What Does Fame And Stupidity Got To Do With Albert Einstein?

Heard of fame, stupidity and Albert Einstein quotation that people are talking about?

There is this popular quote by Albert Einstein that reads:

I am only getting more stupid with fame, which is a quite common phenomenon.

In German language it is:

Ich werde nämlich mit der Berühmtheit immer dümmer, was ja eine ganz gewöhnliche Erscheinung ist.

So, what does the world renowned Einstein mean when he uttered this line?

fame stupidity and Albert Einstein

Basically it is about how people affected by fame.

The key word is this quotation is “phenomenon“.

Phenomenon means an an extraordinary occurrence, fact or circumstance.

Sarcastically, Einstein said stupid with fame is a quite common phenomenon.

In other words, when one becomes famous or well-known, one becomes more stupid is a normal thing.

When Einstein remarked becoming more stupid, he did not mean intellectually.

But rather one’s behavior.

What Albert Einstein said it it very true.

Fame can drive one to behave irrationally to the point of being stupid.

In the June 2015 issue of Harper’s Bazaar magazine UK, Twilight star Kristen Stewart said in the interview:

Fame is the worst thing in the world,” Stewart said. “Especially if it’s pointless. When people say, ‘I want to be famous’—why? You don’t do anything.

By the way, I’m sure you have read or seen this funny-yet-true pithy line:

Don’t be stupid, it might make you famous.

Fame Stupidity And Albert Einstein

Someone said fame is a dangerous drug, that comes along with many negative side effects.

Just like the drug addiction, the allure of wealth, access, preferential treatment, public adoration, keeps the famous person stuck in the perpetual need to keep their fame alive.

The sad part is they cannot accept they are no longer famous.

As I have just said, fame is an addiction. It’s a craving.

Just like with any addiction, fame has little to do with actually the item that you’re seeing, it is used as a mood enhancer.

Fame helps a person to feel important, feel good, invaluable and they matter.

But at the same time, it affects your ego, and you feel very vulnerable to the personal evaluations of other people.

The fact is the public is the one who is in control of your life, so to speak.

Ultimately fame takes over your life, your value, your outlook on everyday life.

In short, fame can makes you miserable, helpless and stupid.

But sadly, in this social media age, stupidity is blatantly encouraged, promoted and rewarded.

The two most obvious examples are the reality TV shows and viral videos.

These days our society focuses on things that are completely irrelevant and stupid, as opposed to things that are of true value.

According to a survey of 1,000 children aged six to 17, more than three-quarters of youngsters say want they want to become YouTubers and vloggers.

The irony of fame is, when you don’t have it, you struggle to achieve it.

But then when you get hold of it, you can’t get away from it fast enough.

As we all know fame breeds vanity and superficiality.

Fame just means you get noticed a great deal, but not that you get understood, appreciated or loved.

Fame And Stupidity Quotes

Now, let’s check out some authentic fame and stupidity quotes:

“Fame is a bright flower, but weeds abound mostly around it.” – Edward Counsel

(Maxims: Political, Philosophical, And Moral By Edward Counsel, Printed And Pub. For The Author by A.H. Massina & Company, 1892, 1083, P. 34) source

(The quote is also found here.)

“…when you think upon your fame in future ages, you seem to think that you are prolonging it to immortality. But if you think upon the unending length of eternity, what enjoyment do you find in the long endurance of your name?” – Boethius

(The Consolation Of Philosophy By Boethius, Translated By W. V. Cooper, New York: Carlton House, PP.37-38) source

(The Consolation Of Philosophy By Boethius, Translated By W. V. Cooper (1902), Aeterna Press, 1964, Book II) source

“Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than evil is. Against evil, one can protest; it can be exposed and, if necessary, stopped with force. Evil always carries the seed of its own self-destruction, because it at least leaves people with a feeling of uneasiness. But against stupidity we are defenseless.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Dummheit ist ein gefährlicherer Feind des Guten als Bosheit. Gegen das Böse läßt sich protestieren, es läßt sich bloßstellen, es läßt sich notfalls mit Gewalt verhindern, das Böse trägt immer den Keim der Selbstzersetzung in sich, indem es mindestens ein Unbehagen im Menschen zurückläßt. Gegen die Dummheit sind wir wehrlos.” (German)

(I Want To Live These Days With You: A Year Of Daily Devotions By Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Translated By O. C. Dean Jr, Westminster John Knox Press, 2017, August/ 223, Encounter And Responsibility, A More Dangerous Enemy Of The Good, P.249) source

(The quote in German is found in: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Widerstand Und Ergebung: Briefe Und Aufzeichnungen Aus Der Haft, Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh, In Der Verlagsgruppe Random Hose GmbH,1998, Von Der Dummheit, P. 26) source

“Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education.” – Bertrand Russell

(History of Western Philosophy By Bertrand Russell, London & New York: Routledge, 2004, Part II From Rousseau To The Present Day, Ch. 21, Currents Of Thoughts In The Nineteenth Century, P. 655)

* Here is a list of Albert Einstein humor quotations might make you smarter and definitely not more stupid.