Childish superstition: Einstein’s letter makes view of religion relatively clear

An abridgment of the letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind from Princeton in January 1954, translated from German by Joan Stambaugh. It will be sold at Bloomsbury auctions on Thursday

… I read a great deal in the last days of your book, and thank you very much for sending it to me. What especially struck me about it was this. With regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community, we have a great deal in common.

… The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me, the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise, I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

In general, I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolisation. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, ie in our evalutations of human behaviour. What separates us are only intellectual ‘props’ and ‘rationalisation’ in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things. With friendly thanks and best wishes


1963 North-East Stampex Red Cross Omitted Stamp

1963 North-East Stampex
1963 North-East Stampex

1963 North-East Stampex

Old Assembly Rooms – Newcastle – September 19, 20, 21 1963

On September 19, 1963, I was in line outside Newcastle Old Assembly Rooms on Westgate Rd waiting eagerly for the NE Stampex to open. I had ten shillings (old money) burning a hole in my pocket.

Central Post Office St. Nicholas' St
Central Post Office St. Nicholas’ St

Inside the door, a table was set up and there were at least two full sheets of the 3d. Red Cross Centenary Congress stamp with the red omitted. They had been bought at Newcastle Central Post Office, on St Nicholas’ St, the day before and were being sold, limit one per visitor, at ten shillings each. This is all I had saved up and I couldn’t justify spending it all on one stamp. The next day they were charging £1 each and it was too late for me. That stamp, GB 1963 SG642a Mint Red omitted, is currently valued on Stanley Gibbons at £18,750.00.

As much as I regret not making that purchase, imagine how much the owner of those sheets must regret it? He must have assumed they were a common error; of course, they were not.

Micro USB connector pinout

Here is the connector in question:

micro usb connector pin out

Here are the associated pins coming out of the actual plug:

micro usb plug pin out

Now, here is the information from Wikipedia that ties all of these things together (in one place!)

Pin Name Wire color Description
1 VBUS Red +5 V
2 D− White Data−
3 D+ Green Data+
4 ID N/A Permits detection of which end of a cable is plugged in, “A” connector (host): connected to the signal ground, “B” connector (device): not connected
5 GND Black Signal ground

If you were wanting to wire together a simple micro USB power cable (say for a Raspberry Pi or something), all you would need to do is:

  • Run 5V to Pin 1
  • Run Ground to Pin 5

It can’t get more clear than this:

micro usb power plug wiring

Unbelievably inexpensive parts from China

How do Chinese manufacturers sell things on EBay so cheaply? Take for example this DC-DC LM2596 Step Down Adjustable Converter Power Supply Module 1.3V-35V:

DC-DC LM2596 Step Down Adjustable Converter Power Supply Module 1.3V-35V
DC-DC LM2596 Step Down Adjustable Converter Power Supply Module 1.3V-35V

For $0.99 this includes EBay and PayPal charges, FREE Economy Shipping from Hong Kong, handling, packaging, labeling, and all above the cost of the item (you can’t even buy the parts for that price! $2.25 [email protected] quantity+S&H from Mouser just for the LM2596). And, this is a good quality item. Furthermore, there must also be design and production costs.