© Heidingsfelder/Ludewig 2013
© Heidingsfelder/Ludewig 2013


Hallo, Professor Spencer-Brown.

“Hang on a minute, I have to turn the sound off … “

Was sehen Sie sich gerade an?

“I’m watching a program on the death of Lady Thatcher.”

Mochten Sie Margret Thatcher?

“Not particularly. But it’s the only women prime minister we’ve had.”

Ich wollte Ihnen nachträglich zum 90. Geburtstag gratulieren. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!

“Thank you. Some people just ring me up to make sure I’m not dead yet. You don’t know what aging is like until you experience it. It means that there are lots of things you simply can’t do because you don’t have the energy to do them. And once aging starts, it proceeds faster and faster.”

Sie klingen aber nicht wie ein alter Mann. Schon gar nicht wie ein 90jähriger.

“I don’t sound like an ordinary old person, because what happens to ordinary old people is, they lose their testosterone. I still have my testosterone. I’m still potent as a male.”

Wie kam es damals eigentlich zu den Laws of Form?

„I was working in London for an electronic firm. They used relais, and transistors had recently been invented. So my job was to turn the relais circuits into transistor circuits. Now, for this they used Boolean algebra, which is not at all suitable. So I invented an algebra in which every operator was one transistor. Which is the algebra of Laws of Form.”

Dank der Laws of Form konnte man plötzlich mit Paradoxien rechnen …

“Nobody understood paradoxes before I started writing.”

Und warum haben Sie es hinbekommen?

“I’m a bit more intelligent, that’s why.”

Bertrand Russell hatte ja regelrecht Angst vor Paradoxien …

“He produced a theorie of types which wasn’t a theory at all. It was a grand name for banning self-referential statements.”

In einem Satz: Was sind die Laws of Form? Gesetze für alles?

“It’s an engineering mathematics. It enables engineers to construct machines which will do things.”

Wenn Sie auf Ihr Leben zurückblicken …

“I don’t look back on my life, I look forward.”

Was war denn damals in Heidelberg los, was ist da schief gelaufen?

“Nothing went wrong, except … We had a very useful agenda. I met my lover and my publisher, Johanna Bohmeier. I wouldn’t have met her if I hadn’t gone to Heidelberg.”

Aber Sie haben sich mit Ihrem Förderer Fritz B. Simon offenbar nicht so gut verstanden.

“Fritz was a hateable person.”

Wieso das?

“He just was. Everyone hated him. He was a very neurotic person … Why do you ring in the middle of a program on Margret Thatcher?”

Ich wußte nicht, dass Sie sich das gerade ansehen.

“This is a great traumatic experience for English people. It’s not a good timing.”

Entschuldigen Sie, das tut mir leid.

“Never apologize. Never explain.”

Warum nicht?

“I’m quoting Disraeli.”

Sind Sie denn seiner Meinung?

“I don’t agree and I don’t disagree. I just quote him. Why should I agree with what I quote? A quotation is a quotation.You never get her date of birth … “

Wie bitte?

“You never get Margret Thatcher’s date of birth.”

Darf ich Sie ganz etwas anderes fragen? Welche Band haben Sie damals mehr gehört – die Beatles oder die Rolling Stones?

“The Beatles I listened to much more than the Rolling Stones. I think they were better composers. They’re highly intelligent. I met Paul when he was living near London. When they were at their peak. A friend of mine lived next door to them. When I was visiting my friend, we went round and knocked on their door. And Paul answered it. I gave him a copy of my poems, because they were starting this Apple publication. But he never published them and I never saw him again.” (lacht)

Schreiben Sie nach wie vor?

“Of course I do. You die if you don’t work. Work is what keeps you alive.”

Wetten Sie immer noch so gern wie früher?

“A gambler loses, but a better wins. I used to be a gambler and I used to lose. But I learned how to win. Now what you do is you never bet on who you want to win, you bet on who is going to win.”

Auf was wetten Sie?

“Anything. Tennis matches. I don’t bet on soccer matches anymore. Because soccer is a game of chance. You don’t necessarily win because you have better players on your side. I discovered that you need about thirty good chances for one goal to be scored.”

Vielen Dank!

“You can’t stop now. I’m just getting into the swing of it.”

Es geht leider nicht anders, ich muss hier weitermachen. Vielen Dank und bis bald.