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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (john jardine)
Subject: Re: Alan Blumlein site
Date: 15 Sep 2002 16:05:38 -0700
References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com> <6RWg9.101$Fc5.firstname.lastname@example.org> <email@example.com>
NNTP-Posting-Date: 15 Sep 2002 23:05:38 GMT
"Kevin Aylward" wrote in message news:...
> "Steve Taylor" wrote in message
> > Kevin Aylward wrote:
> > >>Many, many "standard" circuit configurations.
> > >>
> > >>And he was dead by the age of 39
> > >>
> > >>A genius.
> > >
> > >
> > > But this dont a genius make.
> > A dwarf on giants shoulders sees furthest of the two.
> Yeah, he gets success on the backs of others.
> > AD Blumlein was a pioneer in electronic design and theory. Over 100
> > patents in electronic technology.
> Being first does not automatically qualify for real worth. This is a
> fallacy most adhere to. Many things are just ripe for discovery. They
> were not discovered before simple because the background structure was
> not there. e.g a differential pair requires the invention of an active
> device, but once that is invented, the rest is a pretty trivial follow
> up. Other things, despite the underlying background, need an extra
> insight that only a *few* will see. For example, the basic equations of
> Special Relativity were known way before Einstein. However, it was
> Einstein that understood their true meaning.
> >I am intrigued to know what you
> > think makes someone a genius, from your other postings, I get the
> > impression that it only applies to thereoticians ?
> I have made a posting on some of this already in this thread, but no, I
> don't consider that it only applies to theoreticians.
> For me, a genius has to do something that is *truly* *difficult* that
> *most* will *miss* *given* the opportunity, although this something
> might be comprehended in more simple terms. "Genius", imo, is something
> that differentiates above all others. Merely doing something simple that
> others have missed, don't really cut it. I don't take the view that
> here are millions of geniuses out there. This would make the notion
> meaningless. If inherent difficulty is not a factor, the notion is
> again, meaningless.
> The idea that simple producing something that has not been done before
> has significant merit does injustice to those achievements that are
> truly special. One has to put newness in context. Given that there is an
> existing body of knowledge at some instant, and that for example, a
> given person is actually in the position where such and such a problem
> is to be solved. How many others, in similar circumstances could be
> expected to come up with a similar solution. For instance, I truly
> discovered/invented a *KEY* aspect of C++ prior to having any knowledge
> of C++, i.e. function pointers in data structures that result in the
> same syntax as that use in C++. The reality is that most new ideas are
> *simple* extensions of existing ideas that *many* others will discover.
> I don't consider generating these extensions to be a mark of genius. Its
> plain and simple engineering.
> Put 100 suitable *qualified* people in the same conditions as Einstein
> was. How many of them would have come up with GR? Put 100 suitable
> *qualified* people in the same conditions as Blumlein. How many of them
> would have come up with a diff pair. I think this distinction matters.
> No doubt other opinions exist.
> Kevin Aylward
> SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
> Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
> Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.
About a thousand years ago as a young 'un. I'd just had published in
PE mag' a 741 op-amp integrator based darkroom timer. A bit of further
playing about and I turned up the dual slope integration method. I
thought it was clever but that was it. A couple of months later I
found that Rockwell had just been granted a patent on the same. I
admit only little ability on my part and was just enjoying a hobby
interest. If I could do it, then so could anybone else in similar or
even worse circumstances.
What I find a bit annoying, in the normal day to day business of
designing kit, is discovering sometimes years later that a part of a
circuit or a method used has (without my consent ;-) )had someones
name attached to it. Invariably that person did the work as part of a
university or large company (Blumlein at EMI) with significant
resources of equipment, time, money (and needs). Yes I agree, they
discovered what was easily discoverable in their situation. Yes, they
advanced the art. No, they aren't in the same league as the one or two
true genius's (genii?) that turn up each century.
In recent history there's only two really that I know of. Dirac and
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