I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.
We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But 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 people 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 and ignorant as we are. If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming 'This is the answer, my friends; man is saved!' we will doom humanity for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination. It has been done so many times before. It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress which comes from a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress which is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom; to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed; and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.
beginning quotestime quoteshuman quotesrace quotesunreasonable quotesgrapple quotesproblems quotestens quotesthousands quotesyears quotesfuture quotesresponsibility quoteslearn quotesimprove quotessolutions quotespass quotesleave quotespeople quotesfuture quotesfree quoteshand quotesimpetuous quotesyouth quoteshumanity quotesmake quotesgrave quoteserrors quotesstunt quotesgrowth quoteslong quotestime quotesanswers quotesyoung quotesignorant quotessuppress quotesdiscussion quotescriticism quotesproclaiming quotesthis quotesanswer quotesfriends quotesman quotessaved quotesdoom quoteshumanity quoteschains quotesauthority quotesconfined quoteslimits quotespresent quotesimagination quotestimes quotesscientists quotesknowing quotesgreat quotesprogress quotessatisfactory quotesphilosophy quotesignorance quotesfruit quotesfreedom quotesthought quotesproclaim quotesfreedom quotesteach quotesdoubt quotesfeared quoteswelcomed quotesdiscussed quotesdemand quotesduty quotescoming quotesgenerations quotes
Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can-if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong-to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
details quotesthrow quotesdoubt quotesinterpretation quotescanif quoteswrong quotespossibly quoteswrongto quotesexplain quotesmake quotestheory quotesadvertise quotesput quotesfacts quotesdisagree quotesagree quotessubtle quotesproblem quoteslot quotesideas quoteselaborate quotesexplaining quotesfits quotesthings quotesfits quotesgave quotesidea quotestheory quotesfinished quotestheory quotesmakes quotesaddition quotes
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 know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty - some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don't know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question - to doubt - to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.
scientist quoteslot quotesexperience quotesignorance quotesdoubt quotesuncertainty quotesgreat quotesimportance quotesanswer quotesproblem quotesignorant quoteshunch quotesresult quotesuncertain quotespretty quotesdamn quotesdoubt quotesfound quotesparamount quotesimportance quotesorder quotesprogress quotesrecognize quotesleave quotesroom quotesscientific quotesknowledge quotesbody quotesstatements quotesvarying quotesdegrees quotescertainty quotesunsure quotesabsolutely quotesscientists quotesgranted quotesperfectly quotesconsistent quoteslive quotesrealizes quotestrue quotesfreedom quotesborn quotesstruggle quotesauthority quotesearly quotesdays quotesscience quotesdeep quotesstrong quotesstruggle quotespermit quotesquestion quotesimportant quotesforget quoteslose quotesgained quotes
I have a friend who's an artist and has 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. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist 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 may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.
friend quotesartist quotesview quotesagree quoteshell quoteshold quotesflower quotesbeautiful quotesagree quotesscientist quotesdull quotesthing quoteskind quotesnutty quotesbeauty quotessees quotespeople quotesrefined quotesaesthetically quotesflower quotestime quotessees quotesimagine quotescells quotescomplicated quotesactions quotesinside quotesbeauty quotesdimension quotescentimeter quotessmaller quotesdimensions quotesstructure quotesprocesses quotesfact quotescolors quotesevolved quotesorder quotesattract quotesinsects quotespollinate quotesinteresting quotesmeans quotescolor quotesadds quotesquestion quotesaesthetic quotessense quotesexist quoteslower quotesforms quotesaesthetic quoteskinds quotesinteresting quotesquestions quotesscience quotesknowledge quotesexcitement quotesmystery quotesawe quotesadds quotesunderstand quotessubtracts quotes
What I am going to tell you about is what we teach our physics students in the third or fourth year of graduate school... It is my task to convince you not to turn away because you don't understand it. You see my physics students don't understand it... That is because I don't understand it. Nobody does.
It doesn't seem to me that this fantastically marvelous universe, this tremendous range of time and space and different kinds of animals, and all the different planets, and all these atoms with all their motions, and so on, all this complicated thing can merely be a stage so that God can watch human beings struggle for good and evil - which is the view that religion has. The stage is too big for the drama.
fantastically quotesmarvelous quotesuniverse quotestremendous quotesrange quotestime quotesspace quoteskinds quotesanimals quotesplanets quotesatoms quotesmotions quotescomplicated quotesthing quotesstage quotesgod quoteswatch quoteshuman quotesbeings quotesstruggle quotesgood quotesevil quotesview quotesreligion quotesbig quotesdrama quotes
When it came time for me to give my talk on the subject, I started off by drawing an outline of the cat and began to name the various muscles. The other students in the class interrupt me: "We know all that!" "Oh," I say, "you do? Then no wonder I can catch up with you so fast after you've had four years of biology." They had wasted all their time memorizing stuff like that, when it could be looked up in fifteen minutes.
time quotesgive quotestalk quotessubject quotesstarted quotesdrawing quotesoutline quotescat quotesbegan quotesmuscles quotesstudents quotesclass quotesinterrupt quotescatch quotesfast quotesyears quotesbiology quoteswasted quotesmemorizing quotesstuff quoteslooked quotesfifteen quotesminutes quotes
So my antagonist said, "Is it impossible that there are flying saucers? Can you prove that it's impossible?" "No", I said, "I can't prove it's impossible. It's just very unlikely". At that he said, "You are very unscientific. If you can't prove it impossible then how can you say that it's unlikely?" But that is the way that is scientific. It is scientific only to say what is more likely and what less likely, and not to be proving all the time the possible and impossible.
[Doubt] is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men who made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas bought in - a trial-and-error system. This method was a result of the fact that science was already showing itself to be a successful venture at the end of the eighteenth century. Even then it was clear to socially minded people that the openness of possibilities was an opportunity, and that doubt and discussion were essential to progress into the unknown. If we want to solve a problem that we have never solved before, we must leave the door to the unknown ajar... doubt is not to be feared, but welcomed and discussed.
doubt quotesidea quotesidea quotesage quotesreason quotesphilosophy quotesguided quotesmen quotesmade quotesdemocracy quoteslive quotesknew quotesrun quotesgovernment quotesled quotesarrange quotessystem quotesideas quotesdeveloped quotestossed quotesbought quotestrialanderror quotessystem quotesmethod quotesresult quotesfact quotesscience quotesshowing quotessuccessful quotesventure quotesend quoteseighteenth quotescentury quotesclear quotessocially quotesminded quotespeople quotesopenness quotespossibilities quotesopportunity quotesdoubt quotesdiscussion quotesessential quotesprogress quotesunknown quotessolve quotesproblem quotessolved quotesleave quotesdoor quotesunknown quotesajar quotesfeared quoteswelcomed quotesdiscussed quotes
If you thought you were trying to find out more about it because you're gonna get an answer to some deep philosophical question... you may be wrong! It may be that you can't get an answer to that particular question by finding out more about the character of nature. But my interest in science is to simply find out about the world.
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.
absolutely quotesleave quotesroom quotesdoubt quotesprogress quoteslearning quoteslearning quotespose quotesquestion quotesquestion quotesrequires quotesdoubt quotespeople quotessearch quotescertainty quotesterrified quoteslive quotesodd quotesmatter quotesfact quotesactions quotesbased quotesincomplete quotesknowledge quotespurpose quotesworld quotesgreat quotesdeal quotesthings quotes
We have written the equations of water flow. From experiment, we find a set of concepts and approximations to use to discuss the solution-vortex streets, turbulent wakes, boundary layers. When we have similar equations in a less familiar situation, and one for which we cannot yet experiment, we try to solve the equations in a primitive, halting, and confused way to try to determine what new qualitatitive features may come out, or what new qualitative forms are a consequence of the equations. Our equations for the sun, for example, as a ball of hydrogen gas, describe a sun without sunspots, without the rice-grain structure of the surface, without prominences, without coronas. Yet, all of these are really in the equations; we just haven't found the way to get them out... The test of science is its ability to predict. Had you never visited the earth, could you predict the thunderstorms, the volcanoes, the ocean waves, the auroras, and the colourful sunset? A salutary lesson it will be when we learn of all that goes on on each of those dead planets-those eight or ten balls, each agglomerated from the same dust clouds and each obeying exactly the same laws of physics. The next great era of awakening of human intellect may well produce a method of understanding the qualitative content of equations. Today we cannot. Today we cannot see that the water flow equations contain such things as the barber pole structure of turbulence that one sees between rotating cylinders. Today we cannot see whether Schrodinger's equation contains frogs, musical composers, or morality-or whether it does not. We cannot say whether something beyond it like God is needed, or not. And so we can all hold strong opinions either way.
written quotesequations quoteswater quotesflow quotesexperiment quotesfind quotesset quotesconcepts quotesapproximations quotesdiscuss quotessolutionvortex quotesstreets quotesturbulent quoteswakes quotesboundary quoteslayers quotessimilar quotesfamiliar quotessituation quotessolve quotesprimitive quoteshalting quotesconfused quotesdetermine quotesqualitatitive quotesfeatures quotesqualitative quotesforms quotesconsequence quotesequations quotessun quotesball quoteshydrogen quotesgas quotesdescribe quotessun quotessunspots quotesricegrain quotesstructure quotessurface quotesprominences quotescoronas quotesequations quotesfound quotestest quotesscience quotesability quotespredict quotesvisited quotesearth quotespredict quotesthunderstorms quotesvolcanoes quotesocean quoteswaves quotesauroras quotescolourful quotessunset quotessalutary quoteslesson quoteslearn quotesdead quotesplanetsthose quotesten quotesballs quotesagglomerated quotesdust quotesclouds quotesobeying quoteslaws quotesphysics quotesgreat quotesera quotesawakening quoteshuman quotesintellect quotesproduce quotesmethod quotesunderstanding quotescontent quotestoday quotesflow quotesthings quotesbarber quotespole quotesturbulence quotessees quotesrotating quotescylinders quotesschrodingers quotesequation quotesfrogs quotesmusical quotescomposers quotesmoralityor quotesgod quotesneeded quoteshold quotesstrong quotesopinions quotes
I happen to know this, and I happen to know that, and maybe I know that;and I work everything out from there. Tomorrow I may forgot that this is true, but remember that something else is true, so I can reconstruct it all again. I am never quite sure of where I am supposed to begin or where I am supposed to end. I just remember enough all the time so that as the memory fades and some of the pieces fall out I can put the thing back together again every day
Electrons, when they were first discovered, behaved exactly like particles or bullets, very simply. Further research showed, from electron diffraction experiments for example, that they behaved like waves. As time went on there was a growing confusion about how these things really behaved - waves or particles, particles or waves? Everything looked like both. This growing confusion was resolved in 1925 or 1926 with the advent of the correct equations for quantum mechanics. Now we know how the electrons and light behave. But what can I call it? If I say they behave like particles I give the wrong impression; also if I say they behave like waves. They behave in their own inimitable way, which technically could be called a quantum mechanical way. They behave in a way that is like nothing that you have seen before. Your experience with things that you have seen before is incomplete. The behavior of things on a very tiny scale is simply different. An atom does not behave like a weight hanging on a spring and oscillating. Nor does it behave like a miniature representation of the solar system with little planets going around in orbits. Nor does it appear to be somewhat like a cloud or fog of some sort surrounding the nucleus. It behaves like nothing you have seen before. There is one simplication at least. Electrons behave in this respect in exactly the same way as photons; they are both screwy, but in exactly in the same way... The difficulty really is psychological and exists in the perpetual torment that results from your saying to yourself, "But how can it be like that?" which is a reflection of uncontrolled but utterly vain desire to see it in terms of something familiar. I will not describe it in terms of an analogy with something familiar; I will simply describe it. There was a time when the newspapers said that only twelve men understood the theory of relativity. I do not believe there ever was such a time. There might have been a time when only one man did, because he was the only guy who caught on, before he wrote his paper. But after people read the paper a lot of people understood the theory of relativity in some way or other, certainly more than twelve. On the other hand, I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. So do not take the lecture too seriously, feeling that you really have to understand in terms of some model what I am going to describe, but just relax and enjoy it. I am going to tell you what nature behaves like. If you will simply admit that maybe she does behave like this, you will find her a delightful, entrancing thing. Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possible avoid it, "But how can it be like that?" because you will get 'down the drain', into a blind alley from which nobody has escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.
electrons quotesdiscovered quotesbehaved quotesparticles quotesbullets quotessimply quotesresearch quotesshowed quoteselectron quotesdiffraction quotesexperiments quoteswaves quotestime quotesgrowing quotesconfusion quotesthings quoteswaves quotesparticles quoteswaves quoteslooked quotesresolved quotes1925 quotes1926 quotesadvent quotescorrect quotesequations quotesquantum quotesmechanics quoteselectrons quoteslight quotesbehave quotescall quotesbehave quotesgive quoteswrong quotesimpression quotesinimitable quotestechnically quotescalled quotesmechanical quotesexperience quotesincomplete quotesbehavior quotestiny quotesscale quotessimply quotesatom quotesweight quoteshanging quotesspring quotesoscillating quotesminiature quotesrepresentation quotessolar quotessystem quotesplanets quotesorbits quotescloud quotesfog quotessort quotessurrounding quotesnucleus quotesbehaves quotessimplication quoteselectrons quotesrespect quotesphotons quotesscrewy quotesdifficulty quotespsychological quotesexists quotesperpetual quotestorment quotesresults quotesreflection quotesuncontrolled quotesutterly quotesvain quotesdesire quotesterms quotesfamiliar quotesdescribe quotesanalogy quotesfamiliar quotesnewspapers quotestwelve quotesmen quotesunderstood quotestheory quotesrelativity quotestime quotesman quotesguy quotescaught quoteswrote quotespaper quotespeople quotesread quotespaper quoteslot quotesrelativity quotestwelve quoteshand quotessafely quotesunderstands quoteslecture quotesfeeling quotesunderstand quotesmodel quotesdescribe quotesrelax quotesenjoy quotesnature quotesadmit quotesfind quotesdelightful quotesentrancing quotesthing quotesavoid quotesdown quotesdrain quotesblind quotesalley quotesescaped quotes
I believe, therefore, that although it is not the case today, that there may some day come a time, I should hope, when it will fully appreciated that the power of governments should be limited; that governments ought not to be empowered to decide the validity of scientific theories, that this is a ridiculous thing for them to try to do; that they are not to decide the description of history or of economic theory or of philosophy.
case quotestoday quotesday quotestime quoteshope quotesfully quotesappreciated quotespower quotesgovernments quoteslimited quotesempowered quotesdecide quotesvalidity quotesscientific quotestheories quotesridiculous quotesthing quotesdescription quoteshistory quoteseconomic quotestheory quotesphilosophy quotes
If instead of arranging the atoms in some definite pattern, again and again repeated, on and on, or even forming little lumps of complexity like the odor of violets, we make an arrangement which is always different from place to place, with different kinds of atoms arranged in many ways, continually changing, not repeating, how much more marvelously is it possible that this thing might behave? Is it possible that that "thing" walking back and forth in front of you, talking to you, is a great glob of these atoms in a very complex arrangement, such that the sheer complexity of it staggers the imagination as to what it can do? When we say we are a pile of atoms, we do not mean we are merely a pile of atoms, because a pile of atoms which is not repeated from one to the other might well have the possibilities which you see before you in the mirror.
arranging quotesatoms quotesdefinite quotespattern quotesrepeated quotesforming quoteslumps quotescomplexity quotesodor quotesviolets quotesmake quotesarrangement quotesplace quotesplace quoteskinds quotesarranged quotesways quotescontinually quoteschanging quotesrepeating quotesmarvelously quotesthing quotesbehave quotesthing quoteswalking quotesback quotesfront quotestalking quotesgreat quotesglob quotescomplex quotesarrangement quotessheer quotesstaggers quotesimagination quotespile quotesatoms quotesrepeated quotespossibilities quotesmirror quotes
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain ... In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.
live quotesdoubt quotesuncertainty quotesknowing quotesinteresting quotesknowing quotesanswers quoteswrong quotesprogress quotesremain quotesunsure quotesleave quotesopportunities quotesalternatives quotesenthusiastic quotesfact quotesknowledge quotesabsolute quotestruth quotesday quotesuncertain quotesorder quotesmake quotesdoor quotesunknown quotesajar quotes
So I have just one wish for you - the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.
I took a little walk outside for a while. I was surprised that I wasn't feeling what I thought people were supposed to feel under the circumstances. May be I was fooling myself. I wasn't delighted, but I didn't feel terribly upset, perhaps because we had known for a long time that it was going to happen. It's hard to explain. If a Martian(who, we'll imagine never dies except by accident) came to Earth and saw this peculiar race of creatures-these humans who live about seventy or eighty years, knowing that death is going to come-it would look to hi like a terrible problem of psychology to live under those circumstances, knowing that life is only temporary Well, we humans somehow figure out how to live despite this problem: we laugh, we joke, we live. The only difference for me and Arlene was, instead of fifty years, it was five years. It was only a quantitative difference-the psychological problem was just the same. The only way it would have become any different is if we had said to ourselves, "But those other people have it better, because they might live fifty years." But that's crazy. Why make yourself miserable saying things like, "Why do we have such bad luck? What has God done to us? What have we done to deserve this?"-all of which, if you understand reality and take it completely into your heart, are irrelevant and unsolvable. They are just things that nobody can know. Your situation is just an accident of life.. We had a hell of good time together...
walk quotessurprised quotesfeeling quotesthought quotespeople quotessupposed quotesfeel quotescircumstances quotesfooling quotesdelighted quotesterribly quotesupset quoteslong quotestime quoteshappen quoteshard quotesexplain quotesmartianwho quotesimagine quotesdies quotesaccident quotesearth quotespeculiar quotesrace quotescreaturesthese quoteshumans quoteslive quotesseventy quoteseighty quotesyears quotesknowing quotesdeath quotescomeit quotesterrible quotesproblem quotespsychology quotescircumstances quoteslife quotestemporary quotesfigure quotesproblem quoteslaugh quotesjoke quoteslive quotesdifference quotesarlene quotesfifty quotesyears quotesquantitative quotesdifferencethe quotespsychological quotesyears quotescrazy quotesmake quotesmiserable quotesthings quotesbad quotesluck quotesgod quotesdeserve quotesthisall quotesunderstand quotesreality quotescompletely quotesheart quotesirrelevant quotesunsolvable quotessituation quotesaccident quoteslife quoteshell quotesgood quotes
I suddenly remembered that Murray Gell-Mann and I were supposed to give talks at that conference on the present situation of high-energy physics. My talk was set for the plenary session, so I asked the guide, "Sir, where would the talks for the plenary session of the conference be?" "Back in that room that we just came through." "Oh!" I said in delight. "Then I'm gonna give a speech in that room!" The guide looked down at my dirty pants and my sloppy shirt. I realized how dumb that remark must have sounded to him, but it was genuine surprise and delight on my part. We went along a little bit farther, and the guide said, "This is a lounge for the various delegates, where they often hold informal discussions." They were some small, square windows in the doors to the lounge that you could look through, so people looked in. There were a few men sitting there talking. I looked through the windows and saw Igor Tamm, a physicist from Russia that I know. "Oh!" I said. "I know that guy!" and I started through the door. The guide screamed, "No, no! Don't go in there!" By this time he was sure he had a maniac on his hands, but he couldn't chase me because he wasn't allowed to go through the door himself!
suddenly quotesremembered quotesmurray quotesgellmann quotessupposed quotesgive quotestalks quotesconference quotespresent quotessituation quoteshighenergy quotesphysics quotestalk quotesset quotesplenary quotessession quotesasked quotesguide quotessir quotessession quotesback quotesroom quotesdelight quotesgonna quotesspeech quotesroom quotesguide quoteslooked quotesdirty quotespants quotessloppy quotesshirt quotesrealized quotesdumb quotesremark quotessounded quotesgenuine quotessurprise quotesdelight quotespart quotesbit quotesfarther quoteslounge quotesdelegates quoteshold quotesinformal quotesdiscussions quotessmall quotessquare quoteswindows quotesdoors quotespeople quotesmen quotessitting quotestalking quotesigor quotestamm quotesphysicist quotesrussia quotesguy quotesstarted quotesdoor quotesscreamed quotestime quotesmaniac quoteshands quoteschase quotesallowed quotesdoor quotes
Of course, I am interested, but I would not dare to talk about them. In talking about the impact of ideas in one field on ideas in another field, one is always apt to make a fool of oneself. In these days of specialization there are too few people who have such a deep understanding of two departments of our knowledge that they do not make fools of themselves in one or the other.
The taxi driver felt that it was a good observation, and said he was planning to build for the future, too: he had some money on the horses, and if he won, he would buy his own taxicab, and really do well. I felt very sorry. I told him that betting on the horses was a bad idea, but he insisted it was the only way he could do it. He had such good intentions, but his method was going to be luck. I wasn't going to go on philosophizing, so he took me to a place where there was a steel band playing some great calypso music, and I had an enjoyable afternoon.
taxi quotesdriver quotesfelt quotesgood quotesobservation quotesplanning quotesbuild quotesfuture quotesmoney quoteshorses quoteswon quotesbuy quotestaxicab quotestold quotesbetting quoteshorses quotesbad quotesidea quotesinsisted quotesintentions quotesmethod quotesluck quotesphilosophizing quotesplace quotessteel quotesband quotesplaying quotesgreat quotescalypso quotesmusic quotesenjoyable quotesafternoon quotes
My father had the spirit and integrity of a scientist, but he was a salesman. I remember asking him the question "How can a man of integrity be a salesman?" He said to me, "Frankly, many salesmen in the business are not straightforward-they think it's a better way to sell. But I've tried being straightforward, and I find it has its advantages. In fact, I wouldn't do it any other way. If the customer thinks at all, he'll realize he has had some bad experience with another salesman, but hasn't had that kind of experience with you. So in the end, several customers will stay with you for a long time and appreciate it.
father quotesspirit quotesintegrity quotesscientist quotessalesman quotesremember quotesquestion quotesman quotessalesman quotesfrankly quotessalesmen quotesbusiness quotesstraightforwardthey quotessell quotesstraightforward quotesfind quotesadvantages quotesfact quotescustomer quotesthinks quoteshell quotesrealize quotesbad quotesexperience quotessalesman quoteskind quotesend quotescustomers quotesstay quoteslong quotestime quotes
A few years after I gave some lectures for the freshmen at Caltech (which were published as the Feynman Lectures on Physics), I received a long letter from a feminist group. I was accused of being anti-women because of two stories: the first was a discussion of the subtleties of velocity, and involved a woman driver being stopped by a cop. There's a discussion about how fast she was going, and I had her raise valid objections to the cop's definitions of velocity. The letter said I was making the women look stupid. The other story they objected to was told by the great astronomer Arthur Eddington, who had just figured out that the stars get their power from burning hydrogen in a nuclear reaction producing helium. He recounted how, on the night after his discovery, he was sitting on a bench with his girlfriend. She said, "Look how pretty the stars shine!" To which he replied, "Yes, and right now, I'm the only man in the world who knows how they shine." He was describing a kind of wonderful loneliness you have when you make a discovery. The letter claimed that I was saying a women is incapable of understanding nuclear reactions. I figured there was no point in trying to answer their accusations in detail, so I wrote a short letter back to them: "Don't bug me, Man!
years quotesgave quoteslectures quotesfreshmen quotescaltech quotespublished quotesfeynman quoteslectures quotesphysics quotesreceived quoteslong quotesletter quotesfeminist quotesgroup quotesaccused quotesantiwomen quotesstories quotesdiscussion quotessubtleties quotesvelocity quotesinvolved quoteswoman quotesdriver quotesstopped quotescop quotesfast quotesraise quotesvalid quotesobjections quotescops quotesdefinitions quotesvelocity quotesmaking quoteswomen quotesstupid quotesstory quotesobjected quotestold quotesgreat quotesastronomer quotesarthur quoteseddington quotesfigured quotesstars quotespower quotesburning quoteshydrogen quotesnuclear quotesreaction quotesproducing quoteshelium quotesrecounted quotesnight quotesdiscovery quotessitting quotesbench quotesgirlfriend quotespretty quotesshine quotesreplied quotesman quotesworld quotesshine quotesdescribing quoteskind quoteswonderful quotesloneliness quotesmake quotesdiscovery quotesclaimed quotesincapable quotesunderstanding quotesreactions quotespoint quotesanswer quotesaccusations quotesdetail quoteswrote quotesshort quotesback quotesbug quotesman quotes
This is not a new idea; this is the idea of the age of reason. This is the philosophy that guided the men that made the democracy that we live under. The idea that no one really knew how to run a government led to the idea that we should arrange a system by which new ideas could be developed, tried out, and tossed out if necessary, with more new ideas brought in-a trial and error system.
idea quotesidea quotesage quotesreason quotesphilosophy quotesguided quotesmen quotesmade quotesdemocracy quoteslive quotesknew quotesrun quotesgovernment quotesled quotesarrange quotessystem quotesideas quotesdeveloped quotestossed quotesbrought quotesina quotestrial quoteserror quotessystem quotes