I’ve just finished reading this book. Each chapter, different stories or anecdotes in his own words from different experiences in his life. I really enjoyed it because he just explains things he was curious about, experiments he wanted to try, things he wanted to learn, which would give him completely new experiences. (But not a book for kids as it goes into his dating experiences.)
Imagine a physicist wanting to learn to play drums or the bongos and then performing in a dance production, meanwhile not having anyone know what his ‘real job’ was. Or taking lessons and studying art for a while because he felt like artists didn’t know enough about the world to portray properly in their art what he felt should be expressed if you actually knew the secrets of the universe. He said artists ‘don’t understand the technical world they live in; they don’t know anything about the beauty of the real world – the scientific world – so they don’t have anything in their hearts to paint.’ Maybe this is why I find the ‘technical world’ so interesting? To understand how everything works and how magnificent everything is? – but I certainly have things in my heart to paint, as artists do, or they wouldn’t have the urge to create, would they?
I find it completely enjoyable to read how his thought process worked, and it did make me laugh out loud a couple of times. He had so many experiments going, or things he seemed to be studying or working at all the time, I am a little baffled how he had the time. He relentlessly studied safes and combination locks and pulled pranks on coworkers as he could open their cabinets by studying the locks while they were open when he was in the room, and surprise them at a later date by retrieving files he needed. I think if there is a main thing to learn from a ‘science minded’ person, is to just never stop being curious. Always experiment, try to solve problems and figure things out. Einstein felt he wasn’t anything ‘extraordinary’ and just called himself ‘passionately curious.’ I think that’s the most humble, but completely accurate description for someone like Einstein or Feynman. Life is really to just be curious about.
I look forward to reading his follow up book.