Monday, October 19, 2009

What Would Einstein Do?

Just taking a break here at Starbucks [coming to you LIVE, folks!] as I am absorbing my third pint of coffee... admittedly I'm a bit hyper... I feel like talking about Einstein.

As you know, I'm reading this biography of the man!
Even though from time to time I really get bogged down in the strictly mathematical stuff, nonetheless, I find the character and personality of Albert Einstein to be just endlessly fascinating.
And Walter Isaacson is a terrific writer. I cannot fathom the research that must have gone into the writing of this brick of a book.

Remember the bracelet fad [perhaps it is still a fad, I don't know, I've been out of the Christian loop for a while now] of the WWJD thing?
As in, What Would Jesus Do?
Well, in a whimsical way, I find that when I put the book aside and just live life, often I find myself wondering What Would Einstein Do?
Or maybe more correctly, what would Einstein SAY!
Because so often in the book he comes out with some real good zingers!
What I love about the Einstein I am meeting in these pages is that he was such a non-conformist. He was not a joiner. Let's face it, he was eccentric in many ways. I mean, look at his hair and stuff!
And even when he was wicked famous, he [Gandhi-like] often preferred traveling third-class!

At one real snazzy event where he was to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Geneva [an institution founded by the great Protestant Reformer John Calvin] Einstein turned to a dignitary seated next to him and speculated, "Do you know what Calvin would have done had he been here?" The gentleman replied "No."
Einstein continued, "He would have erected an enormous stake and had us all burnt for our sinful extravagance."
Isaacson tells us that Einstein later recalled, "The man never addressed another word to me."

I like that. I just like his chutzpah!
Another Einstein moment that really cracked me up was when he is again at a very regal ceremony and he is enduring speech after boring speech by all these other people, and he leans to the Dutch diplomat seated next to him and says, "I've just developed a new theory of eternity."

For years and years Einstein The Genius worked at [of all things] a patent office. He was a patent clerk.
And for years before this, he could find no job whatsoever. Just imagine how crazy that is. A genius of this magnitude, forced into working at just a normal old job!
And so all day today as I worked at my very very extremely menial physically-outrageous job, I thought of Einstein.
What Would Einstein Do?
Surely if he worked alongside me, together [us two geniuses] we would be able to come up with some easier way to do things. At the very least, he may be able to invent some way for time itself to go quicker.
Some way for me to have been drinking coffee here at Starbucks a lot sooner.



Beth said...

I love this one! "I've just developed a new theory of eternity."

Stefanie said...

A new theory of eternity, that's a good one. Does the book talk at all about his wife and the fact the she was a mathematician and helped Einstein with is theories?

cipriano said...

Beth, I honestly laughed when I read it in the book.... I just pictured the WAY Einstein would have said this -- it cracks me up!

Stefanie, oh yes, Isaacson acknowledges the role of his first wife Mileva Maric. His next wife Elsa..... wow, she was so different than Mileva. At one press conference in America, just as they were leaving the room Elsa was asked if she understood relativity.
"Oh no, although he has explained it to me many times," she replied. But it is not necessary to my happiness."