Highlights from “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman”
Here are few bits from a thoroughly enjoyable book that talks a lot about life and a little about science.
- I’ve very often made mistakes in my physics by thinking he theory isn’t as good as it really is, thinking that here are lots of complications that are going to spoil it — and attitude that anything can happen, in spite of what you’re pretty sure should happen.
- You have no responsibility to live up to what other people think you ought to accomplish. I have no responsibility to be like they expect me to be. It’s their mistake, not my failing.
- Physics disgusts me a little bit now, but I used to enjoy doing physics. Why did I enjoy it? I used to play with it. I used to do whatever I felt like doing — it didn’t have to do with whether it was important for the development of nuclear physics, but whether it was interesting and amusing for me to play with.
- Since then I never pay any attention to anything by “experts”. I calculate everything myself.
- The drawing teacher has this problem of communicating how to draw by osmosis and not by instruction, while the physics teacher has the problem of always teaching techniques, rather than the spirit, of how to go about solving physical problems.
- I had thought that “loosen up” meant “make sloppy drawing”, but it really meant to relax and not worry about how the drawing is going to come out.
- It isn’t the stuff, but the power to make the stuff, that is important.
- The difference between a man with a uniform on, and with the uniform off — it’s the same man.
- I had once thought to take drugs, but I got kind of scared of that: I love to think, and I don’t want to screw up the machine.
- Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. [I’d add you should try to uncover them.]
- The idea is to try to give all of the information to help other to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another.
- So I have just one with for you — the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.