Bachelorhood and genius

Goethe marriage (1806)
Goethe, one of Germany's most famous bachelors, and the #1 top 500 genius, whose greatest work as a treatise on the physico-chemical nature of relationships in respect to social-religious ideas about what is right and wrong in respect to the the dynamics of the marriage bond, remained a bachelor for the first 56-years of his existence, marrying Christiane Vulpius, only when war came to Germany.
In genius studies, bachelorhood and genius refers to the peculiarly noticeable phenomena that the higher one goes up in the genius rankings, towards the top of the top 500 geniuses of all time, many of the top geniuses never married; in fact three of the biggest mononym geniuses: Newton (#2), Gibbs (#4), Tesla (#19), Nietzsche (#90), among others, never married, and Goethe (#1), the number one genius, who had so many love affairs, that entire volumes of books have been written on this subject, e.g. Goethe and His Woman Friends (Crawford, 1911), only married "reluctantly" in 1806 at the age of 57 owing to the peculiar circumstances of war, see: Goethe timeline (19 Aug 1806), namely the observation that his Christiane Vulpius, the mother of his then sixteen year old son, was willing to put her “life” on the line to defend Goethe’s house when Napoleon’s troops invaded Jena.

In general, there is a certain correlation, to some extent, to genius and bachelorhood; the following is an example quote by Tom Siegfried (2006): [2]

Adam Smith had a lot in common with Isaac Newton. Both were lifelong bachelors. Both became professors at the university they had attended. Both were born after their fathers had dies. And both became fathers themselves of a new scientific discipline. Newton built the foundation of physics; Smith authored the bible of economics.”

In respect to genius attainment level, there seems to exist some yet unwritten law according to which genius rank is inversely proportional to time spent married. Sudanese-born American thinker Monydit Malieth summarizes this as follows: [1]

“Geniuses are often misanthropist; they enjoy their lonesomeness because their minds are their best entertainment. Geniuses are also inclined to misogyny. If a background check is run on all of the world’s geniuses, a substantial percentage of them had relationship problems with women and a high percentage of [geniuses] never married.”

Said another way, genius level, in many cases, seems directly proportional, in increasing amount, to the amount of passion, devotion, and time one puts into his or her work, which is reciprocal, in decreasing amount, to the amount of passion, devotion, and time one puts into his or her relationships.


Goethe, the #1 ranked top 500 genius, remained a bachelor for the first 56-years of his existence, per reasons that would seem to encompass an evolved explanation; one reason in particular being that his "greatest work", aka his self-described "best book", was an 1809 treatise on the chemical nature of the relationship bond, marriage bond, and social bonds, in respect to or opposed to traditional "moral" ideals, e.g. Christian, social, and or cultural convention rules, of marriage. "Human bonds", in short, through to be, by many in Goethe's time, the work of god, the union of two souls, i.e. Plato's view (see: soul mate), or something along these lines, according to which divorce, in most cases, was considered "immoral", whereas in the chemical world, an entirely different picture is seen, i.e. in Goethe's 1796 to 1832 mindset views, human relationship bonds are but are higher-level variants of smaller "chemical bonds", of the Bergman-Cullen type, which he experimented with in his laboratory. There is, in short, an inconsistent logic expounded from each point of view (chemical or religious). Goethe specifically gives voice to one point of view, via the character Count in P1:C10 of his 1809 Elective Affinities, namely:

“There is nothing to say against that,” said the Count. “In a new character a man may readily venture on a second trial; and when we know the world we see clearly that it is only this positive eternal duration of marriage in a world where everything is in motion, which has anything unbecoming about it. A certain friend of mine, whose humor displays itself principally in suggestions for new laws, maintained that every marriage should be concluded only for five years. Five, he said, was a sacred number—pretty and uneven. Such a period would be long enough for people to learn one another’s character, bring a child or two into the world, quarrel, separate, and what was best, get reconciled again. He would often exclaim, ‘How happily the first part of the time would pass away!’ Two or three years, at least, would be perfect bliss. On one side or other there would not fail to be a wish to have the relation continue longer, and the amiability would increase the nearer they got to the parting time. The indifferent, even the dissatisfied party, would be softened and gained over by such behavior; they would forget, as in pleasant company the hours pass always unobserved, how the time went by, and they would be delightfully surprised when, after the term had run out, they first observed that they had unknowingly prolonged it.”

This paragraph was penned three years after Goethe himself got married, after 56 years of bachelor hood. Specifically, on 6 Aug 1806, however, war came to Jena, Germany, namely: news reached Goethe of the formal dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire; by Oct war had come to Jena. During the chaos, on 14 Oct, drunken French troops, bent on looting, force their way into Goethe’s house, whereupon Christiane Vulpius (1765-1816) boldly confronted them at the door and declared that “a friend of Napoleon” lived here (see: Goethe and Napoleon)—the house was spared, and five days later, on 19 October Goethe made Christiane his wife; their sixteen year old son August present as one of the witnesses.

In the weeks to follow, Goethe’s attempt to introduce Vulpius, a women of lowly origins, into high society, which, according to Goethean scholar Astrida Tantillo, was a bigger scandal than was the original affair in the first place. [3] The first time the couple appeared publicly together as husband and wife was at a tea party at the house of Johanna Schopenhauer (1766-1838), mother of Arthur Schopenhauer, who at the time would have been about age eighteen. Johanna had only recently moved to Weimar and believed that Goethe had chosen her house for the occasion because of her urbanity and outsider status; Johanna latter quipped about the famed “bachelor” Goethe: [4]

“If Goethe could give that women his name, I certainly could give her a cup of tea.”

(add discussion)

Theory | Discussion
On the so-called Goethe chemical model of the marriage bond, marriage by chemical definition is a single combination reaction, of the following form:

A + B → A≡B

The marriage bond itself, i.e. the "≡" of the "A≡B" union or dihumanide molecule, stores energy in the bond, i.e. bond energy, part of the Gibbs energy of the reaction. In this sense, it can be postulated that marriage itself, for the genius, results in a loss of creative energy, which otherwise would have been available without the "attachment". The following anecdotal report of a comment by Niels Bohr to George Gamow on Paul Dirac's post-honeymoon lackluster cosmology theory (Ѻ) letter to Nature:

“Look what happens to [geniuses] when they get married.”
Niels Bohr (1937), comment to George Gamow, in reference to Paul Dirac’s 1937

Here, we may posit that Dirac, in the wake of his 1927 very-succesfull work in developing a relativistic + quantum mechanics based description of the motion of the electron, which predicted the existence of antimatter or negative energy states of the electron and included electron spin, decided that marriage would be a good option for him, wherein he supposedly found happiness; a downside of this, however, was a loss of a portion of his intellectual acumen prowess, i.e. "power" of mental discernment for the deeper secret truths of nature.

Thompson | Anecdote
On related note, Scottish physicist William Thomson, while not a bachelor, famously referred to interactions and outings with his wife as a second law type of "dissipation of energy", something distracting or diverting heat energy him from his "work" spent on his studies. Specifically, in 1885, while musing upon the subject of thermodynamics one day, Thomson suddenly realized that his wife was discussing plans for an afternoon excursion: [5]

“At what time,” he asked, glancing up, “does the dissipation of energy begin?”

In other words, in this quip Thomson is applying his version of the second law of thermodynamics, as captured in his 1852 paper "On a Universal Tendency to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy", to the tentative understanding the work involved in the course of daily human-human interactions; a prime human thermodynamics example application of the law of dissipation of energy.

Thims, similar to Goethe, has never really quite understood marriage. Thims, e.g., when asked about marriage, has always classified himself as a "run-away groom". Girls and women, in Thims early years, would always seem to quickly fall in love with Thims and declare this openly to hims, via the classic "I love you" phrase. This general observation, from a general super-observer perspective, led Thims into his 19-girlfriend "love thought experiment", similar to Goethe's 4-girlfriend The Renouncers love thought experiment. The first "thoughts of marriage", when one of Thims' closer girlfriends, early on, circa age 20-21 mentioned the term "Mrs Thims", while paying for a hotel room with Thims' credit card, brought about a "cold" feeling in Thims mind as though "marriage", i.e. being locked into the same exact "thing" say for the next say 80-years, felt like something akin to a "death trap".

Moreover, in many cases, Thims would have to frequently "hide" from many of his girlfriends, so to get study done, some of whom would frequently go from library to library to search for him and try to track him down. Some actually have openly told Thims that they "feel" like they are in the way of whatever it is Thims is after; as the following personal note recollects:

“It’s as though I have a bigger sense of ‘chemical potential’ to fulfill (or realize). Women always just always seem to be getting in the way. Some even tell me so, namely: that they feel that way.”
— Libb Thims (2016), "personal note", practice answer rehearsal, to long-time overly common reoccurring query “so why aren’t you married?”, after showing the new landlord my new exercise station (Ѻ), in anticipation of the question, who just had his second baby over the past weekend; jotted herein as note per realization that the term “chemical potential” seemed to arise naturally in the mind, as workable cogent synonym to the seemingly teleological and or atomic purview objectionable term “purpose” (e.g. it is difficult to sentence that it is hydrogen’s ‘purpose’ to bond with oxygen to form water), seemingly thereby to fill in as workable “purpose terminology upgrade” employable, in light of Vicente Talanquer's discernible chemical teleology terminology objections, in passing conversations; possibly even preferable than to “thermodynamic potential”, as suggested by Bruce Lindsay (1983), which has a less-recognizable immediate meaning, in everyday passing colloquial conversations, 11:45 AM CST Feb 26

In some sense, the deeper one gets into a relationship a certain "power" loss can be felt in respect to ability to focus on theory.

The following are related quotes:

“Another form of sagacity and self-defense consists in ‘reacting’ as seldom as possible and withdrawing from situations and relationships in which one would be condemned as it were to suspend one’s ‘freedom’, one’s initiative, and become a mere reagent.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1888), Ecce Homo (pg. 27); note: in 1882, the year when The Gay Science was published, he proposed to Lou Salome (Ѻ) and was rejected, which conflicts, in some respect, with the above rule

1. Malieth, Monydit (aka Tonnerre). (2013). The Future Affects the Past (pg. 10). Red Lead Books.
2. Siegfried, Tom. (2006). A Beautiful Math: John Nash, Game Theory, and the Modern Quest for a Code of Nature (pg. 12). National Academies Press.
3. (a) Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics (pg. 2). Camden House.
(b) August von Goethe (German → English) – Wikipedia.
4. (a) Kohler, Astrid. (1996). Salonkultur im Klassischen Weimar: Geselligkeit als Lebensform und Literarisches Konzept. Stuttgart: M&P Verlag. (pg. 27)
(b) Tantillo, Astrida O. (2001). Goethe's Elective Affinities and the Critics (pg. 2). Camden House.
(c) Johanna Schopenhauer – Wikipedia.
5. Cleveland, Cutler J., and Morris, Chris. (2006). Dictionary of Energy (“At what time does the dissipation of energy begin?” —William Thomson (1885; applying the terminology of his studies of thermodynamics to a question for his wife about their plans for an afternoon walk), pg. 497). Elsevier.

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