October 4, 2017

"As Einstein said, those who created the problem will not be able to solve it."

Said Arnold Schwarzenegger, after the Supreme Court oral argument yesterday, which he attended. The "problem" in this case is political gerrymandering, and "those who created the problem" are elected politicians, who draw the legislative districts thereby setting up the game that they get to play in the next go 'round.

I'm reading the Schwarzenegger quote in the NYT article "Kennedy’s Vote Is in Play on Voting Maps Warped by Politics."

Of course, the problem of self-interested legislators is very well known, but the argument on the other side is that if the Supreme Court gets involved, it will create a different problem, and then — if we take the Einstein quote to heart — who will be able to solve that?

But is that really an Einstein quote? People love to pass along quotes they think are from Einstein because Einstein is the one name everyone associates with GENIUS! and we have this delusion that if a genius says something, on any subject, it must be genius. Consequently, the "Einstein" label gets slapped on some counterfeit goods.

The quote whipped out by Arnold Schwarzenegger is listed — at Wikiquotes — among the disputed Einstein quotes. And the wording — translated, I presume — is significantly different:
We cannot solve the problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them

"Einstein's famous saying in Copenhagen", as quoted in a FBIS Daily Report: East Europe (4 April 1995), p. 45
Following that quote, those who created the problem could solve the problem if they used a different kind of thinking.

63 comments:

rhhardin said...

The route to political power, according to sociologist Joseph Gusfield, is

1. Discover a "public problem"

2. Take ownership of it

3. Claim the discussion is already over

It looks like the discover a publc problem phase.

Unknown said...

Einstein was talking about a problem in physics, so his quote--when quoted properly--really might be genius.

JPS said...

"As Einstein said, those who created the problem will not be able to solve it."

And as Thomas Jefferson said, don't believe every attribution you find on the internet.

Hagar said...

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave
when first we practice to deceive!"

Bob Ellison said...

I didn't say this.

--A. Einstein

tcrosse said...

What was I thinking ?

-A. Einstein

traditionalguy said...

I think you just identified Trump as a Genius. He sees everything differently than the Establishment that established the dilemmas he is solving as fast as McConnel's crooks in the Senate allow him

Meade said...

As Arnold Schwarzenegger famously said: Here's looking at you, kid. I'll be back. Unless my energy level ebbs, in which case I'll lose muscle mass.

Bay Area Guy said...

Is Ahhnold still starring on "The Apprentice" post-Trump or has that show been cancelled?

The Dems have been gerrymandering and cheating on elections for decades. Now they sue, when they lose.

BillieBob Thorton said...

Politicians are not interested in solving problems

mockturtle said...

The problem these days with quotes is that someone will always dispute them. Being the reactionary that I am, I tend to go with the oldest sources--preferably contemporaneous--that I can find. And preferably not from the internet.

DanTheMan said...

>>And as Thomas Jefferson said, don't believe every attribution you find on the internet.

That's a fake quote! It was Lincoln who said that!


Pettifogger said...

BillieBob Thorton said...

"Politicians are not interested in solving problems"

If they solved problem, they would piss somebody off who liked the status quo and there'd be one less thing to campaign on. Better to talk about it endlessly, blame the opposition, and let the problem fester.

Mike said...

Ahnold is such a fucking embarrassment. Crappy liberal governor who ran as a Republican. Global warming absolutist. Backed the commission that now nonpartisanly redistricts CA to favor liberal democrats only, and there in USSC trying to impose his backwards thinking (with fake quotes naturally) on WI. Onward WI.

Todd said...

People love to pass along quotes they think are from Einstein because Einstein is the one name everyone associates with GENIUS! and we have this delusion that if a genius says something, on any subject, it must be genius.

I believe I read that Einstein often intoned to the women around him "Go make me a sandwich." Pure genius! Let it be written, let it be done!

Fernandinande said...

As far as quotes refer to Einstein, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to Einstein.

tim in vermont said...

Good on you for chasing down that quote, didn't ring true to me either. Einstein had respect for those who came before him, even though he often didn't cite them in his groundbreaking papers when he could have.... But he was young.

I am betting that the spirit of it is more like this quote from lefty Andre Lord

“For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Racism and homophobia are real conditions of all our lives in this place and time. I urge each one of us here to reach down into that deep place of knowledge inside herself and touch that terror and loathing of any difference that lives here. See whose face it wears. Then the personal as the political can begin to illuminate all our choices.”

tim in vermont said...

Sorry, Audre Lorde

GoodPerson_VeryFlawed said...

Mike, re your issue w/ Arnold's climate jabber, here's a quote from another dummy (when compared to your brilliance):

"Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent if we act now. By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children."

matism said...

Why on earth would ANYONE look to Ahnold for an Einstein quote???

I mean, COME ON NOW!!!

mockturtle said...

And let us remember that, as Nietzsche said [sort of], 'Great minds think alike'.

Curious George said...

Like the problem with knocking up your ugly nanny.

mockturtle said...

Good [but stupid] person quotes someone who claims that climate change can be controlled by human behavior. That is the height of arrogance, ignorance and idiocy.

tim in vermont said...

"Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it's one we can prevent if we act now. By denying the evidence for climate change, and pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Donald Trump will cause avoidable environmental damage to our beautiful planet, endangering the natural world, for us and our children."

Wasn't that the guy who flunked out of divinity school, and whom this article was written about?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/gore-was-lazy-dope-as-student-at-harvard-282723.html

tim in vermont said...

As Yogi Bera put it: "I never said half the things I said."

mockturtle said...

>>And as Thomas Jefferson said, don't believe every attribution you find on the internet.

That's a fake quote! It was Lincoln who said that!


Actually, it was Jefferson but he stole it from Voltaire.

Achilles said...

""As Einstein said, those who created the problem will not be able to solve it.""

Only a leftist could think this is a smart thing to say and not realize this applies to most of the problems in the country right now which are government created...

TWW said...

"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Sigmund Freud/Groucho Marx

MikeR said...

Well, if we're willing to admit that a district's representative no longer has any real role in representing that district, I'd say that the obvious solution is a parliamentary election of the House. Each part puts up their slate, and they get the number of representatives off the top of their slate corresponding to their percentage of the votes.
Fortunately, state boundaries aren't so easy to move around.

mockturtle said...

There is a delay today between posting a comment and seeing it appear, hence some double posts.

Michael K said...

"Politicians are not interested in solving problems"

Wrong They are very interested in the problem of re-election.

That, after all, is their job, Not legislating.

Unknown said...

They should eliminate the Electoral College.

Its the ultimate gerrymandering. Hillary is President of California, but not the US.

Gerrymandering is anything that stops democrats from total control.

they have a rock solid liberal block on the High Court, so putting them in charge of electing democrats is more promising then selling their ideas, given the can peel off a hack like Kennedy from time to time.

In that regard, gerrymandering isn't any different than quotas. If democrats aren't elected, then the districts are wrong.

Ralph L said...

As far as quotes refer to Einstein, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to Einstein.
I'm pretty certain Heisenberg said that.

Following that quote, those who created the problem could solve the problem if they used a different kind of thinking.
That implies it could be solved, and that they'd want to--two facts not in evidence here.

Sebastian said...

"Kennedy’s Vote Is in Play" You can't go wrong attributing this quote to anyone.

Laslo Spatula said...

If there was a problem
Yo, I'll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

I am Laslo.

Ralph L said...

So much for white privilege, Laslo.

Nonapod said...

There's one way to actually solve the problem of gerrymandering, but it'll never happen since there's nowhere near enough political will to do so nor will there ever be. As I said yesterday, the one clear way would be to do away with pure geographical apportionment. It would then have to be replaced with some other form of apportionment (like party list proportional representation). Of course, any form of representative apportionment will have it's issues, but gerrymandering seems to be worse than rounding issues associated with other types.

harrogate said...

That quote reminds me of how silly it is that neocons still continue to get invited to come on television and share their foreign policy views

Chuck said...

Schwarzenegger's political career will be forever defined for me by his determination that California's same-sex marriage law should be decided by the courts, rather than by democratically-enacted laws.

This is so much more of the same.

Rick said...

harrogate said...
That quote reminds me of how silly it is that neocons still continue to get invited to come on television and share their foreign policy views


The view neocons - or any Americans - created the problems in foreign relations is leftism in a nutshell: a combination of ignorance, insanity, and anti-Americanism.

Achilles said...

harrogate said...
That quote reminds me of how silly it is that neocons still continue to get invited to come on television and share their foreign policy views

Don't worry. Hillary is to drunk most of the time. Even the media thinks Obama is an idiot so he wont be on much either.

Gahrie said...


Gerrymandering is anything that stops democrats from total control.

The ignorance...it burns it burns!!!!

Most Democrats in the House of Representatives, and all of the minority members, come from Gerrymandered districts.

tim in vermont said...

Of course, any form of representative apportionment will have it's issues, but gerrymandering seems to be worse than rounding issues associated with other types.

Some how I feel that whichever party has the preponderance of seats to call a Constitutional Convention is not going to be interested in changing the rules.

Vader said...

One reason things don't change is, if you have managed to acquire the power to change things, you've obviously done well under the existing rules. Why change them?

BillieBob Thorton said...

"Politicians are not interested in solving problems"

Wrong They are very interested in the problem of re-election.

That, after all, is their job, Not legislating.

Ok. They are only interested in solving ONE problem. That and raising money to solve their one problem.

AJ Lynch said...

Maybe Gorsuch should ask the Democratic lawyers to explain why the Democrat voters are all clustered in the same places and why the Democrat party isn't doing anything to broaden their appeal to other areas.

BillieBob Thorton said...

https://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2009/11/24/solving-whose-problem-n895737

Thomas Sowell on whose problems politicians are trying to solve.

Sigivald said...

One typically sees more fake Einstein (and Buddha) quotes than real ones.

(Not that one should take Einstein as any sort of authority on any topic but physics in the first place.)

n.n said...

There is a corollary: those who created the problem have little incentive to solve it.

Ralph L said...

those who created the problem have little incentive to solve it.

Or they make it worse, for example, Dodd-Frank.

Ralph L said...

So BillieBob got there first but didn't make a clickable link.

Todd said...

AJ Lynch said...
Maybe Gorsuch should ask the Democratic lawyers to explain why the Democrat voters are all clustered in the same places and why the Democrat party isn't doing anything to broaden their appeal to other areas.

10/4/17, 2:29 PM


Would be a great conversation!

Gorsuch: So, why did the DNC force all of those registered Democrats to cluster together?

Democratic lawyer: The DNC did not do that, it does not have that power.

Gorsuch: So, who made them cluster that way and why?

Democratic lawyer: No one did. They individually chose to be there.

Gorsuch: So, who are we to over-rule the people's choice?

AJ Lynch said...

Todd - you'd be a damn good lawyer or an even better humorist!

AJ Lynch said...

I think the more pertinent quote I have heard is "most bureaucrats want to do everyone else's job but not their own".

n.n said...

Or they make it worse, for example, Dodd-Frank

Given that the problem evolved from an elective solution, then a logical progression is to conclude that more is better.

tim maguire said...

A witty saying proves nothing.
--Voltaire.

Nate Whilk said...

Einstein was less than a genius in some areas outside of physics. https://www.csicop.org/si/show/myth_of_consistent_skepticism_the_cautionary_case_of_albert_einstein

Interestingly, Einstein refused to join or endorse an international commission headed by John Dewey to investigate the Moscow Show Trials (a consistent skeptic would seek both confirmatory and discrediting evidence) and would subsequently write to Max Born that “there are increasing signs the Russian trials are not faked, but that there is a plot among those who look upon Stalin as a stupid reactionary who has betrayed the ideas of the revolution” (quoted in Born 1971, p. 130). Born would later comment that most people in the West at the time believed the trials “to be the arbitrary acts of a cruel dictator.” Einstein, however, relied upon information from people he described as “those who know Russia best.”

gloccamorra said...

Has anyone surveyed who gets tagged with the most fake quotes? I'd rank Lincoln at the top, followed by Churchill, but I'd rank Yogi Berra above Einstein.

Chris said...

Gerrymandering is anything that stops democrats from total control.

The ignorance...it burns it burns!!!!

Most Democrats in the House of Representatives, and all of the minority members, come from Gerrymandered districts.


I read that as meaning. according to democrats, gerrymandering is...

Or, in other words, only republicans can gerrymander

Serket said...

Here is my proposal on congressional districts: "After Congress has assigned each State the correct number of seats for the House of Representatives based on the Census, the Legislators of each State shall determine the boundaries for their Congressional Districts. The boundaries of each District must be contiguous. Race, ethnicity, age, and income cannot be used to determine District boundaries. The widest gap between the least populous District and the most populous District in each State shall be one thousand people."

- A New Constitution For A Free People

Matthew Sablan said...

"The widest gap between the least populous District and the most populous District in each State shall be one thousand people."

-- That's... that's not a lot of wiggle room, especially for large, densely populated states.

wildswan said...

If you pile up all your voters inside a district you pile up all your opponents on the outside. Election 2016

The inside of a gerrymandered district and the outside are one and the same.
Martin Van Buren

matism said...

Unless and until we are able to remove most of the current "Legal" system, race MUST be considered when determining District boundaries, Serket. Those responsible for drawing said boundaries are required by the Supremes to ensure sufficient Black districts to satisfy the Communists. The Hispanic districts must also be ensured, but that happens rather easily within the limits of your proposal. Barrios are a third-world thing.