Sir Isaac Newton, you know, the scientist who got hit by an apple while sitting under an apple tree with a book!
That happened in the XVII century.
Today, we’ll scratch the surface of our heads to get some insights into one of the most renowned geniuses of all times — and we’ll look a little bit at Einstein, Sherlock Holmes, Socrates and Edison too at the same time.
No worries, we are not solving boring, differential equations or a complex problem; this is a five hundred words post. So, are you ready to warm up your brain?
Okay, let’s start with this one:
What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.
Think a bit about it. Most probably, the English mathematician meant that we humans are ignorant beings by nature?
Who knows. The intriguing thought is quite similar to that one of Socrates, the Greek philosopher who once said I know that I know nothing.
Now, can you get any insight from quote number two?
In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.
Apart from the fact that Newton is widely known for being a religious person, this quote sounds like a poetic way to describe abductions — not alien abductions like in a sci-fi movie, I mean abductive reasoning.
It is important to understand how the logical mind works.
Did you know that abductions are one of the pillars of logic along with deductions and inductions? Abductions, also called inferences to the best explanation, are kind of probable conclusions drawn from a few observable premises.
Newton might well have meant that God just exists necessarily in absence of any other premises, in the same vein to Sherlock Holmes’s statement:
When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
This is Newton’s quote number
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
A phrase such as this one could literally evoke a picture of Gulliver and the Lilliputs as in the famous book of Jonathan Swift — let’s remember we are in the XVII century.
However, there’s no correlation between Newton and Gulliver at all.
Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels was first published in October 1726 and Isaac Newton died in March 1727, from which it’s deduced an 83-year-old Newton could not have read Swift’s book by any means — the discoverer of gravity would have had less than one year left only to do so.
Well, who knows. What if Swift and Newton were close friends?
It is clear. The «standing on the shoulders of giants» thing reflects nothing less than a hacker’s mindset.
The physicist came up with new ideas thanks to the knowledge base already built by the previous humankind at his lifetime, because it certainly doesn’t make any sense to reinvent the wheel each time you are contributing to science, right?
Let’s crack on analysing riddles that just rack your brains.
My powers are ordinary. Only my application brings me success.
Not Linus Torvalds nor Bill Gates nor Mark Zuckerberg, but this is Newton hundreds of years ago!
Patience and stubbornness seem to be definitely present at a genius level.
|Einstein||I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.|
|Edison||I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.|
The smartest people of all times in history of planet Earth agree when it comes to recognizing stupidity in fellow human beings.
|Einstein||The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.|
|Goethe||Why look for conspiracy when stupidity can explain so much.|
|Newton||I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.|
|Voltaire||The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.|
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