Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Some Thoughts on Einstein

I'm currently reading an e-book titled "Einstein Defiant" by Edmund Blair Bolles, i was able to download the e-book from the national academies press website Although lately, it's been almost impossible to connect to the site.

Anyway, the book is about Einstein's life and work after the first world war, specifically it discusses the development of Einstein's work on quantum physics. I have not finished the book yet, but this has been the central focus of the chapter I have read so far.

So, I was reading the book when I came across this passage

"In Japan, Einstein enjoyed a triumphal tour that outdid even his huge successes in America and England. He conversed with Japan’s empress in French and was cheered by sold-out audiences who listened to him give scientific talks in German. His image filled newspapers. He played the violin, gazed on Mount Fuji, and attended kabuki theater.

There were also women. Folk wisdom reports: Your husband runs around with many other women? That’s not good. Your husband runs around with one other woman? That’s bad. Elsa had known from the start that her marriage to her cousin would not be so good. Her philandering husband would leave her at home to go off to an evening with somebody younger, prettier, and after he became world famous, what had been easy became even easier. The word groupie had yet to be coined, but young women who wanted to have sex with famous strangers were already common. Einstein was not as popular that way as, say, Babe Ruth, but neither was he ignored."

I have never thought about Einstein this way, as a man, who indulges his whims and passions. I know that I should have, all men are men, and the more things change, the more they stay the same. But it's hard to think of our heroes as less than heroes, maybe this passage can remind us that even the greatest heroes are also men with human weaknesses and that the weakest human can maybe become a hero

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