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Gustav Theodor Fechner

Died 18 Nov 1887 at age 86 (born 19 Apr 1801). German physicist and philosopher who was a key figure in the founding of psychophysics, the science concerned with quantitative relations between sensations and the stimuli producing them. He formulated the rule known as Fechner's law, that, within limits, the intensity of a sensation increases as the logarithm of the stimulus. He also proposed a mathematical expression of the theory concerning the difference between two stimuli, advanced by E. H. Weber. (These are now known to be only approximately true. However, as long as the stimulus is of moderate intensity, then the laws will give us a good estimate.) Under the name "Dr. Mises" he also wrote humorous satire. In philosophy he was an animist, maintaining that life is manifest in all objects of the universe.

Polishing Apples

A young man asked an old rich man how he made his money.
The old guy fingered his expensive wool vest and said, "Well, son, it was 1932. The depth of the Great Depression. I was down to my last nickel."
"I invested that nickel in an apple. I spent the entire day polishing the apple and, at the end of the day, I sold the apple for ten cents."
"The next morning, I invested those ten cents in two apples. I spent the entire day polishing them and sold them at 5:00 pm for 20 cents. I continued this system for a month, by the end of which I'd accumulated a fortune of $9.80."
"Then my wife's father died and left us two million dollars."

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