» Radiation tri-blade » I am thinking of a book. Try to guess the name of the novel I have in mind. I will give you a hint. My hint is an excerpt extracted from the Wikipedia entry for this title. So see if this next sentence rings a bell »

"Acclaimed the world over .. by intellectuals as diverse as .. Freud, Einstein, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Cormac McCarthy and Kurt Vonnegut .. as one of the supreme achievements in literature."

Mt. DostoyEVsky: Basecamp

Supreme achievement? Uh, do you mean as in » 'EV-vuh'? In-the-history-of-the-planet? Homo sapiens ultimo maximus?

Like » near or at the top of what our species has been able to accomplish in literature? .. a species whose trajectory-of-civilization has been defined by centuries of intellectual development.

The only species yet capable of inventing symbolic written language and using it to communicate among themselves. "Bonjour."

Such big words. My goodness. Any ideas? Care to venture a guess? Give up?

The KEY word in that Wikipeda excerpt, I think » diverse. There you have writers, yes, of course, but also very prominent philosophers, plus a psychologist [ » thee Psychologist of the most recent century ] ..

Dr. J Robert Oppenheimer | Father of the Atomic Bomb (1904-1967).. and even a physicist. Not just any physicist. No, sir. Rather thee physicist .. of the 20th century ..

I say that with all due respect to Oppenheimer, who I hear was also a big fan of my mystery author ..

.. and who gave away copies of this other title (by the same author) to friends as birthday presents ..

.. which, I hear, is "the best book ever written" on the subject of Revolutionary Conspiracy.

"Here's a little something I think you might enjoy. Happy birthday, dawg. How about another martini?"

.. not to mention being Time magazine's » Person-of-the-Century.

You must admit .. that would be an impressive collection of signatories .. adding their John Hancocks to your already towering bona fides ..

.. seeing we could easily add to the list luminaries such as » Hemingway, Chekhov, Joyce, Sartre, Virginia Woolf, and EM Forester. More big names.

Regarding the original six, I could not, for example, have more respect for Cormac McCarthy (.. as a writer, as an author, and as a brave man). For me, Cormac is like Elijah-the-prophet .. in that he » turns the heart of the fathers to the children.

Einstein is almost certainly the greatest mind of the twentieth century, no? E=mc2. Relativity. Wave/particle duality. Quantum mechanics. The illusion of time. Truly mind-bending shit. Major cranial torqueage.

I can almost see Uncle Fester with his bald head jammed in a vice .. saying to Einstein, "Hey Albert, be a sport and give it another turn, will ya?"

E=mc2 is the reason I wanted to learn about reactors. "Show me how you boys make that E out of the m using the c-squared. Aint that some shit."

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)Like magic, a reactor turns matter (mass) into enery. A very little mass (.. known technically as the mass defect) .. into very MUCH energy.

Notice that the c-squared is over on the side of mass, helping it out (.. to make LOTS of energy).

It's true that real matter actually disappears. No mas. Adios, matter itself.

That is what you call » power (turning matter into energy on an industrial scale) .. a remarkable thing to behold when done in a highly controlled fashion. And even more remarkable when the fashion is not.

The way Einstein was able to peel-back the very skin itself of (perceived) reality and say, "Dude, check this out! You won't believe what I found! Lookie here. Aint that some shit.".. is the reason he's the baddest dude of the 20th century.

And here's the kicker » Einstein did this shit IN HIS HEAD! (As if he werent already intellectually impressive enough.) His mind was like a super collider.

It wasnt long before the guys who conducted careful experiments in the physics laboratories around the world validated the theories that came out of Einstein's head .. and started saying » "That Einstein dude is right." 

And truth be told, Einstein's most muscular throw-down came in 1905 (.. which included both E=mc2 & Special Relativity) .. so really, he came very close to performing his most ass-kicking-feat-of-the-century back in the 19th century (.. which he did, by the way, IN HIS SPARE TIME .. while working as 3rd-grade patent clerk).

He was so far ahead that it took the boys at Nobel 16 years to figure out that he deserved the prize.

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) Austrian-British philosopherWittgenstein has been called » "perhaps the greatest philosopher of the 20th century."

Wittgenstein's philosophy is the source from which I derived the caption » Horror unspeakable ..

.. to describe that Newton boy .. who was photographed covering his mouth and his nose .. with his elementary little hands ..

.. last month, on December 14th. (Taken exactly one week before the much-hyped Mayan Doomsday.) Remarkable photo, no?


That thing in Newtown shook me up. It messed with many an adult head ..

.. the idea that somebody (anybody) could shoot a classroom full of first graders .. with a military-style weapon .. like fish in a barrel. Leaves people speechless.

The principal at Bug's school, for example, looked me deep in the eye when he said, "Worst two weeks of my life."

So I'm still a little shaken .. this being my first entry/post since the shooting. Family back there are still crying for those kids. (Still covered on local news channels.)

And here I have embarked on a quest to plumb the depths of Dostoevsky's soul. So the shooting, for me, seems to have been » seismic. Certainly disorienting.

The Newtown shooting caused people everywhere to question how such a thing could be, and sent many parents into deep soul-searching.

Perhaps Dostoevsky has some answers, some perspectives. Perhaps he has left some insights .. that can help us make sense of the insanity.

Twenty kindergarten students in class with their teacherWe will see what the 19th century sage has to say. So let us begin our ascent .. to his mountain top abode. To his panoramic perch.

I hear the air gets pretty thin up there, so you might wanna bring along a bottle of oxygen .. just in case. (I'm bringing two.)

</end_newtown_retro_seismic sidebar>

The famous quote (idea, insight) from Wittgenstein is » "That which we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence."

Wittgenstein and the Ineffable

It is always a cool thing, is it not? .. when the obvious enters into the spotlight of our consciousness? The epiphany effect. Is it not strange? » that we must sometimes travel to distant intellectual galaxies .. in order to become conscious of the obvious?

I am talking about the self-evident .. things that have always been right in front of our faces .. but, for some reason or other, we just couldnt recognize.

As tho these things were hidden in plain sight .. as tho we somehow had a blind spot. "How could I have missed that?"

Almost as if your surprising conscious recognition were actually an accident .. something you werent really supposed to see.

If you were playing the part of an extra in the movie Men in Black, Tommy Lee Jones would walk up and flash a bright light in your eyes. =)

To be honest, I am far more impressed with the fact that Wittgenstein GAVE AWAY his (vast) inherited wealth .. and took a job teaching school kids in remote villages in Austria. (And I am most certainly interested in the factors which led to that particular decision.)

Horror unspeakable | Newtown, CT December 14, 2012His father, a steel magnate, was one of the wealthiest men ever. ("EV-vuh.")

Tho it seems that Ludwig also taught at Cambridge from '39 to '47 as a professor of Philosophy.

Three (3) of his brothers committed suicide. "Wow." That must be some kind of Guinness record for the Macabre category.

And don't think that Ludwig himself didnt wrestle with the exit door option. "To be or not to be." That was clearly the question before him.

So Ludwig, I would imagine, knows a thing or two regarding » THAT-about-which-we-cannot-SPEAK. In other words » exceedingly horrible shit. The ineffable .. for all the wrong reasons. Newtownesque.

You gotta be a bad mo-fo .. to go get the ineffable .. and bring it back home with you .. to the Land of the Effable. Like stealing fire from the gods. Cuz the ineffable doesnt come easy. So it goes "without saying" that » there will be a price to pay.

The Apostle Paul wrote <rad_paraphrase_on> » "Because of all these super-cool revelations .. a messenger of Satan was sent to kick my ass .. to keep me from getting the big head." </paraphrase>

A revelation, as I understand it, is when God Himself shows you something .. who brings some bit of knowledge or understanding to your conscious mind. No? Divine illumination.

The lightbulb effect. Epiphany. "Grokking," in geek terms. "Eureka!"

And if the Apostle Paul got his ass kicked, I doubt Wittgenstein got a free ride.

As a side note, scripture seems to suggest that the man who gets his ass kicked for doing what is right .. also gets the grace necessary to handle it. Don't worry, be happy.

» Detour Down Wittgenstein Way

Hmm. This is interesting .. cuz I did not plan on discussing Wittgenstein today. Actually, I did not plan on talking about Wittgenstein ever. [ Vitt .. the W is pronounced as a V. ]

Today I planned on going after Dostoevsky. After his soul. Or at least, close enough to spy an accurate image .. to steal away with an honest glimpse.

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)I am trying to set aside my obvious reverence for the Russian .. in order to adopt a posture or find a perspective that is more conducive to clarity-of-vision.

But when you see the likes of Einstein & Hemingway & Freud .. all on their knees .. it's not so easy to be objective. =)

Is not 'Wittgenstein' a cool name? You gotta get that slushy German 'sht' sound in the middle there.

I'm not very good at it, but I love to hear a real German say the name. (I dont see how they can say it without spitting on you.)

I once had a German Jewish professor .. who said the name so beautifully .. that it actually made me feel smarter just to hear him say it. =)

Speaking of accolades ultimo .. the single most remarkable comment I ever heard .. one writer make about another ..

Today's entry continues in Ye Olde Rad Blog v4 .. see here » Dostoevsky, Aaron Swartz & the Broken Butterfly of Tomorrow