Altshuller the intriguer
(Narrative of the life of Genrich Altshuller, Part 5)

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

During the summer break of 1975 I went to the Urals to take part in the 2 weeks trip on the horseback across the mountains and the boreal forest (taiga). By the end of the trip I suddenly started losing weight rapidly. When we returned to the base I was so weak that could barely walk. During the afternoon heat I felt that I was about to faint. Instinctively I started drinking the cold water and this helped me to prevent fainting.

I took train back to Baku and drunk the cold water all the way down there to avoid fainting. When I came home I was so thin that my parents immediately called on a neighbour the physician to examine me. The physician said that I had to be taken to the hospital immediately.

At the hospital I was examined again and was diagnosed with typhoid. "When did it start ? - the physician inquired, - "... strange that you are still alive ! ... Why did you go to the boreal forest at all ? You better went to Europe. ..."

I was admitted to the hospital and spent 2 months there.

When I was released and met the friends, they asked me how I fell off the horse. "Who told you that I fell off the horse ? " - I inquired. "Alsthuller did", - they replied. I did not pay attention to this strange insinuation and did not ask Altshuller why he started such a rumour.

In 1979 his close friends, the families of F. (Sr. and Jr.), emigrated to Israel. Soon Altshuller unexpectedly received an offer from the American Publisher "Gordon & Breach" to translate his book "Creativity as a precise science" into English. He started guessing who might have drawn the attention of the American publisher to his book. The choice naturally fell on F. Jr. Altshuller imagined that F. Jr. in Israel started the TRIZ propaganda which resulted in the "Gordon & Breach" proposal.

From that moment on Altshuller was very keen on hearing about the stellar career of F. Jr. in Israel. The very proliferation of TRIZ overseas seemed to be hinged on that. But one thing worried Altshuller. Shortly before departure to Israel, F. Jr. married a Russian girl.

"So what ?" - I told him. "You don't understand," - he replied pensively, - "While F. Jr. is at the bottom of the ladder, nobody cares who his wife is. But as soon as he scales the ladder and is about to become the Prime Minister of Israel, the enemies will dig out everything on him and will use it against him."

In a few months our relationships (which were tense already) deteriorated further. So when in 1980 I got married, Altshuller resorted to his "cushion in advance" principle and started rumouring that my wife was Uzbek. Apparently he thought that Uzbek the Muslim was worse than Russian the Christian and should I emigrate to Israel I would not be able to compete with F. Jr. in the race for the Israeli Prime Ministership.

He continued to blow the rumour so persistently that it even reached America and in 1996 I received a strange message from the well known TRIZnik in Silicon Valley : "You, dumb, married an Uzbek. Smart Vertkin married an English !" After that I started wondering whether TRIZ damages brains of people rather than improves them.

Since then F. Jr. divorced the Russian and married a rich American of German descent, but has not become neither Prime Minister of Israel nor President of the US. TRIZ spread around the globe without the help from a country's top administrators and bureaucrats, whose support Altshuller unsuccessfully sought for since 1948.