Saturday, March 29, 2008

Not so famous ...

I brought a new purchase with me to Dubai: Paul Dirac, the man and his work. I took it into the office to show to a colleague who had done postgrad work in Physics and it was lying on my desk.

A succession of people wandered up and asked me "Who's Paul Dirac?"

"Oh, just some guy who was born in Bristol, my home town."

Later on, I had this conversation with a colleague of mine, a data network designer. I explained that my wife was a big fan of Jane Austen and I had asked her to imagine the following conversation.

"Jane, in our day the biggest company in the world is Microsoft."

You see, Jane would know what a big monopoly company was. In her day it was the East India Company.

Jane would say, "That's interesting. What do they make?"

And I would reply, "Absolutely nothing. There's nothing which Microsoft makes which you could pick up in your hands and say 'that's what they make'."

My designer colleague said, "Who's Jane Austen?"