Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mohamed El Naschie and John Kenneth Galbraith

More on the connection between the economist and the E-infinity theorist. This is a continuation of For El Naschie, only elite mentors will do.

Zahy forwarded me a couple of El Naschie's papers that mention Galbraith.

First there is this one from 2003

View this on Scribd

in which El Naschie says

Few years later after becoming a professor in a civil engineering department [here he means King Saud University, but I still think he was never a professor there or anywhere else], I again had a flare up of my interest in economics due to coming in touch with the person and work of John Kenneth Galbraith. I was taken, like everybody else who read his books and knew the man by his wit, eloquence and humanity and I found his book the ‘‘Age of Uncertainty’’, thoroughly and wholly delightful [5].
[5] Galbraith JK. The age of uncertainty. Boston: Houghton mifflin Co; 1977.

Then there's this magnificent editorial written in 2007, the year after Galbraith's death,

View this on Scribd

which culminates in an October 21, 1982 letter from Galbraith to the great man.

Notice that Galbraith's letter is to "Dr." and not "Prof." El Naschie. I take this to mean that in 1982 at King Saud University El Naschie had not yet developed the chutzpa to call himself a professor.

El Naschie never met Galbraith, much less had him as his "teacher" as El Naschie claimed in Rosa Al-Youssef the other day. The first paper talks about "coming in touch with the person and work" of Galbraith. It was written while Galbraith was alive. It doesn't say the contact was in person, so of course it wasn't. The 2007 paper describes the circumstances of contact in more detail. El Naschie, while an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering (so he claims) at King Saud University, learned about Galbraith from a colleague, Dr. M. Al Sheik. Unintroduced and out-of-the-blue, El Naschie wrote admiringly to Galbraith. He invited Galbraith to visit him in Saudi Arabia, but Galbraith declined.

The text of El Naschie's invitation to Galbraith we are not privileged to see; but the fact of its existence conforms to the pattern of how El Naschie acquired high-value targets. Courting 't Hooft with, for example, a proposal to introduce the Nobel Laureate to Saudi Crown Prince Sultan, which came to pass in 2003. 't Hooft told Zoran Skoda that El Naschie had "huge influence in some Middle East countries" so clearly El Naschie was good at this.

Let me wrap this up by pointing out the embarrassing unconscious mimicry of El Naschie calling Galbraith's book "wholly delightful" after internalizing Galbraith's description of El Naschie's letter of invitation as "wholly enchanting". Yechhh.

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