Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Feynman, Richard and Robbins, Jeffrey (1999), The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, MJF Books, New York, NY 10001, Retrieved on 2010-11-07
Folksonomies: enlightenment science

Memes

No Memes Found


Child Reference

 Horizon: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1981), Horizon: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, BBC2, Retrieved on 2010-11-07
Folksonomies: science
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 Physics Work is Like Building a House of Cards

To do high, real good physics work you do need absolutely solid lengths of time, so that when you're putting ideas together which are vague and hard to remember, it's very much like building a house of cards and each of the cards is shaky, and if you forget one of them the whole thing collapses again. You don't know how you got there and you have to build them up again, and if you're interrupted and kind of forget half the idea of how the cards went together--your cards being different-type p...
  1  notes

Building ideas upon ideas to figure out physics is like constructing a house of cards, requiring intense concentration and a chain of ideas.

03 JAN 2011

 A Chess Metaphor for Understanding Physics Through Science

One way, that's kind of a fun analogy in trying to get some idea of what we're doing in trying to understand nature, is to imagine that the gods are playing some great game like chess, let's say, and you don't know the rules of the game, but you're allowed to look at the board, at least from time to time, in a little corner, perhaps, and from these observations you try to figure out what the rules of the game are, what the rules of the pieces moving are. You might discover after a bit, for ex...
Folksonomies: science metaphor
Folksonomies: science metaphor
 1  1  notes

Physics is like attempting to figure out the rules of chess by watching games being played.

03 JAN 2011

 The Perspectives Game

I got a kick, when I was a boy, [out] of my father telling me things, so I tried to tell my son things that were interesting about the world. When he was very small we used to rock him to bed, you know, and tell him stories, and I'd make up a story about little people that were about so high [who] would walk along and they would go on picnics and so on and they lived in the ventilator; and they'd go through these woods which had great big long tall blue things like trees, but without leaves a...
  1  notes

A game Feynman played with his father, describing a fantastic scene, and the object of the game was to figure out where it was taking place and from what perspective.

03 JAN 2011

 The Beauty of a Flower

I have a friend who's an artist and he's sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say, "Look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree, I think. And he says--"you see, I as an artist can see how beautiful this is, but you as a scientist, oh, take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing." And I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me, too, I believe, although I might not be quite as r...
Folksonomies: science beauty insight
Folksonomies: science beauty insight
  1  notes

Why science makes the world more beautiful by providing insights into its beauty. This doesn't just apply to something commonly considered beautiful, like a flower, but to all of the world, natural and technological, to simple rocks, sand, wind, stars, planets, the sun. We scientists are a keenly aware of the molecular organization, epic history, thermodynamics, universal scale, wave phenomena, and everything else that goes into even the most mundane details of our existence.

03 JAN 2011

 Algebra for the Practical Man

My cousin, at that time, who was three years older, was in high school and was having considerable difficulty with his algebra and had a tutor come, and I was allowed to sin in a corder while (LAUGHS) the tutor would try to teach my cousin algebra, problems liek 2x plus something. I said to my cousin then, "What're you trying to do?" You know, I hear him talking about x. He says, "What do you know--2x 7 is equal to 15," he says "and you're trying to find out what x is." I says, "You mean 4....
Folksonomies: education
Folksonomies: education
  1  notes

We force students to learn a particular way of doing something, when there are other strategies for finding a solution.


Child Reference

 Computing Machines of the Future
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1985), Computing Machines of the Future, Nishina Memorial Foundation, Nishina Memorial Lecture, Retrieved on 2010-11-07
 
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 The Chance of Error in Atomic Sized Computers

The first thing that you would worry about when things get very small is Brownian motion--everything is shaking about and nothing stays in place. How can you control the circuits then? Furthermore, if a circuit does work, doesn't it now have a chance of accidentally jumping back? If we use two volts for the energy of this electric system, which is what we ordinarily use, that is eighty times the thermal energy at room temperature (kT=1/40 volt) and the chance that something jumps backward aga...
Folksonomies: computing physics
Folksonomies: computing physics
  1  notes

As things get very small we have to worry about brownian motion and quantum effects on the system.

03 JAN 2011

 A Reversible NAND Gate

The great discovery of Bennett and, independently, of Fredkin is that it is possible to do computation with a different kind of fundamental gate unit, namely, a reversible gate unit. I have illustrated their idea--with a unit which I could call a reversible NAND gate. It has thre inputs and thre outputs. Of the outputs, tow, A' and B', are the same as two of the inputs, A and B, but the third input works this way. C' is the same as C unless A and B are both 1, in which case it changes whateve...
Folksonomies: computing
Folksonomies: computing
  1  notes

Feynman describes a reversible logic gate, with three inputs and three outputs, one of which tracks the change in input and output, allowing the computer to reverse its operation and potentially pursue a different route.

03 JAN 2011

 Dimensions of an Atomic Size Computer

If we somehow manage to make an atomic size computer, it would mean that the dimension, the linear dimension, is a thousand to ten thousand times smaller than those very tiny chips that we have now. It means that the volume of the computer is 100 billionth or 10^-11 of the present volume, because the volume of the "transistor" is smaller by a factor of 10^-11 than the transistors we make today. The energy requirements for a single switch is also about eleven orders of magnitude smaller than t...
Folksonomies: computing
Folksonomies: computing
  1  notes

As described by Richard Feynman in 1985, with the benefits in energy consumption and processing power that come with it.


Child Reference

 What Is and What Should Be The Role of Scientific Culture in Modern Society
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1964), What Is and What Should Be The Role of Scientific Culture in Modern Society, Galileo Symposium, Italy, Retrieved on 2010-11-08
 
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 Leave Room for Uncertainty

What then is the meaning of the whole world? We do not know what the meaning of existence is. We say, as the result of studying all of the views that we have had before, we find that we do not know the meaning of existence; but in saying that we do knot know the meaning of existence, we have probably found the open channel--if we will allow only that, as we progress, we leave open opportunities for alternatives , that we do not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute tru...
  1  notes

Science doesn't have the meaning of life, but we are muddling through it and that's a good thing.

03 JAN 2011

 Science Must Confront Religion

The remark which I read somewhere, that science is all right so long as it doesn't attack religion, was the clue that I needed to understand the problem. As long as it doesn't attack religion it need not be paid attention to and nobody has to learn anything. So it can be cut off from modern society except for its applications, and thus be isolated. And then we have this terrible struggle to try to explain things to people who have no reason to want to know. But if they want to defend their ow...
Folksonomies: science religion
Folksonomies: science religion
  1  notes

So long as it doesn't, it can be ignored--but Feynman might be wrong about this.

03 JAN 2011

 Miracles Should be Investigated to Improve Upon Them

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 jud...
Folksonomies: science miracles skepticism
Folksonomies: science miracles skepticism
  1  notes

If there are miracles, then we should investigate them in order to figure out how to make them better, in order to figure out how to best take advantage of them.

03 JAN 2011

 Death is Not a Law of Biology

It is one of the most remarkable things that in all of the biological sciences there is no clue as to the necessity of death. If you say we want to make perpetual motion, we have discovered enough laws as we studied physics to see that it is either absolutely impossible or else the laws are wrong. But there is nothing in biology yet found that indicates the inevitability of death. This suggests to me that it is not at all inevitable, and that it is only a matter of time before the biologists ...
Folksonomies: biology death
Folksonomies: biology death
 3  3  notes

There is no law of biology that says things have to die.


Child Reference

 There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (Dec 29, 1959), There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom, Engineering and Science Magazine, California Institute of Technology, Retrieved on 2010-11-13
 
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 Number of Bits for a Set of Encyclopedias are Minuscule C...

I have estimaged how many letters there are in a the Enclyclopaedia, and I have assumed that each of my 24 million books is as big as an Encyclopaedia volume, and have calculated, then, how many bits of information there are (10^15). For each bit I allow 100 atoms. And it turns out that all of the information that man has carefully accumulated in all the books in the world can be written in this form in a cube of material one two-hundredths of an inch wide--which is the barest piece of dust t...
  1  notes

Feynman estimates the number of atoms neccessary for storing a set of encyclopedias, and then compares that to the amount of data included in a DNA string.


Child Reference

 The Value of Science from What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1988), The Value of Science from What Do You Care What Other People Think?: Further Adventures of a Curious Character, W.W. Norton and Company, Retrieved on 2010-11-13
 
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 Our Responsibility as Scientists

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. There are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions and pass them on. It is our responsibility to leave the men of the future a free hand. In the impetuous youth of humanity, we can make grave errors that can stunt our growth for a long time. This we will do if we say we have the answers now, so young a...
  1  notes

We must leave the door open to speculation, and never declare that we have it all figured out, because that would doom future generations.

03 JAN 2011

 The Dream is to Find an Open Channel

Through all the ages men have tried to fathom the meaning of life. They have realized that if some direction or meaning could be given to our actions, great human forces would be unleashed. So, very many answers must have been given to the question of the meaning of it all. But they have been of all different sorts, and the proponents of one answer have looked with horror at the actions of the believers in another. Horror, because from a disagreeing point of view all the great potentialities ...
  1  notes

Leaving the door open, understanding that we are perpetually figuring it all out, and this understanding motivated the founding fathers in formulating democracy.

03 JAN 2011

 Doubt as a Scientific Virtue

I would now like to turn to a third value that science has. It is a little more indirect, but not much. The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't now the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he as a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is in some doubt. We have found it of paramount impor...
  1  notes

The importance of doubt, and a lack of absolute certainty, in science, which is non-authoritarian.

03 JAN 2011

 Reading the Music of Science

Is nobody inspired by our present picture of the universe? The value of science remains unsung by singers, so you are reduced to hearing--not a song or a poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age. Perhaps one of the reasons is that you have to know how to read the music. For instance, the scientific, article says, perhaps, something like this: "The radioactive phosphorus content of the cerebrum of a rat decreases to one-half in the period of two weeks." Now, what...
Folksonomies: science ionian echantment
Folksonomies: science ionian echantment
 2  2  notes

People aren't amazed by scientific discovery because, maybe, they don't understand it.

03 JAN 2011

 Why Scientists Don't Tackle Social Problems

From time to time, people suggest to me that scientists ought to give more consideration to social problems--especially that they should be more responsible in considering the impact of science upon society. This same suggestion must be made to many other scientists, and it seems to be generally believed that if the scientists would only look at these very difficult social problems and not spend so much time fooling with the less vital scientific ones, great success would come of it. It seems...
  1  notes

Scientists are as dumb as anyone else at tackling non-scientific problems, that's why they stick to science.

03 JAN 2011

 The Importance of Enjoying Science

Another value of science is the fun called intellectual enjoyment which some people get from reading and learning and thinking about it, and which others get from working in it. This is a very real and important point and one which is not considered enough by those who tell us it is our social responsibility to reflect on the impact of science on society. Is this mere personal enjoyment of value to society as a whole? No! But it is also a responsibility to consider the value of society itself...
  1  notes

While the personal enjoyment does not contribute to society, expressing this enjoyment, organizing it for others to enjoy benefits society.


Child Reference

 What Is Science?
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1969), What Is Science?, The Physics Teacher, Vol 9, pp 313-320, American Association of Physics Teachers, Retrieved on 2010-11-13
 
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 The Evolution of Culture

What science is, I think, may be something like this: There was on this planet an evolution of life to the stage that there were evolved animals, which are intelligent. I don't mean just human beings, but animals which play and which can learn something from experience (like cats). But at this stage each animal would have to learn from its own experience. They gradually develop, until some animal coudl learn from experience by watching, or one could show the other, or he saw what the other on...
Folksonomies: science memetics culture
Folksonomies: science memetics culture
 1  1  notes

Although Feynman calls it "time-binding," this sounds very much like memetics.

03 JAN 2011

 The Danger of Culture and Science as the Solution

This phenomenon of having a memory for the race, of having an accumulated knowledge passable from one generation to another, was new in the world. But it had a disease in it. It was possible to pass on mistaken ideas. It was possible to pass on ideas which were not profitable for the race. The race has ideas, which were not profitable for the race. The race has ideas, but there are not necessarily profitable. So there came a time in which the ideas, although accumulated very slowly, were all ...
Folksonomies: science memetics culture
Folksonomies: science memetics culture
 1  1  notes

Science is the cure for erroneous memes that enter our culture.

03 JAN 2011

 The Beauty of Science

The world looks so different after learning science. For example, the trees are made of air, primarily. When they are burned, they go back to air, and in the flaming heat is relased the flaming heat of the sun which was bound in to convert the air into trees, and in the ash is the small remnant of the part which did not come from air, that came from the solid earth instead.
  1  notes

We can see the world much more deeply after learning science.

03 JAN 2011

 Science is Patient Observation

I think it is very important--at least it was to me--that if you are going to teach people to make observations, you should show that something wonderful can come from them. I learned then what science was about. It was patience. If you looked, and you watched, and you paid attention, you got a great reward from it (although possible not every time). As a result, when I became a more mature man, I would painstakingly, hour after hour, for years, work on problems--sometimes many years, sometim...
 1  1  notes

Wonderful things can come from watching the world patiently.

03 JAN 2011

 The Energy Game

My father dealth a little bit with energy and used the term after I got a little bit of the idea about it. What he would have done I know, because he did in fact essentially the same thing--though not the same example of the toy dog. He would say, "It moves because the sun is shining," if he wanted to give the same lesson. I would say "No. What has that to do with the sun shining? It moved because you wound up the springs." "And why, my friend, are you able to move to wind up this spring?" "I...
 2  2  notes

A game Feynman's father would play with him, asking what made things work, and following the chain of energy back to the sun.


Child Reference

 The Smartest Man in the World
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1992), The Smartest Man in the World, Omni Publications Internation, Ltd., Retrieved on 2010-11-13
 
Child Reference Memes
03 JAN 2011

 Knowing VS Speculation

One day I'll be convinced there's a certain type of symmetry that everybody believes in, the next day I'll try to figure out the consequences if it's not, and everybody's crazy but me. But the thing that's unusual about good scientists is that while they're doing whatever they're doing, they're not so sure of themselves as others usually are. They can live with steady doubt, think "maybe it's so" and act on that, al lthe time knowing it's only "maybe." Many people find that difficult; they th...
Folksonomies: science speculation
Folksonomies: science speculation
  1  notes

There is a warmness in doubting things, considering alternatives.

03 JAN 2011

 Spinoza's Reasoning was Childish

There's a tendency to pomposity in all this, to make it all deep and profound. My son is taking a course in philosophy, and last night we were looking at something by Spinoza--and there was teh most childish reasoning! There were all these Attributes, and Substances, all this meaningless chewing around, and we started to laugh. Now, how could we do that? Here's this great Dutch phiosopher, and we're laughing at him. It's because there was no excuse for it! In that same period there was Newton...
  1  notes

Feynman talks about reading the great Dutch philosopher with his son.

03 JAN 2011

 Science as a Quest

Pysicists are trying to find out how nature behaves; they may talks carelessly about some "utlimate particle" because that's the way nature looks at a given moment, but... Suppose people are exploring a new continent, OK? They see water coming along the ground, they've seen that before, and they call it "rivers." So they say they're exploring to find the headwaters, they go upriver, and sure enough, there they are, it's all going very well. But lo and behold, when they get up far enough they ...
Folksonomies: science scientific virtue
Folksonomies: science scientific virtue
  1  notes

Exploring physics is like exploring a new continent.

03 JAN 2011

 Computer Programming Brings Complex Thought to the Masses

Omni: Does that limit the number of people who can contribute, or even understand what's being done? Feynman: Or else somebody will develop a way of thinking about the problems so that we can understand them more easily. Maybe they'll just teach it earlier and earlier. You know, it's not true that what is called "abstruse" math is so difficult. Take something like computer programming, and the careful logic needed for that--the kind of thinking that mama and papa would have said was only for ...
  1  notes

A half century ago, the logic required to do computer programming was considered something only professors could do, now everyone does it.


Child Reference

 Cargo Cult Science: Some Remarks on Science, Pseudoscience, and Learning How to Not Fool Yourself
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (1974), Cargo Cult Science: Some Remarks on Science, Pseudoscience, and Learning How to Not Fool Yourself, 1974 Caltech Commencement Address, Retrieved on 2010-11-13
  • Source Material [www.lhup.edu]
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    Child Reference Memes
    03 JAN 2011

     The Unverified Things We Believe

    But then I began to think, what else is there that we believe? (And I thought then about the witch doctors, and how easy it would have been to cheek on them by noticing that nothing really worked.) So I found things that even more people believe, such as that we have some knowledge of how to educate. There are big schools of reading methods and mathematics methods, and so forth, but if you notice, you'll see the reading scores keep going down--or hardly going up in spite of the fact that we c...
    Folksonomies: science pseudo-science
    Folksonomies: science pseudo-science
      1  notes

    There are things we believe, such as pedagogical theories, that are far more damaging than new age ideas.


    Child Reference

     Mr. Feynman builds a Universe
    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard , Mr. Feynman builds a Universe, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Retrieved on 2010-11-13
    Folksonomies: aaas
    Child Reference Memes
    03 JAN 2011

     Cargo Cult Science

    In the Solomon Islands, as many people know, the natives didn't understand the airplanes which came down during the war and brought all kinds of goodies for the soldiers. So now they have airplane cults. They make artificial landing strips and they make fires along the landing strips to imitate the lights and this poor native sits in a wooden box he's built with wooden earphones with bamboo sticks going up to represent the antenna and turning his head back and forth, and they have radar domes...
      1  notes

    When we accept scientific "facts" unquestioningly, we are like the islanders who built fake airfields to beckon cargo planes from the sky.

    03 JAN 2011

     We Take Things for Truth When They Need to Be More Thorou...

    You see the problem fo obtaining facts from experience--it sounds very, very simple. You just try it and see. But man is a weak character and it turns out to be much more difficult than you think to just try it and see. For instance, you take education. Some guy comes along and he sees the way people teach mathematics. And he says, "I have a better idea. I'll make a toy computer and teach them with it." So he tries it with a group of chidlren, he hasn't got a lot of children, maybe somebody g...
    Folksonomies: science pseudoscience
    Folksonomies: science pseudoscience
      1  notes

    Because one experimenter gets positive results from teaching children with computers, it does not follow that everyone should use them, the experimenter may have had enthusiasm for their use, which would skew the results.


    Child Reference

     The Relation of Science and Religion
    Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book Chapter:  Feynman, Richard (May 2, 1956), The Relation of Science and Religion, Engineering and Science Magazine, California Institute of Technology, Retrieved on 2010-11-13
     
    Child Reference Memes
    03 JAN 2011

     Communism and the scientific viewpoint

    I would like to remark, in passing, since the word "atheism" is so closely connected with "communism," that the communist views are the antithesis of the scientific, in the sense that in communism the answers are given to all the questions - political questions as well as moral ones - without discussion and without doubt. The scientific viewpoint is the exact opposite of this; that is, all questions must be doubted and discussed; we must argue everything out - observe things, check them, and...
      1  notes

    Communism deals with absolutes, which is the opposite of science, science lack a definite direction, which is more aligned with democracy.