Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Surely You're joking Mr. Feynman

When I was at my graduate school, I must've read this book more than 10 times. It was that good.  Its now almost 5 years since I last read it, but I still remember some of the funny stuff that I read. It just leaves an everlasting impression in you comparing to others whose effects are ephemeral. He just leaves a mark on you without any seriousness and the way he does it is something better read than me saying it.... 

  • What is great about Richard Feynman is his refusal to take anything too seriously. Rather, he refused to take anything too seriously because he was damn serious. When you think of it, only people who are not really serious appear to be serious. Seriousness in appearance is different from seriousness in essence. While its hilarious in one side, its also serious on the other side.

  • A staff (also a good friend of mine) at that time used to do tutor for students who wanted to do well in other competitive entrance exams. She used to make the students read excerpts from Surely you're joking, Mr. Feynman. She said the pupil liked the chapter on how to become friendly with women. Now, that was funny, with Richard Feynman trying out the instructions of the bar master, almost failing, but then sticking to his gun, and finally getting the reward. If you scratch your head and don't know what it is all about as you read this blog, then you should definitely read this book. I assure you that you would be laughing like mad before long.

  • Here is a review of the same it toolbox i thought it'd be better if you read a review than my usual musings....

    Mood: Lack of sleep 

        There is a question, somewhere deep in my head: Is it possible that Leonardo da Vinci has bored just once per whole civilization? Is there truely no place nowadays for real "renaissance person", who has some achievement in more than two,three disciplines? The book is the answer for the question: definitely there is at least one such a person - Mr. Feynman.

          The book describes the incredible life of open-minded person, who can during one life do the following:
          • learn to repair radio as a thirtenn years old child
          • how to learnd italian quickly :D
          • take a part in Manhattan project (atom bomb) - surprisngly he writes the most about how the life in Los Alamos looked like, than about his real work. It seemes like he worked more in nearby factory in Oak Ridge, than in Los Alamos ;)
          • open locker, wardrobes and safes (I need to remember 25-0-25 and 50-25-50)
          • how to make impression on women in bars (do not pay for them silly)
          • how to earn money in Las Vegas
          • how to be friend of big fish in Las Vegas
          • try to repair Brazilian schollar system
          • play on pandeiro and frigideira (whatever it is) and took a part in Carnival celebration as the samba school member. Hotel boy screaming - "O PROFESSOR!"
          • learn why you should not earn too much
          • paint
          • why to be in touch with people from other disciplines and not to go for the interdisciplinar conferences discussing general topics
          • get Nobel prize (it sounded like the ceremony was the worest challenge)go through the hell of scroing US school books
          • how to play hald-professionaly on the drum for the ballet

                                      So when you read the list there may be the following feelings in your head.
                                      Did he really do these things? Yes.
                                      Is he a megaloman? A little.
                                        Why I hear the surname for the first time? I was surprised as well :)
                                          As you can see making the extract from the book, which is the extract from such a rich life, like the Feymann's one, gives the odd results. Nevertheless what was the most inspring in this all - Feynman has always very pratical approach and even when he speaks about VERY complicated things (including philosophy), everything is served in straightforward way (without a single formula).
                                            You can not be the professor Mr. Feynman.

                                                Because I understand everything what you are saying.

                                                  On the other hand the book is simply SMART. It contains plenty of tips&tricks including not only "uncommon integration" (how you can gain from possesing the other toolkit), but also "how to cut massive number of string beans" or "how to deal wit a women". What is truely inspring it desribes the things AS-THEY-ARE and not with rounded words, so you can find even once a crossword on f, when he speaks about the government :D

                                                    He was also the one, who reminded me that if you want to achieve something in long term, you need to be honest in front of yourself and when you present the results of your work you must present ups and downs.
                                                      And at least, but not at last - the book is hilarious, so you enjoy reading it. It will be definitely well spent 11$.
                                                        Score: 6/6 (very good)

                                                        Now i'll give you another opportunity to read if you feel its not worth spending....
                                                        Here is a link for the same as PDF i request you guys to read this for serious inspiration - Mr. Feynman's way...
                                                        Surely You'Re Joking_Mr Feynman.pdf