User Input

User Input: Drinking Buddies

Many of the greatest minds in our history have managed to take on a rather legendary status, and are frequently revered as these icons of greatness and shininess and holy wow. In reality, however, I suspect they’re just normal people who had a couple really good ideas. Nevertheless, There are a few who I’d really like to sit down with and pick their brains. Stephen Hawking would likely require a mind meld, because as his condition worsens, he’s having more and more difficulty communicating, and the process is getting slower and slower, but nevertheless he’s at the top of my list. I would love to know the train of thought that led to some of his breakthrough ideas.

Similarly, I’d like to sit down with the Woz. The early days of computing, and suddenly developing a company that turned into the richest company in the world decades later, and learning just how they came up with some of their ideas… that would be an awesome discussion.

With what inventor or scientist would you most like to sit down and have a beer?

[The image was not credited where I found it, and I’ve found quite a few potential sources. I’d like to credit the artist; if it’s yours, let me know.]

  • Thomas Edison

  • OA5599

    I have a seat reserved at an upcoming lecture to be given by Dr. Hawking. I am both fascinated by the stories he will tell and curious about the method of content delivery–good speakers use hand gestures, facial expressions vocal inflection, walking to different parts of the stage, and other tricks now beyond his physical abilities.

    • Deartháir

      One of my profs in university got to see a speech with him back around the time he appeared on TNG. He still had reasonable movement of his face, so he said it was like watching a stage performer in a mask; you quickly learned to watch for things other than expressions, movement or gestures… and the audience would respond with laughter to a raised eyebrow the way they might with much more blatant movements for someone else.

  • Leonardo da Vinci, he must have been very special to be arround.

  • Werner von Braun. I would just sit there for days on end listening to him describe how he came up with what he came up with, dealing with the Germans, dealing with the Americans, and then seeing his rocket carry a man to the moon.

  • The Professor

    Richard Feynman. A brilliant man and an accomplished wiseass, a great person to booze with. I'd like to hear what ideas he would have for LHC experiments and what he thought about dark matter and dark energy, among other things. Maybe go paint graffiti on Oppenheimer's tombstone.

  • Carl Sagan is the first to come to mind (and I'm not even a pot smoker, though to be polite I could regress…) That immediately brings up James Burke from the list of people who explained to young Batshitbox how all of this fits together. And then Roy Underhill checks in from the PBS rolls, though he's not a scientist or inventor.

    I think it would have to be a 20th or 21st century person. Trying to understand Ben Franklin's accent, and tolerating the privileged worldview would drive me bats. I don't have a radio in my truck, so on long journeys I imagine an Edison, Ford or Franklin suddenly appearing in the passenger's seat; and how would I explain all that is going on?

    There are some real life persons from my past I wish I could share a campfire with once again. Not global game changers, but unexploited resources nonetheless.

    • pj134

      Ben Franklin would be awesome. When he was older and terrible gout he had prisoners from a local prison carry him around on a thronish lounge type thing so that he could cat call women.

      Awww yeah.

  • texlenin

    Feynman'd be a hoot to party & chat with, Doc.
    My vote would be Tesla and Thomas Townsend Brown. And we'd get liquored up
    tighter'n Dick's hat-band and go beat the crap outta Thomas Midgley,Jr….

  • CaptianNemo2001

    Tesla and tell him that his wardenclyffe tower really wont work and ofc tell him why it wont. Also I would ask if he has any other great ideas.

  • wolfie

    Thomas Edison,his dedication to finding a long lasting filament always fascinated me.