: geniuses and other smarty-pants :

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Theoretical physics isn’t for birdbrains. It’s for certified, card carrying geniuses, people with big, towering IQs, like Einstein and Galileo and Stephen Hawking.

The basic 3-lb. brain most of tote around comes with a serviceable, but unspectacular, IQ in the 85 to 115 range. Such numbers, I’m sure, would scandalize a physicist, theoretical or otherwise. Their IQ scores, after all, sound more like body weight. Take Galileo, for instance, he had an estimated IQ of 185.

Einstein punched in with an estimated 160, a score that put him in a 3-way tie with Copernicus and the writer, George Eliot. Okay, Copernicus I can understand, but George Eliot? Really? I don’t know much about Eliot, except: she wrote under a man’s name; her book, Silas Marner, was a snoozer; and Henry James criticized her stuff as being long on science and short on art. So, see, there’s that science thing again — still, George Eliot?

I mean, this is Einstein we’re talking about, the genius’s genius. A guy who amused himself by doing incomprehensible, hieroglyphic-like equations and enigmatic thought experiments. His is the brain behind the theory of relativity and quantum theory and the existence of dark matter and a lot of other subatomic stuff I don’t understand. Smart doesn’t even scratch the surface.

As brainy as he was, though, he spent the last 30 years of his life searching for a Unified Field Theory, a simple way to explain the forces of electricity and gravity and magnetism as aspects of a common phenomenon. He believed there was an alternative to quantum mechanics, which described everything in terms of chance and probabilities — a principle he refused to consider. But he never found the answer he sought. You know why?

Because he rarely wore socks, that’s why.

How can a guy think when his feet are cold? It’s distracting, you know? And uncomfortable. If he’d just put on a nice pair of warm wool socks, well, bingo; there’s his Unified Field Theory. No muss, no fuss.

Sheesh, for want of a sock, the world is without a more complete understanding of the universe. If only, right?

Copyright © publikworks 2013

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