I enjoyed his book. Just a few random comments. I found his bongo playing adventures interesting in that such a smart guy found it difficult to be good at it. I especially enjoyed his social error at Princeton regarding the lemon and milk in his tea.
His view of the world shows that the seemingly logical field of scientists is filled with humans and human faults.
His view on text books was typical of many industries that 'buy' the decision makers. That corruption combined with terrible books for learning makes me angry also. It's like stealing really !
Clearly his lone wolf approach to physics added perspective to those who could only follow the physics crowd. To me he exposed previous teachers who all to often could not or would not clearly delineate to mere physics mortals what part of the science was well-established and what was unknown regarding the mechanisms behind the scenes of phenomena such as gravity and quantum mechanics.
Anyhow you seem like the angry one, perhaps the frustrated physics professional, who worked as hard as she could in the field, yet really discovered not much of anything and whose accomplishments, while worthy, did not rise anywhere near the level of Feynman's. After all, only one or two a generation make these accomplishments.
If Feynman is angry, then Gell-Man is furious. I can't spot even a bit of the anger you mentioned. Maybe it's your anger not Feynman's. And I don't think he cares what other people think (about his playing drums or whatever). He just loves to share his pleasure.
Well, having thought about it, I was angry at the time, but not about accomplishments or (lack of) discovery. I was angry for personal reasons. Looking at those books again, I get something different out of them from before. I see that he expressed a wide range of emotions. He was a complex person and he did 'love life' and etc.
I am not any kind of genius. I have heard that geniuses often have anger about "suffering fools gladly." that was the source of a lot of my comments. then again, I read that in a book by a psychologist named Leta Hollingworth, who was a notorious elitist and helped develop IQ testing, which Feynman appeared to detest.
I had a boyfriend who was very abusive, an issue I was dealing with when I wrote that, who made a BIG deal about his IQ, and quoted Hollingworth as to why he should be 'special.' Leta Hollingworth wrote a book called Children Above 180 IQ and my boyfriend, whose measured IQ *was* above 180, and who *was* a child prodigy, and who *did* get away with a lot of abuse, including evading psychiatric and other authorities - my boyfriend was very influenced by Hollingworth and her elitist attitude. but he pretended to be a "common man."
he also thought of himself as a genius and unfortunately, a lot of people agreed with him. I was told many times that being a genius does not guarantee morality.
the feynman connection here is that this book was published right around when all those bad events happened, and I read it in that time frame. and - the whole issue of accomplishments and thoughts about one's mind was not pleasant.
I guess it's strange what people can bring to books - there was so much going on for me that I can't make any pretense of determining what was 'really meant' in these feynman books.
I should not have written those comments that way but since they are there, I'm leaving them up.