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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(3 star). Show all reviews
on May 21, 2009
If you're a Feynman fanatic, you're sure to enjoy this even though the content is erratic and not as good as Surely You're Joking.
If you haven't read Surely You're Joking, read that first. It's better.
Okay, you're back from SYJ. Are you a Feynman fan now? If not, then skip this book. If yes, then you'll probably buy this book anyway just to get your hands on anything Feynman.
The beautiful epilogue (a Feynman speech on the value of science) is the best, and those half dozen pages made me feel I got my money's worth in the purchase of the book.
The section on the space shuttle investigation was pretty good, but you can find a better treatment of the subject (and a whole lot more good reading) in Ed Tufte's book, Visual Explanations.
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on May 29, 2005
I enjoyed this book, but am surprised at how many people (including Feynman himself) seem have bought into the myth that Feynman was the one who worked out what went wrong with Challenger. NASA were well aware of the cause of the disaster long before Feynman came on the scene! If you do not believe this, then read the chapter entitled "Afterthoughts" at the end of the book - making appropriate allowances for Feynman's huge ego. From the point of view of protecting people's careers, it was much better to have the Great Feynman explain the problem with the O-rings to an astonished public after months of careful investigation than simply to name and shame those responsible for the faulty design and/or operation of the shuttle. The notion that the problem could only be solved by one of the greatest minds in theoretical physics was obviously good for NASA as it took away some of their own responsibility.
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on January 1, 2000
Not quite as good as "Surely you're joking..." but written in the same spirit. Especially interesting was the section on the Challenger disaster. He solved the problem with beautiful simple logic that will have you saying, "Gee, why didn't I think of that!" Especially revealing was his encountering government red tape and annoyances, which goes to show several heads in Washington need to roll.
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on August 3, 2014
It was interesting. I read it especially to see what he had to say about the Challenger disaster ("O" rings!)
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on January 4, 2004
What do you care about what other people think? Well, after reading this book (and Surely You're Joking ...), I came to the suspicion that Feynman cared a hell lot about what other people thought of him. I found this book entertaining, but I believe one of the main goals really was to convince the readers how much smarter he was than the rest of us. I understand that it's in fashion for physicists and grad students of physics to rave about anything Feynman. But then, physicists aren't unlike teenage girls who worship rock stars. There are groupies. There are physicists. And then there are groupie physicists.
It'd have been nice if there were a book called "Surely You Are Joking, Mr. Schwinger", and the like.
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on December 4, 2010
I bought this book right away after reading Surely you are joking... and find it not as good mainly because the second half is somewat boring description of investigation of NASA shuttle crash. On the other hand if that is what you are interested in, go for it, because he describes it in great detail. Other than that book contain sad story about the death of his wife, speach about science and couple of stories which would fit nicely in Surely you are joking.
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