This was sent over to me by my friend, Mike. I wanted to share it here with you all. Don’t wait to read it! It might be too late! 🙂
(I found this excerpt about Benoit Mandelbrot (mathematician) on the NY Times page yesterday. His memoirs are called “The Fractalist”. The last paragraph is what I find interesting — Mike Davis)
As “The Fractalist” makes plain, Mandelbrot led a zigzag sort of life, rarely remaining in one place for long. He was born in Warsaw to a middle-class Lithuanian Jewish family that prized intellectual achievement. His mother was a dentist; his father worked in the clothing business. Both loved knowledge and ideas, and their relatives included many fiercely brainy men.
“I grew up,” Mandelbrot writes, “in what may be called a house of mathematics.”
The family fled to Paris in 1936, in time to escape Hitler’s advances. Looking back on dear friends who didn’t make it out, he laments their procrastination. Some, he writes, “had been detained by their precious china, or inability to sell their Bösendorfer concert grand piano, or unwillingness to abandon the park view from their windows.” He’d learned a lesson about not being tied down.