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Posts Tagged ‘Richard P. Feynman’

I was born not knowing and have only had a little time to change that here and there.
  —  Richard Feynman
Quoted by James Gleick in his book: “Genius
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On This Day In:
2013 Pillows
Steppin’
2012 Invincible Summer
2011 Being Objective
2010 First Things First…
Northwest Passages – Intro
Northwest Passages – Day One
Northwest Passages – Poetry
Northwest Passages – Evening One
Northwest Passages – Morning Two

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No government has the right to decide on the truth of scientific principles, nor to prescribe in any way the character of the questions investigated.  Neither may a government determine the aesthetic value of artistic creations, nor limit the forms of literary or artistic expression.  Nor should it pronounce on the validity of economic, historic, religious, or philosophical doctrines.  Instead it has a duty to its citizens to maintain the freedom, to let those citizens contribute to the further adventure and the development of the human race.
  —  Dr. Richard P. Feynman
From his book: “The Meaning Of It All
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Now, that there are unscientific things is not my grief.  That’s a nice word.  I mean, that is not what I am worrying about, that there are unscientific things.  That something is unscientific is not bad; there is nothing the matter with it.  It is just unscientific.  And scientific is limited, of course, to those things that we can tell about by trial and error.
 

—  Richard P. Feynman
From his book: “The Meaning of It All

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There have been a lot of jokes made about ideas of uncertainty.  I would like to remind you that you can be pretty sure of things even though you are uncertain, that you don’t have to be so in-the-middle, in fact not at all in-the-middle.  People say to me, “Well, how can you teach your children what is right and wrong if you don’t know?”  Because I’m pretty sure of what’s right and wrong.  I’m not absolutely sure; some experiences may change my mind.  But I know what I would expect to teach them.  But, of course, a child won’t learn what you teach him.
 

—  Richard P. Feynman
From his book: “The Meaning of It All
 

 

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For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
 

—  Richard P. Feynman
from his book: “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
 

[The above quote is from Feynman’s report on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster (frozen O-rings – the danger of which was discounted by management).  It appears to me to be equally applicable in a host of other areas: biological warfare, fracking, corporate fishing and farming, etc.
 

If there is no global warming and we reduce/stop polluting, the Earth’s ecosystem continues and mankind lives;  if there is global warming and we don’t reduce/stop polluting, the ecosystem collapses and most – if not all – of humanity perishes.  We can continue to roll the dice, but who’s fooling whom?  —  KMAB]

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It is a part of the adventure of science to try to find a limitation in all directions and to stretch the human imagination as far as possible everywhere.  Although at every stage it has looked as if such an activity was absurd and useless, it often turns out at least not to be useless.
 

—  Richard P. Feynman
from his book: “The Pleasure Of Finding Things Out
 

 

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Western civilization, it seems to me, stands by two great heritages.  One is the scientific spirit of adventure — the adventure into the unknown, an unknown which must be recognized as being unknown in order to be explored; the demand that the unanswerable mysteries of the universe remain unanswered; the attitude that all is uncertain; to summarize it — the humility of the intellect.  The other great heritage is Christian ethics — the basis of action on love, the brotherhood of all men, the value of the individual — the humility of the spirit.
 

These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent.  But logic is not all; one needs one’s heart to follow an idea.  If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to?  Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God — more, one who disbelieves in God?  Is the modern church a place to give comfort and encouragement to the value of such doubts?  So far, have we not drawn strength and comfort to maintain the one or the other of these consistent heritages in a way which attacks the values of the other?  Is this unavoidable?  How can we draw inspiration to support these two pillars of western civilization so that they may stand together in full vigor, mutually unafraid?  Is this not the central problem of our time?
 

—  Richard P. Feynman
from his book: “The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
 

 

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