Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Einstein, Mao,and Me

How can someone resist procrastinating when stumbling on an article like this? Dennis Overbye's profile of Xu Liangying, the foremost translator of Einstein's works in China, and a communist revolutionary turned dissident. From humble beginnings:

The love affair between Dr. Xu, who was born in Linhai, Zhejiang, in 1920, and Einstein began when Dr. Xu was in secondary school and read a collection of Einstein’s essays called “The World as I See It.” The book had as much politics as science. In one passage that the young Xu underlined, Einstein wrote: “The state is made for man, not man for the state. I regard the chief duty of the state to protect the individual and give him the opportunity to develop into a creative personality.”

Dr. Xu said, “I wanted to be such a person.”

Einstein's outlook on intellectual freedom developed into a source of political philosophy that got Xu into more trouble than not. Definitely worth a few wasted minutes at work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just Some Facts About

Albert Einstein was born on March 14, 1879, around 11:30 AM LMT, in the city of Ulm in W�rttemberg, Germany, about 100 km east of Stuttgart. His father was Hermann Einstein, a salesman who later ran an electrochemical works, and his mother was Pauline, n�e Koch. They were married in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. Albert's family members were all non-observant Jews and he attended a Catholic elementary school. At the insistence of his mother, he was given violin lessons. Though he initially disliked the lessons, and eventually discontinued them, he would later take great solace in Mozart's violin sonatas.