2018-07-10 15:10:06 UTC
Around the turn of the century, a wealthy American took to the English
lanes in his stage coach; but nothing was ever going to stop the path of
progress. Can I propose an axiom/obviousism?
"However good we are at doing something, if we had better tools we could
do it better".
Alfred Vanderbilt has a reputation for sinking with The Titanic, and I think
appears in the film. He cancelled at the last minute - due to a premonition -
and survived to go down instead with The Lusitania. According to wiki:
"On May 1, 1915, Alfred Vanderbilt boarded the RMS Lusitania bound for
Liverpool as a first class passenger. It was a business trip, and he traveled
with only his valet, Ronald Denyer, leaving his family at home in New York.
On May 7, off the coast of County Cork, Ireland, German U-boat, U-20
torpedoed the ship, triggering a secondary explosion that sank the giant
ocean liner within 18 minutes. Vanderbilt and Denyer helped others into
lifeboats, and then Vanderbilt gave his lifejacket to save a female passenger.
Vanderbilt had promised the young mother of a small baby that he would locate
an extra lifevest for her. Failing to do so, he offered her his own life vest,
which he proceeded to even tie on to her himself, since she was holding her
infant child in her arms at the time. Many consider his actions especially
brave and gallant since he could not swim and he knew there were no other
lifevests or lifeboats available. Because of his fame, several people on the
Lusitania who survived the tragedy were observing him while events unfolded
at the time, and so they took note of his actions. He and Denyer were among
the 1198 passengers who did not survive the incident."
Here is modern maths in action. This young, educated Scot ("at school I done
subjects like graphic communication, technological science") is doing Applied
Maths, pure and simple.
Vanderbilt (look out for the "wide-awake hat") at Handcross in Sussex in 1908.