A Conversation for Piet Hein - Danish Renaissance Man

Some comments

Post 1


I always thought Hein had only moved to Denmark late in his life. I thought he was from Holland or some place. His name sounds more Dutch than Danish.

I don't quite like the explanation of the super ellipse. You make it sound like the balloon keeps expanding untill it fills the entire box and is cube-shaped. You should make more clear that it still has rounded corners. And what is so special about the shape anyway?

And the second Gruk sounds very clumsy compared to in Danish. They must have lost a lot in translation. I think they still run in Politiken.

And why try so hard to label the guy as either a scientist or an artist? That to me implies you also have the idea that a scientist has the mindset of a Vulcan. I'd imagine you find more art-lovers among scientist than among the rest of the population, percentage wise.

Some comments

Post 2


Hi Xanatic smiley - smiley
Yes, Hein is a Dutch name, as I said, he was descended from the Dutch naval hero also sometimes known as Piet Hein. But, no, the modern Piet Hein was not Dutch. All the information I can find about him confirms that he was Danish, and he certainly appears to have spent the 1930's and 40's mostly in Denmark.

The superellipse is much better explained in the linked entry, but I wanted to get across a desciption simple to visualise, even though I fully realise it isn't wholly accurate (see footnote)

For the grook, I don't think it is possible to quote it in Danish (writing guidlines suggest only English is acceptable - though it may be possible to have them side by side). Also I haven't found it in Danish, and finally I believe it is Piet Hein's own translation of the grook, and thus 'authentic' in carrying the meaning he wanted it to.

You will note I haven't written a separate entry on Grooks, and if you are able you maybe could do this better than me - I don't speak Danish. The person organising the 'official' Piet Hein website has told me that it is ok to quote two or three grooks in a non-commercial article, as long as they are formatted accurately.

I am sorry you came away with the impression that I was trying to put Piet Hein into a smiley - scientist box or smiley - artist box. The impression I intended to convey was the futility of this false division between CP Snow's two cultures. What I have tried to do is stress how many creative fields Hein was involved in, and show how creativity is more important than the field in determining whether to call someone an artist.

Do you believe any of these points are misleading enough to require amendment to the entry?smiley - erm


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Post 3



Sorry if I came off a bit rough there. I do think it is a good entry, it was just meant as a constructive criticism. And you are right in all your points, so I retract my comments smiley - smiley

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Post 4


No worries smiley - smiley

Invention at The Guide

Post 5


I beleive that it was GOOD that you simplified the hyperellipse explanation. One image, or at least the simple mathematical word "sphere" would have helped. Mathematical textbooks go through heavy editing, there's little cause for shame in this -- talking about numbers with that other side of the brain invites mild error and course recorrection.

This should be the beginning of [email protected] I have a stake--

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