Re: Is this true?
- From: Lance <lancegary@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 1 May 2012 11:40:33 -0700 (PDT)
On May 1, 4:40 pm, Peter Brooks <peter.h.m.bro...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On May 1, 2:49 pm, Lance <lanceg...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On May 1, 1:59 pm, Peter Brooks <peter.h.m.bro...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On May 1, 11:56 am, Lance <lanceg...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:> .
Oddly I don't think this excerpt tells us anything at all. I suspect
we all try to look at problems from as many different perspectives as
we can. That is hardly news. The difference between me and Einstein
doesn'nt lie in trying to view things from multiple points of view, it
lies in the fact that Einstein succeeds in finding new ways of viewing
things and I don't. But how Einstein succeeds isn't that clear from
No, you're probably right. My view is that working in the Patent
Office probably gave him precisely the sort of training required for
such inventive thought - not that history is littered with ex-
employees of Patent Offices who've made similar strides...
I suspect that the thinking required of patent clerks is largely
algorithmic. Procedures to check whether someone else has previously
filed a similar patent. Procedures to decide whether the patent is
sufficiently original. And the like. I think the advantage of
Einstein's period in the patent office was that the office was not
busy and he had time to think.
I'm not sure why, but the system threw away my reply to this - so,
here it is again, or a variant of it:
Perpetual motion machines are a perpetual diet of Patent Offices.
There is noting impossible about a perpetual motion machine, of
course, they only fail if you intend to draw any power from them.
In rejecting the proposed patent for a perpetual motion machine, you
can either point out that the law of conservation of energy forbids
their operation, or look at the proposal and find the actual flaw that
the inventor hadn't spotted.
Einstein probably saw lots of these. I think that he must have
wondered, as every mechanically minded child must at some stage, if
there was a way around it. His discovery of the equivalence between
mass and energy is, if you look at it that way, a real solution to the
problem - more energy comes out of a nuclear power station than goes
into it, at least from the pre-Einstenian point of view.
So, at least in this discovery, and it is, of course, popularly
considered one of his top ones, I think that his Patent Office work
might have directly helped him.
Would that it were to create genius just by caring enough! But every
teacher knows that commitment and care don't always equal insight and
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