Based in san francisco, california, mia shaw writes, acts, and analyzes public policy. Her posts explore current events, cultural phenomena, and diverse opinions.

Notes: Einstein

 "How did one person, working entirely alone, change nearly everything we know about the universe?"

"All this abstract nonsense is the correct theory of everything.”

He thought in visual thought experiments.

"He was a daydreamer but he was deeply persistent.”


Time is different for one moving than someone standing still;

The flow of time itself depends on how you’re moving.

"If there’s no such thing as simultaneity then there’s no such thing as absolute time everywhere throughout the universe, and Isaac Newton was wrong."

The happiest thought of his life: Gravity IS acceleration.

To understand things you must see their spatial and time coordinates, I can begin to think about where it is in space time.


Film strips: cut them up one by one and stack them on top of each other, you get this pile. And if you go up in the pile, you go up in time. "It’s almost looking at a movie not frame by frame, but seeing the whole movie at once."


“We are all spaghetti strands, moving in this space time.”


A mass distorts the space time around it; if space were empty, it would be flat - there would be nothing going on. But as soon as you put objects down, they warp the space and time around them.


Everything wants to move as simple as possible through space and time. But Einstein tells us that mass sculpts space and time. It’s the curved motion through this sculpture that’s the force of gravity."

This very simple formula captures all of Einstein‘s general relativity it’s beautiful simple equation but it’s a lot of work to unpack the symbols and see how this very simple formula the whole geometry of the universe is hidden kind of an acquired taste to see the beauty. It’s also a signature formula for Einstein the true mark of his genius is that he combines elements that I actually live in different universes - the left hand side lives in the world geometry and mathematics; right hand side lives in a world of physics with matter. So perhaps this powerful ingredient but the question is very simple = here - these two lines that are actually connecting the two worlds and it’s quite appropriate there are two lines because it’s two way traffic - matter tells space and time to curve; space and time tells matter to move.


Charlie Chaplin said "the reason people love me is because they understand everything I do; The reason people love you is they don’t understand anything you do. Can you explain that?"


“Many great scientists they climb this very high mountain and instead of celebrating their success the privilege to see a much wider landscape and they see all these mountains behind it and I think he was very much aware how much there was still to be done."

"We understand general relativity right now better than Einstein ever did." When he died his theories had little hope of future discovery.


Gravity becomes weaker as you move away from the surface of the planet. So while the clock was on the mountain, time sped up (20 nanoseconds).

The world’s leading theoretical physicists are trying to solve the problem einstein never could: finding a single set of rules that applies to both the cosmic and atomic scales. A unified theory - the holy grail of physics. "Still trying to capture the laws of the universe from the very small to the very large in a single equation. Struggling to grasp the great mysteries of the universe and I think we are still driven by the same dream that at some point we can capture everything in elegant mathematics."

100 years after Einstein transformed our understanding of nature, the stage is set for the next revolution. "when we finally move beyond Einstein it might be another singular genius that comes along someone struggling in a poor school and can you right now that we don’t know about or it might be 20 different people with 20 different points of you gradually building brick by brick to figure out more comprehensive view of that includes general relativity in it."

“I think the most important thing you learned from Einstein is the power of an idea if it’s correct it you know it’s just unstoppable it’s extremely encouraging that he was able with peer thought to solve the riddle of the universe.”

“The origin of the universe is a prediction straight out of general relativity.”

Notes: Case Against BS Jobs

Mentally 100/Picking up where others left off