Asails F's Reviews > Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
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Feb 01, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: reference, nonfiction, personal, and, non-fiction
Read in January, 1986

I found myself unable to make fair judgement about: Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Adventures of a Curious Character. One day I gave it three stars and another five. I should think that it certainly deserves five stars in that it is one of the few books that delve into the mind of a genius and gives some idea to their thought process's. My desire to write a review of this book are threefold:

I was stationed in Orlando Florida and it was mandatory that we watch the liftoff's.

After the Challenger shuttle disaster I worked for a woman who did quality assurance for repairs on US Polaris ballistic missile systems who worked with the same seals that failed on the shuttle disaster. Long before the results were published by the investigation team she met Mr. Feynman on a flight to duty stations. In their exchange he asked her what she thought was the problem and told him without a doubt it was the seals.

Reagan the president at the time this disaster had exerted pressure to launch the Challenger in the overly cold weather. I also watched the media's involvement and unneeded sensationalism about the delays that undoubtedly provoked a too hasty decision to launch. I have read many management studies attributing this debacle as a legacy of the decision making process called Groupthink. As this can only be so and knowledge of the affects of cold on the seals was widely know in professional circles and also at NASA it must be surmised that we have a warped decision making system in place in our government.

The lightness that Feynman's stories give to the seriousness of his academic career must only be surmised as a way of dealing with his knowledge of how many problems the Earth is facing in part due to our faulty decision making. It was driven home after watching a video about his life where I was almost brought to tears... The must see video is The Quest For Tannu Tuva[1988] which seemed to be more widely shown in the UK than in the US.

Let's learn from Feynman.
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