[ExI] article highly recommended

David Lubkin lubkin at unreasonable.com
Sun Sep 2 21:48:34 UTC 2018

Spike wrote:

>Oh that is a fun paradox, but consider for a moment those who follow 
>the big-name scientists and such.  We go to a schmooze with them, 
>work up the courage, go up and introduce oneself.  In the science 
>world (and math (and really every technical field)) there durn sure 
>is something very much equivalent to the old social rank, but now 
>you have to earn it rather than being born into it.  Nobody gives a 
>hoot about Richard Feynman's son or Isaac Asimov's son (both of whom 
>are nice guys but they aren't their fathers.)  When we go to a 
>science schmooze and meet a science god, a lot of them will treat me 
>like their equal.  This is a perfect example of a great form of 
>condescension, for they really are my superior in every way I care 
>about, and oh that feels good.  I thank those who do that.

Carl Feynman used to go to Sasha's parties; he is indeed a nice guy. 
David Asimov was caught with a very large stash of illegal naughty, 
so maybe not. But your point holds, even if your example doesn't.

And I've found that, yes, the great minds are approachable. They 
don't (usually) mind discussing why they're right and you're wrong as 
if you were a junior colleague, so long as you aren't nasty in your 
disagreement. It's the ones who don't really know their stuff who 
lean on their status.

-- David.

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