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The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (Helix Books) Paperback – April 6, 2005
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Feynman had a fantastic sense of humor, and his memoirs of his Manhattan Project days roil with fun despite his later misgivings about nuclear weapons. Though one or two pieces are a bit hard to follow for the nontechnical reader, for the most part the book is easygoing and engaging on a personal rather than a scientific level. Freeman Dyson's foreword and editor Jeffrey Robbins's introductions to each essay set the stage well and are respectful without being worshipful. Though Feynman has been gone now for many years, his work lives on in quantum physics, computer design, and nanotechnology; like any great scientist, he asked more questions than he answered, to give future generations the pleasure of finding things out. --Rob Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is a good overview of Feynman's thinking and not merely a collection of his humorous anecdotes. If you have read many of his other works and you are expecting a great amount of new material, then this book will probably be a disappointment. However, if you are only marginally familiar with Feynman or not familiar at all with him, I highly recommend it.
I believe some of the less than stellar reviews found here were written by Feynman fans who thought this book contained lots of new material. They are correct claiming there is not a lot of new material here for the well-read Feynman fan. However, for the unfamiliar who doesn't want to read everything he wrote, I believe this is the book to get.
If you are interested more in his humorous storytelling, as opposed to his ideas, then I recommend 'Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman' instead of this book.
Mr. Feynman's Father was also a remarkable man. He was not a trained scientist, and his profession had absolutely nothing to do with science. However as is repeated throughout the book he was the catalyst that recognized and nurtured the talent his precocious son possessed. This topic and the ideas that are expressed about learning and teaching are just one of the topics that is completely accessible to any reader. The topics make for such interesting reading, as the author's enthusiasm combined with his gift for explaining the complex and the abstract, is what allows his thoughts to be accessible, and this is what I enjoyed so much. He was a man of great enthusiasm for the wonders that he sought to understand, and his writing transfers this feeling to his audience.
The quote that titles this review is Mr. Feynman's way of describing his feelings when he learns something new.Read more ›
I particularly enjoyed the subtle yet unmistakable way he scolded the people at NASA for putting their political butts before the safety of the space program they were managing in his famous "Minority Report to the Space Shuttle Challenger Inquiry." But the chapter that really sold me on Richard P. Feynman, boy wonder grown up, was "It's as Simple as One, Two, Three" in which he explores the ability to do two things at once through an experiment with counting. Such a delight he took in learning as a kid from his friend Bernie that we sometimes think in pictures and not in words. And then the further delight he took in learning that some people count with their inner voice (himself), and others (his friend John Tukey) count by visualization.
I was also loved the chapter, "What is Science?", a talk to science teachers in which Feynman demonstrates that the real difference between science and other ways of "knowing" (e.g., religion) is the ability to doubt. In science we learn, as Feyman said he himself learned, to live with doubt. But in the religious way of "knowing" doubt is intolerable. Feynman gives an evolutionary illustration of why doubt is essential. He begins with the "intelligent" animals "which can learn something from experience (like cats)." At this stage, he says, each animal learned "from its own experience." Then came some animals that could learn more rapidly and from the experience of others by watching. Then came something "completely new...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
good stuff; filling in some gaps and adding to previous Feynman worksPublished 1 day ago by Paul Hartl
I liked this book because he talked
about a wide variety of topics that I in which I could relate.
Richard Feynman was one of the world's greatest physicists and characters. If you have read anything about his life you know that he was irreverent, quirky, odd and an absolute... Read morePublished 6 months ago by John B. Spence
Who new that a physicist could be funny??? He is so amusing! A fun read!!!Published 8 months ago by Nicolle Perry