Einstein started a book club, and here's the reading list

What the beloved genius and his buddies discussed in the Olympia Academy is legendary.

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"Analyse der Empfindungen" (Analysis of Sensations) by Ernst Mach "Analyse der Empfindungen" (Analysis of Sensations) by Ernst Mach (Photo: grufnar / Shutterstock)

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'Analyse der Empfindungen' (Analysis of Sensations) by Ernst Mach

Ah, senses. Those suspiciously unreliable things that construct your reality. In the late 19th century, Austrian philosopher Ernst Mach wrote about how elusive senses are. He also argued that egos themselves change. (Freud was all the rage at the time.)

In an attempt to figure out how humans experience balance, Mach "ingeniously" built a swivel chair. He also came up with an optical illusion called "Mach bands," which uses shades of gray bands to show that the colors people see are deeply affected by the colors around them.

"The biological task of science is to provide the fully developed human individual with as perfect a means of orientating himself as possible," Mach wrote. "No other scientific ideal can be realized, and any other must be meaningless."

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