Semitism, but he was also undone by his own outsized ego. He scrambled. He applied for jobs but received no offers. He arranged a meeting with Albert Einstein. He asked some of his wealthy and influential cousins for help. But he couldn’t find another college willing to hire him. He appealed to his former classmate, Hudson Hoagland, who had left Harvard and gone to work at Clark University in Worcester, where he had taken over a three-man biology department. Hoagland was a tall, thin man with a bald head, chiseled jaw, and round glasses. Like Pincus, Hoagland saw scientific mysteries everywhere and felt it his calling to solve them.
Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future by Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson
"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Airbnb, airline deregulation, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backtesting, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, centralized clearinghouse, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, cognitive bias, commoditize, complexity theory, computer age, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dean Kamen, discovery of DNA, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, double helix, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, family office, fiat currency, financial innovation, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, information asymmetry, Internet of things, inventory management, iterative process, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, law of one price, longitudinal study, Lyft, Machine translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." to Russian and back, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mitch Kapor, moral hazard, multi-sided market, Myron Scholes, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precision agriculture, prediction markets, pre–internet, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ray Kurzweil, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, smart contracts, Snapchat, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Davenport, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, transaction costs, transportation-network company, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, yield management, zero day
target=apps..social. 167 less than 1% of worldwide smartphone sales: Gartner, “Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Grew 3.9 Percent in First Quarter of 2016,” May 19, 2016, table 2, https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3323017. 167 “Microsoft’s Nokia experiment is over”: Tom Warren, “Microsoft Lays Off Hundreds as It Guts Its Phone Business,” Verge, May 25, 2016, http://www.theverge.com/2016/5/25/11766344/microsoft-nokia-impairment-layoffs-may-2016. 168 more than 20,000 layoffs: ZDNet, “Worst Tech Mergers and Acquisitions: Nokia and Microsoft, AOL and Time Warner,” Between the Lines (blog), February 13, 2016, http://www.zdnet.com/article/worst-tech-mergers-and-acquisitions-nokia-and-microsoft-aol-and-time-warner. 168 almost $8 billion in write-downs: Nick Wingfield, “Cutting Jobs, Micro-soft Turns Page on Nokia Deal,” New York Times, July 8, 2015, https://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/technology/microsoft-layoffs.html. 168 the largest in Microsoft history: Gregg Keizer, “Microsoft Writes Off $7.6B, Admits Failure of Nokia Acquisition,” Computerworld, July 8, 2015, http://www.computerworld.com/article/2945371/smartphones/microsoft-writes-off-76b-admits-failure-of-nokia-acquisition.html. 168 By 2009, the BlackBerry operating system powered 20%: Statista, “Global Smartphone OS Market Share Held by RIM (BlackBerry) from 2007 to 2016, by Quarter,” accessed February 5, 2017, https://www.statista.com/statistics/263439/global-market-share-held-by-rim-smartphones. 168 By the end of 2016 the company had announced: Andrew Griffin, “BlackBerry Announces It Will Make No More New Phones,” Independent, September 28, 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/blackberry-announces-it-will-make-no-more-new-phones-a7334911.html. 168 saw its market value drop below $4 billion: Google Finance, “BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY),” accessed February 5, 2017, https://www.google.com/finance?cid=663276. 170 “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler”: Wikiquote, s. v. “Albert Einstein,” last modified January 29, 2017, https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Albert_Einstein. 170 The difference between the two: Shane Rounce, “UX vs. UI,” Dribbble, December 7, 2014, https://dribbble.com/shots/1837823-UX-vs-UI. 170 Friendster: Gary Rivlin, “Wallflower at the Web Party,” New York Times, October 15, 2006, http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/15/business/yourmoney/15friend.html. 170 News Corp bought it for $580 million in 2005: Vauhini Vara and Rebecca Buckman, “Friendster Gets $10 Million Infusion for Revival Bid,” Wall Street Journal, August 21, 2006, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB115612561104040731. 170 “Of the people you know”: Fame Foundry, “DeadSpace: 7 Reasons Why My-Space Is as Good as Dead,” August 1, 2009, http://www.famefoundry.com/382/deadspace-7-reasons-why-myspace-is-as-good-as-dead. 171 MySpace was sold by News Corp: Todd Spangler, “Time Inc.
CONCLUSION ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES BEYOND COMPUTATION It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase man’s blessings. Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavors; concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations. — Albert Einstein, 1931 OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS, YOU WILL HAVE AT YOUR DISPOSAL 100 times more computer power than you do today. Billions of brains and trillions of devices will be connected to the Internet, not only gaining access to the collective knowledge of our humanity, but also contributing to it. And by the end of the decade, more and more of that knowledge will be accessed by software agents, and created by them.
Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Edward Thorp, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, financial thriller, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, NetJets, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Satyajit Das, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game
If you give up a $4 Starbuck’s latte each day for 40 years, you will save $1,460 each year, $58,400 over 40 years. If you can invest the savings in the market at the end of every year and earn 20 percent each year on your investment, what will you have at the end of 40 years? $10,722,032. If you invest your $121.67 savings from foregone lattes at the end of each month, you will have $20,365,160 in your latte retirement fund. As Albert Einstein supposedly noted “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.” Column Inches Columnists, name journalists or authorities known for being famous rather than for their output, express opinions on the topic du jour. Opinion pieces provide opportunities for banks to get their views in front of the masses. Only the fact that the piece is attributed to the analyst (for personal recognition) and the company (for marketing value) is important.
Using a normal distribution, economists Paul De Grauwe, Leonardo Iania and Pablo Rovira Kaltwasser estimated that the moves should occur only every 73 to 603 trillion billion years. “Since our universe...exists a mere 20 billion years we, finance theorists, would have had to wait for another trillion universes before one such change could be observed.... A truly miraculous event.”25 But nobody wanted to accept that their models were incorrect. Confronted with quantum theory, Albert Einstein refused to believe that God played dice with the universe. But as Stephen Hawking remarked: “Not only does God play dice, but...he sometimes throws them where they cannot be seen.”26 In his 1986 presidential address to the American Finance Association, Fischer Black distinguished between noise and information. In traditional communication, noise is the disruption in the passage of information through unintended addition to the signal between transmission and reception.
Soviet economists had access to the latest Western economics publications because “the Party ruled that these were mathematical works...purely technical, devoid of ideological content.”29 Models were increasingly the product of data mining, trawling through historical data to find a relationship and prove or reject hypotheses. More data and improved statistical methods overwhelmed common sense. Albert Einstein knew the problem: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” Researchers “saw” patterns in data. But strong correlation does not prove causality. In the late 1940s, before the invention of the polio vaccine, American public health experts thought they had discovered a correlation between polio cases and increased consumption of ice cream and soft drinks.
Just Keep Calm & Take Some Magnesium - Why a "Boring" Mineral Is Suddenly Hot Property for Soothing Bodies and Calming Minds by James Lee
Where this area of inquiry will get truly interesting is when we are able to prevent Nlrp3 from doing its job, possibly preventing a range of inflammatory diseases that reduce life expectancy. Indeed, initial mouse experiments have shown that by reducing the activity of Nlrp3 the test subjects appeared to be protected from a range of age-related conditions such as dementia, bone loss and glucose intolerance. Recently Zhang et al, from Albert Einstein College of Medicine found that at least some of the inflammatorily mediated aging we see appears to be related to inflammation in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is the part of your brain central to the control of autonomic functions and hormonal control. These researchers found that inflammation in the hypothalamus appeared to trigger a range of age-related health problems such as metabolic syndrome.
Time Management for System Administrators by Thomas A.Limoncelli
If you clutter your brain with the knowledge of all the tasks you need to do in the future, that's taking space away from the task you are working on right now. In fact, when I'm working on Project A but worried about Project B, the best thing I can do is to write Project B down in my to do list and try to get it out of my head. Then, I can focus on Project A. I trust the to do list to "remember" B for me, so I don't have to continue to waste mental energy on it. It might be apocryphal, but it is believed that Albert Einstein's closet contained seven identical suits—one for each day of the week. This was, the story goes, so that he could conserve his brain power for physics and not waste it on the mundane task of deciding what to wear each day. Maybe this is why Steve Jobs always wears black turtlenecks. (Personally, I have many pairs of the exact same socks, but that's just so I never have more than one unmatched sock when I do laundry.)
just remember that it's your brain—ego big as Montana—overpromising like a Microsoft salesperson trying to meet his monthly quota. I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I remembered who was telling me this. --Emo Philips If it makes your brain feel less insulted, just remember that by not filling it with boring lists of to do items, we are reserving it for the powerhouse tasks. In Chapter 1, I mentioned the story about Albert Einstein trying to reserve as much of his brain as possible for physics by eliminating other brainwork, like deciding what to wear each day. Legend also has it that Einstein didn't memorize addresses or phone numbers, even his own. The important ones were written on a slip of paper in his wallet so as not to use up precious brain capacity. When someone would ask him for his own phone number he would tell them that it's in the phone book and politely ask them to look it up.
The Man Who Invented the Computer by Jane Smiley
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, c2.com, computer age, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, IBM and the Holocaust, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, Pierre-Simon Laplace, RAND corporation, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture
Once his paper “On Computable Numbers” was completed and published in the spring of 1936, Alan Turing’s world expanded again—by the end of that September, he was at Princeton, enjoying (or not) a graduate fellowship there and meeting some of the best mathematical minds in the world. He wrote home in October with a list of those who were around: John von Neumann, Hermann Weyl, Richard Courant, G. H. Hardy, Albert Einstein, Solomon Lefschetz, and Alonzo Church. He regretted having missed Kurt Gödel, who had been there the year before, and perhaps Paul Bernays (of whom he was a bit disdainful—Turing was feeling more and more self-confident). Hardy, whom he knew from Cambridge, was friendly, but Turing found the way Americans talked unpleasant and Princeton disconcerting—casual and familiar, if sometimes fun (an impromptu hockey team of which Turing was a member went to Vassar and played an entertaining game with another impromptu team of girls).
After completing his degrees at Berlin and Zurich (where a paper he wrote was sent to David Hilbert, the man who posed the problem that Turing addressed in “On Computable Numbers,” and so impressed him that he assiduously cultivated the young man), von Neumann went to the University of Göttingen in 1926, just about the same time that Atanasoff was first at Iowa State (and Flowers first went to work at Dollis Hill). In 1930, von Neumann was invited to Princeton, and two years later he was given a professorship at the Institute for Advanced Study, along with Albert Einstein and Kurt Gödel. It was there that he met Alan Turing, to whom he offered the job as research assistant in 1938. Clearly, von Neumann’s personality and biography meshed to produce a man who was perhaps preternaturally political in a way that was unusual in a mathematician or an inventor—he was not only completely at ease in all sorts of social situations, he was extraordinarily aware of the ramifications of larger sorts of politics.
Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow
3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector
Rather than teaching a mile wide in every subject, we ought to first teach kids to use platforms, then let them go deep in the areas that interest them. In a typical US high school, many of the teachers fall into the category of broad but shallow experts themselves. The health teacher becomes the Spanish teacher, then temporarily the geography teacher. But, really, he’s the football coach. Bless his heart, but he’s basically building a road out of mud. And that’s where Finland’s education system found its platform advantage. III. Albert Einstein is famously quoted: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” He didn’t actually say it.* But in the 1990s, Finnish educators decided to take the cliché to heart. Upon landing in Helsinki, Wagner and his crew made a beeline for some local high schools. Wagner sat among students in various classes, whispering observations to the camera like an academic version of The Crocodile Hunter.
In the meantime, absent any clear evidence as to how best proceed, the majority of teachers quite understandably default to more or less the same teaching methods that they themselves experienced. Overwhelmingly that is the traditional method, though the fact that no one has been able to make this approach work (for the majority of students) in three-thousand years does make some wonder if there is a better way.” 93 “The definition of insanity”: Though variously attributed to Albert Einstein and Mark Twain, this phrase seems to have first appeared in World Service Conference (Narcotics Anonymous, 1981), 11. 95 Finnish schools allowed students unrestricted use of calculators: Science and Engineering Indicators 2002 (National Science Board, 2002), chapter 1. Though Tony Wagner’s research and international test scores indicate that Finland’s education trump all in a 2009 journal article in the Teaching of Mathematics, Olli Martio demonstrates that many Finnish students (the bottom 80 percent) had poorer high-level mental math skills in 2003 than in 1981, and blames the use of calculators and the omission of geometry curricula.
The Age of the Infovore: Succeeding in the Information Economy by Tyler Cowen
Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, cognitive bias, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, Flynn Effect, framing effect, Google Earth, impulse control, informal economy, Isaac Newton, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, Naomi Klein, neurotypical, new economy, Nicholas Carr, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, Richard Thaler, selection bias, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, the medium is the message, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind
It turns out she has developed a system for remembering people by their clothes and that she applied her system very conscientiously and consistently; without the system she would be lost. People such as myself, who have normal face-recognition abilities, usually have no such system. The result was that this woman—some might call her “handicapped”—had a much better sense of the crowd than I did. Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Samuel Johnson, Vincent van Gogh, Thomas Jefferson, Bertrand Russell, Jonathan Swift, Alan Turing, Paul Dirac, Glenn Gould, Steven Spielberg, and Bill Gates, among many others, are all on the rather lengthy list of famous figures who have been identified as possibly autistic or Asperger’s. I do not think we can “diagnose” individuals from such a distance, so we should be cautious in making any very particular claims.
As you may know, there is a small cottage industry of writings devoted to these questions. If you’re wondering, a typical list of historical figures claimed to be on the autism spectrum includes Hans Christian Andersen, Lewis Carroll, Herman Melville, George Orwell, Jonathan Swift, William Butler Yeats, James Joyce, Bela Bartók, Bob Dylan, Glenn Gould, Vincent van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Mozart, Gregor Mendel, Charles Darwin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Henry Cavendish, Samuel Johnson, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, Paul Dirac, Emily Dickinson, Michelangelo, Bertrand Russell, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, and Willard Van Orman Quine, among others. When it comes to any individual life, I have my worries about making any firm judgments. First, for some of these lives I know a bit about, such as Mozart’s, I just don’t see the evidence for autism. Mozart for instance may well have been neurodiverse in the broad sense of the word (arguably an ordinary mind could not have composed his extraordinary music) but that’s not the same as placing him on the autism spectrum.
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle by Chris Hedges
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Cal Newport, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, social intelligence, statistical model, uranium enrichment
A few media giants, such as AOL Time Warner, General Electric, Viacom, Disney, and Rupert Murdoch’s NewsGroup, control nearly everything we read, see, and hear. “Private capital tends to become concentrated in [a] few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones,” Albert Einstein wrote in 1949 in the Monthly Review in explaining why he was a socialist:The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature.
Held, “The Negative Side of Positive Psychology,” Journal of Humanistic Psychology 44:1 (Winter 2004), 9, 24. CHAPTER 5: THE ILLUSION OF AMERICA 1 Andrew J. Bacevich, The Limits of Power (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2008), 172. 2 David Barstow, “One Man’s Military-Industrial-Media Complex,” New York Times, Nov. 29, 2008: 172. 3 Robert Bellah, Habits of the Heart (Berkeley and Los Angeles, Calif.: University of California Press, 1985), 285. 4 Albert Einstein, “Why Socialism?” Monthly Review (May 1949). Rpt. In http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/Einstein.htm. 5 Cited in Glenn Greenwald, “There’s Nothing Unique About Jim Cramer,” Salon 13 (March 2009), www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/03/13/cramer. 6 Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Message to Congress on Curbing Monopolies,” April 29, 1938. In John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project (Santa Barbara, Calif.: University of California). http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?
Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time by Michael Shermer
Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anesthesia awareness, anthropic principle, butterfly effect, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological principle, discovery of DNA, false memory syndrome, Gary Taubes, invention of the wheel, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, Laplace demon, life extension, moral panic, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions
We would talk about the real far-out ideas in physics, such as the many-histories interpretation of physics. I read Godel's paper on closed time-like curves. I was fascinated by that and went and got a copy of the second volume of Albert Einstein, Philosopher/Scientist. I read that Einstein became aware of this possibility when he was generating the general theory of relativity, and he even discussed the Godel paper. That gave me confidence because the majority of the community of physicists may not believe in the possibility of time travel, but Kurt Godel and Albert Einstein did, and those were not lightweight scientists. (1995) Tipler's first published paper appeared in the prestigious Physical Review. Written while he was a graduate student, it proposed that a time machine might actually be possible.
Priests, rabbis, and ministers do not attempt to improve upon the sayings of their masters; they repeat, interpret, and teach them. Pseudoscientists do not correct the errors of their predecessors; they perpetuate them. By cumulative change I mean, then, that when a paradigm shifts, scientists do not abandon the entire science. Rather, what remains useful in the paradigm is retained as new features are added and new interpretations given. Albert Einstein emphasized this point in reflecting upon his own contributions to physics and cosmology: "Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting point and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up" (in Weaver 1987, p. 133).
The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Brownian motion, cosmological principle, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, invisible hand, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, unbiased observer
I recommend the technique to other authors, but I must warn that for best results the reader must be a professional actor, with voice and ear sensitively tuned to the music of language. CHAPTER 1 A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS NON-BELIEVER I don’t try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it. –ALBERT EINSTEIN DESERVED RESPECT The boy lay prone in the grass, his chin resting on his hands. He suddenly found himself overwhelmed by a heightened awareness of the tangled stems and roots, a forest in microcosm, a transfigured world of ants and beetles and even – though he wouldn’t have known the details at the time – of soil bacteria by the billions, silently and invisibly shoring up the economy of the micro-world.
Perhaps it does; but that, of course, has not the smallest bearing on the truth value of any of its supernatural claims. There are many intellectual atheists who proudly call themselves Jews and observe Jewish rites, perhaps out of loyalty to an ancient tradition or to murdered relatives, but also because of a confused and confusing willingness to label as ‘religion’ the pantheistic reverence which many of us share with its most distinguished exponent, Albert Einstein. They may not believe but, to borrow a phrase from the philosopher Daniel Dennett, they ‘believe in belief’.4 One of Einstein’s most eagerly quoted remarks is ‘Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.’ But Einstein also said, It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly.
CHAPTER 6 THE ROOTS OF MORALITY: WHY ARE WE GOOD? Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men – above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends. –ALBERT EINSTEIN Many religious people find it hard to imagine how, without religion, one can be good, or would even want to be good. I shall discuss such questions in this chapter. But the doubts go further, and drive some religious people to paroxysms of hatred against those who don’t share their faith. This is important, because moral considerations lie hidden behind religious attitudes to other topics that have no real link with morality.
A Man for All Markets by Edward O. Thorp
3Com Palm IPO, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Black-Scholes formula, Brownian motion, buy and hold, buy low sell high, carried interest, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, diversification, Edward Thorp, Erdős number, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, George Santayana, German hyperinflation, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, High speed trading, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, Mason jar, merger arbitrage, Murray Gell-Mann, Myron Scholes, NetJets, Norbert Wiener, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Pluto: dwarf planet, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, publish or perish, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, race to the bottom, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Feynman, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical arbitrage, stem cell, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the rule of 72, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, Works Progress Administration
— We were guided in this trade and thousands of others by a formula that had its beginnings in 1900 in the PhD thesis of French mathematician Louis Bachelier. Bachelier used mathematics to develop a theory for pricing options on the Paris stock exchange (the Bourse). His thesis adviser, the world-famous mathematician Henri Poincaré, didn’t value Bachelier’s effort, and Bachelier spent the rest of his life as an obscure provincial professor. Meanwhile a twenty-six-year-old Swiss patent clerk named Albert Einstein would soon publish in his single “miraculous year” of 1905 a series of articles that would transform physics. One of these initiated the Theory of Relativity, which revolutionized the theory of gravitation and led to the nuclear age. The second paper, on the particle nature of light, helped launch the Quantum Theory. But it is yet another of Einstein’s articles that connects with my story. In that paper Einstein explained a baffling discovery made in 1827 by the botanist Robert Brown.
CHAPTER 13 never before tried The year before, Arbitrage Management Company was set up to exploit the hedging ideas in Beat the Market. Among others it involved Harry Markowitz, who later won a Nobel Prize in Economics, and John Shelton, a leading finance professor and warrant theorist. Though profitable, the gains were not enough to keep it from disappearing from the scene after three years. would transform physics For a full account see the inspiring Annus Mirabilis: 1905, Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity, by John and Mary Gribbin, Penguin, New York, 2005. of stock price changes See the article by Case M. Sprenkle in The Random Character of Stock Market Prices, Paul H. Cootner, editor, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1964. riskless interest rate Academic economists and financial theorists have long assumed, as in the Black-Scholes formula, that US Treasury bonds and their short-term version, bills, are riskless.
Note that the average of $37 million, divided by the cutoff of $11.5 million, is 3.2, very close to the result of the same calculation for the wealth distribution of the Forbes 400, suggesting that 2007 superrich taxable income followed the same, or nearly the same, power law as that for wealth. CHAPTER 24 disputed origin The claimed sources include Benjamin Franklin, various Rothschilds, Albert Einstein, Bernard Baruch, and “unknown.” $22 million result These figures do not include trading costs or income taxes. A buy-and-hold investor loses little to trading costs and is taxed only on dividends. Taxes, if any, vary with the investor. less than the last So-called decreasing marginal utility. as one day less Adults with the same chronological age vary widely in their fitness age. Qualifiers for the Senior Olympic Games have a functional and fitness age averaging twenty-five years less than their calendar age, as reported in “Older Athletes Have a Strikingly Young Fitness Age,” by Gretchen Reynolds, in the New York Times, July 1, 2015.
The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World by Randall E. Stross
Albert Einstein, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, death of newspapers, distributed generation, East Village, Ford paid five dollars a day, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Livingstone, I presume, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban renewal
The New York Times pointed out that Edison could not grade “the human soul.” Why was it important to know what copra was, it asked, unless one clerked in a grocery store? The Chicago Tribune sent a reporter to the University of Chicago to see how well current students would do on the test and, not surprisingly, they did not do well (no one, in fact, could handle that question on the bounding of West Virginia). When Albert Einstein arrived in Boston, he was confronted with what one paper called the “ever-present Edison questionnaire” and was asked, “What is the speed of sound?” He was not able to say, he replied calmly through his secretary, but pointed out that the answer was readily available in reference books. The headline in the New York Times gave readers this summary of the news story: “Einstein Sees Boston; Fails on Edison Test.”
In 1985, McGraw-Edison was absorbed into Cooper Industries, an industrial conglomerate based in Houston. Without an eponymous company selling new versions of Edison’s inventions, his fame would be subject to the normal wear and tear from the passage of time. It is not a little surprising how durable it has proven to be. One measure is a poll of Chinese who were asked in 1998 to list the best-known Americans: Ahead of Mark Twain, number four, and Albert Einstein, number three, and even ahead of Michael Jordan, number two, was Thomas Alva Edison. In the history of modern invention, Edison fortuitously lived at just the right time, close enough to the present to be associated with the origins of the modern entertainment business and also the basic electrical infrastructure needed for just about everything, yet not too late to be able to get away with claiming sole authorship of the inventions produced in close collaboration with a large but publicly invisible technical staff.
Another editorial praised the irreverence of the young woman who refused to respond to Edison’s exam questions seriously. Pig iron, she said, was so named because “it is unrefined.” See “Her Answer Proved Intelligence,” NYT, 12 May 1912. This was followed by “Mr. Edison’s Mistake Is Revealed,” NYT, 14 May 1921, which observed that Edison did not understand what a college education was designed to accomplish. The Chicago Tribune: “Can’t Answer Edison,” NYT, 11 May 1921. When Albert Einstein: “Einstein Sees Boston; Fails on Edison Test,” NYT, 18 May 1921. the annoying importuning: Paul Kasakove, untitled reminiscences, n.d., ENHS. Kasakove, a Cornell graduate who had majored in chemistry, tells a story about his first meeting with Edison as an applicant who had replied to a help-wanted advertisement. Kasakove was accompanied by the personnel manager and the plant superintendent, both of whom were terrified of Edison.