2 3 6 D O C . 2 8 4 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 0 for something for him as well. It’s just difficult to support oneself with science nowadays. Write me more details soon. We are having a sad time of it currently too, because my bedridden mother is here with us, past hope of recovery and suffering unspeakably. It may still take many months before she is relieved.[4] Else is doing much it is not easy for her. Thus my already weak gusto for action is diminished even more. You are a quite different type of fellow! Your little company also has its little troubles to deal with[5] and you too, d[ear] Mrs. Born, excite interest in an unpermissible way (only through moody stories and your witty letters is it permissible). There you are, giv- ing relativity lectures to stave off bankruptcy of the institute[6] and writing papers as though you were a young bachelor comfortably lodged in a resplendent, seclud- ed room heated just for you, and your brain was free from the nagging worries of the pater familiae! How ever do you manage that? Haber also criticizes Fajans heftily.[7] You characterized the former very well. He is oblivious of the number of arbitrary assumptions he makes and therefore ex- cessively overrates the value of the conformities found.[8] You are right to cling un- conditionally to your solid method. I do not believe that one must abandon the con- tinuum in order to solve the [problem of] quanta.[9] In analogy, one might have thought it possible to force general relativity from abandoning the coordinate sys- tem. In principle, of course, the continuum could be abandoned. But how in the world should one describe the relative motion of n points without a continuum? Pauli’s objection is directed not just against Weyl but against any other continuum theory, even against those that treat the electron as a singularity.[10] I still believe as before that an overdetermination ought to be sought with differential equations for which the solutions no longer have any continuum properties.[11] But how?? Politics are actually developing consistently in the direction of Bolshevism. It seems to me that the Russians’ great practical successes are irresistibly evinced in connection with the ever worsening situation in the West, particularly our situa- tion.[12] But before the time has come, blood must flow in streams, for reaction to it is also getting increasingly heated. Nicolai is being assailed and abused so much that he cannot even lecture anymore, not even at the Charité. I had to defend him publicly again. (A new comedy could be written on “The reluctant friend.”)[13] France really is playing a quite miserable role. (It is to their credit, though, that they have shaken off the tiger.)[14] It’s just hard to take a victory. The Erzberger suit is droll: those with clean hands (and purses) may stone him [15] if any exist! I have to confess to you, besides, that the Bolsheviks are not so unappealing to me, as funny as their theories are. It would be damned interesting to take a closer look at the busi-
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