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The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works Of Richard Feynman

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  5,412 ratings  ·  289 reviews
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a magnificent treasury of the best short works of Richard 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 and descriptions of the fantastic pro ...more
Hardcover, 270 pages
Published August 12th 1999 by Basic Books (first published 1999)
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Chris
Here's the problem with having high expectations: they're so often dashed.

In my years trawling the web and being a science nerd, I've heard a lot about Richard Feynman. There are legends about him, that he was the Puck of physics - brilliant, untamed, and really, really funny. When I got the book, I was expecting to read a lightning-quick volley of ideas that would set my mind alight with the wonder and infinite possibilities continued within a lifetime's pursuit of science.

Yeah, that didn't qui
...more
Yaman
المتعة التي نحتاجها دومًا... إنها متعة العلم واكتشاف الأشياء
JJ
I love this man. He is brilliant, seems humble, and funny as hell. This is an excellent collection of some of his ideas and stories, mostly about his life experiences and how he became who he was. Even if you do not have a good understanding of physics or even math you will still enjoy this book. It is not a tractate or a manual but rather a collections of anecdotal stories and interviews that allow anyone to take a peek into the mind of this true badass.
Tamara Minawi
اخترت قراءة هذا الكتاب لمحاولة الدخول لعقل أحد العلماء الذين شاركوا في صنع القنبلة النووية
كيف يفكر؟ .. كيف يحلل؟ .. وكيف ينظر للأشياء والأمور ؟

قد تكون هناك صعوبه في قراءة نص مكتوب عن حوارات ومقابلات شفهية ، وعلمية بحتة في بعضها الآخر
. لكن بين السطور هناك خلاصات وخبرات قد تفيد من يعمل في أي مجال علمي أو حتى تعليمي

هو عبارة عن مقالات ومحاضرات للفيزيائي فينمان وهي موجهة للعموم وليس فقط لزملائه العلميين، فيها نرى فينمان كما كان، يلعب دائما بأفكاره، ولكنه جاد تماما حول الأشياء التي تهمه. يحتوي الكت
...more
Andrew Martin
Whatever your opinion of Feynman, you need to reconcile the fact that he's got unbearably retrograde opinions:

"When I was at Cornell, I was rather fascinated by the student body, which seems to me was a dilute mixture of some sensible people in a big mass of dumb people studying home economics, etc, including lots of girls. I used to sit in the cafeteria with the students and eat and try to overhear their conversations and see if there was one intelligent word coming out. You can imagine my surp
...more
Ray Norris
I learnt my physics at the feet of Feynman. Metaphorically speaking. As a student of theoretical physics at Cambridge in the 1970's, I spent dreary days in stuffy lecture-halls listening to boring old farts droning on about Wronskians and Greens Functions (ugh!). But then I'd come home and open my copy of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, whose pages brimmed with inspirational tales of quantum mechanics, and quirky ways of looking at the physical world. Feynman made physics fun, and gave me my fi ...more
Oleg Kagan
I'd peeked into Richard Feynman's other books so I when I slipped The Pleasure of Finding Things Out into my CD player I expected much of the same. What I got was a Feynman's humor and genius tempered by some strange editorial choices. Why, even though the editor mentioned that he would remove repetition, was there still plenty of it? I'm not just referring here to anecdotes, but also ideas like Feynman's definition of science. Why did the interviews seem like they were edited to hit exactly the ...more
Dennis Littrell
Feynman, Richard P. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman (1999)
Brilliance and charm: Feynman as a teacher

I very much enjoyed this entertaining and delightful collection of lectures, talks and essays by the world-renown and sorely missed Professor Feynman, Nobel Prize winning physicist, idiosyncratic genius and one of the great men of the twentieth century.

I particularly enjoyed the subtle yet unmistakable way he scolded the people at NASA for putting the
...more
Frances
OH MAN I LOVE YOU RICHARD FEYNMAN.

While significantly more technical than Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! I still really appreciated the writing and his insights into the physical universe. I feel like more teenagers should read Feynman - he believes so strongly in LIVING and THINKING and WORKING while still enjoying oneself that he could do so much good for that age bracket.

Also, as an aside - can you even imagine the conversations between this guy and Neil Degrasse Tyson? CAN YOU.
Chad
I really enjoyed reading my first book by Richard Feynman. The only problem is, this isn't really a book by Richard Feynman. It's a collection of some of his speeches, along with (what has to be only a portion? of) his Minority Report on the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster. Feynman is brilliant and has a quirky sense of humor and playfulness, and that comes out in his speeches. But it felt like some of the rigor of his scientific prowess was missing, simply because the format of a speech is so ...more
Nico Scagliarini
I have always been wary of scientists and scientific literature, because being apparently the "artsy" type I have been struggling with hard sciences my whole life: I always found them fascinating and scary at the same time and I only managed to make peace with Mathematics a few years ago. Never with Physics or Chemistry, and I always thought people who do them for a living were some kind of aliens. And they are (and so one more fond of science might say about artists), but after reading this boo ...more
Marko
This was my first glimpse into the life and mind of Richard Feynman, and boy was it a ride! I had some expectations based on some of the stories I heard and his general fame, but the actual Feynman turned to be much deeper and interesting than just those glimpses in popular myths.

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is going to give you just that. Through the speeches and essays in this book you will see the workings of an extraordinary mind and learn much about the process of science and its plac
...more
Elena
Like my affinity for Harold Bloom, Richard Feynman can do no wrong in my book. He was a man that thought outside the box, and was ahead beyond the technology of his time. However, what left the most lasting impression in this book is when Feynman turns into a bit of a philosopher and it made me think for days.

Feynman discusses the Heritages of Western Civilization:

Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages. One is the scientifice spirit of adventure- the adventure into t
...more
Nicolás Rivas
An ego book. All that is interesting in this book is only interesting because Feynman said it. Remove the author and the anecdotes are boring, the philosophy shallow (although clear, precise) and there is no real science in the book. Feynman shines when he talks about physics, his Lectures books are impressive, masterful, but there's is very little of that in this book.
V i r t u e  ..

كتاب فيه الكثير من المتعة و الجنون لولا بعض الملاحظات على :
> ركاكة الأسلوب ( فقد كُتب الكتاب بالأسلوب الذي كتب فينمان ـ وهو الذي لم يكن مهتماً بقواعد اللغة ـ , ولم يتدخّل المحرر بالتصحيح إلا عندما يستعصي الكلام على الفهم ..)
> بعض أحاديثه وشروحاته ـ التي يقول أنها موجهة للعامّة ـ كانت تحتاج إلى علمِ بالفيزياء كنت أفتقده =)
>آراءه في العلم وعلاقته بالدين ,وعقيدة الشك التي يتبنّاها للوصول إلى مزيد من الفتوح العلمية والتي لفرط تحمّسه لها دعى إلى تعميها وعدم اقتصارها على العلم لتشمل الدين أيض
...more
Debsuvra Ghosh
One can never have enough of the 'adventures of a curious character', Feynman is ever so playful and dead serious about things that matter & 'the pleasure of finding things out' is a brilliant collection of pieces that reaffirms this notion. The articles inside the book, thoughtfully collected from speeches, lectures, interviews & writings, show scientific worldview of a man, armed with an urge for doubt & uncertainties over absoluteness while keeping in mind not to fool himself. An ...more
Laura
Una bella lettura. Non è un vero e proprio saggio ma una raccolta di discorsi e interviste di questo Puck della fisica. Alcuni sono interessantissimi, altri un po' meno, ma tutto comunque contribuisce a darci un'immagine di prima mano dell'uomo che ha contribuito così tanto alla fisica del tempo. Se dovessi trovare due parole chiave per questo libro queste sono dubbio e incertezza, il vero credo su cui Feynman ha basato il successo della sua ricerca e del suo essere grande scienziato. Dubitare d ...more
David Hammond
This book is a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the stories are entertaining, some show a brilliant scientific mind at work, and some provide thought-provoking insights into the role of science in society. Still there is an inelegance to the whole thing. Most of the pieces are from lectures, talks, and interviews that Feynman gave at one time or another, and while I'm sure he is an engaging speaker, they don't transfer to the page all that well. There are also various repetitions of Feynman's pet ide ...more
Brooke
Feynman has a wonderfully readable voice. 90% of this wasn't too over-my-head technical, the pieces selected for this collection were mostly Feynman musing about things or sharing stories. His enthusiasm for physics and discovery reminded me of Carl Sagan's similar enthusiasm that comes through in his books. I have to wonder why none of my science and math classes in school did anything to exposure us to this enthusiasm. People really, really like science and math! Who knew? None of my teachers, ...more
Don Weidinger
social science not science, thought control by government and religions, science never certain and doubts as nature of science how can religion be different, shuttle engine 59 blades fail rate, nature cannot be fooled, mathematics is looking for patterns, science of rational thought and freedom of thought, statements is not science gather evidence, how nature behaves, no expectations get what get, love to think of new ways to think, everything interesting, we continue to use same people to solve ...more
Kara
“Of all its many values, the greatest must be the freedom to doubt.”

I wasn’t particularly excited to read the Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman because, even though I was told that Feynman makes science accessible to non-sciencey brains, I was convinced that nothing scientific could possibly makes sense to my utterly unscientific mind. A wonderful surprise awaited me. This collection of mostly speeches from the mid-twentieth century ponders the value of science in modern society and philoso
...more
Sarahj33
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out is a sort of grab-bag of Richard Feynman's best remembered lectures, interviews, and articles. Although the book was assembled in 1999, some of the writings are as old as the 60s, so at this point the book is as much about history as it is science. For a lay-reader, it can be a little frustrating to read an article, clearly written by a genius, and not know how much of the content is still true or relevant. Some of the articles come with annotations with follow ...more
Kimber
I really enjoyed this book. Richard Feynman is such a character and an interesting person. I especially like the topic because my research is in nanoengineering and he is considered the father of nanotechnology. This is a collection of interviews and speeches so it's a little different from normal writing. I got such a kick out of chapter 3. It's fairly technical, but it's worth it once you get to the end. I plan on reading more of his books.
Hadrian
A collection of truly fun essays about all sorts of things. It's almost a kind of pick-me-up for the scientifically minded.

Some of the best essays are the ones concerning nanotechnology, "What is Science?", and the discussion on religion - particularly interesting given the resurgence of non-belief in recent years.

Not much new if you're already a devotee of Feynman, but I'd be happy to give my copy to someone new to him.
Joseph
The Pleasures of Finding Out contains a variety of Feynman's writings and speeches, ranging from personal anecdotes and observations on life to theses and presentations on nanotechnology, quantum mechanics, and computing. Interspersed is his personal history, from the lessons he gleaned from his non-scientific father and presenting to Albert Einstein, to winning a Nobel Prize and being a part of the Manhattan Project.

The collection has on full display Feynman's special talent for common sense, s
...more
Robert Vlach
Soubor 13 Feynmanových esejů, z nichž nejvýraznější je asi slavná kritika pseudovědy Cargo-Cult Science. Pokud vám občas připadá, že se to s tím vědeckým přístupem občas přehání a že se za vědu či seriózní výzkum vydává každá hovadina, přinejmenším tuhle esej si určitě přečtěte. (Mimochodem, cargo kulty rozebírá i Richard Dawkins v Božím bludu.) Celkově bych tuto knihu doporučil asi jen čtenářům, kteří hledají podrobnosti k tématům nakousnutým v jiných jeho knihách. Výběr je navíc dost nevyrovna ...more
Ráid
اخترت قراءة هذا الكتاب لمحاولة الدخول لعقل أحد العلماء الذين شاركوا في صنع القنبلة النووية
كيف يفكر؟ .. كيف يحلل؟ .. وكيف ينظر للأشياء؟
قد تكون هناك صعوبه في قراءة نص مكتوب عن حوارات ومقابلات شفهيه ، وعلمية بحته في بعضها الآخر
. لكن بين السطور هناك خلاصات وخبرات قد تفيد من يعمل في أي مجال علمي
Santino Maguire
Short and sweet. It's a beautifully inspirational account of what a love of math and physics feels like, on the inside. Highly recommended to anyone who doesn't feel warm and fuzzy about math or physics.
Heidi
Collected lectures from a variety of events. Some have student questions, some have scientific audiences, some have layperson audiences. He rarely gets too much into detail on the science, but frequently discuss the nature of science, the attitude of doubt that science requires, and is engaging in style.
Humorous notes include how he learned women are quite capable of scientific thought - by overhearing one woman describe to another how to determine the pattern when knitting argyle socks. Storie
...more
Muriel Fang
These things strike me:

1. Social science is not really science, people could make conflicting statements and not the least feel embarrassed.

2. Feynman confess that he posits no teaching philosophy. Different students learn different ways, instead of using one rigid teaching method that caters to some students all the time, Feynman claims to use different methods so he could catch all students some of the time.

He illustrates this point with his experience interacting with his son and daughter:
...more
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1429989
Richard Phillips Feynman was an American physicist known for the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics and the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as work in particle physics (he proposed the parton model). For his contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman was a joint recipient of the Nobel Pr ...more
More about Richard P. Feynman...
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character What Do You Care What Other People Think? Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter The Feynman Lectures on Physics

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“We absolutely must leave room for doubt or there is no progress and there is no learning. There is no learning without having to pose a question. And a question requires doubt. People search for certainty. But there is no certainty. People are terrified — how can you live and not know? It is not odd at all. You only think you know, as a matter of fact. And most of your actions are based on incomplete knowledge and you really don't know what it is all about, or what the purpose of the world is, or know a great deal of other things. It is possible to live and not know.” 9 likes
“I believe that we must attack these things in which we do not believe. Not attack by the method of cutting off the heads of the people, but attack in the sense of discuss. I believe that we should demand that people try in their own minds to obtain for themselves a more consistent picture of their own world; that they not permit themselves the luxury of having their brain cut in four pieces or two pieces even, and on one side they believe this and on the other side they believe that, but never try to compare the two points of view. Because we have learned that, by trying to put the points of view that we have in our head together and comparing one to the other, we make some progress in understanding and in appreciating where we are and what we are. And I believe that science has remained irrelevant because we wait until somebody asks us questions or until we are invited to give a speech on Einstein’s theory to people who don’t understand Newtonian mechanics, but we never are invited to give an attack on faith healing, or on astrology — on what is the scientific view of astrology today.” 8 likes
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