Einstein, Root Cause Guru

I've been seeing quotations from Albert Einstein in various places lately. Here are a dozen of my favourites that I feel apply to the practice of root cause problem solving. I've tried to present them in a particular order that I think helps create a coherent message. I hope you'll mark these words... they may not be the keys to paradise, but I believe they tap the root of something very important.

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Things should be made as simple as possible, but not any simpler.
Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.
When the solution is simple, God is answering.

If you are out to describe the truth, leave elegance to the tailor.
Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science.

Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.
The only real valuable thing is intuition.
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.

Can you argue with these? Sure you can, and that's the point. Many physicists argued with Einstein about his Theory of General Relativity when it was first published. Einstein himself had many arguments with Neils Bohr over the nature of quantum mechanics. Argument lies at the heart of learning... and learning is what this is all about.

by Bill Wilson
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Last updated: October 7, 2014 at 21:03 pm

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1 Response

  1. Bill Wilson says:

    “I hope you’ll mark these words… they may not be the keys to paradise, but I believe they tap the root of something very important.”

    That strange sentence was me pretending to be clever. Mark Paradies at TapRoot was/is awfully fond of using a few particular quotes from Einstein in his marketing material (recent example). Back in October 2005, that particular habit was beginning to annoy me, so I put this article together. I have no idea if Mark ever saw this, or if anybody ever noticed my not-so-clever attempt at hiding a message in that sentence. Oh well… I still like the “poem” that was the end result of my vexation, so it wasn’t a total loss.

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