Saturday, August 25, 2018

Professor arrested for pocketing $4 in tips

Quantum computer complexity theorist Scott Aaronson seems to have survived his latest personal struggle, with his worldview intact.

He bought a smoothie, paid with a credit card, and took the $4 in the tip jar. An employee approached him, and politely explained that the tip jar is for tips. He grudgingly gave $1 back.

The manager then called the cops, and cop interviewed him to confirm what he had done. He was still oblivious to what was going on, so the cop handcuffed him and arrested him. That got his attention, and the manager agreed to drop the charges when the $4 was returned.

There is a biography about physicist Paul Dirac that calls him "the world's strangest man" because of a few silly anecdotes about him being a stereotypical absent-minded professor. That biographer has not met Scott.

Scott says that it was all the fault of the smoothie maker for not clearly explaining to him that he does not get to take change from the tip jar if he pays with a credit card. Scott is correct that there was a failure of communication, and surely both sides are at least somewhat to blame.

I am not posting this to criticize Scott. Just read his blog where he posts enuf negative info about himself. If I wanted to badmouth him, I would just link to his various posts where he has admitted to be wrong about various things. I am inclined to side with him as a fellow nerd who is frustrated by those who fail to explain themselves in a more logical manner. I am just posting it because I think that it is funny. After all, Scott has been named as one of the 30 smartest people alive and also one of the top 10 smartest people. And yet there are people with about 50 less IQ points who have no trouble buying smoothies, or understanding a request to put the tip money back.


  1. First,
    Scott Aaronson would appear to be an idiot savant or borderline autistic, not a genius, as his 'intelligence' would evidently appear to be paper thin in actual application.

    Paul Krugman the economist is listed as number two on the list you provide a link to. Paul Krugman is an ideological moron with a partisan slant far greater than his I.Q., not a genius. If Mr. Krugman was so brilliant, he wouldn't have been a shill for covering up for the excesses of Enron, and he certainly wouldn't have publicly paid homage to the 'broken window fallacy' as a workable economic solution to a recession in the NYT. He's a third rate political hack at best, a pathetic excuse for an economist at worst, not an intellectual giant.

    1. Tips are total bullshit these days. Everyone gets them and we are completely overpaying for food service. Eating out is already a MASSIVE ripoff. Employers should just pay people fairly and charge a reasonable rate.

  2. Reminds me of the school for the gifted Far Side comic,