Verily, the Poetess has said, "How many of you are there? Let me count the Ludwigs."
- William F. L. (Sr.) - Born in 1879 in Germany, migrated to the US, set up a drum company which went on to be reasonably successful. No particular reason to take particular note for this Ludwig, if it were not for the salient fact that the best band ever happened to use this Ludwig's drums. Rock on, Ludwig.
- L. Mies van der Rohe - German born, leading architect of the modernist flavour. Do not know too much about this gentleman, but he seems to be a nice sort of Ludwig to be.
- UPDATE (16 Feb 2006) L. Friedrich Wilhelm - In a horrendous error of omission, we left out this other architecturally significant Ludwig from the list and have been suitably castigated. He built crazy castles, ornately decorated, was a great fan of Dick, and died mysteriously.
- L. von Mises - Economist and social philosopher. Libertarian. This, unfortunately doesn't endear him very much to us. Not that there's much wrong with being a libertarian. While we're not very clear as to exactly what kind of a creature libertarianism is, we have read enough to suggest that we wouldn't agree with most of what most libertarians espouse. But then we have libertarian friends and family, so we get by with a little help from our friends.
- L. Andreas Feuerbach - German philosopher. Apparently inventor of the phrase, "You are what you eat." This would make us a chicken biryani.
- L. Eduard Boltzmann - Now we're dragging ourselves out of the realm of the Merely Great Ludwigs to the sphere of the Sublimely Immortal ones. Many will disagree with our characterization of Herr Boltzmann as a Sublimely I. Lud. But for heaven's sake, the man invented statistical mechanics. For someone who has not invented much beyond a new and interestingly gruesome way to pick one's nose, inventing a whole branch of science appears to be the Holy Grail. Bolty also has a constant named after him. If they name a constant after us, it will be defined as
Ludwig's R is the constant governing the relationship between the number of biryanis consumed over a lifetime to the girth of the individual. In limiting cases, the girth may increase to such a magnitude that traditional bipedal locomotion becomes a physical impossibility. Once the limiting value is reached, the individual propagates non-rectilinearly by using one's girth as a tyre to roll in the desired direction. Discovered by Ludwig von Pizzathehutt while seated at a table in Paradise...We bow with deep respect to L. Eduard Boltzmann.
- Beethoven - God. We wish we were like him. Deaf, insane, bitter.
- Russell, on meeting Ludwig for the first time - "An unknown German appeared ... obstinate and perverse, but I think not stupid"
- Russell, one year later - "I shall certainly encourage him. Perhaps he will do great things ... I love him and feel he will solve the problems I am too old to solve"
- Ludwig's doctoral dissertation examination - It (his Ph.D. thesis) was examined by Russell and Moore; at the end of the thesis defence, Ludwig clapped the two examiners on the shoulder and said, "Don't worry, I know you'll never understand it." Moore commented in the examiner's report to the effect that: "In my opinion this is a work of genius; it is, in any case, up to the standards of a degree from Cambridge."
- Keynes, in a letter to his wife Lydia Lopokova - "Well, God has arrived. I met him on the 5.15 train."
- UPDATE(9 Feb 2006): Ludwig devoted his philosophical energies largely to identifying and combating what he regarded as insidiously disruptive forms of 'nonsense'. An anecdote from Fania Pascal
I had my tonsils out and was in the Evelyn Nursing Home feeling sorry for myself. Wittgenstein called. "How are you?", he asked. I croaked: "I feel just like a dog that has been run over." Witggenstein sounded disgusted: "You don't know what a dog that has been run over feels like."