Einstein is Human

Thanks to 3 Quarks Daily (again), a pointer to a story covering the press reaction to the release of thousands of pages of Einstein's personal correspondence. Tongue in cheek, the article is titled, Einstein in Lust. In it the author, Joshua Roebke, writes:

"Phys-sex Genius" wrote the headline wizards at the New York Post. Fox News, another Murdochian outlet, posted a story by on-air personality Neil Cavuto to its website, titled, "Albert Einstein: Genius, Stud Muffin." "E = Einstein, the galactic womanizer," quipped The Sunday Times, UK. "Albert Einstein, sex-fiend" wrote the popular blog Boing Boing. Even a member of the extended Seed family, the ScienceBlog Pure Pedantry, included a post with the title, "Scientific Pimp."

Einstein's relationships with various women has never been a secret. Why this information would cause such a fooflah at a time when Paris Hilton faux pax are the stuff of legends is beyond me. Is this is supposed to make Einstein more 'human'? More interesting? Einstein's always been human. He's the most human, brilliant person I know of. As for interesting, lordie, something about his work comes to mind.

Another intriguing note in the article is that while the Western publications focused on Einstein's Love Life, the East focused on his work. The author points to his earlier work, Big in Japan, which discusses how in countries such as South Korea, China, and Japan, research scientists are hotter than rock stars.

In 2001, the Japanese government drafted a state policy that focused on winning 30 Nobel Prizes in 50 years. If the results of a 2002 poll are any indication, it might work: Japanese boys aspire to be research professors more than to be baseball stars, a level of academic aspiration not seen in the West since the space race. Science celebrity has moved East, building a culture that treats Nobels like Oscars and new discoveries like home-run records

(Hopefully, the Japanese government is also encouraging Japanese girls in science, though I'm not optimistic in this regard.)

The West might want to get its priorities straight: lust is cheap, science lasts forever.

Reflections: