Friday, February 03, 2006

Ludwig Who?

A question that has oft been asked is, "Why Ludwig?". And, "Ludwig who?". And, "Who's Ludwig?". And "Whose Ludwig?". Clarifications are in order. In the Beginning, we assumed that the choultry would give rise to more questions than the Ludwig, but strangely enough, everyone seems to be very okay with the choultry.

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.
But but but, Ladeej and Gentlebhainses, we present the winner of the Ludwig sweepstakes. There is simply too much information about Him on the internet, but suffice it to say that anyone who can come up with "Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen." has got to be in a class of his own. We will depart, with some quotes and stories about The Ludwig.
  1. Russell, on meeting Ludwig for the first time - "An unknown German appeared ... obstinate and perverse, but I think not stupid"

  2. 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"

  3. 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."

  4. Keynes, in a letter to his wife Lydia Lopokova - "Well, God has arrived. I met him on the 5.15 train."

  5. 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."
So, in short - we were looking for a nice tag line for the blog; "Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must pass over in silence." seemed like a great one; and therefore Ludwig was adopted.



Falstaff said...

Hmmm...Who would have thought the world had so many Ludwigs in it? Have to admit the connection to the Ludwig wasn't something I'd really considered, my associations with the name being entirely devoted to glorious old Ludwig Van. After all, what's the point of all this silence if you don't have the 5th Symphony to fill it?

D said...

Considering that we were amongst those who thought you were deaf, bitter and yes, a musical genius and were patiently & promptly corrected, still found this piece nice, consdering we knew the story!

Get the other Ludwigs as team mates next time, we might even qualify!

Veena said...

Following in Falstaff's footsteps here - "Have to admit the connection to the Ludwig wasn't something I'd really considered, my associations with the name being entirely devoted to glorious gay Ludwig Meis. After all, what's the point of all this silence if you don't have the Crown Hall to fill it??"

Emma said...

Now we know, but can't help but wonder. Was it just the tag line that clinched the name or did it have more to do with all the encomiums listed above? ;)

Ludwig said...

[falstaff] Must admit that most people think/thought that the Ludwig in question is Van The Man (I see you wince, clearly). And must admit that Van The Man has risen very high in the pantheon recently. But first love has always been given to that other tortured genius.

> ...if you don't have the 5th Symphony to fill it?

We aren't very musically educated, but 'Moonlight Sonata' is personal favourite for the filling of silences.

[d] Amen to the team mates thing. Such ignominy will never do...

[veena] V. droll. You're associated with Ludwig Mies? Hmm. Haven't really heard so much about this man, besides the name. We've heard of the other architects (many years ago when we were learning to be a civil eng.) but Mies v. d. R. has been a passing phantasm.

[emma] Ludwig = God = Us


Srin said...

Too many Ludwigs.

Ludwig said...

[srin] Well, we're very fertile. And duplicate rapidly.

Gaurang Prajapati said...

He reminds me of this fav quote :-).
"A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to
him to pull rather than push. "

loblolly said...

but i have another favourite ludwig that you've completely ignored!
King Luwig II, also known as "mad king ludw." of Bavaria, which he ruled at 18. he was born in Nymphenburg Castle (yes, quite.), loved wagner and built neuschwanstein- that fairytale castle filled with swan motifs and windowseats.
the chap was insane of course, and died in susp. circs.
quite the ludw, no?

Ludwig said...

[gaurang] Hi boss! Please don't mock the sublime genius of Ludwig.

[loblolly] A grave and unpardonable error. Will flog ourselves ritually for this. Post will be edited.

lobbly said...

100 lashes would be ideal.

but will you even be able to open the eyelids with all that weight on them?

M said...

:) nice one. (and whoa - congrats. when you're getting appreciation five years on, its a good post).!/photo.php?fbid=1098318975463&set=o.7658941919