On following the work of John Stachel, a scholars’ scholar

John Stachel, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

• with Mihaela Iftime, 2006, The hole argument for covariant theoriesGeneral Relativity and Gravitation, 38: 1241–1252.
• with Kaća Bradonjic (CV), Quantum gravity: Meaning and measurement, Volume 46, Part B, May 2014, Pages 209-216. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsb.2013.12.002
Homepage(s): First editor, Einstein Papers Project
Twitter reference
YouTube: You Must Remember This, October 22, 2010

First email in a very long time: 28 June 2022

Dear Dr. Prof. John Stachel:

You are obviously doing something right. My only regret is that I didn’t take an abundance of courses with you. Cohen and Shimony were OK, but where are they now?

Always the odd-duck out, I got my start at BU within the colloquiums. We certainly were in close proximity on many occasions… breathing the same air.  I was the one touting “…perfected-states in space-time” and other such delightful nonsense. 

I dropped out while studying in Paris with JP Vigier and Costa de Beauregard. Colleagues called me home; our little company that we started in 1971 (pre-BU), was finally making money. Within a year we had over 100 employees and were selling software around the world.

I came back to it all in 2011 and in 2016 consolidated my thoughts within a little website —  https://81018.com/ — that is becoming increasingly well-visited. Today, I’ll start a new page — https://81018.com/stachel — to focus on your work and the hole argument. You will not be pleased immediately but I’ll work on it until it is right! It always takes me a little longer.

By the way, were you aware of Aristotle’s mistake that was touted as truth for 1800 years? He tried tiling and tessellating the universe with tetrahedrons. It’s possible but only well-outside the context within which he was thinking. With geometries still making a comeback, I think it is noteworthy.


Best wishes,


Follow-up: Gennadi Sardanashvily, Vincent Moncrief, Norma Chase, Abhay Ashtekar and
Oliver Pooley. Also: Kaća Bradonjić