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(NPR)   Cool: researchers uncover an unpublished paper by Einstein containing a previously unknown theory as to the nature of the universe. Sad: It's wrong. Fark: because he added on one line of the equation where he should have subtracted instead   (npr.org) divider line 59
    More: Interesting, Einstein, universe, Space Telescope Science Institute, Big Bang theory, Waiting for Godot, researchers, theory of relativities, games of chance  
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2642 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Mar 2014 at 1:55 PM (30 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-20 12:43:32 PM  
Even Farkier:  Subby screwed up the headline:

Just to be clear, this theory is totally wrong. But for a little while Einstein thought it was right. The numbers made sense, because he had made a mathematical mistake. In the middle of a complicated calculation, he wrote a minus sign where he should have written a plus.
 
2014-03-20 12:55:50 PM  
Way to go, Einstein.
 
2014-03-20 01:15:37 PM  
That's not very Jewy or Einsteiny of him
 
2014-03-20 01:41:17 PM  
Therefore everything he has ever said is invalid.
 
2014-03-20 02:02:28 PM  
static.fjcdn.com
 
2014-03-20 02:03:22 PM  
Mistakes that don't make it to the published product are totally not news.
 
2014-03-20 02:03:31 PM  
I heard this while driving one of my minions to school this morning. We had a chat about it, how 1) even Einstein could be wrong, and 2) Einstein was responsible enough to not publish an article when he discovered it was wrong.
All in all? Not a bad morning drive.
 
2014-03-20 02:04:10 PM  
Hmmmmm, maybe that why it was UNPUBLISHED?!
 
2014-03-20 02:05:17 PM  
well, he didn't publish it.  that means he knew there was something wrong with it.
 
2014-03-20 02:07:24 PM  

Tr0mBoNe: Therefore everything he has ever said is invalid.


*this is what Creationists actually believe
 
2014-03-20 02:09:05 PM  
So, does that mean my HS maths teacher will forgive me that time 45 years ago when I couldn't remember the shortcut to solving a quadratic equation?
 
2014-03-20 02:09:07 PM  

lordargent: Mistakes that don't make it to the published product are totally not news.


Yeah, pretty much ^^THIS^^.

If it didn't get published, it probably wasn't complete. Jesus, people need to quit poring over everything with a goddam microscope.
 
2014-03-20 02:09:32 PM  
E=mc^3 no wait

M=ec*2 no wait
 
2014-03-20 02:16:12 PM  

Fano: E=mc^3 no wait

M=ec*2 no wait


media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com
 
2014-03-20 02:23:10 PM  
Haw haw! What a maroon!

/He'll never amount to anything, making mistakes like that.
 
2014-03-20 02:29:58 PM  
Was he a fainter?
 
2014-03-20 02:37:58 PM  
I would just like to note that Cormac O'Raifeartaigh is the most Irish name ever.
 
2014-03-20 02:38:38 PM  
makes me feel a bit better about the stupid bug i just fixed.
 
2014-03-20 02:40:35 PM  

SigmaAlgebra: I would just like to note that Cormac O'Raifeartaigh is the most Irish name ever.


O'Rafferty these days, I'd imagine. My family name would be 'O'Fearadhaigh' if we were using the old spelling.
 
2014-03-20 02:41:45 PM  
s2.quickmeme.com
 
2014-03-20 02:55:59 PM  
TFA "Earlier this week, physicists they'd seen evidence of ripples in the fabric of space and time".  Actually, after further review, it's "nipples" in the fabric of space and time.
 
2014-03-20 03:01:15 PM  
Forgot to, uh, carry the one.

deadhomersociety.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-03-20 03:05:40 PM  
Math is hard.
 
2014-03-20 03:07:40 PM  

Mikey1969: lordargent: Mistakes that don't make it to the published product are totally not news.

Yeah, pretty much ^^THIS^^.

If it didn't get published, it probably wasn't complete. Jesus, people need to quit poring over everything with a goddam microscope.


Yeah, but even back when he was alive Einstein had a bit of a cult of personality built up around him.  Not intentionally, mind you, but it's there nonetheless.

So a "mistake" is of interest to people, even if in the grand unified scheme of things it means nothing.
 
2014-03-20 03:20:42 PM  
Einstein was good at math compared to the average Joe, or even the average engineer, but he actually wasn't a super math genius. He often sought the help of mathematicians to help him with his work.
 
2014-03-20 03:30:18 PM  

impaler: Einstein was good at math compared to the average Joe, or even the average engineer, but he actually wasn't a super math genius. He often sought the help of mathematicians to help him with his work.


umm... did you just pseudo blame the mathematicians? O.O
 
2014-03-20 03:35:15 PM  

Mikey1969: lordargent: Mistakes that don't make it to the published product are totally not news.

Yeah, pretty much ^^THIS^^.

If it didn't get published, it probably wasn't complete. Jesus, people need to quit poring over everything with a goddam microscope.


It's interesting in an historical and biographical way -- at least to some of us. Learning that Einstein was fiddling around with the same Steady State idea that Hoyle would later embrace is an interesting insight into how his thoughts were developing.

Also interesting is how little effort he appears to have made to fix up the theory after discovering one problem with the math. By contrast, he worked for years on General Relativity despite numerous false starts and dead ends. That says a lot about how compelling he found the idea.

And frankly, if people can be interested in Bob Dylan's napkin notes and John Lennon's out-takes, why shouldn't we science geeks be interested in the ephemera and marginalia of a brilliant scientist?
 
2014-03-20 03:41:52 PM  

czetie: And frankly, if people can be interested in Bob Dylan's napkin notes and John Lennon's out-takes, why shouldn't we science geeks be interested in the ephemera and marginalia of a brilliant scientist?


Because we think both are equally silly?
 
2014-03-20 03:59:23 PM  

czetie: Mikey1969: lordargent: Mistakes that don't make it to the published product are totally not news.

Yeah, pretty much ^^THIS^^.

If it didn't get published, it probably wasn't complete. Jesus, people need to quit poring over everything with a goddam microscope.

It's interesting in an historical and biographical way -- at least to some of us. Learning that Einstein was fiddling around with the same Steady State idea that Hoyle would later embrace is an interesting insight into how his thoughts were developing.

Also interesting is how little effort he appears to have made to fix up the theory after discovering one problem with the math. By contrast, he worked for years on General Relativity despite numerous false starts and dead ends. That says a lot about how compelling he found the idea.

And frankly, if people can be interested in Bob Dylan's napkin notes and John Lennon's out-takes, why shouldn't we science geeks be interested in the ephemera and marginalia of a brilliant scientist?


"Interested" is one thing, but "OMG! He was WRONG!" is stupid. Maybe he didn't go back to it because he moved on to other stuff, or because he scratched it down and forgot about it. I just think the premise of "Wow, what an idiot, duh!" is about as useless as pointing out that a composer's first draft isn't as complex as the final work.
 
2014-03-20 04:02:10 PM  

Stone Meadow: So, does that mean my HS maths teacher will forgive me that time 45 years ago when I couldn't remember the shortcut to solving a quadratic equation?


No, that day your name went onto the list. When your HS math teacher decides the time is right he will strike you down.
 
2014-03-20 04:07:12 PM  
images1.cliqueclack.com

/hot
 
2014-03-20 04:08:16 PM  
Well, at least he didn't use it as a shopping list.
 
2014-03-20 04:09:23 PM  
From TFA:

'"We were looking through these drafts, one by one," O'Raifeartaigh says, "and one afternoon in late August, the more I looked at a particular draft, the more I got this queer feeling that this is not what everybody thinks it is."

"We were looking through these drafts, one by one ... and the more I looked at a particular draft, the more I got this queer feeling that this is not what everybody thinks it is."'

Was that before or after he went to get the papers, get the papers?
 
2014-03-20 04:13:21 PM  
Subby had my hopes up. I wad hoping for a Songs of Distant Earth type deal where a minus sign in the wrong spot made us think manned starships were impossible until after we'd already sent out seed ships to populate nearby habitable worlds.
 
2014-03-20 04:15:43 PM  

Slaves2Darkness: Stone Meadow: So, does that mean my HS maths teacher will forgive me that time 45 years ago when I couldn't remember the shortcut to solving a quadratic equation?

No, that day your name went onto the list. When your HS math teacher decides the time is right he will strike you down.


As I viewed him at the time...

2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-20 04:20:11 PM  
"...'change the poles equation from plus to minus and minus to plus'...
3.bp.blogspot.com

...IT COULD WORK!"
 
2014-03-20 04:25:49 PM  

uttertosh: impaler: Einstein was good at math compared to the average Joe, or even the average engineer, but he actually wasn't a super math genius. He often sought the help of mathematicians to help him with his work.

umm... did you just pseudo blame the mathematicians? O.O


Huh?
 
2014-03-20 04:31:57 PM  

dittybopper: Yeah, but even back when he was alive Einstein had a bit of a cult of personality built up around him.  Not intentionally, mind you, but it's there nonetheless.


He knew it too. If I recall correctly, he never sought out tenure because he thought nobody in their right mind would ever want to fire Einstein.
 
2014-03-20 04:34:20 PM  
From elsewhere:

"EINSTEIN once declared that his second greatest idea after the theory of relativity was to add an egg while cooking soup in order to produce a soft-boiled egg without having an extra pot to wash."
 
2014-03-20 04:40:03 PM  
So I've seen some of Einstein's work, and I could probably do that if I wanted. I just don't want to.
That's the ticket. Yeeeeah.

/Also, I can do *this*!
//Can Einstein do *this*?
///I didn't think so. I win!
 
2014-03-20 04:52:35 PM  

impaler: uttertosh: impaler: Einstein was good at math compared to the average Joe, or even the average engineer, but he actually wasn't a super math genius. He often sought the help of mathematicians to help him with his work.

umm... did you just pseudo blame the mathematicians? O.O

Huh?


Sorry, I thought you implied that one of these mathematicians had put minus instead of positive.And, that I need less coffee. Obviously.
 
2014-03-20 04:59:27 PM  

czetie: It's interesting in an historical and biographical way -- at least to some of us. Learning that Einstein was fiddling around with the same Steady State idea that Hoyle would later embrace is an interesting insight into how his thoughts were developing.


That part is interesting ... but it's lost in the sensational (OMG Einstein was wrong) headline. The fact that he was wrong isn't news. But both the headline andarticle focus on it.

"Einstein's theory of relativity is arguably the 20th century's greatest idea. But not everything he did was right: Some newly uncovered work from the brilliant physicist was wrong. Really, really wrong."

"About 20 percent of Einstein's papers contain various mistakes of various degrees," says , an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute."

We get it, Einstein made mistakes, whoop.
 
2014-03-20 05:17:14 PM  

Mikey1969: czetie: Mikey1969: lordargent: Mistakes that don't make it to the published product are totally not news.

Yeah, pretty much ^^THIS^^.

If it didn't get published, it probably wasn't complete. Jesus, people need to quit poring over everything with a goddam microscope.

It's interesting in an historical and biographical way -- at least to some of us. Learning that Einstein was fiddling around with the same Steady State idea that Hoyle would later embrace is an interesting insight into how his thoughts were developing.

Also interesting is how little effort he appears to have made to fix up the theory after discovering one problem with the math. By contrast, he worked for years on General Relativity despite numerous false starts and dead ends. That says a lot about how compelling he found the idea.

And frankly, if people can be interested in Bob Dylan's napkin notes and John Lennon's out-takes, why shouldn't we science geeks be interested in the ephemera and marginalia of a brilliant scientist?

"Interested" is one thing, but "OMG! He was WRONG!" is stupid. Maybe he didn't go back to it because he moved on to other stuff, or because he scratched it down and forgot about it. I just think the premise of "Wow, what an idiot, duh!" is about as useless as pointing out that a composer's first draft isn't as complex as the final work.


Yeah, it's more like being interested in Fermat's margin note
 
2014-03-20 06:40:28 PM  
42
 
2014-03-20 07:25:00 PM  

dittybopper: Even Farkier:  Subby screwed up the headline:

Just to be clear, this theory is totally wrong. But for a little while Einstein thought it was right. The numbers made sense, because he had made a mathematical mistake. In the middle of a complicated calculation, he wrote a minus sign where he should have written a plus.


Why no partial credit tests suuuuuuck.

/got flashbacks
 
2014-03-20 07:35:51 PM  

dittybopper: Even Farkier:  Subby screwed up the headline:

Just to be clear, this theory is totally wrong. But for a little while Einstein thought it was right. The numbers made sense, because he had made a mathematical mistake. In the middle of a complicated calculation, he wrote a minus sign where he should have written a plus.


Headline is screwed up more than that.  The theory isn't wrong because Einstein subtracted where he should have added.  The theory is wrong because it's wrong.  He only (briefly) thought it was right because he was wrong.
 
2014-03-20 07:40:35 PM  

SigmaAlgebra: I would just like to note that Cormac O'Raifeartaigh is the most Irish name ever.


You mean he not Jewish?
 
2014-03-20 08:07:14 PM  

Best Princess Celestia: [static.fjcdn.com image 485x339]



I did relatively good in math, got up to Calc 3 in college with no problem... but goddamn if I don't have to use the alphabet song still to this day on a regular basis. Didn't realize it was a thing. It always just made me feel a little dumber.

Thanks Princess!
 
2014-03-20 08:32:23 PM  

lordargent: We get it, Einstein made mistakes, whoop.


Knowing he made mistakes is part of why I find him so fascinating. If I had a list of heroes, he would easily be in the top 5 or so, probably top 3.

Side note, this is probably my favorite picture of all time. In a way, everything that is Einstein is contained in this one picture.

media.tumblr.com
 
2014-03-20 09:30:28 PM  

Best Princess Celestia: [static.fjcdn.com image 485x339]


Me too!
 
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