Fable: The Genius

There was once a genius. MIT was thrilled to attract him to their faculty from Bell Labs where he had travelled the corridors on a unicycle while juggling.

After a few terms, the genius told MIT he would no longer teach.

And it soon became apparent that he would no longer publish, or not publish much.

In his first 16 years at MIT he published nine articles.

In the subsequent decade he published one – on juggling.

He invented the science of information communication.

Moral: You can’t measure genius.



  1. aha, Rupert, the Shannon-Weaver model. it’s a close call.

  2. Absolutely, Keith, Claude Shannon it was

  3. Ah, Claude Shannon

  4. There is a lovely line in The Infformation by James Gleick:

    “In 1947 Bell LAbs invented two things. The second most important was the transistor”

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