While Beethoven was composing his ninth symphony, he lived in an apartment on the top floor of a building. Being that this was before elevators, he would receive friends at a nearby coffeehouse, "By the Golden Pear". In the 1920s, one could see European mathematicians at coffeehouses discussing the Reimann Hypotheses, or phycists discussing the new quantum mechanics. The coffeehouses even accommodated these people by covering their tables with white, easy to write on tablecloths. God I miss European style coffeehouses. It seems as if the entire world is monetizing everything, and seeing places like these in the US is more of a rarity every day. I wonder, is this how the dark ages began, with the indirect attack on mostly poor intellectuals?