“People Misquote Me on the Internet Constantly. It’s Totally Annoying. Please Cut That Shit Out.” — Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein is one of the most frequently misquoted figures in history. It’s easy to understand why from a PR standpoint. Attributing a quote to Einstein ensures automatic respectability. After all, Einstein has already earned his sterling rep. Joe Blow’s ideas are not going to be accepted as readily or uncritically.
Obviously, Einstein isn’t around to defend his honor and call foul — “Hey! I’d never say anything that frigging blatantly goofy!” He’s a sitting duck, but such is the price of genius — and of dying.
Here are just a few quotes poor Al has been accidentally or not-so-accidentally linked to.
1.) “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Often seen on posters with smiling full moons and gender-neutral woodland sprites, it sounds decidedly un-Einstein and a lot more like Jerry Garcia if just add a “man” at the end. But it’s true our pal Al did express a similar sentiment during an interview with the Saturday Evening Post in 1929:
SEP: Then you trust more to your imagination than to your knowledge?
Einstein: I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Seriously, what’s wrong with that quote? Why make up a fake one?
“Two things inspire me to awe: the starry heavens and the moral universe within.”
Another one that’s often seen adorning New Age motivational posters. It’s also fake as most celebrity weddings. This is a slight reworking of a quote from Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason: