random photos from my family’s trips gallery:
In loving memory of my grandpa David Mihailovici.
That, of course, is the great secret of the successful fool – that he is no fool at all.
– Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare by Isaac Asimov
Faced with the mess Riemann left behind, his housekeeper destroyed many of his unpublished scribblings before she was stopped by members of the faculty in Gottingen. …
It is intriguing to speculate what might have been found if his housekeeper had not been so keen to clear his study… Those missing pages of Riemann’s are as provocative as Fermat’s claim to have had a proof of his Last Theorem.
… Sadly, though, many of the papers detailing results that he tantalizingly hinted he had some understanding of have probably been lost for eternity in the kitchen fire of his overzealous housekeeper.
– The Music of the Primes by Marcus du Sautoy
…There, Whittaker recalled: “papers covered the floor of a fair-sized room to a depth of about a foot, all jumbled together and were to be incinerated in a few days. One could only make lucky dips [into the rubble] and, as Watson never threw away anything, the result might be a sheet of mathematics but more probably a receipted bill or a draft of his income tax return for 1923. By an extraordinary stroke of luck one of my dips brought up the Ramanujan material” …
In a paper appearing soon after he had unearthed it, Andrew styled his find “the Lost Notebook”. It’s discovery, mathematician Emma Lehmer was moved to say, was “comparable to the discovery of a complete sketch of the tenth symphony of Beethoven.”
– The Man Who Knew Infinity by Robert Kanigel.
From the back cover:
After an original thinker is gone, people often wonder what else he might have come up with. Well in my case you can read my mind in this collection of unfinished ideas. In the process of explaining and expanding all my “back-of-the-envelope” notes I hope to achieve nucleation that will crystallize into mature projects.
This book is more “me”, in the sense that the ideas are more “out there” [unconventional] because they are just thoughts without checking them thoroughly like I do with my inventions, without coming to terms with technical (and other) limitations like I do with my art work. These are unprocessed dreams. So it’s more everything that’s me without filters. If you usually think my ideas are X – it’s more X 😊
In this book I will explain about all the ideas that I intend to develop in the future but I didn’t get to them yet. Right now they are just scattered all around my study room in the form of A4 sheets of paper. So this book serves two purposes: On the one hand, if something bad happens, at least my ideas will survive, albeit in a seed form. On the other hand, if nothing bad happens, the writing will put some order and structure into these future projects.
Why a joker?
I like the meaning of a joker both as a playing card and as a jester, I think they both apply to me.
As the playing card – depending on the rules of the game – in some games a joker is very strong and desirable, and in others it’s not even taking part in game. This is analogous to me where in the game of inventing original ideas I’m very powerful while in the “game of life” I neither have a job nor a family of my own, so I’m not participating in the game.
But the more fundamental similarity is that a joker can become any other card, an ability which is called wild card. This ability of “Jack of all trades, master of none” is very typical of me, my abilities don’t specialize in any field, but I integrate knowledge between different fields.
I remember once my mythological ex-girlfriend got offended by me. After meeting a very busty girl from her friends, I told my ex-girlfriend something like: “She has great breasts”. So my ex-girlfriend was offended that I liked her friend’s breasts better. I explained the truth, that that busty girl had indeed scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in breasts, but scored very low (like 1 out of 10) “grades” in any other “department”. As opposed to my ex-girlfriend who scored 9 of 10 in every “department” – my ex-girlfriend was nearly perfect in everything, so their total scores would be let’s say 20 out of 100 for the busty girl, as opposed to 90 out of 100 for my ex-girlfriend.
So in the same logic the Jack of all Trades has an integrative ability that can take ideas from one field into another and connect the links that the 10/100 grade narrow experts can never see.
A jester is also typical to me as I don’t fit in in at society which allows me to come up with unique observations and bold statements that other people can’t allow to make. For example the neo-luddism which people are afraid to talk about, while I do websites etc. A jester holds a mirror in the face of society and criticizes without fear, which I identify myself with.
On the other hand ordinary people think of a jester as a fool who doesn’t accomplish the normal status symbols that these people strive all their lives to achieve, so people look down at him as if he’s a joke, and I’m sure most people see me this way too.
And lastly I chose this character to be the book’s name because the ideas or “seeds” that I’m about to present to you are so varied that you can’t even find a common thread between them, except they were all born as figments of my imagination and now they’re lying around on my spare bed as pencil scribbles on A4 sized papers. Just like with a joker you never know what to expect from the next chapter (that is unless you look at the table of contents).
Nir Strulovitz , Haifa , May 2022
All rights reserved to these very talented artists:
All Kawaii icons (Jester icon, Hammer icon, Light bulb icon, Astrolabe icon, Globe icon) by Freepik from Flaticon, Alloy Ink font by wepfont, Joker Card by Maisei Raman, Kingthings Versalis font by Kingthings, Mandelbrot Island by Alexis Monnerot-Dumaine, David Bohm by Macy Holdings LLC, Opera singer – unknown stock photo, Bernhard Riemann by Jose Ramos, Basic D&D Ancient Red sketch by Larry Elmore, Gary Gygax by Ashley Holt, Milky Way Map by National Geographic Society, Gene Roddenberry by Alexander Clare, CPT sound physical manifestation by Pluke, Rene Descartes by Vladymyr Lukash, space station lit by a bright star by Dotted Yeti, and Bruce Lee by Tom Richmond.
Thank you very much to all of you! 🙏