Einstein, who would be 131 today, needs no introduction. The foremost physicist of the 20th Century, he held a position at the Institute of Advanced Study, one of the most storied intellectual centers in the world. Nobel Prize. He published papers on such physics-related topics as molecular physics, thermodynamics, the behavior of photons, statistical mechanics, electromagnetism, fluid mechanics, quantum mechanics and so on. Before he became a professor he worked in the Swiss Patent Office for nearly a decade, evaluating the latest electrical inventions.

OK, he was a genius, we get it. But perhaps the best thing we can learn from Al was his humanity. He wasn’t a computer: he made mistakes, he had pet theories that he promoted even though they were patently wrong; he pooh-poohed other science that turned out to be true.

What we can learn from Einstein’s mistakes is that it’s alright to make them ourselves. Let’s make a glorious mess of that next project. Let’s try out something that probably won’t work. Let’s tilt at the windmills of established thought. Who knows, we might learn something?

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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