14 July, 2006

My Heroes: (4) Albert Einstein

1879 - 1955
Look at that fabulous photograph! It looks like an archetypical image of a genius who couldn't tie his own shoe laces; hairstyle courtesy of Van De Graaff Generator . A female aquaintance told me that I should not admire Albert Einstein because "he was unkind to the woman in his life". I don't know if that is true or not. It is certainly hinted at in various places but it poses an interesting question: Whom should we admire? Are there criteria?
I believe a person should be regarded on the quality of their merits because none of us are perfect. Should the acheivments of Churchill be negated because of his drinking habits? Or should Isaac Newton not be recognised for his 'genius' because of his caustic personality? Anyway, I digress. Back to Einstein.
The qualities that impress me most are twofold. Firstly he had the most amazing imagination ("Imagination is more important than knowledge" he once said). At the age of 16 he had tried to imagine what it would be like to ride on a beam of light. That was ten years before he published the Special Theory of Relativity.
Secondly I admire his humility. He thought of his work merely as a step toward the next big advance. He is quoted as saying: "When I am judging a theory, I ask myself whether, if I were God, I would have arranged the world in such a way."

86 Comments:

Blogger Stephen Simmonds said...

Hi Bazza,

Interesting and thoughtful comments on Einstein, who is certainly someone I admire. Likewise, I think his personal failings should be recognised, but not focused upon. People Einstein respected are also people I have respect for, eg Ghandi, Russell [whose failings towards women are at least equally notable], Spinoza. We cannot be perfect, but we can aspire, and make important contributions.
And despite what I say to my wife in jest, imagination is essential to what makes us human and what helps us aspire.




Regards
Stephen Simmonds
http://stephensimmonds.blogspot.com

PS I too saw Segovia around the same time. I believe it was in Poole, 1983.

Sunday, July 23, 2006  
Blogger business voodoo said...

awesome blog ... beautiful pictures and one of my favorite historic people ... my favorite thing he ever said, quite prophetically i fear is ...

'the fourth world war will be fought with sticks and stones.'

i work every day that this third world war we will be in will be our last and whether we destroy ourselves to the degree einstein forecast or not, we learn the lesson that violence is violence and violence NEVER solves anything.

keep up the great work!
peace & harmony,
elaine
'freedom must be exercised to stay in shape!'

Monday, July 24, 2006  
Blogger jim said...

Einstein crosses all boundaries, cults, religions, all of them go for him and claim him.

He said, I read, that he was inspired by Genesis verses of the creation, and with the knowledge and math he had, he put two and two together and revolutionized the world. I believe that.

Forget the private stuff, that is just supposed to stay private I think, not become his public being.

Great posts Bazza.

Monday, July 24, 2006  
Blogger AnoNick said...

Einstein was a truly great scientist. Being a student of Physics, I can say I admire him deeply. I like him as a human being too: simple, humble.

I'd like to say, though, that sometimes having too simplistic a world-view doesn't help. That is not something people should learn from Einstein. :)

Nice blog. Great series on your heroes. :-)

Sunday, August 06, 2006  
Blogger kathy said...

I just love his hair! its so wild!

the link: hairstyle courtesy of Van De Graaff Generator ...cracked me up! yeah!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006  
Blogger Bazza said...

Isn't that a wonderful photo, Kathy? Crazy picture, crazy guy!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006  
Blogger Rob said...

When a student I had a picture of him on my wall.
I admire his famous quotes, like the one Elaine mentions about the fourth World war.

I once had an off-beat friend who thought he had found a flaw in The Theory of Relativity!

Also a philosopher I knew said, "Einstein is where Physics took a wrong direction."

For myself I have no idea!

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