Saturday, September 29, 2007

BOOK: "Surely Your Joking, Mr Feynman" by Richard P. Feynman

"Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman": Adventures of a Curious Character

I've been reading this book since I got it for Christmas last year. I haven't been not reading it in all that time; it's a book of anecdotes by a Nobel prize winning physicist, that are amusing and interesting, and I've just picked up the book here and there, now and then, and eventually, I got through the book. (All right, I confess, it's been in the bathroom)

Feynman is one of a kind. He is sort of a smarter version of Forrest Gump: he seemed to fall into experiences, and tried so many different things throughout the world. That is mostly due to his attitude. He is willing to try anything and he insisted on learning how to do many different things. For example, drawing, lock picking, drumming, languages, and Mayan mathematics are just a few of the skills he tried to acquire, usually with success. I think the word that best describes him is curious - he just always wanted to know how things worked.

He is also a famous scientist, but doesn't fit the usual mold. He was in Los Alamos during the bomb building, and met and worked with famous physicists through out his life. A bit of a sexist attitude toward women, but he is a product of his age in that regard I think. He had an arrogance in that he believed he could figure things out, but experience showed he usually could. His essays were amusing and eccentric and tackle everything, just like Feynman himself.