Best Of The Web
“‘The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One,’ wrote Albert Einstein in December 1926. ‘I am at all events convinced that He does not play dice.’
Einstein was responding to a letter from the German physicist Max Born. The heart of the new theory of quantum mechanics, Born had argued, beats randomly and uncertainly, as though suffering from arrhythmia. Whereas physics before the quantum had always been about doing this and getting that, the new quantum mechanics appeared to say that when we do this, we get that only with a certain probability. And in some circumstances we might get the other.
Einstein was having none of it, and his insistence that God does not play dice with the Universe has echoed down the decades, as familiar and yet as elusive in its meaning as E = mc2. What did Einstein mean by it? And how did Einstein conceive of God?
Hermann and Pauline Einstein were nonobservant Ashkenazi Jews. Despite his parents’ secularism, the nine-year-old Albert discovered and embraced Judaism with some considerable passion, and for a time he was a dutiful, observant Jew. Following Jewish custom, his parents would invite a poor scholar to share a meal with them each week, and from the impoverished medical student Max Talmud (later Talmey) the young and impressionable Einstein learned about mathematics and science. He consumed all 21 volumes of Aaron Bernstein’s joyful Popular Books on Natural Science (1880). Talmud then steered him in the direction of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781), from which he migrated to the philosophy of David Hume. From Hume, it was a relatively short step to the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, whose stridently empiricist, seeing-is-believing brand of philosophy demanded a complete rejection of metaphysics, including notions of absolute space and time, and the existence of atoms.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"With the weakest of hands, an economy not much larger than that of Spain, and a GDP per capita several thousand dollars smaller than Malaysia, he has asserted massive negative influence over the globalized world."
"Scarcely hours after the titanic drubbing Democrats delivered to President Trump's GOP in the 2018 midterm elections, the 2020 presidential campaign began in deeply unwelcome earnest."
"US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital exactly one year ago, breaking with decades of international consensus in the process. What was the historic move and what impact has it had?"
"With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011."
"Have the scars of the housing bust turned us away from the American dream of homeownership? Survey data suggest otherwise.... We simply can’t afford to pursue that dream right now.'
"Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme... the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day."
"Parties, private jets, and multimillion-dollar paintings: Art Basel Miami is part of a global network of art fairs that have transformed the worldwide art market."
"Dutton Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House, is releasing a series of tiny books that give the act of reading a studied whimsy."
"The presence was so disruptive, she added, that some children had a hard time when their parents left. Others were disappointed that their parents did not come for lunch."
"The kitchen — named after the Hebrew phrase “L’Chaim,” which means, “To Life!” — features a menu of Americanized Jewish food items such as pastrami on rye, potato knish with herb sour cream..."
"Life on the sprawling grasslands precipitated a shift from individualistic ways of living to more cooperative ways. This was the birth of what you might call “social intelligence,” and it changed the way our minds work."
"When you have headlines about “white privilege” and “evil white men,” Jews become the epitome of whiteness—except, of course, for neo-Nazis, who see Jews as hyper-integrationists."