Sunday, June 19, 2011

No Einstein

I’m no Einstein. You’re probably not one either. But then, neither was he! No truly, so much nonsense has been ascribed to the myth. Look, not even Einstein floated around with his head in the clouds for twenty-four hours a day. He didn’t permanently have his brain stuffed full of formulas.

A person may be obsessed by something, but it won’t occupy his or her whole day. Like any dunderhead, Einstein had to feed the cat, mow the lawn and visit the bathroom. I don’t wish to denigrate the man, but in some respects he was not so hot. Rumor has it that some of his personal relationships were a mess.

Also, he couldn’t imagine how his discoveries might apply to everyday life. “It was always incomprehensible to me,” wrote old Albert, “why the theory of relativity, whose conceptions and problems were so far from practical life, found such a lively, even enthusiastic resonance in the broadest strata of the population.”

My point is this: there’s no sense in waiting for an Einstein to come along if there ain’t no such perfect entity. Just study the raw data. A good idea should stand on its own. In an ideal world, all of them would be given equal consideration. It should be irrelevant who holds the talking pillow. A murderer may say something inspirational. Herr Hitler might utter something noble. Even a little girl in a Rickmansworth café may have something earth-shaking to say.

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