Genius: Man’s March toward Perfection

In search of comfort, humanity took leaps over the centuries. We did not settle for the status quo. It is one of the characteristics that separate us from other living creatures. Even now that we are at the cusp of becoming a fully automated world, we are still aiming to improve ourselves.  

Our modern gadgets would astound our ancestors. They successfully trained pigeons to carry out messages for them. But we created Iridium Push-to-talk technology, which allows instant global communication.

We should take this moment to acknowledge the brilliant minds that led us to these devices. They are not possible if these geniuses laid back and merely accepted what things were. With that said, let us pay homage to these people.

The Ancient Greeks

We must acknowledge the importance of their contribution, which is democracy. Although Ancient Greece was far from perfect, they introduced this very modern concept. It transformed the world from a one-man rule to an elected assembly.

Some researchers point out that Mesopotamian city-states had a proto-democratic society. But other historians argue that their civilization leaned toward oligarchy than a democratic government. All of them agree that it was Draco’s written code that revolutionized the political system.

The Draconian Constitution was brutal. But it paved the way to a more equitable society. Solon later repelled the laws and replaced them with legislation that ushered in economic and democratic reforms. His decrees defined our perception of the free citizen.

The Ancient Greeks suffered a setback during Alexander the Great’s time. During this period, he and his successors sent out Macedonians to rule the city-state in their stead. Although they fought the autocratic puppets to restore democracy in 307 BC, their society was no longer strong enough to continue their experiment on an equitable society.

Albert Einstein

We recognize him as one of the most brilliant minds of all time. Other than conceiving the theory of relativity, he also contributed to the evolution of quantum mechanics. Both of these are pillars of modern physics.  

Einstein’s family originally came from Ulm. But they moved to Munich, where his father and uncle established a manufacturing company. They relocated to Italy after the business failed to meet the requirements set by the local government.

Even at a tender age, he excelled in math and physics. He even managed to teach himself algebra. As he studied further, Einstein found himself thinking that Nature is a complex mathematical system. At the age of 13, he became interested in music and philosophy.

He later worked in the Swiss Patent Office. This position allowed him to study electric signal transmission and the synchronization of time. His observation led to his revolutionary ideas about light and the relationship between space and time.

In 1905, Einstein received his Ph.D. after he completed his thesis. At the same time, he released four studies about the Brownian motion, the equivalence of mass and energy, the photoelectric effect, and special relativity. His achievements gave him the coveted position of being a lecturer at the University of Bern. In 1909, he became an associate professor.

During a short visit to the US, Einstein realized that he could no longer go back to Germany. After this trip, he went straight to a German consulate in Belgium and denounced his German citizenship. He later reached out to notable politicians to ask them to bring Jewish scientists out of Nazi Germany.

Rene Descartes

Let us now tip our hats to the man who we know as the father of algebra. Although he lived during the Age of Enlightenment, society was still backward. They accepted the importance of science. But they did not have the tools necessary for their studies.

His family did not expect him to survive, especially since his mother died right after giving birth to him. He grew up with his grandmother. He later joined the nearby Jesuit College. It was here that he became interested in math and physics.

Descartes accommodated his father’s wishes of him becoming a lawyer. He studied canon and civil law at the University of Poitiers. In 1618, Rene Descartes joined the army and studied military engineering. He continued further studies to focus on math.

Unfortunately, he suffered from delusions. But during this period, Descartes often see hallucinations. It made him think that divine providence was guiding him in his studies. A year later, he settled in Loreto and wrote his first essay.

Their brilliance brought the world out of superstition and into the light of knowledge. Without them, we would have remained in the Dark Ages. With this said, let us continue marching forth toward logic and information.

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