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I didn't know what to say. To hear him admit that both of them were ignorant of whole areas in their own fields was terrifying. "What languages do you know?" I asked him.

"French, German, Spanish, Italian, and enough Swedish to get along."

"No Russian, Chinese, Portuguese?"

He reminded me that as a practicing psychiatrist and Neurosurgeon he had very little time for languages. And the only ancient languages that he could read were Latin and Greek. Nothing of the ancient Oriental tongues.

I could see he wanted to end the discussion at that point, but somehow I couldn't let go. I had to find out just how much he knew.

I found out.

Physics: nothing beyond the quantum theory of fields. Geology: nothing about geomorphology or stratigraphy or even petrology. Nothing about the micro- or macroeconomic theory. Little in mathematics beyond the elementary level of calculus of variations, and nothing at all about Banach algebra or Riemannian manifolds. It was the first inkling of the revelations that were in store for me this weekend.

Flowers for Algernon
by Cat on Thu Feb 10th, 2022 at 03:28:38 PM EST

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