Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!


Richard Feynman takes us through his fun and at times eccentric life - from art and bongo drums to nuclear physics. Very enjoyable read If you'd prefer to listen to this article, use the player below. You can also find more of my articles in audio version at Listle

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Key Takeaways


  1. Feynman's life told through his point of view
  2. Worked on the Manhattan project in 1943
  3. Was obsessed with radios as a young kid and figured out how to build and fix broke ones
  4. Had amazing curiosity and solved things by thinking through them before it was taught to him, even things like trigonometry. This series got him in trouble with adults since he wouldn't simply listen and do - he actually thought and sometimes came up with better ways of doing things but he adults didn't like that since it wasn't their way
  5. People don't learn by understanding, they learn by rote. Their knowledge is so fragile
  6. Put himself in uncomfortable situations a lot of the time because he was trying to figure out a better way to do things or simply learn something new
  7. People often the idea of how they felt but not the exact word or details
  8. Was able to perfectly observe his dreams and control them. He wanted to understand how we were able to see things without any outside stimulation
  9. When somebody is explaining something new to him he always comes up with examples in his mind that would fit the conditions
  10. In life you learn from your mistakes. Don't make them again. And that's the end of you
  11. Feynman got really into art and eventually got good enough where he had an agent and was able to sell some of them
  12. Hates arrogant fools more than anything
  13. Sees things so logically and is so curious that it causes problems often and puts him in difficult situations
  14. Wins the Nobel but doesn't want to deal with all the hassle but ends up accepting it
  15. Becomes incredibly adept at cracking safes
  16. Simply an incredibly curious person who enjoyed solving things and being with other people. Seemed very pragmatic and disliked arrogance of any kind

  What I got out of it  

  1. Feynman's genuine curiosity and love of life is admirable. Seems like such a carefree person who pursued his curiosity and his desire to learn and teach. He was able to explain things more simply and elegantly than most, learning deeply about things most people simply take for granted or don't care enough to truly think about.

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