Viewpoint

A new meaning for E=mc2-- the development of human energy.

Albert Einstein was considered one of the greatest scientists of all time. His theory of relativity, advanced in 1905 when he was only 26 years of age, revolutionized scientific thought about the relationships of time, space, mass, motion, and gravitation. His equation E=mc2(energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared) led to the development of atomic energy. The public reveres Einstein as one of its most profound thinkers, a man of the highest intellectual integrity, free of personal ambition, an intrepid fighter for human rights, social justice, and social responsibility. Between the time Einstein made his theory of relativity known and his 70th birthday, more than 5,000 books and pamphlets in every language had been published about him and his works. Although he did little to popularize his ideas, his fame spread rapidly throughout the world. Seldom has any scientist become so popular so soon. And rarely has a scientist been so honored when his discovery was so far beyond the comprehension of those who honored him. It was said that "at most, only a dozen people in the world could understand and test his theory." One could argue that the achievements of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Darwin were, in broad concept, understandable to the general publics of their days. But it is doubtful that the average John and Jane Doe of 1905 (or even today) could explain Einstein's theory of relativity accurately. The year 1905 was epoch in terms of physical science. In that year, Einstein contributed three papers to Annalen der Physik, a German scientific periodical. Each became the basis of a new branch of physics. Today, I combine Einstein's three revolutionary theories about the physical sciences into one about the human science of management. I did this by simply changing the meaning of Einstein's formula: E=mc2. In both formulas "E" stands for energy. In Einstein's formula it stands for physical energy. In mine, it stands for human energy. In Einstein's formula, "m" stands for physical mass. In mine it stands for employee masses. In Einstein's formula, "c" stands for the velocity of physical light. In mine it stands for the velocity of enlightened management. In Einstein's formula, "squared" stands for the second power. In mine its stands for half power. Thus, a literal translation of my version of Einstein's E=mc2 would be: Human energy equals employee masses times the velocity of enlightened management under half power. My formula may not be worth a Nobel Prize. But at the very least, it deserves a "No Bull Prize." It is not original. In fact, it is based upon Einstein's personal theories about the human sciences:

  • "Everything that the human race has done and thought is concerned with the satisfaction of deeply felt needs and the assuagement of pain."
  • "Only a life lived for others is a life worth while."
  • "The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which he has attained liberation from the self."
  • "Man is here for the sake of other men."
  • "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
  • "The Lord God is subtle, but malicious he is not." All of which proves that E=mc2 says a lot in any translation. Sal Marino is chairman emeritus of Penton Media Inc. and an IW contributing editor. His e-mail address is salmarino@industryweek.com.
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