Albert Einstein Doesn’t Speak From The Grave But He Should


Dear Albert Einstein,

Some people won’t understand why there is a picture of a stagecoach in this post but that is ok with me because it is tied up into the question I want to ask you.

I read two of your quotes today and wish you were here to discuss them because I am very curious to talk to you about them. You’ll find both of them just below this line:

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.” Albert Einstein


The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Albert Einstein

One could make a case for how these two sentiments are contradictory as well as how they are complementary to each other.

What Is And What Should Never Be

You won’t catch the musical reference in the subhead but that song played in my mind as I thought about these quotes. Since I read them separately and without the context of the conversation/paper they were given in it is possible that you answered and or addressed my questions already.

However since I am not aware of those answers allow me to share a few basic thoughts here.

Imagination combined with knowledge is the root of scientific discovery and or advancement. If we are to develop cures for illness and or create solutions to the challenges we face in life we need both of these things in large amounts.

So the idea that we should focus our attention solely upon what is and what isn’t sounds to me like we are making a mistake. There is merit in being focused but not at the expense of creativity.

Solutions To Problems

Bill Gates is trying to address some of the challenges of the world by developing a new and improved condom.

The idea here is to create one that is easier to use and considered not to be an impediment to “great sex” so that more people will use it, especially those who live in areas where HIV and other diseases run rampant.

It is still focused research but with the allowance to be free thinking in the approach.

When I look at the stagecoach in the photo I can’t help but wonder when people began to dream about finding a way to replace a horse with a machine. I can’t help but wonder how many thought/dreamed about such a device or whether it was limited to a small group.

I can’t help but wonder how many people now really think hard about trying to come up with solutions to universal problems and how many don’t because they just don’t see things in anything but the most black and white terms.

Schools and Creativity

Hell you can circle back to the post my friend Craig wrote about Schools and Creativity and ask/answer the same questions that we are addressing here. Others are talking about this too, there are more coming around all the time.

People are asking about “thoughtful thinking.”

They are asking/demanding to do more than just regurgitate fact.

It really is too bad you aren’t here because a man with your stature could help push this movement a long way, that is provided you agree with us in which case it would prove you are as brilliant as people have claimed you are. 😉

Seriously, it is disappointing not to have you around, just as I wish I could speak to many others about all sorts of different topics. But such are the breaks in life.

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  1. kumar April 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Josh, out of box thinking has to be coupled with basic knowledge and principles, even though it starts well before we are boxed in.
    In business it makes sense – Identify the problem and try to resolve this in the most creative way.
    It is more of cliche, used by everyone around without going into indepth analysis.


  2. Julie Barrett March 31, 2013 at 4:37 am

    As you know I have a child who thinks uniquely and I often would like to have the extra cash to put him in the local gifted school where they’re allowed to sit in 5 different types of seats in the same classroom or even wander around if that’s how they think better. They have these crazy whiteboards that you can write on and interact with the programs. Basically, they keep the kids ENGAGED and don’t force them into a box. The teachers are aware of all types of learning styles and are encouraged to let the mind flourish and go wherever it wants to go.

    I don’t see a conflict between the two statements. Maybe I am missing something. I have no context for the quotes but to me at first glance it means to consider that everything you have been taught is not real. In my world, that’s totally true. So if you open your mind to what you can’t see, WOW can you see some things.

    • Josh March 31, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      I have often wondered what would have happened if during my time in school we had been given license to learn as we are predisposed to and not as it befits a “classroom.”

      Sometime the being forced into a box makes sense and sometimes it just doesn’t.

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