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Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings…
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Einstein's Mistakes: The Human Failings of Genius (2008)

by Hans C. Ohanian

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Maybe I was right not to like either multiple-biography, which tends to be sloppy, or even biographical monograph, which risks becoming like any other sort of monograph, {and then, on August 24th, Sheldon made another mistake, Ok Sheldon, we get it, No, Sheldon made another mistake} -- although, of course, even normal single biography has a lot of driftwood....

"Your mom": Well, since you're not watching anything--

(Well, technically I am *reading* something-- I didn't know that Dvorak wrote a cello concerto in New York, although I've known for awhile that that was where he wrote "From the New World".... no, actually, I thought that he was in the Pacific Northwest for some reason)

.... why don't we turn on the Science Channel?

"R.A. Dickey": Wow, this is great, I never realized how big the earth was before.... before, right now.

*drama voice, with Czech accent* Reading this book had led me to question, all that I onced believed.

Actually, I bought this book when I was questioning all that I once believed, although, now, I'm not sure that the dry print has kept up with me that well.

I mean....

I wonder, if Joseph Haydn ever made any mistakes? Somehow, I'm inclined to say, 'no', because.... well, just because, and also because that's basically what Mozart said, and that stuck in my mind, somehow.

Sheldon: A monkey could have written your theory!

Lenard: Yeah, well, a stupid monkey could have written yours!

Perspective is a funny beast, because it's so different, when it's far away. (Just like my feelings about Penny-- better, when farther away.)

Raj: *relieved* Well, at least nobody can criticize me, or anything. *he picks up a copy of 'New Moon'*

[Although, actually, Bella is a bastard American girl, too, just like Emma Stone-- see below.]

And, you know, the Wikipedia article in Polish on the planet Mars is pretty good, and, if you think about it, Poland is, to science, like Nebraska or something, only without R.A. Dickey or whatever or that annoying way they have of talking and sounding, which is why everyone hates that dumb place to begin with.

And, this revelation has inspired my newest intellectual adventure, which is..... 'naukowiec', (scientist/scholar), nom pl 'naukowcy', m, which would be masculine-virile, (what I call a "Ringo" noun-- Ringo/octopus/rock), although it must be irregular, because the nominative isn't the same as the.... accusative, or, whatever.

The scientist hated the scientists.

Naukowiec (hated) naukowców. (plural, accusative {direct object}).

I suppose in much the same way that I hate girls from America, since they all remind me of scientists.

But, I suppose that it's all a matter of personal preference, in the end....

"And it does not deal at all with the mistakes that misguided souls imagine.... (relativity)...."

Well, in Strawberry Fields nothing is real.

(WHY can't I get that *voice* out of my head?)

Expert texpert choking smokers, don't you think the joker laughs at you.

Out of college, money spent, see no future, pay no rent, all the money's gone, nowhere to go.

But, oh, that magic feeling-- nowhere to go.

But, oh, that magic feeling-- nowhere to go.

Oh, is that Rachael Ray I hear?

And there's her husband, the lawyer who's in the rock band.

I bet that Cicero would rip up a rock band, you know....

"These mistakes in his scientific work are less well known than the mistakes in his personal life, but they are ultimately more important."

Well, that's a bigger hoax than Roswell.

WHY can't I get that VOICE out of my HEAD.

.... (dismisses voice) I mean, ultimately, this is a lot like that technical piece on the Nazi-Soviet War I read awhile ago.

Persona Non Grate in Polish Pemberly.

.... (no.... no, the voice.... the voice!)

Ringo, octopus, rock.

I like the rocks the best, what about you

......

It reminds me of this girl-type that buys the big truck so that she can act like she's in the mafia. A cowardly sort of person. Compromising their identity.

*British voice* A-hahaha, I'm a jackass too! It's an accomplishment, if you think about it.

(*pauses* Or maybe Raj voice.)

But anyway, I think that Polish girls still have this 'mafia = bad' idea locked pretty firmly into their brains, thus making them more desirable as mates. And anyway, I've pretty much had it with the women's mafia.

And Russian women are pretty nice too, but there's no reason to make the linguistic barrier any more difficult than it has to be. (And Russian ballet works either way.)

The point is, that if somebody's got to be left in the lurch, it ought to be the person that deserves it. (And not just the person that has the highest rank in the sci-fi mafia, or who can pull the dirtiest trick, or whatever. And letting those Polish girls that would die to have a husband, go without, and wasting it all on these stupid American bitches who don't even want it, who want to 'escape' from their life-- I can't even think of an appropriate insult.... Because I don't think that Rachael Ray represents American womanhood anymore, I think that the mafia girl from the popular science fiction series does, and that's why I'm leaving this place-- leaving it to the dogs, really. I hope you enjoyed winning the Cold War, America, because now you're working on closing the collapse gap, in my opinion.... {And I actually know a Russian who's been saying that for about ten years, now, just so you know.... I don't know, but the Soviet Union doesn't work out, and the academics have had about my whole life, basically, to figure that out, and if they talk about anything-- I mean, except the actual election, I guess-- but if they talk about anything, they just don't get it-- {they haven't even seen Seinfeld Season Two, for God's sake!}, It's still 1985, I'm still not born yet-- what bullshit. I was born. I was actually born the year that Poland became free, come to think of it....}.... {I mean, the Beatles told people that Mao was a bad dude, and the academics wanted to deport them, basically, so I guess that's where Nixon got the idea.... and wasn't Nixon more like an academic than a beatle, anyway? This is what I mean....}.... I mean, if there's a chance, then it's too much, in my opinion-- *Robin voice* Oh, don't worry kids, there's only a thirty percent chance that you'll be murdered by the communists. ~ Well, then that's too much.... I mean, that's why people left Poland.... and now I'm not sure.... *I* am *not* going over there, myself, so it's *technically* still going in the same direction, a-hahaha. {And anyway, it's not impossible-- they do know how to grow food in Poland, and they have everything that you actually need-- just like Netherfield Park, only with more technology.... It's like the Shire, or something-- with the internet....}.... Wow, that's funny.... And, you know, it does kinda matter which countries produce cheese, and which produce "news", ('Rachael Ray, whom we would have murdered straight off back in the 70s, still doesn't represent American womanhood the way that the sci-fi mafia bitch does'-- Well, then, maybe I should go.... because if it's true, then I'm leaving, and anyway.... although mostly the news is about Syria-- well, Matt Damon was talking about Syria way back in 2005, although I guess the Syrians that are getting murdered by them don't think it's all as artsy he does....), because, you know, back when Turkey was the advanced country ('empire'), (*) people left Europe-- read Mozart's life story, that's about eighty to hundred years after people like him stopped leaving Europe for Turkey, so just magnify his problems by ten or thirty, and then you'll see why it was worth it [and we can only imagine if he was contemplating it while he was writing any particular piano concerto]-- and then, because of Hitler and everything, people started leaving Europe for America [both before and after, and especially afterwards, just generally all sorts of people-- "Logan Mountstuart" left Britain because his house got destroyed and his wife killed, and I'm sure that he wasn't the only one with a story like that to tell] -- and this even matters to the science departments and prestige people and such, but, basically, it just matters if you don't want to get blown up or raped or something..... and, and then? What happens after that?....)

{(*) Someone once asked me what an empire is. (Penny, although an Arab Penny. I forget what I said, because I didn't really answer-- one gets un-accustomed to receiving direct questions, and answering them.) An empire is simply a country that rules other countries. (Therefore, America was an empire from about 2003-2004.) But, as America proved in Vietnam, an "empire" is simply an advanced country that has a suicidal desire to hobble itself. (And watch about 9,000 Clint Eastwood movies-- therefore, America is an "empire".) And this self-crippling, (self-inflicted wound) can be accomplished simply by mass conscription and foreign deployment. (Israel is not really an empire-- just a country full of crazy people.... {Like Texas. But Texas is our friend, sorta.... And then there's immigration, which is weird, and things that just generally aren't true-- Canada isn't Australia, but they are to the Imperial London point of view, but cold is not like heat.... Although Emma Stone is like a "person", in theory. {#} And cute like Stalin. Or an Arab..... Or an Israeli, or a Belfaster. Petty little empires, petty little people....}) And, so it is possible to be an "empire" without having the trappings, such as taxes, (foreign, involuntary) taxes, looting, (to wit: the Americans did not loot Baghdad, they simply failed to perform the actions of a civil government-- as a pseudo-government, it is somewhat similar to an "empire"-- sorta like 'your mom' acting arbitrarily and forcing you to do something arbitrarily is a little oppressive, but it's not an "empire" thing that you'd call the responsible people in the government about, quite), or crimes in the imperial places, and all the the forms and trappings that a proper British dictionary empire would have-- or an empire in the Russian or the Napoleonic sense, a real bastard situation.... (And then there's Napoleon III, who's more like an "empire" in the disturbing uncle sense).... So, I guess that you could say that some situations are a bastard.... It's a very American sort of empire-- it's a bastard, it's just not *enough* of a bastard for you to get any free money or any sympathy from people who'd rather just write you off as a nazi or something, because that's just where they're coming from, you know.}

(.... Is New Jersey still the haven from oppression that it once was. I don't know, maybe now we're the ones that need help-- technically speaking, I think that this is still an emergency relief area, now, right.... I know that that question might sound absurd, but I really am starting to seriously consider whether or not the epithet 'Garden State' might be more deserved by Poland....)

(..... Soviet Union, 1956-- (*Lenard voice*) The past was bad, but the Soviet Union, can change. (Although, to be fair, the 60s were a decade of stagnation in Russia.) Soviet Union, 1985-- (*Sheldon voice*) Oh my god, we've got to change. {We can't go on living like this!!!!} Soviet Union, 1991-- (*Howard voice*) Russia, it will change, my friends! Pass the vodka.... {And, if we were going to write parallel histories, don't you think that 146 B.C.E. would fit rather well with 1945 C.E.?.... Ignorant Irish monk: *moment of lucidity* When dealing with nothing but the years counted by the rule of the king, it is difficult to compare the history of one land, to that of another.... but what if we gave them something, that everyone could understand....} And such was the dream of Scipio.)

[{#} People who snub me and insult me because they think that I don't matter, and I guess that they just don't care or don't realize that eventually it just sours my opinion of the lot of them. Okay, bastard American girl, you know what I think of you.... I think that you're no 'kobieta'.]

[I mean, one of the white old men (**) told me that revolutions happen when things are changing-- but not quickly enough. So, maybe it's time that we sent the bastard American girl to the philosophical execution-block, if we *really* want to be French....]

[ (**) actually, he was probably a Jew, they all are-- the Arab complained about that, actually, although it wasn't quite as imagined as the idea that the Jews rule Saudi Arabia or whatever.... I mean, it's not that *I* minded; I'm not an Arab-- it's just that all of my classes were cancelled on every Jewish holiday, that's all.... Wouldn't it be fun if all of my classes got cancelled on every Wiccan holiday! But, I wasn't a Wiccan then-- and, besides, the only Wiccans are these gay older women who are about as romantic as your average.... professor, thus making them gross hypocrites, to try to turn a fertility religion into a women's mafia issue.]

[.... and it's also a little funny, because I'm sure you know that most black guys are good sportsmen and their habits and customs are not very similar to those of Jews, but, once I had this old guy professor who I think really was a Jew-- I mean, they really were Jews, you know, it's kinda funny-- but, anyway, the black guy was the favorite of the Jew, and it was odd the way he acted, he acted a bit like a Jew, only in a *slightly* black way-- they both had a way of putting you off, you know. I guess I didn't like it as much, partly because of it. They did sorta act like characters in a propaganda movie-- alot of people do, really.... 'This is what happens in America!' Sometimes, it is a bit like an Arab propaganda movie. It sure seems real to me. This sure doesn't *seem* like Strawberry Fields, you know.]

["Dogs Against Romney". Well, I guess that their participation was effective!

.... I guess that if Romney had won, the Society Against Cruelty To Animals would have staged an uprising! A vertiable Rebel Alliance!

*shakes head* I could never have imagined that someone would actually say something like that. If you just repeat it, you know.

And I can only imagine what would have happened to our pets if Mayor Bloomberg were president. Perhaps he would bewitch the cat and we would need to find a church in Chicago with Bruce Willis so that he could cast out the evil spirit.

.... Oh, and I recently saw him on TV, a month or two ago.]

'De Offis'-- On Duties.

[Americans act with violence. (Americans act) przemocą. (singular only, instrumental {"with")]

[Violence is.... love. No. Violence is.... power. Right, or 'empire'. I love your empire; let's go listen to The Doors. No. Violence is.... violence. Violence is.... fighting, sport. *No*, violence is-- violence. Murder is violence, and violence is violence. Get it? Oh, *yes*. Violence is like.... drowning a baby. Killing a baby. Not nice.]

[~ And Tully told them that Caelio didn't do "vis" (violence) because how could you let them think that he did something so bad, if he didn't really do it, even though he didn't really like the guy so much anymore, how could you let them think that about him. And so he explained. And so he did that when he was fifty, like how Tom Cruise is fifty. And then, after that, Mozart wrote an opera about the somnius-dream of Scipio, except he called it Il sogno di Scipione. And he did that when he was fifteen. When I was fifteen I was probably skipping French class or something. I don't think that they had Italian.]

[~Did you ever skip Italian, well, I don't really care, nevermind.]

[*checks notes* Oh, I get it now-- it was the accusative singular and plural to the genitive; it actually has nothing to do with the nominative. *checks declension chart* Yeah, see that makes sense now. And, that's basically what this book was about. Math, and stuff. But it's really not as bad as killing a baby octopus or something.]

But you know what I'd really like, is to see John Lennon smack Bazarov in the face so hard, that he goes numb.

And not comfortably, either.

(7/10) ( )
  Tullius22 | Jan 4, 2013 |
Interesting book ... as much for insights into Einstein's personal life and character as it is for how Einstein developed his works. Good discussion of how Einstein's work was received by various members of the physics and math communities. Excellent elucidation of how errors feed creativity. The last chapter sums up the trial and error nature of Einstein's work and shows how progress does not occur in a straight line. ( )
  rondoctor | Mar 1, 2011 |
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Errors are the portals of discovery.
--James Joyce, Ulysses
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TO MY OLDEST FRIEND
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This book is a forensic biography that dissects Einstein's scientific mistakes.
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"I will reign the game"
On Tuesday, June 24, 1969, Albert Einstein drove Donald Crowhurst into madness.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393062937, Hardcover)

Fresh insights into aspects of Einstein we don't usually consider: his mistakes and the role they played in the discovery of his theories.

Although Einstein was the greatest genius of the twentieth century, many of his ground-breaking discoveries were blighted by mistakes, ranging from serious misconceptions in physics to blatant errors in mathematics. For instance, Einstein's first theoretical proof of the famous formula E = mc2 was incomplete and only approximately valid; he struggled with this problem for many years, but he never found a complete proof (better mathematicians did). In this provocative forensic biography, Hans C. Ohanian dissects this and other mistakes and places them in the context of Einstein's turbulent life and times. Einstein was often navigating in a fog of irrational and mystical inspirations, but his profound intuition about physics permitted him to reach his goal despite—and sometimes because of—the mistakes he made along the way. Einstein's uncanny ability to use his mistakes subconsciously as stepping stones toward his revolutionary theories was one hallmark of his genius.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ohanian offers insights into aspects of Albert Einstein that many don't usually consider: his mistakes and the role they played in the discovery of his theories.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393062937, 0393337685

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