View Full Version : The 9/11 Conspiracy Theory! (in under 5 minutes) 2,561,086 Views

04-13-2016, 12:28 AM
"An alleged scientific discovery has no merit unless it can be explained to a barmaid." Lord Rutherford of Nelson
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein
Einstein: "I never said even half the things that the Internet says I did" :-).

Kedar Mhaswade, Programmer, Founder - JyMob Inc.
If you are asking whether the attribution of the quote to Einstein is correct, then I don't know. There was a hilarious quote attributed to Einstein: "I never said even half the things that the Internet says I did" :-).

Regarding what Einstein might have meant, I like Ron Williams's answer more than (better than?) Qiaochu Yuan's mainly because I don't think the intent of the quotation is bogus. In my opinion, there are two things involved:

An ability to understand something well enough, and
An ability to explain it to someone (in a language that he can understand).
The quote itself seems to make sense when it is made by someone to whom something is explained.

I often think of a question in this regard: When might a person (say B) perceive that another person (say A) understands something (say X) that he (B) does not understand? There is a good chance that B perceives that A understands X when B starts understanding X after he talks to A about it. If B believes A understands X in spite of the such an interaction, then B's belief is based on faith.

For A to pass this test then, he should satisfy both the requirements. The requirement 1 is a prerequisite to requirement 2 itself, however.

It is of course possible that community regards A to understand X mainly because A demonstrates or has discovered a series of good results based on X that B may not know of.

Looking at it from A's point of view, A might think that he does not understand X well enough because even after s/he explains it to B the best he can, B does not seem to get it. But should A blame himself for this failure or should he accept that not everyone can understand anything?

Puzzling, isn't it?

04-13-2016, 10:46 PM