Jewish Intelligence

6 posts


If you go to this website, they boast about the relative proportion of "prizes" won by Jews:

I know the following comparison may sound "malicious" to some here, but I would think Nazis (a subset of Germans) were smarter than Jews (as a group):

Nazis: Teichmuller (who is comparable to Galois), von Braun, Heisenberg, Konrad Zuse.

Jews: Einstein, von Neumann (not as great as Teichmuller), and that's it for people of this rank.

Notice how weak the Jews are in mathematics and engineering. They are only strong in physics. Oddly, the Germans are strongest in those areas (mathematics and engineering) where Jews are weak. In those areas all of the very greatest figures of the past century were non-Jews: Weyl, E. Cartan, Siegel, Kolmogorov, Leray, Teichmuller, Connes, etc. (mostly German, French, Russian). In absolute terms, American gentiles made more contributions than American Jews in the past century - think about Claude Shannon, Whitney (founder of differential topology), Linus Pauling, John Bardeen, etc.

Of course, counting the total # of prizes Jews get hide this fact b/c (1) most scientific advance is concentrated in a specific period, while those prizes are given at a constant rate, and (2) of course there's a gigantic difference between one recipient and another. So the nature of those prizes (in fact, any kind of prize-giving system) has to gloss over the fact that the Jews are at the very top of the second-rate, rather than anywhere near the frst.

In politics on the other hand it is much more important to have more people at the top of the second-rate, rather than a few at the very first. Group work triumphs over individual genius.


Perhaps a word of explanation on some of the people mentioned above:

Oswald Teichmuller (b. 1913):

In terms of the quality of work divided by lifespan, Teichmuller is definitely comparable to Galois or even Riemann - i.e., in rank 1. In fact any mathematician today working in complex function theory knows of the inexhaustible richness of his papers on the moduli of Riemann surfaces, which has generated an entire "empire" (the theory of Teichmuller spaces), which after a century we are still learning from - and which even has applications to string theory:

The brilliance of this obvious if you understand the ideas involved (parametrization of the complex structures on a Riemann surface) - this is comparable to the introduction of Riemann surfaces in the first place (which solved the problem of conceptualizing a multi-valued continuous function in the complex domain, like sqrt(2) - notice that this gets around the attempt to straightfowardly augment the "definition" of a function to just "assign" z =sqrt(2)^2 to two values for z, which would instantly destroy all algebraic operations: 2sqrt(z) = sqrt(z) + sqrt(z) is invalid).

Anyway, I just thought it was funny that Nazis are stereotyped as "stupid" when they included among their ranks (Teichmuller, a fanatical Nazi) a mathematician better than any Jewish one in history (the best Jewish mathematicians were von Neumann, Gel'fand, and some others... Grothendieck perhaps).

Beefy Rep
What exactly are you basing this comparison on, except some notion of virtuosity? It surely cannot be on the basis of influence or "contribution." Teichmuller sounds like a bad ass and all, but the fact is that, to a large extent, the world as we know it is an extension of von Neumann's brain. Speaking of engineering and theory, he bridged that gap in a way that only a couple folks could do at that juncture of history; he understood formal logic at the highest level, and helped transform it from an esoteric discipline that had largely undermined its own justifications and into a machine (the computer) that has now assimilated human existence.

Von Neumann stole credit for the invention of the "von Neumann Architecture."

From William Aspray's review of the book "ENIAC: The Triumphs and Tragedies of the World's First Computer Company" by Scott McCartney:

In my comparisons I was thinking, specifically, in terms of "quality of work divided by lifespan" (or rather career-span), and also the "highest single achievement" they reached. For the first criterion perhaps the greatest of the XX century was not even Teichmuller but Jacques Herbrand (a superhuman mind if there ever was one).

In terms of whose work was "better" or "more interesting", that is at least partly a matter of taste b/c different parts of mathematics have a different "flavor". Von N's work is more of a matter of the technical details of the analysis, always involving in some way, linear spaces, functionals and linear operations between them. Definitely it's very ingenious, but very different from work in, say, differential geometry which calls for a level of heuristic argumentation. I would place the theory of Teichmuller spaces (that is even now, unifying large parts of mathematics - complex analysis, number theory, ergodic theory) somewhat above von N's pioneering efforts in "noncommutative analysis".

As for the achievements in engineering, that's another problem I have with von.N. - much of his achievements were paralleled by others - in noncommutative analysis by Murray and Stone, in computing by Aiken, Zuse and Lebedev among others.

My comparison was intended to be provocative, as well as "ironic", given how Jews are compared to much larger groups (like "gentiles"). In any case I'm trying to counter that website I linked to.

Thanks for that. Interesting piece of info. From what I see now, the only original contributions von Neumann had we in relation to functions and game theory.