The Titan of Χάος

Version 1.7.5b3 of 3/12/2020-2:52 a.m.

«είς εμοί μύριοι, εάν άριστος ήι» - Ηράκλειτος

father at work 1  father at work 2  father at work 3 
Left: Arriving at school infrastructure inauguration as Secretary General of the Ministry of Education & Religion;
Middle: Surrounded by teachers & local consultants, inspecting the school's amphitheater;
Right: Leaving the school amidst students, consultants & teachers (news: 18/12/1972).

My father was a very strange intellectual phenomenon, whose magnitude cannot be described except in meager terms and with lots of caution, because any valuation, even by his son, remains subjective, being prone to erroneous judgements by a necessarily lesser intelligence.

He was born in 1929. As a child he graduated first in his high school (Pireus 3-rd Gymnasium) with a grade of 19+7/11. Under the Greek National examination system in 1947 he subsequently entered the Civil Engineering department of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) after high school, ranking seventh in the entire country[1].

Asking my uncle who took part in the same exams during the year 1945, the total number of candidates were ~800 for the school of Civil Engineering at NTUA and approximating the scores of the exam for year 1947 using a normal distribution with σ=15, we get using Maple:

> p:=(x,sigma,mu)->exp(-(x-mu)^2/(2*sigma^2));#normal distribution

Assuming that the number of total candidates for this school didn't vary very much between 1945 and 1948, we note that the sample space (800) should approximately equal the integral of the distribution, so we can normalize as follows:

> A:=evalf(solve(A*Int(p(x,15,100),x=0..200)=800,A));#find normalization constant for sample of 800
> P:=(x,sigma,mu)->A*p(x,sigma,mu);#normalized distribution for Greek National exams for NTUA civil engineering for year 1947


> with(plots):
> plot(P(iq,15,100),iq=0..200);

normal distribution of IQ's during father's exam
Normal distribution of IQ's corresponding to exam results in 1947

A rank of 7-th in 800 then, corresponds to an IQ of:

> evalf(solve(int(P(x,15,100),x=0..t)=793,t));
~136[2].

My mother's own testimony was that when she was dating him during his university years, his fellow students referred to him as "Einstein".

During the period 1952-1955 he served initially as Assistant and later as Reservist Ensign Mechanical Engineer in the Naval Command of Crete and in the General Naval Staff, in N.A.T.O.'s Office of Research and Supervision Infrastructure.

From the year 1955 and upon his lawful dismissal from the Navy, he served until 1959 as a contractor Mechanical Supervisor of N.A.T.O.'s Construction Research department.

Resigning in 1959, he cooperated with the Civil Construction Company "Eupalinos" until the year 1961, when he left and founded his own construction company which he kept until 1967.

During the period 1959-1961 he served as a Supervisor Civil Engineer in the department of "Structural Mechanics and Elements of Technical Constructions" and during the period 1966-1967 he served as a Supervisor Civil Engineer in the department of "Statics and Iron Bridges" under NTUA professor E. Panayiotounakos.

In 1967 he submitted his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and Applied Mathematics in the area of the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity at NTUA[17]. His thesis was of fundamental importance to the later development of the Theory of Elasticity using Complex Variables and can be used to explain a plethora of phenomena, like Lightning.

Subsequently he was appointed a full-fledged professor at NTUA, and at approximately the same time he was appointed by the (then) National Government to the position of Secretary General in the Ministry of Education and Religion[4].

father at work 4
Inspecting patents of newly invented engineering machinery as Secretary General for the Ministry of Education & Religion, in 1969.

While serving in the above governmental position he helped a plethora of people (including friend and foe) by performing several favors after being bombarded by the corresponding requests and he never used his position of power for personal or financial gain, as a result of which his property remained exactly the same after this government was deposed, in 1974[4].

Besides being an engineer, he was a very strong chess player[5], an superb player of keyboard music[6], an expert painter, an expert poet[7], an expert butterfly stroke swimmer[8], an expert hunter[9] and a fully informed amateur astronomer[10]. He commanded expertly several difficult areas in Mathematics, such as Geometry, Analytic Geometry, Complex Analysis, Real Analysis, Number Theory, Set Theory and Group Theory and spoke fluently several languages, such as German, French, Italian and English, besides his native Greek[11].

In 1973-74 he left Greece and became a permanent citizen of Switzerland, living there with his second wife until the time of his death.

Although he separated with my mother in 1972 and left our family, according to her testimony again, while we were together he was a perfect husband and a fairly good father to me, until he divorced my mother. She always remarks that when they were together he never boasted about his intelligence[12].

I was told that he died in 1986 of a heart attack, but I never saw him dead, because I was a student in the States, so I didn't make it to his funeral. The year he died was the year of Halley's comet. Several major disasters occurred just before his death: The Challenger disaster in the US five months before the date of his death and the Chernobyl disaster in Russia two months before the date of his death. At the time of his death, I was a senior at U of I, close to getting my degree in Mathematics[13]. After being notified of his death, I lost 20 kilos, became delusional and had a bout with paranoia and depression which overall took me 20 years to overcome. I barely made it to graduation.

Prior to his death, he created such a complex will, a team of lawyers was unable to solve the grand puzzle he specified in his will for 23 years, until I figured out that it was unsolvable as it was meant to completely deadlock the inheritance to me and (possibly) to his second wife[14].

I found this spectroscope in his belongings after he died. Several years before his death I had asked him for a high quality spectroscope to do my physics investigations.

He also managed to enter the internet records without any effort on my part although he never used computers himself[15].

My father was a genius of such monstrous magnitude, to the point where just being the son of such a man creates severe psychological and emotional problems, particularly after his son (this author) has been an almost complete financial failure (compared to him of course).

As far as I am aware, he was the only human who managed to climb the ladder of social power so fast. I am not aware of any other human being who, at the age of 35-38 had achieved so much in one's life.

His existence on this planet was, for lack of better wording, a monumental and strange contradiction. A lesser intelligence (such as mine) cannot fully comprehend the repercussions from the coming and passing of a genius of the caliber of my father, so his existence and its influence on me will remain an unresolvable and mysterious grand dilemma.

When my father was alive, the world was an infinite playground. After he died, the world transformed into the worst nightmare imaginable.

How do I feel today? There's only one worthwhile reward for any male, including this author: For your father to say one day: "I am proud of you. You have done well". But no matter how much work I do, there's no way I can ever be like my father, so I don't expect this reward to come anytime soon[16].

Notes/References

  1. According to a surviving CV document of his.
  2. At the age of 18! IQ tends to evolve positively as a function of time. Try to imagine what his IQ was at age, say, 35-40.
  3. The crack that develops on the Hilbert Kernel under strain or stress has a Lichtenberg multi-linear fractal profil.
  4. Even though he was politically neutral when appointed to this position in 1968, he was severely anti-communist, so naturally, subsequent communist propaganda found a way to blame him for it: The communist Athens Polytechnic student uprising in 1973 caused him to lose both jobs, of course: As Secretary General because the government fell so he was naturally replaced and as professor because he happened to be implicitly associated with the government through the previous appointment (One of the reasons - among others, he left Greece and moved to Switzerland). It's worthy to note that up to 1974 the school he was appointed professor at while in the government (NTUA), was ranking among the top 50 schools in the world. Today, it ranks only among the top 800. Tells you something about what communist interference after 1974 in public schools & Universities has done to the modern Greek educational system.
  5. With an approximate ELO rating of 2,100-2,200 points according to his own testimony from one of his surviving letters to me.
  6. A much better keyboard player than I was or will ever be even after intensive piano studies.
  7. Having read some of his poems to my mother, when he was dating her.
  8. Having seen him swim when we were vacationing when I was a kid.
  9. Him hunting often partriges on the mountains of Greece with his friend Panagiotis Prokopiou.
  10. In one of our discussions when I was 16 (~1980), he told me for the first time that stars always look like pin-point images, no matter what the magnification. This fact remained true, until recently when very large telescopes were able to resolve big supergiant stars, such as Betelgeuse.
  11. I now understand why he always wore a Rolex and a 24-karat gold ring with an amethyst stone which had etched on it the face of a little child.
  12. The impact he had on my mother's life was such that my mother chose to not even think of dating anyone else after her divorce with him, until this day.
  13. In one of his letters to me (dated 1984), he presented the problem of finding all solutions to the equation ab=ba, which is of fundamental importance to tetration research, the area I later published in, having completely forgotten about his letter.
  14. He deadlocked his inheritance to me intentionally, for reasons unknown. He also transferred his own financial debts for his second wife to me by declaring me financially responsible for them (i.e. I had to counter pay her to absolve his debt to her using the inheritance), using a loophole in Greek Law: An inheritor does not only inherit money and property, but debts as well. As a result, I've been engaged in legal battles over his inheritance against his second wife for 34 years and I still haven't got a penny from any of his property. Any average intelligence parent would first care about one's own offspring (financial) survival and then about other obligations - including debts to other people. That's a pretty bad and low-level intelligence parenting mistake, excused only vis-a-vis some sort of intellectual or psychological derangement. So in retrospect, he proved to be not as smart as I thought he was. With this mistake, he just left a legacy of just another fairly incompetent parent.
  15. Google scholar reports this Ph.D. as cited. Another citation is given here and yet another here. He also published several articles in the area of Theoretical Elasticity in the Greek Engineering journal Techincal Chronicles, for example: here, here and here.
  16. I was very lucky in the sense that the workload record left by my father in Mathematics was reasonably manageable, so I was at least able to do some comparable work there. Details on this article.
  17. The original document has been digitized by the University of California and is available for reading at the National Library of Greece. A translation of this document in English can be read at Research Gate. He was awarded the title of Doctor of Civil Engineering by NTUA in 1968.

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