Darth Vader is iconic and doesn’t need explanation.
People feel at ease though when the obvious is being explained so let me make you feel at ease. The universe is filled with a Force that Jedi knights apply to the Good. Anakin is very sensitive to the Force and becomes the chief Jedi, but he appears to have essential weaknesses and the Force corrupts him. He turns into Darth Vader and becomes the chief villain of the evil emperor.
Robbert Dijkgraaf may become iconic if he really turns into Darth Vader. He is departing as President of the Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW) and becomes director of the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton.
When Alfred Einstein fled from Nazi Germany he came to IAS.
Also Kurt Gödel settled down there, and walked with Einstein.
I have my doubts about these two gentlemen. My book Conquest of the Plane section 14.2 discusses that when space has been defined then we lose freedom to redefine it again. The human definition of space is Euclidean. We imagine non-Euclidean geometry (say on a sphere) within Euclidean definitions. Einstein’s mathematical manipulation of space is actually a way to deal with measurement problems, and it is not warranted that this is a good way. My book A Logic of Exceptions chapter 9 shows that reasonable assumptions cause the Gödeliar to collapse to the Liar paradox that can be solved with three-valued logic, so that Gödel’s conclusions only apply to artificially weak systems.
These reservations about these two gentlemen must be seen in perspective. We might criticize Aristotle that he hasn’t developed differential calculus so that his books have less relevance today. But this is silly. Aristotle is one of the great geniuses of mankind so we must appreciate his results within the framework of his time. Perhaps the same holds about Einstein. He died only recently so we may need some more centuries to get a proper perspective. At least I do since I don’t claim to understand modern physics at this moment. About Gödel there is more room for doubt since it is at least as likely that he was a deluded mathematician. But of course I may be wrong. Anyhow, these two gentlemen have greatly contributed to the high standing of IAS in academic culture.
We can identify the Force with Science. Thus scientists can use Science in the service of the Good. Subsequently there is Robbert Dijkgraaf (Anakin) who is very sensitive to Science and he got elected to be President of KNAW (becoming the chief Jedi).
I wrote him a message about the censorship of science by the Dutch Central Planning Bureau (CPB). Dijkgraaf did not respond and didn’t do anything. Legally, the CPB does not reside under KNAW but under the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Nevertheless, KNAW has a role in Dutch society to watch over the integrity of science and it is not unreasonable to expect that Dijkgraaf should step in, and urge the government to deal with the case of integrity of science at CPB. None of this.
Thus in my experience Dijkgraaf has failed as a scientist and President of KNAW. Integrity hasn’t been defended where it mattered most. Dijkgraaf opted for his own agenda. He has the essential weaknesses of vanity and fear (for fear). He paraded all over Dutch television promoting science but it was a farce because he allowed the government to destroy the integrity.
The IAS loved the show and loved to have Dijkgraaf. Has it turned into the Evil Empire ? The IAS exists by cherry-picking apparent winners and then advertising how good they all are. It is not clear whether this breeds a critical scientific attitude. The Institute states: “For 2012-2013 the theme will be Economics and Politics”. They would need my book DRGTPE on the failure of the Trias Politica and the necessity of an Economic Supreme Court. But it is unlikely that they use it because of the censorship in Holland. Will IAS criticize Dijkgraaf’s performance in Holland ? IAS will put out corrupted science.
PS. The IAS Institute Letter Fall 2011 announces the appointment of Dijkgraaf and also discusses the “continuum hypothesis”. Trained logicians have brainwashed themselves into irrationality, and are like a sect worthy of antropological research. See also my papers Contra Cantor Pro Occam and Neoclassical Mathematics for the Schools.
PPS. I wrote the editor of the IAS Institute Letter about all this but haven’t gotten an answer.