redsugar's Richard Feynman page

My dad actually introduced me to Feynman's writing, although I don't think he remembers it. He gave me his copy of "Surely You're Joking Mr Feynman" (something I never do, giving away books) and I let it sit on my bookshelf for bloody ages before finally reading it. I hadn't laughed so hard in ages, reading a book. At first, I could barely keep reading it, because he seemed so incredibly smart, fixing the neighbors' electronic equipment at 11, or whatever age he was, that it made me feel dumb (something else I don't do often... ;op ). But I had the feeling that he didn't mean it that way, so I continued reading.

I've often thought, "I have experiences like some of these, like the hypnotist scene in the cafeteria, which are numbingly embarrasing, but when I write my memoirs, they will be conspicuously absent." That's part of the reason I'm so attracted to him. He can look back on the worst of it and, not just laugh, but tell others about it, and let them laugh too. His phenomenal intelligence and bizarre life are the other two main reasons, I guess.

By the time I finished the book, I was like "I have *got* to meet this guy. He's gotta be like 80, so he can't run too fast. I'll track him down!" I found out almost immediately that he'd been dead for roughly 10 years. Just my luck. I have a friend who is crushed by the fact that he never met Robert Heinlein, and I never knew what he meant until that day...

Lately, I read "The Meaning Of It All," which is basically just a transcript of a lecture that he gave in Seattle, sometime long before I was born. I found a profound connection with the lecture, tho. It's a three-part series on how to deal with Science and Religion. I am personally incapable of finding faith in anything but gravity, but I have a... respect, perhaps, for certain aspects of religion. But his point is that the things that many people consider the centers of religion (charity, kindness, morality, etc) aren't removed from you when you can no longer believe. That athiests, which most of his scientist friends and colleagues are, aren't lacking in those traits. This lecture cheered me up, even if for that reason alone. Feynman understands me. ;o)

I had "What Do You Care What Other People Think" sitting on my bookshelf for months, like the first one. I'm not sure why. I think I was afraid of running out of stories, about him, to read. And that if I tried to read his physics publications, they'll be so far over my head, I'd be left totally reeling... But I was wrong, happily...

I'm so excited. I have tickets to see Q.E.D. on Broadway in November. Alan Alda is playing Feynman. I know that sounds a little odd, but check out the picture... I think he'll be wonderful...


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