Re: Dyson (Was: Paths to Uploading)

Michael S. Lorrey (
Sat, 09 Jan 1999 15:31:48 -0500

Billy Brown wrote:

> Terry Donaghe wrote:
> > We can forgive him for advocating the use of violence against the very
> > ones that support society (those that produce)??????? I'll have to
> > think very hard about that one..
> Rare is the man who can see one false meme in his own upbringing. Rarer
> still is he who sees more than one of them. No one can spot them all.

But we expect a genius to see more than the average, if not most.

> If we condemn Einstein because he failed to see the fallacies of the
> mainstream of thought in a field he did not even practice, we are expecting
> perfection. We might as well condemn all ancient Athenians who didn't rail
> against slavery, or all medieval scholars who failed to fight for women's
> rights.

Considering that women's rights was not even a recognised issue during medeival times, but is a product of the industrial revolution of the 1800's (indeed, even the first world women's rights convention in London had a hard time passing a resolution for women's sufferage).

That Einstein was able to pierce the veil of propaganda in Nazi Germany (run by a 'National Socialist Party' enough to flee very early on, but not the propaganda of the Soviet Union, when there was far more evidence of the falsity of the message of the Comintern, indicates a distinct amount of mental laziness. Ayn Rand was well known when Einstein wrote 'Why Socialism?', but he was not the only victim of socialist sympathy. Nicola Tesla, father of AC, radio, and the induction motor, was a croatian immigrant with distinct socialist sympathies, which did not hurt him until JP Morgan found out that he wanted to use his power broadcasting station concepts to give energy away free, and promptly cut his financing. Tesla made lots of money off of his inventions, despite a pathetic lack of business savvy.

> I'm sure future generations will see laughable fallacies and cruel injustice
> in practices that we find unobjectionable, as well. I hope they won't hold
> us to your standard.

Failure to hold people to standards higher than their societal norms is asking for regression. Einsteins weakness for socialism is merely evidence that he was no god, but merely a man. Genius is not a constant state which one applies to all parts of one's life. You only have to think great thoughts once to be considered a genius by many. Keep in mind that even in physics, his "God does not play dice with the universe" quote demonstrates that even his 'genius' became outmoded in his area of expertise by the 1930's.