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The pleasure of finding things out : the…
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The pleasure of finding things out : the best short works of Richard P.… (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Richard Phillips Feynman, Jeffrey Robbins

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2,261314,970 (4.03)34
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman--from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science-a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will fascinate anyone interested in the world of ideas.… (more)
Member:PennPhilo
Title:The pleasure of finding things out : the best short works of Richard P. Feynman
Authors:Richard Phillips Feynman
Other authors:Jeffrey Robbins
Info:Cambridge, Mass. : Perseus Books, c1999.
Collections:Other
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The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard P. Feynman (Author) (1999)

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» See also 34 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Short and sweet. It's a beautifully inspirational account of what a love of math and physics feels like, on the inside. Highly recommended to anyone who doesn't feel warm and fuzzy about math or physics. ( )
  isovector | Dec 13, 2020 |
Some overlap with other books. But always a pleasure :) ( )
  jbrieu | Nov 6, 2020 |
For those who might not know, Richard Feynman was a Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist, canny self-promoter and renowned teacher who worked on the Manhatten Project before he had even finished his Doctoral Thesis. Many books by and about him have been published and he has become a kind of miniature industry since his death; almost anybody who attended one of his lectures and scribbled some notes has tried to get them published, there are biographies and a volume of letters, CDs of impromtu drumming - the list goes on...

I was put off reading this book for several years by the fact that "all but one" chapter had been published elsewhere; I was figuring I already owned most of its contents.

That turned out to be wrong; although published, most of these essays, anecdotes and lectures had not seen the mainstream and fewer than 6 of them had I read before. Unfortunately some of the material covers territory that is widely available elsewhere and hence adds nothing in terms of ideas or anecdotes for the Feynman fan of long standing.

The material that was entirely new to me was interesting and made the book worthwhile on its own, but a characteristic of this book is that Feynman's own voice comes through strongly, unfiltered through editors and that made even familiar stories interesting. Feynman's voice comes through because many of the pieces are transcriptions of talks or interviews he gave. The book also covers a wide range from the silly stories to the serious science to the discussions on the nature and ethics of science.

Feynman fans should read it and people who want to know what the Feynman Fuss is about could do worse than start here. ( )
1 vote Arbieroo | Jul 17, 2020 |
Un po' ostico per certi aspetti (richiede una formazione scientifica per capire alcuni concetti) ma sempre illuminante. ( )
  Atticus06 | Jun 9, 2020 |
I enjoyed this book because it gave a good inroad Feynman, his thinking, and his work. I would have rathered the book cover more physics, but it was interesting and engaging none the less. I particularly liked to learn about Feynman's process in understanding things as I feel this is a valuable lesson many can gain from. ( )
  markwhiting | Mar 21, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Feynman, Richard P.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dyson, FreemanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robbins, JeffreyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[Foreword]
"I did love the man this side idolatry as much as any," wrote Elizabethan dramatist Ben Johnson.
[Editor's Introduction]
Recently I was present at a lecture at Harvard University's venerable Jefferson Lab.
This is the edited transcript of an interview with Feynman made for the BBC television program Horizon in 1981, shown in the United States as an episode of Nova.
Quotations
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
You see, one thing is, I can live with the doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty about different things, but I'm not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here.

I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened by not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell. It doesn't frighten me.
There is an infinite amount of crazy stuff, which, put another way, is the environment is actively, intensely unscientific. There is talk about telepathy still, altough it's dying out. There is faith-healing galore, all over. There is a whole religion of faith-healing. There's a miracle at Lourdes where healing goes on. Now, it might be true that astrology is right. It might be true that if you go to the dentist on the day that Mars is at right angles to Venus, that it is better than if you go on a different day. It might be true that you can be cured by the miracle of Lourdes. But if it is true, it ought to be investigated. Why? To improve it. If it is true then maybe we can find out if the stars do influence life; that we could make the system more powerful by investigating statistically, scientifically judging the evidence objectively, more carefully. If the healing process works at Lourdes, the question is, how far from the site of the miracle can the person, who is ill, stand? Have they in fact made a mistake and the back row is really not working? Or is it working so well that there is plenty of room for more people to be arranged near the place of the miracle? Or is it possible, as it is with the saints which have recently been created in the United States - there is a saint who has cured leukemia apparently indirectly - that ribbons that are touched to the sheet of the sick person (the ribbon having previously touched some relic of the saint) increase the cure of leukemia - the question is, is it gradually being diluted? You may laugh, but if you believe in the truth of the healing, than you are responsible to investigate it, to improve its efficiency and to make it satisfactory instead of cheating. For example, it may turn out that after a hundred touches it doesn't work anymore. Now it's also possible that the results of this investigation have other consequences, namely, that nothing is there.
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The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard P. Feynman--from interviews and speeches to lectures and printed articles. A sweeping, wide-ranging collection, it presents an intimate and fascinating view of a life in science-a life like no other. From his ruminations on science in our culture to his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, this book will fascinate anyone interested in the world of ideas.

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