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Download The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (Helix Books) epub

by Jeffrey Robbins,Richard P. Feynman

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.
Download The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (Helix Books) epub
ISBN: 0465023959
ISBN13: 978-0465023950
Category: Biographies
Subcategory: Professionals & Academics
Author: Jeffrey Robbins,Richard P. Feynman
Language: English
Publisher: Basic Books; unknown edition (April 6, 2005)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1887 kb
FB2 size: 1818 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 686
Other Formats: lrf doc docx lit

One could easily retitle this book "The Pleasure of Finding Feynman."

Feynman deserved to be on the national bestseller list with this one. If anyone ever asks me to define a genius, I can do that in one word...Feynman. It has been a real joy for me to have found him and then to read his writings, view his lectures which are mostly collected at YouTube online and not necessarily easy going, and to read/hear what his contemoraries recall about his role in their lives.

Knowing a genius isn't something that most of us will encounter in our lives. We may know some very smart people who are much smarter than ourselves. But a genius is so much smarter than those smart people and the rest of us that it makes me wish that I could live in the genius world that he inhabits. A genius is to a normal and even above normal mind as a cat is to a much faster than lightening that the mouse can't even begin to imagine it...and is doomed to be lunch. I wish my mind could do what his mind does...even for a short time ("Flowers for Algernon" anyone?). The next best thing then is to get to know him, and since he is dead the only way to do that is to try to get to know him through what he writes, what he says, his lectures, his humor, his philosophy and his astonishing comtributions to Physics and many other fields.

If I ever had the opportunity to sit down with him for a beer and have a conversation, I really wouldn't say very much at all. What I would do, is to listen as he pulls seemingly unrelated threads and things together to clearly illustrate his point in a way that even a layman can understand; and then I would hope that he had nowhere to go so that he could hang around and do that all over again with subject after subject until my ears were tired. Listening to his voice and seeing him deliver is just amazing.

If you want a taste of Feynman and a glimpse into the mind of a genius, buy and read this book and travel a bit with him. You definitely do not have to be a physicist to take away your own sense of wonder, respect, and just plain joy at meeting Richard Feynman on the printed pages of this book.
I felt a bit of trepidation when approaching this work, as reading a collection of what are considered "The Best Short Works" of a Nobel Laureate Physicist, sounds daunting even for someone trained to some degree in the field. I am not so trained. Mr. Richard Feynman has the additional gift of speaking passionately, and often in a self-deprecating manner, about what he does, with the result that the layperson can enjoy both his originally spoken, and written thoughts. There are terms and concepts that are understood best, and perhaps only, by those who have made the decision to pursue physics to its higher levels. However the vast majority of the book is readable to any that are inquisitive.
Mr. Feynman's Father was also a remarkable man. He was not a trained scientist, and his profession had absolutely nothing to do with science. However as is repeated throughout the book he was the catalyst that recognized and nurtured the talent his precocious son possessed. This topic and the ideas that are expressed about learning and teaching are just one of the topics that is completely accessible to any reader. The topics make for such interesting reading, as the author's enthusiasm combined with his gift for explaining the complex and the abstract, is what allows his thoughts to be accessible, and this is what I enjoyed so much. He was a man of great enthusiasm for the wonders that he sought to understand, and his writing transfers this feeling to his audience.
The quote that titles this review is Mr. Feynman's way of describing his feelings when he learns something new. The feelings translated not only into every recognition that his peers could bestow, but also a gift to the rest of us, for he was able to apply the same mind to questions of religion, morality, teaching, governmental roles in science, the responsibilities scientists have to society, and dozens of other topics.
I enjoyed the entire work but there were some sections that could have justified the entire time spent reading on their own. His lecture at The Galileo Symposium in 1964, and his report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster were remarkable. I was unaware of his role as an investigator into the Challenger episode, and was even more surprised that the committee on which he served attempted to suppress his report. Once you have read his report you will understand why many would have liked to see it locked away. He explains what is arguably the most complex piece of equipment assembled by man, and it is elegant in its simplicity. I believe he intended it to be so, as he could have made his case in language that would have been foreign if he had so chose.
I read this book as I enjoyed "Fermat's Enigma" so much. It is not necessary to understand everything that is involved with what these gifted minds have done. It is a pure joy when you can read and gain a glimpse, just a bit, of the ideas that are discussed. It requires a gifted speaker/writer, and this man clearly counted his extraordinary ability to communicate among his skills.
A wonderful enlightening book.
All but one of the 'shorts' in this book have previously been published - if you have extensively read Feynman (or even moderately) you'll learn/read nothing new about him.
If you are a new Feynman discoverer however it is a superb book and may well lead you on to wanting to get hold of his other works.
For me though, I was looking for new stuff and was a little disappointed although I did read the whole book and am pleased to have it in my collection.
Actually ordered this by mistake. Meant to order Surely You're Joking.... But it was a happy mistake. Still not a big fan of books made from assorted papers because they just don't flow well. It is much easier to read them when the person is interesting. Some folks are critical of Mr. Feynman's antics over the years. He just seemed playful, curious and refreshingly honest. Most people try to hide their weaknesses, especially those in the sciences. Not him. He openly discussed his quirks and personality flaws. He loved what he did and seemed happy. That showed throughout the book. But he was not refined, cultured or overly full of himself. He cherished his working class upbringing. I found him endearing and funny yet a few of his activities would not have been something that would appeal to me. There was less information on his scientific pursuits and the value of his contributions than I thought there would be still it was a fun read over all.
net rider
A work of brilliance communicated with wit and rationality. This is an excellent sampling of Captain Feynman's short works. Also, the cover is much better than the one pictured here (see photos), and the price here is unbeatable. This is definitely a book you want in your library, and this is certainly the place to buy it.