Thursday, December 20, 2007

Einstein & good music

This morning, I listened to two lengthy podcasts about Einstein, one exploring his ethics, and one his creativity. The first was a combination of Krista Tippett's (host of American Public Media's program Speaking of Faith) interviews with S. James Gates, Jr. and Thomas Levenson. The second was a speech given by Walter Isaacson in Silicon Valley.

This page gives a good rundown of the particulars of the first podcast, with a number of excellent quotes: Einstein's Ethics. One of my favorites:

The world was promised freedom from fear. But, in fact, fear has increased tremendously since the termination of the war. The world was promised freedom from want, but large parts of the world are faced with starvation while others are living in abundance. As far as we the physicists are concerned, we are no politicians. But we know a few things that the politicians do not know. That there is no escape into easy comfort. There is no distance ahead for proceeding little by little and delaying the necessary changes into an indefinite future. The situation calls for a courageous effort, for a radical change in our whole attitude and the entire political content.
The idea of politicians delaying change into an indefinite future is a concept to which, I imagine, people from every period in history can relate.

You can listen to Isaacson's speech (and, I believe, the Q&A that follows) here: Inside the Mind of Einstein.

On a related note, I discovered something on the Speaking of Faith website: if you search for "musical score", you will be presented with a list of playlists from archived programs, composed of just the music used (in segues and what not). I'm currently listening to the playlist for Einstein and the mind of God. Good stuff. Especially if you want excellent, non-obtrusive music, say, for work (or blogging!).

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