[TUHS] Dennis Ritchie's Dissertation

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Sun Aug 2 00:13:10 AEST 2020

On Sat, Aug 01, 2020 at 09:14:36AM +0200, markus schnalke wrote:
> Hoi.
> [2020-07-30 20:30] Dan Cross <crossd at gmail.com>
> >
> > I understood from Mike Anshel that he was rather proud of this, [...]
> I once read that someone is famous when people omit the titles,
> because they add nothing to the name, but rather would smaller it.
> A good example is Albert Einstein. Who cares what titles he has.
> Another is Dennis Ritchie. What does it matter what degrees, titles,
> whatever he has? -- He's already a genius!

My dad wasn't famous, but he had a PhD in physics.  He never asked people
to call him Dr McVoy.  As we grew up and realized he could be called that
we asked him why not.  He said it sounds fancy, the only time he used it
was when he wanted a table at a crowded restaurant (which was very rare,
Madison didn't pay him very well).

Somehow that stuck with me and I've always been sort of wary of people
who use their title.  The people I admire never did.

Someone on the list said that they thought Dennis wouldn't appreciate
it if we got his PhD official.  I couldn't put my finger on it at the
time, but I agreed.  And I think it is because the people who are really
great don't need or want the fancy title.  I may be over thinking it,
but Dennis does not need the title, it does nothing to make his legacy
better, his legacy is way way more than that title.

Which is a long ramble to say I agree with Markus.

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