The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman by Richard P. Feynman. Edited by Jeffry Robbins. Foreword by Freeman. The Pleasure of Finding. Things Out. Tbis is the edited transcript of an intewiew with Feynman made for the BBC television program Horizon in , shown in. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works and millions of other books are available for instant access. Richard P. Feynman was raised in Far Rockaway, New York, and received his Ph.D. from Princeton. Start reading The Pleasure of Finding Things Out on your Kindle.
|Language:||English, Spanish, Indonesian|
|Genre:||Politics & Laws|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Registration Required]|
Editorial Reviews. rattribillvordo.tk Review. Why do we do science? Beyond altruistic and self-aggrandizing motivations, many of our best scientists work long . So you see, you can say anything about world history. The Alien Enemy Act of the US Congress A file in the online vers. On “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out,” by Richard Feynman. In “An Alternative 'Great Books' Syllabus.” University Affairs 01/ George Nicholas. Loading.
They are universally taught: mature practitioners, knowing full-well the models' approximate nature, nonetheless entrust to them the formation of the student's most basic intuitions see Epstein And this because they capture qualitative behaviors of overarching interest, such as predator-prey cycles, or the nonlinear threshold nature of epidemics and the notion of herd immunity. Again, the issue isn't idealization—all models are idealizations.
The issue is whether the model offers a fertile idealization.
As George Box famously put it, "All models are wrong, but some are useful. For example, electrostatic attraction under Coulomb's Law and gravitational attraction under Newton's Law have the same algebraic form. The physical diversity of diffusive processes satisfying the "heat" equation or of oscillatory processes satisfying the "wave" equation is virtually boundless. In his economics Nobel Lecture, Samuelson writes that, "if you look at the monopolistic firm as an example of a maximum system, you can connect up its structural relations with those that prevail for an entropy-maximizing thermodynamic system…absolute temperature and entropy have to each other the same conjugate or dual relation that the wage rate has to labor or the land rent has to acres of land.
For instance, there is a powerful theory of infectious diseases. Do revolutions, or religions, or the adoption of innovations unfold like epidemics?
Is it useful to think of these processes as formal analogues?
If so, then a powerful pre-existing theory can be brought to bear on the unexplored field, perhaps leading to rapid advance. Raise New Questions 1.
This is what I hate about exams. They only show that you can answer somebody else's question, when the most important thing is: Can you ask a new question? It's the new questions e. From Ignorant Militance to Militant Ignorance 1. This, of course, does not mean readily falsified. It means that one can in principle specify observations that, if made, would falsify it. One does not base beliefs on authority, but ultimately on evidence. This, of course, is a very dangerous idea.
It levels the playing field, and permits the lowliest peasant to challenge the most exalted ruler—obviously an intolerable risk. In a beautiful essay, Feynman talks about the hard-won "freedom to doubt. Intellectuals have a solemn duty to doubt, and to teach doubt.
Education, in its truest sense, is not about "a saleable skill set. This is the deepest contribution of the modeling enterprise.
It enforces habits of mind essential to freedom.
It is not felt by the church today that the scientific views attack the church. Nobody is worrying about it.
Nobody attacks; I mean, nobody writes trying to explain the inconsistencies between the theological views and the scientific views held by different people today—or even the inconsistencies sometimes held by the same scientist between his religious and scientific beliefs. Feynman also reiterates a crucial point about the nature and purpose of science and critical thinking — the role of ignorance and the importance of embracing uncertainty , met with enormous resistance in a culture conditioned for grasping at answers : A scientist is never certain.
We all know that. We know that all our statements are approximate statements with different degrees of certainty; that when a statement is made, the question is not whether it is true or false but rather how likely it is to be true or false. We must discuss each question within the uncertainties that are allowed.
There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know?
It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact.
It is possible to live and not know. Men, philosophers of all ages, have tried to find the secret of existence, the meaning of it all. Because if they could find the real meaning of life, then all this human effort, all this wonderful potentiality of human beings, could then be moved in the correct direction and we would march forward with great success.
So therefore we tried these different ideas. But the question of the meaning of the whole world, of life, and of human beings, and so on, has been answered very many times by very many people.
Unfortunately all the answers are different; and the people with one answer look with horror at the actions and behavior of the people with another answer. Horror, because they see the terrible things that are done; the way man is being pushed into a blind alley by this rigid view of the meaning of the world.
In fact, it is really perhaps by the fantastic size of the horror that it becomes clear how great are the potentialities of human beings, and it is possibly this which makes us hope that if we could move things in the right direction, things would be much better. What then is the meaning of the whole world? We do not know what the meaning of existence is.
To decide upon the answer is not scientific. In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar — ajar only.
We are only at the beginning of the development of the human race; of the development of the human mind, of intelligent life — we have years and years in the future. We will only be able to do those things that we think today are the things to do. Whereas, if we leave always some room for doubt, some room for discussion, and proceed in a way analogous to the sciences, then this difficulty will not arise.