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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Institute for Advanced Study 2

#ias #education

Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

George Dyson




So, in the first quarter of the 1900's, Abraham Flexner had been writing critically about universities. He had an idea that perhaps the best thing to do would be to let smart people do what they wanted

Now, in another thread, the owners of Bramberger's department store sold out to Mary's and wanted to do something philanthropic with their money. They liked Flexner's idea.

And, the third thread, Europe was falling to totalitarianism and intellectuals were on the run.

The result was a well-financed institute that became home to scientists like Einstein.

Now, the system didn't please everyone. Feynman wrote " [with no duties, if your progress slows] a kind of guilt or depression worms inside of you...there's not enough real activity and challenge." In addition to permanent staff, guests can be invited to spend a year studying. The pressure to do something amazing in that year can be stifling.