We all know that when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. But does it follow that when you understand the culture of critique, every Jew looks hostile? Of course not, but, boy, it’s kind of tempting to think that way, isn’t it?
When the Swiss mathematician Johann Bernoulli received an anonymous solution to a difficult problem he’d set in 1696, he saw at once who had sent it. The solver was Isaac Newton, he said, because he knew ex ungue leonem — “the lion by his claw.”(more…)