Thursday, April 26, 2007

Book: "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" by Richard Feynman (5/5 stars)

This is a brilliant book, full of cool science and cool stories, some exceptionally funny.

Feynman looks at not only science and what science is, but at religion and the supernatural. He also looks at "cargo cult science" and how it goes through the motions of science but isn't science at all.

I was thoroughly entertained by each and every story, and recommend it to anyone who is curious at all about the natural world.

I recently read "Six Easy Pieces", another of Feynman's books, but it didn't capture Feynman's voice the way this one ones. I reviewed that book here.

If you are interested in this book, I highly recommend Feynman's 1979 lectures at Auckland University. They are well worth watching if you are even remotely interested. They are apparently one of the few freely available videos of his lectures.

Hi statement that "science is irrelevant" in the modern world held me for an entire chapter while he waited to explain it. It is too sad, but is true anyway. Today's modern world isn't a scientific one at all. It would be better if it was.

Feynman's attitude towards the world, one of accepting the unknown and having doubt about everything is one that deeply affects me and I strongly agree with. The NEED to know everything is just silly and we should be accepting of the unknown. Too many people feel the need to fill in the unknown with silly things that aren't necessary - that's where astrology comes from and who need that?


Violet said...

That name sounds so familier, but I can't think of a single book title that I've read.

Determinist said...

"That name sounds so familiar"? - do you mean Feynman or the book title?

Feynman was a member of the team that investigated the 1986 Challenger Shuttle explosion.

He also won the 1965 Nobel prize in physics.

He was also a bit of a character, and there are tons of biographies of him. He was also a member of the team that created the first atom bomb - there were many of those stories in this book.