The Exceptional Twins

They varied in creed and circumstance.

They were the same in Temperament and interest.

They were exceptionally invariant in their passion.

They were the exceptional invariant twins.

invariant_twins

You don’t chose your passion, your passion choses you — Jeff Bezos

Passion breeds talent — Stanislas Dehaene

Passion requires Temperament — David M. Keirsey

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One Ring that Binds Them All

rings_that_bind

They were her boys.

And she revolutionized the way to they thought about things.

And she proved it.

No, not a physical proof, for there is no such thing.  But a Mathematical proof.  Ironclad, never changing — Well almost.

To imitate, but not too much, if our discipline is not to become a marsh, a large one to be sure, but stagnant, with neither life nor movement. First imitate to learn, and then renew ourselves. … I love, at least when I am able, to regard science from a personal point of view, and always, again when possible, go beyond current opinions and look at the problem from a new perspective. I have the impression that some ways must be left behind, some mental habits must be abandoned, if we are not to clip the wings of progress. Even to science we must sometimes repeat Charon’s cry: By another way, by other ports, not here, you will find passage across the shore. In my role as teacher I hope to be able to show you other ways, if not other ports. — Giuseppe Vitali

Emmy was a teacher too.  And she fabricated some mathematics that binds them all, as they sought their own passages and ports of call. The Rings that Bind.

For she had had obstacles and a vast ocean to cross in her own passage in life — she was able to reach another shore and dwell for only a short while.  But her perspective and rings will live on forever.

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We ought not to die, before we explain ourselves to each other

Adams-Jefferson

“…that we ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other…”

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams wrote these words in letters to each other, after both had retired from public life. Each was a founding father of the United States of America and each served as President. Jefferson, an Architect Rational, was a Virginian, tall and lanky, and a brilliant writer, but middling speaker. He relied partly on John Adams, an arrogant Fieldmarshal Rational from Massachusetts, pudgy and cantankerous, but a brilliant bulldog of a public speaker to persuade others.

This combination of the two was a very powerful dyad. The theoretical and Engineering brilliance of an Architect and the pragmatic determination of the Coordinating Rational has been seen in other pairs such as Lincoln and Grant,  Einstein and Bohr, and Ulam and Teller. In this combination, these two founders helped shape the United States from the beginning based on both their temperament and character, a unique combination of personality at a crucial time in political history.

In 1800, Thomas Jefferson defeated John Adams’ reelection bid for President of United States. It was the most acrimonious election of the country’s young history, and is considered the starting point of political parties in American politics. This was an unexpected situation given that a few years earlier, Jefferson and Adams had worked well together in the framing of the Constitution and were two people tasked by Congress to write of the Declaration of Independence.

In Washington’s two terms of office was when Adams and Jefferson parted company, their visions for America differing.   They became political opponents.   Adams became very bitter when Jefferson defeated him in the 1800 election.  Adams retired to a Massachusetts, they didn’t communicate until Madison’s second term in 1812.  Their friend Benjamin Rush wrote a letter to Adams, hoping they would reconcile.  Time and retirement of both seemed to heal the wounds.  Adams sent the first letter and with that they proceeded to correspond for the rest of their lives: both dying on the Fourth of July, Independence Day, 1826.

So how was it they didn’t understand each other?

“On the question, ‘What is the best provision?’, you and I differ; but we differ as rational friends, using the free exercise of our own reason, and mutually indulging it’s errors.” [emphasis added]

They were Rationals, interested in theoretical solutions to practical problems. Once the United States was on a seemingly solid basis, the two began to differ in their vision of how the government of the United States should proceed. Adams was not trustful of the republican democracy and was a Federalist — more concerned with creation and protection of wealth and strengthening the central government, whereas Jefferson was not trustful with the aristocracy in the form of Federalists and preferred a more representative and more autonomous version of the electorate, Agrarian in nature. Jefferson had supported the French revolution. He even said to Abigail Adams, John Adams’ wife, in a letter: “I like a little revolution now and then.”

Jefferson explained “our difference of opinion may in some measure be produced by a difference of character in those among whom we live.” But I think that Jefferson, the Engineer, more a libertarian in nature, had a faith in the rough and tumble of local politics. He had more of a distributed notion of democracy in the form of States rights and individual freedom. But Adams, a Coordinator, viewed the educated man and the man of inheritance as equal combatants in the balance of power between different branches of government. Realizing the common man had little or no interest, or skill to be involved with government, Adam had worried about unchecked democracy.

As Jefferson surmised:

 “We acted in perfect harmony through a long and perilous contest for our liberty and independence. A constitution has been acquired which, though neither of us think perfect, yet both consider as competent to render our fellow-citizens the happiest and the securest on whom the sun has ever shone. If we do not think exactly alike as to it’s imperfections, it matters little to our country which, after devoting to it long lives of disinterested labor, we have delivered over to our successors in life, who will be able to take care of it, and of themselves.”

So both Adams and Jefferson had confidence in the American Temperament to prosper.

Within the Edge of …

October 27, 1992

His voice was bubbly and full of enthusiasm: “You know it’s tantalizing.  — I feel I’m on the edge of something.”

That was last thing he said to his wife.

“In considering the relationship between the finite and the infinite, we are led to observe that the whole field of the finite is inherently limited, in that it has no independent existence. It has the appearance of  independent existence, but that appearance is merely the result of an abstraction of our thought.  We can see this dependent nature of the finite from the fact that every finite thing is transient…”

He had developed his own interpretation — a non-local hidden variable deterministic theory, the predictions of which agree perfectly with the nondeterministic quantum theory. His work and the EPR argument became the major factor motivating John Bell‘s inequality, the consequences of which are still being investigated. [Wikipedia, revised]

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No Hero, just an engineer.

It was seconds to running out of fuel.

But, he had an outward calm about him.

Yes, the Eagle has landed.

No doubt, the Crafter Artisan, Chuck Yeager, another test pilot, the first to break sound barrier, might have been impressed, although Yeager being very competitive in nature, he might not have openly expressed it.  Why give that “engineer” any credit?

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Dr. David West Keirsey

Meet my father from one of his students view.

 

Your Kids Aren't Sick

Madness, then, has a job to do, that is, to conceal our dark secret, so that we have an excuse for failing to live up to our expectations and for setting aside one or more of the tasks of life—working, communing, mating. The function of absurd rituals—madness—is thus concealment.                                         D. W. Keirsey

You may know him as the world-renowned author of Please Understand Me, Please Understand Me II, and his recent seminal work, Personology.  If you don’t, you should.  You can read more about David Keirsey here.  You can also go to his website here.  And you can visit his blog too.  Yes, at 91, he has a blog, here.  If that weren’t enough, believe it or not, his newest work – a treatise on madness – will…

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The Gift

He said softly, “I don’t see the point of us meeting.”

The conversation had essentially ended at that point.  It was a complex point. An awkward social moment in time.

Very likely he wouldn’t accept a gift of million dollars.

The Riemann Zeta Function.

It was a clopen topic to him; you see, it hadn’t anything to do with Mathematics proper.

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On the Shoulder of a Giant

If I have seen a little further,
it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.
Isaac Newton

We all know the quote. But often we don’t know the name of those Giants.

And she was not concerned that we know the true story, for in science, the shoulders are many and the results are what matter.

Newton’s giants were many: Copernicus, Galileo, Bruno, Kepler, Wallis, … But others were nameless.

Her giants included Newton, Haley, but also Annie Cannon.

And she was a giant, but who few know her name, for her almost contribution, or rather, her until recently uncredited contribution. For a man took that credit by publishing four years later essentially the same idea she had told him about — and that she deserved the real credit, for she was the first person to observe it and understand it.  Moreover, she had the imagination not blinded by “conventional wisdom:” the scientific heterodoxy, which wasn’t really science at the time, anyway. Consensus science is never a science.

But she didn’t know that…

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Pi Day and oh, That Icon

Nerds, mathematicians, lovers of all things circular today celebrate Pi Day, the day that honors π, one of the world’s most mysterious inspiring infinite mathematical constants. Pi Day is celebrated on March 14 at 1:59:26 p.m., the date and time which corresponds to the first eight digits of π, or 3.1415926. π . It, March 14th is, also, the birth day of a German physicist.  Those nerds like to think that they might figure out some of those mysteries, like that guy who’s birthday is March 14th, 1879.

By the way, if you don’t remember π  can be approximated, but never represented by anything finite, by:

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609…

For it’s a transcendental number.

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