Anyway, one day I was listening to them evaluate Einstein's intelligence and were trying to determine who was more intelligent, him or Tesla, because apparently Einstein was once asked: how did it feel to be the most intelligent person on the planet. He answered, apparently, that they'd have to ask Tesla because he was the smartest person. I have heard the anecdote before where Einstein named Godel instead.
It was a pretty stupid question in my opinion. Who knows who is the smartest and in what. And the ranking of intelligence is also utterly stupid and given that both Einstein and Godel were pretty much smart in things that pretty much don't impact our lives very much and thus was pretty much irrelevant. Tesla made a massive impact on our lives of course, but that is not the point.
We would not be here if it wasn't for any of these people. Einstein sculpted our understanding of the universe, space and time, our understanding of liquids and the photoelectric effect. Godel impacted our concept of math in a profound way and Tesla has often been called the father of the 20th century. But imagine if one of these men didn't exist. Would someone else have stepped up and discovered AC, the photo-electric effect, the fallibility of math?
In my opinion we needed all three of these men to be where we are now. But these men didn't exist purely in isolation. They themselves needed other people, mothers, wives, the people who collected the rubbish from their homes...
I personally don't have any knowledge of the people who collect our rubbish. But when I worked as an engineer in this office which was attached to a factory, some of the factory workers would earn extra collecting the engineering staff's rubbish - and I would talk to this guy who came every evening to gather my rubbish for a while when he'd visit my office - I can't recall his name but he was a kind of bright spot in my day... I can imagine Einstein chatting with the garbage collectors finding out about their lives. We didn't spend hours chatting, it was more like 5 or 10 mins a few times a week. But what did surprise me was how he told me that many of the men were rude and ignored him entering their offices and would rebuff any attempt at friendly conversation.
This is male thinking - they thought they didn't need this guy - or that he was beneath them, but I knew I needed someone to take away my trash. He helped me a lot with getting rid of the stuff I no longer needed. Meanwhile I'd be writing computer code - I guess I was doing something really important for the stuff for the workers built in the factory... (really it was reciprocal - I needed them - they needed me).
We need Einstein, Tesla and Godel to be where we are, they gave us ideas and technology, but they needed the trash collectors, mothers and wives for them to be there.
So who was more intelligent is a bit like asking which is more important, Einstein, Tesla, Godel, their mothers, wives or trash collectors? I say all of them were important. We wouldn't have had Einstein, Tesla and Godel if it wasn't for their mothers, or their trash collectors, or their wives, so in effect we need their wives, mothers and trash collectors as much as we needed Einstein, Tesla or Godel. Hence we are all important, like the bits of a bridge, perhaps there are bits of a bridge that aren't important - perhaps the lights aren't necessary for the bridge, but they become important at night when we are driving over the bridge or in fog. Perhaps there are people who go off into the wilderness who will never impact anyone's life after birth - but they impacted their mother, the people they left behind, who then went on to influence others.
We all leave a mark somehow, and who leaves the biggest impact would never be able to leave that mark without all the other people who left their mark on them - we are all within each other's light cone of causality.